What little information can be gathered suggests Ester was born in a village on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, near Bladen Co NC (now in Robeson Co). However, SAR records for her husband John state she was born in Highland Co OH. It is my belief she was not born there, but may have been listed as such due to her Quaker affiliations.
Ester was one of possibly five children born to fur trader William Terry and his Cheraw Indian wife, Cheepoake.
It is confirmed Ester married John C Burris, a Quaker, in 1758 in Rowan Co NC (then part of Surry Co, now Stokes Co). They had at least nine children, seven sons and two daughters. The children's births are recorded in the Quaker Meeting Minutes of New Garden in Guilford Co NC. Additional records regarding this family can be found in the Fall Creek Meeting Minutes in Rainsboro, Highland Co OH.
As Ester's birth took place before Indian Rolls were established by the Guion Miller Commission 1908-1910, any future claims by descendants to prove Indian heritage is disallowed. One source references such a claim. The rejected application for tribal membership was submitted by Emma C Williams, a Gr-Gr-Granddaughter of Daniel Burris (1771-1845), son of John and Ester.
The Cheraw tribe is recorded to have originated in FL and sometime prior to 1700 moved to an area near the Dan River, on the present day Virginia-North Carolina border. In 1738, just two years before Ester's birth, a smallpox epidemic killed most of the Cheraw and Catawba tribes. Survivors of these two tribes combined, with a few relocating north in a new settlement along the Drowning Creek River, now located in Robeson Co NC. By the middle of the 18th century, this tribe was mostly gone.
It is unlikely Ester's mother and father were in the area at the time of the smallpox epidemic. As a fur-trader, her father would have moved them frequently. To date, no death records have been found for Ester's parents. Her father may have died in 1792 near Botetourt Co VA.
Known sibling of Ester:
Isabel Terry (b: 1749)
Possible siblings of Ester:
Ester is my 4th paternal Gr-Grandmother, through her son Bowater Burris (1784-1841), my 3rd Gr-Grandfather.
Surry Co NC was a part of Rowan Co NC before 1771 and the eastern half of Surry Co NC became Stokes Co NC in 1789. Robeson Co NC was formed in 1787 from part of Bladen Co NC.
John C. Burris
Gravesite Details Burial site to be validated.