The Burnett of Leys Connection

The Burnett of Leys family connection is on my maternal great-grandfather’s paternal side of his family. Charles Griner’s 5th great-grandmother was Priscilla Burnett of Leys, a daughter of Thomas Burnett Jr. of Leys and Mary Cooper of Southampton, Long Island. Thomas Burnett Jr., was the one of the sons of Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr. of Braintree, England and Jane Foys of London, England

Priscilla Burnett of Leys’s grandfather Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr. of Leys was born in Crathes Castle and and was the 3rd son of Alexander Burnett, 11th Laird of Leys and the Hon. Katherine Arbuthnot of Fiddies.  Thomas Jr. was educated in about 1603 at the University of Cambridge. He was employed as a doctor in Cambridge and also in Braintree, England, and was described as a “physician of eminence.” this is how he met and married Jane Foys of London, daughter of John Foys of London.

Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr. of Leys had an oldest brother was also named Alexander Burnett, who later became the 12th Leys of Leys, upon the death of their father Alexander Burnett, 11th of Leys. Alexander Burnett, the eldest son would later inherit his father title and his estate that include Crathes Castle. because of the hereditary laws in the United Kingdom that states that the eldest male hair would automatically inherit their father’s title and estate.

Because of this law, Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr of Leys was given more freedom to do what he wishes to do and he decided to become a doctor setting up his practice mainly in Braintree, England.

Dr. Thomas Burnett of Leys Sr., The 3rd Son of Alexander Burnett of Leys and the Hon. Katherine Arbuthnot of Fiddies was born at Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, He later went to Cambridge University and decided to become a doctor, he studied and later received his master degree. After graduation from Cambridge University, Dr Thomas Burnett Sr. of Leys set up his practice in Braintree, Essex England, where he soon met and married Jane Foys, daughter of John Foys of London, England. and they went to have three children. Their eldest son, Thomas Burnett Jr. was born in Braintree, England in 1612 and then two more children soon followed after him.

Thomas Burnett Jr. of Leys was given permission from his father, Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr. of Leys to sail to the new world AKA The America to set up roots there, when Thomas Jr. first arrived to the new work he first settled in Lynn, Massachusetts  then decided to move to Southampton, Long Island where he son met and married Mary Cooper, daughter of John Cooper Sr. and Wilbroe Griggs (against the wishes of Mary’s father). Thomas Burnett Jr and Mary Cooper had 11 children together and one of their children, a daughter named Priscilla Burnett of Leys, She was the 5th great-grandmother of Charles Berdeaux Griner by her only daughter Esther Fithian, (b. March 6th 1691) who married Robert Tullis Sr. a quaker who was born in Fife, Scotland.

Esther Fithian (b. March 6th 1691) married Robert Tullis Sr around 1714 and they had five children:

  • Robert Tullis Jr. (d. March 23rd 1748 married Phebe Conkelyn
  • Francis Tullis married Hannah (Conkelyn?)
  • William Tullis Sr. (June 5th 1715) married, 1st to Eleanor Denton, and 2nd to Mary Platts, daughter of Moses Platts.
  • Moses Tullis Sr. (b.1724) married Mary Elizabeth Van Dyke and moved to West Virginia.
  • Priscilla Tullis, listed as an adult. in membership of Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church. 

They we Members of Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church in Greenwich, New Jersey.


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