Burnett Ashford (1896-?)

by Zaria’ Love 

Burnett Ashford was born in Clinton, Samson County, North Carolina USA on 28th August 1896. His father’s name was W. A. Ashford and his mother’s name was Rosa Beamon. Other characteristics of his personal life were that he was a Methodist, he lived on 523 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Virginia and he had no fraternal orders, college fraternities, or previous training for military service. He also had no college or university degrees because the highest level of education that he attained was the Preparatory level. Before he began his service in the military, he was a laborer who was employed by George W. Taylor Company. 

He joined military service on 23rd June 1918, at Camp Humphreys, Virginia and served in the rank of a Private in the National Army’s casual section after being originally assigned to Co. A. His identification number was 2610777. After some time, he was transferred to Camp Lee, Va, where he served in the Overseas Casual Division in Co. #565. He served in the military because he was convinced that he had a duty to serve his country. 

According to him, his camp experiences had a good impact on his mental and physical state. He did not go into action, and there is no record of him suffering from any diseases, wounds or injuries that would have necessitated his discharge from military service due to disabilities associated with the war. He did not receive any decorations, honors, or citations on account of any exploits made during his time of service. His experiences did not affect his religious experiences in any manner. He served in the Overseas Casual Division until his return to civil life as a laborer. He filled this questionnaire in Norfolk, Va, on 21st May 1920.

After his mother passed on, he lived with his father and brother in South Clinton, NC in 1910. In 1920 he lived with his aunt Jamie McDonald. He married Manda Webster on Oct 13, 1924 and they had a son named Leon. By 1930, he was imprisoned at the Virginia State Farm. According to the Journal and Guide, he was imprisoned for highway robbery with Will Howard. His wife and son Leon lived with his mother and stepfather. He joined the Jay Gees in 1955.


United State Census, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

“Two Alleged Highwaymen Under Arrest,” New Journal and Guide. Norfolk, VA, 22 May 1926, 1.

“New Jay-Gee Members” New Journal and Guide. Norfolk, VA, 3 December 1955, 14.