Carol Creighton Burnett

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Carol Burnett (b 1933), American actress and comedienne, best known from her variety show
The Carol Burnett Show inside-burnett.jpg

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Carol Burnett

Carol Creighton Burnett on 26 Apr 1933 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas to Joseph Thomas "Jody" Burnett and his wife Ina Louise Creighton (aka Louise Melton). At a young age she was left with her grandmother Mabel Eudora "Nanny" and great-grandmother "Goggy" while her parents moved to California. Nanny and Carol attended the Christian Science church.

Carol, for a short time when she was about 3 or 4 went to live with her parents in Santa Monica, California. Her parents fought, and Carol was sent back to Nanny and Goggy, while they seperated and/or divorced.

After a short time, Carol and Nanny also moved to California, living together in a one-room apartment just down the hall from her mother Louise. Carol's father Jody also lived nearby, at one point with his mother Nora who have moved there at some point. Carol saw her father from time to time and relates how she could often smell alcohol on his breath.

Carol's mother began dating a married man named Tony. One night, as Carol relates it, Nanny and Tony had a confrontation and Tony never returned. Louise eventually gave birth to her daughter Antonia Christine "Chrissy" Burnett, surnamed Burnett even though she was the result of Louise's affair with Tony. Chrissy was raised by the three women together, she being about ten years younger than Carol. Carol graduated from Hollywood High School.

Carol after some stage work while at UCLA, moved to New York in order to break into show business, with her then boyfriend Don Sarovan. This is when and where, she first started getting a few small job on stage and television. On a visit back to California, she convinced her mother to allow her to move Chrissy to New York so Carol could take care of her half-sister, and her mother agreed. They did not tell Nanny or Chrissy. Carol invited Chrissy to come to New York for Christmas and after she was there, getting ready to go back to California, broke the news to her. Shortly after this, Carol's mother died in California.

I'm not sure exactly when Nanny died, but she appears in several photographs with Carol dating at least to 1961.

Carol Burnett married three times, first to Don Sarovan in 1955, divorced in 1962, secondly to Joe Hamilton in 1963, divorced in 1984, and lastly to Brian Miller in 2001. It has been noted that Brian is about 23 years her junior. With her first husband she had no children, but with her second, who already had eight children, she had three daughters: Carrie Hamilton, Jody Hamilton and Erin Hamilton.

The Carol Burnett Show which debuted in 1967 ceased production in 1978. Watch Carol portray "Mary Hartman" here on YouTube. In its run it won 22 Emmy awards. In 1987, Avon paperbacks released her autobiography.

Primary sources for 1

  • Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997, hosted at Ancestry, showing : "Carol Creighton Burnett, born 26 Apr 1933, Bexar County, to Joseph Thomas Burnett and Ina Louise Melton" (note that MELTON was actually the married name of Ina's mother by her *later* husband, not Ina's father).
  • California Birth Index, 1905-95, hosted at Ancestry, showing : "Antonia Christine Burnett, born 12 Dec 1944, Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name: Creighton"

Secondary sources for 1

Dubious sources for 1

Joseph Thomas Burnett

Joseph Thomas "Jody" Burnett was born 15 Apr 1907 in Texas, the youngest of three sons of Joseph Hiram Burnett by his wife Nora Potter. He married Ina Louise who although born a Creighton, was at that time going by her mother's later name Melton. Shortly after the birth of their first child Carol Burnett (which occurred in 1933), Jody and Louise left Carol in the care of Louise' mother Nanny and grandmother Goggy, and themselves moved to Santa Monica, California. Jody's mother apparently lived there at the time or shortly afterward.

Some time about 1937, Carol went to California to live with her parents for a little while, but they fought and Jody and Louise "stopped living together" as Carol relates, when she was again shipped back to Texas, to live with Nanny and Goggy. Shortly afterward, Carol and Nanny also moved to California and took up residence in a one-room apartment just down the hall from her mother Louise.

Jody was an infrequent presence in her life, visiting her weekly or monthly and a few times she relates going to stay with him and his mother Nora who had also moved to the Santa Monica/Hollywood area. Jody sold coupons door-to-door and sometimes gave a bit of his profits to Nanny. While living with his mother Nora, Jody gave off the booze and that period is described by Carol as the time she was closest to him. Once Nora died however, he started on it again.

Jody died in Los Angeles County 11 Nov 1954.

Primary sources for 2

  • Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997, hosted at Ancestry, showing : "Carol Creighton Burnett, born 26 Apr 1933, Bexar County, to Joseph Thomas Burnett and Ina Louise Melton" (note that MELTON was actually the married name of Ina's mother by her *later* husband, not Ina's father).
  • California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
    • Los Angeles, 1934 : "Joseph H Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican; Joseph T Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Democrat; Mrs Nora Belle Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican"
  • California Birth Index, 1905-95, hosted at Ancestry, showing : "Antonia Christine Burnett, born 12 Dec 1944, Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name: Creighton"
  • California Death Index, 1940-97, hosted at Ancestry showing : "Joseph Thomas Burnett, born 15 Apr 1907 Texas, died 11 Nov 1954 Los Angeles County, mother's maiden named: Potter"

Secondary sources for 2

Ina Louise Creighton

Ina Louise Creighton was born 8 Apr 1911 in Arkansas to William Creighton and Mabel White, as the second of their two children. Bill and Mabel divorced shortly afterward, and Bill died. At some point Mabel moved to Texas where the family lived in the area of San Antonio. At the end of her book, in a kind of afterword dated 1985, Carol Burnett states that her surviving cousins said that Ina was not a product of Bill Creighton, but rather that her father was a Mr Melton. Carol obtained Ina's birth certificate which states William Creighton as her father, but Carol theorizes that her mother had an affair with Mr Melton while still married and that Ina was the result.

Ina Louise married Joseph Thomas "Jody" Burnett in Texas and had a daughter Carol Burnett. Carol was left with Ina's mother Mabel "Nanny" while Louise and Jody moved to Santa Monica, California where they were living in 1937. Carol came to live with them in California, but after a short visit of perhaps some months or even a year, in which they fought, she was sent back to Nanny and Goggy. Ina and Jody divorced about this time.

Nanny decided to move to California with Carol, and they took a room in the same boarding house where Ina lived, just down the hall. Ina meanwhile started seeing a married man and became pregnant by him. Nanny confronted him, and he disppeared from their lives. Meanwhile Ina gave birth to her second and last daughter Crissy.

Carol, after some time at UCLA in which she excelled in acting and comedy, decided to move to New York City. After a struggle, she started getting jobs in stage and television. She convinced her mother to let her take Crissy to live with her in New York, and shortly after that, Ina Louise died in California. Her early death was perhaps brought on by her excessive drinking which Carol chronicles in her autobiography.

Primary sources for 3

  • California Death Index, 1940-97, hosted at Ancestry showing : "Ina Louise Burnett, born 8 Apr 1911 Arkansas, died 10 Jan 1958 Los Angeles County, father's name Creghton [sic], mother's name White"

Secondary sources for 2

Joseph Hiram Burnett

Joseph Hiram Burnett was born 5 Feb 1878 in Texas. He married Nora Belle Potter in 1899/1900, probably in Texas, and had at least one son Joseph Thomas Burnett. The family moved by 1934 to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California where they appear in the Voter Registration Rolls that year.

Joseph Hiram Burnett died 12 Mar 1942 in Los Angeles County, California.

Primary sources for 4

  • California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
    • Los Angeles, 1934 : "Joseph H Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican; Joseph T Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Democrat; Mrs Nora Belle Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican"
  • California Death Index, 1940-97, "Joseph Hiram Burnett, born 5 Feb 1878 Texas, died 12 Mar 1942 Los Angeles, mother's maiden name Davis"

Secondary sources for 4

  • "John Henry Burnett", on 'Judia and Ralph Terry - Family and Neighbors of Coleman County, Texas' by ralphterry@verizon.net, WorldConnect hosted at Rootsweb.com

Nora Belle Potter

Primary sources for 5

  • 1910 Census of Belton, Bell County, Texas showing : "Jos H Burnett, 32, married first time, 10 years ago, TX/NY/NC, [Vetrinary? ] surgeon, own office; Nora, wife, 30, married first time, 10 years ago, mother of 3, 3 living, TX/TX/TX; John H 8 son TX; James A 6 son TX; Joe S 3 son TX"
  • California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
    • Los Angeles, 1934 : "Joseph H Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican; Joseph T Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Democrat; Mrs Nora Belle Burnett, 1338B Euclid St, Republican"
    • Los Angeles, 1938 : "Mrs Nora Belle Burnett, 1148 9th St, housewife, Democrat"
  • California Death Index, 1940-97, hosted at Ancestry showing : "Nora Belle Burnett, born 27 Jan 1880 Texas, died 14 May 1945 Los Angeles County, father's name Potter"

William "Bill" Creighton

Bill Creighton married Mabel Eudora Jones about 1905/6, and had two children (Eudora and Ina) in Arkansas. Bill and Mabel divorced, and Bill died when the children were young. Carol Burnett in her book, states that her cousins told her that Ina was not Bill's daughter, but rather was the product of Mr Melton.

Primary sources for 6

  • California Death Index, 1940-97, hosted at Ancestry showing : "Ina Louise Burnett, born 8 Apr 1911 Arkansas, died 10 Jan 1958 Los Angeles County, father's name Creghton [sic], mother's name White"

Secondary sources for 6

Mabel Eudora Jones

Edgar,%20Fred,%20Hubert,%20Mabel,%20Lester%20Jones.jpg Mabel as a young girl

Mabel Eudora "Mae" Jones was born 30 Jul 1885 in Yell County, Arkansas, daughter of Ferdinand C "F C" Jones (1854-1933) by his wife Sarah Eudora "Dora" Haney (1857-1943). "F.C. Jones owned and operated a mercantile store in Belleville, Arkansas."[1] She still lived in Arkansas when she married William "Bill" Creighton about 1905. They had two daughters Eudora in 1907 and Ina in 1911 in Arkansas. They divorced and Bill died shortly afterward. (Carol Burnett, in her autobiography, states that her cousins told her that Ina was not the daughter of Bill Creighton, but rather of Mr Melton.)

Mabel married secondly to Herman Melton. (Carol was not able to find the marriage certificate, and supposes that they did not actually marry.) At some point, Mabel moved to Texas where in the early 1930s her daughter Ina was married to Joseph Burnett.

After Ina and Joseph had their first daughter Carol in 1933, she was left with Mabel, who Carol always called "Nanny" to raise, while Ina and Joseph moved to California, apparently to pursue a career in the entertainment industry (television and film).

At some point Nanny married thirdly to John White, who was her husband during at least part of Carol's childhood. He died while Carol was a young child (probably less than eight). Carol in her autobiography states:
"He was the first dead person I'd ever seen. We all had to kiss him in his coffin, so he wouldn't come back and haunt us. I was real little so they had to lift me up"

Sometime later, but before 1950, Nanny and Carol also relocated to the Hollywood area, where Carol graduated from Hollywood High. It's not yet clear when and where Nanny died, but she was living in 1961, as she appears that year in a photograph in Carol's autobiography.

The Jones biographer states that she died in 1967 in California.

Primary sources for 7

  • California Death Index, 1940-97, hosted at Ancestry showing : "Ina Louise Burnett, born 8 Apr 1911 Arkansas, died 10 Jan 1958 Los Angeles County, father's name Creghton [sic], mother's name White"

Secondary sources for 7

John Henry Burnett

John Henry Burnett was born in 1834 in Steuben County, New York.

John married Mahala Davis in or about 1867 in Texas.

John Henry Burnett died in 1901 in Texas.

Mahala Davis

D D Potter

Primary sources for 10

Mrs Martha Potter

Martha C (unknown) Potter was born May 1857 in Texas. She married Mr Potter in Texas. He died by 1900.

Primary sources for 11

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