Burd, James, a Scot, was born at Ormiston, near Edinburgh, in 1726, son of Edward. He came to Philadelphia in 1747; married, 1748, Sarah, daughter of Edward Shippen, born 1730. Both died at Tinian, near Middletown, in Dauphin county, Pa. (Colonel Burd in 1793, Mrs. Burd in 1784), and are buried in the graveyard at Middletown. Colonel Burd resided from 1750 to 1753 at Shippensburg, as manager of the affairs of Mr. Shippen. About 1755 he came to Tinian, where he resided until his death. He entered the Provincial service (1755) as a commissioner with George Croghan, William Buchanan and Adam Hoopes to lay out a road from "Harris’ Ferry to the Ohio." He was then a captain; he is soon heard of as major, then lieutenant colonel, and colonel in 1760. As there were but two regiments in service, his rank was a very prominent one. He fulfilled with great uprightness and punctuality all the public duties with which he was intrusted for quite twenty years. Then the stirring days of the Revolution came, and with it disaster to Burd as a public man. He seemed to have entered heartily into the contest, but just when such experience as he had acquired would have been of the highest benefit, an unfortunate dispute about rank occurred; that, with insubordination in his command, and some criticism in the Committee of Safety, caused him to resign his civil and military employments. His sons and son-in-law were good patriots, and a pretty thorough examination of the hasty conduct of Burd convinces us that he was, notwithstanding this affair, in accord with the leading patriots with whom he was surrounded. He was a man of fine form, hardy and healthy, an advanced and prosperous farmer, hospitable in his intercourse with his neighbors, and respected for is integrity as a civil officer from 1785, when Dauphin county was formed, until his death, in 1793. He died holding position as one of the county judges.
Transcribed by: Lynne Ranieri
From page 173-174