Burnette Elementary School is named after the Burnette Family.
The Burnette family has a long history that can be traced to the early 1500s in Scotland. The family home, Crathes Castle was deeded to the family by Robert the Bruce, and is located outside Aberdeen, Scotland. Relics of the family can still be viewed in the home, now a property of the Scottish Trust and open to the public. The Burnette family’s history in the New World began in 1638 when King Charles I of England granted a trading license to John Burnette to settle in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia. Over the years, the family grew and migrated southward as American Indian lands began to fill with European settlers. Alexander Burnette was the first of the family to settle in Gwinnett County in what was to become the town of Suwanee. When the Civil War came, Alexander served for the Army of the Confederacy. When the war ended, Alexander and his wife Mary Jane (McCommon) farmed the land, growing cotton and food for their family of four children: John, Fannie, James Jeremiah, and Lee. The children grew, and eventually James Jeremiah inherited the homestead after the death of his brother, John, and the marriages of his sisters. His brother Lee moved to Texas as the western frontier began to open after the Civil War. James Jeremiah Burnette married Cleo Lockridge, a member of a prominent Suwanee family, and continued to farm the family homestead. They had eight children: Ira, Leonard, Howard, Mary, Lee Odus, Briscoe, Katie Mae and Montine. Their children went on to serve their communities in many roles of leadership. Some were educators, some worked in the local factories – General Motors and Bona Allen Tannery. They instilled in their children a sense of service to others that continued through their children and their children’s children. Katie Mae was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and an educator who raised a family of educators serving Gwinnett and other north Georgia counties. Ira’s son, James, served as Mayor of Suwanee and served with honor in World War II. Briscoe worked at Bona Allen Tannery, served on the City Water Commission that brought running water to the town, and cut hair on Saturdays for extra money. Leonard moved to Florida and worked in the Tampa Water Department. Today, the Burnette descendents are teachers, lawyers, doctors, college professors, artists, and civic leaders in their hometowns. They continue a tradition of service to their communities.