Yes, Matilda S. Burris was the daughter of Robert Burris and Susan Miller. She was married first, 19 May 1870, Hardin County, Ohio, to William W. Longstaff and secondly 1 March 1873, Hardin County, to Jonathan Rizor. I’m not sure why Goldie Channell/Rizor would have believed her grandfather was a George Burris, since there were no known George Burris’ in the Hardin County area. However, I am interested in Goldie; do you know if her mother, Ada Rizor, was ever married to Sidney A. Channell? I am trying to determine the timeline here, since Goldie/Golda was born 25 Dec 1899 and Ada married Zedakiah Dawson 19 Feb 1901, but was called Ada Benedict on this marriage record. Do you know anything about the Benedict marriage? Also, do you have any photos of Matilda? My ancestor was her brother Arthur, and I have not yet been able to find any photos of him.
I have found nothing in original sources that would indicate the Burris or Miller families had a Native American connection. The Millers seem to be of German ancestry and from Pennsylvania. The Burris’ were from Maryland and apparently of English ancestry. I did have a descendant of Mahala Burris, eldest daughter of Robert and Susan, say they believed Mahala was an Indian, but upon further investigation into the story, they apparently believed this because of the name Mahala, and the many sources claiming this to mean “woman” in some Native American language. In this case, Mahala Burris was probably named for her aunt, Mahala (Miller) Douglass, b. 1818, Muskingum County, Ohio. A search of the 1850 census shows 13,600 Mahalas, spread all over the United States, so it certainly was not an unusual name and certainly did not imply a Native American origin for all of these women. Sometimes these stories came about due to a family member being taken by the Indians or living with them for some period. It is hard to say where this story began, but although I have found some Burris family members that married into families of freed slaves; I have found nothing on Native Americans.
MAHALA: This name is usually said to mean "woman" in an unspecified Native American language, or sometimes a more fanciful meaning like "eyes of the sky" or "tender fawn." Those translations come from 19th-century romance novels and are fictional; however, Mahala does have at least two distinct Native American sources. One is that "mahala" (pronounced mah-hah-lah) was a slang word for an Indian woman in 1800's California. It came from a Mission Indian mispronunciation of the Spanish word "mujer" (which means woman.) As far as we know no Indian women have this name, but it is used in some place names in California, and "mahala mat" is another name for the plant also known as "squaw carpet." This is probably where the idea that Mahala means "woman" came from. It is less derogatory than the word "squaw," but is not really a native word. The second source of this name is the woman's name Mahala (pronounced mah-hey-lah) or Mahaley, which was fairly common among the southeastern Indian tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, etc.) during the 1800's. Unfortunately the origin of this name isn't clear; the word "mahala" does not have any meaning in any Indian language of the southeast. It may have been one of many Indian variants on the name Mary, or possibly a variant of Michaela. Or it could have been a corrupted or shortened form of a longer Indian woman's name or names. In the Tutelo and Saponi languages (two closely related southeastern Indian languages that are extinct today), the word for "woman" was "mahei," so it's possible that a name or set of names including the word "mahei" got corrupted into Mahala at some point in time. Or it's also possible that the name might have had African origins (many of the southeastern Indian tribes, especially the Saponi, were known for taking in African-Americans.)