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The ancestors of the Burns family lived among the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. Burns is a name for someone who lived in the county of Cumberland. On the onset, it is best first to establish that the family name Burns is in fact a Clan rather than a Sept of the Campbell Clan. A Roll of the Clans and Chiefs in 1597 shows the Burns Clan as having territories in the eastern Border marches of Scotland in East Teviotdale. They were described as an unruly Clan. However, to relate the origins of this great Clan, we must go back to the year 1329, when their territories were located in the parish of Glenbervie. They had moved into these lands during the reign of King Edward I of England, from Burneshead, Cumberland, sometime around 1296. Little is known about their previous history, but it is thought that they derived from a race called the Boernicians, a race of early Scots that ruled the north East coast of England as far north as Edinburgh. By 1375, the Clan had extended its territories to include Burnhouse of Kair, Burnside of Monboddo, Bralinmuir and Bon Jordan in Inchbreck, and Bernys in the barony of Renfrew.

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The surname Burns was first found in Cumberland, where the original name was Burness. Even Robert Burns and his brother both agreed to shorten their name to Burns due to the difficulty in pronunciation by the Gaelic tongue. Later, the name was also spelled Bourne, Burn and even Bernes.

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Burns has been spelled Burns, Burnes, Burness and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burns research. Another 343 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1603, 1851, 1877, 1759, 1796, 1741 and are included under the topic Early Burns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burns Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Burns family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlanti c. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Burns Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Eleanor Burns, who arrived in America in 1796

Burns Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mick Burns, aged 25, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Agnes Burns, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Catherine Burns, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Elizabeth Burns, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Darby Burns, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
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Burns Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. George Burns U.E who settled in Sissiboo [Weymouth], Nova Scotia c. 1783 he served in the Kings American Regiment as well as Kings Orange Rangers
  • Mr. James Burns U.E who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Philip Burns U.E who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. Samuel Burns U.E who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. William Burns U.E who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1783
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Burns Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Burns, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1806
  • James Burns, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • Milton C Burns, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • Mary Burns, aged 36, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "William" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Ann Burns, aged 10, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "William" from Kinsale, Ireland
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Burns Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Mrs. A M Burns, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Alice M E Burns, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Burns Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Burns, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Burns, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Richard Burns, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • R.H. Burns, a tin-plate-worker, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Burns, a tailor, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
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Burns Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • David Burns landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Burns landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mrs Burns landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Lord Auckland
  • Thomas Burns, aged 51, a minister, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • Clementina Burns, aged 43, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
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  • Conrad Ray Burns (1935-2016), American politician, United States Senator from Montana (1989-2007)
  • Mrs. Zelpha Burns, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1960
  • Willis B. Burns, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Onondaga County 2nd District, 1890
  • William T. Burns, American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska territorial House of Representatives 4th District, 1913-18
  • William R. Burns Jr., American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, 1999
  • William R. Burns (b. 1872), American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Schoolcraft District, 1909-10, 1913-14
  • William R. Burns, American politician, Mayor of Woodstock, Illinois, 1935-38
  • Mrs. William M. Burns, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1944
  • William Louden Burns (1913-2005), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1966-77
  • William L. Burns, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1956, 1964; Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1959
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Burns Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Charles Burns, British Assistant Storekeeper from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914

Flight 191

  • Paula M Burns, American from San Diego, California, USA, aged 32, who worked aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash on May 25, 1979

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. John† Burns (1847-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. John Reardon Burns (1913-1941), Australian Acting Stoker Petty Officer from Stawell, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Albert S Burns (b. 1913), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Donald Burns, British Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Gerrard Burns, British Leading Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas R Burns, Irish Leading Telegraphist from Ireland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Peter Burns, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Joseph Burns, English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. John James Burns, English Leading Fireman from Bootle, Lancashire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Miss Mary Delia Burns (d. 1912), aged 17, Irish Third Class passenger from Kilmacowen, Sligo who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Miss Elizabeth Margaret Burns, aged 41, American First Class passenger from Tuxedo Park, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 3
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  • The Burns Family and Allied Lines of North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas by Estella Mae Burns Stewart.
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Burns Clan Badge
Burns Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Burns
Bearns, Berns, Burn, Burns and more.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
    4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    5. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
    6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    7. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
    8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    11. ...

    The Burns Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burns Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 24 July 2016 at 22:55.

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