A History of the Burns Family
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Nope, We're Not Robbie's Descendants!

1 - Burns Line
2 - Robert Burns
3 - James, Esquire
4 - John, Senior
5 - John "B"
6 - Scots-Irish Roots

More Information

The trail from Liberty at the Battle of Wilderness forward to David Argyle ("Guy") Burns is reasonably well documented. But what we know about earlier branches of the Burns family tree?

It's tempting to claim descent from the most famous Burns in history -- the Bard of Scotland -- author of over 500 poems and almost as many songs, including Auld Lang Syne. Not to mention children too numerous to count. Who wouldn't want this blithe spirit on their family tree?

Some of Guy's ancestors certainly did. In a history of the Virginias, the author wrote this about Guy's uncle, Joseph Turner Burns:

He is a direct descendant from the family of the great poet of Scotland, "Bobby Burns," as his countrymen still love to call him. [1]

Nice try, Uncle Joe. The truth is that at the time Robbie Burns was born in Scotland in 1759, Joseph's great-grandfather (Guy's great-great-grandfather) was 19 years old and living in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. So much for "direct descent" from a literary legend.

Still, the Burns men of Guy's line were no slouches, and in this section, we'll get to know these paternal forebears.


: [1] From H. H. Hardesty's "Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia...Special History of the Virginias." 1883.