My Greene County Indiana Ancestors & More...

David Boswell Burn's Scottish Ancestry

Our Ancestors from ther British Isles

There were the Scots
Who kept the Sabbath
And everything else
They could lay their hands on

And there were the Welsh
Who prayed on their knees
And their neighbors

Thirdly, there were the Irish
Who never knew what they wanted
But were willing to fight for it, anyway

Lastly, there were the English
Who considered themselves a self-made nation
Thereby relieving the Almighty
Of a dreadful responsibility
I am Judith Elaine McKee and married David Boswell Burns he was born in Kilmarnock, Ayr county, Scotland and his parents were James Easton Burns and Agnes Maxwell Thomas.


I had research first started in sometime in early summer of 1977 I inquired about research through the Scots Ancestry Research Society (it no longer exists the owners retired and maybe even deceased) late August or eearly September 1977 ending the required retainer fee at the time following is the list of research hired done:

Receipt #Resgn No DateAmountComment
1821 B/3882 14 Sep 1977 $ 8.00 
328138,882 12 May 1978 $150.00 with letter of findings
173838,882 25 Mar 1986 $100.00 
2011 38,882 18 Jun 1986 $ 50.00in adavance
250238,882 22 Oct 1986 $200.00 
Total  $508.00 

these fees did not included any actual copies of records (bith, marriage, death) they were just cited abstracts only. Also they only done a direct line of descent research ie David Burns -> James burns -> David Burns -> no siblings were traced after they left the household or married unless they happened to resided in the household as married children or the parents resided with a child.

I was told back then that there were fess charged gain enterance to use the General Register Office for Scotland and National Archives of Scotland etc. for genealogical research above the costs of obtaining any copies of doocuments and there was a line of red tape to obtain passes etc. to get into the archives - whether true or not I have no idea.

When David died on 23 Aug 1990 I had already lined up paper work and was preparing to order more research on the allied lines and confirm some information on IGI print outs I had gotten from the LDS library. But knowing this was a luxury item now that could not be afforded I threw all that paper work into the trash compactor.

Back when this material was borrowed by a family memebr to read for herself only - but she chose to xerox it and then share ti with other without asking permission to to do so or offering to pay part of the expenses involed in getting it - it is not known who it was and was not shared with. This is a means to share it with all and hopefull share it with distant cousins in Scotland in hopes they do exists and and that we can make a complete accounting of the famlies if at all possible.


The surnames listed in the menu bar are the Allied lines of the family and the ones in white have not been researched or carried on any further as of the present time. They are grouped under each main surname "Burns" and "Thomas" they are connected with.

The Burns Connection

Clan/Family Histories - Burns

The surname of Burns comes from "Burnhouse" a dwelling near a burn or a stream. Although "burn" is a common word in Scotland for a stream, the word originated in Old English. The singular form "Burn" is found in Dumfries and Galloway in the 13th and 14th century.

The poet Robert Burns' father came from Kincardineshire on the east coast of Scotland and spelt his name Burness. Robert and his brother adopted the spelling "Burns" a form which first appeared in written records only in the 17th century.

The illustration of Robert Burns is from a commemmorative Scottish Banknote.

Burns is regarded as a sept of clan Campbell.

Burns was the 60th most frequent surname at the General Register Office in 1995.

Another of the famiy started the "Family tradition" that they were related to Robert Burns, the poet; but isn't that the "family Tradition" of anyone who bears the name Burns?

I have done a lot of digging - chasing the ancestry and descendants of RObert Burns, the poet and as of date there is ABSOLUTELY no connection that can be made to him David's last known ancestor is James Burns of Ayr, Ayrshire Scotland who married Sabina Mc Qualter who was born Kirkmichael, Ayr, Scotland - there is no clear cut parish record for his birth - tho in the last couple of years I have found one that could fit - BUT the mothers name is not provided in the parish records - this far no death certificate is found for James either - it is ASSUMED that he died before the 1851 census as his wife and daughter are the only ones listed on the census Also no place of burial can be found for him

So far the only connection between these two families are that they resided in the same areas of Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire counties, Scotland but that is the only connecting force at this time - the locality - - the name ONLY - no documented proof of relationship whatsoever at this point in time exists

Robert Burns - Scotlandís , National Bard - - was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, in 1759 to William Burness [born 11 November 1721 Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland, shortly before his father moved to Clochnahill in Dunnottar son of Robert Burness and Isabella Keith], a poor tenant farmer, and Agnes Brown and they had in 1750 moved to Ayrshire. The eldest of seven children, he spent his early years in a single-room thatched cottage with a barn and cowshed which is now a museum containing original manuscripts and other memorabilia. This is the best link I have found to Robert Burns' ancestry etc.

The first known ancestor James Burns is assumed born about 1778-1780 in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland by reports furnished by the Scots Ancestry Research Society, nothing more on him or his ancestry was found by the researchers. No exact birth, marriage or death date and place was provided for James Burns who married Sabina McQulater the last known Scottich ancestor or parents name were provided

Our Burns Ancestry

The documented Burns ancestry is as follows

1. Dave Boswell Burns (1909-1990) b. March 28, 1909, South Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom; d. August 23, 1990, Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana, 46563, United States

2. James Easton Burns b. December 14, 1886, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. February 14, 1961, Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana married Agnes Maxwell Thomas b. March 27, 1884, Garronhill, Muirkirk, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. January 12, 1955, Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana
    James Easton Burns born 14th December 1886 at 8 Richardland Road, Kilmarnock, The son of David Burns draughtsman, and Elizabeth Millar, married 25th December, 1885 at Bonhill.

    5th February, 1909, At Main Street, Muirkirk, after Banns according to the Forms of the United Free Church, James Easton Burns, journeyman Bricklayer, bachelor, aged 22 of 9 Arbuckle Street, Kilmarnock. The son of David A. Burns, desinger, and Elizabeth Miller. AND Agnes Thomas, domestic servant, spinster, aged 22, of 9 Arbuckle Street, Kilmarnock. The daughter of Michael Thomas, Coalminer, and Janet Cannon Certificate #4."

3. David Burns b. September 17, 1862, Holle Village, kirkpatrick-fleming, Dumfrieshire, Scotland; d. June 24, 1939, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Millar b. October 19, 1861, 5 Williams Dennystown, Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland; d. September 30, 1935
    David Burns; 1862 September Seventeenth 11h 30m P.M. Holle Village; M; James Burns Hotel waiter, Jessie Burns M.L. Easton, 1861 July Holywood; (Signed) James Dickson uncle (Present); 1862 October 1ts At Kirkpakrick Fleming (Signed) John Ca___thers, Registrar. Extracted from the Register Book of Births for the Parish of Kirkpakrick Fleming in the County of Dumfries, 27th day of July 1935."

    25th December 1885 at 275 Main Street, Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, after Banns accordingt to the Forms of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. David Burns, pattern drawer, batchelor, aged 22, of 7 Kirkinholm Street, Kilmarnock. The son of James Burns, butler, and Jane (sic) Cathie (sic) deceased. AND Lizzie (sic) Miller, printfield hand, spinster, aged 22, of 275 Main Street, Bonhill. The daughter of William Miller, porter (deceased) and Elizabeth Smith."

4. James Burns b. May 22, 1837, Tarbolton, Ayshire, Scotland; d. October 31, 1901, Infirmary, Kilmarnock, Ayshire, Scotland married Janet or Jessie Easton b. January 28, 1839, Hollywood, dumfireshire (Dumfries and Galloway), Scotland, Hollywood, dumfireshire, Scotland; d. April 12, 1867, 128 Drumlanrig Street Thornhill, Morton, dumfireshire (Dumfries and Galloway), Scotland
    1837 - James lawful son to David Burns and Jessie Bowell was born 22nd. May and was baptised 12th June by the Rev. Mc Rorison of Stair."

    Scotland, Vital Records of British Isle 2nd Edition,
    BURNS, James Christening
    Birth Date: 22 May 1837
    Christening Date: 12 Jun 1837
    Recorded in:Tarbolton, Ayrshire, Scotland
    Father: David BURNS
    Mother: Jessie BASWELL
    Source: FHL Film 1041472 Dates: 1744 - 1855."

    24th June (sic) at Kirkhouse in the parish of Holywood, Dumfriesshire, after Banns according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland. James Burns, butler, single, aged 25, of Myreside in Holywood. The son of David Burns, butler, and Jessie Boswell. AND Jessie Easton, domestic servant, single, aged 23, of Kirkhouses in Holywood. The daughter of Peter Easton, general servant, and Janet Burgess (deceased)."

    found to have died on the 13th October 1901 at the Infirmary, Kilmarnock, usual residence 9 Arbuckle Street, Kilmarnock. He was described in his death entry, as a butler, aged 63, widower of Jessie Easton, Married Mary Menzies, and the son of David Burns, butler and Jessie Boswell, both deceased. The information for this entry was given (to the registar) by his sister Annie L. Burns, Lammerton School House near Dundee, Agnus."

5. David Burns b. September 2, 1808, Colmonell, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. August 7, 1884, Drumlanrig Street Thornhill, Morton,, Morton, Dumfireshire, Scotland married Janet or Jessie Boswell b. 1801, Inverkeithing, Fifshire, Scotland; d. February 7, 1876, Thornhill, Morton, Dumfries, Scotland
    International Genealogical Index, microfich
    BURNS, David
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 2 Sep 1808
    Christening Date: 6 Sep 1808
    Recorded in: Co;lmonell, Ayrshire, Scotland
    Father: James BURNS
    Mother: Sibby MCQUACKER
    Source: FHL Film 1041335 Dates: 1759 - 1855.

    His death is recorded as
      he died on the 7th of August 1884 at Drumlanrig Street, Thornhill, Morton. He was described, in his death entry, as a retired butler, aged 83, widower of Jessie Boswell, and the son of James Burns, wood forester, and Sabina Mc Qualter, both deceased. The information for this entry was given( to the registrar) by his daughter Annie L. Burns."

6. James Burns, Land Steward - b. between 1781 and 1791, Ayrshire Scotaland ; d. before 1851, ??Kirkoswald, Ayr, Scotland?? married Sabbina Sebina (Sibby Sibbey Sibbald) McQualter b. circa 1778, kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. September 14, 1860, Kiroswald, Ayrshire, Scotland The following records are found for James Burns Ancestry. com the "ABSTRACTION ONLY" as BURRY but the actual census found on Scotland's People clearly reads BURN
    1841 Scotland Census night of 6 June 1841
    Name: James BURNS [Burry]
    Age: 50
    Estimated birth year: abt 1791
    Gender: Male
    Where born: Ayrshire, Scotland
    Civil Parish: Kirkoswald
    County: Ayrshire
    Address: Culzean Demerney
    Occupation: M S
    Parish Number: 601
    Household Members: Name Age
    James [Burry] 50
    Sebina [Burry] 50 abt 1791 Ayrshire, Scotland
    Jane [Burry] 20 abt 1821 Ayrshire, Scotland
    Ann [Burry] 15 abt 1826 Ayrshire, Scotland
    Elisabeth Wilson 25 abt 1816 Ayrshire, Scotland
    Sebina Wilson 4 abt 1837 Ayrshire, Scotland
    Margaret Wilson 2 abt 1839 Ayrshire, Scotland

    No death record can be found for either man - this would put the "nail in the coffin" that they were one and the same - Sebina is listed as "Sebina" and "widow of a land steward

There has been found a possible clues to take the ancestery backe several more generations - BUT not back to connection to ROerbt Burns the Poet as yet.:
    BURNS, JAMES (Old Parish Registers Deaths 578/ 130 163 Ayr) Page 163 of 175
    Died: Nov. 22, 1852
    interment: Nov 23, 1852
    Nanes:James Burns
    Designations: Hope St.
    Age: _ years _ months _ days
    Disease: Suddenly

If this is him the answer was now is why is he not on the 1851 census? Checking the Census for Ayrshire only one that fits near the age of Sabina at 73 is:
    1851 BURNS, JAMES (Census 582/ 15/ 9) Page 9 of 11
    40 Wooden Bridge
    James Burns
    head (wid scratched out & head writen bove)
    wid (scratched out)
    N S f/b
    Stirlingshire DalRest

being age 70 this would put his brith year about 1781. BUT there is not enough information on the death certifiate as abstracted

Sabina is found as such -
    1851 Scotland Census
    Name: Sibbina Burns
    Age: 73
    Estimated birth year: abt 1778
    Relationship: Head
    Gender: Female
    Where born: Kirkmichael, Ayrshire
    Parish Number: 601
    Civil Parish: Kirkoswald
    Phillimore Ecclesiastical Parish Maps: View related Ecclesiastical Parish
    County: Ayrshire
    Address: Burnside
    Occupation: Formerly House Maid
    ED: 5
    Page: 7
    Household schedule number: 19
    LINE: 4
    Roll: CSSCT1851_134
    Household Members: Name Age
    Sibbina Burns 73
    Jean Burns 41
    Ann Burns 31

    her death is recorded as such:
      Sabbina (sic) McQualter or Burns, was then found to have died on the 14th September 1860 at Kirkoswald, Ayrshires. According to her death entry, she was then aged 82 widow of a land steward, and the daughter of David McQualter, land steward, and Margaret McIlwraith, both deceased. The information for this entry was given (to the registar) by her daughter, Ann Burns.

No marriage record for James and Sabina has been located this far - that could possible give names of parents

I have found this - which fits and could be very well James father - BUT with no death certificate naming his parents it is only THEORY - - but fits the above naming pattern
    Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
    Name: James Burns, (1780-)
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 11 Oct 1780
    Baptism Date: 13 Oct 1780
    Baptism Place: Ayr,Ayr,Scotland
    Father: David Burns
    Mother: Ann Currie
    FHL Film Number: 1041330

Over the last 3-5 years I joined Scotland's people and pulled down actual birth, census, marriage and death enteries from the entry books - I hav been able to fill in and document the majority of siblings throught the parichs records etc filling in the blanks that was not given by Scots Ancestry Research Society - BUT there is still work to be done

David Boswell Burns (1909-1990)

Davids parents were James Easton Burns and Agnes Maxwell Thomas and their marriage was recorded as follows:
5th February, 1909, At Main Street, Muirkirk, after Banns according to the Forms of the United Free Church, James Easton Burns, journeyman Bricklayer, bachelor, aged 22 of 9 Arbuckle Street, Kilmarnock. The son of David A. Burns, desinger, and Elizabeth Miller. AND Agnes Thomas, domestic servant, spinster, aged 22, of 9 Arbuckle Street, Kilmarnock. The daughter of Michael Thomas, Coalminer, and Janet Cannon Certificate #4.

It seems that the Burns family migrated to the United States in stages - this is presented as the Burns' migration to America ; also reflected in the menu bar to the left. When you clike no the ships name you will see a photo of the ship I have been able to locate.

Next is the first generations of the Burns' family in America

This is a picture book sort of presentation of the first generation in America. With what I have gathered in photos, and other items from on line.

Passenger ship lists

Agnes Maxwell (Thomas) Burns Photos

Burns House on Neuvea Gorda Street Culver

Burns - Brothers, Nephews Photos

Burns - Thomas Unknown Photos

David Burns and Elizabeth (Smith) Burns

David Boswell Burns 1890-1925

David Boswell Burns (1909-1990) - Biography

David Boswell Burns (1909-1990) - Lakfest Grand Marshall Pictures 1989

David Boswell and fred Burns Tombstone
James Easton Burns Photos

Some tales of James and Agnes Burns

James Easton Burns and Agnes Maxwell Thomas , biography

James Easton Burns and Agnes Maxwell (Thomas) Burns Photos

Jessie Easton Burns and Joseph Douglas Harold "Harold D." Rafuse

Lillian Elizabeth Burns and Charles Lester Hatch
Mackinac Explosion - 18 Aug 1925

Mackinac Memorial

Muirkirk Cemetery
Murikirk church

Muirkirk Photos

Michael Thomas Burns

Michael Thomas and David Boswell (1909-1990) Burns Photos

Nan D Burns Photos

William Millar Burns

Parish, county, changes and dates or changes county Maps with parrishes
    Ayr ;     Dumbarton ,     Dumfries     Fife
letter from Moshussack Cemetery Corporation - burns burials pg.1 and pg 2 ; these are photos only

Today is