Welcome to the Burns Family page at Surname Finder. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Burns surname. As vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Burns genealogy.
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I. The Burns Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Burns family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Burns ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Burns Ancestors
II. Burns Genealogy
Sometimes two people can look at the same handwritten record, and come up with different spellings of the name. Be creative when searching for your Burns ancestors -- we often search for misspellings intentionally to see if we missed any records. Genealogy is more than just searching through databases. Articles like "Digital Books and Microfilm" can help accelerate your Burns research.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Burns
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Burns records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Burns family history resource today.
III. Origins of the Burns Surname
While some countries have limited historical records for last name assignments, you are most likely to only find general guidance on the origin and meaning of the Burns surname. Were you aware that Burns is a common Irish surname? The article "The Luck of the Irish Research" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 87], the surname BURNS is defined as Local. A burn, in Scotland, is a small stream, the same as Bourne. Biorn, in the Danish and Swedish, signifies a bear, figuratively, a ferocious, valiant man.
IV. Burns DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two Burns ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Burns research, read "Basics of DNA Family History Research".
V. Burns Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your Burns ancestors will help paint a picture that can be shared with your relatives. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Faddish First Names" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Burns family history.
VI. Networking with Burns Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Burns queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Burns ancestors.
VII. Burns Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Burns was the 142nd most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
VIII. Web Sites & Blogs with Burns Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Burns, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To have your web site/blog listed on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page will appear once its content has been reviewed by one of our editors.
IX. Upcoming Burns Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Burns booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Burns reunion.
Suggested use: Print a copy of this free research checklist, and keep track of the Burns genealogy resources that you visit. If your web browser does not print the date on the bottom, remember to record it manually. Today is 11/Dec/2013.
If you host the Burns blog or web page, please link to this surname-focused resource. Here's the HTML code for a basic link. Simply cut/paste this code on to your page.