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Burns Family History

Burns Name Meaning

Scottish and northern English: topographic name for someone who lived by a stream or streams, from the Middle English nominative plural or genitive singular of burn (see Bourne). Scottish: variant of Burnhouse, habitational name from a place named with burn ‘stream’ + house ‘house’. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Broin (see Byrne). Jewish (American): Americanized and shortened form of Bernstein.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Bourns, Buras, Duris, Buren, Beans, Burn, Berns, Borns, Burne, Burry

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Burns family from?

You can see how Burns families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Burns family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Burns families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 1,842 Burns families living in Ontario. This was about 47% of all the recorded Burns's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Burns families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Burns surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Burns ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Burns. 30% of Burns men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Burns women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Burns were Clerk and Teacher.

View Census data for Burns | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1921

  • Farmer
    30%
  • Labourer
    11%
  • Laborer
    6%
  • Clerk
    4%

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
    12%
  • Housekeeper
    10%
  • Student
    8%
  • Teacher
    7%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Burns family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Burns. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Burns census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Burns

Passenger Lists

There are 150,000 immigration records available for the last name Burns. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 216,000 military records available for the last name Burns. For the veterans among your Burns ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Burns family history.

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What is the average Burns lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Burns life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Burns in 1940 was 40, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Burns

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