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Robert M. Burns Jr. submitted  The Burns Family Crest , July 18, 2003. Thank for his contribution.

Introduction - The following notes are part of my research that I hope one day to compile into a book. I would like to give full credit to my aunt, Aleene King, for the foundation work she did on the Burns and Wallace lines. She spent years researching her family, and without Aleene's labor, it would have been hard to start. My brother, Aubrey W. Reynolds, is a co-researcher with me on the Burns family. Both of us have a common interest in genealogy  his help and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to me. The information provided is an ongoing work, which I will be continuously adding to. When using this material for nonprofit research, please make mention of this web site as your source of information.


1. John Henrick Burns, born Scotland

2. John Burns SR. born Bet. 1730-1740 in Chatham County, North Carolina, died 1812 in Chatham County, North Carolina.

Link to The Descendants of John Sr. Burns Family Tree Page has been updated May 21, 2006

3. James Burns, born 1763 in Chatham County, North Carolina, died Abt. 1844 in Chatham County, North Carolina.

4. Hiram Burns born 1795 in Chatham County, North Carolina, died 1860 in Chatham County, North Carolina.

5. William M. Burns was born 1824 in Chatham County, North Carolina, married Eliza Ann Hackney August 14, 1844, in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina, died November 1888, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Eliza was born May 10, 1833 in Chatham County, North Carolina, died July 9, 1920, in Hardeman County, Tennessee.

6. Robert Hiram Burns born Sep 9, 1861 in Boliver, Hardeman County, Tennessee, married Effie Ruth Wallace May 10, 1888, in Hempstead County, Arkansas, died April 30, 1921 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Effie was Born July 11, 1871 in Barker, Arkansas, died October 8, 1966 in Hot Springs, Ar.

7. Clara Sybil Burns, daughter of Robert and Effie Burns was born June 20, 1907 in Providence, Arkansas, married Aubrey Edward Reynolds August 30, 1930 in Eire, Pennsylvania, died November 13, 1982 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Aubrey was born May 28,1905 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, died September 9, 1964 in Searcy, Arkansas.

8. Clara Sybil Burns is the Mother of Robert Reynolds

The following  article was written by Robert M. Burns, Jr.
Article Source,  Pittsboro Library, North Carolina

The Burns Migration To America

by Robert M. Burns Jr.

Socially, as the government was changing so did the old highland clan system deteriorate. A combination of factors influenced many Scots to journey on the great adventure from home to America.
Many Scots, especially in the early eighteenth century, traveled from the mother country to arrive at the ports of Brunswick and Wilmington, North Carolina. If the Burns brothers arrived in America around 1724, one of the scenario possibilities is that they landed in Brunswick. Brunswick was established in the early 1720s, well before Wilmington was a viable port of entry. Other ports along the eastern seaboard may have been our point of entry, but literature suggests that most Scots tended to choose North Carolina through these entries. In light of the current trade routes established, as well as the prevailing immigration routes of that time, it could be that Brunswick was their port of entry.
Further, early migratory paths for Scots clearly follow the Cape Fear River all the way into modern Chatham County. From the early to mid 1700s, Scot settlements and evidence of land grants exist throughout the Cape Fear Basin. If our ancestors were among these first pioneers, then it is likely that they helped to blaze these trails and therefore be likely to have settled in the upper cape fear (modern Chatham County).
The other scenario to consider is the route taken by many lowlander Scots and Scotch-Irish immigrants. This route, by arriving in Pennsylvania, Delaware, or Virginia ports and then journeying down the "Great Philadelphia Wagon Road," was used during the 1724 time period - especially in the 1730s through 1750. Prior to 1729, however, history tells us that most of the immigration occurred on the coastal plains.
Our forefathers, if the dates of entry are correct, were true pioneers if their first American home was in modern day Chatham County. Evidence suggests that there were upper Cape Fear River settlers, probably arriving at Brunswick or Wilmington, to have come from Scotland. Inspired by the promise of a land grant and freedom, our ancestors were among these adventurous Scots.

Ayrshire, Scotland early 1700s

       Zemeriah Micajah Burns (Byrns) and wife Shibiah Thomas Thomason begat five sons: James Micajah, John Henrich, Enoch (Bobby), William Airiah, and Zemeriah Thomas Burns, about or after 1724 departed Ayr to settle in America. They were probably lured to the new colony by the policies of Proprietary Governor George Burrington, whose land office was advertising land for new settlers (ref 1). Their port of entry was probably the small port town of Brunswick, North Carolina at the mouth of the Cape Fear. Research suggest that they ended up in the area now known as Haywood, Chatham County, North Carolina.
       While John, Enoch, and William remained in Chatham County, the other brothers went on to Texas and Alabama. Enoch was probably a recipient of a grant, and homesteaded as a farmer on the upper Cape Fear near Haywood. Research indicated that Enoch has a son named John, and that he had a son also named John (jnr). Colonial army records identify a soldier named John Burns from Haywood City, NC (ref 2). These records also name Ann McKizick as his wife, giving her birth date as about 1754. John, Jnr married Christina, and they begat son Alexander Burns (Byrns), who was probably born in Chatham County about 1805. Apparently John, Jnr. moved to neighboring Randolph County about 1810, as evidenced by the State land grant to John Burns (born about 1810) as his wife about 1831, and they begat seven sons and two daughters:
       Ransom, Enoch, Adree, William, Micajah, Henderson, Martha, Barney, and Mary, according to the 1850 federal census, were aged respectively 18,16,15,13,12,10,9,8, and 2 years. Also listed is Christina, 71 years as a dependent. (If children were conceived upon marriage, then we may deduce that Alexander and Charity were married about 1831).
Alexander was a land owner and farmer in his early life. Court house records indicate that he was titled land from the State in Randolph county. Later in life he is noted to have operated the Back Creek Township Poorhouse. county records indicate that he was the steward or warden there 1848-1849 and 1857. The 1870 census is the first indication that Alexander spelled his name Burns rather that Byrns. His wife Charity died in December, 1874 and was buried at the Smyrna Grove Church Cemetery, Randolph county. He took a second wife named Mary in his later years. Alexander was apparently a devoutly religious man. His last will and testament expressly commits his soul to the " of our Lord Jesus Christ..." and his body " the dust..." He died toward the end of 1884 in Randolph County.
       Ransom, Alexander's oldest son, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina. As a young man Ransom was a farmer in neighboring Alamance County, and enlisted in the confederate army at Meckleburg County on May 28, 1861.
       At age 29 he was detailed as an ambulance driver upon enlistment. Ransom was captured at Strasburg, Virginia on October 19, 1864 and confined at Point Lookout, Maryland until released on June 23, 1865 after taking an oath of allegiance to the union. Ransom was confederate private, and served in the North Carolina 6th Infantry, Company F.
Ransom's first wife, Sarah C., was a mother of both John W. (February 14, 1857) and George A. (April 1, 1859). She died upon the birth of George A.
       Before moving to Cumberland County, according to 1870 census records Ransom Burns lived in Industry (Austin County) Texas. In 1877 he and his family (including new wife Laura) moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina where he became a tobacco dealer. Other endeavors included proprietor of a popular Person Street restaurant, owner of the Fayetteville Livery Company on Gillespie Street, and a clothier on Hay Street.
Connected with Ransom are said to be five brothers at the time his passing - one in High Point and four at Maxton, North Carolina. At his death he was married to Dove Burns and resided at 124 Broad Street, Fayetteville. Ransom died after declining hearth and brief illness on a Tuesday at 8pm at the age of 74. His funeral was at St. John's Episcopal church, and he was buried at the Crosscreek #2 Cemetery in Fayetteville.

Background to the Burns Immigration

       It is generally held that there were three main reasons for the Scots to immigrate to America: economic, political, and social. The political climate was conducive to leaving Scotland because of the unrest caused by the 'Jacabean' wars, resulting in migration between 1715 and 1745. Quite probably this unrest contributed to our forefathers' motivation.

       The economic unrest of this period also created a longing to travel to the new country. Grants of land were promising for new immigrants, as were arrangements where they may have become indentured servants (to help pay their fare across the ocean, they would agree to work for some years).

1. The Cape Fear, Malcomb Ross, p 27ff. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. c1965, New York, NY.
2. General Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension File, V. White, Vol. I. c National Historical
Publications Co., Baltimore, MD. 3. Randolph County Registry of Deeds, Randolph County Courthouse, Ashboro, NC.

Robert M. Burns, Jr.

18 Mason Drive

Walhalla, SC 29691

Posted by Robert E. Reynolds

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2006-2002-copyright The information posted on the Reynolds Archives may be used for non-commercial, historical, and genealogical purposes. It can be freely downloaded by researchers and those interested in our family history. It can not be used otherwise without my written permission. When using this material, make mention of this web site as your reference.