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   The surname BURNS (Soundex code B652) is very common in the USA, so I have had trouble researching my Burns ancestors. It is especially difficult because my dad is the fourth John Burns in a row. We have listed some of our sources on the left side of this page.

Descendants of John P Burns
   I know very little about my 2nd great-grandfather, JOHN P BURNS . He was probably born in Ireland. His wife was HARRIETT GOODSUE/GOODROX. I have never come across anyone else with the surname Goodsue, so I think it must be misspelled. I think it is probably related to the French surname Gautreaux. So far, I have not been able to find them in any census. They may have died young, as did so many of their descendants.
JOHN JOSEPH BURNS    My great-grandfather, JOHN JOSEPH BURNS, was born in July 1875 in New York City, New York, USA. I believe he was of Irish and French descent. He married MARGARET IRENE HARDY on April 23, 1899 at the Church of St John the Evangelist (Roman Catholic) in Manhattan, New York County, New York, USA. They had two children, JOHN RICHARD BURNS (see below) and MARGARET IRENE BURNS. 
   MARGARET IRENE BURNS (called Irene) was born November 13, 1903, in New York City. She married JOHN HORATH in 1939 in Virginia. She lived with her husband in the Washington DC area until her death on June 13, 1961.
   JOHN JOSEPH BURNS was allegedy a journeyman boxer of some repute, but not a champion. However in various documents I have found his occupation listed as Milk Driver, Inspector, Typewriter-Milk Company and Railroad Man. He died September 19, 1931 in Manhattan, New York County , New York, USA. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA.
Irene and Margaret
This is John's daughter, Irene, with his wife, Margaret, about 1906.
Calvary gravestone
John is also buried under this gravestone, although his name was never added.
Photograph Amy Ritterbusch
Church marriage record
NYC marriage record
1900 Census - Manhattan, New York Co, NY
1905 NY State Census
1920 Census - Manhattan, New York Co, NY
NYC Death Certificate
Calvary Internment List
JOHN RICHARD BURNS    My grandfather, JOHN RICHARD BURNS, was born March 3, 1901 in Manhattan, New York County, New York, USA. The story goes that his father so excited to go out and celebrate the birth that he forgot to file the birth certificate paperwork. Years later, in 1942, my grandfather needed a copy of his birth record and had to track down the midwife in New York City who had delivered him and have her sign an affidavit regarding his birthdate and location. John grew up in New York City. He worked all his life for General Motors . He first worked on the GM Parade of Progress in the 1930's, then later as a Test Engineer for the GM Allison Jet Engine Division in Indianapolis.
   John was introduced to my grandmother, LILLIAN MAE PITTS, by a co-worker who was from her home town. John and Lillian were married April 12, 1941 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA. They had two children, both still living. John died June 21, 1969 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA and is buried there at Sutherland Park Cemetery. Unfortunately his death came before my birth and so it has been hard to gather information about his family.
A young John Richard Burns John Richard Burns
Birth record from the midwife
Baptismal record
Social Security application
Marriage Certificate
Wedding pictures and info
Pictures and info on his career at GM
Freepages at RootsWeb
Photographs may not be reproduced without permission. All genealogical information should be independently verified. This page was last updated 28-April-2002