History of your Surname
Get access to Burns family records.Start a free trial

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

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

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 USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 4,169 Burns families living in Lancashire. This was about 34% of all the recorded Burns's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Burns families in 1891.
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 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Burns. 16% of Burns men worked as a General Labourer and 68% of Burns women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Burns were Dock Labourer and Incapacitated. .

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 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Dock Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Incapacitated
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 UK 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 the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Burns immigration records

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.

View all Burns military records

You've only scratched the surface of Burns family history

Discover More

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Burns family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial