Individual Record for James Burns


picture James Burns

      Sex: M

Individual Information
          Birth: Abt 1859 - Enfield, Middlesex, London
          Death: 6 May 1928 - Wolverhampton

         Father: John Burns
         Mother: Betsey Sheward

Spouses and Children
1. *Charlotte Grainger
       Marriage: 27 Aug 1882 - St Lukes, Wolverhampton
                1. Tryphena Burns
                2. George James Burns
                3. Annie Burns (kc)
                4. Thomas Burns


My thanks to Tony Smith for the pointer to the 1871 census which was badly transcribed by Ancestry. In my opinion, this record more than any other 'clinches the deal' regarding James's parents and we can push back another couple of generations with a little more certainty.

This is a possibility - 'Burns' is easily misread as 'Brown' and this 'Brown' family do not seem to appear in any census other than '61:
1861: 1 Dolphin Cottage (nr Grove Rd W), Enfield. John Brown 25 b:Wolverhampton, Gun Lock maker; w Betsy 23 b:Wolverhampton; Elizabeth 3 b:Birmingham; Albert 2 b:Waltham Cross (It is also possible that 'James' been misread as 'Albert'. I cannot find any other record of this Albert in any other year. In 1871, there is a 13yr old Elizabeth Burns b:Birmingham still living in Enfield (in service) - but no Elizabeth Brown.)

1871: 19 Salop St, Wolverhampton. Elizabeth Sheward (Anc:Shuara) 52 b:Montford Salop wid Greengrocer; dau Betsey Burns (Anc:Broms) 32 b:Kinver marr. wife of Gun locksmith; s (sic: should be gs of Head) James Burns (Anc:Broms) 10 b:Enfield Middlesex, Errand boy; bdr Thomas Ellis 40; bdr William Ingram 32; bdr Able Rutter (Anc:Putter)78
1881: 20 Salop St, W'ton. Betsy Burns 42? wid, m Elizabeth Sheward 75, bdrs: Thomas Ellis 50, Mary Ann Hayward 34, George 5, John 8, Mary Andrews 23, Albert 2, Phillip 0, son of head James Burns 21 b:W'ton, Brasscaster
1882m Charlotte Grainger 28 res:Finchfield & James Burns 23 occ:Brasscaster f: John, Gun Locksmith
1891: Bridgnorth Rd, Compton, Wton James Burns 32 b:London, Brass Caster; w Charlotte 37, Tryphina 8, George 6, Annie 4, Thomas 1
1901: Bridgnorth Rd James Burns (Anc:Buras) 41 b:London Brasscaster, w Charlotte 46, George 16, Annie 14, Thomas 11
1911: 107 Bridgnorth Rd. James Burns 54 b:Middlesex Brass Caster, w Charlotte 59, Thomas 21, gs James Roberts (Anc:Robits) 6

d: James Burns 68 1928 Wolverhampton 6b 515
So, where was James born and where was he in 1861 (assuming that he was born before then)? I still have no records for his father John other than his marriage to Betsey Sheward in 1856 in St John's, Wolverhampton and a possible listing of them together in Enfield in 1861 under the name 'Brown'.

A Wild Goose Chase:

It had been suggested that James was born on 26 Dec 1857 in West Ham. Here are my thoughts as to why this is not the case:

Bear in mind that for our James:
a) On his marriage certificate, he said that his father was John, a 'Gun Locksmith'
b) On the 1911 census, although somewhat unclear, James records that he was born in Middlesex (actually: 'London, Middx').
Have a look for yourself

These are the census records for the 'West Ham' James:

[Remember, not our James]
1851: 23 Well St, Stratford, West Ham. f:John Benns 34 Labourer, m:Mary 30, John 4, William 3, Thomas 2
bc: 26 Dec 1857 James Burns. Well St, Stratford, Essex f: John - Fish Hawker
b: James Burns 1858 Jan-Feb-Mar West Ham Essex, Greater London 4a 6
1861: 7 James Ct, Well St, West Ham. John Burns 45 b Middlesex Edmonton. Fishmonger, w Mary 42, John 14, William 12, Thomas 10, Catherine 8, Peter 6, Bridget 11, James 3 b:Essex West Ham, Edward 1
1871: 5 Elizabeth Gardens, Stratford, West Ham. John 54 Labourer (unemp), w Mary 53, William 27, Thomas 21, Peter 16, Bridget 13, James 13 b:Essex Stratford, Edward 11
1881: none found - see below
1891: none found - see below
1901: Essex > Colchester > Colchester, First Ward > District Garrison (2) > 37. James Burns 40 marr b:Wanstead, Essex
Note: there is a separate set of pages in this database for this James and his parents and siblings - use the Names or Surnames index to look for the 1958 James or his mother Mary Dunn
[/Not our James]

These records create three inconsistencies with what we know for our James:
a) Stratford, West Ham is in Essex not Middlesex
b) West Ham James's father was a fishmonger/labourer not a Gun Locksmith.
c) Recently released military records indicate that West Ham James seems to have been a military man who joined the Essex regiment in Aug 1879 when aged 21yr 6 months and was finally discharged, still unmarried, in 1907. He is recorded as being a bricklayer from Stratford, Essex (like br William). Between '81 and '87 he served in the East Indies hence his absence from the '81 census. When re-enlisting in 1891 he gives his residence as: 38 Francis Rd, Stratford which is the next street to Well St.

Now, back to 'our' James:
Marriage Notes (Charlotte Grainger)
James Burns & Charlotte Grainger 1882 Jul-Aug-Sep, Wolverhampton, Vol:6b Page: 759

27 Aug 1882 St Luke's Parish Church, Wolverhampton.
James Burns 23 b Brasscaster Finchfield f:John Burns Gun Locksmith
& Charlotte Grainger 28 s --- Finchfield f:George Grainger Gardener (both signed own names). Wit: Edward Grainger (X) & Mary Grainger (br & sil)

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