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Robert Burns

Also Known As: "Robbie", "Rabbie (Burness", "changed to Burns 1786) * Burns (3) 1615 (Burness 1615)", "Rabie Burns", "Robert Burness"
Birthplace: Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: July 21, 1796 (37)
Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland (United Kingdom) (Due to the effects of rheumatic fever as a child and the hardships of farming he died of heart disease (endocarditis))
Place of Burial: Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of William Burnes and Agnes Jean Burness
Husband of Anna Park and Jean "Bonnie" (Armour) Burns
Fiancé of Mary "Highland Mary" Margaret Campbell
Ex-partner of Janet "Jenny" Clow; Elizabeth 'Betsey' (Paton) Andrew and Ann Park - Greenshields
Father of Elizabeth "Betty" Burns - Thomson; Son Burns; Elizabeth "Bess" (Paton-Burns) Bishop; Jean Burns; Robert Burns, Jr. and 8 others
Brother of Mildred Burnes; Gilbert Burns; Agnes (Burness) Galt; Elizabeth Burnes, 1763; Annabella Burness and 6 others

Occupation: Poet, lyricist, farmer, excise man, Farmer, Exciseman, poet and lyricist, poet
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Burns

Robert Burns's right name was Burness. but he and his brother Gilbert agreed to drop Burness and assume Burns in April 1786.

Robert Burns was a Freemason, and remained so, all of his adult Life. He was Senior Warden of Lodge St Andrew, Dumfries, (dormant) when he died.

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was voted by the Scottish public as being the Greatest Scot, through a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today include A Red, Red Rose; A Man's A Man for A' That; To a Louse; To a Mouse; The Battle of Sherramuir; Tam o' Shanter, and Ae Fond Kiss.


' Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the son of William Burness and Agnes Brown. He married Jean Armour, daughter of James Armour and Mary Smith, in 1788 in Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland. He died on 21 July 1796 in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, at age 37. He was buried on 25 July 1796 in St Michael's Kirkyard, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Freemason: St. David's Lodge No. 174, Tarbolton

Scotlands National Bard.

Robert Burns was descended from the Burness family of Kincardineshire, where his ancestors were tenant farmers. His father William moved to Ayrshire in 1750, where Robert was born in 1759. Robert signed his name Robert Burness until March 1786, when he adopted the spelling Burns, which was a common name in Ayrshire. The surnames Burn, Burns, Burnes, and Burness all derive from the word burn, which means a small stream, and originated with an ancestor who lived beside a burn. As there are thousands of burns in Scotland and England, there are many unrelated families named Burns.

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Robert Burns's Timeline

January 25, 1759
Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire on January 25, in the ‘auld cley biggin’ that is now known as Burns Cottage. He was the eldest of the seven children of William Burnes and Agnes Broun.

Robert Burns in the Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22
Name: Robert Burns
Birth Date: 1759
Birth Place: Alloway
Death Date: 1796
Source Information Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Stephen, Sir Leslie, ed. Dictionary of National Biography, 1921–1922. Volumes 1–20, 22. London, England: Oxford University Press, 1921–1922.
This database contains Volumes 1–20 (21 is missing), and 22 of The Dictionary of National Biography, 1921–1922. Inside you can expect to find biographies of “notable” individuals including surname, birth place, parents’ names, residence, job history, schools attended, etc. Learn more...
© 2015,

January 28, 1759
Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)

Robert Burns in the Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
Name: Robert Burns
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 25 Jan 1759
Baptism Date: 28 Jan 1759
Baptism Place: Ayr,Ayr,Scotland
Father: William Burns
Mother: Agnes Brown
FHL Film Number: 1041330
Source Information Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.
This collection includes birth and baptism records from Scotland. Learn more...
© 2015,