Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Elusive James Burns #WW1 #GreatGrandFather #63

I have written before in this blog about my great grandfather (on my Mum's side of the family) James Burns. Like my post yesterday about Joseph O'Loughlin/Loughlin and confusions with surname spellings, James is also proving difficult to find on ancestry websites (he is listed as "Byrne" and "Burns"). My Mum's maiden name is Byrne. I do have a record of him from the 1901 census:


In this census form is also listed a Margaret Coburn - potentially this is my great grandmother (who married James). However, my Mum tells me she was Church of Ireland - the Margaret Coburn listed above is "Roman Catholic". James also shows up in the 1911 census where his son, my grandfather Paddy, is also listed:


So far, the above two records are the only times in which I have found James Burns. Mum tells me he fought in the First World War and that he was gassed in battle. He came home a changed man. In my family tree he is recorded as having died in 1925.

Today I may have turned up a record of his death in the Irish Geneology website. James Burns, aged 52 (which matches his age as death), died on 18th September 1925 in Grangegorman Hospital from cardiac failure:


The "Condition" refers to marriage status ("not known"), and he is listed as having "no occupation". 

I have searched online for his military record, but with no luck. I even had a professional search done - again no result. I have not found any record of his birth, marriage (to Margaret Coburn) or his death. Perhaps the spelling of his surname is again the cause of not finding him.

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