The surname of Burns comes from "Burnhouse" a dwelling near a burn or a stream. Although "burn" is a common word in Scotland for a stream, the word originated in Old English. The singular form "Burn" is found in Dumfries and Galloway> in the 13th and 14th century.
The poet Robert Burns'> father came from Kincardineshire on the east coast of Scotland and spelt his name Burness. Robert and his brother adopted the spelling "Burns" a form which first appeared in written records only in the 17th century.
The illustration of Robert Burns above is from a commemmorative Scottish Banknote.
Burns is regarded as a sept of clan Campbell.
Burns was the 60th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
Return to Index of Clans/Family Histories.
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