Is your surname Burns?

Research the Burns family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Robert Burns

Also Known As: "Rabbie", "Robbie"
Birthplace: Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: St Michael's Kirkyard, Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of William Burns (Burnes) and Agnes Jean Burness
Husband of Jean Burns
Fiancé of Mary Campbell
Partner of Janet Clow and Ann Greenshields
Father of Thomas Burns; Elizabeth Bishop; Jean Burns; Robert Burns; infant twin (1) Burns and 10 others
Brother of Gilbert Burns; Agnes Burness; Annabella Burness; William Burness; John Burns and 1 other

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

About Robert Burns

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


   Descendants of Walter Burness
   Descendants of Robert Burns

Children of Robert Burns and Jean Armour

   * Robert Burns+ b. 3 Sep 1786, d. 14 May 1857
   * Jean Burns b. 3 Sep 1786, d. 20 Oct 1787
   * Unnamed Burns b. 9 Mar 1788, d. 10 Mar 1788
   * Unnamed Burns b. 9 Mar 1788, d. 22 Mar 1788
   * Francis Wallace Burns b. 18 Aug 1789, d. 9 Jul 1803
   * William Nicol Burns b. 9 Apr 1791, d. 21 Feb 1872
   * Elizabeth Riddell Burns b. 21 Nov 1792, d. Sep 1795
   * James Glencairn Burns+ b. 12 Aug 1794, d. 18 Nov 1865
   * Maxwell Burns b. 25 Jul 1796, d. 25 Apr 1799

Child of Robert Burns and Elizabeth Paton

   * Elizabeth Burns+ b. 22 May 1785, d. 8 Jan 1817

Child of Robert Burns and Janet Clow

   * Robert Burns+ b. Nov 1788

Child of Robert Burns and Ann Park

   * Elizabeth Burns+ b. 31 Mar 1791, d. 13 Jun 1873


Scotlands National Bard. --------------------


Birth: Jan. 25, 1759 Death: Jul. 21, 1796

Poet. Born the eldest of seven children at Alloway, near Ayr, the son of William Burnes, a small farmer and gardener for the Provost of Ayr. Burns was educated briefly at John Murdoch's school in Alloway but received most of his schooling at home. His first love, Nelly Kirkpatrick inspired him to try his hand at poetry, and he wrote a song entitled "O, once I lov'd a bonnie lass", and set it to the tune of a traditional reel. In 1783 he started composing poetry in a traditional style using the Ayrshire dialect of Lowland Scots. When his father died in 1784, Burns and his brother Gilbert rented a farm near Mauchline where they struggled to make a living. During the first decade of his career as a poet, Burns reputedly fathered eight illegitimate children born to five different women. One, Jean Armour, became Mrs. Burns in 1788, two years after the first published work of poetry by Robert Burns "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect" was published in July 1786. The Scots dialect had largely fallen into disuse for formal writing but Burns' revival created a national tradition, and he became most uniquely the poet of his people. Burns moved to Edinburgh in order to dedicate himself to his poetry. A publisher there gave him work editing a collection of Scottish folk songs. The collection, "The Scots Musical Museum", was published in five volumes. Burns contributed over 150 songs, including "Ae Fond Kiss", "A Red, Red Rose" and "Auld Lang Syne". In 1790 he produced what many call his greatest poem, "Tam o' Shanter" about country folk and their lives. He was asked to furnish contributions for "A Select Collection Of Scottish Airs" by George Thomson. He responded by contributing over 100 songs. In 1795, Burns was inspired by the events of the French Revolution to write "For a' that and a' that". He alienated many of his friends by his enthusiastic support of the French Revolution. His health began to fail, and fell into depression; drinking heavily. Burns died in 1796 of rheumatic fever. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Michael's in Dumfries, shortly before his wife, Jean, gave birth to their ninth child. Within a short time of his death, money was sent in from all over Scotland in support of his widow and children. Many of Burns' songs and poems have become international favorites – rare is the year that goes by when "Auld Lang Syne," for instance, is not heard at least once. (bio by: Iola)

Family links:

 William Burns (1721 - 1784)
 Agnes Brown Burns (1731 - 1820)

 William Nicol Burns (1791 - 1872)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: St Michael's Cemetery Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 1853

view all 30

Robert Burns's Timeline

January 25, 1759
Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland
January 26, 1759
Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
Age 23

Nelly Kirkpatrick was Roberts first love inspiring him to try his hand at poetry writing ( I Lov d a Bonnie Las.)

Age 24

The first decade of Robert Burnes poetry was a time of struggling to make a living.

Age 24
Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

During the first decade of Robert Burnes poetry he reputedly fathered eight illagidamate children born to five women.

May 22, 1785
Age 26
Tarbolton, Ayrshire, Scotland
September 3, 1786
Age 27
Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
September 3, 1786
Age 27
Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland
Age 26

Robert Burnes became a national tradition as a poet.He became a poet of the people. Robert Burnes then moved to Edinburgh, Scottland.

March 3, 1788
Age 29