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The Burns Family
Neola, Iowa


Family of Edward Burns and Bridget Lambert

Katey (or Edward?), (9/1/1865 - 9/18/1873), died at age eight
James Henry, (9/08/1866 - 5/05/1923), married Mary E LYNCH (daughter of Patrick and Julia)
Margaret, (7/31/1868 - 8/12/1869), died at age one.
Mary Agnes, (12/5/1870 - 10/10/1937), married Lawrence WALSH (son of Edmund and Mary)
John Edward, (6/06/1872 - 1958), married Anna K TJARDES (daughter of Gerhardt)
Jeremiah Francis (Frank), (7/1/1874 - 1/22/1961), married Mary Veronica BUCKLEY (daughter of Patrick and Anna)
William Bernard, (6/6/1875 - 8/16/1942), married Cora MCCOY (daughter of John and Mary)
George Michael, (1/7/1877 - 2/02/1948), married Catheryn G MINAHAN (daughter of Michael and Mary)
Martin, (3/30/1879 - 4/9/1879), died in infancy
Charles Daniel, (3/26/1880 - 1/8/1939), married Sadie Beatrice ARRICK (daughter of Chism and Mary)
Katey, (5/2/1882 - 3/3/1917), married James HOBBINS (son of Michael and Julia)

Birth, Marriage, and certain death dates for this family are derived from the family bible of Edward and Bridget Burns. Edward's birth is given as May 16, 1839, and Bridget's as March 14, 1840. Both Edward and Bridget were born in Ireland and married in Pennyslvania on July 24, 1864. According to the U.S. census Edward arrived in the U.S. about 1856, while Bridget arrived in the early 1860s. Family tradition suggests they both came from County Kilkenny in Ireland. Their surviving children were all born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa according to the 1885 and 1895 Iowa census, which suggests the family was in that county by September 1866. The closest match for the family in the August 1870 census is in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where the family is enumerated as Edward Burns (age 29), Bridget (age 29), Edward (5), James (4), and Mary (9 months). Edward was working for the railroad at the time. The 1870 census conflicts with the record given in the family bible in two respects; first the eldest child is listed as Katey (vs. Edward in the census), and second, the birth date in the census suggests Mary was born about December 1869 (vs. December 5, 1870).

By 1880 the family had settled on a farm in Hardin township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. In that record the family is listed as E. Burns (age 35), Bridget (age 39), James (14), Mary (10), John (9), Frank (7), William (5), George (4), and Charles (3 months). The family was still farming in Hardin township according to the 1885 Iowa State census, the 1892 farmers directory, the 1895 Iowa State census, and the 1900 U.S. federal census.

On December 24, 1900 Bridget Lambert Burns passed away, and she was buried at nearby St Patricks Cemetery in Neola, Iowa. It was in Neola that widowed Edward would be found in the 1905 census, and according to the 1910 Neola census he was retired and living on his own income. Joining him in Neola was the family of his eldest son James, who had married Mary E Lynch on January 29, 1895. By 1910 James and Mary had a family of 4 surviving children: Edward, Mary, Catherine and Joseph. Living nearby in Hazel Dell township was the family of eldest daughter Mary who had married Lawrence Walsh on May 25, 1891. By 1910 Mary and Lawrence had a family of 11 surviving children - Edward, James, Mary, Thomas, Ellen, Bernard, Donald, Kate & Agnes, Gerald and Frances Walsh. Also nearby, in York township, was the family of son John Burns who married Anna K Tjardes on February 08, 1899, and who had two surviving children in 1910 - Margaret and Charles Burns. Son Frank Burns had married Mary V Buckley on February 22, 1900 and they were farming in Norwalk township in 1910, with their single surviving son Joseph Burns. Son William Burns married Cora McCoy on September 20, 1906 and they were living in Omaha, Nebraska with their two children- Cecelia and William Burns. Son George Burns married Catherine Minahan on June 12, 1908 and they were living in Council Bluffs with their son Emmett Burns. Son Charles married Sadie Arrick on May 06, 1903 and they were also living in Council Bluffs, with their three children -- George, Robert and Agnes Burns. And finally daughter Kate Burns (born in 1882) had married James Hobbins on April 17, 1907 and they were farming in Neola township with their eldest children James and Leo Hobbins.

Widowed father Edward Burns appears to have died sometime prior to the 1915 census. Although this author has yet to pinpoint his exact death, the St. Patricks Cemetery record in Neola suggests February 1914. In 1920 the family of eldest son James and Mary Burns were still located in Neola (James was a salesman), while the family of eldest daughter Mary and Lawrence Walsh had relocated to a farm across the county border in Lagrange township, Harrison Co., Iowa. The family of John and Anna Burns were still farming in York township, while the family of Frank and Mary Burns had moved into Neola town (Frank listed as a county bridge builder). The family of William and Cora Burns had moved from Omaha to Sioux Falls, South Dakota sometime prior to 1920 (William listed as a foreman of an Implement Co.). Also by 1920 the family of George and Katherine Burns has moved from Council Bluffs to Des Moines, Iowa (George listed as an oil stock salesman). The family of Charles and Sadie Burns were still in Omaha, Nebraska where Charles was listed as a mechanic. Daughter Kate (Burns) Hobbins passed away near Neola on March 03, 1917, just a couple of weeks after the birth of her youngest daughter Catherine, and her remaining family were still farming in Neola township in 1920.

Eldest son James Burns died on May 05, 1923 in Neola, Iowa, leaving a widow and 4 surviving children. His widowed wife Mary would live in Neola another 23 years, before her death in 1946, both she and James buried at St. Patricks Cemetery. The husband of eldest daughter Mary, Lawrence Walsh, passed away August 26, 1926 in Omaha, leaving a widow and 12 surviving children. Mary died on October 10, 1937 in Omaha, buried with her husband Lawrence at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. John and Anna Burns spent the remainder of their lives in the Neola area, as did Frank and Mary Burns. Willam and Cora Burns remained in Sioux Falls the remainder of their lives, while George and Catherine Burns remained in Omaha. Youngest son Charles and wife Sadie remained in Nebraska, while James Hobbins, the widowed husband of youngest daughter Kate Burns, spent his remaining days in the Neola, Iowa area.


Family of James Burns and Anne Holland

According to the family history of James Burns, also of Pottawattamie County Iowa, he was an older brother of Edward Burns (above). James and Ed Burns are buried in adjacent lots at St, Patrick's Cemetery in Neola. According to that history James Burns was born in County Kilkenny Ireland in 1835, the sixth of seven children. His father died when the children were quite young and said to have been buried in Gowran. Although parents names are not mentioned, the names of children in the family were given in the family history to have included Bridget, another daughter, Michael, John, Martin, James and Edward. James Burns arrived in Boston in the spring of 1853 and made his way to Pennsylvania. He was joined later in Pennsylvania by his younger brother, Ed, and it was there he met his future wife, Anne Holland, who was also from Co. Kilkenny (Tullaroan). Anne Holland was born on a farm in County Kilkenny in 1843, the second child of a family of 8, all girls except the youngest, a boy named Ned. When Anne was 21, in 1864, she decided to go to America to stay with her uncle Ned Kelly (likely a brother of her mother Mary Kelly) in Pennsylvania. She was accompanied by her cousin, Ned Kelly, Jr., who his father had left behind when he immigrated, and another cousin, Bridget Lambert. James' brother Ed was Edward Burns who married a Bridget Lambert (it does not mention if she was the same Bridget who immigrated with Anne). James & Anne and Edward & Bridget were married on the same day in 1864 Pennsylvania. Following marriage both couples traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, where Michael Burns was living. The source of this information was a family history shared by Philip Francis Brougham, a grandson of James Burns.

The family of James and Anne (Holland) Burns moved to Iowa soon after their marriage, the Iowa State census suggesting their eldest son Jeremiah was born about 1865 in Story County, Iowa, while the remaining children were born in Pottawattamie County. The family history suggests James and Anne lived in Boonesborough for a year while James worked for the railroad, then moved to Council Bluffs seeking a family homestead. In 1870 the family is listed on a farm in York Township, listed as James (age 35) and Anna (27) Burnes, with Jerry (5), Mary (3), Richard (2), and son E. (8 months). The family moved to Washington township by 1880 where they remained, as indicated in the 1880 and 1885 census. In 1883 their teenage daughter Mary passed away and was buried in Neola. The 1895 Iowa State census for Washington township provides one of the more complete snapshots of the family of James and Anne and their remaining ten children, listed as James Burns (59,Ireland), Ann (50,Ireland), Jeremiah (29, Story Co., IA), Richard (26, Pott Co), Edward (24, Pott Co), Kate (23, Pott Co), John (21,Pott Co), David (21, Pott Co), Ellen (19, Pott Co), Maggie (17,Pott Co), James (15, Pott Co), and Annie (11, Pott Co). Just after this census their son Jeremiah passed away, buried in Neola, and their daughter Kate married Charles B Flood.

James and Anne appear in the 1900 and 1905 census record in Washington township, and was shortly after the 1905 census they both pass away. They were both buried at St Patricks Cemetery in Neola, Iowa, with their deceased children Mary and Jeremiah. Other children in the family would marry, including son Richard Burns to Dora Annis in 1900, son Edward Burns to Maud Chambers about 1901, daughter Ann Burns to James Brougham in 1910, and son John Burns to Katheryn Flanagan before 1915. The other children in the family would remain single, including David, Ellen, Margaret and James.


Family of Bridget Burns and Thomas Lanning

The name Bridget Burns is given in family history as an elder daughter in the family. Co. Kilkenny born Bridget Burns is noted as a close neighbor of James Burns in 1870 York township, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa. listed one household away in the census. Bridget was the wife of Thomas Lanning and their children were born in Pennsylvania. A citation related to St. Patrick's parish in Neola, Iowa and the arrival of the railroads in Council Bluffs suggests the following, "In the year 1869 or 1870, James and Edward Burns and Thomas Lanning moved westward from LaSalle, Illinois, and settled in the vicinity of Neola." It is known the three families arrived in Pottawattamie County prior to 1868, based on birth information of their children. It is also known that both James and Edward Burns had worked for the railroad in Iowa during the latter part of the 1860s.

The family of Thomas and Bridget "Lannan" are shown in the 1860 census in Keating twp, McKean County, Pennsylvania and in their household is an older Catherine Burns (probably her mother). Other Irish born Burns or Byrnes individuals living in McKean County in 1860 included the names Martin, Michael, John and Edward. Tom and Bridget's Lanning's family included Margaret, Matthew, Kate, Mary, Anna, Jeremiah (Jerry), Emma, Julia and Edward. Bridget Burns Lanning appears to have died in the 1870s based on the 1880 York township where her widowed husband Tom Lanning was still living. Although the Lannings are not apparent at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Neola, their daughter Kate Feeley is buried there.

The name Jeremiah appears in the three families of Bridget (2nd son), James (1st son) and Edward Burns, suggesting the name of their father. The name Jeremiah also appears in the families of Martin and John Burns who lived in McKean County, PA. The irish for Jeremiah is Diarmaid which in turn was called Darby.



County Kilkenny Roman Catholic Baptismal Records

Given the names of possible Burns brothers and a sister from family history a search of available Roman Catholic baptism records in County Kilkenny yielded incomplete results. The name Byrne, or Byrnes, or is a standard form of the name used in County Kilkenny historical and church baptism records. There were no Edward/Edmund "Burns" born in Kilkenny between 1837 and 1841, and the only James "Burns" born in the right timeframe (1836) was a son of Martin Burne and Ally Kelly, however records indicate their only other children were named Alice and Thomas. There are a number of individuals named Edward, Edmund and James "Byrnes" in the records. Factoring in other family member names into the search among the closer possibilities were the children of a Darby and Catherine Byrnes, baptized in Gowran Roman Catholic parish. This included a Bridget (1823 and 1826), a Martin (1828 and 1831), a John (1825 and 1829), and an Edmund (1836). The 1831 Tithe Applotment indicates a Darby Byrne in Dungarvan civil parish within Gowran RC parish. The 1849-1850 Valuation indicates a Jeremiah Byrne, as well as a Catherine Byrne, in the same parish.

A search for the name Bridget Lambert in the same records, born between 1832-1852, turns up a single record. This was Bridget Lampert, daughter of John Lampert and Judith Reddy, baptized March 25, 1839 in/near Succar, Graignamanagh Roman Catholic parish, County Kilkenny, sponsors were David Hanrahan and Catherine Cody. John Lambert and Judith Reddy married May 08, 1832 in/near Succur, Graignamanagh RC parish, witnesses were Thomas Hanrahan and Catherine Cody. The only other child with a father named John in the the Graignamanagh records is a Mary Lambert baptized March 20, 1833 in Copena (perhaps Coppenagh), daughter of John Lambert and Johanna Redy, sponsors were Michael Roe and Elizabeth Cullen.

A search for Anne Holland, born in County Kilkenny between 1839 and 1847 turns up one record. This was Anne, daughter of Richard Holland and Mary Kelly, baptized March 26, 1843 in/near Liss (aka Lisballyfroot), Tullaroan Roman Catholic parish, County Kilkenny, sponsors were John Kelly and Margaret Conway. Lisballyfroot townland is the place her father Richard is listed in Griffiths Valuation of ca. 1849-50. A Richard Holland and Mary Kelly married February 11, 1841 at Killaree, Freshford RC parish, Co. Kilkenny (note: before 1843 Tullaroan was part of Freshford RC parish). Other children baptized in Tullaroan RC parish with parents named Richard Holland and Mary Kelly included the following:
Tullaroan RC baptism records begin in the year 1843.
- Anne, March 26, 1843, in Liss, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
- Ellen, 1844, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
- Mary, 1846, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
- Anastatia, 1848, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
- Johanna, 1850, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny (aka Julia?)
- Edmund, 1852, in Lower Liss, Co. Kilkenny - this is likely 'Ned' of family history, see 1911 census
- Bridget, 1855, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
- Honor, 1858, Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny
Other notes: The name Richard appears as a second son in Anne's family, an Irish naming convention to name the second son after the maternal grandparent.
The 1911 census for Rameen (likely Raheen) in Tullaroan, Co. Kilkenny indicates the following: Edmond (age 58) and wife Ellen (53) Holland, married 21 years with 5 of 5 children living. Listed are children Richard (20), Mary (19), Ellen (15), and Kattie (12), as well as single sister Julia Holland (age 60). The eldest son in Edmand's family was Richard, suggesting the name of Edmond's father.

A map of County Kilkenny Catholic Parishes, circa 1850.


Article compiled by Dennis Walsh, February 2007; updated May 2013.