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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ANDREW BURNS, a resident of Westfield, and one of the largest manufacturers in the United States of grape baskets and fruit barrels, was born in Hanover, now one of the northwestern provinces of the great German empire, June 3, 1853, and is a son of Theodore and Sophia (Caring) Burns. Theodore Burns was a native of Hanover, one of whose electors became king of England and founded the present royal family of that kingdom, and was born in the first half of that period which is known in the history of Germany as the Interregnum, which extended from the subversion of the German empire by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 until its re-establishment in 1870 by William L, Bismark and Von Moltke. Theodore Burns was a cooper by trade, served as a soldier in the German army, and married Sophia Caring, who was a native of the same electorate as himself. He came in 1853 to Batavia, Genesee county, where, after remaining a few months, he went to Cattaraugus county, and afterwards removed to Westfield, where he now resides, aged sixty-four years. His wife was born in 1828, and they have reared a family of four sons and three daughters.

Andrew Burns was reared in Hanover, Germany, until he was six years of age, when his parents brought him to Batavia. He received his education in the public schools of Cattaraugus village. He learned the trade of cooper with his father, with whom he worked for some time at Cattaraugus. He then (1871) removed to Westfield, where he worked at his trade until 1875, when he and J. F. Wass engaged in the manufacture of staves, headings and fruit barrels. In 1880 they started a branch factory at Sherman, N. Y., and at both places employed a total of sixty-five hands. In 1883 they dissolved partnership and Mr. Burns continued alone. In 1886 he added to his business the manufacture of grape and berry baskets. Mr. Burns is the patentee of some very valuable machinery for the manufacture of staves and baskets, by the use of which much labor is saved and the work considerably expedited.

He has served his village for the last few years as one of its trustees and is a member of the Junior Order of American mechanics. He owns one hundred and ten acres of land in the towns of Westfield and Sherman.

On September 16, 1874, he united in marriage with Eva Page, daughter of Calvin Page; a carpenter of Westfield. To this union have been born three children, two daughters and one son: Jennie; Adelbert; and Mabel.

His present fine residence on Union street, which he erected at a cost of over five thousand dollars, is a frame structure of modern style with slate roof. Mr. Burns’ plant for the manufacture of grape and berry baskets, and fruit barrels covers nearly three acres of ground. He employs a regular force of thirty hands, and does a business of thirty thousand dollars per year. The basket making department of his works has a capacity of one million per year, while his barrel mills and shops are run steadily during the entire year. His baskets and barrels are largely used throughout Chautauqua county, which is rapidly becoming one of the foremost grape and fruit counties of the United States. His orders also come from many other counties of New York, and from adjoining States, and at times tax the utmost capacity of his works to fill them. He is one of the leading pioneers in a manufacturing industry that must ere many years assume proportions of considerable magnitude, as large orchards and vineyards are being planted in every section of the Union which has been found adapted to fruit and grapes.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

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