My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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WILLIAM BURNS who has for many years been connected with the business interests of Springfield, was born in County Sligo, Ireland, June 20, 1833. His parents were Thomas and Bridget (Murray) Burns, the former of whom died in his native Emerald Isle. Late in life the widowed mother came to America bringing her children of which our subject was one, and breathed her last in Yates County, N. Y in 1874. The parental family comprised thirteen children of whom the son William was next to the youngest. The parents being poor he received but limited advantages in the way of schooling and quite early in life was thrown upon his own resources.

At the age of fourteen years, William Burns emigrated to the United States, landing at New York City whence he went to Buffalo. There he began work as a railroad bridge builder, his labors taking him into Canada, Abandoning the railroad business he came to Springfield, and found employment in the Warder, Brokan & Childs Agricultural Works, while attending the night school. In 1857 he was seized with the western fever, and going to Omaha, Neb., he worked at the carpenter’s trade and contracting about one year. Later he returned to Springfield, and for a time was engaged in the manufacture of distilled spirits. He then became connected with the Architectural Iron Works as a stockholder and director, still holding his interest in that business. At present he owns a good business house, a substantial residence on East High Street, and other property.

The lady whom Mr. Burns chose as his life companion bore the maiden name of Marie Coleman, and at the time of their marriage she was residing in Springfield. She was born in the Emerald Isle and in her girlhood accompanied her parents, Peter and Bridget (Dunnigan) Coleman, to America. Her happy union with our subject has been blessed by the birth of ten children, three of whom have been removed from their sorrowing parents by death. The names of the living are Florence A., Louisa E., Mary E., Catherine E. Alice A., William T. and John Peter.

Mr. Burns was at one time a member of the City Council, representing the Fourth Ward. Politically he is a stanch Democrat. His religious belief is that of the Roman Catholic Church, and he and his family hold membership at St. Raphael’s.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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