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James Lee Burns' birthday

James L Burns - June 18, 1898 Our Tribal Chief was born on this day in June 18, 1898. And he transitioned  ✝ well into the 20th Century in May 1988. Imagine all the things going on during his lifetime. Two World Wars, the Spanish-American War, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Cold War (and he just missed the conclusion), Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of two US Presidents, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the Jim Crow South, men landing on the moon, I could go on. Here's his one connection to the 2nd World War. As you may recall his two older brothers Turner and Will had served in the 1st World War, however, James himself never served in the military. However, he still at 43 years of age had to register for the draft during that very awful global conflict. It's amazing what is found online when you're looking for information on your ancestors

Adventures in Ancestry DNA

Have you bought a kit? In April, our Tribal Historian and myself ( The Custodian ) spoke with a DNA match over the phone. I won't identify him at this time unless he says it's OK to do so. It was the first time we had spoken with a grandson of Arthur Burns.  As a reminder Arthur Burns is a younger brother to our Tribal Chief James Lee Burns. In my ongoing research I found out about him through the obituary of their older brother Will Burns . Arthur Burns (1900-1979) We learned through my 2nd Cousin that my late grandmother Gurtine and her living brother & sister has one paternal first cousin that's still alive. She won't be identified at this time as well. We had a nice chat over a relatively short period of time talking about their roots and they have their own "tribal historian". And it's exciting to reach out to other members of this extended family. One thing I have noticed over the years, is that for our reunions we've never really had anyon

Our Tribal Chief - In Memorium

 On April 27, 1988, James Lee Burns - father, grandfather, great grandfather, & great-great grandfather -  made his transition ✝ from this earthly life. His funeral was held on May 1, 1988 at Wanderer's Home MB Church in Mound Bayou, Mississippi located near the Bolivar & Sunflower County Line. He was also buried on the church's grounds. Our tribal chief with his great-grand daughter Not too long after his funeral we went to the property he owned with his departed wife Emma Hunter Burns. The house was long gone at that point so it was a vacant lot. Thankfully that plot of land remains in the possession of his descendants. Below was his obituary from his May 1, 1988 funeral and once you take a quick read, I will share further thoughts. Click for larger resolution It's funny how much an ancestor and my own life intersect that is we were living at about the same time though in my case I was nothing but a pup. And even more interesting is when a great-grandparent meets

Who is Willie Burns?

Willie (?) Burns The known father of our Tribal Chief James Lee Burns is a man named Willie Burns . We know this primarily from his two daughters Lee Alice Burns Travis & Lucyrene Burns Robinson and was also noted in our Tribal Chief's obituary from his 1988 funeral. However, to find this Elder Willie has proven to be very elusive. Turner Burns - James' older brother - on his Social Security file lists his parents as Steve Burns and Aggie Andre (or perhaps he was trying to spell Andrews ). Wait who is this Steve Burns? Turner and James' older sister James Etta (Jeanette) lists her parents as William Smith and Aggie Follery on her own Social Security file. Although it's safe to say Great-Aunt James Etta and her older sister Bessie may well have a different father than Turner and James. And here's where the plot thickens. On I found a marriage record for Aggie Andrews and a Stephen Burns from Hinds County, Mississippi. Don't believe me? Cl

Will Burns US Army veteran

PVT Will Burns - Find A Grave  Just like his older brother Turner , Will Burns also served in the military. However, it appears he stayed stateside and had a far briefer tenure in the military. Both Turner & Will had served during the 1st World War, a conflict often referred to as the "War to End All Wars". As you see from the below draft registration, Will Burns was born May 1, 1896 in Learned, Mississippi. Learned is located in Hinds County which was also where we found mother Aggie and her sons Turner, Will, and James (our tribal chief) possibly living with a white family on a plantation in the 1900 US Census . Learned, MISS is also the origin of their older sister Bessie Lewis Butler . It appears like his brother Turner, he also worked at the Brookhaven Lumber Mill in Hattiesburg, MISS when he registered for the draft. As a dependent, Will listed his mother presumably Aggie Andrews Burns at this time. Keep in mind that Turner had listed his mother Aggie as an emergen

Turner Burns US Army Veteran

Via FindaGrave Turner Burns is James Lee Burns' older brother. He's one of the known brothers and sisters noted by a number of family elders especially the late  Tribal Griot Lee Alice Travis. In the research of my great-uncle Turner I found a draft card and further found that he was a US Army veteran of the First World War. Turner Burns WW1 draft card Turner Burns was born April 30, 1894 in Adams Station, Mississippi possibly near Learned, MISS where his older sister Bessie Lewis was born. He found his way to Hattiesburg, MISS working as a sawyer at Brookhaven Lumber Mill there (from draft card above). As far as who he was supporting and even his relationship status he was actually married at this time. What has been uncovered was a wife named Julia Ann.  From what can be seen of this union there were no children. Julia Ann Burns died in April 1983 in Hattiesburg, MISS. At the time of Julia's death her address was still the home on Florence Street in Hattiesburg that she