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Adventures in Ancestry DNA

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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 anyone from the paternal side. We've had many from the maternal side the family of Emma Hunter Burns. So as we head into our next reunion this July 2024, I look forward to the possibility that a member of James' extended family might pay our reunion a visit in the future.

Now for the next lead.

I may have found James' sister Emma through yet another DNA match. I had been perusing all matches and looking through their trees and saw an Emma Burns and messaged this match. Again this individual will not be identified unless he says it's OK to do so.

This DNA cousin was a grandson to Emma and looking at the centimorgans and how many segments we share, this is a close relationship. Though in this case more like 2nd cousin or 3rd cousin or however you describe a familial relationship based on a great-great grandparent.

He lets me know that Emma had married twice to Amos Roscoe and then to Albert Warren then one of her sons had brought her to Chicago where she sadly died in a fire in 1969. The address found in a death record via FamilySearch.org shows her address is between 51st & 47th Street and right off the Dan Ryan Expressway.

So this DNA cousin match is in fact the grandson of Mrs. Emma Burns Roscoe Warren. This one is most satisfying as until recently Emma was one of the three known sisters we had no info on. And I finally found something on her.

Emma Burns (1892-1969)

According to this Cook County Death Record, she's buried in Restvale Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.  Quite a few members of my paternal family also have their final resting places there. And James Etta - or Jeanette Brown - is also recorded as being buried there. Two of our Tribal Chief's sisters are buried in Restvale Cemetery.

And perhaps some more info on James Burns' extended family.

I found a US Census hit for our Tribal Chief out of Monroe County, MISS in 1910 which is located in the northwestern part of Mississippi. He's living on a farm with his aunt and uncle. Here's the census enumeration.


The DNA match I found has a Walker in their family tree out of Monroe County, so thus there is something to this. So more than likely Jim Walker as you see is head of the household is very much James' uncle. At about 11 years of age, James was living with his uncle in another part of Mississippi.

When you think about it most of the children of James & the former Emma Lee Hunter had spent some time with their aunts and uncles particularly with Emma Hunter Burns' family who lived up north in Chicago. So perhaps my great-grandfather was also send at some point in his young life was sent to live with his extended family.

The next question is who is Jim Walker related to? Is he a brother of Willie (Steve) Burns or Aggie Andrews Burns? At this time we don't know much about the family of Wille/Steve or Aggie to be able to make that determination.


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