Showing posts with label Burnes Lineage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burnes Lineage. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"The Hero Draws Inspiration From The Virtue of His Ancestors."

"The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors." -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

About this photo: The "HERO" in this photo is my great grandfather, George Fredrick Burnes 1866-1924. Father to eight children, husband to Nina and son of James & Nancy Burnes. He lived through more hardship and saw more tragedy than I could ever imagine. For many years they struggled financially and moved out to a small home in Oklahoma. Outlaws would pass by their home and Nina would have to feed them so they wouldn't "give them any trouble". He was a strong Christian man who became a Sexton of the church. He died at the young age of 58. I can't wait to meet him and Nina someday.
Date: abt. 1885
Place: Batavia, Jefferson, Iowa, USA

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"Sister to Sister We Will Always Be A Couple of Nuts Off The Family Tree."

"Sister to sister we will always be, a couple of NUTS off the FAMILY TREE." -Unknown

About this photo: My Grandmother Ruth Adams Burnes (right) and her sister Bessie Adams Johnson (left) were best friends and always there for each other. They grew up in the small town called Batavia, Iowa and both moved out to California together so they could live close to each other; Bessie lived in San Fransisco and Grandma lived in Napa. I remember great aunt Bessie at many family gatherings. She was classy and beautiful. She never had any children of her own, so she spoiled all of us with love. I can't wait to see these two again.

People: Bessie Adams Johnson & Ruth Adams Burnes
Date: about 1952
Place: Napa, Napa, California, USA

Please share, pin, and tweet and keep connecting the dots -Sarah :)

Monday, September 09, 2013

A Big Surprise! - My GG-Grandfather Served in the Civil War!!

This morning, as I was working on my family history, I found a BIG surprise; my great, great grandfather's Civil War draft registration record. I never knew he served in the Civil War; this changed everything. You can only imagine how excited I was. So, how did I find this? It was on accident while I was researching another ancestor (isn't that how it usually happens?) I just happened to notice one of those little green leaves, "Ancestry hints" on I clicked on the leaf next to his name and it brought me to the original Civil War draft record. As I looked through this record, I noticed these few but very important details:
  • James Burnes
  • white
  • 24
  • Farmer
  • Married
  • Indiana
  • Haw Creek township
  • August 5, 1863. 
Here's the record that changed everything. My great, great grandfather, James Burnes is #14.   Photo credit: . Click the photo to enlarge.

Here's the zoomed in verson of the above picture. Photo Credit:

So, the story does not end there. On the record, right above his name, was his older brother, William Henry Harrison Burnes (#13), who was drafted at the same time as him. My excitement grew even more. I knew very little about William H.H. Burnes. I had never seen any record about him because he died in his early thirties. I wondered, did he die in the war? Was this the reason why he never married or had any children? This opened the door to further my research and this changed my family history quite a bit.

I am grateful for the knowledge I have of my ancestors. To have the Internet to give us "hints" and to educate us about our heritage, is truly a modern day miracle. To continue this family history is a gift for them and us, and many generations.

Meet my great, great grandfather,

James Jay Burnes:

21 December 1838 in Washington, Shelby, Indiana.

Married: 17 November 1859 in County Line, Jefferson, Iowa.

Civil War: Drafted on 5 August 1863.

Children: 11

Widowed: Age 40. 
Never Remarried.

Entered into heaven:
17 Decmeber 1905, (age 66).

"The reward of great men is that, long after they have died, one is not quite sure that they are dead." -Jules Renard

A huge thanks to this little, but very important leaf icon

It's amazing how one small "hint" can change the whole story.

Let's keep connecting the dots!! -Sarah :)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

“We all grow up with the weight of history on us..." -Shirley Abbott

“We all grow up with the weight of
history on us.  Our ancestors dwell in the
attics of our brains  as they do in the spiraling
chains of knowledge hidden in every cell
 of our bodies.” -Shirley Abbott

About the photo: This is a photograph of my Great Grandparents, Gim William Adams & Maude Ethel Adams, and 9 of their 11 children. My grandma, Ruth was the 8th child born to Gim & Maude. In this photo, she is 4th from the left (in the white dress). 
Ruth Imogene Adams Burnes 1923-2011.

Keep connecting the dots. -Sarah :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your Family History Treasure awaits you!!

About this photo:

This is a photograph of my grandmother meeting her great grandchild for the first time.
As I held my 2 month old baby for grandma to see, their eyes met, and both of them smiled and laughed, as if they were long time friends meeting again. My husband just happened to capture this at the moment it happened. It was a very touching moment, and one that I will never forget. She passed away, shortly after this photo was taken, and I am so grateful that I made the time to see her and to write her family history every time I visited her. Each time I called her on the phone, I asked her questions about her life growing up, and before I knew it, I had captured and documented her family history. I am so grateful I did this and you will be too.

Keep connecting the dots!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cries from our Ancestors; "Remember Me"

If we could hear the cries from our ancestors, they might be saying "REMEMBER ME". I often think of how difficult life was back then. The daily routine of cooking, cleaning, washing, sewing, farming, building and fixing things would consume their entire day. Diseases and sicknesses would sweep through every family, taking the lives of many loved ones. My great great great grandparents buried five of their babies because of sicknesses that existed during the mid 1800's. They wouldn't have any time for luxury or entertainment, and their way of relaxing was reading the Bible by the fire.

When I visited the homestead of my Great, Great, Great Grandparents, I couldn't help but think back on their lives as they raised thirteen children in a small four room home. Not four bedrooms; four rooms. One room was the kitchen, one room was the family room, and two rooms upstairs for the children and parents to sleep. They lived on a 700 acre farm, which only provided them with the food and income they needed to survive. They worked harder than us, and I'm sure their only request would be "remember me."

Because I know my ancestors, I am more sensitive to their hardships and losses, but also grateful for the many blessings and conveniences that we all have because of them. It's a simple, yet important request from them; "remember me".

Who's in the above photo:  My grandmother, Ruth Imogene Adams Burnes' father, Gim William Adams, her uncle, Charley Ross Adams, and Grandparents; William & Mary Adams. Photo taken about 1902 in Scotland County, Missouri.

Photos of my GGG-Grandparents 177 year old home that I visited in Hope, Indiana on September 9, 2009.

L-R: Frankie Ziegler, Sarah Burnes Heiner, Ronnie Ziegler (4th cousins)
standing in front of the Burnes Homestead.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Tribute to William Burnes on March 13th.

My big bro has been cancer-free in heaven for 7 years now, and Grandpa hasn't had to deal with his bad heart for 57 years. I am remembering these great men today and how ironic that they both died on March 13th, exactly 50 years apart. I am so grateful that I will see them again someday. This is where my family history journey began. There were too many coincidences that left me wondering, and wanting to learn more. Now I know the truth and continue to learn about my family history; I love "connecting the dots". Let's take a moment to remember those who have gone before us, and are now free from their pains and sufferings.

William Aaron Burnes Bio >>
William Emry Burnes >>

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My TOP 7 TIPS For Finding Old Photos of Ancestors

Okay, I can't bottle my excitement any longer. Portraits DO exist, and my 6 year search is over. Presenting... George Washington BURNES, & Sarah Walker BURNES my Great, Great, Great Grandparents. 13 children, married 55 years, Christian, 700 acre farm, Hope Indiana, Norristown Cemetery. A HUGE Thank you goes out to Gary Ziegler a 4th cousin from Indiana for these photos :) It's so great to finally see their faces 6 years after I found them.  Thanks to facebook and the Internet I was able to track down distant cousins who have original photos of our ancestors. GENEALOGY IS TRULY AMAZING!!!

My BURNES Family History website ->

So how did I find these very old pictures?
  My #1 Secret... Distant Cousins!!  
After attaining hundreds of pictures of ancestors through distant cousins, I can promise you that this will be the most reliable source to retrieve those old photos for yourself and family. Have Fun! 

MY TOP 7 TIPS for finding old photos.
  1. Find Distant Cousins!! One way to do this is through genealogical message boards found at, I tracked down so many distant cousins on this site.  Use Google Social Networking Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Photobucket, blogs etc, to search for family members. While I was searching for a sibling on Facebook, I came across a person with the same name as my brother that lived close to where my ancestors had lived. After a brief facebook conversation we confirmed that we are 5 cousins, and share the same GGG-Grandparents; click here to read that first conversation between us. Try it. Do a search for one of your ancestors names and see who it pulls up.

  2. Search Google Images  Do a simple google search for the ancestor(s) that you are looking for and click on "images" at the top so only google images show up, which speeds up the time and allows you to look through images only.

  3. Take a Trip I went back to Hope, Indiana where my ancestors had lived for many generations. While there, I met up with distant cousins for a day at the Cemetery. We also toured the city together; like the old homestead of our GGG-Grandparents, we visited the courthouse, the Indiana State Library, the police department, the antique shop and local landmarks. On this trip, I was able to get many pictures of original photos of our ancestors. I made sure to document all the pictures I photographed.

  4. Get a local phone book where your ancestors lived. It has worked every time for finding living relatives. Every time I go on a Family History trip, I get a phone book from that city. Even if you can't travel there, call up the local library and ask if you can have their old phone book and offer to pay the shipping.

  5. Use  even if it's only to sign up for a trial period of 14 days. You can browse through and share millions of old photos from family members. This is also how I found hundreds of living relatives. You'll be amazed how many relatives you have out there once you start looking on this site.

  6. Create a family history website or blog. Get your information out there, so relatives can find you and share their photos when they find your website/blog. I have a new relative every week contact me about my family website and confirm that we are distant cousins. Because I have posted all the family photos to my family website, they are so grateful, and they share their photos with me in return. I use Blogger to host my Family History site, Blogger is free, and it's owned by Google which means every post you make will be picked up by the Google search engine.

  7. Start Sharing!! Share all your information first, and others will feel comfortable sharing their info with you. If you are meeting a relative in person for the first time, ask if they have any pictures or family records you could look at. Always come prepared with a camera to take snapshots of everything. I have learned that cameras do a better and quicker job than scanners.  If you are meeting a relative over the internet for the first time, send them pictures of your ancestors and ask them if they have any photos as well.
Take a look at the highlights from my Family History Trip to Indiana.

My GGG-Grandparents home in Hope, Indiana built in 1836 and yes, it's still standing. 

Me and my 4th cousins in front our our GGG-grandparents home. Frankie & Ronnie

4th Cousins: Ronnie, Me & Gordon in front of our GGG-Grandparents home. 

Here I am with Cathy & Gordon Burnes (4th cousins) at a local deli in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Hometown to my Burnes ancestors; Hope, Indiana.

The Shelbyville, Indiana Antique store where I found some really neat things.

My GGG-Grandparents headstones at Norristown Cemetery in Shelbyville, Indiana

Good Luck on finding those living relatives and "Connecting The Dots".

You can find more BURNES Family History here ->


Monday, October 22, 2012

Families Are Forever - Genealogy Means Everything!

I believe families are forever!! I believe after we leave this life on earth, we are united with loved ones who have passed on before us. I believe what is bound here on earth, is bound in heaven. 

On March 13, 2006 my life changed forever; my oldest brother William Burnes died after a nine month battle with cancer. Only 39 years old, and at the peak of his life; building his dream home with his soon to be wife. A playful man who loved traveling, adventure, building, playing pranks, his cars and family history. During his battle, his sweetheart never left his side. She was determined to fight this horrific battle and get him recovered, but sadly recovery wasn't his life story. The veil of heaven was opened and he was greeted into heaven by his family. He was needed on the other side for a greater purpose that only God knows.

Death and regrets. The coping was hard because of the regrets I had from not spending more time with my brother. He was 10 years older than me, but I wish I could have created a deeper bond with him. However, since his passing, I feel closer to him now than ever before. I feel that he is close by. I have dreams of us talking and him joking around like he always did.

After Will's passing, I chose to honor him by picking up where he left off on his family history, and it was like the flood gates of knowledge had opened. At that point, I knew what part I was playing and my life became even more enriched. There is power in knowledge, but there is a deeper power in the knowledge of family.

Genealogy means everything to me!! I believe our ancestors want to be known. We are here today because of them. Let's pay it back and honor them by keeping them alive in us. Let's seek them out, grow our family tree, and "Connect The Dots".

William Aaron Burnes May 29, 1967 - March 13, 2006
Click here to read his BIO >>

Brady & Sarah Burnes Heiner with William Burnes & Joell Sweeney
September 17, 2003

Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Use Facebook To Find Living Relatives

Facebook isn't just for Social Networking! In fact, this powerful platform with more than 900 million users has helped me to connect with many people, including distant cousins. Yes, Facebook is awesome for more than one reason!!

As I began on my family history adventure, I was learning more about my heritage than I could ever imagine. After only one year of extensive research, I traced my lineage back 7 generations, which was quite the conquest, considering that I didn't know my paternal grandfather (father's, father), or anything about him. After discovering that my Great, Great, Great Grandparents, George Washington Burnes & Sarah Walker Burnes had settled in Hope, Indiana I was anxious to get out there. So, I booked a flight to Indianapolis, Indiana and left on May 18, 2007. After a successful trip of meeting family and transcribing headstones, my knowledge of my heritage had increased, and I felt closer to my ancestors.

Many of my siblings have joined Facebook, but a few have not embraced the Facebook phenomenon. So I did a search for my brother JAMES BURNES, and the first person to show up was someone who resembled my brother, with the same name and spelling, but lived over 2,000 miles away; in Indianapolis, Indiana. The city he lived in was a clue that we could be related, so I wrote him a message and guess what I found out?

Here's the screenshot from our first conversation on Facebook:

As you can see, from our conversation above, we discovered we are 4th cousins, which means we share the same Great, Great, Great Grandfather; George Washington Burnes. From our connection, we have acquired many photographs and details about our ancestors that we never knew existed. More importantly, we have "CONNECTED THE DOTS" and our family continues to grow.

Give it a try!!
Start searching for distant cousins on Facebook!!

Find more BURNES info at

Friday, June 15, 2012

Genealogy Proved The Truth - Correcting False Truths

I felt the impression to get a little personal in this entry because of my struggles with the "false truths" in my own family. There were a lot of details in my Family History that didn't quite add up.

Here's what I mean:

My father was an only child to William Emry Burnes & Ruth Imogene Adams. I was told my grandfather William Burnes was around 50 years old when he married my grandma Ruth when she was only 18 years old. I was told that grandpa most likely had a wife and children he left back in Iowa when he married my grandma. I was told they most likely eloped and "ran away" to California together. My father believed this to be the truth because everything added up that way. Does this sound like a small town scandal to you? Well that's what I thought too. My grandfather died from a heart attack at a young age of 62, leaving behind his only child, a son (my father) age 12, and his wife (grandma) age 33. Imagine losing your father at the age of 12 and not knowing the truth.

I knew very little about my grandfather, and what little information I did know, wasn't very charming. I too lived with this same knowledge of my grandfather, as my father did because of the family history that was tied to him through "false truths".

My quest for TRUTH:
My brother William Aaron Burnes was named after his grandfather; William Emry Burnes, and they both died on the exact day, March 13th, 50 years apart, 1956 & 2006.  After my brother's death, I would embark on something very unknown; the Burnes Genealogy & Family History. Many remarkable events unfolded, including the miraculous "Will Ball". I began tracing our lineage only to find how difficult and merely impossible it was. This is not the case with most people starting their genealogy, but that's how it was with me. At times I wanted to give up, but there is a power in all of us to "learn the truth" especially when it comes to our heritage.
It is who we are, why we are, and where we will go that kept me going.

As I began on this genealogy journey and started discovering the truth of our heritage, I had a dream of my brother William. In my dream he was beautiful! His skin, his eyes, his entire physical appearance was radiant. He walked up to me, looked at me in the eyes, hugged me (with great power) and said two words to me; "thank you". He turned and walked out the excessively large wooden ornate doors that he had walked in. I awoke the next morning in tears because of this encounter I had while dreaming. The dream was so intense, but more importantly I retained everything I had seen and heard so perfectly, and I knew it was the newly discovered TRUTH behind our family history that William was thanking me for; the truth about our grandfather. The same truth he was trying to discover before his passing.

The TRUTH was this:

My Grandfather, William Emry Burnes was an incredible man! A World War I Navy Hero, The city Sheriff,  a Free Mason, a violinist, a successful Business Owner, a Deep Sea Fisherman, an Honest man, Hard working & intelligent.

He was a young man who had carried the heavy load of supporting his mother and siblings through the death of his father during the time of the Great Depression.  He was the oldest of 8 children, and without hesitation,  he took on the responsibility to support his mother, brothers and sisters and their spouses through the painful years of the depression.  A second cousin confirmed this, stating “he even made sure his sisters and sister in laws had beautiful hats and shoes to wear.” At the age of 37, when all of his siblings were able to make it on their own, he married his first wife, Kathryn Fleig. The short marriage of 3 years ended when he noted in the divorce papers that he stayed faithful for the space of 3 years awaiting her return. The papers also stated this small but very important detail "no children were born to this marriage". For unknown reasons, she had left him and never came back. Heartbroken by this tragedy he removed himself from the "normal" way life should be, and focused on living an honest life as the local town Sheriff and Business Owner. It was eleven years later that he would meet Ruth Imogene Adams in Batavia, Iowa. He was 49 years old, she was 19, the perfect match separated by 31 years. They married a few months later and set off to start their lives far from home; in Napa, California. They had two children together, one son (my father) and a baby girl who died just a few hours after she was born. They lived a happy life together for 12 years, until his death in 1956. This was not the typical story for most of your grandparents, but this was mine, and one that I am very proud of.

The passion I have for doing genealogy is very personal to me. It defines the line between the truth and the unknown. It gives me hope, it gives me knowledge, but mostly it gives me the opportunity to link our ancestors together as one family. We live in a day in age, where we can learn the truth of our ancestors from many genealogical websites like;
Ancestry, Family Search , Findagrave , USGenweb , Google and so many more. My newly discovered lineage has impacted the way I view myself and every living and non living person. I know our loved ones who have passed on, are still here, just unseen to our earthly eyes. We can feel them close when we are in tune to them. We all have ancestors cheering for us, helping us daily, and strengthening us as we bear the burdens of this life. They have paved that rocky road so we can pay it back to them by keeping them alive, in us, and staying true to our family name and heritage.

I am so truly blessed to have corrected the "false truths" about my own family history. May we all be diligent in seeking for the truth to clear up those uncertain details and to give credit, where credit is due.

A Tribute to William Emry Burnes:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sarah Burnes Heiner Pedigree with Gratitude

Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” (“A New Harvest Time,” Ensign, May 1998, 34). This distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members—both past and present.

I am honored to know my ancestors, and for the change in my life that allowed my heart to turn to my fathers. I have attached my very colorful 6 generation pedigree chart as gratitude for those who paved the way for me. Looking at this chart makes me realize the importance of every single ancestor, and the significant role each one played to get me here, to have an earthly existence, to gain knowledge, so that I could return to my Heavenly Father again. For that alone, I am indebted to them.

Click image to enlarge.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My BURNES Heritage; >>

One thing I am very proud of is my BURNES heritage. I have a quote on my wall located right above mine and my husbands pedigree charts that says, "Seek out your roots and you will find your life". I truly believe that when we seek out for those who have gone before us, we not only do a huge service to many generations, but we begin to know who we really are. At times we get lost in this earthly existence, but as we begin to explore our heritage, we establish a greater knowledge of our divine purpose. The old pictures, the awesome family stories, and the historical documents are the family threads of this great massive family, which I have grown to love. In honor of the BURNES family, I have designed and dedicated to my brother William Aaron Burnes 1967-2006, and all the many Burnes relatives who have gone before him. It's because of William that I am doing Genealogy, and I am proud to be the vessel for His great work.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The "Will" Ball - How it all Started!

My brother William Aaron Burnes lost his battle to cancer on March 13, 2006.  He was a Commercial Fisherman in Alaska for 10 years. I give you this information for a reason, please read on!!

My husband Brady and our daughter decided to go golfing one day at the Cedar Hills golf course, just 3 months after my brother passed away. While on the course, Brady takes a few practice swings and is about to tee off on the first hole when a guy about 18 years of age who worked at the golf course said...
"hey, do you need a golf ball?" 
Brady said "no I have plenty."
The 18 yr old responded, "here have this one",
and without further hesitation, the 18 yr old threw the golf ball to Brady. As Brady caught it, he saw the word "WILL" professionally printed on the ball. As he turned the ball around he saw a picture of a bear with a fish in it's mouth with the word "Alaska" printed below the image. Brady was speechless and overwhelmed at that moment because he knew that my brother Will was still with us, and he wanted it to be known.  

I often wonder who that boy was, and why he felt so impressed to give the ball to Brady even though he refused his offer. I also wonder where that ball came from in the first place. Was this a ball my brother had professionally designed while in Alaska and somehow through his hands, it made it back to us? I wish I knew. Someday I Will.

When Brady returned home from golfing, he placed the golf ball in my hand and relayed this miraculous encounter to me and I knew what I was suppose to do; I needed to find our ancestors and continue Will's work. At first I thought "this is impossible", but realized "with His help, I can do this", and began to mend my thoughts of  inadequacy and started researching. It was very difficult at first, in fact, the only form of genealogy I had was a restaurant napkin that Will wrote a few notes on before his passing; something I will treasure forever!  I knew nothing about my ancestors, how to begin, or how to build our family tree, but I knew I had a responsibility, and Will would guide me; I knew this!

For the past 7 years, the "Will" Ball has been in my office with an assurance that my brother is close by.  Today, we have over 7,000 BURNES CLAN ancestors that we are proud of and feel a strong connection to because of Will.  I picked up where he left off in his research and I am honored to be the vessel for his great work.

More Burnes Info can be found at

William Aaron Burnes 

May 29, 1967 - March 13, 2006
Semper Fi  (Always Faithful)

William Burnes - US Marines - 3rd Recon Battalion 

William Burnes  as a Commercial Fisherman in Alaska for 10 years.

William Burnes and long time girlfriend, Joell Sweeney. She stayed by his side, every second, until the end.

My favorite picture of us. Brady & Sarah Heiner on the Left, 

William and Joell on the Right. September 17, 2003.

William Aaron Burnes' Obituary