Irish Ancestry

Bertha (Burns) Bernard

My elusive maternal grandmother Bertha Burns was born in Quebec City, Canada in 1892 to George Burns and Elizabeth Williamson, the youngest of four children, Albert, William, Ethel, and Bertha.

George Burns died when Bertha was but a year old, Ethel never saw adulthood. I think she died of Tuberculosis but that is merely hearsay with no proof. I've never been able to find any concrete details regarding William.

Albert, the oldest, married in Montreal and he and his wife Lily moved to Scarborough, ON He was a telegraph operator for the Canadian National Railway.

Apparently sometime after my great-grandfather George Burns death, in 1893, Elizabeth and Bertha traveled to Montreal, I wonder what led them there.

Bertha and her mother Elizabeth are found in the borough of St. Laurent in Montreal on the 1911 Canadian census living as boarders at a rooming house owned by DeLima Fisk. This was a female only arrangement as single women did not live by themselves in the first half of the twentieth century.

Bertha married my grandfather Ovila Bernard in 1925. They had 4 children, Norman, Pauline, George, and Lorne. She died 19 September 1955 in Montreal from an accidental fall.

Elizabeth (Williamson) Burns

My equally elusive great-grandmother and Bertha's mother, 'Lizzie' was also born in Quebec City to Jane Pyle and Samuel Williamson. 

She married George Burns, a stevedore in 1882. They had 4 children, Albert, William, Ethel and Bertha. 

George died in 1893 and is buried in the historic Mount Hermon cemetery in Quebec City. 

Uncle Albie moved to York, Ontario, married and had several children. He was a telegraph operator for the Canadian National Railway. I've never found Ethel or William. Ethel was said to have died of TB, the whereabouts of William is still a mystery.

Lizzie passed away while taking a nap one afternoon around 1940, she was 90 years old.

Albert Edward Burns

He was 'Uncle Albie' to us. He was my grandmothers oldest brother. my great-grandmother's first born son. He came to my great-grandmother's Lizzie's funeral but no one remembers him visiting on a regular basis.

Pictured with one of his sons, either Patrick or Robert. 

Albert, Lily, Pat, Robert Burns

On the right is a full picture of the Burns family taken in Scarborough, ON

Uncle Albert's wife's name was Elizabeth Murphy.

Henry Pyle
1858 - 1943


  1. Thank you for sharing this blog. My roots are French and Irish as well, which drew me to your site via Geneabloggers. Although I have checked out one or two other blog sites, through your beautiful background and interesting pictures and stories, I can now see the immense value of sharing my own ancestry through this medium. Excellent job. Dana

  2. Excited to find your new blog! I have French and Irish roots as well and look forward to your posts :)