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I am trying to either disprove, or find evidence for, an old family story. According to my deceased grandfather, Winfield S Burns (1911-1982), the first male son has been named Winfield Scott in honor of General Winfield Scott (1786-1866) since the mid 1800s. He was supposedly an indirect relation.

The first direct relative I can find with the name is Winfield S Camus (Burns) (b. 1850), who apparently changed his name to his wife’s surname (Mary Burns b. 1848) after the birth of their first son, my great grandfather, Winfield S Burns jr. (b. 1888).

I can find no record of Camus in the US records 1850-1880; he only shows up in the 1910 census when he is already 60 years old.

General Winfield Scott had 2 marriages:

Lucy Baker (1789-1816) (at West Point, NY), with whom he had 3 surviving sons:

Winfield D Scott, Winfield Scott, and Henry Scott

And Maria de Hart Mayo (d. 1862) in Virginia, with whom he had 3 surviving daughters:

Cornelia, Camilla, and Marcella

I cannot find any marriages for any of these children in FamilySearch and Ancestry.

Does anyone know if any of the Scott children had offspring who were possibly linked to the Camus in the 1800s?


After examining the original documents, it appears that the entry for "Camus" may have been an error on Ancestry.com. The comments below will be considered the answer.

  • There seems to be plenty of info searching Winfield Burns.1860 1880, 1900, – user2448131 Sep 1 '16 at 2:21
  • Spouses maiden name may have been Henry. – user2448131 Sep 1 '16 at 2:23
  • And you might look at this post about the Burns family in NY. – user2448131 Sep 1 '16 at 3:33
  • @user2448131 Thank you. I already had the info for 1880 and 1900 and it gibes. The problem I have is that Winfield (1850) and Mary (1848) married 9 years before the 1880 census, and apparently at one time he went by another name--Camus. Please see link in OP--it is too long to paste here. The name Winfield Burns is much more common than you would think. Burns is the 60th most common surname in the USA, so I will investigate the 1860 link, but at first blush appears to be another family. – Cascabel Sep 1 '16 at 3:54
  • If you have time, can you write up a proper answer? I know we often toss out proto-answers in comments (I am one of the worst offenders) but we aren't supposed to answer questions in comments. Thanks! – Jan Murphy Sep 15 '16 at 18:38
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Looking for information on the connection between Winfield S Burns and General Winfield Scott the first thing was to do a general search. The bit about taking the spouses name seemed strange, and the following census info seemed to indicate that this wasn't the case:

1900 US Census

1880 US census

This marriage record from New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936 gives a possible surname for Mary as HENRY.

Since these all agree with known family names, and continually list Winfield's birth state as New York, looking a little farther back produced some probable matches:

1860 US Census

The 1860 census lists a grandparent by the name of Jacubus Miller, so to try to tie all these together, a general web search led to an entry from rootsweb NYORANGE-L Archives, by a researcher in 2006 who also tied this information together. This seemed to confirm my suspicions and I presented the info as a comment since it did not actually answer the question.

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  • Thank you. I have already added Miller and Henry to the family genealogy as it was pretty much confirmed by these sources. After closely examining the original scanned docs claiming the name Camus, I have decided that it is just a misread on Ancestry. – Cascabel Sep 16 '16 at 21:17
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General Winfield Scott did not have two marriages. He was married only once to Maria Hart Mayo of Richmond, VA. In the information given above, Henry Scott is listed as one of the General's sons by the first marriage. Henry Scott was not a son but a son-i-law who married one of General Scott's daughters in the 1840s. Same last name, no relation.

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