Genealogy of Fast, Shriver, Burns, Scott, McKibben, Including Descendants of Revolutionary War Veteran Christian Fast

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  • ID: I12595
  • _UID: A26F4D7CAAE94DC2AF65760A215C874C6015
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 25 JAN 1759 in Alloway, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Christening: 26 JAN 1759 By Mr. William Dalrymple; witnesses: John Tennant, James Young
  • Death: 21 JUL 1796 in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
  • Burial: Saint Michael's Churchyard, Scottland
  • Occupation: Poet, Farmer, Exciseman
  • Religion: Unitarian (philosophically)
  • Note:

    aka Rabbie, Robbie


    Known as "the Ploughman Poet", Robert was descended from the Burness family of Kincardineshire, Scotland, where his ancestors were tenant farmers. His father William moved to Ayrshire in 1750 where Robert was born in a humble cottage. His birthplace has since become a center of pilgrimage for lovers of his poetry. Robert Burns had a total of twelve children by four women, including nine by his wife Jean Armour. The publishing of his "Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect" in 1786 made him an instant success, yet he achieved far more fame after his death than during his lifetime.

    Robert changed the spelling of his last name from Burness to Burns in 1786.

    A Man's a Man for A' That
    By Robert Burns, 1795

    Is there for honest poverty
    That hings his head, an a' that?
    The coward slave, we pass him by -
    We dare be poor for a' that!
    For a' that, an a' that!
    Our toils obscure, an a' that,
    The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hodding grey, an a' that?
    Gie fools their skills, and knaves their wine -
    A man's a man for a' that.
    For a' that, an a' that,
    Their tinsel show, an a' that,
    The honest man, tho e'er sae poor,
    Is king o men for a' that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca'd 'a lord,'
    Wha struts, an stares, an a' that?
    Tho hundreds worship at his word,
    He's but a cuif for a' that.
    For a' that, an a' that,
    His ribband, star, an a' that,
    The man o independent mind,
    He looks an laughs at a' that.

    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, an a' that!
    But an honest man's aboon his might -
    Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
    For a' that, an a' that,
    Their dignities, an a' that,
    The pith o sense an pride o worth,
    Are higher rank than a' that.

    Then let us pray that come it may
    (As come it will for a' that),
    That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
    Shall bear the gree an a' that.
    For a' that, an a' that,
    It's coming yet for a' that,
    That man to man, the world, o'er
    Shall brithers be for a' that.

    by Robert Burns

    'Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
    Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
    Welcome tae your gory bed,
    Or tae Victorie!
    'Now's the day, and now's the hour:
    See the front o' battle lour,
    See approach proud Edward's power -
    Chains and Slaverie!
    'Wha will be a traitor knave?
    Wha will fill a coward's grave?
    Wha sae base as be a slave?
    Let him turn and flee!
    'Wha, for Scotland's king and law,
    Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
    Freeman stand, or Freeman fa',
    Let him on wi' me!
    'By Oppression's woes and pains!
    By your sons in servile chains!
    We will drain our dearest veins,
    But they shall be free!
    'Lay the proud usurpers low!
    Tyrants fall in every foe!
    Liberty's in every blow! -
    Let us do or dee!'

    by Robert Burns

    Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon
    How can ye blume sae fair!
    How can ye chant, ye little birds,
    And I sae fu' o' care!

    Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
    That sings upon the bough;
    Thou minds me o' the happy days
    When my fause luve was true.

    Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
    That sings beside thy mate;
    For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
    And wist na o' my fate.

    Aft hae I roved my bonnie Doon
    To see the woodbine twine,
    And ilka bird sang o' its love;
    And sae did I o' mine.

    Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
    Frae aff its thorny tree;
    And my fause luver staw the rose,
    But the left the thorn wi'me.

    by Robert Burns

    O, my Luve's like a red, red rose,
    That's newly sprung in June.
    O, my Luve's like a melodie
    That's sweetly play'd in tune.

    As fair as thou, my bonnie lass,
    So deep in luve am I;
    And I will love thee still, my dear,
    Till a' the seas gang dry.

    Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
    I will love thess till, my dear,
    While the sands o' life shall run:

    And fare thee well, my only luve!
    And fare thee weel, a while!
    And I will come again, my luve,
    Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.

    by Robert Burns

    Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
    O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi' bickering brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
    Wi' murd'ring pattle!

    I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
    Has broken nature's social union,
    An' justifies that ill opinion,
    What makes thee startle
    At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
    An' fellow-mortal!

    I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
    What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
    A daimen icker in a thrave
    'S a sma' request;
    I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
    An' never miss't!

    Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
    It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
    An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
    O' foggage green!
    An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
    Baith snell an' keen!

    Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
    An' weary winter comin fast,
    An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
    Thou thought to dwell -
    Till crash! the cruel coulter past
    Out thro' thy cell.

    That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
    Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
    Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
    But house or hald,
    To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
    An' cranreuch cauld!

    But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain;
    The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
    Gang aft agley,
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
    For promis'd joy!

    Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me;
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But och! I backward cast my e'e,
    On prospects dreaer!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!

    by Laurence Overmire

    Ah cousin, Robert, I hear ye now
    In the vaunted hills of my Highland heart
    The songs of your sure keeping

    Too long away from the mooring
    My journey tides the ocean
    An epic for the bard

    I cannot beg to know my kin
    Or speak that ancient tongue
    But I do listen, and I do hear

    And I can feel in the pass of soul
    The kindred tie that binds us
    Give me your hand upon the breeze, Rabbie

    Time drifting like a feather
    Though far away, and far apart
    We'll rest our dreams in Scotland's arms

    And play our songs together.



    [Robert Burns] is celebrated by the Unitarians of Scotland as a religious forbear... As a young man Burns made a study of local religious phenomena and read with interest such liberal theological works as The Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin Proposed to Free and Candid Examination, 1740, by the English proto-Unitarian John Taylor. He admired two Ayrshire clergymen, William McGill and William Dalrymple, who held Arian views ("preaching that three's ane and twa," as Burns put it) and had connections with the English Unitarians Joseph Priestley and Theophilus Lindsey. Burns, known as "Rab the Ranter," inflicted his heretical religious views on his neighbours, some of whom shunned him as a result.

    In 1780 Burns founded a debating society, the Tarbolton Bachelor's Club. Among the subjects discussed were "Whether do we derive more happiness from Love or Friendship?" and "Whether is the savage man or the peasant of a civilised country in the most happy situation?" According to the constitution, which Burns wrote, "Every man proper for a member of this society, must have a frank, honest, open heart; above any thing dirty or mean; and must be a professed lover of one or more of the female sex."

    Burns never joined a Unitarian Church or any particular religious faction. Of large spirit, he was an eighteenth-century Scottish equivalent of the English Rational Dissenter or a New England Congregationalist Arminian. Like the God of William Ellery Channing , Burns's deity was an "object of our reverential awe and grateful adoration" from whose "divine promise" no one is excluded save by themselves. God is "almighty, and all bounteous" and Jesus Christ, "a great Personage." Burns believed that in the end it is the quality of our lives which counts. He summed his faith in Jamie Dean's grace: "Lord, grant that we may lead a gude life; for a gude life makes a gude end; at least it helps weel!"

    WHAT IS UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM? by Larry Overmire, Jul 2007:

    Unitarian Universalism as it is practiced today is an inclusive faith without dogma. Much in the tradition of America's Founding Fathers, UU's advocate "freedom of conscience" and "separation of church and state," believing that every person is on his or her own very personal spiritual journey, which ought to be respected. In UU congregations, you might well find a very diverse group of people who come from a wide background of varying religious tradition, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto, Atheist, Agnostic, Native American, Wiccan or other Earth-centered philosophies. What UU's do agree on are 7 basic principles, stated on the UUA Website as follows:

    1) The inherent worth and dignity of every person
    2) Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
    3) Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
    4) A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
    5) The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
    6) The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
    7) Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

    Unitarian Universalism draws from many sources of faith which provide a solid foundation for the spiritual growth of the religious community (again, as stated in the UUA Website):

    1) Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life
    2) Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love
    3) Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life
    4) Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves
    5) Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
    6) Spiritual teachings of earth-entered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

    Famous Unitarian/Universalists include:

    Founding Fathers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Presidents John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, William Howard Taft, Vice Presidents John C. Calhoun, Hannibal Hamlin, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justices John Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Political Leaders Sen. Daniel Webster, Gov. Adlai Stevenson, Horace Greeley, Military Leaders Col. Ethan Allen, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, Social Reformers and Humanitarians Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Albert Schweitzer, Margaret Sanger, Poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel Tayor Coleridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., T.S. Eliot, Robert Burns, e.e. cummings, Carl Sandberg, William Carlos Williams, Musicians Edvard Grieg, Bela Bartok, Pete Seeger, Writers Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Beatrix Potter, Herman Melville, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Robert Fulghum, Artist N.C. Wyeth, Architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Scientists Alexander Graham Bell, Luther Burbank, Charles Darwin, Samuel F. B. Morse, Linus Pauling, Sir Tim Berners Lee, Rachel Carson, Actors/Entertainers P.T. Barnum, Paul Newman, Christopher Reeve, Tim Robbins, Michael Learned

    1) Susan Wood Database, 13 May 2006
    2) Robert Burns - The Story Begins in Maybole!, Website 2007
    3) Burness Genealogy and Family History, One Name Study, by John Burness, 38 Elm Street, Apt 2912, Toronto, Ontario, M5G2K5, Canada
    4) Robert Burns Family History, Burness Genealogy and Family History, One Name Study, by John Burness, 38 Elm Street, Apt 2912, Toronto, Ontario, M5G2K5, Canada
    5) The Poetry of Laurence Overmire, Website 2007
    6) Famous UUs
    7) Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Website, 2007
    8) Robert Burns biography,, 2007
    9) Some Famous Unitarian Universalists, Emerson Unitarian Church Website, 2007
    10) Some Famous Unitarians, Website 2007
  • Change Date: 14 AUG 2007

    Father: William Burness b: 11 NOV 1721 in Glenbervie, Kincardine, Scotland
    Mother: Agnes Brown b: 17 MAR 1732 in Culzean, Ayrshire, Scotland
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