Fonds 001 - Burns family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Burns family fonds

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    Title notes

    • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

    Level of description


    Reference code

    CA WVAN 001

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    Statement of scale (cartographic)

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1883-1977 (Creation)
      Burns (family)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    30 cm of textual records
    ca. 450 photographs

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    Archival description area

    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    The Burns family lived in West Vancouver from 1916 to 1978. In his youth, John Arthur (Jack) Burns (1881-1974) was involved in track and field, baseball, and boxing. He worked in composing in the Toronto News offices before moving to Vancouver in 1910, where he worked at The World Newspaper. Later he moved to the News Herald and then the North Vancouver Review and the Vancouver Sun, retiring in 1960. In his earlier years in Vancouver he continued his involvement with sports, playing on a baseball team.

    Jack Burns married Maria Lisbeth Becker (nee Weiberneit) who had a daughter, Lillie, from a previous marriage. Jack and Maria had a daughter Mary Lisbeth, later Mary Chapman. Jack was a member of the West Vancouver Ratepayer's Association during his early years in West Vancouver. The Burns family lived at 1434 Argyle Avenue in West Vancouver from 1916 to 1978. Jack Burns died in 1974 at the age of 93, and his wife in 1978 at the age of 91.

    Maria Lisbeth was born in Goldap, East Prussia, Germany on July 25, 1887. She travelled to England to be a nanny for an English family for a period of time, then took a ship to Montreal and a train to Vancouver in 1909. There she met and married Joseph Becker, also from Germany. Joseph was a blacksmith in the early logging days around Vancouver and also the owner of a bar at 52 Cordova Street named "The Fountain Grill". Together they had one daughter, Lillie, on March 17, 1912 (d. March 1945). When the marriage ended, Joseph left for Portland, Oregon. Maria met and married Jack Burns soon after.

    Mary Burns married James Chapman of Capilano in 1941. They had two children, Marilynne and John Graham Chapman. Marilynne married Terry Mitchison and also had two children, Nicole and Paul Mitchison. They both live in West Vancouver. John Graham married Theresa La Bonte and they had three sons, Blair, Trevor, and Grant Chapman and one daughter Breanna Chapman.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of records of Jack Burns and the Burns family, including photographs, an album containing over 400 photographs, three journals of the the West Vancouver Ratepayers Association from 1913 to 1933, miscellaneous real estate documents, family correspondence, and biographical information.

    Fonds is arranged into the following series:
    Series 1: Family records
    Series 2: West Vancouver Ratepayers Association records
    Series 3: Photographs

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition


    Language of material

    • English

    Script of material

      Location of originals

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      Finding aids

      Finding aid available.

      Associated materials

      The West Vancouver Archives also holds the records of Mary Chapman, daughter of Jack and Maria Burns (085 Mary Chapman fonds).

      Related materials


      Alpha-numeric designations

      BCAUL control number: WVAN-237

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      Rules for Archival Description



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      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      Revised January 2010

      Language of description

        Script of description


          Accession area