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Friday, 5 April 2013

Hugh Burke, cousin of Jane Orr, née Stewart

William A.Stewart, the brother of Joseph Stewart who was our great-great grandfather, married Margaret Burke in Downpatrick Registry Office in 1851.   William and Margaret Stewart's daughter, Jane Stewart, married the watchmaker James Malcom Orr in Belfast in 1875.

Jane Orr, née Stewart,  was known to have a cousin named Hugh Burke.

Hugh Burke was actually Hugh Geddes Burke, born 12th July 1862 in Belfast to a Robert Burke.

He emigrated to the US/Canada aboard the 'Niagara', and arrived at Niagara Falls, New York, on 18th July 1882.  However, he must have returned to Ireland at some stage since, on 25th December 1885, he married his first wife, Agnes Girvan, in Railway Street Church in Lisburn.  At the time of the wedding, Hugh, a bookkeeper, was resident in Ballylesson, Co. Down.  He named his father as a labourer, Robert Burke.  Agnes was the daughter of a pensioner, Richard Girvan, and she was living at Milltown;  the witnesses were John Hyland and Eliza Hyland.

(A Richard Girvan and his wife, Margaret Jamieson, were living in Ballylesson in the 1860s and 1870s;  their children were born there.  Margaret Girvan was born 29th July 1865; William Girvan was born 29th July 1866; Jane Girvan was born 27th April 1869; Richard Girvan Junior was born on 26th November 1872 but died the same year;  an unnamed child was born on 22nd June 1875. These births were published online on the Family Search website, but the Girvan trail goes cold for me at this stage.  Two of the children of Agnes Girvan and Hugh Geddis Burke were sent to live with a grandmother in England, but were sent alone to the US in 1900 following her death.)

The 1891 Canadian Census shows the family of Hugh and Agnes living in Hamilton, Ontario - Hugh Burke, aged 32, was Presbyterian and the manager of a mill.  His wife was Agnes, who had been born in Ireland in about 1865;  she gave her religion as Church of England.
They had three children - Athel/Ethel Burke, who had been born in York, Toronto on 7th August 1887, and who would die aged 9 on 5th October 1896 in Wentworth of tubercular meningitis, William John Burke, born in Wentworth on 27th December 1888, and five-month-old Olive Irene who had been born on 7th December 1890 in Hamilton, Wentworth, to Hugh Burke and Agnes Girvan.

A son, Hugh Courtney Burke was born to the couple in Wentworth, Ontario. on 9th December 1892 - his later military records gives his date of birth erroneously as 10th December 1894.

Son William John Burke, who had been born to Hugh and Agnes in Wentworth on 27th December 1888 in Canada,  died in childhood aged only 9 years and two months of meningitis on 17th February 1898 at 61 Northumberland Street, Belfast.  The child was buried in the family grave in Drumbo and was noted on the headstone as being the nephew of John Burke of Drumbo.

The Canadian records note the death of a Burke infant in Wentworth on 16th August 1897.  The childrens' mother, Agnes Girvan Burke, had died on 13th June 1897, st 33 Reginald Street, Wentworth, Ontario, of pulmonary consumption. She had been a box-maker, and was noted as a Presbyterian.

The family must have been coming and going between North America and Ireland at this time.
From the Pennsylvania Immigration Records, Board of Special Inquiry', dated December 8th 1900:  'State:  Hugh is 7 years and Olive is 9 years old. Their father is Hugh G. Burke and is in Virginia, near Norfolk, working in a saw-mill.   Their mother is dead, and they were born in Hamilton, Canada, then went to live with their grandmother in England, who is now dead and they are on their way to their father.  Are to be met here by their uncle, James Orr.  Jas. Orr calls and states: resides at 2057 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, is an uncle of above-named children.  Is in the United States 16 years and is an American citizen.  Is in business at the above address.  Says the father of the children wrote him that he should meet them on arrival and send them to him.  Passed by Assistant Inspector Ehilick.'
The corresponding passenger list shows the two young children travelling unaccompanied aboard the 'SS Pennland' from Liverpool to Philadelphia in December 1900.  The manifest states that they had been born in Canada, but that their last place of residence was Belfast, not England.  Their final destination was their father in Norfolk, Virginia, via their Uncle James Orr at Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.  James Orr was actually married to their father's first cousin, Jane Stewart Orr, but maybe it was just easier to describe him as an uncle.

Hugh Burke moved himself and his family to Knoxville, Tennessee on 1st October 1896, according to his application for citizenship later;  however, in 1900 he was living at Norfolk, Virginia, according to the ship's manifest of the 'SS Pennland'.

In about 1898 he married his second wife, Susan Gray, who had been born in Ireland in about 1866, and who had emigrated to the US in 1879.
By 1910 he was living at 913 North Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, with his wife, Susan Gray Burke, and his three children - Olive Irene, Hugh, and Virginia M. Burke.
By 1912, he'd moved to his permanent address of 1338 North Broadway, Knoxville, Tennessee, where he applied for citizenship - this application was witnessed by his boss, George B. Townsend, the director of the Holston Box and Lumber Company.

His three surviving children in 1912 were named as:
Olive Irene Burke, born December 10th 1892 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Hugh Burke, born 17th December 1894 (according to earlier Canadian records this should be  9th December 1892) in Hamilton, Ontario.
Marian Virginia/aka Virginia M. Burke, born 31st July 1900 in Norfolk, Virginia.   She married the lawyer, Charles Aurin Russell, in Loudon, Tennessee, on 4th October 1918.  In 1920 they were living with his widowed mother, Amelia Russell, in Knoxville.  His sister, Madeline Russell, was living there also and would go on to marry Marcus Armstrong.  In April 1921, Virginia Marian Burke and Charles Aurin Russell had a son, Burke Aurin Russell, who would die in Tennessee on 17th May 1984.

The 1920 Census reveals Olive Irene Burke's  husband living with the family at North Broadway, James P. Mitchell,  a salesman for a drugs company who'd been born in Tennessee in 1892. James died at some stage before the next census in 1930.

In June 1917, Hugh's son, named as Hugh Courtney Burke, a bookkeeper at the Holston Box Company,  was drafted into the army in Knoxville.  He survived, and went back to the Holston Box and Lumber Company,  working alongside his father.   The two lived together at 1338 North Broadway.

Passenger lists record Hugh G.Burke travelling back and forth from Europe to North America in the 1920s.  In 1927 he sailed from Southampton to NYC aboard the 'Lancastria', and gave his home address as 1338, Knoxville, Tennessee.   In July 1929 he travelled from Belfast to Montreal on the 'Minnedosa', having stayed in the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast.  He travelled from Belfast to NYC in 1935 aboard the 'California'.

Hugh Geddis Burke died in 1949 in Dade, Florida, while his son, Hugh C. Burke, died in May 1978 at 37919 Knoxville.

On April 9th 1932, the above Hugh Geddis Burke departed Glasgow aboard the 'Anchor', heading for New York following a visit home to Belfast. He was a manufacturer aged 69, and his last address in the UK was given as 56, Rainey Street, Belfast,  which was the home of William John Burke and his family;  William John Burke was a close relation of Hugh Burke, although it's unclear as yet exactly how they relate accurately.  Perhaps they were cousins?  Hugh was the son of Robert Burke, while William John was the son of James Burke.

William John Burke had been born in Co. Down in 1863 to James Burke and Eliza Stewart and was therefore a contemporary of Hugh Geddis Burke. (This James Burke was the son of John Burke, as was Margaret Stewart, the wife of William Stewart.)

John Burke (1796 - 1867) of Leveroge, Drumbo, Co. Down:
Circumstantial evidence points to John Burke  (1796 - 1867) of Leveroge, Drumbo as being the father of Margaret Burke who married our William A. Stewart in Downpatrick in 1851.   Margaret Burke Stewart was known to be a cousin of Hugh Geddis Burke, who was the son of a Robert Burke of Drumbo, Ballylesson, Co. Down.
Leverogue/Leveroge is one of the Drumbo townlands, immediately south of Lisburn, and connecting with the townlands of Mealough, Ballycowan etc.     Griffiths Valuation shows John Bourke/Burke leasing a house in Leveroge from Hugh Geddes who is most likely a relation, given the use of this name by the Burke family. (Also present in the same townland of Leveroge were John and Josias Geddes.  A James Geddes of Leverogue, Drumbo, made his will in 1870, and confirmed that he was the father of Hugh and Josias Geddes.)
John Burke of Leveroge was married to a woman named Jane whose family name is as yet unknown. They were both buried in Drumbo Parish churchyard - John Burke died aged 71 on 9th June 1867;  his wife Jane died aged 70 on 10th August 1868.  (The burial records for the Burkes of Drumbo have been published online via the excellent Ros Davies.)

The (possible) children of the above John and Jane Burke of Leveroge, Drumbo, Ballylesson, were:

a)  A William Burke, born 1827, the son of John Burke, married Ann Jane McClave/McCleave/McCleve in Drumbo on 26th May 1849.  Ann Jane was the daughter of a Robert McClave or McCleve.  I can find no further online information on this couple.

b)  Margaret Burke, born circa 1831, who married William A. Stewart, the brother of our great-great grandfather Joseph Stewart of Crossnacreevy and of Dublin, on 27th December 1851.  The wedding certificate of Margaret Burke and William A. Stewart names her father as John Burke. Her daughters were Jane Orr and Margaret Stewart who emigrated to Philadelphia and who named Hugh G. Burke of Ballylesson as their cousin.

 c)  James Burke, born circa 1834, who married Eliza Stewart in Ballycairn Presbyterian Church in Drumbo, Co. Down, on 19th January 1861 - James was a 27-yr-old weaver living at Leverogue, son of John Burke, while Eliza Stewart, the daughter of a shoemaker named William Stewart, lived at Tullycarn, Lessan, which I presume is Ballylessan, Drumbo.  Were William and Eliza Stewart related to William Stewart, son of Joseph and Ann Stewart of Crossnacreevy, who married Margaret Burke, daughter of John Burke, in 1851?
The witnesses to the wedding of James Burke and Eliza Stewart were Hugh Willis and John Russell.

William Stewart, the shoemaker father of Eliza Stewart who married James Burke in 1861, was leasing a house and 7 acres in the nearby townland of Ballymullan, Blaris parish, just south of Lisburn.  There were other Stewarts farming alongside him - Thomas Stewart, who made a will in 1870, and his brother James. I know of no link between this Stewart family and my own Stewarts of Crossnacreevy, Co. Down.

James Burke (1834 - 11th May 1899) and his wife, Eliza Stewart (1833 - 10th December 1915) were buried together in Drumbo Churchyard.  The headstone confirms James Burke as the son of John and Jane Burke.  When Eliza Burke died in December 1915 in Ballylesson, her daughter, Eliza J. McDonaldson of 27 Ballyclare Street, Belfast, was there.

The children of James Burke and Eliza Stewart were:
  • William John Burke, later of 56 Rainey Street, born 1863, with whom Hugh Geddis Burke stayed on one of his many visits home from Tennessee to Ireland. See further info below...
  • Mary Margaret Burke, 1864 - 1940, who married a millworker James McDowell, son of a fireman Samuel McDowell,  in Drumbo Presbyterian Church on 13th November 1885; the witnesses were her older brother William John Burke and his soon-to-be wife, Emily Canning.
  • Sarah Jane, born 1866.
  • Eliza Jane, born 5th May 1870. She married a blacksmith, Thomas Gray, son of Alexander Gray, blacksmith of  Ballylesson, in Drumbo on 26th July 1888; this was witnessed by Charley Beers and Minnie Wilgar.  Thomas Gray died young and she then married George Donaldson on 2nd March 1895 in St. Luke's, Belfast.  He was a weaver of Ballylesson, the son of William Donaldson;  this wedding was witnessed by Mary and James McDowell. This young family were living at 134 Snugville, Belfast in 1901, although their 6-yr-old daughter, Jamesina Donaldson, was staying with Eliza Jane's widowed mother, Eliza Burke, née Stewart,in Ballylesson.  A son, William John Donaldson, died of meningitis at 14 Ballyclare Street, on 14th August 1914. By 1911, the family included 10-year-old Mary Donaldson and 2-year-old George Donaldson.
  • Sara Annie, aka Annie, born 6th November 1877 in Ballylesson, she married Matthew Jackson, a weaver of Ballylesson, the son of James Jackson, in Lisburn on 14th November 1896.  Her sister, Eliza Jane Donaldson, and brother-in-law, George Donaldson, were the witnesses.  Annie Burke and Matthew Jackson settled in Ballylesson where they had Elizabeth, James, Emily, William John and George. 
  • Emily Cannon/Canning Burke, born 1883 - in 1901 she was living in Ballylesson with her widowed mother, Eliza Burke;  on rd October 1912 she married James Moreland, son of William Moreland, in Drumbo Church, Ballylesson. The witnesses were William J. McDowell and Lizzie Johnston.  Emily Moreland died young three years later on 5th July 1918 and was buried in Drumbo Churchyard alongside her uncle John Burke of Ballynahatty, Ballylesson.  
The oldest son of James Burke and Eliza Stewart, William John Burke, married the Scottish-born Emily Canning, the daughter of a tailor, Alexander Canning, in Drumbo Presbyterian Church on 3rd May 1885;  the witnesses were James McAvoy and Margaret Crothers.  (Of interest - the 1851 wedding of William Stewart and Margaret Burke in Downpatrick in 1851 was witnessed by an Agnes Crothers. This may just be coincidence....)

William John Burke was a carpenter/packing case maker, just as Hugh G. Burke's first wife, Agnes Girvan, had been earlier.
 In 1901 he was living at 56 Rainey Street, Belfast, with his Scottish-born wife, Emily Canning.
Their children were:
  • James born 4th February 1890 in 56 Rainey Street; Eliza Burke of Ballylesson was present at the birth according to the civil registration. James married Jane Ellen McCarthy on 8th November 1911 in St. Anne's Church of Ireland, Shankill, Belfast - the witnesses were David A. Gilmour and Mary Ann Hartin. James Burke died 4th November 1965.  Jane Ellen had been born on 21st June 1893 in Co. Down to Moses McCarthy and Margaret Brown.   James Burke and Jane Ellen McCarthy had William John Burke (1912 - 1994) and Emily Burke (1915 - 1973).
  • Elizabeth Burke was born at 56 Rainey Street on 3rd April 1892;  on 14th December 1908, she died aged 16 of TB, a handkerchief cutter of 56 Rainey Street.
  • Jane Burke born 21st November 1893 at 56 Rainey Street.
  • Ellen Canning/Cannon Burke was born on 28th May 1896,  but she died of TB aged 10 on 1st June 1906 at 56 Rainey Street - she was buried alongside her grandparents, John and Jane Burke of Leverogue.
  • Hugh Geddis Burke was born at 55 Rainey Street on 6th September 1899 - this last child was clearly named after Hugh Geddis Burke of Knoxville.  The younger Hugh died at 54 Silvergrove Street, Belfast, on 17th March 1945, leaving a widow Martha Burke.
  • William John Burke Junior, born 1902.
Street Directories:
1892:  William JAMES Burke, carpenter, 56 Rainey Street. (Typo?)
1900: William J. Burke, carpenter, 56 Rainey St.

d) Josias Burke, a resident of Drumbo and son of John Burke, married Jane Shields on 4th February 1860 in Annahilt, Co. Down.  Jane was the daughter of John Johnston Shields or Shiels  This couple had Ann Kennedy Burke in Belfast on 24th March 1865, Agnes Burke in Ballycowan/Ballycoan on 28th March 1868,  Eliza Burke and Sarah Burke on 12th December 1870, and William James Burke on 20th September 1874.  
   Josias or Josiah Burke may have married again following the death of his wife, Jane Shields. A Josiah Burke of Ballynahatty, son of John Burke, married on 12th January 1884 in Drumbo, Mary McKee of Ballynahatty, the daughter of servant David McKee. The witnesses were John and Eliza Heyland. These were probably the same couple, ie, John and Eliza Hyland, who would witness the marriage of Hugh Geddis Burke and Agnes Girvan the following year.  (In Lisburn on 8th November 1872, John Hayland of Ballylesson, son of the weaver Joseph Hayland, had married Eliza Jane Burke, a millworker of Ballylesson, who was the daughter of farmer William Burke.  This was witnessed by Jane Burke and David Moreland.)
  The family moved a few miles north to Newtownbreda, where Josiah Burke died aged 69 on 12th August 1908.
   The daughter of Josiah Burke and Jane Sheils, Agnes Burke, married Samuel Browne, the son of factory worker William John Browne, on 23rd December 1892 in Drumbo Church.  At the time of this wedding, Agnes Burke was living in Ballydolaghan.  The witnesses were James McAvoy and Sarah Burke, Agnes's sister.  A James McAvoy also witnessed the wedding of William John Burke and Emily Canning in 1885. (William John Burke was Agnes Burke's cousin.)

e)  John Burke Junior, who had been born circa 1831, and who was buried in Drumbo Church of Ireland churchyard when he died on 2nd July 1903.    On 11th July 1890 in Drumbo, John Burke of Ballynahatty, widower and son of John Burke, married Eliza Cunningham of Ballylesson. This was witnessed by James and Eliza Burke.

(A John Burke, son of John Burke, married Eliza Jane Grey, daughter of William Grey, on 7th May 1859. This might be the first marriage of John Burke of Ballynahatty.  Also, the marriage of a John Burke and an Eliza McKittrick was registered in Newtownards in 1851. Another possible contender.)
When John Burke died in Ballynavally or Ballynahatty, Ballylesson, in 1903, his wife, Eliza, was present.
Buried alongside John Burke (1831 -  2nd July 1903) in Drumbo was his nephew, William John Burke, who had died aged 9 years and two months of meningitis on 17th February 1898 at 61 Northumberland Street and who was the Canadian-born son of Hugh Geddis Burke and Agnes Girvan. John and Jane Burke's unmarried daughter, Lizzie Burke  (1865 - 12th July 1886), was buried there too, as was his niece, Emily Moreland who had died on 5th July 1918.  Emily was the daughter of John Burke's brother, James Burke - she had married James Moreland.

Photo supplied by Desmond McDowell

f) Robert Burke, son of John and Jane Burke of Leverogue?  Robert Burke was the father of Hugh Geddis Burke and circumstantial evidence links Hugh's family to the above Burkes of Ballylesson.  I can no further details about a Robert Burke, however, but will include him here as a son of John Burke Senior.  Robert Burke's son, Hugh Geddis Burke, had a son, William John Burke, who died aged 9 on 17th February 1898 and who was buried in the Burke family plot - the headstone named the boy as the nephew of John Burke of Ballynavally/Ballynahatty, Ballylesson. I presume the child was actually the grand-nephew.

Many thanks to the Orr family, especially Astrid Booth, the granddaughter of William Stewart Orr, for sending me the photographs of their Orr/Stewart/Burke ancestors.

1 comment:

  1. Nice write up I am related to James Burke, sent you an email can you make contact and I can fill in some missing parts for you.

    Desmond McDowell