Recent comments and inquiries about my Burke family research have reminded me that I do have a couple of additional pieces of information to add to the Burke family story.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I believed that I had found the brother of my g-g-g-grandfather David Burk. I believe that David and his siblings came to Canada during the late 1840s at the time of the Irish potato famine. David Burk settled in Mariposa Township in Victoria County, Ontario. Oral family history has it that David had a brother Richard and a brother Joseph. I believe that David’s brother Richard moved to Carievale, Saskatchewan. I outline my reasons for making this connection in my previous post. I have yet to locate David’s brother Joseph.
While in Ontario this summer, I made a trip to the Ontario Archives (love). I pulled the tax assessment rolls for Mariposa Township (Fonds F 1761). These aren’t on microfilm, so I had the pleasure of dealing with the beautiful old folders. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of them. I found the following entries for David Burk:
David Burk; Con: 2 W 1/2; Lot: 20; Acres: 100; Value of each parcel or lot: 75; Value of horses: 30; No of neat cattle, 3 years or upwards: 2; Number of neat cattle: 6; Total value of taxable personal property: 36; Statute labour: 6.
Records weren’t available as they discovered mold on the folders.
David Burk; Age 28; Farmer; Householder; Con 2, Lot 20 W 1/2; Value of lot: 300. No other info.
Occupant: David Burke; Occupation: Yeoman; Householder; Age: 28; Concession 2; Lot 22 1/2 N; No. of Acres: 100; Value of each lot: 40; Total value of property: 40; Statute Labour, No of days: 2.
I also checked if David Burk was perhaps the original patent holder for the land on Con 2 Lot 20. He wasn’t. The original patent for Con 2 Lot 20 1/2 W for Mariposa Township, Victoria County went to John Ray in 1843, George Ray in 1844, and to John Naylor 1853 and 1854. This suggests that David Burk was renting this land — a fact which is confirmed by the fact that he has moved to Con 2, Lot 22 by 1854. The 1861 census has him living on Con 2, Lot 21.
So what does this tell us?
- If there were other Burk siblings living on this land and helping (and I suspect that there were), they were younger than David because he is listed as the head of the household.
- It gives us some pretty interesting information about the farm: 6 neat cattle!
- It gives us some additional information about David’s age. The 1861 census puts his date of birth at 1824, but according to this new information, it could have been a couple years later in 1826.
Of course, none of this ties David Burk to Richard Burke. What I also discovered, however, was that David Burk was living next to several Shouldice families in 1851-4: those of Jacob, William, John and Samuel. Richard Burke’s wife was Mary Ann Shouldice.
Moreover, Mary Ann Shouldice is buried in North Valentia United Cemetery which is only one concession over from David Burk’s farm in Mariposa Township. (Mary Ann died of puerperal peritonitis (infection after childbirth) three days after the birth of her son Frederick Whitlock Burke in 1873 – see the death record to the left).
It is seems probable that Mary Ann Shouldice was related to the Shouldice family who lived next to David Burk and that Richard had met Mary Ann through this connection. (I suspect that Richard was living on David’s farm). Perhaps Mary Ann was the daughter of Jacob Shouldice who was born 1796 in Ireland and who died in 1882 in Lindsay in Victoria County. This would fit as Jacob is the name of Richard and Mary Ann’s first son. Interestingly, Jacob Shouldice is listed as Bible Christian in his death record. David Burk’s son Benjamin (my great-great grandfather) married into the Puley family who were also Bible Christians.
So again, this isn’t definite proof that Richard and David were brothers, but at this point I would be very surprised if they weren’t.
P.S. Someone named Frances left a comment on my previous post that she was a descendant of Richard Burke and knew that he had 12 siblings. Frances — I tried to contact you at the e-mail you left, however, my e-mail bounced. I’d love to hear more about what you know. You can write me directly at email@example.com!