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 William Burke

William Burke

County Sligo, Ireland
Death 29 Jul 1919 (aged 74)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Center Grave, Lot 59, Range 6, Section T
Memorial ID 7599994 · View Source
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William Burke (1845-1919) of County Sligo, Ireland was a migrant from Ireland to the United States on February 15, 1863. He worked as a milk dealer in Jersey City, New Jersey. He died of "exhaustion from senile dementia" which was most likely Alzheimer's disease. (b. circa March 19, 1845; County Sligo, Ireland - d. July 29, 1919; Philadelphia General Hospital, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA)

Mary and John Burke (c1820-?) of Ireland.

He was born circa March 19, 1845 in County Sligo, Ireland.

He emigrated to the United States on February 15, 1863 at age 18, to New York City.

He married Margaret Kane (1846-1912) in 1868. The information comes from the 1900 US census. He was most likely married in Jersey City or New York City. However their marriage does not appear in the "New Jersey Marriage Records, May 1848 - May 1878" indexed by the New Jersey State Archive.

Together they had at least two children: John Joseph Burke (1868-1939) who married Nora M. Finn (1866-1898) and after her death married Josephine Smith (1875-1962); and Mary Ellen Burke (1870-1957) who married Richard B. Patterson II (1869-1930). According to the 1900 US Census they only had two children and both were alive.

He was naturalized as a US citizen on October 27, 1874 in Jersey City and his certificate was handed down in the family and was last with his great-grandson, Vincent Gerard Norton (1923-2005) until his death in Sarasota, Florida. It is now with Kenneth Norton in Sarasota, Florida.

Milk dealer:
He operated a milk dealership from his home at 26 Atlantic Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Marriage of son:
Around 1889, his son, John married Nora M. Finn (1866-1898) and she gave birth to Mary Margaret Burke (1890-1949) aka May Burke. In 1898 Nora died of pneumonia and Mary was raised by Nora's sister, Catherine Elizabeth Finn (1863-1918) aka Kate Finn, who worked as a secretary at a pencil company. In 1899 John Burke then married Josephine Smith (1875-1962) and they had five children together. John had trouble earning enough money to support his children so the girls were raised by his sister, Mary Burke.

Mary Ellen Burke (1870-1957) had two step-children from her husband's previous marriage: Leona Veronica Patterson; and John Patterson.

Jersey City, New Jersey:
The family was living at 26 Atlantic Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1900. John did not list an occupation.

By 1910 William Burke and his wife, Margaret, retired to Delaware County, Pennsylvania and lived with their daughter, Mary Ellen Burke, and her husband, Richard B. Patterson II .

Death of wife:
Margaret died on June 12, 1912 and William bought a cemetery plot in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania. The deed was in the possession of Vincent Gerard Norton (1923-2005) in Florida as of 2005, and is now with his son Kenneth.

William Burke died on July 29, 1919 at the Philadelphia General Hospital in Philadelphia. He died of what was most likely Alzheimer's disease and his death certificate lists the cause of death as "exhaustion from senile dementia".

He was buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania with: his wife, Margaret Kane; his daughter, Mary Ellen Burke; and Mary's husband, Richard B. Patterson II; and two of his granddaughters: Bertha M. Burke (1902-1971) and Josephine Veronica Burke (1907-1995). There are no markers for any of the graves.

The deed to his cemetery plot and his naturalization certificate were handed down in the family and were last with his second great-grandson, Kenneth Stephen Norton (1955- ) in Sarasota, Florida as of 2011.

William Burke (1845-1919) was the second, great-grandfather of Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) and Kenneth Stephen Norton (1955- ). He was the great-grandfather of John Edward Burke (1934- ).

Memories of William Burke:
Mary Jane Burke (1941- ) said by telephone conversation on March 23, 2001: "William Burke (1841-1919) was a dairy farmer in Jersey City and he was from County Sligo, Ireland. His wife may have been from the same Irish county, I don't know if the met in the United States or married in Ireland. Their farm may have been where St. Patrick's Church was built, or nearby to it. The church was built in 1898 and the school may have been around 1904. For some reason they moved to Pennsylvania when they were older, perhaps they retired from the farm and lived with their daughter, Mary Ellen Burke. Their daughter was already living in Pennsylvania."

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on June 20, 2003. Updated on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2011 by expanding the lede and changing the information on the step-grandchildren reinforcing that Richard Patterson was married before. Updated on September 21, 2014 with more details on his marriage.


Family Members






  • Created by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
  • Added: 20 Jun 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7599994
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Burke (19 Mar 1845–29 Jul 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7599994, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (contributor 46580804) .