Do you ever struggle trying to verify the death of a female ancestor? I’ve struggled for years with Elizabeth Ann Bland Burke.
Elizabeth and her husband Henry F. Burke were living in Platte County, Missouri in 1840 with three young children. Henry Burke died in 1845 leaving behind his wife Elizabeth and 5 children: Angelina Jane, Milton E., Sarah E., Pamilla A. and John Martin Burke.
Five years later, Elizabeth Burke is listed as the head of household on the 1850 census with the five children living in Weston, Missouri (Platte County). The 1860 census also shows Elizabeth as the head of household living in Marshall Township, Platte County, Missouri.
Elizabeth seems to disappear after that. Until recently, the only possible record I’ve found for her was a marriage record of a Mrs. Jane Burke to Joseph Moor. Since I have not found any record tying a Mrs. Moor to any of the five children, I am doubtful that the Mrs. Jane Burke is Elizabeth Jane Bland Burke.
Since the daughters, Angelina Jane Currey and Sarah Hornbuckle file a petition against John Burke and Milton Burke seeking partition of Burke land in 1876, I believe this indicates that Elizabeth Burke had passed away prior to 1876.
Then a few years ago, a site for Elizabeth Burke appeared on Find a Grave in the same cemetery where her husband is buried (Laurel Hill Cemetery). This site is using the date of the court case as the death date. It is possible that Elizabeth is buried beside her husband, but I have yet to find a tombstone for Elizabeth. The tombstone pictured is up the hill from Henry Burke’s stone. It is for Eleazor Wilhite.
Thinking that Elizabeth and Eleazor may have married, I started investigating that possibility only to find that Eleazor did not marry Elizabeth. In the process of researching this possibility, I stumbled across a reference to a probate record for Elizabeth in The Border Times (Weston, Missouri).
Public Administrator Notice“Public Administrator’s Notice,” The Border Times (Weston, Missouri), 30 December 1864, page 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspaper.som : viewed online 29 May 2021).
By virtue of Orders of the Probate Court of Platte County, made June 6th, 1864, I have taken charge of the following estates:
All persons having claims against any of said Estates are requested to exhibit them for allowanct, to me, within one year from said respective dates, or they will be precluded from any benefit in such estate, and if such claims are not exhibited within three years from the date of said orders, respectively, they will be forever barred.
W. M. Paxton
Public Administrator, Platte Co.
Since this ad provides a court date for the probate proceedings, I turned to FamilySearch to see if the court records had been microfilmed — and found them available online.
Since I had the exact date from the ad, I was able to quickly locate the actual court proceeding on page 777 of volume H.
In the matter of estate
of Elizabeth Burke decd
Now at this day William M Paxton Public Administrator is ordered to take charge of said estate and administer the same according to law.Missouri, Platte County. Court Records, 1839-1887. Platte County, Missouri, Courthouse, Platte City, Missouri. Film #988953 DGS 7631736. Elizabeth Burke, 6 June 1864 Vol. H: p. 777; digital images, Family Search http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 29 May 2021.988953 DGS 7631736
This simple advertisement in the newspaper led me to the court document that confirms two things:
- Elizabeth did not remarry
- Elizabeth died before June 1864
Now, I just need to read more of the court documents to try and pinpoint a death date and continue searching for more information about her death.