Burke Findings

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
By virtue of Orders of the Probate Court of Platte County, made June 6th, 1864, I have taken charge of the following estates:
Elizabeth Burke

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.

“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).
“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).

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
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.

Crossing Paths 2

As you are researching your ancestors do you ever find a family living in the same county as ancestors or cousins from a totally different branch of your tree? That’s been my experience recently.

Yesterday, while following up on a comment on a blog post about a reader’s potential connection to my Garrard County, Kentucky research, I stumbled upon such a situation. I discovered a reference to Osbourn Bland as one of the survivors taken prisoner at Blue Licks in the Winter 2006 issue of Kentucky ancestors.

Trowbridge, John M. “‘We Are All Slaughtered Men’: The Battle of Blue Licks,” Kentucky Ancestors. Winter 2006 Vol. 42, No. 2 p. 61.

This would place an Osburn Bland in Madison County, Kentucky a little before my Crawford line. Now this may not be my Osburn Bland, but it might be. I have tax lists showing an Osborne Bland living in Nelson county prior to 1800. Much more research will need to be done to figure out if this is the same person – or NOT.

Again, my Bland line is on my dad’s mother’s side of the tree while my Garrard/Madison County, Kentucky research is on my dad’s dad’s side of the tree, my Crawford line.

Because of this instance where one branch of my tree seems to cross paths with another branch, I decided to investigate the ‘Who Was There’ report in my genealogy software. I’ve used this report to identify people in Kansas in 1950. However, I’ve never run the report for a specific county or for a range of time or both. Thus, I decided to try this report for Kentucky prior to 1800.

Because I have a relatively large database with lots of facts, this report takes a long time to create. To help speed up the process, I created a marked group using the option to ‘select people by data fields’

Then I configured the ‘Search for Information’ to find ‘Any Fact’ with the ‘place’ containing ‘Kentucky’.

After saving the group, I can now go back to the ‘Who Was There List’ Report and use that marked group instead of ‘Everyone’ for the people to include.

The report still takes a bit of time to generate results, but it produced a 24 page report of the individuals with a fact placing them in Kentucky between 1750-1799. To narrow that down to the area of Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties, I created a new marked group. (Note: This uses OR between each of the statements.)

Using this new ‘AnyFact Garrard Madison Lincoln’ group, I re-created the ‘Who Was There’ Report.

This produced an 8 page report.

I thought I was finished. That was until I scanned this report and discovered it didn’t pick up Osborn Bland. After much hair pulling, consultation with others and more hair pulling, I discovered that Osborn Bland wasn’t included on the ‘Who Was There’ report because I didn’t have a birth fact and a death fact for Osborn Bland.

This discovery led me to the ‘Missing Information List’ report. To start with I selected the ‘death’ fact and set the criteria to either be missing or with a blank date. I then changed the people to include to my marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties.

I discovered three pages of people in the marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties that don’t have a death fact. Thus none of these people will show up on a ‘Who Was There Report’ for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties.

_, Hannah-10231
Abrams, Elizabeth-10219
Adams, Jane Jean-13252
Adams, Reuben-13286
Anderson, Anne-10225
Anderson, Betsey-10224
Anderson, Isaac-10227
Anderson, James-10226
Anderson, Mary-10223
Anderson, Samuel-10228
Banta, Hendrick-16927
Brown, Aristippus-13500
Brown, Margaret-10210
Campbell, Susannah-10212
Clark, William-10383
Crawford, Anne-1447
Crawford, Archibald-10209
Crawford, Elizabeth-10380
Crawford, Elizabeth-13499
Crawford, Isaac-1454
Crawford, James-8577
Crawford, Jenny-10217
Crawford, John-1412
Crawford, John-8574
Crawford, John-10062
Crawford, John-10071
Crawford, Joseph-10211
Crawford, Milton-10218
Crawford, Molly-8579
Crawford, Oliver-10220
Crawford, Rebecca-8578
Crawford, Sarah-6761
Crawford, Sarah-10384
Crawford, William-10385
Croucher, Edward-14946
Crutcher, Absolem-14949
Crutcher, David-14951
Crutcher, Elizabeth-14948
Crutcher, Lucinda-14950
Crutcher, William-14945
Davis, Betsy-10386
Davis, Elizabeth-9980
Dooley, Henry-13306
Elder, William-5260
Ellis, Sally-10382
Estes, Delina-10221
Garrett, Ignatius-10379
Gass, John-10232
Harris, David-16730
Harris, Leah-16734
Kennedy, Elizabeth-14971
Maxwell, Bazeleel-10229
McAlester, Sarah-6762
McClary, Samuel-172
Miller, Elizabeth-13541
Miller, Jacob-13498
Montgomery, Benjamin-10206
Moore, Alexander-11622
Morrison, William M.-10478
Reed, Joseph-14024
Rolston, Andrew-10216
Seever, Annie-16797
Sellers, John Finley-5252
Sellers, Nathan-5257
Sellers, Samuel-10381
Shuck, Sally-16928
Smith, Polly-10207
Yewell, Mary-5258

Thus, I have work to do if I want this report to include everyone in the region. I will probably use FamilySearch to figure out approximate birth and death dates.

Establishing Death

As I’m working on a narrative report for Angelina Jane Burke Currey, one of my 2nd great grandmothers, I’ve discovered several data clean-up issues. I’ve already tackled the shared fact issue by converting the shared land and court facts to individual facts. Today, I was working on improving the citations for some of those land and court facts.

One of those facts is the court case that originated on 5 May 1876 in Platte County, Missouri. This case is recorded in the Register of Deeds office in Deed Record Vol. 6 on page 598.

Weston Mo. May 5th 1876

We have this day instituted suit in the Weston Court of Common Pleas for Platte County Mo in the name of Guilford Hornbuckle and Sarah E. Hornbuckle, his wife & Hiram Currey & Angelina Currey, his wife, plaintiffs against John M. Burke & Milton E. Burke, Defendants for the July term 1876, thereof, for the purpose of compelling the execution of a trust & fees partion of the east half of the south west quarter of section thirty four (34) township fifty four (54) range thirty six (36) in Platte Co., Mo.
Guilford Hornbuckle
Sarah E. Hornbuckle
Hiram Currey
Angelina Currey
By Doniphan & [Cohem] Attys
Filed for record, at 6 P.M. May 5, 1876
R L Wallen
Recorder of deeds

Because the sisters, Angelina Currey and Sarah Hornbuckle, are suing their brothers, John Burke and Milton Burke, I’ve always assumed this suit was over their mother’s property. Thus, I’ve also assumed that this was an indication that their mother, Elizabeth Burke, had died prior to May 1876.

Curious as to where this portion of section 34, township 54 of range 36 was on a map, I used the First Land Owner’s Project ($) to locate the section on a map.

When I scrolled in to view section 34, I discovered that the first land owner of this section was Alfred Kirkpatrick. Alfred Kirkpatrick was the husband of Mahala Bland. Mahala was the sister to Elizabeth Bland Burke, mother of Angelina, Sarah, John and Milton. Thus, Alfred Kirkpatrick was their uncle.

If I scroll out just a bit, I find that Elizabeth’s husband, Henry Burke, was a first land owner in section 27.

These maps along with the original deed record raise some questions:

  • What happened to the land Henry Burke owned in section 27?
  • Why are Henry and Elizabeth’s children fighting over a portion of the land originally owned by Alfred Kirkpatrick?
  • What is the ‘trust’ mentioned in the deed record?

Perhaps finding the answers to these questions will help fill in Elizabeth’s life after 1860 and help establish a death date.

Adams on Sugar Creek

Garrard County, Kentucky
Deeds 1787-1902; indexes, 1899-1960

Vol. C 1793-1796
Family Search DGS 183284 Film 008141322

Book C page 554 – image 291

This Indenture made this 6th day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five Between Charles Bland of the County of Madison and State of Kentucky of the one part and Fethergill Adams of the state and County aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that for an inconsideration of the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds current money of the aforesaid state to him in hand paid by the said Fethergill Adams, the receipt whereof the said Charles Bland do hereby acknowledges and himself therewith fully satisfied and contented hath granted bargained sold aliened and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien and confirm unto the said Feathergill Adams one certain tract or parcell of land containing one hundreds and twenty six acres situate lying and being in the County of Madison and on the waters of Shugar Creek being the [apperend] of a seven hundred acre survey assigned to Walker Daniel by Green Glay and bounded as follows to wit Begining at three beech trees standing in Moses Dooley’s south and north line of his five hundred acre survey and on the west side of a small drain extending from thence south eighty one degrees east at thirty four poles crossing Jno Clarks road in all one hundred and ninety four poles to three beach trees standing in William McClures line thence

image 292 — Page 555

with his line south forty five degrees west two hundred and seventy poles to a Shugartree standing in the said Dooleys south and north line thence with sd Dooleys line north two hundred and eighteen poles to the Beginning with its appurtenances To have and to hold the said land and premises with every of its appurtenances unto the said Feathergill Adams and his heirs forever and the said Charles Bland for himself his heirs exors and admors the said tract of land and premises unto the said Feathergill Adams his heirs Exors and Admors shall and will warrante and defend against the claim of him the said Charles Bland his heirs executors and Administrators or from any other person or persons by or under him or them and against the claim of all and every other person or persons whatsoever In witness whereof the said Charles Bland for himself his heirs exors and Admors hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and date above written.
Charles Bland (LS)
Phillis (her mark) Bland (LS)
Signed Sealed acknowledged
and delivered in presence of

At a court held for Madison County on Tuesday the 6th day of October 1795.
This Indenture was acknowledged by Charles Bland and Phillis his wife to be their act and deed she being first privately examined as the law Directs and relenquished her right of dower therein and ordered to be records.
Teste Will Irving MCC