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The Immigration Story of Patrick Burke (Irish immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Category: 
Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Date of Arrival: 
1957
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2012.279.1

Story Text: 

A Little History of Burke, O'Shea, Mahony, Carey: 1888 to 1997

John (Jack) Burke, born May 28, 1889
Kedrah, Cahir.
Father's name John Burke.
Mother's name Margaret Carey.

Margaret O'Shea, born January 8, 1888
Thomas Town, Near Golden.
Father's name James O'Shea
Mother's name Mary Mahony.

Married February 6, 1918, Pop 29 years, Mum 30 years.

Seven Children

Mary-Margaret: December 4, 1918
Margaret: May 2, 1920
Sean (John):May 14, 1921
Michael: September 24, 1923
Joseph: August 4, 1925
Teresa Pilomena: November 12, 1928
Patrick: January 30, 1934

Mary Margaret, born O'Connell Road,
Pop: Motor Driver

Margaret born Monastery Cottage,
Pop: Motor Driver

Sean (John) born Monastery Cottage,
Pop: Ambulance Driver

Michael born Monastery Cottage,
Pop: Ambulance Driver

Joseph born District Hospital, lived at Monastery Cottage,
Pop: Labourer

Patrick born Old Road, Delivered by Nell Sullivan,
Pop: Labourer

Moved From:

O'Connell Road to Monastery Cottage to Glenview Square to Roseboro Road, shared house with Nell Slattery, she threw them out. Then moved to O'Maras Cottage, this house was haunted, moved to Old Road to New Road and then to Lacey Villas in 1939.

Pop went to England in 1943. Mary, Sean, Teresa and Joseph went to England dates unknown. Patrick went to England 1952 and Canada in 1957.

Deaths

Mum died September 25, 1955
Pop died September 30, 1962
Sean died July 4, 1991
Michael died at Monastery Cottage - no date.
Maragert died at Monasery Cottage August 20, 1920.

Michael and Margaret are buried in Thomastown, Near Golden.
So are James O'Shea and Mary Mahony.

And we continue 1997,

PB

A Little History of Myself

The name I was given at birth was Patrick J. Burke. I was born on Tuesday, January 30th 1934, in the town of Tipperary, Ireland.

I was working part time at the age of eleven. I was working full time by age sixteen. I always loved the outdoors so I bought my first racing bike at age seventeen. I did some road and track racing.

My Dad had immigrated to England in 1943, I missed him so I decided to join him in 1952. I was eighteen years old. I was never without a job. I loved to work. I worked in Slough and moved to Nottingham in 1953. I decided to come to Canada in 1957.

I had no idea what Canada offered or what I was coming to. It didn't take long for me to settle in to the ways of Canadian living. I did travel first class on the Carinthia because the ship's second class area was full. I wanted to go to the second class area every evening to the dances etc. because these people had more fun and were more themselves than they were in first class. I enjoyed the trip. I cannot remember seeing any special fish following the ship but I do remember the ship's engine stopping one evening. I was told that it was because of icebergs in the area.

We landed in Montreal and I took the train to Toronto. I lived and worked there for eight years. I married in 1964 and had two children, Shaun 1966 and Timothy 1967. I decided to come down to Nova Scotia in 1967 and have been here since. I like both Halifax and Dartmouth, since I have retired from work I have explored both cities on foot. I love to walk, it is something that I do everyday. I am sixty-five years old and healthy. I must say I used to love to work but now I am relaxed and go places at my leisure.

This is only a fraction of my life story. Thank you to the countries of England and Canada for my livelihood.

Patrick Sean Burke

Dad

My Dad could read and write. He could also drive a motor vehicle, when few could. He drove a lorry (truck) for the Cleaves factory. He drove an ambulance for the National Army from 1919 to 1922.

He drove a Ford hackney (taxi) for Mr. Enoright in Church-well Tipp.

Whatever happened after that, he never drove again. He worked at the Shannon Power Plant, Arn-Crush, Limierick. He worked on farms. He worked on the roads - relief work.

Then he emigrated in 1943; he was 54 years old. He died in England in 1962. He is buried in Saint Micheal's Cemetery, Tipp. He had a suster, Margaret, in The Bronks, New York, whom I visited in 1964.
In the Dark

Mother kept us in the dark.

Even though this woman had the capability to read and write and wrote letters for the neighbors and was able to talk, she kept us in the dark. She dropped little bits of information now and then. She had mentioned getting her hands frozen in Chicago. I never heard her say anything about Margaret who died or Michael who died. She never told us how old she was when she went to the States or when and why she returned. She dropped hints about a half-brother and a half-sister that were born out of wedlock in Balycarren in 1900. I have researched Golden, Tipperary-Town, Bonsha and Clonmel for a baptism certificate for this man but he is not registered. I would love to know what Watt O'Shea knew about his history; his children didn't know much.

My Dad told us little things about his family, brothers and sisters. They never told us very much of anything.

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Here ends one Part of Mr. Burke's family story and begins another version.
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Descriptions of Scanned documents

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 1 Birth Certificate

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 2 Birth Certificate

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 3 Birth Certificate

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 4 Marriage Certificate

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 5 The flats in Glenview Square

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 6 Burke Crest

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 7 Wedding Picture of Shawn Burke and Dolly Stacey, Joseph's dad 4th from left

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 8 Joseph's Mother Margaret O'Shea

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 9 O'Shea Crest

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 10 The way into the flats in Glenview Square the entrance just between the pole and the wall, the shop on the right was a grocery ad sold various clothes sometimes. Jimmie O'Brien's of Air-mont.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 11 Then they turned the corner and right along the length of the wall. Some short cut!

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 12 The entrance where the people came into the flats, the big gate is gone as you can see.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 13 This was the main entrance for the military, the gate is still there. Mr. Tim Murphy in the picture. Tim knew the Burkes and went to school with Joseph. Tim born 1925, picture 1997.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 14 The Excel– picture– house, now demolished; The national school on St. Michaels St. Joe went there in 1940 to leaving school.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 15 O'Tools has a shop there, so did Bennetts.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 16 Lacey Villas, the Burkes moved there in 1939

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 17 The old monastery. Joe went there for how long I don't know

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 18 The flats during the occupation. They were the married quarters for the military.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 19 Joseph in Egypt 1948-1949

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 20 Joseph in Egypt

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 21 The ship was a troop carrier.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 22 Joseph Burke

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 23 Water fountain in garden

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 24 Boland Crest

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 25 Boland Crest #2

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 26 Joseph in Egypt around 1948– 49.

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 27 The new monastery, Joe went here in 1940 to leaving school

NS (Amy) - Burke, Joseph 28 The gate into the old monastery. Demolished around 1941-42

Names of some of the people who lived in the flats during the stay of the Burkes:

Bennetts

Ryans

George Nixon, Jimmie Black

Felix O'Brien

Eddie Stanton

Nicholas deLaney

Willie Ryan the Taylor

Murphys

A little history of Joseph Bourke, Joe spelt Burke with an O. Born August 4th, 1925. Joe was born in the District Hospital, near where the old Lino Factory was, the Hostpial was right on the corner, long since demolished. Mum and Dad lived in the monastery-Cottage on the old raod next to the old monastery school that too long since demolished. The Butlers have a cottage there now.

Some time after they moved to Glenview Square, Mary his sister had the job of minding him as he was the youngest then, he was chubby with lovely fair curls, it was murder when it had to be washed, everyone in the barracks, as it was called, knew Joe was having his hair washed.

He sucked the teat and bottle until he was five years old. One night Mum threw the teat down the toilet by mistake or otherwise, we were up all night, Joe wanting his bobby as he called it, all night I want my bobby. I had to go to a neighbour for a teat for his bottle at 6am, there was Mrs. Bennet they were always up early, she give me a teat for Joseph's bobby. What a night.

Joe followed me everywhere, he used to have tantrums, he'd throw himself down on the ground, and wouldn't move, I'd walk away and leave him, he would say if you come back I'll go, then again maybe I won't go. He was a pest, he was lucky he didn't end up in the green river. There used to be two guards standing at kiely's on Main Street., he was sure to start in front of them, they only laughed, Guard Right and Griffin are all gone now.

There were no sweets of anything then to coax him on, no money around then. He went to the National (Nash) School on St. Michael's St. the building is still there, but no longer used as a school. Joe also went to the old Monastery on the Old road after we moved to Lacey's Villas in 1939. Soon after he went to the New Monastery on St. Patrick's Ave., that was around 1940. Well Joseph left school he went to work for Jack Milla on Main and Bridge Street's. he got five shillings a week, his friend Michael Ruth worked next door at Tom Kinna;s, Michael got 7/6 a week. Michael told me Joe was jealous of him getting 2/6 more, but when Michael told Joe all the chores he had to do, Joe was jealous anymore. Some times Joe came home from work as black as soot, he looked more like a chimney sweep.

He would kill for a feed of rice pudding. He used to by Birds vustard and make it for himself, no one got a bite, he would sit on the door step and scoff it all down with custard cream biscuits. He used to clean and old range at Milla's for the housekeeper, she would have the rice pudding for him.

Joseph had a kid-goat he would run through the fields with it, there wasn't much money or food around in 1941. Danny Barron on Davitt St. or Limerick Road next to Peares garage. Danny worked for Carews, delivering parcels form the railway waith a horse and box. Joseph would sit on Barron's railway waiting for Danny to come home from work with the horse. Joe would jump on the back of the horse and gallop out the road like Gene Audrey of Roy Rodgers, he rose the horse to Cranley's Field, just beyond the railway bridge. He was there waiting every evening. Danny Barron's daughter Susie came to me when Joe died, and asked is that the lad that waited for my Dad every evening, she said she was very sincere, he wouldn't forget.

Joseph had an old bicycle, no chain, no tires, no brakes and no cover on the saddle, only the bare springs, he spent hours up on Tipperary Hills, going down the hill. He had no fear, he loved to go fast. He also worked for Jimmie Black delivering milk with a pony and cart. Michael Ruth told me, Joe and him spent happy times fishing for bricking's in the green river in bare feet at the end of Bridge St. they got the odd gudgen on. There were simpler times then.

Joe too was good friends with Paddy Power on the Cashel Rd. Joseph joined the construction core and went to Cork some time around 1942. His number was 416344. I always remember that number, why I don't know.

Joe was at least 3 or 4 years in Cork. From there he went to England and joined the British Army. He spent some time in Egypt, he sent me pictures of himself from there, which I still have, even the ship he traveled on. Before he went to England, he came to visit me, Patrick, in Ferry House Clonmel.

Joseph married Philomena Boland from Limerick in 1951, they had three children. Joseph sold the pet goat in the market yard. The night before the Town hall burnt down, it was still smoldering the morning Joe sold the goat. Around 1941 or 1942, for the life of me, I can't remember Joe leaving for Cork, I do remember him coming home on holidays.

Joseph thought Canada was covered in snow year round, until I sent him some pictures of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, he saw our lovely roads, flowers and green grass. Joe was great at remembering things from the past. I remember Joe taking off stiff belly a man who worked for the council, the horse walked nehind stiff belly while he swept the gutter, the dust man, but he never bent his back, straight back, he was funny to watch there was not much trash then, a bit of ashes. Joseph was great at corresponding a lot of people miss his letters.

Joseph and Philomena spent 49 years together. Joesph was a very emotional man, may God be good to him.

Patrick and Mary Burke

A little information on the short-cut as it was called and the flats. The short cut as it was called wasn't a short-cut at all, it was for foot traffic going into the barracks. The main gate for the military was and is straight on up the road. The main gate is still therel. The council cut a road through the parade grounds some time in the 1930, down to the houses where Joseph lived and where his sister Teresa was born in 1928.

The houses were the married quarters for the military under the occupation, they were called the flats by the local people. The flats were demolished in 1978. The picture I took of the flats was 1973. Where the foot traffic came in to the houses, the gate was removed. The Brits must have taken the key with them when they vacated.

The wall and pillars to the gate are still there as you can see in the picture taken in 1997. I heard my sister say, the short cut was dangerous going through at night even though there was some gas lighting there.

The Burkes lived on the second level. I met a Mr. Murphy who still lives over there in the front houses, he went to school with Joseph, he retained some of the red bricks from the flats. Joseph spelt Bourke with an O, the name goes back to Norway and France. The name Burke over here in Canada can be spelt Bourque, Birk, Bourke and Burke and in Irish de burge.

The Normans brought me the name to the British Isle in 1066 by William the Conqueror. Remember Joseph in a prayer now and then, he would like that.

A Little History of Burke, O'Shea, Mahony, Carey 1888-1997

John (Jack) Burke, born May 28, 1889

Kedrah, Cahir

Father's name: John Burke

Mother's name: Margaret Carey

Margaret O'Shea, born January 8, 1888

Thomas Town, near Golden

Father's Name: James O'Shea

Mother's Name: Mary Mahony

Married Feb 6, 1918, Pop 29 years, Mum 30 years

Seven Children:

Mary Margaret– Dec 4, 1918

Margaret– May 2, 1920

Sean (John)– May 14, 1921

Michael– Sept 24, 1923

Joseph– Aug 4, 1925

Teresa Philomena– Nov 12, 1928

Patrick– Jan 30, 1934

Mary Margaret, born O'Connell Rd

Pop: Motor Driver

Margaret born Monastery Cottage,

Pop: Motor Driver

John (Sean) born Monastery Cottage

Pop: Ambulance Driver

Michael born Monastery Cottage,

Pop: Ambulance Driver

Joseph born District Hospital, lived at Monastery Cottage

Pop: Labourer

Teresa Philomena born Glenview Square

Pop: Labourer

Patrick born Old Road, delivered by Nell Sullivan

Pop: Labourer

Moved From: O'Connell Rd to Monastery Cottage to Glenview Square to Roseboro Rd, shared the house with Nell Slattery, she threw them out. Then moved to O'Maras Cottage, this house was haunted, moved to Old Rd to New Rd and then to Lacey Villas in 1939.

Pop went to England in 1943. Mary, Sean, Teresa and Joseph went to England dates unknown. Patrick went to England 1952 and Canada in 1957.

Deaths:

Mum: Sept 25, 1955

Pop: Sept 30, 1962

Sean: July 4, 1991

Michael: died at Monastery Cottage no date

Margaret: Aug 20, 1920 at Monastery Cottage

Michael and Margaret are buried in Thomastown, Near Golden. So are James O'Shea and Mary Mahony.

And we continue, PB