Mary  Burke1821

Mary Burke 1821

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in New Zealand

Mary was born 1821? or 1837? County Galway, Ireland. Possibly daughter of Patrick BURKE and Margaret GORMERLY (born in Tuam Parish, Co. Galway in 1815). [see Research Notes below].

1. First marriage at age 15? or 27? to James Fuller Clifford (aged 32) 23 Mar 1852, Adelaide, Australia, to whom she had 6 children between 1852 and 1862. Marriage age was "full".

Mary (35) and James Clifford (40) emigrated with daughter Frances to NZ on ?1 Feb 1856. on the ship GIL BLAS from Melbourne, Victoria to Otago, NZ. 

Around 1962 it is believed Mary and James moved to Nelson from the lower South Island.

It is not clear what happened to James Clifford after 1862. There are a number of newspaper notices for a James Clifford who appears in Nelson, Christchurch, Otago and Southland courts for charges of drunk and disorderly behaviour from 1863 to 1886, including one of "threatening the life of his wife" in Nelson 1867. 

2. Mary's second marriage was to James Blanch(e) on 27 Dec 1873 with whom she had 5 more children between 1865 and 1873. She had been already living in Nelson for 11 years and all children were born prior to the marriage. It seems likely this postponement of marriage was due to her first husband being still alive. Her marital status was “widow" on the record of marriage to James Blanche.

Due to court newspaper notices, it appears there was an amount of marital discord between James and Mary, especially in the last 5 years of their marriage. Mary seems to have declined into alcoholic behaviour at this point. She appears in court notices on charges of obscene language, drunkenness and theft and asking for maintenance from her husband and sons.

James passed away in 1891 in Wellington, cause of death cardiac disease 1 yr.

3. Third marriage was to Matias (Matthew) Ellertsen Neilson in 1897 at age 60? They lived in Bulwer, Pelorus Sound, Marlborough. Matthew and his fishing boat disappeared with suspicion of drowning on 24 Apr 1900 in Pelorus Sound.

According to Timothy L Blanche's Blanche Family Tree 2008, Mary passed away  aged 74 on 20 Oct 1911 in Bulwer, Pelorus Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand.

== Research Notes ==

PARENTS: Though many profiles for Mary Burke have listed her parents as Patrick and Margaret (Gormley) from Tuam, Galway, I couldn't find any confirming sources or evidence of this. If her age on the passenger record of her emigration to NZ is correct of 35, her birth year would be 1821 (see BIRTHDATE below) which is 12 years prior to Patrick and Margaret's marriage in 1833. 

BIRTHDATE: Mary's age listed on GIL BLAS 1856 passenger list is 35, giving her a birth date of 1821 which conflicts with those in profiles of 1837. If it was 1837, her first marriage would have been at age 15, however her age on her marriage record was "full" which would suggest she was of legal marriage age, ie. 21 or over [England and Wales Marriage Act 1753].

DEATH RECORD: Unable to locate Mary's NZ BDM Death Record for 1911 or gravesite.
Possible:  NZ BDM DEATH record for: MARY NEILSON, Registration Number 1902/7064 but age recorded is 66 yrs which is too young. Also: NZ BDM DEATH record for: MARY NELSON aged 84, Registration Number 1911/8323, giving a birthdate of 1927.

== Sources ==
* Name confirmed from daughter Elizabeth’s Find-a-grave profile
* NZ Marriage Record to James Blanche provided by David Thawley
* NZ BDM MARRIAGE record for: MATTHEW NEILSON and MARY BLANCHE, Registration Number 1897/841
*… - Blanche Family Tree 2008 by Timothy L Blanche
*… - Blanche Family Tree 2008 by Timothy L Blanche (Entry for Patrick Burke)
*… - Blanche Family Tree 2008 by Timothy L Blanche (Entry for Mary Burke)
*… - Blanche Family Tree 2008 by Timothy L Blanche (Entry for Matthew Neilson)
*… Profile Mary Burke by Keith Burns

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1821 (circa) VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 30th Oct 1911 (circa) VIEW SOURCE
Townland born County Galway, Ireland
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) James Fuller Clifford, James Blanch(e), Matias (Matthew) Ellertsen Neilson
Number of Children 11
Place of Death Bulwer, Pelorus Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Patrick
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Margaret (Gormley)
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