Catherine (aka “Kate” or “Kitty”) Burke was baptised on February 13th 1870. According to the 1900 US Federal Census she emigrated to the US in 1890 at the age of 20. In 1900, she is living with her brother Pat, his wife Hannah and their three sons. Interestingly, she gives her birthday as July 1874 knocking 5 years of her age! At this point she is working as a bookkeeper.
She was reputed to be very beautiful and amongst my Dad and his siblings this was the only folk memory of her as she died in 1908 before any of them was born.
While researching her sister Margaret recently I came across a very interesting record of Kate. I had found a record of Margaret’s emigration to the US in 1904. She had travelled to the US at the age of 21 on the passenger ship the “Umbria” arriving in New York in September. I usually scan the other names on the page to see if there are any neighbours or relatives travelling with them. This time I struck gold when I found Kate on the same page. She obviously travelled home to Kilmacow and then returned to the US bringing her sister with her. They both give their brother Pat’s address as their destination and they both declare they are carrying $50. Kate gives her occupation here as “servant”. One can only begin to imagine the conflicting emotions of her parents. 14 years after she left, their daughter turns home on a holiday only to leave again carrying their other daughter.
The picture above was sent to me by Jim Burke (her nephew - Joe Burke's son). It was taken on May 28th 1904 - was it taken to be given as a gift to her parents when she travelled home that summer?
Catherine died on October 1st 1908 and is buried in the family plot in Mount Olivet cemetery.