Burke ( Bourke, de Burgh, de Burca) is one of the most important and most numerous of the Hiberno-Norman names. All branches claim descendance from William de Burgh, a native of Norfolk, who arrived with King John in 1185. He obtained lands in Tipperary and elsewhere in Munster. 

The Annals of Four Masters record his death by stating: “William Burke plundered Connaught, as well churches as territories; but God and saints took vengeance on him for that; for he died of a singular disease, too shameful to be described.”

William's son Richard was created Earl of Ulster.  He led a conquest of Connacht from his new town of Galway. His descendants were among the most powerful lords of the colony being chief magnates of Connacht and Ulster.  William Liath de Burgh, a great-grandson of the original William, was the ancestor of the two most influential clans that formed as the central government of the colony dissentigrated, the MacWilliam Uachtar of Co. Galway, and the MacWilliam Iochtar of Co. Mayo The MacWilliam lochtar Burkes remained powerful into the seventeenth century.

In 1603  Theobald Bourke, similarly resigned his territory in Mayo, and received it back to hold by English tenure. In 1627 he was created Viscount Mayo. The 2nd and 3rd viscounts (1629-1663) suffered at Cromwell's hands, but the 4th was restored to his estates (some 50,000 acres) in 1666. The peerage became extinct or dormant on the death of the 8th viscount in 1767. In 1781 John Bourke, a Mayo man, believed to be descended from the line of "MacWilliam Oughter," was created Viscount Mayo, and four years later earl of Mayo, a peerage still extant. In 1872 the 6th earl was murdered in the Andaman Islands when viceroy of India.

Our Burkes are found in Teevnish, Co Mayo in the mid 1800s.  There seems little hope of tracing earlier records, but twenty years ago, it seemed that there was no hope of finding a family for Julia at all, now we know she had a sister Bridget who married James Geraghty and a brother Austin.


  1. Julia Burke bef 1845 Teevinish, Mayo - aft 1911 Derrycoosh, Mayo (Dropbox)
  2. Probably Patrick Burke bef 1821 - bef 1865 m Mary ? (Dropbox)
  3. Burke Ancestry (Dropbox)


Teevnish, Mayo, Ireland (Dropbox)
Teevnish Papers


Paul McCotter - Most Frequently occurring Anglo-Norman Surnames (based on Matheson)
Distribution of Surnames in Ireland - Matheson's Special Report 1890
Burke Surname History - John Grenham
House of Burke - Wikipedia
Descendancy of William de Burgh

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