Catherine Maher and John Burke
Catherine Maher baptised 19th December 1833, daughter of Martin and Mary Maher.
sponsors JerJames? Maher and Judith Hanly. Catherine is recorded as living in Sydney by
1855. No record of her arrival has been found.
John Burke: was born about 1835 and baptised in 1835 [ref V1835363 121A/1835] son of
ex-convicts Patrick Burke and Johanna Keating
Marriage: Catherine Maher, a servant residing at Dunmore and John Burke, a farmer
residing at Brookes Flat were married at St Joseph's Catholic Church East Maitland on 14th
April 1857. [transcript held] Witnesses were Thomas Burke and Bridget Maher. Catherine
and John had 10 living children at the time of John's death in 1872 according to his
headstone inscription [see below]. Another child is listed as deceased on Catherine's death
certificate in 1879.
Their Children may include the following: - unconfirmed
8497/1858 BURKE FREDERICK MAITLAND
8976/1859 BURKE MARY A MAITLAND
8471/1860 BURKE CATHERINE JOHN CATHERINE MAITLAND. Died 1860
8940/1861 BURKE BRIDGET JOHN CATHERINE MAITLAND
8983/1861 BURKE PATRICK JOHN CATHERINE MAITLAND
9381/1862 BURKE MARTIN MAITLAND
9623/1863 BURKE JOHANNA MAITLAND
10647/1865 BURKE JOHN MAITLAND
11226/1867 BURKE BRIDGET MAITLAND
11617/1868 BURKE WILLIAM MAITLAND
13313/1869 BURKE THOMAS MAITLAND
12563/1871 BURKE CATHERINE A MAITLAND Died 1871
12261/1872 BURKE JOSEPH MAITLAND
13077/1873 BURKE CATHERINE AGNES MAITLAND
Death: John Burke died at Maitland in 1872. According to his headstone he had 10 children.
Catherine Burke gave testimony at the inquest into the death of her niece Mary Ann
Campbell, daughter of her sister Bridget Maher:
Maitland Mercury dated 24th July 1873:
Catherine Burke was sworn. She deposed : I am a widow, residing at East Maitland ; I knew
the deceased Mary Ann Campbell ; she was my niece, and had been living lately, so I have
heard, at Mrs. O'Neill's; it is two years since I have seen the deceased. I first heard that she
was missing on last Sunday night week ; I heard it from O'Neill, who came while I was going
to bed, early, before people were out of church. I think it was O'Neill, for I did not speak to him
or open the door. I recognised his voice. He rapped at the door, and asked whether the child
Mary Ann Campbell was there; I told my child to tell him no ; then he said "Was she here at
all?" and I told the child to tell him no. He then went away, and I did not know what he meant.
I intended to send one of the children the next day, but O'Neill came again the next morning
and I saw him myself. I asked him what about the child, and be replied that the child was
missing, and he thought she had come either to me or to her grandmother's place. I said, "If she
had come, I would have given her a night's shelter, but should have let you know in the
morning" He said he thought he would report her loss, to the police, and I said it would be the
best thing, as perhaps if she came towards my place, she would get among the coal pits. He
asked me where the constable lived, and I pointed to Mr O'Sullivan's place, and asked him to
let me know if he got any tidings of her. I saw him in the evening, and he said he had heard
nothing of her, and that the constables were out searching.
2nd Marriage: Catherine married Patrick Ford in 1878 at Maitland. Patrick may have been
a horse breeder from Brookes Flat. Patrick was a widower previously married to Bridget who
died March 1878. They had arrive from Ireland in 1855 aboard the Matoaka.
Children of Patrick Ford and Bridget:
9412/1863 FORD MARY MAITLAND
10203/1866 FORD PATRICK MAITLAND
11521/1868 FORD JANE MAITLAND
12449/1870 FORD JOHN MAITLAND
13052/1873 FORD ANN MAITLAND
8641/1858 FORD MICHAEL MAITLAND
8613/1860 FORD (FEMALE) MAITLAND Died 1860 ref 4544/1860
9177/1861 FORD CATHERINE MAITLAND
After their marriage it appears that Catherine and Patrick had a household of at least 17
Death: Catherine died in 1879 [Ref 6487/1879 Maitland]. She is buried with first husband
John Burke in the Hiland Cresent Cemetery. According to her headstone she was aged 42.
Headstone of John Burke and Catherine Maher 1) Burke 2) Ford at Hiland Cresecnet Cemetery