History of a Heritage Property in Marlborough Township
February 21, 2003:
This thread is a continuation from the George Thew Burke page.
See below, dated February 28, 2003 - a copy of the original land grant for
this property - an example of property-transmission documentation from York
.(Toronto) in 1828
I find it hard to reconcile the difference between this document and a
couple stories "All This and an Amiable Ghost" re Fieldstone and a second
from the Carleton Saga. Both the last 2 say Geo Thew BURKE was responsible
for building Fieldstone in 1828.
It's my opinion is that Henry BURKE and not George Thew BURKE owned the
land and Henry built the stone house about 1858-59 for the marriage of his
son Henry jr. to Jane Johnston in 4 Aug 1859. I have never found any record
of George Thew BURKE owning the property or building Fieldstone except in
The Ghost story and in "The Carleton Saga" by Harry & Olive WALKER. I
suspect that information for both stories was provided by Patricia
MacCORDICK, who was not even a BURKE family member and who knows what
leading questions were put to her. This is why finding a copy of the John
BURKE letter of 1947 mentioned below is so important to me.
Ray, in Nanaimo
As I complete typing these records I will pass them on to you. Meanwhile I
would very much appreciate getting your input to this problem.
Now the first record:
MacCORDICK HOUSE, RIDEAU TOWNSHIP:
CRITERIA FOR ITS DESIGNATION
PREPARED BY : ROBERT HUNTER
FOR THE RIDEAU TOWNSHIP
L. A. C. A. C.
MacCORDICK House ‘Fieldstone’
Rideau Township (Marlborough). Concession 8, Lot 1.
Date of Construction
1858 - 59
The MacCORDICK House is a finely proportioned, rectangular, end-gabled,
front-gabled, 1½ storey stone structure. The house is of limestone rubble
which is pierced symmetrically for window and door openings. The front
façade features a central door flanked by two double-hung, 12-pane windows,
while at each end of the house are four windows in two storeys. The central
door has a recessed fanlight above it and round-headed side lights beside
it. Above the central door is an elaborate ogee-arched window, with 22
panes in a geometric pattern. All frames are wooden and sills stone and the
centre door and window above are topped with radiating voussoirs. Each of
rectangular window openings is articulated by a vertical stone pattern. The
roof line features return gables and slightly overhanging eaves above a
small boxed cornice and frieze decorated on the front façade with curving
brackets. The summer kitchen at the rear of the house was enlarged and
changed by the present owner in the 1930’s and an enclosed sun room added
adjacent to it. At the same time a sheet metal roof was installed and
shutters added as well as extensive renovations being made to the interior.
Stone gate posts and an elaborate black iron gate at the entrance to an
avenue of overhanging trees helps create a lovely setting.
The Montague and Marlborough Census of 1824 is the first record of the
presence in Canada of Captain Henry BURKE, a retired British army officer.
Little before this is known of BURKE other than that he was born in 1788 in
England, and was reputed to have fought at Waterloo. BURKE is recorded in
the 1824 Census as being in possession of 200 acres of Lot 1, Concession 8
of Marlborough, and farming a small portion of it. The original deed to the
land indicates that it was a Crown grant from George IV and is dated 2
April 1828, and is signed by Sir Peregrine MAITLAND, Lieutenant-Governor of
Upper Canada, and son-in-law of the Duke of Richmond. BURKE lived in a log
house on this property until his death on 8 March 1862, a respected member
of the community. The present stone structure was first recorded in the
1861 Census as the property of Henry BURKE, age 23, Captain BURKE’s son. A
letter in the possession of Mrs. MacCORDICK from John BURKE, dated 1947,
states that it was known in his family that the stone house was built by
the elder Henry BURKE as a wedding present for his son. As the 1871 Census
records the younger Henry BURKE’s eldest child as being eleven, thus born
in 1860, that would suggest a wedding date of 1859 at the latest and thus
places the date of the house as in the late 1850’s. In 1884 Henry BURKE
sold the land and house to John MacCORDICK whose son Howard, a Montreal
doctor, returned to his family home in 1935. After his death in 1952 Mrs.
MacCORDICK remained in possession of the property.
Fieldstone, Concession 8, Lot 1 (Marlborough), was built in 1858-59 by
Captain Henry BURKE as a wedding present for his son. Fieldstone is one of
the finest and most elaborately detailed stone houses of this period in the
township, a monument to the skill of craftsman working with local materials
to create a handsome structure suited to its environment.
My Notes respecting the above document. (R.E.B.)
- L.A.C.A.C. Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee.
(Ontario Ministry of Cultural Affairs).
- Robert HUNTER was a summer student in the mid 1970’s.
- Photos – Original report shows three photos of the Fieldstone front
façade, giving details of the door, door side-light, main floor windows and
the 2nd floor windows. Photos not reproduced here.
This is a copy of a typed, undated and unsigned report provided me by the
staff at the North Gower Archives, North Gower, Ontario in October 2002.
The author is undoubtedly Robert HUNTER whose name is typed on the face of
This report probably was prepared prior to the handwritten, unsigned and
undated report entitled “MacCORDICK House (‘Fieldstone’)” because the
“Fieldstone” report (see footnote, page 1) states “according to L.A.C.A.C.
file”, presumably referring to this HUNTER document as an earlier work.
R. E. BURKE
I'm finally getting my Fieldstone info correlated and entered into my
records. I collected many documents while in Ontario last fall and have
been a little tardy getting it all typed. This all started because I didn't
believe that George Thew Burke was related to Henry Burke and that George
was cited erroneously as the builder of Fieldstone.
I also found a single year (1825) listing for a George Burke, land
description Concession IX, Lot 3, 200 acres. (not Lot 1). I scanned every
year posted between the years from 1825 to 1885.
I believe the following two articles did much to further the notion that
George Thew was responsible for the construction of Fieldstone.
1. "Carleton Saga" by Harry and Olive Walker, pub. 1968.
Ref Marlborough Chapter, Page 430.
Fieldstone is (located) five miles south of Richmond
on the 8th Concession. Further it says that it was built about 1828 for
Colonel (George Thew) BURKE'S son Henry. George had no son called Henry but
there was a James Henry, known in any document that I've ever found as
2. "All This and an Amiable Ghost" by Stanley Fillmore, pub Aug 1956
in Canadian Homes and Gardens, page 19. This magazine article
on "Fieldstone" wasn't much help at all, the writer being more interested
in prattling on about the "ghost".
Both stories state that the house was built in 1828 for Colonel (George
Thew) BURKE'S son Henry.
I've attached the second of 2 articles found at the North Gower Archives.
Both say that the property was owned by Henry Burke Sr who built Fieldstone
for his son Henry Jr. and I believe this is true.
I have no explanation for the Captain's rank given to Henry Sr. nor the
comment re his birthplace of England (It's Co Leitrim. His year of death is
1867 (not 1862). The book Burial Records - St John's Anglican Cemetery,
Richmond ...is probably responsible for this error. Headstone rubbings and
physical examination prove 1867.
I woulkd really like your input to this problem, meanwhile I'll continue
typing othe records which I gathered.
Now the Copy of the 2nd Article:
MacCORDICK House (“Fieldstone”)
The MacCORDICK house in Marlborough, was built by Henry BURKE Sr. on the
west half of lot one, concession eight. The Crown granted the land by
patent to BURKE, then thirty-three, in 1828. The Marlborough census of 1851
lists BURKE as an Anglican farmer, born in Ireland in 1795. His wife
Elizabeth (who was twenty years his junior) was also born in Ireland. All
of their children, however, were born in Canada, including Henry Jr., who
bought the land from his father in 1859, at the age of twenty-two. It is
believed the house was built in that year by Henry Sr. as a wedding*
present for his son and daughter-in-law Jane. Burke Jr. maintained the
property** until 1884 or ’85, when it was acquired by a John McCORDICK and
his second wife, Catherine.
On Mr, McCORDICK’s death in 1924, it was taken over by their son Howard, a
doctor in Montreal. It wasn’t until 1935, however, that Howard and his wife
Patricia actually moved to Marlborough; in the interval they simply
maintained the house and property while living in Montreal, first at an
address on Stanley St., and then later at one on Mountain St. From 1925 to
1932, though, the collector’s and assessment rolls show the land occupied
by a William DUNBAR and his wife Mary, presumably as tenants. The property
has been in the possession of Mrs. MacCORDICK since her husband’s death in
The house itself is led up to by a drive of over-hanging trees, which is
entered through a black iron gate with a stone post on either side. It is
simply proportioned, being a rectangular shape. Standing one-and-a-half
storeys, it is made of limestone rubble. There are front and end gables,
and symmetrically placed windows and doors.The front façade’s central door
is balanced on either side by a double-hung, twelve-paned window. The door
itself is surrounded by a recessed fanlight over top and a round-headed
sidelight at each side. Above the door is an ogee-arched window, with
twenty-two geometrically arranged panes. Both this window and the door
below (or rather the fanlight above the door) are topped with radiating
voussoirs. The other windows in the house (there are four at each end,
arranged in two storeys) are outlined by a vertical stone pattern. All
frames are wooden, and all sills are stone. The roof line has return gables
and slightly overhanging eaves above a small boxed cornice and frieze,
decorated on the front façade with curving brackets.
At the back is a summer kitchen, which was enlarged and changed by Mrs
MacCORDICK in the 1930’s. There is also an enclosed sun room here, added
onto the house next to the kitchen at the same time. It was also at this
time that the roof was covered in sheet metal and shutters were added to
windows, and renovations were made to the inside.
John McCORDICK is buried at the Malakoff United Cemetery beside his first
wife, Annie McTavish McCORDICK, who died in 1904.
* according to LACAC file
** A.I.D. mentions DM in ’84; rolls show him on lot in ’85
Summary of information from documents
Assessment rolls: from 1852 = A.
Collector’s rolls: from 1852 = C.
A. I. D. = Abstract Index to Deeds.
Jim KENNEDY – Survey of Cemeteries in Rideau Township = W.W.
Walling Maps - 1863 = W.
Belden Atlas – 1879 = B.
Censuses – particularly 1851 and 1861 = Cen.
Additional census and assessment information taken from microfilm material.
- All the above sources available at the Rideau Archives, Carleton
MacCORDICK House, con 8, lot 1 (W ½), Marlborough.
A+C - 1851 – 1859 Henry BURKE Sr.
- 1859 – 1885 Henry BURKE Jr.
- 1885 – 1924 John MacCORDICK
- 1924 – 1952 Howard MacCORDICK (son of John)***
- 1952 – pres. Patricia MacCORDICK (wife of Howard)
A. I. D. - W ½ - by patent to Henry BURKE, 3 July, 1828 – 100 a.
- W ½ - bargain and sale, to Henry BURKE Jr., 100 a. – 3 Aug., 1859, regis
tered 1 July, 1863 ……(#20995).
- Mortgage, Henry BURKE et ux to “C.P.L.&S. Co.” – 100 a., $900. –
instrument date 15 Dec., ……1875; registered 17 Dec., 1875. (#647)
- Mortgage, same parties, 100 a., $1400 – instrument date15 Dec., 1879,
registered 28 Jan., 1880. ……(#1094).
W.W. - John MacCORDICK, 1852 – 1924;
- Annie McTAVISH (wife), 1853 – 1904;
at Malakoff United Cemetery, Malakoff, ON.
W. - shows 1 house on W ½.
B. - Shows Henry BURK’s name, that he has 100 a. and a house at rear of W
Cen - 1851 – Henry BURK, Sr., farmer, b. Ireland, Anglican, 56 years.
“ - Henry BURK, Jr., - , b. Upper Canada, Anglican, 14
McCordick’s not listed.
*** - non-resident until 1935;
- 1924 – 1932, at 131 Stanley St, Montreal;
- 1932 – 1935, at 1434 Mountain St, Montreal.
My Notes respecting the above document. (R.E.B.)
This is a copy of a hand written, unsigned and undated document which was
provided me by the staff at the North Gower Archives, North Gower, Ontario
in October 2002. It may have been prepared subsequent to the typed, signed
but undated report entitled “MacCORDICK House, Rideau Township: Criteria
for its Designation” - Prepared by: Robert Hunter
For the Rideau Township
L. A. C. A. C.
I suggest that this report was prepared after HUNTER’s report because the
first footnote (page 1) says “according to L.A.C.A.C. file’, presumably
referring to HUNTER’s report.
See * L.A.C.A.C.: Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee.
(Ontario Ministry of Cultural Affairs)
See ** DM.: Disharge of Mortgage. Subsequently B of S (Bill of Sale)
between Henry BURK Jr. and John McCORDICK is dated and registered 31 Dec
R. E. BURKE (Ray Burke)
February 28, 2003:
The following document has been transcribed by Ray Burke. It is an example
of an early (1828) Land Grant document for property in Upper Canada.
The exact surveyor's co-ordinates are spelled out, as is the 1/7 part of the
land set aside for the Clergy Reserves. It is signed by Sir Peregrine Maitland,
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at York (now Toronto). John Beverly
Robinson (brother of Peter Robinson) is also mentioned - he was the
PROVINCE OF UPPER-CANADA
GEORGE the Fourth by the Grace of GOD, of the United Kingdom of Great-Britain
and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith: - To all to whom these Presents shall
come - GREETING:
KNOW YE, That We, of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion,
have Given and GRANTED, and by these Presents do Give and GRANT,
Unto Henry Burke of the Township of Marlborough in the County of Grenville in
the D’t. of Bathurst, Yeoman, an Emig’t Settler located and returned by the
heirs and assigns for ever; ALL that parcel or tract of LAND, situate in the
Township of Marlborough in the County of Grenville in the District of Johnstown
in our said Province, containing by admeasurement One Hundred Acres be the same
more or less, being The West half of Lot Number One in the Eighth Concession of
the said Township of Marlborough.
TOGETHER with all the Woods and Waters, lying and being, under the reservations,
limitations and conditions hereinafter expressed; which said 100 Acres are butted
and bounded, or may be otherwise known as follows, that is to say Commencing in
front of the said Concession at the South West Angle of the said Lot then North
36 degrees West 79 chains more or less to the allowance for Road in the rear of
the said Concession then North 54 degrees East 13 chains 40 links more or less to
the Center of the said Lot then South 36 degrees East 79 chains more or less to
the allowance for road in front of the said Concession then South 54 degrees West
13 chains 40 links more or less to the place of beginning.
J. B. Robinson Att’y Gen’l Recorded 14 Jul 1828
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, the said parcel or tract of land hereby given and granted
to him the said Henry Burke his heirs and assigns for ever; saving nevertheless,
to US, our heirs and successors, all Mines of Gold and Silver, that shall or may
be hereafter found on any part of the said parcel or tract of land hereby given
and granted as aforesaid; and saving and reserving to Us, our heirs and successors,
all White Pine trees, that shall or may now or hereafter grow, or be growing on
any part of the said parcel or tract of land hereby granted as aforesaid. PROVIDED
ALSO , that no part of the parcel or tract of land hereby given and granted to
the said Henry Burke and his heirs, be within any reservation heretofore made and
marked for Us, our heirs and successors, by our Surveyor General of Woods, or his
lawful Deputy, in which case, this our grant for such part of the land hereby given
and granted to the said Henry Burke and his heirs for ever, as aforesaid, and which
shall upon a survey thereof being made, be found within any such reservation, shall
be null and void and of none effect, any thing herein contained to the contrary
notwithstanding. PROVIDED ALSO that the said Henry Burke his heirs or assigns, shall
and do within three years, erect and build or cause to be erected and built, in and
upon some part of the said parcel or tract of land, a good and sufficient dwelling
house he the said Henry Burke or his assigns, not having built, or not being in his
or their own right, lawfully possessed of a house in our said Province, and be therein,
or cause some person to be therein resident, for and during the space of three years,
then next ensuing the building of the same. PROVIDED ALSO, that if at any time or times
hereafter, the land so hereby given and granted to the said Henry Burke and his heirs,
shall come into the possession and tenure of any person or persons whomsoever, either
by virtue of any Deed of sale, conveyance enfeoffment or exchange; or by gift,
inheritance, descent, devise or marriage, such person or persons, shall within twelve
months next after his, her or their entry into, and possession of the same, take the
oath prescribed by law, before some one of the Magistrates of our said Province, and
a certificate of such oath having been so taken, shall cause to be recorded in the
Secretary’s Office of the said Province. IN DEFAULT of all, or any of which conditions,
limitations and restrictions, this said Grant and every thing herein contained shall be,
and We hereby declare the same to be null and void, to all intents and purposes
whatsoever; and the land hereby granted and every part and parcel thereof, shall
revert to and become vested in us, our heirs and successors, in like manner as if the
same had never been granted, any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any
AND WHEREAS, by an Act of the Parliament of Great-Britain, passed in the
thirty-first year of the Reign of the late King George the 3rd entitled,
“An Act to repeal certain parts of an Act, passed in the fourteenth year
of His Majesty’s Reign entitled, an Act for making more effectual provision
for the Government of the Province of Quebec, in North America, and to make
further provision for the Government of the said Province.” It is declared,
“that no grant of lands hereafter made, shall be valid or effectual, unless
the same shall contain a specification of the lands to be allotted and
appropriated, solely to the maintenance of a Protestant Clergy within the
said Province, in respect of the lands to be thereby granted,” ---
NOW KNOW YE, that We have caused an allotment or appropriation of 14 Acres
& 2/7ths ac. to be made in Lot No. 18 in the 7th Concession of the said
Township of Marlborough.
GIVEN under the Great Seal of our Province of Upper-Canada. WITNESS our trusty
and wellbeloved Sir Peregrine Maitland K.C.B. L’t. Gov’n. Of our said Province,
Majo’r Gen’l Commanding our Forces therein at York.
This Third day of July in the year of our LORD one thousand eight hundred and
twenty eight and ninth of our Reign.
By Command of His Excellancy in Council D. Cameron Sec for P.M.
Entered with the-Audit
14 July 1828
T.Hervan(?) Aud’r Gen’l
O.C. 2 April 1828 - Adm As’t to
Sir P. Maitland - Registration 6 July 1804.
Fees Suspended - Sett’r duties
Thanks to Ray Burke for transcribing the above document!
April 27, 2003:
Does anyone know of the following Bourke/Burke individuals, I came across them in the Brudenell Church records;
October 16th, 1898: We the undersigned Priest, have by virtue of the faculties given by us by Rt. Rev. N.Z. Lorrain,
Bishop of Pembroke, received the profession of faith of and absolved from the heresy of Lutherism, ROBERT BURKE.
The ceremony was performed in the Church of St. Laurence O'Toole at Barry's Bay in the presence of Patrick Behan
and Mrs. Michael Dolan. Francis L. French;
October 16th, 1898: We the undersigned Priest baptised ROBERT BURKE, born on the fifth day of August, 1871,
of the marriage of HENRY BURKE and ROSE ANN LEMKI. The sponsors were Patrick Behan and Mrs. Michael
Dolan. Francis L. French, P.P.; and
November 7th, 1898: Whereas a dispensation of one bann has been granted, by virtue of facilities granted us by
the Right Reverend N.Z. Lorrain, Bishop of Pembroke, and whereas after the publication of the other two banns,
no impediment was found, nor objection made, we the undersigned priest received the mutual consent to marriage
of ROBERT BOURKE son of age of HENRY BOURKE and Rose Ann Lemki, on the one part and Bridget Drohan,
daughter of age of the late James Drohan and Mary Purcell on the other part, and gave them the nuptial blessing
in the presence of Hugh Gallagher and Mary Ellen Power. J.J. McInerney, Pt.
Also the following from the 1881 Census:
Census 1881: Place: Ralph & Buchanan & Wylie, Renfrew North, Ontario, Canada
Source: FHL Film 1375870 NAC C-13234 Dist 114 SubDist I Page 17
George BURKE, Male, Married, Age 49, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Occ: Farmer, Roman Catholic
Justine BURKE, Female, Married, Age 34, Origin French, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
George BURKE, Male, Age 13, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Catherine BURKE, Female, Age 12, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Robert BURKE, Male, Age 10, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Elizabeth BURKE, Female, Age 8, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Justine BURKE, Female, Age 6, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Milo BURKE, Male, Age 3, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Thomas BURKE, Male, Age 1, Born: Mar; 1/12, Origin Irish, Born Ontario, Roman Catholic
Just looking at the names of the children, could this George Burke be the son of George Robert Burke, b. 1808,
and Margaret Fogerty, and of course, George Robert Burke, b 1808 was the son of George Thew Burke, b, abt. 1776.
I came across them when I was searching for the above Henry Bourke/Burke.
May 5, 2003:
I have the Last Will and Testament of James Henry Burke who was deceased in 1858.
This is the son of George Thew Burke as he took over for his father in his
resposibilities when he died at his son-in-laws residence, Coll McDonell. This would
explain the labelling as Captain Burke. As you'll see in his original Will he nominates
his wife, Archibald Frazer and Edward Dufton as executors. His CODICIL reflects his
actual connection. He nominates Col McDonell his brother-in-law as co-executor and this
was signed in the presence of his sister Lizzie, Col's wife, in 1857. The time frame
has him in the Feildstone house up to 1859. Not bad, only a year out.
I beleive at this point HENRY BURKE is actually JAMES HENRY BURKE, son of George Thew Burke.
See the Will below:
"Edward Dufton of the City of Ottawa in the County of Carleton, gentleman, one of the
executors named in the Last Will and Testament of James H. Burke, deceased, in his
lifetime of the said City of Ottawa in the said County of Carleton, prays letters
of Probate with a copy of the said Will _________? And they were granted to him on
the 13th day of April 1858.
I James H. Burke of the City of Ottawa being of sound mind and memory do make,
publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following, that is
to say First I give devise and bequeath to my dear wife Isabella Burke all the real
and personal property and estate I may die possessed of to have and to hold the
same to his the said Isabella Burke her heirs and assigns. Secondly I nominate and
appoint my said wife Isabella Burke executrix and Archibald Frazer of Frazerfeild,
Glengarry Esquire and Edward Dufton of the City of Ottawa, Gentleman executors of
this my last Will and Testament. Dated at Ottawa this twenty first day of March 1855.
CODICIL TO THE FORGOING WILL
I hereby appoint Coll McDonell of the City of Ottawa joined executor to the forgoing
Last Will and Testament made by me the twenty first day of March 1855. This was signed
on the nineteenth day of December 1857, in the presence of Margaret Frazer and his
sister Lizzie M. Burke [Coll McDonell’s wife]"
Also posted on May 5, 2003:
One more item, in reading the history of McCordick house it is mentioned that Elizabeth
was his wife, often associated with the name Isabella as stated in James Henry's Will.
Also because the Will was probated, it could have been a year before settling it thus
he would be listed as the owner in 1859 even though he died in 1858. MAKES SENSE TO ME.
Take care guys
Thanks Taylor. I had a quick look through Ellen's database and found this record from Notre Dame:
3 Apr 1853
After dispensing with banns, marriage of James Henry Burke, adult son of George Thew Burke
and Lydia Grant of Bytown, to Isabella Fraser, adult daughter of Donald Fraser and
Margaret McGregor of Bytown
Witnesses: James McCarthy, Edward & Helen Dufton & Catherine Fogarty
Later today, I'll have a look around for other info. The Burkes and Fogartys moved easily
within both Protestant and Catholic circles. I believe the Frazers and McDonnells were Scots
from Glengarry County, east of Ottawa.
Here's another one - (yes, they were from Glengarry). Sorry if this is a little off track,
but I'm doing some work on the Glengarry Scots and am interested in them. Real tough
sorting through all the McDonalds and McDonnells.
Here it is:
29 May 1853
After dispensing with banns, marriage of James McCarthy, adult son of John McCarthy
and Julia O'Donohoe of Bytown, to Jessie A. Fraser, adult daughter of
Donald Fraser and Margaret McGregor of Glengarry
Witnesses: James A. Burke, John McCarthy & Margaret Mary Fraser
2 Dec 1855
After dispensing banns and the prohibited time, marriage of Mr. Angus McIntosh,
merchant of Chatham, Canada West and adult son of Duncan McIntosh and
Isabella McDonald, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, to Miss Catherine Jane Grant,
adult daughter of Dr. James Grant and Jane Oard / Ward?
Witnesses: Drs. Grant & Bergin, Misses Grant, McDonell & Fraser
D. Dandurand, Priest.
August 10, 2003:
Thanks to Ray Burke for the following detailed information!
The material below has been written for insertion into my BURKE Fm
Biography. The main theme being that George Thew Burke is not related to my
Henry John BURKE Sr. family nor does George have any association to the
house called Fieldstone.
I would really appreciate any input you can provide
Ray, in Nanaimo
The Problem with George
NOTES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
I discuss here the two articles highlighted below. Both stories, similar in
content, appear to tie the George Thew BURKE family to our Henry John BURKE
Sr.’s family, Henry John Sr.’s property and the home known as Fieldstone.
In fact, I will show that the two families are not related.
No. 1. "CARLETON SAGA" by Harry and Olive WALKER
No. 2. "ALL THIS AND AN AMIABLE GHOST" by Stanley FILLMORE
If these two accounts are taken at face value, the inference can be made
that the two families are related. I will show herein that there is no
connection between the two families. Some time ago a descendant of George
Thew BURKE provided sufficient information for me to query the supposed
connection between George Thew and our Henry John Sr. I am indebted to
Barbara McCOURT of London, Ontario for providing her George Thew BURKE
family charts, with warnings that my BURKE family information and dates do
not fit into George Thew’s family tree. In short, that we are not related.
Fieldstone is the name given to the stone house located on our Henry John
Sr.’s farm on the W½ of Lot one, Concession eight, Marlborough Township,
Carleton County, Ontario. It isn’t known whether the house was named
Fieldstone during the tenure of Henry John BURKE Sr.’s family or by the
MacCORDICK family, the subsequent owners. I suspect that Fieldstone was
named by the MacCORDICK’s.
A close examination of the mistakes recorded in these two stories was
necessary because of the controversy about a relationship between the two
BURKE families. A letter written by a granddaughter of our Henry Sr., Mrs.
Stella (COMO) RINGLAND, containing other mistakes, is discussed separately
in Attachment No. 5, “Burke Family History.”
Similarity between the names of George Thew’s son James Henry and our own
Henry John Sr. and Henry Sr.’s son Henry John Jr. accounts for most of the
confusion. Hereinafter, to avoid any doubt when I use these names, I will
refer to my great-great grandfather Henry John BURKE Sr. as “our Henry Sr.”
, his third child as “Henry Jr.” George Thew BURKE will be “George Thew”
and his son James will be referred to as “James Henry.”
The two accounts, with pertinent extracts taken from each, are shown
below. I have not included the entire text from either story but references
are attached should you be interested in reading these stories.
No. 1. "CARLETON SAGA" by Harry and Olive WALKER, published 1968.
Reference: Chapter 12, Marlborough, Page 430.
The book, Carleton Saga, describes the Fieldstone property as being located
in the 8th Concession of Marlborough Township, 5 miles south of Richmond
town. This is not disputed. Most of the article is devoted to a description
of the interior and exterior architectural features and construction of
Fieldstone. A more detailed description of the structural design may be
found in Attachment No. 21, “MacCORDICK House, Rideau Township,” by Robert
HUNTER, and in Attachment No. 22, “MacCORDICK House, (Fieldstone),”
unsigned and undated. Quoted here is the only portion of WALKER’s article
which refers to Fieldstone’s early history.
“Another old Marlborough house with unique Georgian lines is the present
MacCORDICK home (“Fieldstone”). It is five miles south of Richmond on the
8th Concession. …is a ‘Tudor’ window. It was built about 1828 for Colonel
BURKE’s son, Henry. The original deed, framed in the hall, indicates that
the property was a Crown grant of the reign of George IV and is dated April
2 1828. The interior with the….”
No. 2. "ALL THIS AND AN AMIABLE GHOST" by Stanley FILLMORE, Canadian Homes
and Gardens, published August 1956. Ref: August 1956 issue, page 19.
This magazine article deals mostly with the architectural features found on
Fieldstone. Unfortunately FILLMORE prattled on about the so-called "ghost"
through much of the story but he did include a general history of the
beginnings of Richmond town. The relevant historical passages specific to
Fieldstone are quoted below:
“Fieldstone,’ a sturdy limestone house three miles from the Eastern Ontario
village of Richmond, has been growing old gracefully,… Built in 1828 in the
earliest days of Upper Canada’s settlement…. ….one of the Duke’s (of
Richmond) officers Colonel Thomas BURKE was installed as the garrisons
commanding officer and appointed officer in charge of the military
engineers who were to construct the Rideau Canal…. In recognition of his
services to the Duke, BURKE was granted 140 acres of crown land outside the
village of Richmond. (His son Henry later added his 100 acre grant to make
up the Fieldstone estate to its present 240 acres). BURKE constructed a log
cabin on his land and lived in it for seven years. Then, in 1828, he and
his engineers built the present house with stone quarried locally….After
BURKE died his son continued to live in the house. Sometime about 1895 the
house passed from the BURKE descendants to the MacCORDICK family….”
1. Carleton Saga
The Deed information is correct as far as it goes but the name on the
Patent is that of our “Henry Burke” and not George Thew. The date 2 Apr
1828 refers to the time that all Patent Grant applications were certified
“free of difficulty.” The issue date of the Patent Grant by
Order-in-Council is actually 3 July 1828. This refers to the time when our
Henry Sr. formally received his Patent Grant or clear title to the
property. See Attachment No. 16, “Patent Grant, W ½ Lot one, Concession
eight.” George Thew’s name does not appear on any of these documents.
Little significance can be placed on either of these dates as a great
number of other deed recipients also received their title at the same time.
Our Henry Sr. had actually completed his Terms of Settlement by the 12th
August 1825, three years earlier. See Attachment No. 15, “Certification of
Date of construction of Fieldstone is not 1828. A log house was on the
property at the time of the Canada Census 1851, while 10 years later, the
Canada Census 1861 reports a stone house is located on the property,
telling us the construction date was between 1851 and 1861. If we concur
with the comment that the house was built for Henry Jr. and knowing that
Henry Jr. and Jane Johnston, a neighbor, married in 4 August 1859 then,
likely, the Fieldstone construction date of 1858-59 is correct. On 3rd
August 1859, one day prior to the marriage, our Henry Sr. sold his farm to
his son Henry Jr. See the Bill of Sale, Instrument No. 20945 as found in
Attachment No. 18, “Ownership History of Land Title, W ½ of Lot 1,
If we follow thru on the WALKER statement that George Thew built Fieldstone
for his son James Henry in 1828, then James Henry, born 1820, would have
been 5 years old when the Terms of Settlement were completed and 8 years
old when married. It is therefore, not reasonable to say that James Henry
is the person described on the Patent.
2. "All This and an Amiable Ghost"
There are a number of obvious errors commencing with: George Thew’s name –
it is not Thomas BURKE. George Thew (or Thomas) was not appointed officer
in charge of the military engineers who were to construct the Rideau Canal.
In 1826, Lieutenant-Colonel John BY, Commanding Royal Engineer arrived at
what is now Ottawa, assigned to supervise the construction of the Rideau
Canal. John BY and his crew of engineers built the canal, completing it
during the winter of 1831-32.
We do know that George Thew was a Captain of 99th – 100th Regiment of Foot,
Major of Brigade, Superintendent of the Richmond Military Settlement,
Colonel Commanding 1st Regiment Carleton Militia, Registrar for Carleton
County and first elected representative for Carleton County in the
Parliament. George Thew served two terms from 1821 to 1829 remaining in
Ottawa until he died in 1854. Again, it is unlikely that George Thew or his
family built or lived at Fieldstone.
None of George Thew’s Patent Grants from the crown are for the Fieldstone
property, located in the W½ Lot one, Concession Eight of Marlborough
Township. We can’t reconcile FILLMORE’s statement that there was a “240
acre” estate. It is important to reiterate that the Patent Grant from the
Crown shows that our Henry Sr. was the original applicant for the Patent to
the W½ of Lot one, Concession eight in Marlborough Township. Henry Sr.
subsequently added an adjoining 50 acres parcel in 30 December 1846
comprising the SW part of Lot one, Concession nine. The entire farm then
totaled 150 acres. Our Henry Sr. sold the farm on Concession nine to my
great grandfather Edward BURKE on the 29th August 1865. There followed a
series of transactions between the brothers Henry Jr., Edward, and Caleb,
when Edward sold his interest to Henry Jr. on 15 September 1875.
Subsequently Henry Jr. sold the lot to William. BROWNLEE. See Attachment
No. 19, “Ownership History of Patent, SW Part Lot one, Concession nine.”
Reference to living in the log cabin for seven years is a bit garbled. Our
Henry Sr. probably gained his right of entry to the land, perhaps, three to
five years before the actual completion of the Terms of Settlement in 1825.
This right of entry document for our Henry Sr. hasn’t been located yet. I
believe that the log home was occupied for about 45 years, probably to the
death of Henry Sr. in 1867. No remnants remain of the log house.
It is possible but not proven, that our Henry Sr. was employed as a laborer
/ stone mason at that time of construction of the Canal. I suggest that he
may have been a stone mason because, in Feb 1829, Colonel BY circulated a
petition through members of his Rideau Canal construction crews, in which
we find our Henry Sr.’s name, See Attachment No. 26, “Petition, Colonel BY’
Neither George Thew’s name nor that of his son, James Henry, appears in the
Assessment Rolls for the W½ of Lot one, Concession Eight or on our Henry
Sr.’s adjoining property located on the SW part of Lot one, Concession
nine, both in Marlborough Township. See Attachment No 20, “Assessment Roll,
Henry BURKE Land.” We find only our Henry Sr.’s name or that of a couple of
his children, Henry Jr. and my great grandfather, Edward on the assessment
rolls for both of our Henry Sr.’s Concessions. In 3 instances, prior to
1840, we also find either Letty or Leticia, listed jointly with our Henry
Sr.’s name. Possibly Henry’s wife Elizabeth (RUTLEDGE) used a diminutive of
Elizabeth and was nicknamed Leticia or Letty.
The date of change of ownership 1895 from BURKE to MacCORDICK is also
incorrect. Henry Jr. sold both Marlborough properties by the end of 1884.
The land on concession eight was sold to John McCORDICK on 31 December,
1884 and the concession nine land was sold to Wm. BROWNLEE on 30 December
1884. Again see Attachments No 18 and No. 19.
Henry Jr. and his family subsequently moved to a farm located on W ½ Lot
seven, Concession seven in the Cottam district of Gosfield North Township,
Essex County, Ontario, not far from Leamington, Ontario. In 1904, a
biographical record was prepared by the Henry BURKE Jr. family, from which
we get much of the early history of our BURKE family. See Attachment No.
24, “Commemorative Biographical Record.” Reference is also made to Henry
Jr.'s family and farm by his youngest niece Effie Jane (BURKE) SHEPLEY in
her biography. See Attachment No. 4, “My First Twenty-two Years.” These two
biographies do not refer to any connection with George Thew.
I have many problems with the above two published articles, both of which
erroneously state that the house was built in 1828 for Colonel George Thew
(or Thomas) BURKE and/or his son Henry. George Thew’ third son had a given
name of James Henry but not Henry. The son’s name was shown as James Henry,
James, James H. or Jas. H. on every related document I have ever found
including the 1851 census record, James’ will and land Patent Grants. The
confusion comes about by attempting to merge our BURKE family with George
Thew’s family, where the events simply do not match the dates. It is just
not reasonable to say that our Henry Sr. and James Henry is the same
Assuming that Mrs. MacCORDICK was the source of information for the
articles, can we accept as fact her recollections of non-family events 50
to 60 years earlier, when she is unable even to give the correct date of
her own family’s purchase of Fieldstone?
GENERAL NOTES RESPECTING GEORGE THEW BURKE
AND HIS SON JAMES HENRY.
1. Personal Records - James Henry BURKE Family Records
A. - James Henry: - Born 5 March 1820 at St. Andrew, Lower Canada.
Married to Isabella FRASER, 3 April 1853 at Bytown, Upper Canada.
Died 8th January 1858 at Ottawa.
Children: Daughter BURKE, b. 8 April 1854.
James Joseph BURKE, b. 24 Nov. 1857, Ottawa.
d. 15 Feb. 1858, Ottawa.
James Henry and Isabella had two children: A daughter, unnamed, who was
born 8 April 1854, dying in infancy; a son, James Joseph, born 24 November
1857 at Ottawa and died on 5 February 1858, also at Ottawa.
Note also that my great grandfather Edward was born 20 Aug 1844, nine years
prior to James Henry’s marriage and well after the death of George Thew’s
wife Lydia GRANT. Again, it is not possible that our line came from the
marriage of either George Thew or his son James Henry.
Similarity in names of the wives also causes confusion for the casual
genealogist. One web site says Isabella may be a diminutive of Elizabeth
and ties our Elizabeth RUTLEDGE to Isabella FRASER. This is not possible.
Our Henry Sr.’s second wife, Elizabeth, died about Oct 1853, 8 months after
the birth of their daughter Letitia at their Marlborough Twp. farm.
Elizabeth can not be the mother of the children of James Henry having died
well before the birth of Isabella’s children.
B. - Will Reference: 1. - James BURKE, Instrument #2612, 18th July, 1835.
2. - Codicil, JHB appoints new joint executor 19 Dec, 1857.
3. - Letters Probate - granted to executor 6 April, 1858.
James Henry bequeaths his “real and personal property and estate” to his
wife Isabella. There is no mention of the Fieldstone property.
C. - Patent Grants: dated 17 September 1839 shows that two Richmond town
lots, each one acre, were granted to James and to James H. BURKE.
There is no record of James Henry or his father George Thew receiving a
grant to the W½ of Lot One, Concession Eight (the Fieldstone property).
D. – 1851 Census Comparison
The 1851 Canada West Census below compare the two BURKE Families.
No. 1. The George Thew family of Bytown.
No. 2. The Henry Sr. family of Marlborough Township.
1851 CANADA WEST CENSUS
Name Profession Pl. of Birth Religion Age Next B/D
George T BURKE County Registrar Ireland C. of E. 76
Milo BURKE Gentleman Ireland R. C. 65
Thos JONES* Gentleman (?) Ireland R. C. 65
Jas H BURKE Gentleman Canada R. C. 32
Norah BURKE Spinster Ireland R. C. 56
Mary E BURKE Spinster Canada R. C. 28
Catherine FOGARTY Spinster Canada R. C. 20
Lydia FOGARTY Spinster Canada R. C. 17
Emily FOGARTY Spinster Canada R. C. 9
Milo M BURKE Gentleman Canada R. C. 30
*Non – Family Member
George Thew’s wife, Lydia GRANT, died about 1825
1851 CANADA WEST CENSUS,
Carleton Co, Marlborough Twp
Ref: M/F Reel C11716, Page 73
Henry BURK Farmer Ireland C of E. 56
Elizabeth do. do. " 36
Isaac do. Laborer Upper Can “ 16
Isabelle do. U. C. " 15
Henry do. U. C. " 14
Mary Anne do. U. C. " 12
Weslly do. U. C. " 9
Edward do. U. C. " 8
Eliza Jane do. U. C. " 6
Calab do. U. C. " 4
Last child, Letitia was born on 22 Feb 1853, two years after this census
Elizabeth (RUTLEDGE) BURKE died ca Oct. 1853, 8 months after the birth of
The most obvious conclusion we can make from these census records is that
one person cannot be in two places at the same time, i.e. James Henry
BURKE, son of George Thew, is living in Ottawa. Therefore he can not be the
same person as our Henry Sr., my great-great grandfather, living in
Marlborough Township. Census records and annual assessment rolls allow us
to follow our Henry BURKE and family (Henry Sr., Henry Jr., Edward and
other siblings) through to 1885 when the Concession eight, Marlborough
property was sold to John MacCORDICK.
Examine the Bytown census closely. George Thew and his extended family,
including son James Henry, lived in Bytown (Ottawa) at the time of the 1851
census. James Henry’s’ name is shown as Jas. H. BURKE and he is still
living with his father George. Two years later he married Isabella FRASER.
James married at age 33, in 1853 and died January 1858. As already stated
George Thew was the first elected representative for Carleton County,
living at Bytown for two terms, 1821-1825 and 1825-1829 and was also the
Carleton County registrar. George Thew remained in Bytown with his family,
as other dated records show, until his death in 1854. George could not have
built Fieldstone four to five years after his own death. Similarly, it is
unlikely that his son James Henry, who died 8th January 1858 at the very
beginning of our estimated construction date of Fieldstone, could have been
In the second table you can see the records of our Henry Sr., my
great-great grandfather, married to Elizabeth RUTLEDGE, living with the
first eight of their ten children on their farm in the W½ Lot one,
Concession eight, Marlborough Township. Note the third child is Henry Jr.,
well documented in the literature. Fieldstone and his father’s farm
eventually passed to him on his father’s death in 1867. Note the sixth
child, Edward, my great grandfather, also has well documented records. Note
Calab (Caleb), again well documented. Edward and Caleb married sisters
Ellen and Annie MURDOCK.
James Henry was enumerated in Bytown and our Henry Sr. was enumerated in
Marlborough Twp., proving that they are two distinct individuals.
Conclusion: There is no doubt that George Thew and family is separate from
our Henry Sr. and family. If you can accept this, then your conclusion must
be that neither Fieldstone nor the two Marlborough lots have any connection
to the George Thew BURKE family.
George Thew, all his children, his siblings and wife were Catholic. George
was a nominal Anglican because British Army regulations prohibited
Catholics from becoming officers. Only members of the Church of England are
eligible for a commission in the officer corps. For the benefit of the
military George Thew became a nominal Anglican, but when he died at Ottawa,
his body was returned to Richmond and buried at St. Philips Catholic
Cemetery, next to his wife, Lydia GRANT.
Our Henry Sr. and family belonged to the Church of England. In those days,
although possible, families of the two faiths seldom mixed. Their
antagonism toward each other was the reason the Irish, of both faiths,
emigrated from Ireland. Henry BURKE died 9th March, 1867 and is buried at
St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, Richmond, Ontario.
#3. Birth Place.
A. George Thew is from Ballyartella, County Tipperary, Ireland.
B. Our Henry Sr. is from the Townland of Drumherriff, Parish of Kiltoghert,
County Leitrim, Ireland. See the reference to Henry’s birthplace in
Attachment No. 26, “Petition, Colonel BY’s Papers.” Also see reference to
his birthplace, County Leitrim on his gravestone, found in the Chapter
Our Henry Sr. was an uneducated man. Land records describe him as a Yeoman
(a man born free; a commoner). The two references, below, shows that Henry
makes “His Mark” (X) where a signature is required, an indication of his
inability to write (and read?) Both of the following documents provide the
same information. Again see the reference Attachment No. 26, “Petition,
Colonel BY’s Papers”.
Ref: No. 1. Immigrants from Ireland in 1823 & 1825 to Colonel By.
Colonial Office Records #384 / 22, Microfilm Reel #B-945.
National Archives of Canada, Page 88.
Ref: No. 2. The McCabe List, By Bruce S. Elliott. (O.G.S.)
George Thew, as well as his children, was well educated. George Thew was a
retired army officer, 1818; Superintendent of the Richmond Military
Settlement, Colonel of Militia at Richmond, 1819; elected Representative at
Bytown 1821 –1829; County Registrar and an Auditor for the District Council
at Bytown, 1842. None of these positions would be possible for an
Referring to George Thew’s family, Collis and Alix LEWIS, grandson’s of
George, wrote in their biography “Colonel BURKE, Father of Richmond, 1967”
the following: “James Henry BURKE, another son of Colonel BURKE, early gave
evidence of literary and even poetical talents. He made a voyage to the
Arctic Region and saw something of the Great World outside. In 1854 he
settled at Bytown (Ottawa) and started the Ottawa Tribune in the Irish
Roman Catholic interest.”
George Thew’s other children were also educated business people, all with
careers that required a higher degree of education than our Henry had. The
above dates further suggest that George Thew and his entire family had
severed all ties to Richmond town and district, living the remainder of
George Thew’s life at Bytown. The Census Index for the Town of Richmond for
1850 does not show any BURKE’s registered.
None of this proves that our Henry Sr. is a separate person from George
Thew’s son James Henry but are indicative of the differing lifestyles
between the two families.
Another document further supports my contention that our Henry Sr. built
the stone house about 1858 – 1859 for the marriage of his son Henry Jr. It
was prepared for the Rideau Township L.A.C.A.C. and written by Robert
HUNTER during the 1970’s. See Attachment No #21, “MacCORDICK House, Rideau
Township.” A copy may be found at the North Gower Archives, Ontario. The
L.A.C.A.C. (“Local Architectural Conservation Agency Advisory Committee”,
under the Ontario Ministry of Cultural Affairs) is an organization which
locates and designates heritage homes. Attachment No. 22 “MacCORDICK House
(‘Fieldstone’)” is similar in content to the HUNTER story and supports the
information provided by him but is unsigned and undated but likely written
after the HUNTER story, above. To be even-handed about these referenced
stories, while they refer to our Henry Sr. as the builder of Fieldstone
about 1858 - 1859, there are problems concerning his birthplace and army
rank that are discussed at the end of each attachment. None of these
problems, I believe, provide sufficient evidence to warrant a change to my
Both stories imply the connection of George Thew BURKE to Fieldstone’s
beginnings. I suggest but have no proof, that Mrs. Patricia MacCORDICK was
the person interviewed by the two authors, WALKER and FILLMORE and that she
is the person who provided this information respecting George Thew and his
family. No sources or references are quoted but as Mrs. Patricia MacCORDICK
was the sole occupant of Fieldstone since 1952, when her husband died, the
inference may be made that her recollections are the basis for the
information found in both stories. She is not a member of either BURKE
family but because she was the owner/occupant of Fieldstone, interested
persons would naturally gravitate to her for information. My over-riding
concern is who/what is the source of her information. Did she really have
personal knowledge regarding Fieldstone or did someone put words in her
mouth and she then embellished her story. It’s unfortunate that a fiction
repeated often enough will, in time, become fact.
To summarize the George Thew problem: The name George Thew BURKE and/or his
family does not appear in any official records connected to our Henry Sr.’s
properties in the W½ Lot One, Concession Eight or in the SW part of Lot
One, Concession Nine of Marlborough Township. The 1851 Census and the dates
of death of the principal individuals prove that our Henry and James Henry
were two distinct individuals and shows that there are two separate BURKE
families. In short, there is no evidence connecting George Thew or his
family to our Henry Sr., my great-great grandfather, nor is there any
evidence to connect George Thew to Fieldstone or to support a date of 1828
for the construction of Fieldstone. James Henry was a businessman living in
Ottawa with his father George Thew and both were dead by January, 1858, the
beginning of the construction of Fieldstone. The quotes from the two
disputed stories, that suggest a connection to our family, are so flawed
that I cannot recommend using any of the information contained therein. The
conclusion must be that George Thew and/or his son James Henry was not the
builder of the stone house or the owners of the Fieldstone property, nor
are they related to our Henry Sr.
Based on this information I recommend we recognize that:
No. 1. Henry Sr. is our earliest confirmed BURKE ancestor.
Henry Sr. is the beginning of our line in Canada.
No. 2. George Thew George Thew is not a member of our family and belongs
to ………a separate and distinct BURKE family.
No. 3. Fieldstone was constructed about 1858-1859 by our Henry BURKE Sr.
George Thew BURKE and his family were not, in any way, associated with Fieldstone.
... Ray Burke
E-mail Ray Burke, Randy Burke, Taylor Kennedy, Ken Armstrong, Ellen Paul and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area