Welcome to the Burke Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Burke surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Burke ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Burke Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Burke family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Burke ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Burke Ancestors
Sometimes two people can look at the same handwritten record, and come up with different spellings of the name. Be creative when searching for your Burke ancestors -- we often search for misspellings intentionally to see if we missed any records. Genealogy is more than just searching through databases. Articles like "Digital Books and Microfilm" can help accelerate your Burke research.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Burke
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Burke records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Burke family history resource today.
Origins of the Burke Surname
While some countries have limited historical records for last name assignments, you are most likely to only find general guidance on the origin and meaning of the Burke surname. Were you aware that Burke is a common Irish surname? The article "The Luck of the Irish Research" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 86], the surname BURKE is defined as A corruption of (De) Burgo, as the name was formerly written, that is, from the fort, castle, hill, or city. This family went from Normandy into England with the Conqueror, and afterward into ireland with Strongbow.
Burke DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two Burke ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Burke research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
Burke Family History
There is more to exploring your Burke ancestry than just gathering a bunch of names and dates. Understanding where your ancestors lived, how they were employed, and what they did for fun, may give you a better appreciation of your heritage. Whether you are a beginner or expert genealogists, knowing Where can I find a biography of my Burke ancestor? is always useful.
Networking with Burke Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Burke queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Burke ancestors.
Burke Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Burke was the 243rd most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Burke Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Burke, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming Burke Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Burke booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Burke reunion.