Surname Origins

According to the Internet Surname Database, the Bourke has English and Irish roots, mostly of noble families (so I’m pretty sure my branch is one of the other ones).  The website indicates that it is one of the first surnames ever recorded, dating back to Geoffrey de Burk in 1272

Surname in my Tree

My closest Bourke ancestor is my 2nd great grandmother, Elizabeth/Eliza/Elise Bourke (1861-1930).  Her father is Louis Bourk (1830-1897), and his father is believed to be Francis Bourk (~1798-bef. 1880).


According to census records, Francis Bourk was born in Canada around 1798.  He first appears on a U.S. census record with his son Louis in 1870.  Louis had already been in the United States for quite some time by that point, having married Merencienne Bellgard (~1835-1873) on February 2, 1853 in Will County, Illinois (HUGE thank you to my friend Laura Lorenzana for obtaining a copy of that marriage certificate for me!).  The couple remained in Illinois, producing 4 known children by 1864,  including my 2nd great grandmother Eliza, before migrating to Michigan sometime before 1867, where they produced two more children.  Around 1870, they migrated one more time to Nebraska, which is likely where Eliza met my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Zenophile Lanctot.  Eliza and Zenophile were married April 17, 1881 in Fremont, Dodge, Nebraska, and by 1882 had one child.  They migrated to Dakota Territory (eventually South Dakota) around 1885 and resided there for the remainder of their lives.  They returned to Mead, Saunders, Nebraska for a short time in 1887, which is where my great grandfather Louis Lanctot was born.  He is the only child not born in South Dakota.

Future Research

I really feel like I need to solidify the vitals for Eliza before I can really focus on her father and grandfather.  She and her birth story are the sticky wicket in this branch of my tree.  I feel like perhaps once I get past that hurdle, I can start piecing some other information together so this family makes some sense.  I’m working on putting together a new research plan and to-do list for her.


Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com

Copyright 2016 - Jenny-ology.com

Disclosure:  Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated if you purchase a product using one of those links. There is no additional cost to you. Occasionally I receive free products to review, which will be indicated in my review posts. All opinions are my own, regardless of compensation.  See my full disclosures at the link above.


Surname Saturday: Bourke — 2 Comments

  1. I just love that researching an English surname causes you to use the phrase “sticky wicket”. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the story and the Internet Surname Database – what a fun toy that is!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *