Teri

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I have a 3-4 cousin DNA Match by the surname of Burke. My ancestry reported part heritage from Cork, Munster, Ireland. Also have a remote match by the surname of Haggarty (maybe variant of Hegarty). Interesting indeed.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Jul 8, 1999
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He had no kids. He no one's grandfather
Quite true. Jeremiah Burke was a 19-year-old farmhand and a single man when he boarded the Titanic. But he had six siblings, including two sisters who had settled in America; he was making the trip on the Titanic to join them.

So, although Jeremiah Burke died in the sinking (that Monday was his 19th birthday), he still could have been someone's uncle, grand-uncle and so on.

But by far the most interesting thing about him is that message in the bottle that a passing postman reportedly found in Cork harbour only a few miles from the Burke family home over a year after the disaster. A copy is shown here on ET and I first thought that the date on the note said 10/4/1912; that would have made it a hoax because the Titanic only reached Queenstown on 11th April morning. But looking at it more carefully, I realized that the caption next to the note saying that the date was actually 13th April 1912 was right. The letter is reportedly now displayed in the Titanic Museum at Cobh (present name for Queenstown).

Reportedly, Jeremiah's grand-niece Ms O'Flynn claimed that when the police returned the bottle and message to the Burke family in 1912, they swore that it was the same bottle that his mother had filled with Holy Water and given to her son for good luck. Apparently, the family members also recognized the handwriting on the message to be his. The message "Goodbye All" sounds oddly like a farewell note and Ms O'Flynn reportedly said that it indicated panic because Catholics normally don't through out holy water bottles. But since the date on the message was 13th April, the Titanic was still somewhere in mid-Atlantic by then, over 24 hours from its fateful encounter with the iceberg. So, there would have been no cause for panic and even if the note is authentic (which I confess that I seriously doubt), Jeremiah must had thrown it out when they were approximately halfway into the voyage.

But as I said, I personally find it difficult to believe that the note is genuine despite the publicity that it has received in Irish Titanic sources. The chances of such a note drifting in the currents halfway across the Atlantic to end-up only a few miles from the sender's family home are very very small. I don't know what other people think about this, but part of my skepticism might be the - ahem - wariness of research related information received from rural Ireland. Years ago, while trying to research into the life and times of Lusitania disaster survivor Julia Sullivan, I wrote to some sources in Ireland / County Kerry. I ended-up with rather more responses than I expected, including 3 completely different families claiming to be her descendants!
 
Aug 8, 2021
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Salt Lake City
Quite true. Jeremiah Burke was a 19-year-old farmhand and a single man when he boarded the Titanic. But he had six siblings, including two sisters who had settled in America; he was making the trip on the Titanic to join them.

So, although Jeremiah Burke died in the sinking (that Monday was his 19th birthday), he still could have been someone's uncle, grand-uncle and so on.

But by far the most interesting thing about him is that message in the bottle that a passing postman reportedly found in Cork harbour only a few miles from the Burke family home over a year after the disaster. A copy is shown here on ET and I first thought that the date on the note said 10/4/1912; that would have made it a hoax because the Titanic only reached Queenstown on 11th April morning. But looking at it more carefully, I realized that the caption next to the note saying that the date was actually 13th April 1912 was right. The letter is reportedly now displayed in the Titanic Museum at Cobh (present name for Queenstown).

Reportedly, Jeremiah's grand-niece Ms O'Flynn claimed that when the police returned the bottle and message to the Burke family in 1912, they swore that it was the same bottle that his mother had filled with Holy Water and given to her son for good luck. Apparently, the family members also recognized the handwriting on the message to be his. The message "Goodbye All" sounds oddly like a farewell note and Ms O'Flynn reportedly said that it indicated panic because Catholics normally don't through out holy water bottles. But since the date on the message was 13th April, the Titanic was still somewhere in mid-Atlantic by then, over 24 hours from its fateful encounter with the iceberg. So, there would have been no cause for panic and even if the note is authentic (which I confess that I seriously doubt), Jeremiah must had thrown it out when they were approximately halfway into the voyage.

But as I said, I personally find it difficult to believe that the note is genuine despite the publicity that it has received in Irish Titanic sources. The chances of such a note drifting in the currents halfway across the Atlantic to end-up only a few miles from the sender's family home are very very small. I don't know what other people think about this, but part of my skepticism might be the - ahem - wariness of research related information received from rural Ireland. Years ago, while trying to research into the life and times of Lusitania disaster survivor Julia Sullivan, I wrote to some sources in Ireland / County Kerry. I ended-up with rather more responses than I expected, including 3 completely different families claiming to be her descendants!
Very true. Coming from an Irish-Catholic background myself, I understand the tendency to demonstrate "miracles," which would almost be required for it to cross the Atlantic and end up in Cork- exactly where the supposed sender was from. As far as the date goes, the I-want-to-believe-this side of me is saying maybe he just had the date wrong... which would be understandable in a panicked state.
 

Arun Vajpey

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As far as the date goes, the I-want-to-believe-this side of me is saying maybe he just had the date wrong... which would be understandable in a panicked state.
I agree to that, especially since not everyone might have known to adjust their watches (assuming that Jeremiah Burke had one) to changing ship's time as they sailed westward. But we have to also consider that Burke left Queenstown on 11th April 1912 and would have remembered that he had slept through 3 whole nights and was (probably) in bed for the fourth when the accident happened. Also, there were only 20 minutes of Sunday 14th April left when the impact occurred and hardly any passenger had realized the seriousness of their situation by midnight.

But for all that, I accept that in a moment of panic someone might write '13' instead of '15' and so I don't suspect the authenticity of the note based on the date alone. But accepting that would mean that the bottle drifted even further - since the Titanic was well past the midpoint of its voyage when the accident occurred - to somehow end-up in Cork, only a few miles form the Burke family home. IMO, that's stretching coincidence and the probability factor a shade too far.
 
Aug 8, 2021
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Salt Lake City
I agree to that, especially since not everyone might have known to adjust their watches (assuming that Jeremiah Burke had one) to changing ship's time as they sailed westward. But we have to also consider that Burke left Queenstown on 11th April 1912 and would have remembered that he had slept through 3 whole nights and was (probably) in bed for the fourth when the accident happened. Also, there were only 20 minutes of Sunday 14th April left when the impact occurred and hardly any passenger had realized the seriousness of their situation by midnight.

But for all that, I accept that in a moment of panic someone might write '13' instead of '15' and so I don't suspect the authenticity of the note based on the date alone. But accepting that would mean that the bottle drifted even further - since the Titanic was well past the midpoint of its voyage when the accident occurred - to somehow end-up in Cork, only a few miles form the Burke family home. IMO, that's stretching coincidence and the probability factor a shade too far.
Well, my thought wasn't that he wrote '13' instead of '15' because of panic specifically, but that he didn't know what date it was, and he wasn't able to reason it out because of the stress of te situation. It also seems like if it was a hoax, it would absolutely say 15.

But that's probably wishful thinking and trying to justify something that basically isn't possible.
 

Arun Vajpey

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It also seems like if it was a hoax, it would absolutely say 15.
Yes, you have a point. But then, the intention of the hoax (assuming that it was one) might have been to suggest that the "goodbye all" was not a farewell message at all but sent somewhere at the midpoint of a journey where "departure" from Ireland changed to impending "arrival" in America. In fact, that concept had its own poignancy, especially for the Irish youngsters who loved their homeland and yet could not resist the opportunity of a new life in a faraway land.

I am beginning to think that the 13th April 1912 date on the message actually increases the chances of that message in the bottle being genuine for the reasons I mentioned above. But at this time it is still a big IF.
 

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