Damien Burke and Eugenie Landry

Follow these links to see the ancestry of the Burke (Bourg) family, and the Burke family's Acadian roots...

For the relatively modern history, please see below...

Eugenie Landry and "le vieux" Damien Burke

Eugenie Landry and Damien Burke

"Le vieux" Damien (Jr.) Bourg was born February 9, 1853, fourth child born to Damien Bourg and Domitille Cordeau. Eugenie Landry was born February 18, 1858. She was the daughter of Pacien Landry and Angele Digout. (Note: RB church records for 1857-58 show Melanie Eugenie as the given names.)

Follow this link to learn more about the parents and siblings of Damien.

Damien (Jr.) was probably born on the land his father received from father-in-law Urbain Cordeau, and likely grew up there.

Damien (Jr.) married Eugenie Landry on January 9, 1882. They lived their lives in River Bourgeois (links to a page with pictures and images of the area) on the south side of Cape Breton Island. Damien was probably a fisherman and part-time farmer and logger. Theirs was a French Catholic household.

This snip is from McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1890-1897. Damien Sr. and Damien Jr. are both fishermen living in River Bourgeois.

Eugenie and Damien had two children : Abraham Alfred Damien Burke, born February 14, 1884, and Celeste Anne Burke, born February 3, 1900.

An overview of the Bourg descendancy up to the grandchildren of Damien and Eugenie...

Click on the image to go to a page of printable ancestry charts for the descendants of Damien and Eugenie.

From the transcribed River Bourgeois church records...

Born : Bourke, Abraham Alfred, Feb 14, 1884, to Damien Bourke & Eugenie Landry

Born : Burke, Celeste Anne, Feb 3, 1900, to Damien Burke & Eugenie Landry

From the 1901 and 1911 census reports...

This is a snippet from the 1901 Census for River Bourgeois, the page with entries for Damien, Eugenie, Frederick and "C. Anie".

Interestingly, this closup of the entry for Damien looks like the surname was written as "Bourg" initially, then overwritten with "Bourque". This is the earliest instance of the anglicizing of the Bourg name that I have come across. (Small steps from Bourque or Bourke to Burke.)

This is a snippet from the 1911 Census for River Bourgeois, the page with entries for Damien, Eugenie, Ann, Fred D. and his wife Ellen Jane, and their daughters Lillian and Angela.

Both Damien and Fred are noted as fishermen. All family members are noted as French Roman Catholics.

Note: "Cannes" is a municipal division of River Bourgeois, on the south side. It includes, or consists mostly of, what was known as Pointe à Bouleau in earlier times.

See the page on census reports for more census images and information on where to locate census reports online.

Be sure to visit the River Bourgeois page to see photos, images and other details about the area where the family lived.

Following his father's death in 1898, Damien (Jr.) inherited a large part of the aforementioned land, with a second piece going to his brother Cyprien. Around 1905, Damien and Eugenie decided to move (house and all) further inland to Pointe à Bouleau.

Damien and Eugenie's house in Pointe à Bouleau (on the right in this picture) had two rooms - a 10 x 20 foot kitchen, with a wood (or coal) burning stove and oven attached, kitchen table, sofa and rocking chair. The other room, of equal size, was principally a bedroom, but also the place for sewing (with a sewing machine) and other household duties. No running water. An outhouse stood out back.

Theresa remembers... when they would visit, the family would drive up to the front of the house on the dirt path driveway. The front door led into the kitchen.

Theresa remembers... easily speaking with Eugenie in English, and easily understanding a reply in French. Theresa also remembers getting money from Eugenie which she would then laud in front of her younger brother Lou.

"Le vieux" Damien died February 3, 1933, six days short of his 80th birthday. (A heart-shaped metal grave marker exists with this information on it. Picture below.) Mary Eugenie (Jean) Landry, just seven-years-old at the time, remembers running home to tell Grandma Celeste, who was bathing the youngest baby boy (Stephen) at the time.

Leo (Celeste Anne's son) recalls that "Eugenie moved in with Peter and Celeste right away after Damien died" (in 1944). And, it was soon after the winter was over that they moved the porch from the old house to Celeste Anne's house and made it into a daytime living area for her. Notes from Anne Landry (Leo's daughter)... "Eugenie would sleep in the main house, but during the day she had her own kitchen/living space."

Eugenie died June 12, 1944. Gravestone photograph below...

Family photos...

In this family portrait of Damien and Eugenie (c1929)...

Top row : granddaughters Angela, Frances and Lillian; daughter Celeste Anne, daughter-in-law Ellen Jane, granddaughter Cecilia, son Fred.

Middle row : grandson Leo, possibly grandson Donald, granddaughter Jean, possibly grandson Clarence Landry with palm forward, Damien holding granddaughter Mary Eugenie, Eugenie holding grandson Lou, granddaughter Cecilia.

Bottom row : granddaughter Helen, grandson Bernard (palm downward), granddaughter Theresa, grandson Lou.

Top row : daughter Celeste Anne, daughter-in-law Ellen Jane, son Fred.

Bottom row : Damien holding holding grandson Lou, Eugenie holding granddaughter Mary Eugenie.

Eugenie and Damien with granddaughter Mary Eugenie.

Eugenie Burke (nee Landry) with sister Maggie.

Eugenie (left), on their property in River Bourgeois, with sister Maggie.

Eugenie on the property of Celeste Anne and Peter Landry, after she had moved there from her property. Eugenie had long hair tied in a bun on the back.

Damien Burke's grave marker. Click to enlarge. Gravestone of Damien and Eugenie. Click to enlarge.

Damien Burke's grave marker. No longer at the St. John the Baptist churchyard in River Bourgeois, it is preserved by, and in the possession of, Anne Landry. Approximately 12" across, it was mounted on a cross, "a metal scroll work type".

The gravestone of Damien and Eugenie Burke, with many more details and images, can be seen in context by following this link to the River Bourgeois church.

This file last modified 1/17/2024...

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