Jane Theresa Burke Kirwan Halpin

Jane Theresa Burke was born 13 April 1847 in Boston, MA to Irish immigrants William and Margaret Burke. She married Thomas Joseph Kirwan, himself an Irish immigrant, in Webster, MA in 1863. She was 15, he was 19. Their first son, John, was born a year later in Cook County, Illinois. John died about a year later. My great-great grandfather, Edward T. Kirwan was born a year after that in 1866 in Bristol Illinois. Jane and Thomas had 7 other children, 3 of whom died within a year of birth. The family moved west to Wyoming sometime before 1876. Thomas died in 1882 in Laramie, WY.

Following Thomas’ death, Jane married William Henry Halpin, himself a widower and Irish immigrant. Dates and events here are still unclear to me. William Halpin died in 1910 in Colorado, so I’m not sure if they settled in that area or not. Jane died in 1914 in San Diego and was buried in Catholic Cemetery. The following is an excerpt of her obituary:

The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Monday, July 13, 1914, page 5

HALPIN – In this city, July 11, 1914, Mrs. Jane Theresa Halpin, mother of Mrs. Anna McKelvey of San Diego, William Halpin, U.S. S. California, Edward Kirwin of Silver City, Utah, Mrs. Kater Carter of Salida, Colo., Mrs. Susie Stillman of Eureka, Utah, and Mrs. Maggie Riley of Gochen Utah, aunt of Mrs. Fred Morse of Ocean Park, Cal., and grand mother of Theresa McGary, Della and Earl Krombka of San Diego; a native of Massachusetts, aged 67 years, 2 months, 28 days.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral from the residence, No. 4635 Park boulevard, tomorrow (Tuesday), at 8:30 a.m., thence to St. Joseph’s church, Third and Beech streets, where a requiem high mass will be held at 9 o’clock. Interment Catholic cemetery.

Catholic Cemetery (AKA, Pioneer Memorial Park or Mission Hills Park) was converted to a park in the early 1970s. The headstones, but not the bodies, were moved to a corner of the park. Well, not all the headstones. Some were apparently moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery. All the names of those interned at Catholic Cemetery were placed on a plaque in the park. The picture above is from that plaque.

The park is nice. Memorial Day weather in San Diego is tough to beat and the park seemed to be the perfect place to enjoy the weather. Folks were setting up a volleyball net when we arrived to find Grandma. I actually believe the bit about “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” and that your body is just a bunch of organic compounds after you die. I’m all for a simple pine box when I go so that my decomposed remains can actually decompose (as opposed to being hermetically sealed in a concrete and steel bunker), so I don’t begrudge the folks enjoying the sunshine in the park. I just hope it doesn’t creep them out to know that Grandma Kirwan’s reposing 6 feet below.

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2 Comments on “Jane Theresa Burke Kirwan Halpin”

  1. BK says:

    This is very interesting. I have a question though. Once upon a time in high school, I had a US History assignment to interview a grandparent about how WWII (why not WW2?) impacted them (or something like that). I, of course, forgot all about it until I was sitting in class on my assigned day to tell the class about my interview. We, however, had a substitute that day, and me being…well…me, I decided to make something up. I knew a bit of detail about WW2 & the Normandy invasion, so I embellished. It was a great story (ask my wife, she was in the class and the only one who knew for sure that I was making it up). Anyway, my question to you, lil bro: how much of this did you just make up? 😉

  2. brock says:

    You think that I saw “Far and Away” and made all this up? No way. This is all genealogical fact. At least, it’s true as long as the dates and locations found on new.familysearch.org are true.


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