Emily Maynard Arabella Burke was born on September 18th 1867, at Windsor Terrace, Edenderry, Co Offaly, the third of four children. Her Father Rev William John Burke was a Church of Ireland minister, in nearby Castlejordan, at the time of Emily’s birth. Her elder sister, Miriam was born in 1863, followed two years later by Richard, and John in 1869, completing the Burke Family.
Emily and her family lived in Edenderry until 1872, when her father, Rev Burke was transferred, to Ballinasloe, in Co Galway, back to his native West of Ireland. Meanwhile, the young Burke’s were sent away to school, the boys to a school for clergymans sons, and Emily and Miriam, attended the school for Daughters of the Irish Clergy on Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin. There Emily received a very good education, equipping her for life.
Emily went on to train as a nurse, at Sir Patrick Dunn’s Hospital, a career that allowed her to live independently and travel to Europe and as far as Russia. In 1905, she married Edward Weddall, a retired sea captain, and a year later the newlyweds made Achill Island their home. However married life was short lived for her, when the captain, died suddenly shortly after the couple celebrated thir third anniversary. Emily found herself a widow at the age of forty.
In a twist of fate, life was only about to begin for the young widow, because times were changing in Ireland and in the world too. Emily was about to get swept up in the whirlwind of a pivotal time in history…
Church Of Ireland minute books for Diocese of Meath 17