In 1888 Miriam Burke departed for Australia. She travelled unassisted, meaning that she paid her own fare, and was not claimed out by relatives or any organisation. Miriam may have qualified as governess or school teacher and immigrated to Australia to work in those professions.
Richard Maynard Burke was six months dead when Miriam boarded the S.S. Salier in November 1888. Now only Emily and her youngest brother John Jasper remained. John Jasper would join Miriam in the near future leaving Emily alone in Ireland.
On December 22, a few days before Christmas Miriam disembarked at Adelaide in the State of Victoria. The passenger list contained the following record:
First Name: M S
Last Name: Burke
Est. Birth Year: 1863
Month Of Arrival: Dec
Ship Name: Salier
Thankfully it was overall a pleasant voyage for Miss Burke, who appeared to be traveling alone, according to the Captain’s log; Due provision was made for the comfort and well-being of the passengers, and as the weather generally was fine, and in the tropical latitudes endurable, the voyage altogether was of a pleasant character. Captain Thalenhorst and his officers, and the purser (Mr. H. Ahiers), were considerate in all that concerned the welfare of the people on board.
The Australia of the 1880’s was a far cry from what it is today, a relatively rich land, a tropical climate and good employment opportunities, a far cry from what Miriam would have found on arrival. The cities may have been modern for the time but the outback would have been harsh and tough on an Irish constitution better adapted to cool more temperate weather. Somehow she adapted well and lived out her days there till she died in 1941 at the age of 78.