These statements explain WHY you will not find John Burke's parents listed with him on any census page.
Facts you should know about the early census records - All census records [1790 – 1840] prior to the 1850 census ONLY listed the head of household; whether male or female. NO specific age was stated for any family member NO place of birth was stated – city, state, or country NO city, town, or village is stated – only the county; however some census takers listed the township NO street address was stated NO marital status was stated – single, married, widowed, or divorced NO family relationship was stated – brother, sister, cousin, son, daughter, wife, inlaw, etc… NO occupation was stated NO parental birthplaces are stated NO race was stated [but assume “white”]
1850, 1860 & 1870 census records do not show family relationships, marital status or parental birthplaces.
Step children are not enumerated as “step” children Adopted children are not enumerated as “adopted” Grand children are not enumerated as “grand children” Orphaned children were not enumerated as "orphan"
1850 is the 1st census that shows all family members
1880 is the 1st census that shows parental birthplaces +++
STORY from another researcher - It appears that Thomas Burk fought in the American Revolution. However we have conflicting information about his participation. In one source, a newspaper article that appeared in a local newspaper in Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania (where his daughter Joanna was living), the article states he served in the Navy. No further details are provided. In 1853, Thomas Burk's wife, Eleanor Thurston, filed for a Government pension based on his war service. She stated, in a deposition, that he had fought in the war as a soldier, and had been wounded twice, once at the Battle of Brandywine Creek (New Jersey) and once at the Battle of Monmouth (New Jersey). Her pension claim was denied because she could not remember what regiment he served in nor could she remember which state he had served under. There is some evidence that Thomas Burk and Thomas Shadduck, apparently two close friends, may have served together in the war. Both men moved to New Hampshire after the war and had families there. Thomas Burk's daughter, Joanna, eventually married Thomas Shadduck's son, also named Thomas.
marriage record - Date: 28 April 1793 Location: Hanover, New Hampshire to Eleanor Thurston
Source: Revolutionary War Pension File - Source Information Title Revolutionary War Pension File Author Publisher National Archives, Washington D.C. Publisher Location Publisher Date Call Number - R1456 Notes - - - - -- - - - - -- - - - - - This file is the widow's application for pension. The "R" designates the pension was denied. REFN Repository D.A.R. Library