The Burkes of Ower were descended from a younger son of the Burkes of Clanricarde in the 15th century. By the 16th century they owned a large estate in the Castlehacket and Cahermorris localities in the barony of Clare, county Galway, most of which was confiscated in the 17th century. The Burkes managed to retain Ower in the parish of Killursa and continued to reside there until the early 20th century. They also held some land just across the county border at Moyne in the parish of Shrule, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo. In the 1870s William Joseph Burke owned 666 acres in county Galway and 752 acres in county Mayo. The male line died out with his death in 1895 but he was succeeded by his daughter, Margaret Mary, who married Luke Alexander Teeling. William Joseph Burke had married Barbara Ellen Turner, daughter of Thomas Blake Turner MD, of St John's Abbey, Tuam, county Galway. Property at Moyne in the barony of Kilmaine, belonging to this family was sold in the Landed Estates Court in November 1868, It was bought by Oliver J. Burke. In December 1876 the sale of the estate (288 acres) of members of the Turner family, William Joseph Burke and Robert Henry in the barony of Bunratty Upper, county Clare, was advertised. Burke family members included the mathematician Francis Burke, the scientist John Benjamin Butler Burke and the author Oliver Burke.