The O’Keeffe Family – Post 4

So Who Is Ellen Mary O’Keeffe?

I had no idea where to start with this question – so I did what all good super-sleuths do when they need info – I “Googled” the name – and to my immense surprise, the answer was just sitting there waiting for me to find it. This is what I found.

Headstone - Ellen Mary (Nellie) O'Keeffe

Nellie O’KEEFFE, sister, born Loterville County Cork, accidentally drowned Bromelton 27 Oct 1890 aged 18 years.

Whoa Nellie! What do we have here? So Ellen Mary is known as “Nellie” and she’s from a place in County Cork called Loterville. Fantastic. But also sad. So young to die – at only 18! And what a terrible death. But now at least I have some idea about where the family might have come from in Ireland, so that was very exciting!

Dr. Google couldn’t help me out this time though – Googling Loterville drew a complete blank for a place name. I tried various spellings, to no avail. Oh well, file that bit of info away for later…..

So where to from here? It seems the O’Keeffe family were from County Cork, and that agreed with what Uncle John had said – that they were from Fermoy. And now I know that Great Grandfather Edward didn’t come out here by himself – he had a least one sister? with him. They arrived before 1890, and that Nellie was born c. 1872. All good clues. Time to hit up “Trove” and see if anything comes up there.


Ellen O'Keeffe - Drowned at BromeltonNellie O'Keeffe - Death Notice

Oh wow – what a terrible story. Poor Nellie – I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for everyone there that day. But at least the article said some very nice things about her – and provided more valuable clues. When I saw the Death Notice, I saw for the first time a name that no-one else had ever seen in my immediate family – the name of my Great Great Grandfather – William O’Keeffe. No mention of any mother though, so I immediately thought the worst and presumed that William’s wife (and the children’s mother) was dead. The family had been in the country for about 10 years, and they had for a time lived in Ipswich. Ellen also had a sister who worked at the station too. This time the article said she was born in Goterville – but that place name also drew a blank.

So they had arrived around 1880. That would be a good place to start looking for a Shipping record. William, and at least 3 children that I know of.


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Tracing my Family Tree from England, Ireland & Scotland - through Convicts and Free Settlers - to Australia. Finding how all of my Ancestors made their way to the "Lucky Country"

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