Keogh Family

by Joyce Kombrink nee Keogh

Keogh Name

The name Keogh has undergone many changes since the 17th century. In the 1600’s it is documented as McEoch which in Erse means horseman, changing down the centuries and evolving as Keogh in present times. Eochaid, a personal name, was adopted by a family which comprised three distinct septs. Their territory was Limerick and Ballymackeogh, the second sept were lords of Moyfinn around Athlone and Roscommon (known as Keogh’s Country) and the third sept were the MacKeoghs of Leinster. This particular line is reported to have come from Tipperary which is near Limerick and would therefore fall within the first category.

Descendants of Cornelius Keogh

The name Cornelius is the leitmotif which runs through the generations from Cornelius Keogh 1829-1910 who was a journeyman tailor by profession. From his Marriage Certificate, it is noted that his father’s name was also Cornelius and likewise his profession was that of a tailor but there are no further known details. His son, Cornelius, was born in Hampton, Middlesex, in 1829 and, by the standards of the day, he was long lived. He married Elizabeth Keating on 6 May 1849 and they had 9 children - Michael William, Cornelius, Henry James, Alfred, Arthur, Elizabeth Mary Ann, Charles Alexander, Harriett Eugene and Alice Frances. Three sons became jockeys – Cornelius at Winchester, Arthur at Tiverton who was a Jockey/Huntsman and Alfred who ended his days as a groom in the racing stables at Newmarket.

Market Street
Only Henry became a tailor like his father who was a tailor journeyman which entailed being a cutter, skilled in cutting patterns and clothes. In 1851 there were 134,000 tailors nationwide. Cornelius also wrote for the magazine The Tailor & Cutter especially with regard to the Tailors’ Strike of 1866 where the trade wanted to reduce the working day from 12 hours and to include breaks.

Cornelius and Elizabeth (who was an artificial flowerist at the time of her marriage) lived just off of Carnaby Street. The marriage took place at St James’s Piccadilly which in the years to come was badly war damaged but the altar remained in tact. They resided a few years in Westminster before spending the remainder of their lives in Islington, North London. A picture of Market Street where they lived before they retired gives a general idea of the Victorian buildings which must have surrounded them.

Cornelius Keogh and the members of
the Tailors Benevolent Institute
When Cornelius became elderly and could no longer work due to failing eyesight and gout, both he and Elizabeth applied to the Tailors Benevolent Institution for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm and entered the Institution in 1895. This organisation was established in February 1837. It was intended to provide a fund for the relief of aged and infirm journeyman tailors and to provide an asylum for them and their wives. Firms and individuals, masters and journeymen, could be members upon payment of an annual subscription. Journeymen became eligible for relief after three years' membership and out-pensioners were chosen and inmates of the Asylum elected by the Board of Directors.

At the death of Cornelius in 1901, the surviving children were Michael, Henry, Arthur, Harriett and Alice. Michael, Cornelius and Alfred died without issue and nothing is known of Elizabeth Mary Ann. Henry married Ada Bryant and their children were named Elizabeth Mary Ann, Grace Marian, Cornelius, Henry (Harry), James, Lilian Ada, William Jesse, Ada Mary and Eva Violet. It is not known whether Cornelius and Harry had issue which perpetuated the Keogh name (all the other lines ended in daughters and the name died out). Arthur who married Louisa Morell had two children, Louisa and Florence. Charles Alexander who married Ida Elizabeth England had 5 children Elizabeth Mary (Maud), Cornelius, Henrietta (Hettie), Edith Minnie and Charles John Alexander.

Wedding of Henrietta Keogh to
Sidney Bartholomew in 1914
When Cornelius died on 13 June 1910, the First World War was not far away.
Charles John Alexander, survived the First World War at The Somme and other major battles; he was also present at the signing of Versaille Treaty.

Not so fortunate, was Henry’s son, William Jesse Keogh, born 1895, who died in Flanders two months before Armistice Day on 2 September 1918 and was awarded the Military Medal, He was a Drummer in the 3rd Battalion London Regiment (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers). His name appears on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

The two youngest daughters were Harriett Eugene who married Benjamin Thomas Goatcher and Alice Frances who married Alfred Arthur Briers. As at the 1911 census, Harriett had 7 children Richard, Oliver, Charles Alexander, Frank Cornelius, Frederick Claude, Sidney and Evelyn. Alice’s children were named John Alfred, Frances, Dora Alice, Lilian, Charles, Benjamin, Alfred, Cornelius and Sidney.

Family Tree Chart

The family tree can be viewed as a pdf document. Provided you have Adobe Acrobat reader you may view the chart by clicking here.