It’s time for me to join your fascinating and revealing dialogue with John Williams and other correspondents re the Australian Keeps, particularly the ‘unknown Richard’. I’ve come serendipitously to this at the right time, having only just recently begun to uncover the ‘missing’ Keep quarter of my children’s ancestry, and I profoundly admire all the research you’ve obviously done, or inherited, to accumulate the knowledge you are presently sharing so generously.
To add to that storehouse, I’ll contribute my tuppence worth in the public forum and also contact you directly via email concerning the more sensitive information you’ve offered to share with John Williams. All following locations are for NSW, Australia.
My wife, Jacqueline Anderson (nee Land, b. Paddington, 11/05/1944; m. 15/05/1967, Liverpool) is the great-great granddaughter of Thomas and Eliza Keep (immigrated 1848) through the union of Joseph Keep (b. 15/09/1852, apparently at Richmond River, Kyogle; m. 1877?; d. 1927 ? - your Thomas Henry’s younger brother) and Mary Lambert (b. 28/12/1858, Cook’s River, St. George).
Joseph and Mary’s ninth child of thirteen, Christopher Theodore Keep (b. 07/01/1894 Kogarah; d. 11/11/1934 Kingswood), married Amy Ball (b. 02/10/1893, Rockdale; d. 1957? Mortdale) at Hurstville on 27/01/1919.
Christopher Theodore and Amy’s first-born daughter Brenda Joyce Land (nee Keep, b. 28/07/1920, Hurstville; m. Robert Edwin Land 13/02/1943, Hurstville) is my wife’s mother, living near us in Canberra, ACT.
Both of Brenda’s siblings, her younger sister, Esma Elsie Eyles (b. 08/01/1922; d. 1996 Hurstville, m1. Reg Clarke (d. 1951), Hurstville and m2. Joe Eyles, Mortdale) and Christopher Keep (b. 18/07/1924; Hurstville, m. Joyce Whitehouse 194?, Hurstville; d. 1986 Hurstville) are now both deceased. Both had children. However, Christopher’s unmarried son, Graham (b. 1955), living with his mother Joyce in Hurstville, is the last to bear the Keep surname on this branch of the line.
Apparently, earlier generations of this branch attempted to ‘find the line’ but got stuck. That’s not surprising, really, given the delay between the two waves of Keeps coming to Australia (or is it three (Thomas – see below) or four waves, if we count Samuel and Mary’s arrival in 1855?) and the difficulty of sourcing Richard’s birth details.
I think that the information I’ve provided is pretty accurate. I’ll be more than happy to contact others to fill in any gaps with this branch of the Keeps but for now, I mostly have extra questions, some of which you may be able to clarify privately when I copy this to your email address, and to that of John Williams.
For the moment, two puzzles on the open forum:
1. If Richard Keep was born in 1765, was it ex-wedlock, given your date for the Keep-Bates marriage in 1766?
2. If Thomas Keep, d. Australia 1837, were indeed the Thomas born 1734 (your No. 79 refers), he’d have been the grand old age of 103 when he died. Or was it his son, Thomas (Richard’s brother b. 1766 – your No. 100 refers), or neither? You may have the answer, as I have yet no certificate/details on this particular Keep, including his immigrant status or time of arrival in Australia.
Thanks for everything to this point. I’d promised myself not to get too deeply engaged in family history, but this is most stimulating and could even become addictive! And the Keep descendants at this end are most grateful.