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John James Keegan (Sr.), of the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, Bloomsbury, Middlesex (now in London), England, born 1805-06 (aged 45 in 1851) in the parish of St. George Hanover Square, Middlesex (per the 1851 census), died by 1861 (when his wife is called a widow in the census). Although he is not called deceased in the baptismal record of his son John on 21 May 1854, and although the implied date of birth would not agree closely, he may perhaps have been the John Keegan, of no. 3, Duke’s Court, Drury Lane, Westminster, aged 45 years, no further information about the deceased being given, who was buried 9 April 1854 in the parish churchyard of St. Martin in the Fields.[1] He cannot however have been the John Keegan, laborer, who died 3 August 1857 in the Workhouse, Vinegar Yard, St. Giles in the Fields, London, of phthisis (i.e. pulmonary tuberculosis), aged 40 years, and who must therefore have been born about 1816-17.[2] Our John Keegan is called a “boot closer,” of no. 34 Great N. Andrew Street, in his daughter Rebecca’s birth record (1846), and, as will be seen below, he is again called a “boot closer,” posthumously, in the death record of his wife. He married 5 September 1836 in the parish church of St. Anne Soho, Westminster,[3] Sarah Bowen, born about 1816 (aged 20-24 in 1841, 34 in 1851, 45 in 1861, 54 in 1871, 60 in 1877) at Bristol, Gloucestershire (but actually on the Gloucestershire-Somerset border), died 18 April 1877 at no. 5 Houghton Street, Clare Market, St. Mary Le Strand, London, aged 60 years, of “apoplexy and epileptic convulsions.”[4] She was perhaps the Sarah Bowens baptized 27 April 1817 in the parish church of Holy Trinity, Abbots Leigh, near Bristol (IGI), daughter of Michael Bowens and Ann ____, the only child of this couple to be baptized there, at least according to the IGI.[5] At the time of their marriage she was of the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, but his residence is not given, and no witnesses are named; he was able to write his name, but she made a mark. His name as written on the version of the marriage record seen by us does appears to be a copy rather than an original signature.
    John James Keegan and his wife were enumerated at Tower Street, St. Giles in the Fields, in the 1841 census, in which John is called a boot-closer.[6] The are found at no. 16 White Horse Yard, St. Clement Danes, Westminster, in the 1851 census, in which he is again called a boot-closer, and she a shoe-closer.[7] In 1861 the widowed Sarah Keegan, “forewoman in a seed warehouse,” is found at no. 7 Brydges Street, in the parish of St. Mary le Strand, Westminster, with her children George and Emily.[8] In 1871, as a “seedwoman at [a] warehouse,” she is found in the parish of St. Mary le Strand, Westminster, with her children George, Emily, and Frances, and her granddaughter Rebecca Hales; although the street address is not specified, they were living next door to her son-in-law Samuel William Hales’s widowed mother, Maria (Frost) Hales.[9] At the time of her death (in the record of which she is called “widow of John Keegan, a boot closer”) in 1877 she was a charwoman. Known issue:

  1. George William Keegan, baptized 5 November 1837 in the parish church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Middlesex,[10] still alive in 1881. He was already working as an errand boy in 1851, at the age of 13 years. He was still living unmarried with his mother in 1861, when he was a “silk mercer,” and in 1871, when he was a “hot presser.” In 1881 he is found as an unmarried lodger at 10 Archer Street, London, in which he is called a “hot presser — paper.”[11] Perhaps he was also the George W. Keegan, unmarried, aged 53, born St. Giles, London, found as a “servant — stoker” in the household of Edward Purnell in the 1891 census.[12]
  2. Rebecca Elizabeth Keegan, born 22 June 1846 in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields,[13] died 11 April 1903 at no. 6 Houghton Street, Strand District, London, of heart disease, bronchitis, and syncope, aged 56 years,[14] She married 10 September 1865, by banns, in the old St. Pancras Church, St. Pancras Road, St. Pancras parish, Middlesex (now in London),[15] Samuel William Hales, born 20 February 1842 (per baptismal record), in the Hoxton district of Shoreditch, Middlesex (now in London), according to the 1871 census, was baptized 27 March 1842 in St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch Parish, and died 6 February 1913 at West Ham Union Infirmary, of “arterio-sclerosis” and “mitral incompetence,” aged 63 years,[16] son of Samuel Hales, of London, by his wife Maria Frost. They were both single at the time of their marriage, he then being of Grafton Place and she of Chalton Street. She falsely declared herself to be of full age (i.e. 21 years) at the time, although she was only 19. She was able to make a signature in the register, but he made a mark. The witnesses were a James Bradstreet and an Elizabeth Mott. For further details on them see HALES.
  3. Emily Jane Keegan, born 1849-50 (aged 1 in 1851, 11 in 1861) in the parish of St. Giles, Westminster, Middlesex, probably the Emily Jane Power who died shosrtly before 21 September 1881, when she was buried in Camden, London.[17] She was still living unmarried with her mother at the taking of the 1871 census, when her occupation is given as “percussion cap maker.” she married (as his first wife) 3 September 1871 in the Parish Church of St. Luke, Middlesex,[18] James J. Power, born about 1850 (aged 31 in 1881, 52 in 1901) in the parish of St. Lukes, London, living 1901, son of Samuel Power. At the time of their marriage, which was witnessed by [her brother-in-law] Samuel William Hales and a Frederick Panarme (?), the groom’s occupation was “French polisher” the addresses are largely illegible in the rather carelessly-written record. As “Emily Power, daughter, [of] 4 Sheffield Street, Clare Market” she reported her mother’s death in 1877. Emily and her husband are found at 10 Eagle Street, London, in the 1881 census, in which he is called a leather polisher.[19] Emily died by 1901, and her husband appears at Haverford Mission Hall, 35 Gough Street, St. Pancras, London, with his second wife, Hannah, in the census of that year, in which he is called a “French Polisher,” preceeded by some illegible words.[20] Known issue:
    1. William Power, born 1872-73 in the parish of St. Martins, London, living with his parents in 1881, but no longer with his father in 1901.
    2. George F. Power, born 1874-75 in the parish of St. Martins, London, living unmarried with his father and stepmother in 1901, when he was a “bookbinder and polisher.”
    3. Nellie F. Power, born 1877-78 in the parish of St. Clements, Middlesex, living unmarried with her father and stepmother in 1901, when she is listed as a “Feather Quill Curler,” preceeded by some illegible words.
  4. Frances Keegan, born 1851-52 at Westminster, missed in the 1861 census, but found living unmarried with her mother in 1871, when she was a “bookfolder.” We have not found her under her maiden name in the LDS index to the 1881 census of England, and we have not found a marriage for her in FreeBMD.
  5. John James Keegan, Jr., born 21 May 1854, baptized 27 May following in the parish church of Saint Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London,[21] buried 1855 in the parish churchyard, at the age of under one year.[22]


1London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980, image of original record at Ancestry.com.
2Death certificate.
3London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, images of original records at Ancestry.com.
4Death certificate.
5Bristol, Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, 1558-1983, as indexed in the IGI, batch C170971.
61841 Census of England, Middlesex, registration district: St. Giles in the Fields, subdistrict: St. Giles North, enumeration district 9, p. 15; HO107/673/19, folio 55 [Family History Library microfilm no. 438,789]. The entry reads:
                                    born in county?
John Keegan   35[-39]  boot closer  yes
Sarah Keegan  20[-24]  ----         no
Geo. Keegan    3                    yes
71851 Census of England, Middlesex, registration district: Strand, subdistrict: St. Clement Danes, enumeration district 1n, p. 45; HO107/1512, folio 322 [FHL microfilm no. 87,846]. The entry reads as follows:
John   Keegan head mar. 45 boot closer Middlesex:
                                          St. George Hanover Sq.
Sarah       " wife mar. 34 shoe closer [Gloucester:]
                                          Bristol, St. John
Geo. Wm.    " son  --   13 errand boy  Middlesex:
                                          St. Giles in the Fields
Reba. Eliz. " dau. --    4 at home     "
Emily Jane  " dau. --    1 ----        "
81861 census of England, London, registration district: Strand, subdistrict: St Mary Le Strand, enumeration district 3, p. 53; RG09, piece 177, folio 99.
91871 census of Westminster, district: Strand, subdistrict: St. Mary le Strand, enumeration district 8, p. 35; R.G. 10/364, fo. 42.
10“London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917,&rdauo; digital collection at ancestry.com.
111881 Census of England, Middlesex, London, England, RG11, piece 0125, fo. 51, p. 4 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,341,028].
121891 Census, Registration district: Pancras, Subdistrict: Tottenham Court, Enumeration district 5, p. 76 (RG12/119, fo. 178).
13Birth certificate.
14Death certificate.
15Marriage register of St. Pancras Old Church, London; FHL 598,351.
16Death certificate.
17UK Burial and Cremation Index, 1576-2014, index at ancestry.com.
18London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, images of original records available at Ancestry.com. The marriage was registered in the September 1871 quarter in the Holborn district, vol. 1b, p. 976.
191881 Census of England, Middlesex, London, RG11, piece 0340, fo. 7, p. 12 [FHL microfilm no. 1,341,074.
201901 Census of England, County of London, registration district: St. Pancras, subdistrict: Gray’s Inn Lane, eumeration district 12, p. 17; R.G. 13/141, fo. 138.
21Controlled extracts from parish register, in IGI.
22Burial register of St Martin in the Fields, as indexed in “England, Westminster, Parish Registers, 1538-1912” collection, FamilySearch.

From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/ff/Keegan.cfm
This page written 10 October 2003
Last revised 20 March 2020