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O'KEEFFE from Ireland

Journal by Coastalskipper01

Looking for information on Thomas O'KEEFFE (various spellings b.1842 Bruff,Limerick who married Catherine (Kate) O'NEILL,again various spellings of surname)b.abt 1843 Kinsale,Cork.They married 1862 in Kinsale. They left Ireland soon after for Australia but only staying there a short time before coming to Taranaki, New Zealand.Ships unknown for both trips.They had 3 children born either Australia or New Zealand before coming down to Christchurch NZ. where Thomas Started supervising the planting of Oak trees in Hagley Park. They had 8 more children born in Christchurch.I know all about them in Christchurch but nothing about them in Ireland.
Thomas'father was Edmond (Edmund) and mother was Bridget McMahon. Catherine's Parents were Michael and Margaret White.
Can anyone help me with the Irish information. Thank you in advance

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by Coastalskipper01 Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2019-10-27 22:56:35

Coastalskipper01 has been a Family Tree Circles member since Oct 2019.

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by Coastalskipper01 on 2019-10-28 23:55:55

Good Afternoon Creta, just on 1300hrs. Tuesday

Some of the information came from Microfiche at the Mormon Church, some from a newspaper clipping as a Biography after Thomas died which would have been from his family. What I omitted from my notes was that when they were in Melbourne, Australia, Thomas saw an add wanting Volunteers to come to New Zealand to fight in the Maori Wars (1860's). As he had been in the Militia in Ireland he decided to join up. Coming to NZ on the ship "Gresham". Now they call it the New Zealand Wars. He was presented with a medal which my husband proudly wears on Anzac Day.
Thomas also lost his musket during one of the skirmishes which would have been an act of Mutiny.

by ngairedith on 2019-10-29 00:18:18

Hi Coastalskipper,
EDIT .. I see your comment just prior to me posting this and that you have that he arrived on the 'Gresham'? Your first post said you didn't know the ships, so I will leave you with the following that I found in this morning's research ..😁

Thomas, Kate and their 3 children arrived in Lyttelton 20 Sep 1863 on the wooden brigantine/schooner 'Viceroy'. They had been in Melbourne for only about a year so if they had 3 children by then I think they married earlier than 1862 and their children (at least 2), were born in Ireland.

The Viceroy was a cargo ship which left Melbourne on its way to Auckland via Lyttelton.
They did not stay in Christchurch but there was a couple of weeks to look around before they went on to Auckland, which may have been the reason they returned years later to settle.
The Viceroy left for Auckland on 6 Oct 1863 where they arrived 26 Oct, probably stopping in at other ports to drop cargo.

Thomas worked as a compositor in Auckland until the NZ War. He had been a compositor on some of the Irish newspapers before they left for Melbourne.
He enrolled in the Military Settlers' Brigade where he rose to the rank of sergeant, taking part in many of the principal fights in the Auckland district.
He was later sent to Taranaki to help with the uprising there.

At the end of the war Thomas and his family migrated down to Canterbury where he was placed in charge of the tree planting at Hagley Park, Christchurch. He later worked for the Christchurch Gas Company.

by Coastalskipper01 on 2019-10-29 03:50:42

Thank you Ngairedith
That was very interesting. There were some things that I didn't know.
I hadn't heard of the "Viceroy: only that I was told my an elderly Aunt (now passed away)that a lot of soldiers traveled on the "Gresham" but I don't always take notice of elderly aunts until I can verify it.She obviously didn't know where the children had been born.
The newspaper clipping I mentioned was The Press, page 7, 24 October 1918 and when I read it I went to the National Archives and they also mentioned the "Gresham". Glad that you could tell be different.

by Coastalskipper01 on 2019-10-29 20:03:13

user creta5797 deactivated
user creta5797 deactivated
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by Kingswood on 2020-03-09 09:19:40

Hi Coastalskipper
I think your Thomas and Catherine O'Keeffe are the same couple we are currently researching. Our couple had 13 children. One of them was William Clifford O'Keeffe known as Clifford; he dropped the William. He married Pearl Livingstone-Cohen also known as Pearl Livingstone. Thomas and Catherine are the Great Grandparents of the family member I am assisting. Did your Thomas and Catherine have a son named William or Clifford. There may also have been a female named Cissie although I believe Cissie may be a nickname that was commonly used by females in that era so that may be unhelpful.

by Coastalskipper01 on 2020-03-13 22:01:58

Hi Scott I answered your letter yesterday and sent you my husband's e-mail as Thomas and Catherine are also his Gr,Grandparents but didn't put his correct e-mail. It is brianroberts4000@gmail.com It is better if you write to him as he knows more about the family than I do. He doesn't have Family Tree Circles.


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