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I have hit a brick wall in researching my Irish Ancestors.  I have a name and probable father's name for the man who came to America.  I can't seem to find a mother's name or siblings for him.  If you can help ~ Please email me at

Here is what I do know


  • Patrick O'Keefe
  • Born 1824 - died 1871 - either January 15 or 25
  • Born in Ireland (Cork Cty but I can not confirm that)  Died in Iowa, USA
  • Married to Bridget Callahan (1820-1895)  have NO information on her although I heard she traveled here with her two oldest daughters - one was a newborn the other was 2 and her three brothers - but I dont know any of their names and I dont know how reliable that information is
  • Catherine, Ellen, Eugene, David, Mary Bridget
  • I believe his father - also named David came to America with him - though I do not know if they traveled together - there is a David listed on some of the census' but and the ages seem to make sense
  • I am pretty sure that Bridget was in Liverpool sometime during her travels - though I dont know the details


Tuesday 5th Jun 2012, 10:02PM

Message Board Replies

  • Just a few ideas that may lead you to more information about your Patrick O'Keefe.

    Have you found an obituary for him?  Quite often they mention details about place of birth, year of immigration (or emmigration).

    Have you looked at Ellis Island records?  I have an uncle on the other side of the family whose family went to America. When I found them in the Ellis Island records they often gave details about the names and addresses of relatives already living in America.  I don't know when the Ellis Island records start.

    Regarding Liverpool, a lot of the emmigrant ships left from Liverpool so maybe Bridget and her family travelled to Liverpool to get the ship.  I think Liverpool also attracted a lot of sometimes seasonal workers from Ireland.

    Good luck with your research.



    Robyn O'Keeffe

    Tuesday 5th Jun 2012, 10:52PM
  • Hi there,

    Robyn is quite right to suggest emigration or rather immigration records for more information.

    Have you tried checking the Ellis Island records ( or the Castle Garden records ( Generally, more information was given at the port of arrival rather than the port of departure. If you knew which city they arrived at, this could be a good place to find more information, and perhaps even find out an exact place of origin.

    County Cork has many, many, many parishes! And if you are not even sure they were from Cork, then it makes the search that bit more tricky. Have you spoken to other family members, check old documents such as family bibles, letters, etc.? You might be lucky enough to find more clues.

    You could check civil registration records. Civil registration records are available from the General Register Office (GRO). These start from 1864 however. You can access the website here:

    I could suggest other documents, but you really need to find out a more precise place of origin. If you do, check the following:

    You could try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38) or the later Griffith's Valuation (1848-64). Griffith's is freely available here: or here: Failte Romhat has lots of other useful links you could try looking at.Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38). Microfilm copies of the books for all of Ireland are available at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS).

    Please make sure you link anyone else in your family who is interested in their Irish heritage to our site - and indeed anyone else you know of Irish heritage.

    Kind regards,

    Sinead Cooney

    Genealogist (Ireland XO)




    Thursday 14th Jun 2012, 03:41PM

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