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KEENAN FAMILY  in Australia

Henry John Keenan (1842 - 1889)

Last updated:  23 July 2017

Born: 1842...................  at Glenone, County Derry, Northern Ireland
Parents: Henry Keenan and Mary Ann Gamble
Married: Nancy ("Ann") Jane Gamble of Lislea, on 1 October 1863 at 1st Presbyterian Church, Kilrea, County Derry, Northern Ireland.  The marriage certificate  (see below) shows that Henry John's father was Henry Keenan; the witnesses were James McKay and Aaron Keenan; Nancy Jane Gamble's father was James Gamble.
Occupation: Labourer, Farmer, Miner
Main Residence: In Northern Ireland: Glenone, County Derry.  In Australia: Batlow, NSW
Hospitalisation: Henry was admitted to the Gladesville Mental Hospital on 22 September 1885 at 43 years of age and suffering from dementia.  He remained there until his death, 3 years and 9 months later. The true nature of Henry's illness may not have been mentioned in the family.  For example, Hazel Colliss, daughter of Ivy Morris (nee Keenan), told me in 2002 that her mother told her that Henry had "died at an early age from over-work".

Click here for more information about the Gladesville Mental Hospital.
Deceased: 22 June 1889 at Gladesville, New South Wales, Australia.  Causes of death: See Hospitalisation note above and the link. Henry died without making a will; administration of his estate was granted to his widow, Ann Jane Keenan, in April 1891.
Buried:  Gladesville, NSW.  The "Burial Register" exhibited below shows that Henry was burried in the Protestant section of the Gladesville Hospital Cemetery, grave number 1089.  However, these graves can no longer be located.

Children:  See the page on  Batlow Pioneers

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT HENRY JOHN'S ANCESTORS IS SUPPLIED BY MRS ANITA ARNOLD OF ENGADINE, NEW SOUTH WALES. More recently some additional information has been obtained on-line from The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).




For family history see 1949Newspaper Article.
Marriage Certificate of Henry John Keenan and Nancy Jane Gamble

Burial Register

This copy extract was emailed to me by Bevan Stone on 16/11/2012.  It shows that Henry John Keenan, died on 22 June 1889 at the age of 47 and was buried in the Prostestant section of the graveyard at the Gladesville (NSW) hospital, grave number 1089.  This grave and nearly all the others at the hospital can no longer be located.

The reference number (5832) is the number assigned to Henry John Keenan in the hospital's Register of Patients and Admission Book; the Date of Admission to the hospital is 22/9/1885.  For more on Henry's time in this facility see the the extract from hospital records that I prepared several years ago.

For information about the Gladesville Mental Hospital click HERE

Probate Notice advertised by Ann Jane Keenan on 11 April 1891:

A report in The Tumut and Adelong Times of 7 February 1867 records an event which appears to involve Henry. The report says:

TUMUT POLICE COURT. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4 (1867). Before the Police Magistrate. Wages Henry Keenan sued William Murphy for 15s. wages. The defence set up was that Keenan was not hired ; but Piper, who was a witness for Keenan, swore that Mr. Murphy set Keenan to work. Verdict for amount claimed.

The NSW Titles Office records show that Henry John Keenan of Upper Gilmore, Miner, purchased 2 acres of land (Vol. CLIXI, Folio 59) (Portion 26) for 2.0.0 on 23 November 1871. He held the property until 29 August 1878, when it was transferred to Jeremia Regan. After several other transfers it was transferred to the Bowmans (Percy Sidney and Ernest Frederick) on 24 June 1946.

The purchase by Henry J Keenan is one of many Crown Land Sales recorded in The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser on 8 December 1871, where it is described as "Lot C, 2 acres, county of Wynyard, Parish of Batlow, adjacent to the south-western corner of portion No.4". It is also reported in The Goulburn Herald And Chronicle, Sat 2 Dec 1871 - page 6.

It appears at present (4 March 2017) that this land was on either the west side of  (what is now called) Wakehurst Avenue, near Memorial Avenue; or, less likely, the north side of Memorial Avenue near Wakehurst Avenue. I say this because the Batlow Bowling Club - which is on the south-western corner of Memorial Avenue - is on Portion 4. (See advertisement/notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August 1972, page 26.)

During the period of Henry's ownership of this land 4 of his children were born: Grace (1871-1915), John (1873-1957), Mary (1876-?) and Henry John (3/8/1878-1889).


It appears that in 1882 Henry John Keenan purchased 40 acres of land in Batlow, although I cannot, at this stage, say where it was (though it was probably along what is known as Keenans Road in Batlow). In The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser on 3 February 1882 it is reported that "selections were taken up at the Tumut Land office on Thursday Feb.2 :- .... H. Keenan, 40a, Batlow ...." This is also reported in the Wagga Wagga Advertiser, 7 February 1882, and other publications.

After Henry died his widow, Ann Jane Keenan, lodged an affidavit for the purpose of obtaining Letters of Administration of his estate. It is said that Henry died without leaving a will. The affidavit, dated 15 November 1891, put the net value of Henry's estate at 15.0.0, made up of land valued (by Robert Timms JP) at 70.0.0, furniture valued at 5.0.0, less debts of 60.0.0, being 30.0.0 owing at 21 June 1889 to Timms and Eyles, Storekeepers of Batlow, for goods supplied, and 30.0.0 described as "balance due to Government on 40 acres of C.P. land".

During the period of Henry's ownership of this land 2 of his children were born: Isabella (1883-84) and Stewart/Stuart (1885-1969).