Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Among the chief Anglo-Normans who went with Strongbow to Ireland and received large grants of land were the Keatings, who settled in Wexford, and have been one of the noble families since the reign of King John, the head of the family being the Baron of Kilmananan. At the time of the first landings of the Keatings in Ireland, one is said to have exclaimed, after a repulse: "We will land by 'hook or by crook,' which gave the name to two points of land off which lay the boats which conveyed them. He thereupon took his battle-axe, cut off his right hand and threw it ashore. By this act he claimed to have effected a landing, and this is the origin of the Keating crest-the "Bloody Hand." Wexford was long known as Keating county, but the lands of the family were confiscated in 1798. From the original settler of the family in Ireland has sprung a numerous progeny now scattered throughout the world.
(1) Captain Richard Keating, son of Nicholas and Ann (McDonald) Keating, was born in St. Michael's parish, Dublin, Ireland, September 20, 1813, and died in Brighton, England, October 1, 1877. At the age of sixteen he entered the service of the Honorable East India Company, and was under it at St. Helena from 1831 to 1844. In 1840 he was one of the guard of honor on the occasion of the removal of the body of Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French emperor, from St. Helena to Paris by consent of the British government, at the solicitation of Louis Philippe, king of the French. He afterward volunteered into the Royal Artillery, and in 1869 was retired as a captain on half-pay, after a continuous and honorable service of thirty-eight years.
He married (first), in 1846, Margaret Kyle, who died at Portsmouth, England, December 30, 1850, aged twenty-three years. He married (second), Sophia Sarah Bennison, born January 28, 1830, eldest daughter of Henry and Ann Sophia (Earle) Bennison, of St. Pancreas, London, England. Her father was a civil engineer. Her mother was born in Winchester, Hampshire. By his first marriage Captain Richard Keating had a son, Richard B., who came to Massachusetts about the time of the breaking out of the great civil war; he became a member of the Second Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, with which he went to the front and served with honor until the close of the war. He then returned to the United Kingdom, and finally settled in Scotland, after having served in the British army for twenty-eight years. He received from the United States a pension for disabilities contracted in service, and from which he died in 1900. Other children of Captain Richard Keating's first marriage were:
Marguerite, who resided with her stepmother, in Brighton, England, and who died in 1905.
Nicholas Henry, who died single, in 1891.
(II) John Bernard, only child of Captain Richard and Sophia Sarah (Bennison) Keating, was born in Plumstead, county Kent, England, October 7, 1859. During the years of his childhood and youth he resided in the island of Mauritius for five years, thence went to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, the island of St. Helena, and to Gosport, the famous fortified seaport town opposite Portsmouth, England. His schooling was finished at Cordier Hill Academy, in the Island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. He grew up in the midst of a military environment, and through that influence developed a love for the army and military affairs. After acquiring proper instruction in military science, especially in engineering, he joined the royal Engineers in May, 1879, with which corps he served efficiently in Canada, at Gibraltar and Bermuda. On account of impaired health he retired from the army in 1886 and in 1888 entered the British consular service as a clerk in Boston. There, after serving in various grades, he was called to the position of acting vice-consul, and after serving as such for six months was appointed pro-consul, and served as such for a like period. So greatly was his work in Boston appreciated that upon the death of Mr. Starr, British vice-consul at Portland, Maine, Mr. Keating was selected from among a number of likely candidates to be his successor. He entered upon his vice-consular duties at Portland on April 2, 1895, and has now (1908) creditably occupied that position for a period of thirteen years. At the beginning of his term of service the office was not regarded as particularly important, and the duties of the representative of the imperial government were not onerous. To-day, however, largely through Mr. Keating's initiative, the British vice-consulate is one of the busiest centers of the city, where the maritime activities of the port are focused and watched. He is a very active official, and has done much to foster friendly feelings and build up a great commerce between the United States and Canada and the mother country. In the Jubilee Year of Queen Victoria's reign (1897) it was largely through Mr. Keating's instrumentality that Her Majesty's ship "Pallas" entered the port and her company was entertained by the municipality. Again, during the war with Spain, the vice-consul arranged and carried through a visit of Canada's premier regiment, the Fifth Royal Scots, as the official guests of Portland, ostensibly to celebrate the jubilee of the Grand Trunk railway, but in reality to show the people of Maine that Canada was in sympathy with the United States while war drums were beating. Several times since Canadian regiments have crossed the frontier in peaceful invasion-visits arranged by the patriotic enterprise of the vice-consul at Portland. Finally, it was Mr. Keating who planned and carried out the impressive memorial service at St. Luke's Cathedral on the death of Queen Victoria. The legislature at Augusta was adjourned as a mark of respect and the services at the cathedral were attended by the governor, his staff and council. He was also chiefly instrumental in furnishing and maintaining a home for seamen of all nationalities, which was provided with reading room and cheerful recreations. That his efforts in this direction were appreciated by those who followed the sea was evidenced by their large attendance at the institute, which is now closed. Since his installation in office the shipping between Portland and the ports of the United Kingdom has increased about five hundred per cent, a result which may without doubt be largely attributed to his zeal and influence. As a judge of British naval courts of inquiry, Mr. Keating has shown his ability and force of character, combined with justice and mercy. His comprehensive knowledge of the laws and regulations governing in cases connected with shipping matters which come before him for adjustment as a representative of Great Britain in a foreign port, is such as, coupled with the absolute impartiality with which his office is administered, to have earned for himself the highest respect of the shipping community. Among commercial enterprises which he has assisted may be mentioned the large importation of Welsh coal to Portland and other parts of the New England seaboard during the American coal strike; and his successful assistance in the preliminaries of the building of the second Grand Trunk elevator, at that time the second largest east of Detroit. Indeed, it may be truly said that in all he has undertaken, as a public functionary, Mr. Keating has proved himself the right man in the right place, and his success has been unfailing.
On the occasion of the visit of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to St. John, New Brunswick, Mr. and Mrs. Keating were presented to him, and they were shown exceptional honor at that time. Mr. Keating has been commodore of the East End Yacht Club, and he occupies at the present time the unique position of British vice-consul and honorary member of the Portland Naval Reserve. While commodore of the yacht club he instituted the beautiful custom of strewing the sea with flowers, which is now universally carried out, thus revering the memory of the deceased seamen of the civil war, as the Grand Army of the Republic honors its soldier dead by the decoration of their graves. Twice during his residence in Portland has a British fleet anchored in his district. At Bar Harbor, at the dinner given by the petty officers of the American navy to the petty officers of the British navy, and to the sergeants of the British marine, Mr. Keating was called upon for a speech, and in happy vein struck so responsive a chord in the hearts of his hearers that at the close of his address he was lifted on the shoulders of his auditors and carried about the banquet hall to the strains of "He's a jolly good fellow." Similarly, on the last visit of the British fleet, Mr. Keating presided as chairman of the banquet given by the American warrant officers to the warrant officers of the British navy.
Mr. Keating is a Free Mason, raised in 1885 in Broad Arrow Lodge in Bermuda, under the Grand Registry of England; one of the founders of the Civil and Military Lodge in Bermuda under the Grand Registry of Scotland, and an honorary life member of the latter lodge; a Royal Arch Mason under the Grand Registry of Ireland; and an affiliated member in Mount Vernon Chapter, Portland, he was made a Knight Templar of St. Alban Commandery, Portland, and afterward an honorary member of Sussex Preceptory of Knights Templar of Sherbrooke, Province of Quebec; he is also a member of Karnak Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine, of Montreal. He is a member of the British Naval and Military Veterans of Massachusetts, of the United States Naval Reserves at Portland, an honorary member of Bosworth Post, Grand Army of the Republic, Portland, and an honorary member of the British Empire Club of Boston.
Mr. Keating was married in Devonshire Church, Bermuda, July 6, 1886, to Emily Hannah Ada Hoare, born in Queensland, Australia, 1864, daughter of Dr. John Buckler and Esther (Firman) Hoare, of Westminster, Wiltshire, England, she being a connection of the prominent Buckler family of Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. and Mrs. Keating have had four children:
1. Percy Firman, born in Atlantic, Massachusetts, March 1, 1888, a graduate of the Bishops College School, Canada, and now engaged in the insurance business.
2. Mildred Sophia, born in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, November 29, 1889, who was educated in private schools.
3. Harold John Buckler, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, March 15, 1893.
4. Charlotte Buckler, born in Ashmont, Dorchester, Massachusetts, July 15, 1895.