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KEENAN FAMILY  in Australia

Henry John Keenan (1842 - 1889)

Last updated:  24/9/2018

Born: 1842...................  at Glenone, County Derry, Northern Ireland
Parents: Henry Keenan and Mary Ann Gamble
Married: Nancy ("Ann") Jane Gamble of Lislea, County Derry, Northern Ireland, on 1 October 1863. They were married at the 1st Presbyterian Church, Kilrea, County Derry, Northern Ireland.  The marriage certificate  (see below) (film number 101443)  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, my research shows that these graves can no longer be located.

Children:  See the page on  Batlow Pioneers or page on Nancy Jane Keenan (nee Gamble) 1844.

Photographs: As Henry John Keenan died just before cameras became available to amateur photographers, there are unlikely to be any photographs of Henry in existence. However, there are photos of his brother, Stewart Keenan of Western Australia, and these give a clue to what Henry looked like. (See my page "The Keenans of Western Australia" for photos of Stewart.) Also, on seeing a photo of George Aaron Robert Keenan of Batlow in about 1913, a person who was a neighbour and friend of Henry John wrote that George looked like Henry. (See my page on Ivy Morris nee Keenan). Photos of George Keenan appear on his page.

Description: When Henry John Keenan was admitted to the Gladesville Mental Hospital in 1885 at 43 years of age, he was decribed as follows:

"He is a wretched looking illnourished man, 5 feet 4 inches in height with a face indicative of considerable recutal faiu (?). He has a red beard, darker hair, blue eyes, a straight nose and a clear complexion. It is extremely difficult to understand what he says oweing to Constant Choreiform movements of the trunk areas and head. He at any rate seems to be considerably demented tho evidently intelligent and anxious to explain anything connected with himself. He needs assistance to walk. He takes his food, is cleanly in his habits and sleeps well."

Other notes made by staff at the Gladesville Mental Hospital are reproduced further down this page.


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).


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


Marriage-cert-henry-ann
Wedding-extract-henry-nancy
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 extract from hospital records that I prepared several years ago. 
Also, see the following copy of extracts made by me in June 1994 from records kept at the Mitchell Library in Sydney:-

Gladesville Hospital Medical Case Book No. 48, 11/7/1884 to 22/12/ 1885 (4/8175)

Fol. 240 No. in Register 5832
Admitted 22 September 1885
Henry John Keenan
Age ..... 43
Social Condition ..... M
No. of children ..... 11 (Youngest act (?): 5 ----- (?)
Occupation ..... Farmer
Nativity ..... Ireland
Residence ..... Reedy Flat near Tumut
Religion ..... Presbyterian
Form of Mental Disorder ..... Dementia
Insane relations ..... Has an Epileptic Son
Further History : - Medical certificates state that he threatened to injure his wife and burn down the house. Believed that one of his children was pregnant and was incoherent in speech.   In the R.H. (a few hours) he was quick and clean.
Medical & Bodily Condition, Symptoms, Etc:

29 September 1885
     He is a wretched looking illnourished man, 5 feet 4 inches in height with a face indicative of considerable recutal faiu (?). He has a red beard, darker hair, blue eyes, a straight nose and a clear complexion. It is extremely difficult to understand what he says oweing to Constant Choreiform movements of the trunk areas and head. He at any rate seems to be considerably demented tho evidently intelligent and anxious to explain anything connected with himself.  He needs assistance to walk. He takes his food, is cleanly in his habits and sleeps well.

Oct 6
     The Choreiform movements are less constant and not so worked (?) and are absent at night.

Oct 13
     No change
Oct 20
     No change
Oct 27
     No change.  He has marked delusions of persecution and believes that he is to be divorced from his wife.
Oct 31
     No change
Nov 30
     No change
Dec 31
     No change
1886
Jan 31, March 31, June 30, Sept 30 Dec 31
     All marked "No Change"
1887
Mar 31, June 30, Sept 30, Dec 31
     All marked "No Change"
1888
Mar 31, June 30, Sept 30, Dec 31
     All marked "No Change"
1889
Mar 31
     There is no material change in his condition
June 22
     He has gradually grown thinner altho the choreie movements have been kept in check by Hyosoqamine (Hyoscamine ?) / Mereki Auiorhous/ (?) gr 1/12 in 2 doses.  He died at 3.15am.
          Died.
     For notes of P.M.: See Journal Folio 215

Treatment
Date    Sept 17          R1 (Can't read)          Weight 105 lbs
           Oct 1             continue
           Nov 1            continue



For information about the Gladesville Mental Hospital click HERE


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

Probabte-Henry-Keenan-b1842
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.
LAND PURCHASE #1

The NSW Titles Office records show that Henry John Keenan of Upper Gilmore, Miner, purchased 2 acres of land (Vol. CLIXI, or Vol. CLX1, 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).

LAND PURCHASE #2

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).
Henry in news