Keogh / Kehoe Family History

An email to the website this morning from Raymond Keogh of Bray:

I am from Bray in County Wicklow. My (Keogh) family was, according to oral history, from County Wexford. But we were in Dublin from the 1830s, at least.

I have been studying my family history for almost half a century. In all this time I wanted to prove/disprove the Wexford link. But, there was no way I could do so – until recently.

I have undertaken an analysis of my (male) DNA in two laboratories (Oxford Ancestors and Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) which is based in the US). I am part of the Keogh/Kehoe Project in FTDNA. The person who runs the Project is Miles Kehoe and his family was originally from Kilrush parish, though he now lives in the US. He has also tested his family (male) DNA.

Some interesting results are coming out from the Project and relate to the Keoghs of Wexford. Firstly, there is a definite link between my DNA and those who have come from the county. So, at last, I can now claim Wexford as the home of my ancestors!

But, does this mean that Miles Kehoe and I are related? No. We now know that the Keoghs/Kehoes of Wexford are divided into 2 groups, at least. It is not possible to determine the group by the spelling of the name (Kehoe and Keogh are used by both).

Miles’ group have connections with the north of Ireland (O’Neill clan). So far my group seems to be associated with Leinster.

But, which of us represents the ‘original’ tribes of the county? Which of us can claim that we are descended from the bards and scribes of Wexford? Kilrush is not far from Gorey which was the centre of a bardic or poetic MacEochaidh family for centuries. There are still many Keoghs/Kehoes in this area. Which type do they belong to? It is only by testing more Keogh/Kehoe (males) in the area and in the county in general that we will we be able to answer this question.

I would, therefore, like to know if any Keoghs/Kehoes in Kilrush/Askamore, or further afield in Wexford, have undertaken family DNA tests?

I came across your website by accident. This morning I was replying by e-mail to Miles, when I decided, on a whim, to find out the location of his family’s original parish in Kilrush, through Google Earth. I could not believe my luck when I came across your active website with lots of references to local history! I am sure you have great contacts in the locality and, undoubtedly, will know if any Keoghs/Kehoes have undertaken their family (DNA) tests. In any case, I can certainly keep you posted on developments within the FTDNA project, as I assume there would be a lot of local interest.

The possibility also exists of getting one or two people tested (I may even be able to get some support to cover the costs).

If reaction is positive I can send more information that might interest your readers (I hope to bring out an e-book in 2015 that deals with family history and identity, based on the Keoghs). Anyway, that’s for the future.

If you have any information that may be of interest to Raymond, please email the website and we will put you in contact with him.

Talk on Ferns Tapestry

Stephanie Breen and Aileen Kavanagh gave a very interesting slideshow and talk on the tapestry on Tuesday last.

Stephanie did the art work for the tapestry and both Aileen and her mother Kathy Kavanagh were involved in stitching some of the 25 panels making up this work.

Stephanie Breen, Kathy and Aileen Kavanagh

Stephanie Breen, Kathy and Aileen Kavanagh

The Visitors’ Centre is open from end of May to end of September from 10a.m. to 6p.m., seven days a week. Guided tours of the adjacent Castle are given daily by enthusiastic OPW staff.

For more information on the tapestry and when to see it visit here.

County Wexford Oral History Programme Podcasts

About the Project

Listen to Wexford people talk about their lives and stories

Since 2008, over 130 have been interviewed. The recordings are available here as podcasts and on cd for borrowing from all Wexford branch and mobile libraries.Wexford people here are witnesses to and practitioners of aspects of local life which are disappearing fast. Hear about school and childhood, work, trades and crafts, fairs and festivals, shopping and lots more.

Background to the Project

The County Wexford Oral history Programme

  • collects the memory and life experiences of people associated with County Wexford through audio & video recorded conversation.
  • conserves records to archival standard.
  • makes recordings available locally and globally for research and educational purposes.
  • includes this material within publications of popular interest.

3 locals are featured in the archives at present.

Listen to Jimmy Gregan of Castlewhite here.

Listen to Davy Donohoe of Ballyconran here.

Listen to Dan Kennedy of Ballynaberney, Kilrush, here.

(You may be prompted to download a small piece of software in order to listen to the podcasts.)

History of South Wicklow – Our Tuesday Talk in Askamore – March 13th

On Tuesday evening of next week, March 13th, we will host an illustrated talk on the history of south Wicklow. This talk, which will be presented by Kevin Lee, will outline the establishment of Protestant colony in south Wicklow and part of north Wexford by the Watson-Wentworth family during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Kevin will explain how the human landscape as we know it today was created at this time. The newly arrived settlers built ditches and enclosed the land into the fields that form today’s patchwork kaleidoscope.

The large farmhouses belonging to middlemen tenants such as Umrigar House, Tombreane House Hillbrook and Ballyellis House were built at this time by newly arrived families such as the Symes, Braddells and Swans.

New or rebuilt churches at locations such as Coolkenna, Carnew and Kilcommon also date from this period.

The lecture will include an artistic re-creation of Carnew as it appeared in 1728.

Come along to find out more about your local area.