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Keeney Family Genealogy
Online Newsletter

Volume 4 # 3
Summer 2002
k-f-g-online.info Edited by:
Dan Keeney

Table of Contents

Ramblings Welcome Keeney Update & Wagon Ruts West
Contributed items The Inbox.. Miscellaneous Back Issues


Hello Everyone,

We've had a few new  folks sign up for the newsletter so maybe they will help with some contributed data in the future, if anyone has anything they would like to share please send it in so I can put it in the next issue. I can understand how Roscoe feels about the Keeney Updates and lack of information to put in them.

Gayle Keeney-Rager has given her permission to place the prolouge of her upcoming book tentatively titled "Crossing Jordan" (1637-1670) in this issue of the KFG you can keep updated on what's happening at her page located on Keeney.com.
Only one issue of the Keeney Update this time, I hope to complete a couple more in the next week or so.



Welcome to the newest Subscribers

Susan Plank

Crystal Lawson
Gayle Keeney-Rager

James Paul Keeney, Jr.

Dr. Mark E. Keeney


The inbox...

From: John DeCoster Keeneyville2@aol.com
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 04:37:38 EDT
Subject: Ever hear of Keeneyville, Illinois?

Hi Dan
       My name is John DeCoster and I live in Keeneyville, Illinois, an unincorporated area about 25 miles west of Chicago. I've been living here for about 15 years and just recently became interested in how the name came about. After looking into the history of the area online I found out a ton of stuff but nothing on the origins of  Keeneyville (Il).

       I was hoping with as much research as been done with the Keeney genealogy that maybe you or someone within the Keeney family could help me out here. I know many of my neighbors and we occasionally find ourselves asking how the area came to be known as Keeneyville. I can tell you that Keeneyville, Illinois is a rather close-knit community of a couple hundred people or so and we have our own school district. It's a great place to live and raise a family which is why I'm sure one of  your ancestors chose to settle here. Strangely, AOL white pages lists 115 Keeneys living in Illinois, but none in Keeneyville!

       Anyway, Dan, if you have any information regarding the origins of Keeneyville, Illinois (or know of anyone who has), or would like more information regarding its present status, please contact me. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, John DeCoster

From: Travis James Keeney KnyTRAV@aol.com
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 21:57:13 EDT
Subject: Re: Thanks

Daniel, I've recently been trying to start to follow my roots , just stepping into it though and don't know much about my line, but what I do know is this, my fathers name is Robert Charles Keeney Jr., and of course his fathers name was Robert Charles Keeney, my grandfather has passed away so can't find out more from him and don't have contact with my father either so its going to be a hard road finding my line. Mothers name is Bette  Jo Keeney and my fathers mother was named Bonnie Keeney. brothers and sister are Troy , Trent , and Shannon Keeney, and have a cousin which was my grandfathers son Ryan Keeney . So as you can see I only know of my family line only two generations.   Once I find my roots further I'll be sure to send u an e-mail.        thanks

Oh sorry forget to mention we are all from Iowa, Des Moines and surrounding cities.

From: Eochaidh the Heremon <beaumont@pullman.com>
Subject: Re: Jonathan Keeney

Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 11:58:47 -0700

Dear Daniell:

   Another of the sons of Captain Jonathan Keeney is Jonathan Keeney, Jr. to whom he gave his ranch on Dry Creek, in Walla Walla County, Washington. At the time, Dry Creek was in Walla Walla County. It is now in Whitman County, though obviously, the location has not changed.

   Jonathan Keeney, Jr. md 23 Dec 1858 in Lane County, Oregon, Margaret Mitchell (b abt 1843 Jefferson County, Iowa, d 14 Apr 1898 Dry Creek, Whitman County, bur. Colfax, Whitman, Washington) . Colfax is the County Seat. Dry Creek is about 7 miles north of Colfax, and runs east to the Moscow Mountains in Latah County, Idaho, running near the rail depot of Belmont, clear to the town of Farmington. Jonathan must have been the second or third of the children of Captain Jonathan to have married in 1858.

   I appreciate the wonderful information on your site, regarding Captain Jonathan. It is the notation that he gave his farm on Dry Creek to his son that was the clincher that I had found the right person.

   I seek information on all persons of the surname Fairbank/Fairbanks, and anyone descended from Jonathan & Grace Fairbanks of Dedham, Massachusetts.

joe fairbanks

From: "Angela Keeney" <alkeeney@earthlink.net>
Subject: Meredith Keeney
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 20:16:45 -0600

Dan and Roscoe: I wanted to send you a quick note to let you both know that my grandfather, Meredith Keeney passed away last weekend. I'll get a copy of the obit and send along as soon as I get to Indiana. Funeral will be held at Halls Funeral Home in Pittsboro Indiana on Wednesday at 1:00.

Viewing is Tuesday starting at 4pm

mekemk.JPG (30696 bytes)
Meredith Eugene Keeney b 1 Oct 1918 is son of Charles Otis Keeney and Iva Inez Rutledge, grandson of David Darius Keeney and Jessie Coffin, great grandson of Charles Willis Keeney and Emily Bersot, GG Gs of John Hiram Keeney and Marry Crusan and GGG GS of Jonathan Anthony Keeney and Mary McGlothlen.

He had been suffering from pneumonia and was on his way into the hospital for tests when he fell and broke his hip (last Tuesday) He died Saturday morning from the pneumonia.

Meredith Eugene Keeney 01 Oct 1918 - 04 May 2001



"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

- Robert A. Heinlein

New pages added to the site:

Ellen Douglas Keeney Line from 1836

Nancy Louise Kuhl Miller miller@goeaston.net

I am searching more information or family of Ellen Douglas Keeney.
She was born January 01, 1836 in Deleware County, New York.
She married my great grandfather James Ferguson.
Any help?  Thanks


Keeney Update & Wagon Ruts West

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Roscoe C. Keeney, Jr's Keeney Update

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Ralph R. Keeney's  Wagon Ruts West


Contributed Items

From Bob Nicholas bobn@bbs.mlc.pdx.edu

Hillsboro (Oregon) Argus Obituaries, March 21, 2002, pg. A10

Raymond B. Keeney, 94, married for 68 years

FOREST GROVE - Raymond Bedford Keeney, 94, Forest Grove, died March 19, 2002, at Marquis Care Center. Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Mr. Keeney was born March 4, 1908, in Dry Branch, W. Va., a son of John W. and Nanny C. Slack Keeney. He was raised and educated in Belle, W. Va., and served in the West Virginia National Guard for 12 years.

On Sept. 9, 1933, he married Gladys A. Dixon in Belle. They lived in Charleston, W. Va., until moving to Richland, Wash., in 1944. They moved to Forest Grove in 2000.

They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary last year.

Mr. Keeney worked as a pipefitter for duPont Corporation and was transferred to Richland to work at the Hanford Project. He retired in 1970.

He was a long-time member of the West Side Church in Richland and a member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union. He also was active as an assistant Boy Scout leader with the Blue Mountain Council.

Mr. Keeney was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fly-fishing, hunting and camping. Family members say they have many happy memories of experiences in the Pacific Northwest wilderness.

He was known for his sense of humor, his happy whistle and his jovial, and sometime raucous, songs.

Mr. Keeney also was known as "Mr. Fix-It" and helped many people with plumbing problems for 20 years after retiring.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys Keeney, Forest Grove; two sons and daughters-in-law, Raymond "Gus" and Sue Keeney Jr., Yuma, Ariz., and Jack and Barbara Keeney, Scappoose; two daughters, Missy Keeney
Baker, Richland, Wash., and Patricia Keeney, Forest Grove; four grandchildren and a spouse, Bryan DeVaney and Justin Keeney, both of Portland, Ruth Ann Baker, Seattle, Wash., and Barbara Ann and Dave Smolko, Spanaway, Wash.: a step-granddaughter, Dana Kinney, Redmond; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by four brothers and four sisters.

Fuiten, Rose and Hoyt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

From Ray Keeney

RED MARBLES (A True Story)

During the waning years of the depression in a small south eastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively. One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

  "H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ... sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

  "Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

  "No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

  "No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

  "All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

  "Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

  "Not 'zackley .....but, almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

  "Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps. 

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were! having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men, that just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt.

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny, red marbles.

Moral: We will not be remembered by our words alone, but also by our acts of kindness.

Praying that you have a wonderful day tomorrow.

From Joan Keeney

Today we mourn the passing of an old friend, by the name of Common Sense.
  Common Sense lived a long life but died in the United States from heart failure on the brink of the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
  He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.
  Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language, and "new math." But his health declined when he became infected with the "If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus.
  In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well intentioned but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as self-seeking lawyers ruled good people. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies.
  Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion.
  Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, when a woman, too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, was awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel.
  As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations such as those for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, and stepladders.
  Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. Two stepbrothers survive him: My Rights, and Iama Whiner. Not many Americans attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

By Gayle Keeney-Rager

“Salem, Massachusetts - September 28, 1670”

In the summer of my eighteenth year, I married my best friend. Today......I watch him die.

The crash of yet another violent thunderclap startled me out of my half-dozing state. The room was semi-dark, lit by a single candle burning on the nightstand. The man behind the curtains of the big mahogany, four-poster bed was sleeping. Every now and then, lightning would illuminate the room, the furniture casting eerie shadows against the walls. I rose stiffly from the chair where I had kept vigil over the dying body of my husband, since the apoplexy had come upon him ten days ago. I hugged myself and stepped to the window. Pulling back the heavy brocade draperies, I tried to see past the sheets of water down into the street. It was still raining - had been raining now for how many days? Two, three? I didn't know - time had no meaning for me anymore. Somehow, it seemed fitting, though: I was crying for my husband - Heaven was crying, too.

I was bone-tired, nearly exhausted. I hand't really slept since this whole nightmare started. I rubbed my eyes and ran my fingers through my long mane of dark brown hair, which was streaked with gray. I hadn't even had the energy to put it up today, so it hung limply down my back.

The children had arrived in groups over the last few days, all except Alexander, who lived in Wethersfield. He would probably be here by tomorrow. I hope his father lives that long, I thought. Dr. Merkle's visit today didn't give me much hope that would be the case. Already, John's legs were blotched with congealing blood, his breathing raspy, labored and shallow. I was not a physician in the truest sense of the word, but I knew death coming when I saw it. John's mother, Elizabeth, had taught me too well. In the last ten days, John's once tall, muscular body had wasted away, and he looked like the old man of 70 that he was. Even his jet black hair was streaked with the grey that hadn't been there before the attack.

When the apoplexy struck, John hurriedly dictated his will - it was as if he knew he wouldn't survive. Just before he lost his speech, he asked me to call the children together, but none of them had reached Salem by the time he lost consciousness.

Whatever am I going to do without him? He's been the light of my life for more than fifty years. We had been through so much together: his capture by the King's men for writing seditious pamphlets; the near-disastrous escape to Leiden; the perilous voyage to America - three women alone, caring for five young children; Lady Elizabeth's death at sea; the uncertainty of building a life in a new and unforgiving land; the births and deaths of our children; learning to do things - weaving, spinning, making soap, planting and harvesting - all the occupations we had left to servants in the past; the good times and the bad. Life had been so uncertain at times. But, it had also been exceedingly wonderful.

How am I to manage now, alone in the world? Why, I haven't been alone since Father and Ezekiel were lost at sea. Oh, I know, I really won't be alone - God will be with me. But, where will I live - how will I live? What will my life be like now, with no one to share its joys and sorrows?

I remembered John telling me at one time to marry again, should he pass away, but I knew I would never remarry. I had known one exceptional love in my life - I didn't want another to eclipse it.

My thoughts were muddled and bewildered. Even though He promised never to forsake me, God seemed so far away.

The rain pelting on the glass windows muffled the sound of the door opening, and I didn't know she was there until I heard her speak: "Grandmother?"

I turned around to see my granddaughter, Sarah (my namesake), standing at the foot of the bed in the nightgown I had embroidered with pink roses, her dark, curling hair (so much like my own at that age) flowing down around her shoulders. She was seven years old.

"My darling," I said, "you shouldn't be out of bed. It's cold and raining."

"But, the thunder woke me up, and I was afraid," she replied, twisting the material in her small hands. Looking toward the bed, she asked, "Is Grandfather sick? When will he be well again?"

"Yes, Grandfather is very sick, and I don't think he will ever be well again. It appears that Grandfather is going to go to Heaven soon," I told her. "But he's still with us now, at least for a little while. Come here and sit with me on the chaise and we'll talk for a bit."

She came and we sat down together in front of the windows. Both of us were silent for a time, each lost in our own thoughts. Little Sarah stared at the withering figure shrouded in blankets in the bed. Thunder rumbled and a bolt of lightning split the night sky. Sarah nearly jumped into my lap. Suddenly, she spoke:

"Grandmother, why is Grandfather going to Heaven? Doesn't he like it down here with us? I want him to stay and read me stories."

"Of course, he likes it here and he loves us all very much. But God needs Grandfather up in Heaven to help Him with some things."

"But, how is he going to get there? God lives way up in the sky, doesn't he?" she asked.

"Well, Grandfather's body is tired and wants to stop working, and when that happens then Grandfather's spirit will go up to Heaven."

"Will we have to put him in a box in the ground, like Felicity's dog?" she inquired, innocently. "If we do, how will he get out of the box and up to Heaven?"

I hugged her close, remarkably calmed by her innocence.

"Grandfather's body will not go to Heaven just yet, just his spirit. God
will give him a new body to live in up there. Do you understand?"

"I think so," she replied, thoughtfully. "Grandmother?"

"Yes, sweetheart," I said.

"Please tell me about when you were young. Why did you marry Grandfather? Was he handsome? Was he a prince and you a princess? I should love to be a princess."

"But, Sarah, you are a princess. That's what your name means - Princess. You know, Grandmother was young a long, long time ago. But I will never forget those days, for they were some of the happiest of my life," I told her. "I'll tell you some of what I remember, but you must promise not to fall asleep."

"Oh, I won't, Grandmother, I promise," she replied, sleepily, rubbing her eyes. I knew she would probably be asleep in minutes. But, that didn't matter, I needed to remember; I needed to renew my memories, to fix them in my mind, in my very soul, so that I would never forget what John meant to me; never forget the love we had shared.

My memories, I thought, they are all I have left to me now. Well, hopefully, they will sustain me until I, too, can cross the River Jordan to live with my true love again.

And as the rain came down and the lightning flashed, I drifted into yesteryear......


Sunday 22 June 2002 / Saturday, 16 February 2019
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