WHERE ARE KEEGANS DIARIES?
This is a renewed appeal for help in tracing two manuscript volumes
of the diaries of John Keegan (1813-1893) of Moate, Co Westmeath,
Ireland. They were used as the basis for a book edited and published in 1928
by his grandson, the Rev Wallace Clare, principal founder of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS).
The period covered by Father Clares selection are the years 1836-47, when
John Keegan was working as a surveyor for the Ordnance Survey in many parts
of Ireland and later in private practice in Yorkshire and other places in England.
Father Clares will (drawn up in 1942, more than 21 years before his death) bequeathed the diaries to "my good cousin, John Sloane Keegan of Wall Street, New York City", one of three sons of John Keegan (b 1851) and Mary Sloan.
The will indicates that John Sloane Keegan probably had three nephews, since Father Clare invites John to bequeath the diaries in turn to his "eldest nephew" in the Keegan family.
John Sloan(e) Keegan and his brothers, James and Ernest, were probably born in the 1870s.
John Egan, a London member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, has made attempts in person in London, Ireland, Ipswich, Salt Lake
City and New York and elsewhere by letter to track down the diaries but with no success so far. Maybe now, however, the Internet will yield the vital clue.
Probate was granted on October 27, 1963, to Mrs Gladys Sherry, widowed sister of Father Clare, but it has not yet been possible to locate the addresses of the US beneficiaries or their heirs. John P Keegan, a lawyer at 521 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, has no connection with diarist.
Anyone reading Wallace Clare, A Young Irishmans Diary ( printed for the editor,
Sharman and Co, March, Cambs, England, 1928) is bound to agree that Keegan performed a valuable service when he preserved his spontaneous jottings about his travels in Ireland and England. He saw both countries through the eyes of a skilled and tolerant observer thoroughly accustomed to making an exact record of what he saw and how he felt.
The Clan Egan and the IGRS would like to know about the fate of the two manuscript volumes given to Wallace Clare when he was 12 years old. There
were eight other volumes, too, but their fate is more obscure.
Any information gratefully received by John J Egan who is travelling from
London to Annapolis to attend the 1998 Clan Egan Rally. June 18-23. Home address:15 Callcott Street, London, UK, W8 7SU, or e-mail via Neil Egan in London at Neil_@dial.pipex.com.