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The Keeffes of Georgia

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There were several in the South Carolina Keeffe line who moved to Georgia in the 1890s and early 1900s. As a matter of fact, there appears to have been a successful Georgia Turpentine Mill which motivated groups of Florence County families to migrate. A Robert C. Keeffe had moved to Clinch County, GA by 1896 and his nephew Roland Keeffe soon followed. There were several more Florence County Keeffes and other related families that moved to south Georgia during the early 1900s. This group of Keeffes who moved to Georgia appear to have kept the double F spelling while their relatives in South Carolina dropped the second F at the turn of the century (1900).

I have an unconfirmed report that about 1840 there was a John Keef and his wife, Elizabeth Winnett, who moved to Cass, Georgia. from Tennessee (They may have traveled from Tennessee via Alabama). At least three young children came with them, and once in Georgia they had more sons and daughters including a William Henry Keef who, himself, moved to Oklahoma.

A John Keefe from Ireland is listed in the 1850 Georgia census. He was 27 years old and living as a boarder.

In the 1860 Georgia census, there are several Keefes listed. Those in Chatham County are all from Ireland: David Keefe, Robert Keefe, and Timothy Keefe were mostly likely Potato Famine immigrants. Also in Chatham County 1860 census is listed a child named Joseph J. Keefe.

The 1900 census for Greene County, Georgia includes a John R. O'Keefe, born 1834 in Ireland, immigrated to America in 1871. He was living with his wife Levinia, b.1847, and two others, Katie b. 1887 and William b. 1880 (probably his younger children).



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