Bridget Keenan (1852-1918?)

       Bridget Keenan, the youngest of Matthew Keenan’s children, was orphaned when she was about six years old. I believe she was placed in the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage in Brooklyn by her brother James shortly afterwards. She next reappeared in 1870, when her brother Matthew brought her to Boston to appear before the Probate Court in Essex County in the matter of the estate of her grandfather James McDermott. (See the chapter “The McDermotts after the Civil War”)

      Although there was a possible listing for her in the 1869-70 Directory on Skillman St. near Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn, after that Bridget once again disappeared. Five years later, however, we find her in the Bronx when she was married to Peter Nee at St. Raymonds Church. Peter, also born around 1850,  had emigrated from Ireland in 1865 and had found work  on a dairy farm in Westchester. By 1880, however, the Nees had relocated south to the Mott Haven section of the southern Bronx, living on Jerome Ave. and attending St. Jerome’s Church. Although at that time Peter was still working on the farm, he later found a job as an elevator man – perhaps working at Otis elevator in Yonkers. Peter passed away in September of 1910 at the age of 58.

    Bridget and Peter had ten children together, seven of whom survived. Most of them remained living in the Bronx, the main exception being Sarah Francis who married George Washington Wolfert, a German immigrant, and whose family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut around 1930. Between all of their children Bridget and Peter had fifteen grandchildren.

    It is unclear exactly when Bridget Keenan died, but we do know she was living with her son Joseph in 1918. She was not, however, found living with any of her children in 1920.   

The Family of Bridget Keenan and Peter Nee
(click to enlarge image)