Boherbue, Co. Cork, Ireland

Photograph by Allison F. Childs

John O’Keeffe and Julia O’Connor were married in this townland in 1862.  St. Mary’s parish records in Boherbue show that Julia was baptized April 15, 1841, and that she was from Doon. Her parents were Patrick O’Connor and Johanna Hickey and her godparents M. McAuliffe and Julia Murphy. A record for John’s baptism has not yet been found but family records show January 6, 1839, in Boherbue. Julia came to America the year after her marriage and settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where her daughter Nellie was born in 1863. John disappears until the end of the decade when he, too, is in Brattleboro. Family lore says that he went to Australia or New Zealand in search of gold. He came into the Port of San Francisco in 1868, according to his naturalization papers.

–from A Reardon Family History by Blanche Reardon Childs

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Nellie (Ellen Ann) O’Keeffe, circa 1868

Nellie O’Keeffe was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1863, probably at the home of Margaret O’Connor Moynihan (Mrs. Humphrey Moynihan), sister of Julia O’Connor O’Keeffe. The Moynihans moved to River Falls, Wisconsin, by 1869, the O’Keeffes a year or so later. Nellie became Mrs. Neil Reardon in 1889.

Dakota Relatives, 1930

March 31, 2010

The Frank Reardons visit the Dan O’Keeffes in Pierre, Summer, 1930

From left: Alice Breene O’Keeffe, Lauretta Varty Reardon, Betty Reardon, Helen Wickersham Reardon, Agnes O’Keeffe, Daniel V. O’Keeffe, Daniel J.  O’Keeffe, Pat Reardon, Frank Reardon.

In 1930, Dan O’Keeffe was a lawyer in Pierre, SD, Frank Reardon was a bank cashier in Hoven, SD, and Lauretta, wife of Paul Reardon, was a teacher in Bowbells, ND, on the Saskatchewan border.

John and Julia O’Connor O’Keeffe, circa 1875

John and Julia married in 1862 in Boherbue, County Cork, Ireland, and reached Brattleboro VT before the birth of their first child, Ellen Ann “Nellie,” on September 27, 1863. John isn’t seen again until 1870 when he and Julia are working at a boarding house in Brattleboro. Family stories place John in New Zealand in search of gold. He sailed to California in 1868 and he and Julia moved to Wisconsin in the early 1870s where they farmed and raised Nellie, J.D., Hannah, Pat and Dan.