(My connection to St. Columban is on my Father’s side of the family)


Great-Great Grandparents

Patrick Keyes (in some records spelled as Keys or Keays) emigrated from Ireland to Canada between 1825 and 1830. He was married to Honora Phelan (In some records written as Eleanora). Patrick Keyes was born about 1790, although his exact birth location in Ireland is not presently known. His wife, Honora, was about 7 years older than Partick, and was also born in Ireland about 1783, although again the exact location of her birth is not known. They were likely married about 1814.

The best guess as to their origin in Ireland, at this point, is in either Kilkenny or Tipperary – Ireland. There appears to be one record of a birth (Child’s name not recorded) in the Parish of Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Ireland, to Patt Keys and Honor Phelan in August 1818 with the witnesses to the baptism recorded as James Brennan and Bab Brennan

Patrick and Honora seemed to have had four children, and all were born in Ireland, as indicated by most records from St. Columban and Ste. Scholastique. They were:-
*Elizabeth Keyes, likely born around 1815 who married James Madden on June 1st 1835 at St. Columban;
*Judith Keyes who was born about 1818, and married Patrick Ryan in St. Canut;
*Elizabeth Keyes who married Matthew Power, on August 3rd 1840, in St. Columban and, my great-grandfather,
*Andrew Keyes, who was married twice, first to Catherine O’Connor and then to Bridget Ryan.

When Partick first moved to St. Columban, the Parish was still known as Ste. Scholastique (St. Columban was formed as a Parish in 1836). In the 1831 census, when Quebec was called Lower Canada (Bas Canada), it is indicated that Patrick was building a home in the Cote St. Georges area of Ste. Scholastique, and in the 1851 census, (when Quebec was called Canada East), it shows that Partick & Honora were living with their son, Andrew. Patrick was a farmer and Roman Catholic.

Patrick died in St. Columban on July 22nd 1867 in St. Columban and Honora (Phelan) Keyes died on April 14th 1864. Both are buried in the St. Columban Cemetery.

Andrew Keyes I & Bridget Ryan

Andrew Keyes I was born in Ireland on or about August 15th 1825. On February 5th 1850, he married Catherine O’Connor (daughter of William O’Connor & Mary Watterson). in St. Columban. Andrew & Catherine had four children: –

*Mary Keyes, born on December 20th 1850, in St. Columban who married George Peter Casey in Ottawa;
*Elizabeth Keyes, born on August 2nd 1852, in St. Columban who married John Casey on September 5th 1871 in St. Columban – Elizabeth died on October 10 1906 and is buried in Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal;
*Anne Keyes, born on October 24th 1854 and married Michael O’Rourke;
*Cecelia Keyes, born in St. Columban on March 4th 1857 and married William Lafond.
Unfortunately, Catherine O’Connor (Andrew’s first wife) died young at 28 years of age, on August 20th 1857 in St. Columban…….

Andrew Keyes then married Bridget Ryan (Daughter of John Ryan and Johanna Bourke) February 28th 1859 in St. Columban. Bridget had been born in St. Columban on April 19th 1841.
Andrew Keyes & Bridget Ryan had 9 children, all born in St. Columban:-

*Johanna Keyes, born on May 16th 1860 and married John Phelan. Johanna died on October 18th 1906 in St. Columban;
*Nora Keyes, born on October 31st 1863 and married Edward Brophy. Nora died on January 26th 1942;
*Agnes Keyes born March 31st 1866, never married, and died in St. Columban on February 27th 1950;
*Patrick Keyes, born April 30th 1868, married Catherine Greene and died on September 19 1937;
*Margaret Mary Keyes, born on March 23rd 1871, married Richard Quinn in Cleveland, Ohio;
*Teresa Bridget Keyes, Born September 23rd 1873, and married first to Lawrence Brophy and then to John O’Rourke. Teresa died on July 28th 1958.
*Frank Keyes, born February 27th 1876 and married Bella Crevis on February 20 1910;
*Richard D. Keyes, born on May 28th 1882 and married Sarah Purcell. Richard died on July 21st 1943;
*Andrew Keyes II. (my grand-father)

In the 1851 Census, Andrew Keyes I is living in a one story log house in St. Columban. His parents, Patrick & Honora are living with him. His first wife Catherine O’Connor and their daughter, Mary Keyes are also noted. There is also a Nicolas Murphy, noted as an apprentice, 16 years old, and not a family member. Andrew is listed as a shoemaker, Roman Catholic and stated that he would be 26 at his next birthday. Catherine O’Connor is listed as Female, Roman Catholic and would be 22 at her next birthday. Mary is listed as having been born in the year of the census – 1851.
In the 1881 Census, there were fourteen (14) people listed as living in the household of Andrew Keyes I including:-
Andrew Keyes – married – male – Irish – 55 years old – born in Ireland – Farmer – Catholic
Bridget (Ryan) Keyes – married – female – Irish – 40 – born in Quebec – Catholic
Ann Keyes – female- Irish – 26 – born in Quebec – Catholic (Likely the daughter of Andrew from his previous marriage to Catherine O’Connor)
Agnes Keyes – female – Irish – 15 – born in Quebec – Catholic
Patrick Keyes – male – Irish – 13 – born in Quebec – Catholic
Margaret Keyes – female – Irish – 10 – Quebec – Catholic
Theresa Keyes – female – Irish – 7 – Quebec – Catholic
Francis Keyes – Male – Irish – 5 – Quebec – Catholic
Andrew Keyes – Male – Irish – 2 – Quebec – Catholic
Mary Casey – married – female – 30 – Quebec – Catholic (Also a daughter of Andrew & Catherine O’Connor – she was married to Casey) – Her four children appear to be living at the Keyes household at the time of the census in 1881…
Patrick Casey – Male – Irish – 8 – Quebec – Catholic
Catherine Casey – Female – Irish – 6 – Quebec – Catholic
Mary Casey – Female – Irish – 4 – Quebec – Catholic
John Casey – Male – Irish – 2 – Quebec – Catholic

Missing in the census were Andrew and Bridget’s daughters – Joanna & Nora (Both of whom were old enough to have been married in 1881) and Richard Keyes who was born in 1881 – likely after the census.

In the 1901 Census Andrew Keyes I is still living in St. Columban with his wife Bridget Ryan and three (3) children still at home – Agnes Keyes; Francis (Frank) Keyes and Richard (Dick) Keyes.
My grandfather, Andrew Keyes II is listed as living in 1901, with the Lawrence Brophy family in Montreal (District # 175); St. Antoine Ward, and is 22 years old at the time.

In various documents Andrew Keyes I is listed as a shoemaker and in the Mitchell & Company’s Canada Directory for 1865-66, (page 615) he is listed as a Boot Makers & Dealers C.E. as St. Columban – Two Mountains – Keyes, Andrew
In the Lovell’s Province of Quebec Directory (Page 630) he is listed as a councilor for St. Columban

Andrew Keyes I died and was buried in St. Columban on October 24th 1903 and his second wife, Bridget Ryan, also died and was buried in St. Columban on September 18th 1907.


Andrew Keyes II was born on Christmas Day, December 25th 1878 in St. Columban. He married Elizabeth Casey (Daughter of John Casey & Mary Ann Grimes) in Montreal on September 8th 1903. Elizabeth Casey had also been born in St. Columban on June 30th 1878. They had nine children as follows:-

Nora Keyes was born around January 1916 and died at six months old on June 27th 1916.
Mary Keyes was born on July 7th 1905 and married Leslie Gunning on June 3rd 1929. Mary died in Montreal on April 25th 1965.
J. Andrew Keyes was born on February 12th 1907 and married Mary Rawson on October 17th 1933 in Outremont (Montreal) Quebec. J. Andrew died on October 21st 1953.
Anthony Keyes, born in Montreal on January 29th 1908, was never married, and died at only 20 years old on February 28th 1928.
Loretta Keyes was born on June 4th 1910. She married John Ryan on November 28th 1942. Loretta died in Montreal on October 16th 1969.
John Keyes died in infancy on June 12 1914.
Harold Keyes born September 30th 1917 and married Lorraine Rose in Outremont on February 22nd 1941. Harold died in Montreal on June 28th 1967.
Teresa Keyes born on July 2 1920 and married Harold Black in Montreal on November 28 1942
And my father, Victor Keyes

Andrew Keyes II lived most of his life in Montreal and worked in the Brewery business for Black Horse Ale that later became Dow Ale.

Andrew died in Montreal on November 15th 1944 and his wife Elizabeth Casey also died in Montreal on July 17th 1948. Both are buried in the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal.


My father, Victor Keyes, was born in Montreal on June 12th 1912. He married my mother, Violet M. O’Connor at St. Patrick’s Church in Ottawa on October 15th 1938. Violet was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on July 5 1913 and was the daughter of Fergus O’Connor and Harriet Ann Dolan. My parents had four children:

My sisters, Juanita Keyes & Beverley Keyes, my brother Bryan Keyes and myself Fergus Keyes.