The Family of Alfred George KEITH and Frances WEBB

Alfred George KEITH was born 14 August 1836 in Sydney to Edward Joseph KEITH and his mistress Louisa HANKS. He married Frances Elizabeth WEBB on 31 December 1856 in Berrima, NSW. Frances was the younger sister of Charlotte WEBB who had married Alfred's brother Edward.

Alfred and Frances had 11 children:

                            Alfred George KEITH========v========Frances WEBB
                                1836-1902           m: 1856      1839-1885
  Edward    Sydney     Ernest    Clara    George    Isabella   Oscar    Andrew   Florence   Minnie    Oswald
1857-1919 1858-1914  1861-1955 1863-1936 1865-1942 1867-1959 1869-1881 1871-1942 1873-1882 1876-1962 1883-1968
    |         |          |         |         |         |         |         |         |         |         |--------|
    |       m:1885     m:1887    m:1886    m:1890    m:1897              m:1893              m:1907   m1:1907  m2:1941
    |       Louisa     Mary      Thomas   Eveline    James                Emily              Edward    Daisy   Maxine
    |       SMITH      BROWN     BRAGG     ROLFE      COLE               REDFERN             BOXSELL  KINSELA  MAXWELL
 m1:1882                                         m2:1893
Elizabeth FREER                             Susan CARTWRIGHT
1861-1891                                       1870-1954
   |                                                |
   |--------|---------|--------------|              |----------|----------|
 Sydney    Francis    Annie    Elizabeth Iris     William     Daphne     Minnie
1883-1965 1886-1969 1888-1933    1891-1985      1894-1971  1895-1977  1901-1976
    |         |         |            |              |          |          |
            m:1925    m:1911       m:1915         m:1925     m:1919    
            Alicia    James       Reginald         Amy       Albion
            WHITE    WALLACE       BENTON       SMITHERS     EGGINS
              |         |            |              |          |

Details about the 11 children:

Born Married Died
Edward Joseph KEITH 25 Jan 1857 1882: Elizabeth FREER
1893: Susan CARTWRIGHT
3 August 1919
Sydney James KEITH 1858 1885: Louisa SMITH 4 April 1914
Ernest Hanks KEITH 2 Jan 1861 1887: Mary BROWN 1955
Clara Louise KEITH 21 Jan 1863 1886: Thomas BRAGG 7 April 1936
George Thomas KEITH 1 April 1865 1890: Eveline ROLFE 1942
Isabella KEITH 5 Aug 1867 1897: James COLE 30 September 1959
Oscar KEITH 20 Aug 1869 - 31 Oct 1881
Andrew KEITH 1 Jul 1871 1893:  Emily Elizabeth Jane REDFERN 14 July 1942, Queensland
Florence Amelia KEITH 13 Mar 1873 - 1882
Minnie KEITH 2 Jan 1876 1907: Edward BOXSELL 5 Mar 1962
Oswald KEITH 11 Oct 1883 1907: Daisy KINSELA
1941: Maxine MAXWELL
14 May 1968

Frances Elizabeth KEITH (nee WEBB) died in Murrumburrah, NSW on 8 January 1885.

Alfred subsequently married Agnes CRENEY (nee DONALD) in 1889. Agnes died in 1906 and Alfred then married her sister Jean. Alfred died on 30 July 1929 in Mosman, NSW.

frances webb
Frances Elizabeth WEBB
Frances WEBB monument
Memorial to Frances in Cootamundra Cemetery
alfred keith
Alfred George KEITH and his second wife Agnes (CRENEY)

The WEBB family history has been recorded in the book "Untangling the Webbs" written by Aileen Samms and Gordon Webb, published in 1988, from which the three photos above were taken. Here is an extract, from pages 99-100 describing the life of Alfred KEITH, but from the perspective of Frances WEBB:

After the sudden death of his father in 1837, Alfred was fostered by Dr William Sherwin, the Colony's first born doctor, and his brother Edward was fostered by Mr Thomas Deane Rowe a clty businessman after whom Rowe Street is named. There is no record of Alfred's life up to the time he married Frances but as he made his live on the land it is thought possible that Dr Sherwin assisted him to buy property in the Mittagong district. Frances's brother William made mention in a letter of Dr Sherwin being in Mittagong in the 1850's. Although it is mere conjecture it is thought that after her marriage to Thomas Troy, Louisa's (Hanks) three ''Keith'' children lived with them but as they had seven children of their own it is doubtful if Thomas would have been able to give much assistance to Louisa's two older sons.

The first nine of Frances's eleven children were born in the Mittagong district some being baptised at Holt Trinity Berrima, and some at Christ Church Bong Bong.

About 1873 the family set of for Cullinga near Cootamundra where Alfred bought a property which they named The Meadows. Their son Ernest, who was about twelve at the time kept a diary in which he recorded events during his long life. He described the ten-day trip over flooded creeks and makeshift roads when be travelled an a covered dray with his mother and younger brothers and sisters while his father and two older brothers drove their herd of cattle on horseback. They camped each night by the roadside and Frances made dampers in the camp oven for their evening meal.

Alf and the boys set to work clearing the land and soon built a home at The Meadows where the two youngest children were born. Two other children died within six months of each other ln 1881. Oscar, the seventh child died from a fall from a horse at the age of twelve and next year Florence, the ninth died just after her ninth birthday.

Frances was almost forty five when Oswald the youngest was born and sadly when he was only fifteen months old she died from ovaritis (inflammation of the ovary) on 8.1.1885. She was buried in the Church of England section of Cootamundra Cemetery.

As his family grew up Alfred helped them search for and settle on properties of their own. No doubt after Frances died the older children would have helped by looking after the younger ones, although after a couple of years most of the responsibility would have fallen on Isabella as the older ones married and settled on their own properties. By 1889, with the fifth child George about to marry Emily Rolfe there were only Isabella now twenty-two, Andrew - eighteen, Minnie - thirteen, and Oswald - almost six, at home.

It was then that Alfred married a second time to Agnes Creney at Cootamundra. Agnes was born in 1838, daughter of George Donald and Jean nee Galbraith (1810 - 20.11 1891). In 1859 at Yass she married James Cole a wheel-wright and by him had 5 children - ( 1 .Alexander Cole, b. 1860, who was a surveyor and was killed by aborigines in Northern Territory; 2.Emily Cole. b.1861: 3. Agnes Cole b.1862. d.10.10.1945, married Patrick Kenny, a Catholic, who served in 13th Battalion in World War 1; 4. James Scott Cole b .21.1 2.1864, m I6.6.1897 to Isabella, daughter of Francis and Alfred; 5.Janet Cole who died aged twenty one, accidentally poisoned while nursing at Prince Alfred Hospital. James Cole left Agnes and the family and went to Victoria, possibly to look for gold, and she never heard of him again. In 1879 she married Ambrose Ceeney (as spelt In records).

Agnes died about 1906 and Alfred then married a third time to her sister Jean (Jane) Young, in Brisbane, Jean nee Donald had previously married a handsome Army Captain Montrose Young and by him had a son Montrose (who also became an Army Captain), and three daughters Australia Adelaide: and Blanche. Then Capt. Young was arrested and returned to England and charged with bigamy. Jean was so upset by the disgrace that she took the children to New Zealand. When his wife died in England, Montrose returned to Australia then went to New Zealand where he remarried Jean and they returned to Australia and had another son, Alexander.

By the time of his third marriage Alfred had left his two youngest sons, Andrew and Oswald to look after the Meadows and moved to Sydney. He purchased four blocks of land in Moruben Road Mosman, and built a house on Number 12 where he died on 30.7.1929. The family had his body taken back to Cootamundra for burial on 1.8.1929. An obelisk in the Church of England portion of Cootamundra Cemetery marks the resting place of Frances and Alfred; and of Oscar and Florence who died young, and of their daughter Minnie and her husband Walter Boxsell.

The children of Alfred and Frances

Edward Joseph KEITH

Edward Joseph was born 25 January 1857 in Berrima. He married Elizabeth FREER in 1882 in Cootamundra. (More information about the FREER family is here) Elizabeth died on 16 November 1891 in Temora of acute pneumonia.

1891 death

Edward then married Susan Jane CARTWRIGHT, the oldest daughter of William James CARTWRIGHT and Agnes (nee MORTON).

Edward had seven children, four with Elizabeth and three with Susan:

Born Married Died
Edward & Elizabeth KEITH Sydney George KEITH 1884
Frances Alfred KEITH 1886 1925: Alicia WHITE 15 Mar 1969
1888 1911: James WALLACE 7 Jun 1933
Elizabeth Iris KEITH 10 Nov 1891 1915: Reginald James BENTON  4 Sep 1985
Edward & Susan KEITH William Harold Cartwright KEITH 1894 1925: Amy SMITHERS 1971
Daphney Azalia Cartwright KEITH 1895 1919: Albion EGGINS 1977
Minnie Agnes Cartwright KEITH 1901

Frances Webb
Edward Joseph KEITH
elizabeth freer
Elizabeth FREER

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Last updated: 20 May 2020