Fonds MC355 - Keef family

Title proper

Keef family

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • Photocopied 1979 (Creation)
    Keef (family)

Physical description

23 pp. of textual records

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Name of creator

(fl. 1850s)

Biographical history

Little is known of this Keef family. These records suggest that Thomas Keef, his wife Jane, and their sons, William, Joseph, Michael, James, and John resided in Saint John, New Brunswick prior to 1850. Thomas and his sons probably operated a farm and were engaged in lumbering. By the early 1850s, Michael Keef had relocated to Solon, Maine and was corresponding with his brother William who continued to reside in Saint John. Brothers Joseph and James were also living in the United States by this time, but brother John may have been in the Saint John area, possibly at Kennebecasis. Apparently Jane Keef was residing with her son William in the Saint John area in 1851, but her husband, Thomas, was probably living with their son Joseph in Maine.

All the Keef sons seemed to have been farmers and lumbermen in the 1850s. James Keef went to California in February 1852 in the wake of the Gold Rush. By 1875 John Keef was living in East Benton, Maine. Michael Keef had moved to Anson, near Salem, by 1855. Twenty years later he was a resident of Lincoln, Maine. His son C. F. Keef was living in Alleyton, Michigan by 1876 and was a dealer in groceries, provisions, and hardware. Between October 1875 and May 1876, Michael followed him there and became postmaster of Alleyton and a magistrate.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

The fonds contains photocopies of nine letters written by Michael Keef from various communities in the United States to family members residing in the Saint John area of New Brunswick -- eight letters were addressed to his brother William and one, to his mother Jane.

The letters report on family matters and family activities, including Michael Keef's move to Alleyton, Michigan in the 1870s. These letters highlight the mobility of families during the mid- to late 19th century, particularly across the Maine-New Brunswick border.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick by James Keith of Redhead, New Brunswick, in October 1979.


Language of material

  • English

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