16 March 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 12 - Same - Vitty Keers: 3 boys with the same name

I've been struggling, since this month's theme topics were released, with this week's and next week's 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks themes, feeling uninspired. Usually the person or family I am going to write about is obvious to me. Here is this week's topic:

Week 12 – Same. What ancestor is a lot like you? What ancestor do you have a lot in common? Same name? Same home town?

The ancestor I am most like is my mother - but I have already written about her and she is also the main focus of my #FearlessFemales posts this month.

I have a few "Maureen" cousins, but most of them are still alive. I learned of one Maureen cousin just 4 weeks ago when another cousin read my post on William Howie Dempsey - but I don't even know which Dempsey ancestor my newest Maureen belongs to yet.

And most of my relatives who have the same home town as me are still alive (we're all 1st generation Australians).

So what to do? What to do?

I finally decided, yesterday, to go with the same name theme - but talking about "ancestors" with the same name - just not an ancestor who is named Maureen.

This week my post will be about my 3 collateral relatives called VITTY KEERS.

Vitty Keers #1 & #2 were the sons of William Keers and Rachael/Rachel Vitty.
Vitty Keers #3 was the son of James Keers and Isabella Pickering (and grandson of William Keers and Rachael/Rachel Vitty).

How are they related to me? It is a long and winding path....

Rachael/Rachel Vitty is the grandmother of the wife of a brother of my great-grandmother
It looks something like this:
My great-grandmother is Mary Mullen
Her brother is Matthew Mullen
His wife is Ethel Cairns
Her grandmother is Rachael/Rachel Vitty (with her 1st husband Stephen Dunbar)
So Vitty Keers 1 & 2 and James Keers are Uncles (or is that 1/2 uncles?) of Ethel Cairns as they are her mother Margaret's 1/2 brothers.

Anyway, let's get on with their stories.

Vitty Keers #1 was born March 30th, 1880 at 148 Newcastle Row Framwellgate Moor Durham England. His father, William Keers, was a coal miner and was the informant.

Vitty #1 died of consumption (Tuberculosis) on September 21st, 1880. Again, William Keers was the informant.

Framwellgate Moor was a mining town. In the 1881 Census almost every adult male in the village is a Coal Miner or had something to do with mining.


1881 Census. Source Ancestry.co.uk

Note: Margaret Keers listed above would actually be Margaret Dunbar and Robert Keers would be Robert Dunbar, Rachael/Rachel's children from her first marriage.

Vitty Keers # 2 was born on August 4th, 1884. By then the family had moved to another mining town and were at 133 Front Street North Brancepeth Colliery Brandon Durham England (Brandon & Byshottles Urban Sanitary District)

Vitty #2 died of Meningitis on August 20th, 1884.

The informant for this Vitty's birth and death was his 1/2 sister Margaret - who had recently married Alexander Cairns.

Vitty Keers # 3 is the nephew of Vittys #1 & 2. He managed to live longer than his uncles - but he still died very young.

Vitty, the son of James Keers and Isabella Pickering was born on October 10th, 1910 at Station Rd Washington Durham England. His father, James, was a Fish Dealer.

Here is our family in the 1911 census:


Vitty married Esmeralda Arkley in 1937 and they had a son in 1939.

Vitty joined the military during WW2 and was part of the Green Howards brigade. He died on March 15th, 1944 while serving in Italy and is buried in the Naples War Cemetery




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