A Demented Woman At Large

I’ve been combing through Pittsburgh newspapers attempting to find more information on my great-great-granduncle, Simon Keating and his wife. While I don’t know if the man in these articles is my Simon, it is still an interesting story. I wonder who the woman was and what her eventual fate became.

A Demented Woman At Large

Officer Lang, of the Birmingham street car line yesterday afternoon picked up a demented woman on Smithfield street and took her to Central station. She talked incoherently about a big house on Lake street, Cleveland, and two matrons, but nothing further could be learned from her. An envelope in her pocket of the City Infirmary of Cleveland bore the name of Simon Keating, blacksmith shops of Lake Erie Railroad, and Mrs. Eliza Keating, No. 74 Manton avenue. Inquiry at the Lake Erie Railroad developed the fact that a man named Keating had worked there, but left three months ago. The woman is about thirty-five years of age, thin featured and rather poorly dressed. It is supposed that she escaped from some one in whose charge she was. [Pittsburgh Daily Post (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · 23 Aug 1888, Thu · Page 2, Downloaded on May 15, 2018]


A Demented Woman. — A demented woman, about 25 years of age, spare faced and rather poorly dressed, was found wandering  along Smithfield street and taken to Central station. An envelope of the city infirmary, of Cleveland, found in her pocket, bore the name of Simon Keating, blacksmith shops of Lake Erie railroad, and Mrs. Eliza Keating, No. 74 Manton avenue. [The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · 23 Aug 1888, Thu · Page 4, Downloaded on May 15, 2018]

Some interesting notes from this story I’ll have to keep in mind.

  • Was my Simon a blacksmith? I do know that brothers John and Patrick worked for one or more railroads. Could Simon have as well?
  • Who was Eliza Keating? Does her name appear in my Simon’s family?
  • The mysterious woman had a connection to Cleveland. Simon’s brother Patrick’s family ended up in Cleveland. Could there be some connection here?
  • Who was the mysterious woman? The two articles put her as born around or between 1853 and 1863, although it sounds as if it was pure guesswork.

7 Replies to “A Demented Woman At Large”

  1. I was wondering if Patrick and Simon had a brother by the name of Nicholas keating…..looking for relatives for Nicholas Keating born in 1794 or 1799

  2. Simon Keating was a blacksmith, born in January 1822 and died a widower March 13 1902 in Pittsburgh. He married Rosa when he was about 30 years old. She was 18. By 1880 they had 4 kids – Thomas, Maggie, James and Mary. I am researching him as a link between the Pittsburgh Keatings and the Maryland Keatings. As an interesting sidenote, three Keatings were naturalized in Lancaster County PA – in 1835 Thomas Keating (my ancestor) and in 1840, John and Simon Keating.

  3. Tom — Have you done any DNA tests yet? I’ve done the AncestryDNA test and have come across several of Patrick’s other descendants, via multiple wives.

    Simon remains my mystery, although I do think I know where he’s buried now. I haven’t yet found any living descendants. I’ll gather what I do have and forward it to you via email.

    Have you run into any word of Patrick, Simon, and John’s other siblings? According to one of John’s daughter’s, there were other siblings. These are the only three I know who came to the states.

  4. John – I have done a number of DNA tests which reveal a non-Keating Y. I am linked to the Columbia PA Keatings through my gg grandmother Mary Jane Keating.

    I do not know if I have any more on Simon Keating than you have – I have his marriage record to Rosana Boulgen in Ireland at St. Mary’s Dublin, US census, etc., all the way to his death and gravestone. This blacksmith is your ancestor, I am sure.

  5. John,

    As I commented on another article, I am in haplogroup R1b-DF13 but I am sure that we got the Keating name through my great great grandmother. Ancestry shows me that I share some cM with the Bernard Keating line in Lonaconing, so I am assuming that takes me back to the family in Ireland.

    If you see this response, please drop me an email. I have some Keating information that you may want to post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.