THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHN KEEP OF LONGMEADOW

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Welcome to the official site for the Keep Family Society. The society’s stated purpose is

Our site is still a work in progress. Please check back regularly for updates, or contact us with suggestions or comments.


Current News and Upcoming Events

113th Keep Reunion

Girard American Legion Park
Girard, PA
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm - ? Eat at 1:30 pm

Bring a dish to share and byo soft drinks. Coffee, iced tea, and lemonade will be furnished. Place settings will be on hand. No meat will be provided.

Donations gratefully accepted: $3.00 per person or $7.00 per family.

Keep Reunion business meeting will be held after lunch.

Adult auction - Bring items that are worthy to be sold. Children’s auction - bring reasonably usable things in good condition.

Photos are always of interest to be shared.

Hope to see you there! Guests are welcome!

Directions to Girard American Legion Park (off US Route 20 west of Girard):

If you are traveling on Route 20:

If you are traveling on I-90:

For further information and directions, contact:
Judith M. Stoddard
1923 Prospect Ave., Erie, PA 16510
Phone: 814-898-0452
Email: barberarts@aol.com

Family Photos

The 1994 family history, Descendants of John Keep of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, contained over 200 photographs. There were many more photos submitted than could be fit into the book. These pictures are in the possession of Dick Walkow, who managed the book sales at the time, and can now be viewed online here.

Dick would like to return the photos to the submitters, but the sender’s name was not marked on most of the photos. If you identify a photo that you submitted, you can e-mail Dick Walkow or write to Dick Walkow at 4860 Beaconsfield St., Las Vegas, Nevada 89147; be sure to provide the full photo identification number and your mailing address. He will mail the picture to you. Should you need to contact Dick by phone, call 702-285-5186.


Who was John Keep?

Excerpt from JOHN KEEP OF LONGMEADOW, by John Keep and Bob Warner

When, why, and how John settled in New England still remains a mystery. We do know now, through the Keep DNA Project, that he was indeed from England, and that he did leave behind a nation that was being torn apart by religious and political unrest, resulting in armed conflicts, the execution of Charles I, and the replacement of the English monarchy by the Commonwealth of England until the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. More information can be found at www.keepdna.net.

There is an old family oral tradition that a member of the Northamptonshire Keep family fled to America and was murdered by Indians. John Keep (or some say his father) was, according to this, purportedly an agent of the Parliamentarians who escaped to America in 1640 just before the English Civil War started, when an arrest warrant was issued against him by the Earl of Strafford. It was also claimed that John’s death later in 1676 was the result of the British paying the Indians to kill him because of his involvement in harbouring and assisting the Regicides (Major-General Whalley, and Colonel Goffe). There is another school of thought that because of his activity in England his killers were actually the English dressed up as Indians. Or all of this may be untrue. Much more DNA testing is needed to help trace his lineage back to Walter Kep, b. ca 1230, in Astwood, England.

In any event, records of John Keep’s passage from England to America have not been found. There were some 300 ship landings in Massachusetts and elsewhere between 1620 and 1640, or sometime before 1660 when he apparently appeared in Longmeadow, Mass. There was little emigration from England from 1640 until after the American Revolution. This Great Migration ended in the early 1640s at the outbreak of the English Civil War, and it was also affected by stories of intolerance that were carried back to England during that time.Read entire article-->