Hugh Keenan 1901-1928

As part of my lockdown routine I like to go for an early morning walk. My route often takes me through the local cemetery where this morning I spotted this headstone.

The name Unity caught my eye as it’s quite unusual and I remembered having her somewhere on my family tree. Her maiden name is not recorded on the stone but she was Unity McFadyen who married her second husband, Hugh Keenan in 1894. Hugh was the son of James Keenan who was the brother of my great great grandfather Patrick Keenan. It’s a bit complicated so you can see why I couldn’t immediately place them. Hugh was my 1st cousin 3x removed. They were on my family tree but with no other details. I will now work a bit more on that but the first one recorded on the headstone that I’ve looked at is young Hugh.

He was just 27 when he died and it made me think there may be some further information to be found. I figured there was a good chance of an accidental death. That indeed is the case as shown in this local newspaper report.

It’s pretty awful to imagine the circumstances. Given that there were no witnesses to the incident poor Hugh may have lain some time before he was discovered. The journey to Glasgow at that time would not be the half hour or so it is today.

Hugh was not married and it’s highly unlikely there’s anyone alive who remembers him. I’m happy that I found him today and am able to tell a small part of his story.

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