Robert M. Keating's Home Page

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RMK, Jr.

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Hello and welcome to my home page. This web page is a celebration of my very personal mid-life crisis and the ego trip I'm usually on. After some initial surfing on AOL, my interest in genealogy was piqued on discovering details of my ancestry in Ireland. This research culminated in a Roots trip in 1995 to the south of Ireland, which will always remain as an experience of a lifetime. I returned again in 1997 for a reunion of the Keating Clan in Tipperary. It seems that a lot of Baby Boomers like myself have reached critical mass and regularly swarm over Ireland, digging into old records. The Irish can't understand why we do this, they feel its somewhat of an in/trusion, but they love Irish Americans, the diaspora, and made me feel very welcome and very much at home.
It seems that the Irish see us as a mystery, since after the migration of the 1850s during the Great Hunger, the emigrants rarely returned to visit or even write home to tell of America. Most Irish Catholics couldn't read or write due to the persecution of their English overlords, and those that could read had such horrible memories of the famine that they tried to forget it all. For all they knew, their kin had perished. Indeed, in the little village of Caherciveen on the now-popular Ring of Kerry where I believe my great grandfather was born, there were accounts of bodies all over the sides of the road where people dropped dead in their /tracks of hunger. This village was near Valentia Island, a major debarcation point during the famine, and the westernmost point in Ireland, and, hence, Europe. As I stood with my guide for the day, Michael O'Connor, looking out at Last Chance Lighthouse where the ships departed with their human cargo, he told me of how many Irish viewed their departed kin as "dropping off the edge of the earth" as the shanty boats dipped below the horizon.