Keene – Ralph – Howard – Strachan

Under construction

Evangeline Ralph (b 1862 – d 1941 West Wallsend) married Matthew John Keene (b 1857 – d. 1918) in 1880- Matthew was the son of  brickmaker Francis (d. 1903) and Sarah Keene. Other children of Francis and Sarah Keene were Alice M Keene (1864), Sarah J Keene (1860) and Mary A Keene (1863). Francis was the son of Matthew and Betty Keene.

Evangeline Keene  was one of the landowners listed at Sherbrooke at the time of the resumptions – with a M Keene (Matthew ?) present at the March 1903 resumption meeting. Evangeline was the daughter of Thomas Ralph (Miner, Farmer, Storekeeper of Bulli) and Caroline Howard (they married in 1861)- her sister Frances married John Strachan – and a brother George Ralph was killed in the Bulli Mine Disaster of 1887 – he was only 20 years old at the time.

(Note in one of those intertwined Sherbrook family connections – Caroline Howard was the daughter of Anne Howard, (who in 1867 had married Edward Spinks – brother of Robert Spinks, husband of Elizabeth Harrigan – parents of Robert Spinks who married Elizabeth Reeve of Sherbrooke).

However it is uncertain if Matthew Keene was related to the Woonona Watchmaker James Keene (wife Lucy).

Evangeline and Matthew Keene lived in Farrell Rd Bulli at the time of Matthew’s death in 1918. Their son George Keene, of Bulli Pass, was killed in a timber accident in 1918 – he had been employed as a bushman in the Thirroul Saw Mill, and had been struck by a falling limb – leaving a widow and six children –  Obituary 1.


Believed to be Evangeline Keene

Believed to be Evangeline Keene nee Ralph

Matthew and Evangeline Keene were the parents of :

  • Mary E (b. 1881- )
  • Julia F (b. 1883 – )
  • George H. (b 1887 – d. 1918) married  Jessie Smith  in 1905
  • Ernest F. (b. 1889 – d. 1944 )
  • Malveena (b. 1891 – d. 1892) )
  • Evangeline M. (b. 1893 – )
  • Matthew J. (b.1895 – )
  • William James. (b. 1899 – d. 1960)

George Keene miner who worked at South Bulli Mine was injured in 1905 by a  mine horse and there was George Keene  married to –  they lived in Hospital Rd Bulli – not certain if it is the same George


Can you help us add to the story of the Keene – Ralph – Howard – Strachan family ? If so email us at



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