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Updated January 16, 2011

Sarah Kean was born about 1810 in County Armagh, Ireland. Her father was Charles Kean, age unknown. Sometime before Sarah reached adolescence, they must have emigrated to Lanark in Scotland.
Charles was my great great great great grandfather. Was he married then? Did he have other children? Not until an online search of the 1851 census carried out in 2006 did a record of his wife, Martha, reveal that she too was born in Armagh (Martha Downie).
We do know, however, that Sarah’s brother, Richard, was born in Lanark, probably about 1823. This information comes from the earliest census record of the Kean family in Lanark, 1851, where he is listed as “Richard Kane, 28, Labourer.” So it is reasonable to assume that their father Charles was in Ireland sometime before 1810 until sometime up to 1823. The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 caused widespread changes in Irish society and opened the flood-gates of poor Catholic immigration.

Grahame Kean

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