Genealogical Information on the Keatings

Are you a Keating?

If you are, you can be proud of the ancient name you bear, first taken by John fitzWilliam, a Norman knight of Italian descent and a brother to the fitzGeralds, as they fought and conquered the native Irish, beginning in the year 1169.

The name Keating, derived from Céitinn, means sword or shower of fire, from most accounts, and was taken by John to differentiate him from his older brothers. The Irish began calling him this name from the way he attacked them, probably by surrounding settlements and firing flaming arrows at the thatched roofs. And since he was the first to take this unique name, we're probably all related!

In the US today, according to the latest census records, the Keating name is borne by only .005% of the population, with a ranking of 2,420 out of 88,799 unique surnames. Smith and Jones are probably ranked 1 and 2.

To see the whole Keating story, which is not boring (he said modestly), click on the Ancient Family History

The Keatings sprang from a house whose beginnings, so say the legends, go back to the days of /troy. Definite records take us back well over a thousand years, and propose that the family was indigenous to Tuscany in Italy. The Gherardini, the Ancestral and aristocratic family of the Keatings, Fitzgeralds, Fitzmaurices, Redmonds, Carews, and many other prominent Irish and English families, were one of the ruling families, descended from the Grand Duke Cosmus, that fell when the Republic of Florence was founded. Its members had estates in various parts of Tuscany. In Florence, their principal residence was near the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Their tower still exists today, a part of the Palazzo Bartolomei. I bet you dollars to donuts you never knew you were Italian! Molto Bene!! I'm going to Italy in 1997 and I'm going to try and find the tower.

The story I've put together to date is based mainly on documents compiled in 1980 by a Mary Gerguric Keating of Medford, Oregon. I found the documents in the Mormon Family History center in Oakland. (Don't worry, Aunt Mary Jo, I still consider myself a Recovering Catholic.) The title Keating Notes, A.D. 1169 - 1980, caught my eye immediately. The document has been embellished and edited, but Mary G. (not my aunt) deserves all the credit.