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George grew up in Kells and entered Trinity College in Dublin on 4 November 1782 when he was 16. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated in the Winter of 1788. 1 He is sometimes refered to with the acronym "A. M.," surely meaning "Artium Magister" (Master of Arts), indicating he continued his schooling elsewhere. He became a minister for the Church of Ireland and settled in the parish at Edgeworthstown (before and much more recently "Mostrim," anglicized from the Gaelic "Meathas Troim"), County Longford, in 1801. The Keatings were close friends of the Edgeworth family, of local fame for Mr. Edgeworth's inventions and wider fame for the writings of his daugther Maria. George R. K. Smith recalled visiting his grandparents at "Mostrim Glebe," the local rectory. That and the church still stand, although the church steeple and crenellation around it were destroyed, partly by a storm.

St. John's Church, Edgeworthstown, ca1903. Rev. George Keating was vicar here from 1801 to 1840.
Robert Edgeworth, a family friend and father of author Maria Edgeworth, was an inventor. By means
of ropes and pulleys he designed, he had the iron spire of the church installed in less than 18 minutes.
The decorative treatment on the tower, including the spire, is now gone.

Maria Edgeworth mentions George in an 1838 letter as an "excellent, warm-hearted man." 2 George and Jane brought two of their daughters to see The Grinding Organ performed at Edgeworth House in 1809 by local players, including the Edgeworths. When Sir Walter Scott visited Maria in 1825 they went to the Edgeworthstown school, where George was giving religious instruction to the Protestant children. George had previous experience with schools.3

The school, apparently in an old house, was in ruins by 1823 and I don't know where in Longford it was. I don't find a reference to him serving as minister at a parish until 1801. Was he a teacher only before this? His interest in education may have led him to join the "Association Incorporated for Discountenancing Vice, and Promoting the Knowledge and Practice of the Christian Religion" in 1815.4
     The Longford Journal of 1 April 1840 has death notice: "On Tuesday night, at Mostrim Glebe, Edgeworthstown, in his 74th year, the Rev. George Keating, A. M., for 39 years vicar of the parish, loved and respected by all who knew him; as a gentleman and a scholar, he had few equals, and as a Christian he recommeneded the Gospel truths by his holy and blameless life..." On the 4th of April his funeral was briefly described. The pall-bearers were Rev. George Crawford, Rev. John Le Poer Trench, Rev. Nicholas Gosselin and Rev. Anthony Lefroy Courtenay. The coffin was followed by his brother and sons-in-law, none of whom are named, near relatives and local clergy. Rev. George Shaw conducted the service and eulogy.

children of George Keating and Jane Little:

i. Jane Margaret b. 12 November 1789
ii. Walter b. 9 July 1794, d. 30 May 1799
iv. George Graham b. 17 June 1795, d. 24 August 1795
v. John b. 30 October 1797, d. 29 September 1798
vi. Elizabeth Carolina b. 8 March 1800
vii. Maria Sarah b. 23 June 1801
viii. Georgina Letitia b. 7 June 1804

vital records sources: George's birth is calculated from his age at death given on his gravestone at St. John's churchyard, Edgeworthstown, and death notices. His marriage date is from the Keating family Bible.

1. Alumni Dublinensis (London:1924).
2. The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, to Margaret Ruxton, 8 Nov 1838.
3. The Dublin Evening Post, 5 Jan 1790, 1.
4. Charles Richard Elrington, A sermon, preached before Richard, marquess Wellesley... and the members of the Association, etc. (Dublin:1822), (appendix) cxiii.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted