Cortland County
Genealogy -
2 John Keeps


Your recent "History of Homer" posting made me do some more research, since there appear to be two John Keep's in Homer!

The [Smith] "History" notes that Judge John Keep arrived in 1795 & was married to a sister of the wife of Darius Kinne (his wife was Lydia Goodell) and notes another sister was the wife of another Homer resident - this was Susan Goodell. However, Rev. John Keep who arrived in Homer, about 1821, and then moved on to help form Oberlin College in about 1831, was married to Lydia Hale, per the "Making of America" series. [Pioneer history of Cortland Co.]

Therefore I inquired a little further & found that indeed, there were two men named John Keep in Homer, New York in the 1820 era. The Rev. John Keep was a pastor, as noted above, married to Lydia Hale, noted as an abolitionist, and helper in founding Oberlin College in Ohio, and the first - Judge John Keep - is noted as below! Thought this was an interesting item you might want to publish also! It was confusing to me....might be confusing to others who don't realize there are two different John Keeps referred to in the literature....Judge John Keep & Rev. John Keep!

from the book "John Keep of Massachusetts." On Page 51 it says: 5th Generation (from the original John Keep): Hon. John Keep (Jabez 4, John 3, Samuel 2, John 1), born at Monson Mass Feb. 2, 1766. He removed to Homer, NY in 1795, settling on Lot 56. In 1798 he had an interest in the first grist mill in Homer. He was a Federalist in politics and at the organization of Cortland county was first Judge of the county, serving as such from April 3, 1810 till 1823. He married February 15, 1792, Frances Goodell who was born at Pomfret, Conn. Sept. 13, 1766. She died at Homer Aug. 4, 1829. They had no children. Judge John Keep died at Homer March 16, 1832. His homestead was purchased by the county and is now the county poor farm."

Judge Keep's father was Jabez Keep, born in Brimfield (now Monson) MA, March 2, 1728. He married his cousin, Sarah Chandler, daughter of Daniel Chandler and Sarah Keep. Jabez Keep served in Capt. Daniel Burt's Co. in the French and Indian War from Mar. 30, 1755 to Jan. 3, 1756. In seating the church in Brimfield in 1757 he was placed "in the fore seat in the side gallery." His father John Keep deeded some land to him in June 1755 and in 1759 he purchased other land from the estate of Adonijah King. He was elected Assessor of Brimfield in 1760. After Monson was created a precinct he served as Selectman in 1767 and 1769. He removed to Homer, NY, where he died Sept. 17, 1805. His wife survived him, dying at Homer, Oct. 8, 1819.

Hope this is helpful.

Submitted by Sandy at

Text in [italics] added by Vicki Hall Titus for clarification of references.

If you have any suggestions, please e-mail Tim Stowell

Created 25 Dec 2000

LAST UPDATED: Saturday, 14-Oct-2017 22:18:39 MDT

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