52 Ancestors #43: Mary Mildred O’Keefe – Dancer and Divorcee

Mary Mildred O’Keefe, my great-grandmother, was born May 18, 1896 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts to Anthony E. O’Keefe and Margaret Carroll.

In 1912 at age 15, she marries Francis Ralph Roach in Salem, Massachusetts. She is listed as a resident of Salem in 1916, 1917, the 1920 Federal Census has her living in Beverly, Massachusetts and then in 1928 she divorces Francis Roach.

She gave Francis five children: My grandmother, Mildred (1914-1984), Francis Peter (1915-1951), Marguerite H. (1917-1973), Dorothy H. (1918-2009) and Kenneth Edward (1923-1990).

Sometime after Kenneth’s birth, she is working as a dancer with the “American Company” in London. It is likely that she left her children with her parents. It is also likely that she met William Mahaffey during this time.

Mary Mildred O'Keefe, American Dancer

Mary Mildred O’Keefe, American Dancer

In 1930, she is living in New London, Connecticut as Mildred Mahaffey, wife of William Mahaffey, with four of her children. William was a Navy man, based in Groton.

In 1937 and 1939 she is listed as residing in Long Beach, California – likely a transfer based on William’s Naval career.

She died February 9, 1960 at age 61 in Bremerton, Washington.


Here are a couple of photos of her – one with her holding my Dad, Charles Sherwood Eldridge – and one with her surrounded by her daughter’s family.

Millie, Mildred, Lester Sr – Jean & Jane, Louis, Lester Jr, Charles, Little Millie & Howard

Mary Mildred O’Keefe (1896 – 1960) is your great grandmother
Mildred T. Roach (1914 – 1984) daughter of Mary Mildred O’Keefe

About T.K. Eldridge

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One Response to 52 Ancestors #43: Mary Mildred O’Keefe – Dancer and Divorcee

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors 2015: #36 Occupations | Of Loons and Lady Slippers

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