Mother: Mary Elizabeth Farmer (1829-1886)
Birth: April 24, 1857 Maldon, Essex, England
Death: May 28, 1938 Chicago, Cook, Illinois
- June 16, 1873 Winifrieda Henrietta Keene; Hospital York Road, Lambeth, Surrey
- August 8, 1875 Elizabeth Emma Keene; Hospital York Road, Lambeth, Surrey
- Sept 1878 Marion Alice Keene; Hammersmith, Middlesex, England.
- ? Albert Charlton, adopted
George Keene and Emma married in March of 1873 at St Peters in Pimlico, Middlesex, England. Their first child was born in June. According to their marriage record, George was a clerk and they were living on Rutland Street, Middlesex, England. He was 19 and she was 15 years old. They had two more children before George died at the age of 24 years.
On the other hand, she must have had true presence to have been able to go through all she did. She married three times, outlived two husbands and three daughters, somehow acquired a son under strange circumstances and immigrated from London to Toronto and then to Chicago.
At 15 she was a servant in the home of Edward Martin, Messenger of Privy Council Office. She married that same year 15 and bore three daughters within five years. In 1881, we find her as a widow, rooming in Chelsea as a dressmaker while her daughters are living with her parents and her sister and brother.
Family legend says that Emma had gone on a trip somewhere and on her return had a baby boy with her. She told her family that a man had come up to her at the train station holding the baby and said that his wife had died and he couldn't keep the child. He asked if she would take care of the child for him! It’s doubtful that anyone actually bought this story; more likely that Emma had gone ’on holiday’ at the end of her term of pregnancy and returned with the baby. In any event, the boy was named Albert Charlton and he grew up with his three sisters. No birth record has been found for Albert, nor any other records, including censuses. Only family references and a very few pictures.
Sometime between 1881 and 1900 Emma and her children immigrated to the Chicago area. In the 1900 census she is found listed as a nurse; her daughter Marion is living with her. Emma is shown as married with the last name Lowe. This husband has been very elusive. About 1903 Emma married Allen G Mills, a grocer. Family often hinted that Emma wanted attention constantly and the number of pictures of her certainly would lead one to that conclusion.
Emma died at North Chicago Hospital of ‘Influenza and myocarditis’. She is buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.