The Graham Archive

Repository: Maynooth University Library

Identity Statement

TitleThe Graham Archive
Archive ReferenceIE MU/PP30
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1781-1956
Extent Medium885 items


Creator(s): Graham family of Belfast. Keegan, Graham and Company, Wine and Spirit Merchants

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Graham family were a well-off Catholic family of wine and spirit merchants in Belfast for much of the nineteenth century. They had relatives in many parts of Ireland and in England. The archives includes documents relating to the extended family including members of the Bean, Bowden, Crowley, Drake, Maguire, Murphy, McAllister and McCarney families. James Keegan (d.1882) began a wine and spirit business in Belfast in 1834. His brother Peter joined the company in 1840. The business thrived and by the late 1840s brothers James and Peter had their own distilleries. Peter left the partnership in 1851 to pursue his own business interests. James Keegan was joined in 1872, by his son John Joseph Keegan, changing the company’s name to James Keegan and Son. In 1881, James Keegan retired and Thomas Graham Junior, who worked as a bookkeeper in the company, became a partner of John Joseph Keegan, changing the company name to Keegan Graham and Company. John Joseph later became a Justice of the Peace and moved to Brooklyn, County Down in the 1870s. John Joseph Keegan died in 1892, and by 1906 his mother, Margaret Farr Keegan, decided to leave the business. After John Joseph’s death the firm continued as Keegan, Graham and Company, occupying the same premises at numbers 54 and 56 High Street, Belfast, until its destruction during air raids in 1941. It is unclear who William Agnew was, but his will is among the business papers of Keegan Graham and Company. The archive consists of legal documents, business records and correspondence of the Graham family and of Keegan, Graham and Company.
  • Archival History ↴

    Deposited in Maynooth University Library in 2014 by a family friend, the collection had been in the care of the last member of the Graham family, Eileen Graham of Howth, who died in 2008.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Graham family of Belfast. Keegan, Graham and Company, Wine and Spirit Merchants ↴

    Collection of legal documents, correspondence and photographs of the Graham family of Belfast and business records of Keegan, Graham and Company (1781 – 1959).

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection has been arranged into three sections: ‘People’, ‘Keegan Graham and Company’, and ‘Other material’.
    ‘People’ arranges individuals according to their birth surname. The documents are listed chronologically. This section contains documents mostly of a legal nature, concerning various individuals of, or related to, the Graham family. It includes wills, probates, leases and marriage settlements, as well as correspondence with solicitors. There are also letters between family members and some photographs of individuals with no names. The file of photographs has been placed at the end of the surname categories.

    The records of Keegan Graham and Company have again been arranged chronologically by individual. The remaining documents including newspaper cuttings, are listed under ‘Other material’.

    PP30/1 People
    PP30/1/1 Bean
    PP30/1/2 Bowden
    PP30/1/3 Cowley
    PP30/1/4 Drake
    PP30/1/5 Graham
    PP30/1/6 Maguire
    PP30/1/7 Murphy
    PP30/1/8 McAllister
    PP30/1/9 McCarney
    PP30/1/10 Photographs

    PP30/2 Keegan Graham and Company
    PP30/2/1 James Keegan
    PP30/2/2 John Joseph Keegan
    PP30/2/3 Thomas Graham
    PP30/2/4 William Joseph Graham

    PP30/3 Other material
    PP30/3/1 Newspapers
    PP30/3/2 Other documents

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Open to students of Maynooth University and Saint Patrick's College Maynooth.Open to external readers by appointment. Please contact: Please see our website for Reading Room opening hours.
Conditions Governing ReproductionBy application
Creation Dates1781-1956
Extent Medium885 items
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids Descriptive List Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteM van der Molen
Rules/ConventionsIGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description, Dublin Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009.ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, 2nd ed., Ottowa, International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of DescriptionsSeptember2016