Rose O'Keefe

Rose O’Keefe enjoys helping Rochesterians renew their pride in local history. Through her history books and public presentations, articles in the SWQ and The Epitaph, Rose shares what she has learned.  Rose is a member of Friends of Ganondagan, Friends of the Public Library, Rochester Area Children’s Writers & Illustrators, and the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators. She is an officer in Toastmasters Life Learners Club, a board member and officer in the Business Association of the South Wedge Area, and a board member and contributing writer with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery.

Rose moved to Rochester, NY, after graduating from SUNY–Potsdam and began exploring the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes region on camping outings with friends and family. She has written five books and is currently working on an expanded history of Abolition.

P.S. My books are rated for fourth grade and up.

View my CV | View my Resume


~ “Your presentation was excellent and informative. All we can do is share the word about the contributions Douglass et al. made and hope folk get inspired.” Robert Djed Snead, historical re-enactor (Feb. 5, 2019)
~ “... Even more recently, in 2013, Rose O'Keefe published her ground-breaking book Frederick and Anna Douglass in Rochester, New York: Their Home Was Open to All. She pulls no punches regarding the difficulties besetting scholars: "Although researchers have devoted decades to cataloguing five thousand pieces of his public writings, speeches and travels in the marvelous series, 'The Frederick Douglass Papers', details about the family are much harder to come by." Celeste-Marie Bernier, co-author of If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection (Edinburgh: University Press, Sept. 1, 2018) Introduction, lxxv, (October 1, 2018) 
~ "I want to thank you for a wonderful job on Saturday! You kept all of us interested and engaged with your vast knowledge and stories of the people in Mt. Hope. Much appreciation, Audra.” Audra Dion, M.S. Ed, NCC, LMHC Assistant Director Global Education & International Services Office, Monroe Community College (Oct. 19, 2015)
~ “A new book by Rochester author and historian Rose O’Keefe offers a wonderful way to learn more about local history and can make everything from family outings to a simple trip to the grocery store more interesting.” K. Gabalksi, in Hamlin-Clarkson Herald and Suburban News West Edition (January 2, 2011)
~ “. . . She writes of how Genesee County was formed from Ontario County in 1802 and covered the area west of the Genesee River to Lake Erie – much larger than Genesee’s current configuration. O’Keefe also talks about common wages and occupations that were common at the founding of Genesee County.” S. Bortle in, The Daily News Online, Batavia, NY, book review (August 5, 2010)
~ “The reader will enjoy learning about both prominent and little-known personalities and landmarks. O’Keefe stresses the far-reaching significance of abolitionists, proponents of women’s rights, and religious movements of the region. (Historic Genesee Country review in Life in the Finger Lakes, Winter 2010.)
~ “I very much enjoyed the presentation on the South East portion of Rochester. . . The artifacts Rose brought were an added attraction. Many of the pictures served to whet the appetite for further study.” J. K., Chili, NY  (2006)
~ Re, The Wedge: “What a source of neighborhood history! This is a great little newspaper which touches upon the whole Southeast corridor.”  B. C., Rochester, NY (2006)
~Rose O’Keefe makes history live with a well researched and ably presented slide collection. From my knowledge she has collected and organized an amazing amount of information - some of it unique. W.Y., Brighton, NY (2006)
~ “Rose's delivery is spiced with humor and buoyed with [her] love of Western New York from the early Senecas through today. [She] has opened our eyes and hearts to the beauty and heritage of our Genesee Valley.” L. M., Rochester, NY (2005)
~ “You have real radio presence! Lovely radio voice. Your passion for your subject comes through, and it was all extremely interesting.” R. P., Pittsford, NY (2005)