Madeline Frances Keilty (aka Madeline DeSales Keltie) born 1890


This dramatic little girl is identified as “Madaline Kealty, Jamaica Pl.” [Jamaica Plain is a Boston neighborhood.] Boston birth registers list Madeline Frances Keilty born 11 December 1890, the daughter of John Richard Keilty and his wife Mary. Her father was a salesman, born in Lawrence, Mass., her mother was from Anthony, Rhode Island. She attended public and Girls Latin Schools in Boston and graduated from Notre Dame Academy. She began her music career at Carl Faelton Pianoforte School in Boston and later graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music. She debuted with the San Carlo Opera Company as a lyric soprano in Manhattan in 1920. She skyrocketed to operatic fame during the 1920’s, going by the stage name “Madeline DeSales Keltie” singing in numerous cities in the United States, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, England and Canada working up to the lead role in Madame Butterfly in New York in October of 1933. The world famous tenor Enrico Caruso saw her perform in 1920 the year before his death.

The 1900 census confirms her date of birth as December of 1890, and the 1910 census concurs. Both the 1915 and 1920 censuses report that she was born in 1894. Her 1922 passport application as well as a 1929 passenger list give her date of birth as 11 December 1897. By the 1930 census she was born about 1900. She got younger as she got older!

Madeline appears to have disappeared from the limelight by the mid 1930’s. It appears that she never married.


About Deborah Lee Stewart

I try to get photos returned to family members at no charge. Please contact me if you are related to any of the people in the rescued photos that I post. I can be reached at:

One response to “Madeline Frances Keilty (aka Madeline DeSales Keltie) born 1890”

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