Clare County Library
Clare Genealogy

Donated Material: Family Histories, Biographies & Memoirs 

The Kenny Family of Treanmanagh from c. 1650 to the early 1900s by Margaret Gallery

Title: The Kenny Family of Treanmanagh from c. 1650 to the early 1900s
Type of Material: Family History
Places: Treanmanagh; Cragleigh; Freagh; Dysart; Ballygreen
Dates: 1600 - 1919
Family Names: Kenny; MacKenny; Kelly Kenny; Gallery; Lingard; Comyn; O’Gorman
Transcriber/Donator: Margaret Gallery

All families have stories. The older family members tell them to us when we are in our teens and early twenties, when we don’t really listen - we want to get on with life. Sometimes we remember sometimes we don’t. I am fortunate that in my family that in the early 1900s several family members wrote down the stories. I’ve read the stories and have added to them and now tell my version of them.

When I was growing up my dad told me several times that his great grandmother was a Kenny and that there was a manuscript on them in the NLI. I did not know who the Kennys were but I knew there was some story about the Boer war and a General and that his family had moved to West Clare in the early 1900s from Ennis and were in their time well off. I read the Kenny genealogies by Cecil Stacpoole Kenny, who wrote down his family history in 1915, in his quirky, snobby way and confirmed the stories where I could, read Eric Shaw’s Carroll family tree of the Kennys of Freagh. I tell the story of a family of MacKennys who came to Clare in the 1600s. The Kennys were very much involved in Clare, as large farmers, as landlords, as land agents, as solicitors, as religious leaders (Protestant and Catholic), as merchants, in local government and with at least two MPs. There are no Kennys left that I know of; they have died out in the male line and no Kenny descendants in Clare except through my own family, the Gallerys. I would be happy to be in touch with more Kenny descendants.

I would like to thank all of the people who helped me, particularly Dr Paddy Waldron who was extremely generous with his extensive research, Eric Shaw, Declan Barron, Lucille Ellis and Brendan Burke, the Gallery family of Rochester, Monroe County, New York, Peter Beirne of Clare County Library’s Local Studies Centre, Dónal de Bharra of OAC, Sean Treacy and also Dick Halsey of Rochester Genweb, who is unfailingly helpful and knowledgeable. I would also like to thank my friends with putting up with my sudden obsessional interest in family and local history.

I would like to dedicate this paper to Cecil Stacpoole Kenny, who died young in World War I, drowned at sea, had he lived the genealogy and local history of Clare would have been richer. He did a huge amount of research in the time he had. He is remembered on the 1937 Reading Room memorial in Trinity (my library when I was in college, where I walked past the memorial many times never pausing and thinking that that was a cousin of mine! ). Thanks to Dr. Paddy Waldron for the photo.

The Family Legend
The Family Legend

In the late 1600s Edward Kenny, son of William came to live in Clare with his wife Eleanor de Lacey who he had met in France. Her father was Count Peter de Lacey in the French service, her brother Count Peter de Lacey. The de Lacey’s claim descent from King Roderick of Connaught through his daughter who married Baron Hugh de Lacey first deputy of Ireland.

The Kennys (MacKennys) (Kenny C. S., 1915) (Gallery Family Rochester, 1871) originally came from Waterford; they lost their lands there after they took part in a rebellion under the Ftizgeralds (Ealu Mor) and moved to Kinsale in Cork. The Kennys are called McKinney in family papers and letters preserved by the Rochester Gallery Family (Kenny descendants) and Cecil S. Kenny says they used the MacKenny arms. I think McKinney is Kenny pronounced with a Clare accent. Edward moved to Ireland intending to go to his wife’s family in Drumcolliher, Limerick but landed in Clare and stayed there. Edward rented 200 acres at Treanmanagh (Kilmurry Ibrickane, known as Tiermanagh locally) from the Earl of Thomond. Edward raised his family in Clare and on his wife’s death returned to France where he became a priest.

Edward had an only son Hugh according to the manuscripts (it would seem more likely he was called Edmond or Matthew) who married Catherine Mahon, one of seven sisters, daughters of Edward Mahon and Margaret Hogan. Hugh had a son Matthias. Matthias married Mary Shannon. This much is family legend. (Kenny C. S., 1915) (Carroll, 1925). There is a grave for a Matthias Kenny married to Catherine Mahon in Clondagad in 1790. This was Matthias of Ballycorrick (modern day Ballycorick, Clondagad) whose death was announcement appeared in 1790 (ffolliott).

For the Shannon connection there is some circumstantial evidence. David Kenny acts as trustee on the Shannon, Kelly, O’Dwyer at Cragaknock, Kilmurry Ibricken, Lease (Clare Journal, 1846). Shannons act as lives on leases for James Kenny and Cornelius Kenny (David Shannon) on the tithe applotments (Tithe applotments, 1817).

Arms, Crest, Motto
Arms (McKenny according to Cecil S Kenny): Or, a fleur-de-lis between three crescents argue on a chief vert a greyhound pursuing a stag attired or. George Comyn Kenny used different Arms.
Crest: A cubit arm in proper armour the gauntlet grasping a scroll argent.
Cecil S Kenny says that these arms were used by the Cragleigh Kennys (modern day Cragleagh, Drumcliffe) on family plate in 1826 (Kenny C. S., 1915).
Motto: Tuebor (I shall protect, I will defend)
Looks: According to Cecil S Kenny the family had long prominent noses and a deformity in the little finger – a short joint of the upper little finger (crooked). They lived to a good old age.

Other apparently non related Kenny families
This paper deals with the descendants of Matthias Kenny of Treanmanagh. There are several other families of Kenny living in Clare in the late 1700s early 1800s. I mention them as I have been asked by a few of their descendants if they are the same family. These are families to whom neither I nor Cecil S Kenny writing nearly 100 years in 1915 ago have found a connection:

  • Kennys from Kildysert, some seem to descend from a Wexford RIC officer.
  • Laurence Kenny worked as a land agent for the Inchiquins. I assume was protestant, he had two sons surgeons one of whom lived in Newmarket on Fergus (James) and Michael William of Scarf house, surgeon.
  • There were Kennys in the Corofin area who do not seem to have been related. Their descendants now live in Lahinch, I was told by a family member. The descendants include Sharon Shannon.
  • Edmond of Annfield, near Ennistymon, I cannot place. He was a large landholder and married into the same families that the Kennys married into (McNerny). He may have been related.
  • Maurice of Reanagishagh, Kilmaley, a large landowner.
  • Rev William Kenny chaplain to the Ennis Volunteers in the late 1700s was from Wexford.
  • Several other families of Kennys including Pat of Shanovea, Kilmurry Ibricken (modern day Shanaway) (1824) and Kennys of Sixmilebridge.
  • There is possibly a relationship with a Matthew Kenny, alderman in Limerick, extensive research has been done on this family by Sister Mary Stanislaus of the Sisters of Mercy, Australia. No link has been found. However there is some circumstantial evidence of a link

Other Families I think are related
From the lives on leases I suspect the Molonys of Crag are related, I do not know how (Lease on lands at Corbally, 1828). John Lysaght of Ballyvorda is quoted as saying he is related to Archdeacon James Kenny in an 1819 petition (CSO, 1819).

Where I have been able to find the modern day equivalents for some of the place names I cite them. I do not always know for sure. I have tried to find out for actual land holdings and I give them the first time I name the place. When quoting marriage announcements do not always give the modern day equivalent.

General Background
This paper covers the lives of a family of farmers, merchants and solicitors and doctors from the late 1700s until the late 1800s and in the course of it covers a turbulent period in Irish history. I do not explain the history I think it is better explained elsewhere but there are a few terms not obviously explained on websites.

Catholics used the Latin form of their name interchangeably in formal documents with the English form. They also varied how they called themselves. Specifically in this family:

  • Mathias and Matthew are synonymous and shortened to Matt or Mat
  • Patrick, Pat
  • Edmond, Edward, Ned
  • Helen, Helena, Ellen, Eleanor, Nellie, Lena
  • Susannah, Susana, Susan
  • Maria, Mary
  • Catherine, Kate
  • Honoria, Honora, Honor, Norrie, Nora
  • Cornelius, Conor, Corny
  • James, Jim
  • Bedelia, Bridget, Delia
  • Thomas, Tom
  • Timotheus, Timothy Thady (not a Kenny name).

In this family and in my own until my father’s generation the first son is called after the paternal grandfather, the second after the maternal grandfather and the first daughter after the paternal grandmother. After that the naming patterns are hard to tell as there was much infant mortality.

Second names are often surnames of a family that was related, usually on the maternal side eg, John Falvey Kenny, George Comyn Kenny.

Before local councils there was a system where local landholders did work on roads and bridges locally as necessary and agreed payment at a presentment before a Grand Jury at assizes four times a year.

Larger farmers paid a tax called a cess tax. I do not know how they were picked as they seem to vary from year to year. Cess payers could also be picked to be Grand Jurors.

Large landholders acted as magistrates in the lower courts and were called JP (Justice of the Peace). The larger landowners often were poor law guardians, elected or appointed (PLG.)

There was a High Sheriff for Clare who represented the King/Queen. They were appointed yearly by the Viceroy.

Someone who actually owned land (I am not sure how much) was entitled to put the term Esquire (Esq) after their name. This is not the online definition of the meaning. Mr was a term of respect in the early 1800s and was not used for everyone.

Ribbon men were a secret society of agrarian terrorists.

The Kenny family in Clare- what I can verify
Matthias Kenny: (abt 1709-1790)
For Mathias we have some evidence, we know Mathias farmed extensively at Treanmanagh, Kilmurry Ibrickane and also at Dysart (Dysert, Dysert), had at least 7 sons and one daughter (Mercy) (Kenny C. S., 1915). All the papers say Mathias was married to Mary Shannon and his father to Catherine Mahon however I know he died about 1790 and a Mathias Kenny died in Ballycorrick in 1790 and is buried in Clondagad with his wife Catherine Kenny.

Here lies the body of MATHIAS KENNY Who departed this life July 17th 1790 aged 81 years
And of Catherine Kenny alias Mahon his wife who died 2nd Feb. 1800 Aged 81 years”

There is another grave for a Matt Kenny in Kilmurry Ibricken also buried late 1700s.

"This humble tho affectionate tribute of filial love was erected over the remains of Matt Kenny by his son Matt Kenny. He was endowed with every social and endearing quality and forsook this corrupt form for the incorruptible 17?.” (Daly, 2012)

He is named as father to Edmond and David in a 1793 lease transcribed in the Cecil S Kenny papers. (Kenny C. S., 1915) . Matthias died before 1793, the leases are being transferred and lives added.

By indenture of leases 1st Dec 1793 Stafford O’Brien Esq of Tyrone Tipp to David Kenny of Treanmanagh gent, leases the land of Treanmanagh to said David to be held by David’s father Matthias Kenny for the lives of Edmond and Thomas second and third sons of David the lessee and Michael 4th son of Edmond Kenny of Dysert gent at 27 pounds 10, 2 pa.

Mathias Kenny died at Ballycorick, Ballynacally in 1790 at age 84. (ffolliott; Molony, 1790).

Family of Matthias Kenny (Generation 1)

Family of Matthias Kenny (Generation 1)

Matthias farmed several large farms in west Clare, and possibly also east Clare (Cecil S Kenny says at Treanmanagh, Kilmurry Ibrickane and in Dysert, Dysert) (Kenny C. S., 1915), Michael Lysaght says a large farm near Malbay (modern day Malbay in Spanish Point area) (close enough to Treanmanagh) (Lysaght, 1861) and other farms. Matthias had a large family of sons his eldest son (Kenny C. S., 1915) was Edmund of Dysart (about 1742-1822) from whom I am descended (Clare Journal, 1792). He also had a son Thomas P.P. of Clondagad ( 1743- 1809), (ffolliott) (Kenny C. S., 1915), a son Edmond, a son Michael of Limerick and Kilrush, a son James Archdeacon of Kilfenora, a son Patrick, a son David of Treanmanagh, from whom I am also descended (Kenny C. S., 1915), a son John and at least one daughter Margaret, who married Quinlivan (Cecil S Kenny thinks Laurence of Rathloobain (modern day Rathluby, Quin)). (Kenny C. S., 1915) (lease, 1793).

Matthias and at least some of his sons (Edmond and David) and grandsons (William, Hugh) were business men who farmed. They rented large tracts of land all over the county and sublet to subsistence farmers or they employed people, at subsistence wages, to work the land. They got favourable terms on the leases as they rented large acreage or in Edmond’s case acted as a land agent and also as High Constable of Inchiquin (Presentment, 1805-1806). They had guaranteed tenure for up to 70 years whereas their tenants were often only 11 month leases. They made money from the land which they reinvested in buying and renting land and also in their son’s educations and in mortgages they held for other people (Edmond held bonds from some of the landlords) and David in his will leaves Matt Kelly a 400 pound bond from Synge, presumably George Synge.

Edmond (also called Edward) Kenny of Dysart and Carhue (modern day Dysert, Dysert and Carhoo, Dysert) was born before 1765 and died at a very advanced age in 1822 (Clare Journal, 1822). He prospered; he farmed extensively. The following is a list of lands that he held (Kenny C. S., 1915). The parishes or parishes and place names in brackets I have added: Dysart, Carhue, Ballynaclearagh (could be Ballynagleragh in Ogonnelloe), Lettermoylan (Inagh), Knockmore (Dysert), Rath (Corrofin) , part of Kilnaboy, Roughan (Kilfenora), Ruan (possibly Ruan Commons, Ruan), Carn (am not sure which of many) and Ballyclancahill(modern day Ballyclancahill, Kilfenora) (Kenny C. S., 1915) . Edmond had multiple jobs, including acting as High Constable of Inchiquin (Presentment, 1805-1806) and as a land agent for George Synge (see below).

Middlemen/Graziers were often unpopular. There a very graphic article about a mutilation of Edward and his son William Kennys’ cows and stock in August 1804, (Clare Journal, 1804), followed by a reward offered to apprehend the perpetrators on August 16th 1804 in the same paper (Clare Journal, 1804). The reward included a list of people subscribing to the reward including many relatives. In the same year there was an advert in the Clare journal for Edmond’s house in Dysert to be set, with hay property of his son William (Clare Journal, 1804).

Cecil Kenny mentions an article in the Clare Journal on March 25th 1805 about Edmond’s house in Carhue being burnt down and various atrocities being committed against him. While I have been unable to confirm that reference there is another referencein the Alfred Moloney index (in the 1804 newspaper extracts) to Edmond’s house being burnt and of hay property of his son William being burnt. Possibly this contributed to his retirement as high constable and the handing over of the post to his son, Matt Kenny (Clare Journal, 1804). I have been unable to find this reference.

Clare Journal Aug 16 1804
........ on the night of Thursday the 9th inst. ..... maimed, cut and abused
3 milch cows, the property of Edm. Kenny, High Constable of the Barony of
Inchiquin and maliciously .... maimed ... 5 bullocks and 6 heifers, the
property of Wm. Kenny of Ennis, merchant, on the lands of Carhue .... reward
... lead to discovery and conviction ....
Ed. Kenny £30
Wm. Kenny 30
Sir E. O'B. 20
J. E. Kenny 20
Matt. Kenny 20
Chas. Mahon 20
Patt. Mahon 20
E. G. Mahon 20
Jonathan Gregg £5 -13
James Mahon £3 -8 - 3
Rev. Wm. H. Hadlock 3 - 8 -3
Edm. Mahon 2 -5 - 6
J. O'Gorman 2 -5 - 6
John Perry 1 - 2 - 9
And. Joynt 1 - 2 – 9

Edward Quinlivan, Laurence Quinlivan and others ...........

George Synge put the following announcement in the Ennis Chronicle May 2 1805.

Whereas some evil minded person or persons have circulated various Reports respecting the conduct of Mr. EDWARD KENNY, of Dysart, my Agent in the County of Clare, with a view to injure his Character, as well as to prevent his obtaining a Presentment at the last Assizes of Ennis, for the injuries done him and his Son, I think it is my duty, for the satisfaction of Mr. KENNY, thus publickly to declare the falsehood of these Reports; on the contrary, that he has conducted himself with the utmost rectitude, and to my satisfaction, in the receipt of Proposals &c.&c.&c. - in consequence of which, and the regard I have for his Sons, I gave them a Preference to any other who offered for the lands they hold from me; and I further declare that I will give Mr KENNY every aid in my power to bring any person who shall be found to have circulated these malicious reports, to justice.
Rathmore, April 21 1805 GEO.SYNGE

The row was most likely over land, Edmond and his sons rented thousands of acres all over Clare including over 1000 acres on Mt Callan (Lettermoylan, Inagh) (Synge, 1877-1888) and sublet to smaller tenants. People who sublet were often very unpopular with the smaller farmers. Edmond while acting as land agent was in a position to get favourable leases and terms.

In 1807 a John Tuttle had his house in Skagh (Skaghvickincrow, Inagh) burgled and several promissory notes stolen including one from Edmond Kenny to Patrick Tuttle for £51 19s 3d (Ennis Chronicle, 1807).

Edmond married Susanna Mahon (- 1833) (Limerick Chronicle, 1833). She was possibly from the same Mahon family as the O’Gorman Mahon as in letters mentioned in a court case in 1833 her grandson Edward is named a relation by the O’Gorman Mahon (Clare journal, 1833). They had at least six sons and one daughter; William of Ennis & Cragleigh (Craglegh, Drumcliff), John Edmond of Ennis and Limerick and St Lucie and of Carniskey (I can only find references to a Carniskey around Labasheeda, Kilmurry McMahon) according to Cecil S Kenny, David PP of Doora (aka Kilraghtis), Michael, Matthew, Richard, Thomas and a daughter Miss Kenny who married Christopher Gallery (my gt gt gt grandfather) of Newhall, Killone in 1792 (Clare Journal, 1792). I will talk more about Edmund’s family later in this paper.

He is buried in Dysart churchyard; at the east side of the church at the choir end is a gravestone with the following inscription “Peace and rest be to the soul of Mr Edmund Kenny of Dysert over whose remains this tomb was erected by his wife Susanna Kenny and also the remains of her beloved son Michael Kenny” (no dates). I went to look at the pretty church but could not find the tombstone.

Kenny tombstone Dysart graveyard

David Kenny was Mathias’s second son. He was born sometime in the 1740s or 50s and died in 1833. His tombstone is at Kilmurry Ibricken. He farmed extensively, at Treanmanagh, Ballyclouncahill/Ballyclonacahill (modern day Ballyclancahill, Kilfenora) (Ireland, 1820), Skaugh (Skaghvickincrow, Inagh), Milford (part of modern day Carrowkeal, Kilfarboy), Cahermurphy (Kilmihill), Drumcomeen (I don’t know), Scrupple (Scropul, Kilmurry Ibrickane) & Dromeen (called Drominaveigh part of Doonogan, Kilmurry Ibrickane in the tithe applotments the farm on which I grew up). These farms are mentioned in the tithe applotments and also in his will, where he leaves various farms to his sons and provides for his daughters (Kenny C. S., 1915).

Will 1833 David Kenny of Treanmanagh 30th May Leaves to his eldest son Matt his interest in Ballyclouncahill and the stock on it. Leaves to his daughter Ellen £30 to be charged on these lands. To his son Edmond the farm and lands of Skaugh and 6 heifirs and 8 sheep of Drumcomeen. To his son Thomas the farm and lands of Drumeen and the stock on it 27 heifers, 12 lambs and a brood mare subject to £20 for said Ellen. To said Ellen £185 out of the money to be paid to him (David) by his son David now stationed in a foreign clime, also his riding mare, jaunting car and 2 heifers at £ 12 pa to be paid by his son James, also his linen to said Ellen. To his son James the lands of Treanmanagh with the stocks and furniture in his (Davids) house there also the stock at Cahermurphy. To his son Cornelius his interest in the farms at Comeeneagh, Milford and Carmsoon. To Matt Kelly he assigns Synge’s bond for £400 and he appoints as execs his son Cornelius and Matt Kelly witness William Kenny, James Shannon and John Costello proved prerogatives Ct 1834

In 1807 he was mentioned in a presentment as building a bridge at Scrapul (Scropul, Kilmurry Ibrickane) and repairing roads (UK Government, 1807). In 1799 he signed in favour of the act of Union and was living at Leirrim (Ennis Chronicle, 1799), this is possibly Leitrim, Kilmihill.

He married Mary O’Gorman, (most likely of the Freagh and Moher family according to Cecil Kenny) and raised his family of five sons and two daughters.

David and his wife are buried at Kilmurry Ibrickane graveyard, with beautiful sea views. John Daly who gave me a tour says the large vault is quite unusual as the inscriptions on it are protestant iconography. While only David and his wife are named as buried there, I think my gt gt grandfather Edward Gallery (grandson of Edmond Kenny) and his wife Ellen Kenny are also buried there with their son Christopher and his wife Maria Lynch. There is a bricked up door into the vault from the ruined church, maybe one of these days I will have it opened and find out.

Rev Thomas Kenny was a parish priest of Clondagad. He lived from about 1743 to 1809. His death announcement in the Ennis chronicle says he was in his 66th year. I first came across him in the 1807 Clare presentments seeking money for repairing roads in the Kilrush area and noted another Reverend James Kenny in the same area (UK Government, 1807). I checked the clergy list in the Church of Ireland library in Dublin and found only James. When reading Cecil S Kenny’s manuscript in the National Library he recounts that at one time both Rev Thomas a Catholic priest and his brother James a Protestant archdeacon were stationed in the same parish. The Kennys were, aside from James, fervent Catholics and were unimpressed by his conversion. Father Thomas was a big man, James a small one and Father Thomas liked to strengthen his arguments towards returning to the true faith with a horsewhip. James ran when he saw him coming.

Thomas’s will was proved in the prerogative court in 1810, in it he mentions all of his brothers except James, his nieces Catherine and Mary, daughters of Michael Kenny and his sister Margaret Quinlivan.

The Venerable Archdeacon James Kenny L.L.D, (about 1743 to 1822) was a younger son of Mathias. While he is mentioned in the Kenny trees by Cecil Kenny he is not mentioned in his brother Thomas’s will. At first I did wonder if he was really the same family but have two other documents that confirm this, one from 1861 from Michael Lysaght (Lysaght, 1861) and a newpaper account of a court case in 1825 in which Mathias Kenny (later of Freagh Castle) gives evidence and is described as the Archdeacon’s nephew (Dublin Evening Post, 1825). In 1861 Micheal Lysaght recounts that James was one of ‘Old Kenny’s’ numerous sons. Mathias was a large farmer with a numerous family of sons, he could not give them all farms. He sent James to be educated in the Ennis College where he boarded in Mill Street with Michael Mahon, who was a relative and had a son Charles of similar age. The Mahons had converted to protestantism and the intention was that Charles go to Trinity. Michael Mahon wanted James to go too and asked him to ask his father (I cannot verify this story as I can find no record of a Charles Mahon going to Trinity in the 1760s, Charles son of James from Clare did go in the 1770s). James did not think that his father could afford the outlay and also his mother who was fervently religious was opposed to him going to this protestant enclave as he would surely lose his religion. Whatever happened, after many family rows, James went to Trinity in 1761, became a scholar in 1763 and graduated in 1765. As his family feared he converted to Church of Ireland in 1793 (Dal GCais, 1882) and became a clergyman. Cecil Kenny remarks that if so he must have relapsed to Catholicism and reconverted as he was already a clergyman in 1772 and a magistrate in Ennis (Irish Ancestor, 1975). He was appointed minster of the Ennistymon union in 1775 and in 1778 completed the church there. He later became the venerable Archdeacon of Kilfenora (Trinity College Dublin, 1935).

Like Edmond he was not always popular as in those days everyone had to pay tithes to support the Established church clergymen and James was assiduous in collecting those tithes (NAI REFERENCE: CSO/RP/1819/545, 1819) (Lysaght, 1861). He mentioned that collecting tithes can be difficult in Mason’s parochial survey published 1814-1815. (Kenny J. , 1814-1815). He employed Patrick Mahon, father of “The O’Gorman Mahon” to help him in the task (Barron, 2013). He was related in some way to the family most likely through his mother a Mahon.

James chaired the meeting of the Ennis volunteers to celebrate the granting of a Free Parliament to Ireland in 1789. In 1797 he signed a letter with of approbation to the Vice Provost of Ennis re the billeting of soldiers in the town (Clare Journal, 1797). In 1803 the Clare Journal of 14th of March has James was recruiting for the militia. He was admitted as a freemason to Ennis Lodge in 1797 (Spellissey, 2013). James was mentioned as a magistrate in a 1799 letter published in the Ennis Chronicle in favour of the act of union (Ennis Chronicle, 1799). In 1805 he was mentioned in a Government report as a governor for life of the Clare infirmary (UK Government, 1805) and named as Archdeacon. In 1806-7 he was mentioned in a presentment as repairing roads between Ennis and Corofin and Ennis and Kilrush (UK Government, 1807).

In 1810 he was mentioned in the Topographical Directory of Ireland as Archdeacon resident in Kilmacrehy (Carlisle). In 1814 the rev Archibald Kenny was listed as living at Millmount, Ennistimon, this is surely a typo for Archdeacon (Leets, 1814). In 1819 in Mary Kerin’s petition she mentioned his gardener and his servants and says he is living in Ennistymond (modern day Ennistymon). She also said that John Lysaght of Ballyvorda cannot give a judgement against him as he is a relative. How exactly John is related I am not sure. In 1820 he was mentioned in The Ecclesiastical Register as a dignatory of the Archdiocese of Killaloe (United Church of England and Ireland, 1820).

James authored a survey of several parishes the Union of Kilmanaheen, Kilasbuglenane, Kilmacreehy, Kileilagh and Kilmoon in published 1814 (Kenny J. , 1814-1815). In it he complains irascibly about his expenditure on the parish and the house he has built and how he has not been refunded.

Rev James Kenny

I do not know who the Archdeacon’s first wife was I just have a death announcement for her in 1783 (Faulkners Journal, 1783) . There is a website online calling her Catherine Owens, this is unsourced. I have queried this reference with the website responsible (Ray Kelly) to no reply. James, then the Reverend James of Millmount (which house he built) married a rich wife, Jane Hickman of Ennis, in 1786 (his second marriage) and cannot have been badly off himself as he put up a marriage bond of £1000, a vast sum in those times. (Kenny C. S., 1915). In the Inchiquin papers there is a mention that Sir Edward O’Brien of Dromoland was a trustee on his marriage settlement in a letter but there is no settlement attached (Sir Edward O'Brien letter Inchiquin Papers, 1824-1824). This settlement is again mentioned in a legal brief in the Inchiquin papers (ref etc) about a case re property taken by his son Richard Kenny and his sisters (Inchiquin papers, 1831) with a mention of a charge against lands to provide his wife with an indenture of £200 a year in the event that he predeceased her.

James seems to have rented substantial property. The legal brief is about land he let at Lifford, Drumcliff (now urban Ennis town) in 1789 from Matthew Finnucane. The lives on this lease are Edward Kenny his son and heir, James Kearny and Hickman Kearny. James was then the Rev Kenny and not as yet an Archdeacon.

James had two sons and two daughters (discussed later in this document) by his second marriage. Edward was the eldest son and named as 10 years old in a deed in January 1797. The deed refers to” lives of Edwd. Kenny eldest son of Richard Archdeacon Kenny of Ennis aged 10 years”. This seems to be a mistranscription and must refer to both Edward and Richard.

On 6th June 1817 the Archdeacon made his will and mentioned the marriage settlement of his son Richard with Mary Brady eldest daughter of Henry of Raheens (modern day Raheen, Toumgraney) and a figure of 3000 pounds charged on certain lands which he appoints to his daughter Catherine conditional on her paying 1500 of it to her sister Jane. The will was proved 12 June 1833 (Kenny C. S., 1915). Catherine was the sole executor of his will.

On 30th May 1822 the Archdeacon died his death was announced in the Clare Journal of 3 Jun 1822 (Clare Journal, 1822):

The late Rev. Archdeacon Kenny died, on Thursday last, at his seat, Greenlawn, at the advanced age of 78, the Rev. James Kenny, L.L.D., Archdeacon of Kilfenora, and Vicar of Ennistymon. He was a dignatory of this diocese for nearly 40 years.

This may be his house still standing on page 40 of this Clare County Council document.

He is mentioned in an 1822 book called “The medical mentor and new guide to fashionable watering places”. Sadly it went out of date very fast in his case (Hayd'n, 1822).

Michael Kenny (before 1767 to before 1835) was a woollen merchant mentioned in the Limerick directories in 1788 and a linen draper in Limerick and was mentioned in a 1793 lease signed with Lawrence Quinlivan of Rathloobain (Rathluby, Quin), his brother Edmond Kenny and their children (lease, 1793). Michael married a well off wife, Catherine Howley from Tipperary. Their marriage was widely covered, in a 1788 Freeman’s journal newspaper anouncement (ffolliott) and also in the Ennis Chronicle where he is described as a woollen draper and she was described as:” Miss Howley of the county Tipperary a most amiable and agreeable young lady with a handsome fortune”. (Ennis Chronicle, 1788) .

At some point he gave up the business and moved to Kiladysert where he took up residence in Angel Park, Clondagad (also called Angle park in some references, I cannot find this in the modern day maps but suspect its Gortanamuck as it is beside Pigsfield in the tithe applotments). In 1812 he registered as a freeholder living at Angle Park and holding land at Glaunagross, Barony of Bunratty (a townland division called Glaunagross mentioned in the Irish Education enquiry in the parish of Kileely (UK Government, 1824) now in the adjacent parish St Munchins, modern day Glenagross) (Leets, 1814).

In 1818 a Michael Kenny gent witnessed a marriage settlement for Edmond son of David Kenny. I do not know if this is Michael of Angle Park, Clongdagad (possibly Gortanamuck) or if it is Michael son of Edmond Kenny (Kenny C. S., 1915). At his son Dean John Kenny’s funeral in 1879 a Very Rev Dr Howley PP from Tipperary was described as a cousin of the Dean (Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 1879). I assume he was James Howley PP VG active supporter of O’Connell.

In the 1829 freeholders a Michael Kenny with land at Corbally is listed as signing a lease in 1819 – whether that is Michael of Angle Park or his son I am not sure as in the 1826 tithe applotments there is no Kenny in the townland of Angelpark, Clondagad.

Michael snr had two sons, Michael and John and two daughters Mary and Catherine. One of his sons was the Rev Dean John Kenny of Kilrush and Ennis about whom more later. Michael, the son, seems to have lived in Limerick.

Michael snr was mentioned as the late Michael Kenny in his daughter Mary Alicia’s marriage announcement in 1835.

Patrick Kenny farmed (? – aft 1809 & before 1820) locally to Treanmanagh, (Knocknahily) (one of the three modern day Knocknahila townlands in Kilmurry Ibrickane) and raised at least two sons, Edmond, & Michael. He signed in favour of the Act of Union in 1799 (Ennis Chronicle, 1799). He was an executor on his brother Thomas PP of Clondagad will in 1809.

In an 1825 freeholders transcription of Ibrickane on Clare library website Edmond Kenny was listed at Mullough, Knocknahily (modern day Knocknahila, Mullagh, Kilmurry Ibrickane) (IGP, 1825). I think that Patrick had a son Edmond and a son Michael. There were at least two Patrick Kennys living in the area at that time, one of Shanovea is buried at Killernan. There is a headstone in Kilmurry Ibricken erected by Mr Edmond Kenny of Knocknahila to his mother Frances ?ion erected in 1812. John Daly has kindly found it for me but it is very worn and hard to read. John thinks that there is a name beginning with a P also on it.

In the 1821 freeholders there was a Pat Kenny at Moanaduff (modern day Moneyduff, Kilmurry Ibrickane). Edmond Kenny’s 1820 marriage settlement says his father Pat Kenny is deceased.

John Kenny, I am not sure where John lived or indeed what he did. The handwritten Carroll trees say that he married Honoria Keane. He could have been the John Kenny a woollen merchant in 1788 or a victualler in Ennis in 1832, I don’t know. I do know that the Kennys were merchants and farmers and the Carroll tree says that John was the seventh son of Mathias. John Edmond Kenny lived in Ennis and Limerick until 1822 presumably called John Edmond or John E to distinguish him from John Kenny. John had a son Matthias who married Mary O’Kelly as a second marriage (for her) - she was first married to Joseph Coghlan of Kilkenny and had three children by him. Joseph died in 1809 (Kenny C. S., 1915). Mathias moved to Freagh Castle, which Mary leased, after his marriage. There are many references that say she got the interest in it from a cousin who was a priest. I cannot verify this. Up until 1814 Thomas O’Gorman seems to have lived there. Mathias is the only son of John that I know of. In 1823 a John Kenny son of John gentleman aged 20 went to Trinity College Dublin and in 1828 a Joseph from Clare son of John deceased enters Trinity. These could be more children of this John. Below is a picture of the Kenny vault at Freagh.

Kenny vault at Freagh

Margaret Kenny Quinlivan (before 1775- after 1809) married a Quinlivan according to her brother Thomas pp of Clondegad will made in 1809 (Kenny C. S., 1915). Cecil S Kenny thinks Laurence of Rathloobain. There is a certain amount of evidence to back this up. Laurence of Rathloobain signed a lease with Edmond and Michael Kenny (lease, 1793) in 1793 and names his sons as lives. This lease is renewed by Mary and Catherine Kenny in 1828 when James Quinlivan is named as still living.

Dean John Kenny says in 1850 correspondence that James McCarthy son of Mary Quinlivan McCarthy of Shelburne lodge is his cousin and we know that she was married by her cousin Father Michael Quinlivan. Father Michael Quinlivan was a grandson of Laurence of Rathloobain (modern day Rathluby, Quin) it seems likely that Mary Quinlivan was a granddaughter, but I do not know the exact connection.

I have not researched the Quinlivan family.

Laurence Quinlivan

Family of Edmond Kenny (Generation 2): Edmond’s eldest son was William Kenny of Ennis and Cragleigh (1775-1856) (Kenny C. S., 1915). William married Elizabeth McLaughlin in 1801 (Clare Journal, 1801) daughter of Hugh merchant of Ennis and through her was very well connected, he was brother in law to Pierce Shannon mayor of Limerick and Baltic merchant and also to Cornelius O’Brien of Birchfield (in both cases through their first wives) (Kenny C. S., 1915).

William was a merchant in Ennis and later became an extensive farmer. In 1799 he was named in a letter to the Clare Journal as a retailer of wine and liquor (Clare Journal, 1799). In his 1801 marriage announcement he was again described as a merchant on Jail st. In 1803 he offered a reward together with his father in law Hugh McLaughlin and brother John Edmond Kenny for apprehension of the perpetrators of some robberies (Clare Journal, 1803). In 1804 his Edmond’s house in Dysert is to be set hay propery of his son William. Later In 1804 Edmond Kennys house at Dysart was burnt and William’s hay was set on fire (Clare Journal, 1804). In 1806 he took over lands at Booltiagh, Kilmaley from a cousin Edmund Greene Mahon (Kenny C. S., 1915).

Kenny of Ennis the land of Booltiagh for the lives of said EG McMahon, William Kenny and Elizabeth Kenny his wife at £35 pa witnesses John Sheehan and Thomas McLoughlan”.

In 1818 a William Kenny of Ennis was a party to his first cousin Edmond Kenny’s marriage settlement (Kenny C. S., 1915). In 1816 a William Kenny of Islands is named on the freeholders list at Knockardagouge (I don’t know the modern day equivalent) with life W. Kenny a tenant of Sir Edward O’Brien. A William Kenny of Ennis Merchant witnessed a Roche will proved in 1820 and its codicil (as William of Ennis) (Irish Manuscripts commission, 1785-1832).

In 1826 he gave up being a merchant and farmed full time moving to Cragleigh (Cragleagh, Drumcliffe), which house he let from the Jannes (cousins of the Mahons and distant cousins of the Kennys (Inchiquin papers)). The house had 268 acres around it (Weir, Historical, Genealogical, Architectural Notes on some Houses of Clare, 1986). The date of the lease is mentioned in his son Edward’s marriage settlement with Catherine Murphy in 1856.

He and his son William Jnr signed the Ennis railway petition in 1845 (Clare Library, 1845).

He was an extensive farmer in the locality farming Carhue, Rath, and in Killinaboy part of Roghan (modern day Roughan, Dysert), Leana (Killinaboy), Ballyclancahill, Kilfenora (Mat Kenny holds land in Ballyclouncahil, Corcomroe Barony in 1810), Tullyodea (Ruan), Creevagh (Carran), Berneen (Berneens, Rathborney) and Booltiagh (Kilmaley). He also held lands at Fanaleen, Porsoon and Ballyalla in Kilshanny. Cecil S Kenny says that he owned outright a small piece of land in Kilshanny, hence the Esq. He took over Ballygreen (modern day Ballygirreen, Kilnasoolagh) and Rathvergin (Ruan) from Hugh’s widow around 1844 but surrendered them in 1848 and 1850 over bad times. In Griffiths he or his son held:

Kenny William Ballyalla Kilshanny Ennistimon
Kenny William Ballyclancahill Kilfenora Corrofin
Kenny William Berneens Rathborney Ballyvaghan
Kenny William Cragleagh Drumcliff Ennis
Kenny William Creevagh Carran Ballyvaghan
Kenny William Fanaleen Kilshanny Ennistimon
Kenny William Killinaboy Killinaboy Corrofin
Kenny William Leana Killinaboy Corrofin
Kenny William Porsoon Kilshanny Ennistimon
Kenny William Rath Rath Corrofin
Kenny William Roughaun Killinaboy Corrofin
Kenny William Tullyodea Ruan Corrofin

William built a large house at Cragleigh outside Ennis which still stands, Cecil S Kenny says he built the new one in front of the old house and joined the two by a passage. This seems to be true from the modern day description of the house as H shaped with an older 17th century part joined to a newer by a narrow passage.

He was a very hard working man and very keen on education. When he found his son Matthew, a recently qualified solicitor, idle he gave him a dictionary to read and said copy it. Cecil also says he was known as a good looking man and that his granddaughter Elizabeth (May) Kenny had a portrait of him and that if it was a true likeness, he really was a handsome man. He knew this and was very careful of his appearance. He could tie several neckerchiefs and discard them before he got the set of one right.

William was a fluent Irish speaker and very superstitious. He feared meeting a red haired woman first thing in the morning as this was meant to bring you bad luck all day. Cecil Kenny recounts that red haired dairy maid he had used to deliberately loiter to catch him on his way into Ennis. He might short temperedly slap her but she knew he would regret his temper and buy her a shawl or some other small gift from the town. I have to say I was quite shocked when I read this. Clearly when Cecil Kenny was writing in 1915 to slap a maid was no big deal.

William was very religious and liked to hear mass said in the house.

He died in his eighties. Cecil Kenny says his death notice said 80 but his family said 84. He is buried in the vault at Dysert O’Dea that he built for his son Hugh.
Cecil Kenny has a transcript of his will which was never proved (Kenny C. S., 1915). In the will he leaves:

  • £500 to his grandson William son of Edward (This is Judge William Kenny MP and Privy Councillor of Marlfield House Cabinteely, Dublin)
  • £500 to Ellen Healy
  • £400 to his daughter in law Helena Kenny
  • £400 to his grandson Thomas Lingard for the use of his brothers and sisters
  • £100 to Eliza Kenny (I think his daughter a nun in Ennis)
  • £400 each to Matthew and William Kenny (His sons)
  • £20 to his friend Barbara O’Loughlin
  • Kilnaboy to his son William

He remarked that he has already signed over his lands to his sons.

Edmond’s second son was John Edmond Kenny (about 1776 to 1820), John Edmond was a merchant in Ennis and later Limerick. He married Alicia in 1798 (Ennis Chronicle, 1798). Her marriage announcement noted that she is the niece of Cornelius O’Callaghan Esq of Kilgorey (dcd). They had at least three sons, Edmond of whom I know nothing, John Falvey Kenny who became a barrister (Kings Inns Admission) & Joseph Kenny (Inchiquin papers, 1819).

John Edmond was made a Freeman of Ennis in 1797 (Spellissey, 2013). In 1797 he signed a letter of approbation to the vice provost about the billeting of soldiers in the town (Clare Journal, 1797). He was named as a cloth merchant in his 1798 Ennis Chronicle marriage annoncement. In 1803 he offered a reward together with his brother William Kenny for apprehension of the perpetrators of some robberies (Clare Journal, 1803). Also in 1803 John Edmond put this ad into the Clare Journal:

John E Kenny acquaints his friends and the public of his return from Dublin where he has purchased a large and elegant assortment of linen and woollen drapery, hosiery haberdashery and hardware as has hitherto been offered for sale in the town. Having purchased these articles for ready money he can with confidence assure the public that they will be sold from 20 to 30 percent under customer prices for Ready Money. Those who buy to sell again will meet every requirement. NB Beads, Fans, Feathers, Artificial Flowers, Lockets, Ear Drops, Gloves, English Ribbons, Sarsnets, Mufflers , an uncommon assortment of fancy waist coating and hair plu? For gents breeches. They will be ready for inspection on Tuesday next Ennis Feb 1803”.

The business was apparently unsuccessful and in 1804 John E shut up shop in Ennis and moved to Limerick also selling his furniture. Before he did so he was admitted to the Ennis chapter of the Freemasons. (Spellissey, 2013)

John E Kenny in preparation for his removing to limerick will sell the remaining part of his stock & shop goods consisting of linens &woollen drapery & haberdashery at his house in Church st on Monday next 3rd April. As the whole has been selected within these nine months the sale will be worth the attention of the public and on the ninth of April will sell his household furniture consisting of bed steads, tables Tallboys, a good 8 day clock with several articles of household furniture & cc. Bills at 3 months will be taken on an allowance of 2.5 percent to purchasers at £100 upward March 29th 1804

In 1809 he witnessed his uncle Rev Thomas Kenny’s will. Thomas was parish priest of Clondegad (Kenny C. S., 1915). In 1815 John E Kenny was letting Snugville (22 acres) (Ennis Chronicle, 1815) and in 1817 he was named as a creditor of William Grace (Ennis Chronicle, 1817).

John E Kenny took a lease out from Edward Greene Mahon of Deerpark at Leamanagh in 1819 for £150 pa. The Kennys were related to Edward Greene Mahon. I am not sure how closely, but I know he was related to the protestant Mahons and that the O’Gorman Mahon says he is a relation of Edward Kennys (John E’s nephew) in correspondence mentioned in a courtcase over debts.

I do not know how John Edmond prospered in Limerick but in 1820 his brother in law Captain John Falvey died in St Lucie and left John Edmond his plantation (Clare Journal, 1820).

A few weeks since, at St. Lucie, where he went to take possession of a considerable property left to him by his brother-in-law, Captain Falvey, Mr. John E. Kenny, of Dysert .....

John Edmond went out to take up the plantation in 1820 and died there. I can find no references to John Edmond and his sons and the plantation but there are extensive references on to John Falvey and the slaves that he owned in St Lucie in the slave records of former colonies available on

In 1828 his first cousins Mary and Catherine Kenny renewed a lease on the lands at Corbally on which he was a life. It is mentioned that John Kenny was now dead (Lease on lands at Corbally, 1828).

Michael Kenny lived from the late 1700s to 1822. He married in 1819 (Advertiser, 1819) Maria Comyn daughter of George of Holywell. He was named as Edmond’s fourth son in a 1797 lease. His death notice says he was a kind and amiable man (Clare journal, 1822). He lived and prospered in the Dysert/ Corofin area and had at least one daughter and one son, George Comyn Kenny. He was named as Michael Kenny of Dysert and Holywell (nearan, Kilfenora where his wife came from) in Burkes Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.

In 1815 he took over various lands from his father (Kenny C. S., 1915).

By indenture 5th Jan 1815 Edmund Kenny of Dysert gent and Michael Kenny of Dysert his son . Edmond assigns to said Michael his interest in the lease of Boulingaher (maybe modern day Boleynagoagh North, Clonrush) held for 3 lives 13 Oct 1790 from John Lucas of Mt Lucas at £8.10 at Carn in Burren held from Sir Edward O’Brien land at 100 pa Carhue (Carhoo, Dysert) and part of Dysert (held from George Synge 5th May 1804) for 19 years at £70 pa also Ruan, Roughan(Kilfenora) and part of Kilnaboy held from George Synge 5th May 1808 at £ 250 saving to those Edmond and Susanna his wife certain rights.”

20 Nov 1815 By indenture Edmund Kenny of Corofin gent conveys to Michael Kenny his interest in Letter Moylan held under lease of 5th May 1804 from George Synge for 14 years. At 190 pa for 200

His brother John Edmond Kenny sells a lease to him that year.

“1815 By indenture of assignment 20th Nov 1815 John Edmond Kenny of Carhue gent to Michael Kenny of Carhue gent in consideration of £100 assigns Millanneenbeg (modern day Mollaneen, Dysart) “Shayley” (Shallee, Kilnamona) all the farms demised to him by George Synge & Sir Robert Synge deed of the 17th Nov 1804 for 19 years at 135 per year
Witness James Davoren of Dysert and Pat Curtin of Dysert

His uncle Matthew Kenny also signed over lands to him that year.

“1815: By indenture Matthias Kenny of prospect gent to Michael Kenny of Carhue gent, that James Creagh of Caherbane leased by lease of 9th May 1800 to Edmond and David Kenny the lands of Balycloncahill for the lives of said David Kenny and Matthias Kenny party hereto for 21 years at £ 2 per acre and that Edmund G lease of 9th April 1802 devised his moiety at the said rent of £2 per acre at a profit rent of £ 22, 15 pas to said Mathias said Mathias also assigns to said Michael the farms and lands of Scalp, Rahily and Possfadda held under lease from George Synge and Sir Rob Synge on 5th May 1804 for 19 years at £ 101 16 6 per annum also Knockmore and Letterglan held by a written demise from Edmond Kenny for an unexplained term of £139 stg in consideration of the sum of £390 witness James Davoren of Dysert and Patrick Curtin of Dysert

In 1818 he witnessed a marriage settlement for his first cousin Edmond Kenny (son of David) and is referred to as Michael Kenny gent (this could also be his uncle Michael Kenny) (Kenny C. S., 1915).

In 1820 the Clare journal reports that the local gentlemen are standing up to the Ribbon Men (Clare Journal, 1820):
On Monday night last, the following Gentlemen from the neighbourhood of Corofin, Hugh O'Loughlin, Colman O'Loughlin, Bryan O'Loughlin, Terence O'Loughlin, H. Bridgeman, Michael Kenny, Tompkins Brew and H. Brew, Esqs. accompanied by their servants, and a few of the tenantry, determined on crushing the Ribbon system in its commencement in their Barony, met at Ballard near Kilnaboy and proceeded to ride through the district ......

In 1822 he entered into an administration bond with his brother Hugh’s widow:

Admin bond Michael Kenny of Dysert farmer entered into by Maria Kenny once Comyn widow Rev John Kenny pp of Tulla and George Comyn of Holywell farmer for 1200 8 Nov 1822

In an 1846 court case mentioned in the Limerick Chronicle his wife says she only ever got part of her marriage portion from her brother and did not get an inheritance she was entitled to (Limerick Chronicle, 1846). They seem to have been well off as she was out for a carriage ride with her Butler relatives that day. Among other things her brother accuses her husband of beating her (which she denies).

He died on 16th October 1822 according to the Clare Journal (Clare Journal, 1822) leaving a daughter Margaret Kenny and a son George Comyn Kenny:

Died. Yesterday at his house, Dysart, of a complaint of the liver, Mr Michael Kenny - a gentleman much respected for his kind and amiable disposition, and who gained the esteem and regard of all who knew him. He has left an amiable wife and young family”.

Rev David Kenny lived from the late 1700s to 1833 when he died in the cholera epidemic (Freemans Journal, 1833) in Castletown. He was PP of Doora (Kilraghtis) from 1819 (Murphy, 1992) on and seems to have been involved in Catholic emancipation. In 1828 the Rev Mr Kenny PP of Doora adjourned a Catholic meeting at Dysart. (Clare Sentinel, 1828). In his 1833 will (proved 1834) made at Castletown he leaves his possessions to Rev D McMahon (Kenny C. S., 1915).

Mathias (aka Matthew) Kenny Esq (about 1780 to 1864) lived at Prospect, Corofin/Dysart. Matt Kenny of Dysart married the daughter of Christopher O’Brien of Ennistymon house in 1802 (Ennis Chronicle, 1802) and had at least two sons and two daughters, the only one of which I know was Father Thomas Kenny PP of Castleconnell and Nenagh. I think one son and daughter died young. His other daughter does not seem to have married.

In 1804 he offered rewards for information on atrocities committed on Edmond and William’s cattle (Clare Journal, 1804). In 1805 land he was holding at Ballygripha, Dysart (modern day Ballygriffy Nth and/or Ballygriffy Sth, Dysert) with an under tenant was being let (Ennis Chronicle, 1805). He farmed and took over Edmond’s job as High Constable of Inchiquin barony in 1807 (UK Government, 1807). A Mathias of Dysart held Ballyclouncahill (modern day Ballyclancahill, Kilfenora) in the barony of Corcomroe, in 1810 as mentioned in the 1821 freeholders lists (Kenny C. S., 1915).

In the 1814 Leets he is named gent of Cahirgorman (I do not know the modern day equivalent but I suspect Kilnaboy parish), Corrofin (Leets, 1814).

In the 1855 Griffiths he is recorded as living at Gaol Street (note he is always known as Matthew and his first cousin from Freaghcastle as Mathias). On his burial report it says he lived at Gaol Street (1864). He is buried at Drumcliff. I cannot find a headstone in the transcriptions.

Miss Kenny (before 1772 to 1803) Miss Kenny was my gt gt gt grandmother. She married Christopher Gallery of Newhall in 1792 and had three sons, Francis, James and Edward and possibly a fourth Michael and at least three daughters, Maria married James Davoren, Margaret married Francis Karney of Ennis grocer, her descent that we know of is on an excellent website by Patrick Eagan and, Ellen married Anthony O’Dwyer of Annagh. Lucille Ellis has written of her research on the Gallerys of Newhall in a paper on Clare Library website (Ellis, 2012).

I know that Edmond had three other sons, Richard, Edmond and Thomas but know nothing of them, they possibly died young. There is a reference to a Richard Kenny magistrate could possibly be one of them, I am not sure.

Family of David Kenny (Generation 2)

Family of David Kenny (Generation 2)

David Kenny had at least 5 sons and two daughters (possibly 3 daughters).

David’s eldest son was Matthias Kenny MD (about 1788 to 1874) (Genealogist, 1971) ( British Medical Journal, 1874) . He studied in Ennis college (his MD is thesis is dedicated to the headmaster Rev Michael Fitzgerald) (Kenny M. , 1810) and graduated with a medical degree from Edinburgh university in 1810. He joined the army as an assistant surgeon in 1810 in the Royal Artillery ( British Medical Journal, 1874) and served in the Peninsular Wars including the battle of Waterloo (F.R.G.S, 1904). A cousin now holds his medal from Waterloo.

He retired on half pay in 1819 having seen service at Vittoria, Pyrnees, Nivelle and Nive according to the UK Miitary Campaign award rolls. He became a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 25th July 1819 and is included on their roll of eminent physicians (London, 1878).

Matthias made a late marriage in 1836 to Anna Maria Pollard of Castle Pollard, an heiress; he had no children. He lived in Clifton terrace in Monkstown in Dublin and in Castle Pollard village. Matthias bought 4000 acres in the Treanmanagh, Doolough area from the encumbered O’Brien estate which he left to his nephew, Captain Thomas Kelly on the condition he take the Kenny name. Much of the land that he bought had been already held under lease by the Kennys according to Cecil S Kenny. I have not verified this, however it seems untrue. I am have a list of the General (Mathias’s heir) landholdings from 1903 which include land left to him by his father Matt Kelly and seem to have been bought from a variety of sources but not to have been part of the lands held by his grandfather. I go into more detail in the section on Thomas Kelly Kenny. The Kennys had a variety of landlords in the area including the Mahons to whom they were related. Drominaveigh (part of modern day Doonogan, Kilmurry Ibrickane) was bought by Mr Casey from the O’Brien estate sale and then leased to my gt gt grandfather Edward Gallery in 1840 with James Kenny as a life on the lease. This was one of David Kenny’s former holdings in the tithe applotments. Mathias Kenny did not hold any land in Griffiths in 1854.

Matthias became a JP for Clare sometime after 1868 but he did not live in Clare, he lived at Castle Pollard and at 3 Clifden Terrace, Monkstown, Co Dublin. He states that he is not resident on a form for the Department of Education in 1859 reproduced in the Scropul School book (, 2012) . He is mentioned in Thoms directories as a JP but only for a few years after 1868. He did take an interest in Clare as he is organised the set up of Scropul school for the children of the local farmers in 1859 and gave the land on lease and asked that his brother-in-law Matthew Kelly Esq of Kilrush be manager.

In his will he left money to the eldest sons of his brothers Cornelius and Edward and to his nephew John of Kilrush who emigrated to America (he does not say which brother’s son). His nephew Conor (Cornelius D. Kenny) had not been able to find John Kenny in a letter that he wrote to his uncle Mat Kelly in the 1870s stored with the General’s papers in the Jesuit archives.

Matthias left 200 pounds to his sister Ellen Mrs Gallery. In a letter preserved by the Rochester NY Gallerys Francis her brother in law says she gave the bequest to her eldest son Christopher who used the money to build a big slate house. The Gallerys called Mathias Kenny Dr MacKenny. Mathias is buried in Monkstown Dublin’s old graveyard.

Cornelius Kenny (Corny) (1795 to 1857) farmed locally at Ilaune, (which modern day Ilaun I am not sure but I suspect, Ilaun adjacent to Carrowkeal, Kilfarboy) from where he is listed as ejecting people in 1826- 1827 (Court Reports, 1816-1835) and at Milford, now part of Carrowkeal, Carrowkeal and Canroor(now part of Coor East, Kilmurry Ibrickane). He is named on the 1821 freeholders lists with lives his brother James Kenny and David Shannon (Tithe applotments, 1817) at Caunroore and Carhukeal (Coore and Carrowkeal as above). He lived at Milford house in Milford. At one point he was a relatively prosperous farmer as he was named on the Cess payers list to the Grand Jury panel (Clare Journal, 1834). In 1841 he is listed on the freeholders list at Milford as Cornelius Gent. In 1845 he signed the railway petition (Clare Library, 1845). In 1848, after the famine, Cornelius emigrated to Rochester with his wife Eleanor Sampson (aka Ellen) (Kenny C. S., 1915) and his sons Cornelius David & John and his two daughters. In Rochester and nearby his cousins the Gallerys had established businesses since the 1830s. Cornelius’s descendants say that he left Ireland as he could not collect rents from his starving tenants.

Cornelius is buried with his wife in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Rochester with a big cross erected by his son Cornelius David (he was reinterred from where he was initially buried in another smaller cemetery- we suspect St Patrick’s). This photo was kindly taken for me by the wonderful Dick Halsey from Rochester Genweb.

Cornelius Kenny grave inscription Cornelius Kenny cross

James Kenny (about 1790 to before 1874) farmed locally at Treanmanagh, Scropul Kilmurry Ibrickane and Cahermurphy, Kilmihill which his father left to him (leasehold). The house that was at Treamnanagh is described as a good house in the Ordnance Survey notebooks (from OAC transcription). In 1840 there was an ad that he was selling his stock and letting the lands (Clare Journal, 1840) but he also took on a lease in West Treanmanagh from Sir Edward O’Brien in 1840 naming as lives on the lease his nephews John Butler Kelly and Christopher Gallery (Lease, 1840). Strangely enough in 1842 James Kelly Treanmana is listed as a cess payer in Ibrickane (Limerick Chronicle, 1842) and also again in 1844 at Treanmianna (Limerick Chronicle, 1844), I so not know if he changed his mind. James seems to have been active locally and acted as a poor law commissioner for Kilrush Union (Limerick Chronicle, 1842).

In 1849 he sold the lands the lands at Treanmanagh and Cahermurpy, Kilmihill and other farms locally to his brother in law Matt the manager Kelly who built Doolough lodge there. (Kenny C. S., 1915) (Weir, Hstorical genealogical architectural notes on some houses of Clare, 1986) .

26th April 1849

“James Kenny sells to Matthew Kelly Cahirmoraghue, Cahirmore once Cahermurphy commonly called Knocknacarragh(Knocknaheeragh) as same was held by said James and being in the Parish of Kilmichael barony of Clonderalaw as same was demised to said James on a lease therein recited of 18th March 1826 and that part of Scropul called Treamnanagh lease 25th November 1840 to hold for 100 years”.

I do not know if James married or had any children. I suspect he had at least one son John who emigrated to America and is named in Mathias Kenny’s will but he could also have been a son of his brother Thomas.

Edward (aka Edmund) Kenny (after 1787 before 1874) was a farmer and a grocer in Ennis. He was declared insolvent in 1844 (Limerick Chronicle, 1844) (Limerick Chronicle, 1844) after the famine and then emigrated to New York in the 1840s with his wife Honora Costelloe who he married around (Kenny C. S., 1915), from Ennis and his sons John, David and Thomas and daughter Margaret.

This is an extract from his marriage settlement:

“By indenture of marriage settlement 21 July 1818 David Kenny of Treammanagh 1st party son Edmond Kenny of the same gent son of the said David and second party Martin Costello of Ennis shopkeeper 3rd party Honora Costollo dau of the said Martin, 4th party William Kenny and Basel Davoren both of Ennis gents 5th party, a marriage being intended between the said Edmond and Honor. Honor to receive a portion of £600 the said David Kenny granted the undivided ? of the farm and lands of Carn (modern day Carran?) as he has held the same as first Lessee with his brother Edmond Kenny of Dysert a lease from Sir Edward O’Brien of Dromoland for 3 lives and the said David Kenny grants to the said Edmond Kenny his son the said lands to said William Kenny and Basel Davoren to secure £ 40 pa for the said Honora, witnesses Michael Kenny gent, Richard Clancy of Ennis gent, Macken Grady ?”

Edward Kennedy

Before he emigrated Edward seems to have lived at Ballybeg in the farm on which my gt gt grandfather Edward Gallery (his brother in law later lived) as he is listed on it in the Griffiths field books but Edward Gallery has it on the actually finally published books.

Griffiths Valuation

Of the sons, only John Kenny married, he had one daughter Mary Frances Kenny Taite who visited Ireland in 1909 and a son John David Kenny. Mary Frances wrote a letter to the General (a copy is in the Jesuit archives) after a trip to Ireland in which she talks of her family and says her father was born in Ennis. She mentions her uncles by name Matthew (Mathias), Cornelius and James says her father spoke of them and asks “Who is William Kenny, whose son is he?” (the cousin the general had wanted her to meet in Dublin).

Mary Frances Kenny Taite had one son Benjamin who must have died young as I only find mention of him in earlier censuses.

John David Kenny lived with his wife Mary in New York. He had one daughter Virginia that I know of. David, Thomas and Margaret Kenny lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. The picture is of John Kenny, Edward Kenny’s son, displayed by kind permission of the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Thomas Kenny was David’s third son, a grocer in Ennis. There is a Thomas listed on the 1821 freeholders as living in Church st. Ennis in 1818 with James Kenny and two Shannons as lives on the lease. That is likely him. There is also a Thomas Kenny in Corofin in 1817 with life Pat Shannon. This may be this Thomas or another Thomas. I know that a Thomas Kenny of Galway stood sponsor to Ellen Gallery O’Dwyer’s child Anthony O’Dwyer of Annagh in 1839 together with Margaret Kenny of Freagh Castle , this maybe he. He did not marry. (Kenny C. S., 1915)

David Kenny (- 1835) was a surgeon. I do not know where he qualified. He joined the army in 1828 as an assistant surgeon (Alphabetical List of the Officers of the Indian Army at the Madras presidency from 1784 to 1838). He is named in his father’s will in 1833 as stationed in a foreigh clime. He died in 1835 in India in Masulipatam.

David’s elder daughter Mary Kenny (abt 1798 to 1878) married Matthew Kelly bank manager of Kilrush, Mary and Matthew Kelly had a large family among them Matthew Butler Kelly JP and Thomas Kelly later General Sir Thomas Kelly Kenny. Matt the manager Kelly built Doolough Lodge at Treanmanagh in the 1850s. He left the house to his son Thomas who never lived there, he lived at Grand Mansions, Hove in the UK. He let the house on a long lease to his brother Matthew Butler Kelly according to the will of Matthew Butler Kelly when he relinquishes his tenancy to his brother. Matthew B Kelly’s will is held in the Jesuit archives.
Here is her memoriam card displayed by permission of the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Mary Kenny memorian card

David’s younger daughter Ellen (aka Helen) Kenny (about 1803 to 1874) (Ireland BMI civil registration , 1875) (Clare Journal, 1874) married her cousin Edward Gallery(my gt gt grandfather) in 1835 (Clare Journal, 1835), a wine merchant and grocer in Ennis. Ellen is mentioned in both her father’s will and her brother Matthias’s will (as Ellen Mrs Gallery of Ballybeg). Ellen lived in Ennis and then on a farm in Ballybeg, Clareabbey outside Ennis. She had two sons Christopher Gallery of Ennis and Doonogan and David Gallery of Ballybeg. Francis Gallery’ descendants say that Christopher Gallery built a big slate house with the money left to him by his rich uncle Dr McKinney (Matthias Kenny) (Gallery, 1876). This would seem to be the house in which I grew up although he also sold a residence he built on Kennel road in Ennis. (I cannot find this road in modern Ennis and have been told it does not exist although it is clearly Kennel road on his funeral report).

David may have had another daughter Catherine Kenny who died young mentioned in the Gibson family record. I have found no other reference to her, she is not mentioned in David Kennys will or his son Matthias Kenny’s will. According to the Gibson family record, a hand written document, of which Paddy Waldron has a copy, Catherine daughter of David Kenny of Treanmanagh married Thomas Shannon of Clohanes. They had one daughter Mary Shannon who married Patrick Gibson and died in 1834 childless. Patrick Gibson then married Sarah Sampson sister to Cornelius Kenny’s wife Ellen and emigrated to Australia. There are a number of inaccuracies about the Kenny connection in this document, David Kenny is referred to as JP and as being an officer in India.

Family of Michael Kenny (Generation 2)

Family of Michael Kenny (Generation 2)

Michael Kenny had two sons Michael and John and two daughters Catherine and Mary Alicia.

Michael Kenny (abt 1791 to after 1856) is mentioned on a Limerick lease in 1793 of land at Corbally. He is mentioned again on the Corbally land lease renewal as son of Michael Kenny and as a surviving life in 1828 (Lease on lands at Corbally, 1828). I suspect that he is the Michael with land in Corbally living at Charlotte Quay, Limerick on the 1829 freeholders list. In 1833 he is mentioned on an insolvency case to do with the lease (Irish Equity reports particularly of points of law argued and Determined in the High Court of Chancery, the Rolls Court, and the Equity Exchequer, in Ireland ..., Volume 3, 1841). In 1856 he is named as 65 with his sisters on the map for the encumbered estates sale of Patrick Aloysius Shannon estate (Encumbered estates sale, 1856), however I cannot find him on Griffiths. This may be because he had reassigned his interest according to the insolvency case quoted in 1833. I know no more about him and he is mentioned in none of the Kenny genealogies or articles on his brother Dean Kenny

John Kenny (born in 1792 died in 1879) (Freemans Journal, 1879) later became the Rev Dean Kenny, was PP of Kilrush and Ennis and was an influential figure in Catholic education in Clare. Much is written elsewhere about the Dean, including many references to him in Ignatius Murphy’s books on the Diocese of Killaloe. The picture of his portrait is reproduced by kind permission of the Sisters of Mercy in Ennis.

John Kenny

He was born in Limerick at Coniger, Mungret and educated at Leamys school (Mercy) and then Maynooth where he was ordained in 1814. He served from 1814-1815 as a priest in Kilmihill where there are tales of him walking barefoot to hear confession. He was made parish priest of Ogonnelloe in 1815, then Tulla (1818-1827), Kilrush and Killimer (1827-1848) and later of Ennis.

While in Tulla in 1822 he entered into an administration bond for his cousin Hugh Kenny of Ballygreene’s (Ballygirreen, Kilnasoolagh) widow Helena (Kenny C. S., 1915).

The Dean appears to have been close to his sister Catherine. She helped him to bring the sisters of Mercy to Ennis and to have helped them a lot with their set up both financially and otherwise (O'Brien, 1992).

Cecil Kenny recounts, as does his obit in the Freemans Journal, that John Kenny was very involved in the Clare Elections and the cause of Daniel O’Connell. As a result he was transferred to Kilrush parish from Tulla by the influence of the Vandaleurs. Canon White talks about his attendance at the Clare elections as a prominent support of O’Connell (Limerick Chronicle, 1842) in his book on the history of Clare (White, 1893). The Dean was active in the Repeal movement while PP of Kilrush (seeking repeal of the act of Union) and was mentioned as a speaker at a repeal meeting in Kilrush in November 1843, together with John Kelly, the fact that he was not there for another repeal meeting was mentioned in the report on another meeting (Limerick Chronicle, 1843; Limerick Chronicle, 1843). He was also mentioned as a subscriber to the testimonial for Michael O’Loghlen in 1842.

Dean Kenny was active in famine relief and is mentioned in Ignatius Murphys book on the Diocese of Killaloe that he and his curates lived on Indian meal for a few weeks to prove to the people of Kilrush that is was possible to eat it. In 1847 the Wynne enquiry mentions the tickets for the labourers sent to the relief works by the Rev Mr Kenny were all in order (UK Parliament, 1847). The report refers to the Clare Journal report of 21st Jan (no year but I think 1846) on the meeting of the Relief Committee for the parish of Killard (including Kilrush) chair Colonel Vandeleur. The meeting was investigating and correcting gross abuses alleged to have taken place in giving employment on the public works.

The Dean was active in the Tenants Rights movement as were many of the clergy. In October 1850 the Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator reported on a Clare Tenants rights demonstration to be held in Ennis (Limerick Reporter, 1850). Dean Kenny and Stephen Meany were secretaries for the organisation. They then further report that the Dean chaired the preparatory meeting in Carmody’s hotel and that he was on the platform at the large demonstration on October 29th 1850.

We are given some insight into his character and his close relationship with his cousin and curate Father Matt. J. Kenny of Freagh in “Soft Dull Day – Trade Blue, the diary of P.J. Dillon” Ennis Draper 1861-1869” where P.J. Dillon talks of Father Matt tearing the clothes off two bad girls in College road and carrying home the toggeries to the Dean’s home as a trophy. (Sheedy, 1994, April). He also says that the Dean some years later tried to get him to sack one of his milliners as he disapproved of her conduct.

The Dean was very interested in antiquaries and local history and was a member of the RIA , where some of his letters to Mr O’Donovan are preserved in the Graves collection. His obits mention that he was a fund of knowledge on local history and tradition and very learned but also that he was witty and great company (Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 1879) (this is not the side of him shown in the poem quoted by William MacNamara Downes temperance poet and songwriter below). All describe him as tactful and conciliatory.

From “The Birthplace” (Downes, 1833)
Behold its priest ! the patron of the poor, who ne'er in vain approach his gen'rous door, while there he preaches to the thronging crowd, each conscious guilty sinner sobs aloud
An awful murmur swells from every soul & while reproaching sin his passion warms his face the flush of anger ne'er deforms
At night when careless mirth presides with wine and vice disdaining ev'ry though divine
this virtuous pastor in his church is found dispensing sacred gospel truths around
Within its halls the heavenly tapers burn and headstrong vice to virtues path returns he like the other lives to sacred fame

While the Dean was a supporter of the Repeal association he did not support Fenianism. In 1865 P.J. Dillon records that in his sermon the Dean “strongly admonished the Fenians to desist from their foolish, wicked course” and said that this was “the wrong way to reverse the evil which existed in Ireland.” (Sheedy, 1994, April)

The Dean died in 1879 (Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 1879). He ministered as a priest for 62 years 61 as parish priest and retired, due to blindness, for the last 3 years of his life. He had a large funeral concelebrated by many priests and had several obits and funeral reports including the Freemans Journal, 14 Jan, 1879 (Freemans Journal, 1879), on view at:

Catherine Kenny (born after 1788 died 1865) did not marry. Her portrait hangs in St Xaviers convent in Ennis with that of her brother.

Catherine Kenny

Catherine was the elder daughter of Michael Kenny. She seems to have been quite wealthy. She renewed a lease in lands at Corbally leased by her father in 1828 and was then living at Kilrush and a spinster (Lease on lands at Corbally, 1828). The lease was witnessed by her brother John. In 1856 she was mentioned as a tenant on the maps for sales of the lands of Patrick Aloysius Shannon (Encumbered estates sale, 1856).

She was very involved with and helped her brother to bring the sisters of Mercy to Ennis (where she then lived) (O'Brien, 1992). Several of the Dean’s obits mention her donations to the Sisters of Mercy (Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 1879) and by the Sisters of Mercy in their book (Mercy). The Dean’s 1879 Freemans Journal obit (Freemans Journal, 1879) also mentions that Catherine endowed the Christian Brother’s school in Ennis “He (Dean Kenny) established the fine schools of the Christian Brothers, which were endowed by the noble generosity of his sister, the late Miss Kenny...” The sisters on her cross in their cemetery refer to her as their benefactress as she bought their convent building for them .

Sister Pius O’Brien in her 1992 history of the Sisters of Mercy in Ennis recounts that when the sisters first arrived in Ennis in 1854 that they were met by Dean Kenny and his sister on the outskirts of Ennis and that Catherine Kenny had lunch prepared for them at her house (O'Brien, 1992). They declined the offer and went straight to the convent (Row House) but she sent over the “lovingly prepared dinner” for them to have there. In 1856 she gave them a silver chalice for their chapel, that the nuns still have, engraved with a wish that they pray for Catherine Kenny.

In 1861 the convent was extended, Catherine furnished the community room for the sisters in oak and gave them 50 pounds a year. In 1863 she went to live with the sisters as a parlour boarder and in 1865 she died leaving the sisters two thousand pounds. She was buried in the cemetery near the convent with a large cross, when the convent moved the sisters moved the cross and her remains to their new cemetery. Bishop Power officiated at her funeral.

Catherine Kenny Headstone

Mary Alicia Kenny (aft 1790- before 1879) married James O’Brien of Quinpoole (modern day Quinspool north and south, St Patricks), Sallybank (in parish of Kilsiely but which townland now I don’t know, it is sold in 1875 as Sallybank in the barony of Tulla) and Limerick in 1835 (Kenny C. S., 1915). In the marriage announcement she was described as the second daughter of the late Michael Kenny. She renewed a lease on lands at Corbally originally leased by her father in 1828 and was then living in Kilrush (Lease on lands at Corbally, 1828). In 1856 she was mentioned as a tenant on the maps for sales of the lands of Patrick Aloysius Shannon (Encumbered estates sale, 1856).

I have no record of any children of the marriage (Clare journal, 1835) but however the interests in the lease at Corbally of Mary and Catherine Kenny transferred in 1857 to Timothy O’Brien(? –before 1873) who may have been a son (lease at Corbally, 1857). He lived at Sallybank. Papers to do with the sales of his estates are on Limerick website (Rentals and particulars of sale, 1808-1896). I see no mention to any children of his or of heirs. He was deceased when the estate sale took place in 1875.

Family of Patrick Kenny (Generation 2)

I know little of the children of Patrick Kenny who lived near Mullagh village. Cecil S Kenny says as a younger son he was not as well off and was a tenant to his brother David. I think that he had at least two sons Edmond and Michael. I have a transcript of a marriage settlement that Cecil Kenny thinks was for his son. I think Cecil is right from the gravestone mentioning Knocknahila he erected to his mother that I mentioned in the section on Patrick Kenny.

By indenture of Marriage settlement 17th day of November 1820
Thady Shannon of Mullagh 1st party gent Edmund Kenny of Moneyduff (Moanaduff in tithes) Co Clare gent 2nd party and Anne Shannon day of the said Thady 3rd party. In consideration of an intended marriage between said Edmond and Anne and that said Thady Shannon is giving his daughter a portion of £ 10 stg Edmond Kenny being possessed of Moneyduff as divisor of his father the late Patrick Kenny for the residue of 3 lives held under Charles Paulet Bolton esq of Ennis the said Edm Kenny charges the land with a rent charge of £30.
for the said witnesses James Shannon Cragaknock, Michael Dwyer of Mullagh Cordwainer and Patrick McGann of Ennis Clerke.

All townlands mentioned are in Kilmurry Ibrickane parish. I know the Shannons are related to this branch of the Kennys. David Kenny held the leases for Cragaknock and is mentioned in a court case over the leases.

Family of James Kenny (Generation 2)

Family of James Kenny (Generation 2)

James had two sons Richard and Edward and two daughters.

Edward Kenny (1787 to 1808), Edward died while studying in Trinity College Dublin which he entered at 16 in 1804 (Trinity College Dublin, 1924) (Ennis Chronicle, 1808).

Richard Kenny (born about 1788 died about 1843) was a landowner in Clare and in Limerick. He lived at Green Lawn, Ennis and married Mary Brady in 1814 (Ennis Chronicle, 1814), their marriage settlement is in the Inchiquin papers in the NLI as part of a legal brief (Inchiquin papers, 1831). She brought with her a marriage portion of £2500.

On Saturday last, in the church of Tomgreany, Richard Kenny, of Millmount, Esq., to Miss Brady, daughter to Henry Brady, of Raheens, Esq.

He was mentioned on leases when his father acquired the land on which he built Millmount.

I have a reference to a Richard Kenny JP in 1811. I am not sure if that is the same Richard Kenny as he would have been barely 21 although Cecil S Kenny believes that it is (Kenny C. S., 1915). I have many references to Richard Kenny esq as a landlord in Clare and in Limerick. In 1817 a Richard Kenny esq was a landlord in Tulla and he is able to vote in Limerick as a freeholder (see following). In 1819 he is listed as living in Ennis with a freehold at Rossroe, Tulla. He is listed on the tithes in Lifford around 1821 as Richard Kenny Esq. In 1822 he is listed on a petition to the chief secretarys office as Richard Kenny magistrate (CSO, 1822). He is listed on the 1829 freeholders on Limerick city website as renting houses to a family of Halpins in Drombanny Limerick city. In 1830 to 1831 it is recorded in volume 8 of the parliamentary papers that Richard Kenny Esq stamp distributor has qualified as a magistrate (UK Parliament, 1830-1831) in the county of Clare and that he has an income of £500 pa (seriously rich for those times). In 1832 he is renting land to Solomon Frost in Rossroe (Frost, 2008).

He continued with the leases on Lifford, Drumcliff (Inchiquin papers, 1831). By Griffiths a Mary Kenny is listed in Lifford (not sure if this is his widow) and also the Rev John Kenny his first cousin.

Richard together with many of his Kenny cousins seems to have been politically and socially active.

On July 4th 1817 Richard Kenny of Ennis esq with a land valuation of just over 50 pounds per year is listed as voting for the hon Major Vereker in an appeal to the election result put in by Mr Tuthill (unknown, 1817). In 1822 there is a reference to him applying to the Chief Secretary’s office for funding to build a road for poor relief between Limerick and Cork (CSO, 1822). Also in 1822 he signs a letter as magistrate recommending Michael Davis for police employment (CSO, 1822). In 1824 he is a juror at a meeting to remonstrate the Barony of Islands being placed in a state of insurgency (Dublin Evening Post, 1824). He was one of the Commissioners appointed by parliament in 1824 to erect Wellesley bridge (page 470 History of Limerick) (Lenihan, 1866) and also head distributor of stamps for Clare and Limerick (UK Government, 1830) (a lucrative post at the time).

In 1826 he insisted that taxes be taken off potatoes coming into the fair at Quin. He was also listed as checking up on weights of flour at the bakehouses in Ennis. He still derived a significant income from the office as shown in an 1825 report on the charges and fees levied approved at the November presentment (UK Government, 1835). The report notes that these charges and fees are lower than those previously reported.

In 1827 the Clare Journal (Clare Journal, 1827) reports that he is letting the house and lands of Greenlawn Ennis, he has moved to Limerick.

To Be Let
For such term as shall be agreed upon,
The House and Lands of
Near Ennis
Proposals to be received by Richard Kenny, Esq., Limerick.
10th November 1827.

However he kept a holiday house near the village of Cross adjacent to Killballyowen Lodge (spelt Kilballyhone in the book) according to Mary Jane Knott who wrote an account of her sojourn in Kilkee in 1836 (Knott, 1836).

Richard Kenny stamp distributor is noted in a parliamentary report on the Thomas Spring Rice (supporter of O’Connell and Steele) election in 1828 as being on the election committee & plying potential voters with drink (UK Government, 1830)!! Interesting to see that although protestant he supported Catholic Emancipation.

In the 1832 freeholders list he is described as a Richard Kenny Esq a freeholder with a house at Georges st Limerick and a residence at Greenlawn Ennis with a valuation of 50 pounds (UK government, 1832).

In 1834 he was named as Richard of George st when he signed over lands to his cousin Hugh Kenny (named as of Cragleigh) (Kenny C. S., 1915):

“Deed of assignment 22 July 1834 Richard Kenny of George st in the city of Limerick 1st part and Hugh Kenny of Cragleigh esq on the 2nd part recites indenture of 1st April 1803 Rev John Simpson Armstrong demises to the rev James Kenny Archdeacon of the diocese of Kilfenora that part of Tullamore (Killaspuglonane) barony of Corcomroe then held by said rev James Kenny to hold for lives mentioned therein subject to a 52 pounds on said interest is now vested in said Richard Kenny and the said Richard grants onto said Hugh the said lands the said deed containing several other clauses and convenants witness Richard Kenny and Andrew Hynes. Edward Kenny makes oath and says he witnessed the said deed of assignment reg 5th Dec 1835.”

For Richard Kenny I have no death announcement but in 1843 Mary Kenny widow was selling lands at Tulla with the aid of her Westropp brother in law. In 1844 Green Lawn was again to let by his widow (Limerick Chronicle, 1844):

"Green Lawn to be let from 1st May 1844 applications to Mrs Kenny Lwr Mallow st Limerick or L. Brady Esq."

Richard had at least two sons neither of whom seem to have survived to adulthood (Edward and James) (Ennis Chronicle, 1820).

Catherine Kenny (1794 - 1849) (Clare Journal, 1822) married Captain Amos Freeman Westropp on 22 July 1822. She was named on the marriage announcement as the Archdeacon’s eldest daughter. She seems to have had at least 1500 pounds settled on her according to her father’s will (Kenny C. S., 1915). Her descent is available on She died in 1849 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France of cholera. She is buried there (Joseph Jackson Howard, 1833).

Jane Kenny (about 1795- after 1855) married Robert Robinson in June or July 1827 (Ennis Chronicle, 1827). She is named in her marriage announcement as the youngest daughter of the Archdeacon. She seems to have had at least 1500 pounds settled on her according to her father’s will (Kenny C. S., 1915). She lived at Thornberry House Prospect, Co Clare (UK government, 1855). Her descent is on the website

Generation 2: Family of John Kenny and Honor Keane

I suspect that John Kenny may have had more children, there are several sons of a John Kenny, gentleman from Clare who go to Trinity College early 1800s. The only one I know of definitely is Mathias Kenny of Freagh Castle (about 1778 -1865). Mathias is called Mat in newspaper articles and Matthew in his son’s Kings Inn admission papers. Mathias was a large farmer in the parish of Kilfarboy where he lived near Miltown Malbay. The house lease belonged to his wife Mary O’Kelly Coghlan. Mathias married Mary O’Kelly in 1818.

According to Cecil S Kenny, who says he was in correspondence with Matt Kenny (probably the MP and judge, Mathias’ grandson), Mathias was quite eccentric. He lived near the sea and swore he had seen a sea serpent and was convinced that one day Mount Callan would slide into the sea and drown all in its way and bury him under it. As a result he always drove a longer road to Ennis to avoid getting between Mount Callan and the sea. At one point in the House of Commons on May 20th 1884 Sir Patrick O’Brien calls Matthew J. Kenny Parnellite MP, his grandson “the young sea serpent from County Clare” (and is reproved by the speaker) (McDonagh, 1902). Mathias’s eccentricity must have been commonly known, but not so much that the Speaker knew the reference.

He had three sons and said one for God (Father Matt J Kenny), one for the devil (Patrick O’Kelly Kenny the barrister) and one for himself (Michael a solicitor).

Mathias gave evidence in a rape prosecution in 1825 (Dublin Evening Post, 1825) which mentioned that he is a nephew of Archdeacon James Kenny and described him as a farmer near to Kilmurry. In 1835 he is described as an extensive farmer when he gives evidence to a commission on poverty (Commission on Poverty before the famine, 1835). He is mentioned as a poor law guardian for Ennistymon Union in the Ennistymon Minute books for 1839-1841 where he is named in 1839 as an elected guardian (Ennistymon Union, 1839). In 1849 he is appointed a collector of the poor law rates for Miltown Malbay in “the room of Thomas Moroney (deceased)” (Ennistymon Union, 1849) and in 1850 he is mentioned as a poor rate collector (Ennistymon Union, 1850).

In Griffiths he holds:

Kenny Matthias Drummin Kilfarboy Ennistimon
Kenny Matthias Fintra Beg Kilfarboy Ennistimon
Kenny Matthias Freaghcastle Kilfarboy Ennistimon

Generation 3

For Generation 3 I name both grandfathers and fathers to make this a little easier to follow.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, family of William Kenny of Cragleigh and Elizabeth McLaughlin

Generation 3 Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, family of William Kenny of Cragleigh and Elizabeth McLaughlin

William Kenny had at least 4 sons and four daughters.

Edward (aka Ned) Kenny Esq Solicitor (1802 – 1877) was educated in Ennis College and in Trinity College Dublin. In his Kings Inns admission papers in 1820 he was described as the first son of William Kenny and Eliza McLaughlin (Edward Keane, P. Beryl Phair, and Thomas U. Sadlier, 1982). Edward practised as a solicitor in both Kilrush and Ennis. His wife Catherine Murphy was the daughter of John Murphy of Woodford, Tipperary and niece of William Murphy of Ballinamore magistrate, whose brother Edmond was murdered in 1825 by ribbonmen.

7 June 1825 – Weekly Commercial Advertiser
An account of the assassination of Edmund Murphy, Esq of Grange, County of Tipperary, reached Dublin yesterday by private letters. The letter we have seen does not attempt to explain the cause of the murder, but simply say – “I regret to have to announce the murder of Edmund Murphy, Esq of Grange, who was shot Sunday night last, at his brother William’s house, at Ballinamore, by a party who went there for the purpose; such is the account given.” The letter dated, Clonmell,
May 16. Dublin Morning Post.

Later the papers say he was killed by Ribandmen.

Edward and Catherine married in 1838 (Nenagh Guardian, 1838). Catherine was left four hundred pounds in her fathers will (transcript in an email from a Murphy relative). The Clare journal announces the birth of a daughter in June 1844 (she seems to have died in infancy) (Clare Journal, 1844) “In Jail Street, the lady of Edward Kenny, Esq., Solicitor, of a daughter”.

Their marriage settlement is mentioned as being charged on Cragleigh when William snr assigns it to William jnr in 1856 (Kenny C. S., 1915). Edward was not a religious man, Catherine was very religious. Edward and Catherine had several stillborn daughters or daughters who died in infancy. His wife became convinced that he would have no son unless he turned back to religion. He did and his only son William was born.

Edward was described as irascible and always falling out with his family. When he was annoyed with someone he would turn their photo/portrait to the wall in his office in Jail street. Sometimes nearly every photo would be turned towards the wall.

Cecil S Kenny recounts that in 1830 he was acting as subsheriff for Clare when a former friend was to be hanged for arson. Many said he was innocent. He asked for his friend Edward the sheriff to hang him. Edward was very upset and only narrowly escaped being the hangman.

In the 1832 freeholders list he was described as gentleman attorney and a householder on Jail street with a house of valuation ten pounds (UK government, 1832).

In 1833 he was chasing the O’Gorman for election related debts (Clare Journal, 1833). In a series of letters quoted in court the O’Gorman Mahon calls him Ned, my friend and relative and asks after his mother and sisters. He is possibly related through his Mahon mother but also an 1860s manuscript says that his uncle James archdeacon of Kilfenora was related to the protestant Mahons and boarded with them while at Ennis College (Lysaght, 1861).

In 1835 he witnessed a deed of assignment between Richard Kenny his cousin and his brother Hugh (Kenny C. S., 1915).

He died in 1877 leaving one son the right hon William Kenny Q.C. M.P. of Marlfield house, Cabinteely, Dublin.

Hugh Kenny Esq (about 1802- 1844)
Hugh Kenny Esq was a substantial farmer in the Corofin area and is named on the cess payers list in 1834 (Clare Journal, 1834) as H. Kenny of Cragleigh(modern day Cragleagh, Drumcliff). He lived at Ballygreene on 223 acres (modern day Ballygirreen, Newmarket-on Fergus, Kilnasoolagh) after his marriage to Helena McNamara of Corbally in 1836 (Clare Journal, 1836). On his marriage his father in law Thomas MacNamara gave him a cheque for 1000. In 1844 he was again on the cess payers list as Hugh Kenny Ballygreene (Limerick Chronicle, 1844).

He held 12 acres of Ballyconnelly under lease from Sir Edward O’Brien. He also held Rathvergin (Ruan) (203 acres at rent of 64 12 4 under lease from Dr Gabett) which is to let in 1845 after his death- offers to Matthew Kenny solicitor of Ennis (his brother) or to Mrs Kenny of Patrick st, Limerick his widow (Clare Journal, 1845). He held 102 acres from the Armstrongs at Tullamore under a lease assigned to him by his cousin Richard Kenny of Milmount at 52 pa, Coolnatlla (270 acres) from the Fitzgeralds at 50 pa and part of Moanamore known as Monebeg at 12 and also Garraun.

Cecil S Kenny describes him as very handsome and known as the bandit because of his swarthy good looks. He loved to hunt and it a fall while hunting that exacerbated an existing heart complaint – he died young leaving a son and 4 daughters. He is described in his death announcement as the second son of William of Cragleigh (Clare Journal, 1844). He is buried in the Kenny vault at Dysert O’Dea with the following inscription:

“To the memory of Hugh Kenny Esq of Ballygreen.

This Monument was erected by his Father William Kenny Esq of Cragleigh AD 1844”

This branch of the family is particularly well documented by Cecil S. Kenny as Hugh was his grandfather.

In his will he left all to his wife Helena:
“Hugh Kenny of Ballygreene Esq by his will dated 4th September and codicil 7th Sept 1844 devises all his property to his wife Helena for her life and after her death to his children surviving her share and share alike and appointed his brother Matthew Kenny and Mort O’Brien of Limerick his wife Helena Kenny execs “
Proved in the prerogative court 3rd Dec 1844

After his death she gave up Ballygreene, his furniture is for sale by auction, the advertisement remarks on the valuable furniture including a rosewood centre table (Limerick Chronicle, 1844). Cecil Kenny says that Hugh’s father William (or brother he is not explicit) took over Ballygreene and also Rathvergin but surrendered them around 1848-1850 when times were bad.

Father David Kenny (after 1802 to before 1833)
David Kenny became a priest and died young. I know no more of him than this. Cecil S Kenny recounts that his vestments were kept at Cragleigh where they were used to say mass. William liked to have mass said in the house. Father David’s niece Ellen Lingard became a sister of Mercy in Ennis. The vestments together with some silver candlesticks were lent to her and then the return was never requested.

Matthew Kenny (1814-1896)
Matthew Kenny was described as the third son of William of Cragleigh in his Kings Inn admissions in 1833 (Edward Keane, P. Beryl Phair, and Thomas U. Sadlier, 1982). He studied at Ennis College and then at Trinity College Dublin before entering Kings Inns. He practised as a solicitor in Ennis and in Dublin (Mountjoy Square). He was mentioned as a petitioner for the railway in Ennis in 1845 (Clare Library, 1845).

He married Elizabeth (named Lizzie on her grave) MacNamara in 1855 (Clare Journal, 1855) (Pro Cathedral records, 1855) sister of his brother Hugh’s wife and had at least four sons and two daughters. She died young at 33 and is buried in Glasnevin with him in the Kenny vault. It appears that before this marriage he had a son William by Julianna Butler. William emigrated to Australia at 16 and worked as an upholsterer. He called his first son Matthew and on his wedding in 1868 when he was 25 named Matthew Kenny attorney Ennis as his father on both his civil and religious marriage certificates. Was this a first marriage undocumented in the genealogies or was Matthew an acknowledged illegitimate son? We don’t know.

Matthew became quite rich having a country estate of over 2000 acres at Clooniffe, Galway and serving as High Sheriff of Galway in 1875.

Matthew was a Liberal Unionist by politics and served as conducting agent in 1879 (Limerick and Tipperary Vindicator, 1879) for his cousin Major Kelly Kenny when he wished to go forward for the Clare bi- election. As the clergy opposed Major Kelly Kenny he withdrew his candidacy.

He also advised the then Captain Kelly Kenny when he was executor of Mathias Kenny’s will and advided Captain Pollard, Anna Maria Pollard’s nephew.

Matthew died in 1896 in Sandycove in Dublin and is buried in Glasnevin (Irish Times, 1896).

William Kenny Esq JP PLG Jnr (after 1803 - 1878 (Clare Journal, 1878)) was an extensive farmer in the Corofin area. He lived at Cragleigh house at Cragleigh (Cragleagh Drumcliff). The house still exists and can be seen at

In his father’s lifetime he was known as William Jnr. In January 1844 he attended tenants rights meetings and was quoted in several newspapers as “Mr Wm Kenny Jnr thought it a great hardship that if a road were to be made through land that the landlord was compensated while the tenant, the real sufferer, was left with no redress” (Dublin Evening Post, 1844) (The Times, 1844). Later that month he was quoted as saying “I pay 10 s an acre taxes on a farm I hold” at a meeting of Clare landholders (The Times, 1844). In 1845 he was mentioned with his father on the Galway Ennis Railway petitioners list (Clare Library, 1845). He was also mentioned in 1844 letting Tullamore near Ennistymon in the parish of Killaspuglinane, application to Wm and Hugh Kenny Esquires.

In 1851 he married Anna Ryan of Tyone house Tipperary. Her family had close Ennis connections. This is their marriage settlement (Kenny C. S., 1915):

“Wm Kenny of Cragleigh Esq 1st part Malachy Ryan of Tyone house Co Tipp esq, Anna Maria Ryan spinster his daughter and sd Malachy second part and Thomas John Ryan of Tyone and Matthew Kenny of Ennis Esq 3rd part, whereas marriage is intended between William and Anne is settling a portion of 1500 to be paid by said Malachy Ryan sd William grants & assigns to Thos John Ryan and Matthew Kenny £500 of sd 1500 to pay premiums on insurance witness Edward Count Dalton Greenstown . Henry D Ryan Tyone April 1855”

In 1856 he took over Cragleigh (Kenny C. S., 1915):

“Indenture of Assignment 19th April 1856 Wm Kenny the elder of Cragleigh esq 1st part Wm Kenny the younger of Cragleigh Esq 2nd part and Thos John Ryan of Tyone Co Tipp and Matthew Kenny of Dublin 3rd part recites that Charles Jannes indenture of lease of 26 May 1826 demised to Wm Kenny the elder for the term therein mention the lands of Cragleigh containing 167 acres and such lands werBarke by the settlement on the marriage of Edward Kenny with Catherine Murphy made subject to the payment of premiums of Insurance therein mention Wm Kenny grants the lands to said Thos J Ryan and Matt Kelly upon trust for the benefit of Wm Kenny the younger subject to the payment of certain premiums of insurance mentioned in the settlement executed 0f the marriage of Edward Kenny and Catherine Murphy”. 1 Sept 1856”

He had at least four surviving sons and one daughter, Edward (solicitor), Matthew (army officer), David a priest, William J Kenny (doctor in the army).

In 1869 he was mentioned attending the funeral of Henry Barron O’Brien as William Kenny Esq (Freemans Journal, 1869).

In 1874 he was appointed JP (Irish times, 1874). Colonel George Charles Synge in his diary on building a house on Mt Callan, kept between 1877 and 1878, mentions that he had to buy back a long lease to William Kenny to get access to land he wanted. William had the land sublet. (Synge, 1877-1888).

In his Irish Times death announcement he was mentioned as much esteemed Vice Chairman of Ballyvaughan board of Guardians (Irish Times, 1898).

In his will dated 2nd June 1878 (with three codicils) he left the lands of Cragleigh and Ballynealon to his wife Anna as trustree for his four sons William, Thomas, David and Matthew. The moneys mentioned in the marriage settlement he appoints subject to his wife’s life interest, equally between his sons. William Thomas and David. Bequeaths 300 charged on Ballynealon (I don’t know the modern day equivalent) to his son Matthew in addition to his share in the lands. Leaves his interest in the lands of Berneens, Creevagh and Rath and his furniture plate linen etc carriage, bay brougham horse and three cows now at Cragleigh to his wife Anna and leaves the residue of the estate to his said four sons and his wife share and share alike. Probate granted 3 Oct 1878. Personalty sworn at 2000.

William Kenny held Ballynealon under fee grant forever having purchased in about 1856.

Maria Kenny Lingard (1803-1851)
Maria Kenny married Thomas Lingard an officer in the Kings Borderers (also known as the 25th regiment) in 1823 in Ennis church (Connaught Journal, 1823). She had a large family (15 according to Cecil S. Kenny who does not list all 15 children). The boys from the family were brought up Protestant and the girls Catholic. I know little of her. In 1838 the birth of a daughter was announced to Thomas Lingard at Cooga (Ruan). In 1844 he was listed as a Cess payer at Coogey (modern day Cooga, Ruan) (Limerick Chronicle, 1844). In the same year the Limerick Chronicle announced the birth of a son to him at Cooga (Limerick Chronicle, 1844).

She died in 1851 (Limerick Chronicle, 1851) and is buried in Ruan churchyard. According to her gravestone she was 47. Thanks to Clare Library for allowing me to use their photo of her tomb.

Maria Kenny Lingard tomb

'At Cooga, County Clare, Maria, the beloved wife of Thomas Lingard, Esq. late 25th Regt. and daughter of William Kenny, Esq, of Cragleigh. This lady enjoyed the love and esteem of all who knew her, and her death is regretted by all classes.Her remains were interred at Ruan, followed by a large con-course of sympathising friends and relatives.'

Susanna Kenny (abt 1809 – abt 1870) married Francis Nathaniel Burton Ross Lewin in 1828 (Kenny C. S., 1915), (Burke, 1889). Francis Ross Lewin was the son of Westropp Ross Lewin. His descendants from the USA say he was from Killadysert. I have a Francis Rosslewin in Carran (Creevagh) in the 1828 tithe applotments, William Kenny held land there I think that is him. Francis B Rosslewin lived at Cornfield in Kilchreest in 1845 when an announcement was made in the Dublin Evening Mail of a birth of a daughter (probably Matilda) to Francis B Ross-Lewin Esq (Dublin Evening Mail, 1845). In the same year Cornfield is described in the Parliamentary Gazetteer as a villa with a beautiful site and a great view of the Fergus (The Parliamentary Gazetteer, 1845). In 1846 Francis B Rosslewin was secretary of the famine relief commission in Kilchreest, Clonderalaw, Co Clare and applied for a road to be built for famine relief (Famine relief commission papers, 1849-1846) and begged for assistance as the parish relief commission had exhausted their resources and been refused help by the local landowners. In 1844 a Francis Rosslewin was named a cess payer in Clonderalaw.

In 1849 the family emigrated to Rochester, Monroe county, New York as did their other Kenny cousins and where their Gallery were already established. They left on a boat from Liverpool, the Andrew Foster. In 1850 Francis is listed in the census as a joiner. They moved from Rochester to Elkhart County in Indiana in 1857 where they remained for the rest of their lives (Weaver, 1916).

Ellen Kenny (abt 1810- ?) was William’s third daughter according to her marriage settlement and her marriage announcement (Limerick Chronicle, 1831).

Ellen Kenny married Francis Healy of Moygallone(modern day Mogullane, Drumline) in 1831. Cecil Kenny recounts a story that before her marriage she took herself very seriously and liked to be treated with respect. One day at Cragleigh she called a workman Bert in from the garden. He came in with his trousers rolled up. She said to him indignantly “Bert, Bert, Let down your trousers”. He looked at her a bit strangely, stared and did nothing. She said it again. He blushed and said stutteringly “But Miss Kenny I’d be ashamed” and then it was her turn to blush.

“Deed of Marriage settlement of 4th August 1831 William Kenny of Cragleigh Esq, 1st part Ellen Kenny spinster 3rd daughter of said William Kenny 2nd part, Francis Healy of Moygallane (modern day Mogullane, Drumline, near Newmarket), Co Clare Esq 3rd part and Hugh Kenny of Cragleigh esq 4th part relates that a marriage is intended between said Ellen and Francis Healy and in consideration of the portion of said Ellen therein mentioned the said Francis Healy grants to Hugh Kenny the farms and lands of Killulla (Clonloghan), a house in Newmarket, farms and lands of Ballysallagh west, the house and division of Castleheal being part of Kilbrickane (Kilbrecken, Doora) containing 104 aces; Kilulla (Clonloghan) containing 64 acres all situate in the Barony of Bunratty and Kilkeel being part of Castlepark (there is a Castlepark in Cahermurphy, Kilmihill) whereon a lodge was lately built situate at Kilkee barony of Moyarta to secure a £100 per year pin money to said Ellen and a jointure of £150 per annum after the death of said Francis
Witnesses: Thomas Lingard of Cooga Esq, Michael Healy of Ennis MD and John Hilliard of Ennis
Registered 10th November 1831

The Limerick Chronicle of August 1831 tells us that they spent their honeymoon in Castle Connell. (Limerick Chronicle, 1831)

The Healys were a family like the Kennys who rented big farms and let them out to subtenants (graziers). They were progressive farmers. In his “History of Clarecastle and its environs” Joseph Power talks of Francis Healy as being of the Manusmore family and says he was a tithe collector with Thomas Mahon. That is certainly possible but I am unclear if he was a son or a cousin of Michael MD of Ennis (Power, 2004). Like the Kennys they were victim of agrarian attacks and the “Whiteboys”.

In 1832 a Francis Healy tried to evict a tenant in Clonderalaw.

Ellen and Francis Healy took out a mortgage of 5500 in 1832 against the settlement with John McMahon (20th July). In 1837 in Samuel Lewis’s History and Topography of Co. Clare a Francis Healy Esq lived at Mogullane (Lewis, 1837). He is listed twice as a subscriber to the book and is also listed in the section on Newmarket-on –Fergus.

In 1855 Griffiths a James Healy lives at Mogallaun, he may possibly be a son. There was also Terence mentioned on the Landed Estates database at Manus.

Elizabeth Kenny (abt 1800- ?) became a nun according to Cecil S. Kenny.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, children of John Edmond Kenny

I know John Edmond Kenny had three sons but I know little or nothing about them. In 1819 he signed a lease on Deerpark with Edmond Greene Mahon and names his sons Edmond, John and Joseph (Inchiquin papers, 1819).

The only son I have any information on is John Falvey Kenny (1802- ) who went to Trinity in 1823 aged 21 and is named son of John Edmond (Trinity College Dublin, 1935). He then became a barrister (Kings Inns Admission):

KENNY, JOHN FALVEY, 2nd s. of John Edmond, Dysart, Co. Clare and Alicia Falvey;
over 16; ed. T.C.D.; afft. John O’Donoghue, barrister. T 1835.’

There was a Joseph Kenny from Clare son of John deceased who goes to Trinity in 1828 aged 23 and graduated in 1838, MB 1840. This could be Joseph son of John Edmond or a son of his uncle John Kenny.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, children of Michael Kenny

George Comyn Kenny JP( abt 1821 -1890) of Longford House near Ballycrissane, Tirnascragh (also called Longford castle in the references wrongly as Longford castle is a ruin in the grounds), Co Galway was admitted to Kings Inns Dublin in 1840 (Kings Inns Admission) and became a solicitor about 1845 (Kenny C. S., 1915). He practised for a few years. In 1851 the Clare Journal mentioned that he was a solicitor on Granby row (Clare Jounal, 1851). In the same year he was named as solicitor for his brother-in-law Nicholas Smith O’Gorman in a petition for sale under the incumbered estates act acting against Edward O’Dwyer. He was then based at 15, Granby Row (Ireland commissioners for the Sale of Incumbered Estates, 1854).

He married heiress Mary Anne Martin from Galway in 1850, her marriage articles are dated the 13th December 1850 (Kenny C. S., 1915). She was the second daughter of Christopher Bernard Martin son and heir of Patrick Martin of Lismore, Co Galway by Dora his wife heiress of George Martin of Fountain, Co Clare by Eliza his wife. He had three sons and two daughters by her. His surviving son was Dr Michael Edward Comyn Kenny whose widow died in Jersey in 1947. There appear to have been no children of this marriage.

In 1856 George C Kenny was named as one of the local gentry at the funeral of John Eyre of Eyrecourt (The Sydney Morning Herald, 1856).

Cecil Kenny records that one of his sons George Martin Kenny was very athletic and the holder of the Irish Long jump record. The son’s athletic exploits are recorded also in the Galway Vindicator in 1875 (New Zealand Tablet, 1875). He jumped the canal at Portumna (24 foot). He died young while at Trinity College.

At some point George C Kenny bought Longford House and moved there. The house was built around the time that he moved there and may have been built by him. He was the holder of over 900 acres in Griffiths valuation (leasehold) (NUI Galway, 2011). He was named as a JP in 1875 (New Zealand Tablet, 1875). He was chairman of the Portumna Board of Guardians according to Cecil S Kenny (Kenny C. S., 1915). I have been unable to confirm this but a local from Tiernascragh has told me he has seen documents referring to George C. Kenny as vice chairman of the Board of Guardians. In 1881 a George C. Kenny barrister-at-law and practical farmer was appointed an Assistant Commissioner under the land law act. I am not sure if that is he (House of Commons Return, 1881). In Slaters Commercial Directory of Ireland for 1881 he is listed as one of the nobility and gentry of Portumna at Longford Castle (Slaters, 1881). He gave the land for the original Catholic church built locally.

He sold Longford House and his estates sometime before 1890. He seems to have moved before he sold the house and his daughter Miss Kenny was living there alone at one point. In 1907 the Congested districts board survey maps reports that the Comyn-Kenny estate is 1222 acres in the barony and Longford town (insert ref). The Tiernascragh heritage project on Ireland Reaching Out mentions the Kenny Estate as being in Longford townland, Tiernascragh.

A spring well lies on the lands of Longford house. In the 19th century a stone steeple was built above this well. It is believed this was a wedding present from Col. Martin of Eyrecourt to his daughter who married into the Kenny family then in occupation of the house. In the past this well was a source of drinking water for many families in the area.

He died April 20th 1897 in Ulverston, Lancashire.

In 1849 he used:
Arms: argent on a saltour purpure five heart,
Crest: a demi lion rampant holding a fleur-de-lis or.

Margaret Kenny (abt 1820-1899)
Margaret Kenny married Nicholas Smith O’Gorman. In 1840 the Clare Journal (Clare Journal, 1840) reported on a court case over a row on the road after a carriage overturned. The row was between her uncle Thomas Comyn and John MacNamara her father’s brother-in-law.

Maria Kenny and her daughter were witnesses. In their witness testimony they maintain Thomas Comyn attacked John MacNamara and that Margaret got on her knees pleading with him to stop. Thomas maintained that he was assaulted. He won the case to the Judge’s apparent surprise. In the course of the proceedings it was mentioned that Thomas Comyn was insolvent and that his sister Maria never got all of her marriage portion or her share of an inheritance left to her.

In 1843 Margaret married Nicholas Smith O’Gorman. He was of the same family as the O’Gorman Mahon, many of his family were active in Catholic emancipation. They lived at Bellevue, Ballynote West, Kilrush, which Nicholas got from Thomas Comyn in settlement of the debt owed to his sister. Correspondance referring to their time there and to their tenants is available in the “Notes on the O’Gorman genealogies” in the NLI. (O'Gorman, 1856). Nicholas Smith O’Gorman was there at the time of Griffiths. His brother-in-law George Comyn Kenny acted for him in a petition for the sale of Bellevue and lands under the incumbered estates act acting against Edward O’Dwyer. (Ireland commissioners for the Sale of Incumbered Estates, 1854). Nicholas Smith O’Gorman was a JP and High Sheriff of Clare in 1878.

They seem to have moved from Bellevue before they died (Nicholas died in 1894) as in 1892 the Clare Journal reports that Jonas Brew lived there (Clare Journal, 1892).
They had one son Major Nicholas Purcell O’Gorman. He had no children.

Notes by indenture of marriage settlement 25th Oct 1843
Nicholas Smith O’Gorman of Dublin barrister at law 1st part Maria Kenny once Comyn widow and Margaret Kenny her daughter spinster 2nd part James Blake Butler of Glenwilliam and James O’Dwyer of Newpark Esquires 3rd part recites that said Margaret was entitled to a fortune of 1000 pounds. That 900 pounds of this was secured by a judgement marked by said Maria Kenny against Thomas Francis Comyn formerly of Hollywell in the year 1830 and that said Nicolas S O’Gorman was seized of the lands of Bellevue

Generation 3 Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, children of Matthew Kenny

Matthew Kenny had at least two sons and two daughters. In 1850 before his son Thomas passed waay he made a will and named his unnamed sister as his only surviving sibling.

Rev Thomas Kenny pp Nenagh (about 1804 -1850)
Thomas Kenny was ordained in Maynooth in 1830 (Murphy, 1992). He was a curate in Nenagh in 1836 (Limerick Times, 1836). He was later PP of Castleconnell and then of Nenagh. Cecil S Kenny recounts that he was very popular in Castleconnell, that his parishioners wanted to keep him there and that they erected a pulpit in his honour (standing in 1915). That I have been unable to confirm.

The bishop brought him in to Nenagh as administrator with the intention of him taking over as parish priest from the existing PP who was old and ailing. However there was an existing and very popular locally curate in line for the job Father Nicholas Power. Father Power had been accused of writing letters against the bishop in the case of a priest accused of wrongdoing who was widely believed to be innocent. The bishop was very angry with Father Power. Thomas Kenny was appointed PP over Father Power to the great annoyance of the parishioners. Father Power had organised the building of the church. The parishioners strongly felt he should be appointed as Parish Priest. They barricaded the church doors and refused to let him Father Kenny in to say mass. They had meetings in the Temperance Hall, raised petitions to get Father Kenny removed and were totally up in arms at the injustice done to Father Power.

Father Kenny had a terrible time, he was threatened and the windows of his house in Summerhill were broken. Father Kenny said mass in the jail and said confession in the workhouse and was boycotted. Father Power pleaded with the demonstrators not to do this on his behalf. At this stage the demonstraters had bricked up the church door. Father Power was ordered to Kinnitty, he left late at night and quietly. Father Kenny found an obscure piece of legislation dating from James I, which made blocking up the church illegal, and got the police to break down the door. Here is a stirring article from the Ballina Chronicle reproduced from (Ballina Chronicle, 1849):


The 31st of October, 1849, will henceforward be a memorable day in Nenagh, for no doubt one of the most singular circumstances that ever took place in this town, or perhaps in any other civilized country, occurred on Wednesday morning. So cautiously was everything done by the authorities, that all parties were completely taken by surprise. Soon after five o'clock this morning one hundred of the constabulary commanded by Charles G. O'Dell, Esq., S.L. and Head Constable Hayes, took up their positions in the lane leading to the chapel and at the Barrack street entrance, a strong body of police was stationed. At six o'clock the marching down Summer-hill of a large body of the 79th Highlanders, consisting of over 100 men, commanded by Major Ferguson, together with Capt. M'Call and Lieut. Harrison, showed that something decided was contemplated. They were accompanied by M.B. Plunkett, Esq., R.M., and the Rev. Messrs. Kenny and Bowler. On arriving opposite Chapel-lane, the military were extended in open column at either side along Castle-street. Sentries were also judiciously posted, in fact, every caution and all military skill were observed, as if the town were about being besieged. The morning was fine, but there was that chilliness in the air generally felt at this season of the year-but the hardy Highlander, with kilt and philabeg, seemed as indifferent to the cold as a Laplander. Everything being secured, the Rev. Thomas Kenny, P.P. at Nenagh, and the Rev. Mr. Bowles, C.C. of Nenagh, each rev. gentleman armed with a formidable crow bar in one hand, and a stone hammer in the other, proceeded toward the doors, and commenced demolishing the barricades; and after some time the stone and mortar of the Nenagh belligerents gave way before the reverend labourers! but the doors being so firmly nailed, they could not force them open. They pulled out the window of the sacristy, in through which they went, and took possession of the interior of the chapel. They quickly commenced to make the onslaught on the principal door, which, after some laborious exertion, they opened drawing out the immense nails by which it was held fast, and Mr. Kenny took possession of the chapel. At nine o'clock the military were withdrawn but a large body of police remained in and about the chapel during the day. An apprentice boy belonging to the Vindicator office, was sent out to give the alarm but was arrested by the police, and taken into custody. - After a short time, however, he was liberated, and so the matter ends for the present.
A body of constabulary was placed around the chapel bell for the purpose of preventing any person from ringing it, and cause the alarm to be given; but in a short time it was made known that the chapel was about being forced open, and some of the inhabitants went about shouting out:-"Fire, fire! The chapel is on fire!" This had the desired effect; for a large number of persons immediately assembled at the approaches to the chapel, further than which they would not be permitted to go. They endeavoured to force their way; but the police prevented them doing so, whereupon they armed themselves with stones, and said they would face the constabulary with pike and pitchfork, &c. hand to hand. Mr. O'Dell and Head Constable Hayes peaceably remonstrated with them, pointing out to them the dangerous consequence of such an illegal proceeding, and telling them that they were to perform their duty, from which they would not flinch. The mob then desisted.
Fathers Kenny and Bowles were vociferously yelled, groaned and hooted. Angry expressions were uttered against them; startling menaces were held forth; they were loudly denounced and bitter invectives were hurled at them as they coolly and calmly held prostate the barriers to the doorways. They were designated "cutthroat priests", "Judases," "government men," who tried to pawn themselves on the people at the point of the bayonet." Were it not for the presence of the police, and the protection which they afforded to the reverend gentlemen, it is probable that the mob who were awfully excited, would have assaulted them. Some persons who were drunk and disorderly were arrested and confined for a few hours. One of the party had a loaded pistol in his possession.
It may not be amiss here to state that there is an act of parliament on the reign of James still unrepealed which constitutes a felony of the highest class the closing up of any place of public worship to prevent religious ceremonies being celebrated therein, and the offence is punishable with death!--Nenagh Guardian.”

Ignatius Murphy in his history of the diocese of Killaloe goes into some detail about the whole incident and the stress it caused Father Kenny (Murphy, 1992). Father Kenny died prematurely of typhus in July 1850, a relatively young man, aged in the mid 40s. His family felt his untimely end was brought upon by the stress. He was buried at Castleconnell removed there by his friends (Limerick Chronicle, 1850). He left a will:

Will of Thomas Kenny PP of Nenagh dated 17th May 1850
Thomas Kenny PP of Nenagh leaves £285 to his father and sister and also the proceeds of his household effects which he directs to be sold. His house and premises at Summerhill, Nenagh he leaves in trust to the Rev D Kennedy RCB as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy. He leaves his watch and chain, outside car and harness to the Rev K O’Leary carriage and harness to the Right Rev. D Kennedy. Three policies for insurance on his life 500, 200, 300 he leaves to his father and sister.
Execs very Rev John Kenny right Rev Pat Quinlivan
Administration with will annexed granted to Matthew Kenny Esq of Ennis his father and sole next of kin.

The house bequest is not mentioned in the history of the Sisters of Mercy of Nenagh written by Sister Pius O’Brien. They sisters started off in a house in Summerhill that they say was donated by a local curate from Birr.

Grandchildren of Edmond Kenny, children of Miss Kenny

Miss Kenny and Christopher Gallery had a large family. There is a paper on the descent “Gallerys of Newhall” on Clare library website. Cecil S Kenny mentions my gt gt grandfather Edward Gallery in his family history when he recounts that the family told that Edward Gallery went to Rome and when he came back he said for all the fine places in Rome he would rather take a walk down Jail st in Ennis any day. He had a grocery and wine merchants business in Ennis.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of David Kenny

David Kenny had many children but several Matthias, David and Thomas had no children. I think James Kenny had one son, John this is just from Mathias Kennys will. The son is a son of James or Thomas, Cecil S. Kenny says that Thomas never married, he is sometimes wrong.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of David Kenny, children of Mary Kenny and Matthew Kelly

Mary Kenny and Matthew Kelly (bank manager and land owner, Kilrush) had a large family of 14 children. There is much research done on Kellys and much interest in the Kelly family. I am not a Kelly researcher and will mention them only briefly. While there were a lot of children in this family who reached adulthood sadly the majority of them died young.

John Butler Kelly (abt 1829 – 1863)
John Butler Kelly died young at 34. He was mentioned on a lease as the eldest son when his uncle James Kenny is leasing lands at West Treanmanagh in 1840 (Lease, 1840). He was also named as the eldest son on his death announcement.

He died at Cragbrien (there seems to be some family connection as both Matthew and Joseph are named as living there) in 1863 (Clare Journal, 1863). He is buried with his parents with the following inscription:

“Pray for the souls of Matthew Kelly who died July 31st 1880 aged 86 yrs and of Mary his wife who died Novr 8 1878 82 years and of their children John, Maria, Ellen, Mary Agnes and David whose remains are interred here R.I.P”.

In the Silles-Kelly pedigree it says he is of Longford in 1850 and married before 1852. I have been unable to track down these references but suspect that he was working for his cousin George Comyn Kenny in Galway.

Matthew Butler Kelly (1836- 1910)
Cecil S Kenny says that Matt B. Kenny was a very polished and genial man and got on with everyone. From his letters in the NLI this would indeed seem to be so he seems a nice man.

He was a land agent. He was appointed a sub commissioner under the 1881 land act for Judge Kane and from 1887 acted as court valuer for Kildare, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford and Clare counties (Kenny C. S., 1915; Irish Times, 1902) under the Judge Kane (Clare Journal, 1910). He acted as JP for Clare using Doolough Lodge as his address (Lewis, 1837).

In 1874 when his uncle Mathias Kenny named him in his will he said he was Matthew Kelly of Cragbrien. In 1876 in the return of owners of one acre and upwards (UK Government, 1876) he is again listed as living at Cragbrien and as holding 562 acres, his father Matthew Kelly of Kilrush held over 1700 acres.

At some point he moved to Dublin (41 Fitzwilliam Square) and started renting Doolough Lodge from his brother (Kelly, 1910). He farmed the land around Doolough Lodge.

He acted as manager for Scropul school from at least 1901 to 1904 (his brother Thomas Kelly Kenny inherited being patron from Mathias Kenny in 1874 but Matt Kelly, their father was then manager) and wrote letters about the school on Doolough Lodge headed paper (, 2012).

He was a steward at Kilrush race meeting in 1905 with his cousin Major Matthew J Kenny (Irish Times, 1905).

He was married twice but had no children; firstly to Isabella Moran in 1862 (Clare Journal, 1862). She died in 1900. Secondly he married his second cousin Mary Elizabeth Kenny (May) in 1901. He is buried in the Kenny vault in Glasnevin with his second wife’s mother and father. (Matthew Kenny was his mother’s first cousin).

Matthew Butler Kelly plaque

His obit reads:
“Court Valuer to the County Courts of Kildare, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford and County Clare; for several years a Sub-Commissioner, being appointed shortly after the passing of the act of 1881; acted in that capacity under the presidency of the late Judge Kane until the latter's appointment as County Court Judge, when he became Judge Kane's Court Valuer; possessed a wide knowledge of agricultural details and the value of land and was a painstaking and able official; his kindness and disposition and untiring energy in the interests of the poor people endeared him to a very wide circle.”

Joseph Kelly (- abt 1874)
I know little or nothing of Joseph Kelly except that he lived at Cragbrien as he is mentioned in his uncle Mathias Kenny’s will in 1874 where he leaves his nephew Joseph Kelly of Cragbrien £500.

David Kelly (abt 1835- 1857)
I have nothing on David Kelly except his death announcement in the 1857 Clare Journal (Clare Journal, 1857). He is buried with his parents in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Kilrush.

General Sir Thomas Kelly Kenny (1840-1914)
The General was the 5th son of Matthew Kelly and Mary Kenny. I have updated his Wikipedia entry which original content was largely written by Dr Paddy Waldron. The Wikipedia article covers the General’s military and political history.

I will add that while unmarried himself and socially mixing with the royals both British and European, he seems to have remained close to family, richer and poorer. The National Library in Dublin has some family related letters to his brother Matt B Kelly and Matt’s wife May, in which he talks of his nieces Constance Haren and Margaret O’Gorman and financial help for them. He also briefly mentions my gt grandfather David Gallery. In the Irish Jesuit archives is a letter from Mary Frances Kenny Taite discussing the American family connections. The General also talks of Judge William Kenny and his family in the letters, mentioning “poor Pringle is dead” . For legal advice he uses his cousins who are in the law where possible.

The General held several thousand acres of land in Clare and also land at Castle Pollard which he sold under the land purchase act. Some of the land was inherited from Mathias Kenny, some from his father Matthew Kelly, including Treanmana (which Matt Kelly bought from his brother in law James Kenny). The land seems to have been bought from the Westropp, Hickman and the O’Brien estate. Henry Baron Leconfield is mentioned on receipts for ground rent held in the Irish Jesuit archives. Presumably the land at Castle Pollard came with Anna Maria Pollard.

In 1903 the General held the following lands according to a rent roll held in the Jesuit archives:

In Kilmurry Ibrickan:
Treanmanagh (bought by Matt Kelly from his brother-in-law James Kenny). The land around the house is referred to as Illaunbawn.
Doolough (including Scropl/Scrapple and Boolaveg)
Creevagh Cullina (where Cullina refers to the ruins beside the lake)
Drummin (spelt Dromin)

In Kilrush:
Knockerry (I don’t know if this is East or West Knockerry or both)
Liscullane (title with Vandeleur bought by Matt Kelly)

In Kilmacduane:

In Kilchreest or Clondagad:

In Killadysert:
Ballyleaan (I think the ref I have is Ballyleanagh)

He also held Tourins Mills which may be in Tullycrine.

Timothy Joseph Kelly (abt 1841- abt 1873)
Timothy Kelly was born in Kilrush. He joined the army and in 1863 became Ensign by Purchase in the Ceylon rifles (London Gazette, 1862). This was reported in the Clare Champion in January 1863 with a note that : “T.J. Kelly, Esq (who so successfully passed the August examination at Chelsea) son of M. Kelly Esq., Kilrush had received his nomination by purchase, to the Ceylon Rifles.” In 1868 the London Gazette reports that he is to become Lieutenant by purchase (London Gazette, 1868).

In the NSW Freemans journal of Dec 1899 (Freemans Journal NSW, 1899) there is a report on his brother General Kelly-Kenny that mentions that he was aide-de-camp to Sir Hercules Robinson in NSW and died some years ago in Sydney. Sir Hercules Robinson was in NSW from 1872 to 1879 so it must have been in those years that he died.

Patrick George Kelly (1844 - 1868)
Patrick Kelly was the youngest son. He joined the 69th foot (the Welch regiment) as an ensign by purchase in October 1864 (British Army, 1868) and died in London, Ontario, Canada in 1868 where his regiment had been sent to combat the Canadian Fenians in summer 1867 (Clare Journal, 1868).

Maria Kelly (abt 1830-1859)
Maria married John Devitt manager of the National Bank in Nenagh in 1848 (Clare Journal, 1848). She was named as the eldest daughter in the marriage announcement. She had one son Father Matthew Devitt S.J. She died young in Nenagh and is buried with her parents in Kilrush (Irish Times, 1859).

Anne Mary Kelly (?-1859)
Anne Mary married Thomas Blood O’Donnell who was MD to the Kilrush Union. She had two sons and a daughter. She died young at Kilrush in 1859 (Clare Journal, 1859). In her Clare Journal death announcement she is described as mild and charitable. The Limerick chronicle announcement says “the poor have reason to lament a lady who was at all times devoted to their interest” (Limerick Chronicle, 1859).

Her tomb in Kilrush reads:
“Erected by Doctor Tho. B. O’Donnell in fond remembrance of the many virtues and departed worth of his ever to be lamented and beloved wife Anne M. O’Donnell who died 3rd Jan 1859
May she rest in peace”

Anne Mary Kelly tomb

Mary Agnes Kelly(-1850)
I have nothing on Mary Agnes except her death announcement (Clare Journal, 1850). She is buried with her parents in the protestant graveyard in Kilrush.

Catherine Kelly (1828 - 1859)
Of Catherine I know nothing.

Ellen Mary Kelly (1830-1851)
Ellen was married to Laurence Quinlivan corn merchant, alderman and mayor of Limerick. She died young of a wasting illness (Limerick Chronicle, 1851). Ellen is buried with her parents in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Kilrush.

Margaret Agnes Kelly (abt 1834 – aft 1919)
Margaret Kelly was born in Kilrush. She married Thomas O’Gorman J.P, of Buncraggy in 1861 (Clare Journal, 1861) and had six daughters and three sons. At some point Thomas sold Buncraggy and she moved to Harmony House, Ennis. Her son Thomas of Cahercalla was later the General’s heir. Her husband is buried in Drumcliff cemetery. She is likely in the same grave though not mentioned.

Bedelia Kelly (1838 to 1871) was born in Kilrush and married Timothy J Haran R.N. who was a doctor and surgeon in the Royal Navy. She died young at 33 at Sheerness (Clare Journal, 1871). She had one daughter Constance who died unmarried.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of David Kenny, children of Edward/Edmond Kenny and Honor Costello

Edward had several children of whom I don’t know much, they were mentioned by Cornelius D Kenny in a letter to Matt Kelly held in the Jesuit archives. Cornelius D Kenny seems to be trying to track down his first cousins in the US as Mathias Kenny left them bequests in his will. Mary Frances Kenny Taite Edward’s granddaughter later wrote a letter to the General in the early 1900s after a trip to Ireland explaining who she was. She mentioned her uncles and aunts and father John.

Edward Kenny

If there are any descendants of this family out there I would love to hear from them.

John Kenny was the only one of the sons to marry. He lived in New York. He had one son and a daughter. On his Mary Frances his daughter’s marriage record it says that he is married to Mary Conilogue. This may be an error in writing the name.

His sister Margaret Kenny and brothers David Kenny (aft 1818 -1896) and Thomas Kenny lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and did not marry.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of David Kenny, children of Cornelius Kenny and Ellen Sampson

Ellen Sampson and Cornelius Kenny had at least 5 children, two sons and a daughter. They took them to Rochester, NY in the late 1840s (Utica Saturday Globe, 1898). About John Kenny (1843-abt 1863) I know little except for one reference that Cornelius D Kenny his brother built a church in Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland (where he had a summer house) and dedicated it to the memory of his brother John who drowned while in the seminary.

The three girls became sisters of charity in Norfolk Virginia and all worked in St Vincent’s hospital. Their brother’s Baltimore descendants remember their aunts telling them of visiting the nuns and how small they all were. This is my memory also of female relatives from West Clare, tall men, tiny women (and I towered over them…).

Sally Kenny, Sister Aloysia (about 1830 to 1903), I have really nothing on her but a mention on her sister’s death notice).

On Mary Kenny, Sister Isidore (about 1831 to 1903) I have slightly more. She was Sister Superior of the St Vincent de Paul Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia in 1869 (Sacred Heart Review, Colume 29, Number 14, 1903). In 1897 having been Sister Superior for 33 years she retired to Emmetsburg, Maryland.

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco Call, 1897) notes that in 1855 she heroically nursed at the naval base when there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Norfolk. Her obits say that she will never be forgotten for this. Norfolk was decimated by Yellow Fever, over a third of the population died

Ellen Kenny, Sister Maria (about 1832 to about 1903) was also a Sister of Charity.

Cornelius David Kenny (1838 to 1902) lived first in Rochester where he married Clara Semmes Doyle from a seafaring Wexford family. In 1872 he moved to Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore Sun, 1999) where he became an extremely successful businessman. (Funding universe states C.D.Kenny was founded in 1870 (Funding universe)). In May 1875 he wrote to his uncle Matt Kelly on a letterhead of the Canton Tea Company. He asked for the money his uncle Matt Kenny left him (200 pounds) to be expedited as he had his eye on a very good business premises. In the will Mathias Kenny calls him my nephew Conor Kenny (Conor is the Irish of Cornelius). Cornelius asked for a farm in Ireland to be disposed of. Of this farm I know no more. With the letter Cornelius D. enclosed a calling card and was then living at 1604 Park Drive, Baltimore.

CD Kenny Co.
The picture is reproduced by kind permission of Frank Jump from Fading ads.

Cornelius had three daughters by his first marriage. Clara died in 1890 and Cornelius remarried a much younger wife Frances Frant from the old Limerick catholic family about 1892. He had one daughter by her.

Cornelius was a real go getter. At one point he had a string of over 60 coffee shops under C. D. Kenny, all over the USA particularly the southern states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Delaware and Georgia (New York Times, 1902). Much advertising memorabilia is available on Ebay.

CD Kenny memorabiliaCD Kenny memorabiliaCD Kenny memorabilia

Cornelius was a devout Catholic and had his own pew in Baltimore Cathedral where he is buried. Interestingly in 1895 he sues the United American newspaper for libel as they said “The Papist Tea Merchant Cornelius. D. Kenny” (The Evening Star, 1895) will not employ Protestants. In court he says of 29 clerks employed 21 are protestant and their religion matters no more to him than the colour of their hair.

He built a church in the memory of his brother John, at Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland where he had a large summer house, Fairy Know. He donated the money in 1894 the work was complete in 1902.

He came back to Ireland at one point with his daughters and he was godfather to one of his cousin Matthew J Kenny’s children. His descendants in Virginia named one of their houses Doolough Lodge after the General’s house so it is likely that they visited it.

He died in 1902 leaving his large fortune to his four daughters. His death was mentioned in the New York Times (New York Times, 1902). His brother-in-law Hamilton D.Fant, George A. Bossie and his wife were to carry on the business (Ellicott City Times, 1902). C. D. Kenny was sold for 5.2 million in 1939 to Nathan E. Cummings (having been run down, just the wholesale business left) and is the foundation of the modern Sara Lee corporation (Funding universe).

Generation 3 Grandchildren of David Kenny, children of Edward Gallery and Ellen Kenny

Edward and Ellen’s descent is dealt with on Clare library website. The Kennys seem to have been a very close family and to have kept close connections with the Gallerys in the early 1900s. Both Mathias Kenny and the General left them money in their wills. The General comments in a letter in the NLI that he has given David Gallery money.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of John Kenny, children of Mathias Kenny and Mary O’Kelly

Generation 3 Grandchildren of John Kenny, children of Mathias Kenny and Mary O’Kelly

John Kenny (1819-1820) died young as did his siblings David, Maria, Mary and Honoria.

Margaret Kenny (1820-1891) married John Kelly of Clonina house, Cree in 1844 (Limerick Chronicle, 1844). Before her marriage she stood sponsor to one of the children of her cousin Ellen Gallery and Anthony O’Dwyer of Annagh (who I suspect was also a cousin) in 1838. She had a large family.

Patrick William O’Kelly Kenny B.L. (1822-1849) was the eldest son. He studied at Ennis College and was a brilliant student and then at Trinity College Dublin where he won a silver medal in Ethics and Logic (Clare Journal, 1844) (Limerick Chronicle, 1844). He then entered Kings Inns and he qualified in 1846. He practised briefly as a barrister on the Munster circuit before tragically dying young of cholera (Clare Journal, 1849) (Limerick Chronicle, 1849) (Freemans Journal, 1849). He is buried in the vault at Freagh.

On the Rocks at FreaghIn 1877 Michael Kenny (1826-1894) had this song dedicated to him in the Clare Independent and Tipperary Catholic Times. It was written by Thomas S. Cleary (Cleary, 1877). He lived at Freagh Castle on the coast in Clare at a particularly wild spot. It’s very long this is just an extract.

Michael Kenny went to school in Ennis college with many of his cousins and then to Trinity college. Michael Kenny became a solicitor in 1848 (Kings Inns Admission) and also a large farmer locally to Freagh Castle. He won awards for his prize livestock. An 1871 medal is available in Clare library. At one point he was named as one of the top 100 rate payers in Clare (UK Government). In 1876 he owned 312 acres around Freagh (UK Government, 1876). In 1853 he married Bridge Frost (Clare Journal, 1853), their descent is discussed in an article on Clare library website He was a freemason and joined the Ennistymon lodge in 1856 according to the Irish Freemasons archives. He was active locally in the community and acted as a poor law guardian for Ennistymon (Ballyvaskin division) up unto 1866. His brother Father Matt J Kenny was a founder member of the Land League but at one point it is noted in the papers that Michael Kenny is not allowed to a local land league meeting. His death notice states that he was President for a long time of the Miltown Malbay Total Abstinence Association (Clare Journal, 1894).

He acted as an agent for Colonel Luke White and was named for bribery when the election of Colonel White was overturned in an 1860 parliamentary enquiry (UK Government).

He died in 1894 a few weeks after his son William R. Kenny was tragically killed in an accident and is buried in a vault at Freagh.

Father Matthew J. Kenny (1827-1897)

Father Matthew J. Kenny

Father Matt is an interesting character, a true revolutionary leader; he is deserving of an article and serious research in his own right. I write briefly about him here and intend to write more on him in the future. Father Matthew is also called Mathias and Matt. He studied at Maynooth and was ordained as a priest in 1851 (Murphy, 1992). He served as a curate in Clonlara (Kiltenlea), Kilbaha and Ennis where he is listed in Slaters Directory in 1870 as a curate. While there he was involved in the rows over the setting up of the Catholic school, not according to Ignatius Murphy very helpfully. He describes him as bellicose. Some of his correspondence with Cardinal Cullen about Flannan’s college is preserved in the Maynooth collection. In his diary JP Dillon describes Father Kenny carrying over the hangings and pictures to the new Flannans college himself (Sheedy, 1994, April).

Another side to him is also told by JP Dillon when he talks of him ripping the “toggeries” from bad women on College st and bearing them to the Dean’s house as a trophy!!

He was parish priest of Scariff (1873-1893) for 24 years and then Castleconnell for the last three years of his life. He was a founder member of Clare Farmers Association and was active in the land movement and on the committee of the Land League (Parnell Commission, 1879) (Davitt). He was a fiery orator speaking frequently at Political rallies among them a meeting at the Limerick Athenaeum in November 1880. He died in 1897 then parish priest of Castleconnell (Clare Journal, 1897). He is buried in St Joseph’s church in Castleconnell. Interestingly according to his obit while he was a staunch Nationalist, his Unionist cousins Thomas Hugh Kenny and Major Matthew Kenny (descendants of William of Cragleigh) attended his funeral.

Catherine Agnes Kenny (Kate) (1833- 1908)
Catherine Kenny married Augustine Greene in 1851. He was from Liscannor and is described as a gentleman farmer. She had two sons. I know no more about her. She is mentioned in the Frost family document on Clare library website.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of James Kenny children of Jane Kenny
Jane Kenny married Robert Robinson from Birr, I have no further info on her descent.

Generation 3 Grandchildren of James Kenny children of Catherine Kenny and Amos Westropp
The Westropp descent is available at this link and includes many military men.


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