Kenny's from Ireland to Canada


Also, New as of December 2005. Search various  census records of Kennys here.

Notes from the files of Joseph A. Kenny

How is Joe Kenny related?

Our  Kennys came from Kennystown, County Wicklow, and Motabower, Wexford Ireland in the late 1840's and early 1850's and moved to a small village in Ontario, Canada, called Smiths Falls. The people that left Ireland were Thomas Kenny and his wife, Eleanor (Purcell) Kenny, their children, Bartholomew, James, Richard, Edward, and Anne.   While researching  in Smith Falls, I discovered other Kenny's showing up about the same years there. One was Martin Kenny and another being Sally (Sarah) Kenny, which at one time, I thought Martin may have been a brother to Thomas and Sally, a least, a relative of some sort to Thomas Kenny. I learned that Sally (Sarah) Kenny married a Thomas Balfe in 1831, in Kennystown, Co. Wicklow. Thomas Balfe being born in , Kilcavan, Wicklow, Ireland,  in the Carnew, County Wicklow, area. 

For about a year, I couldn't find Kennystown on any map. I recently learned that it isn't on maps, but is a small townland in that part of Wicklow., a few miles north of Carnew. If you lived in Ireland and weren't from the Carnew area, you would never had heard of Kennystown.  In December of 1997, I visited Kennystown, and found the information on Sally, but not the others. I have not fully confirmed that Sarah and Thomas Kenny were relations, but the fact that they lived in the same small village at the same time, indicates that they are a relation.   Also I noted that many of Thomas and Eleanor (Purcell) Kenny's children's sponsors or godparents were either Thomas Balfe and Sarah (Kenny) Balfe, or one of their children. Again, her age being only a few years apart from Thomas. While visiting Kennystown in 2004, I learned that one of the Kennys there now, lives in the old Balfe home.

Here are some various records of Kennys in the Tomacork Parish, County Wicklow

 Now there were several other Kenny names in Smiths Falls at this time period which could either add confusion to it all or indicate a possible large family that descended upon SF. These other names were James Kenny, Michael and Amelia Kenny, Hanora Kenny, Mary Kenny, Patrick Kenny, John Kenny, Eleanor Kenny, and Catherine Kenny. Some of these Kenny's lived in very nearby communities but went to the same church. Some of the above names were wives of others, but maiden names were used in these records in some cases. The info on Thomas Kenny, (above) spouse and children are documented facts. Information came right from several years of census' showing names, places of birth, and approx. ages. I say approx. because Thomas Kenny and Eleanor (Purcell) Kenny were illiterate and didn't keep track of the kid's ages. I can only guess that they would look at the child and tell the census taker that child was what ever age he looked. I feel this because each ten year census stated (and I have researched 1851,1861 and 1971) a different age for the children. The info on my group sheets was gathered from the earliest census' assuming it was easiest to tell as younger children. Now furthermore, many records showed the spelling to be Kenney. Now we face this tragedy even in 2005, but after my recent visit to Ireland, I am convinced that the original spelling was indeed, Kenny. Thomas and Eleanor's kids were Bartholomew, James, Richard, Edward, Ann, Mary, Eleanor. I have a lot of info on Mary, who married Francis Hourigan, and all 10 of their kids.

             Kenny's from Canada to US, with children.

Many of the Kennys moved to Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin, in or near 1868.  The Kennys that lived there were Edward, James, Ann (Gillick), Richard, and Bartholomew.  It is even suspected that Mary was there before she married Francis Hourigan.  Edward, James and Ann lived and died there, near Sturgeon Bay.

Here are some notes on the the various Kennys from Sturgeon Bay are as Follows:  

Bartholomew    I had no information on Bartholomew, until Chris Surfus found him on a 1870 Census in Sturgeon Bay, WI, under the household of his brother Richard as head of household.  According to the Index to Declaration of Intention for Door County, Wisconsin, his Date of "Intent" was filed on Nov. 19, 1866.  The following was provided by Mike Gallahger of Door County;  " I find a Mortgage Vol A-p.186, Bartholomew Kinney of Door Co. to Charles L. Chase, for $45.00, on NE4SW4and NW4SW4 of 34-27-25, date 12 FEB 1868....this mortgage was paid off on 13 Sep 1869....another Mortgage Vol A-p.187, Bartholomew Kenny to Patrick Curry, for $64.00- N2SW4 of 34-27-25, paid off on 1 June 1878 {'I have to recheck this date, to make sure that it is 1878{?}'....then on 29 March 1870, Bartholomew Kinney sells to Edward Kinney for $120.00 N2SW4, same 80 acres...signed [Bartholomew Kenney] this deed is Vol. W,p. 189   (Information from Mike Gallagher)      Both Richard and Bartholomew lost all their possessions and land when the great fire of 1871 swept though Door County.  Not much more information is confirmed on this Bartholomew                           See The Great Fire of 1871.  

I lost Bartholomew at this point, but there is some suspicion that he too, moved to Carroll County, Iowa. or Oro township, in Ontario.   There was a Bartholomew Kinney living for many years a few miles from where Richard moved to near Arcadia, IA.  This individual definitely spelled it either Kinny or Kinney, and so did his off-spring.   I do not think this Bartholomew Kinny of IA, is our Bartholomew.

James He was a farmer in Nasewaupee, Door Co. WI.
According to the Index to Declaration of Intention for Door County, Wisconsin, his Date of "Intent" was filed on March 30, 1868.
On his marriage certificate, it specifically stated place of birth, County Wexford, Ireland. The same wording was used on his brother Edward's marriage certificate.
between step-children and children that they took in they had 8 children by 1890 with 5 living. Most of the children were Currys, from his wife's first marriage, and they had two others from the Parrish family that they took in after Margaret and Steve Parrish's parents died.  In the Door County Advocate, for his obituary on June 15th, 1923, it showed:
James Kinney, who has been a resident of this county and this city for over 50 years, died in his home in Sawyer on Monday, June 11. Mr. Kinney was born in Ireland, December 24th, 1842 and was 80 years at age of death. He was one of the substantial farmers of the town of Nasewaupee until about 10 years ago when he moved to Sawyer to reside. His wife passed away about 3 years ago. Surviving are Edward Kinney, a brother and Mrs. Phillip Gillick, a sister, both of Nasewaupee, and several step-children. The funeral services were held at Corpus Christi church yesterday morning.

Many documents on this individual were supplied by Chris Surfus

Edward     According to the Index to Declaration of Intention for Door County, Wisconsin, his Date of "Intent" was filed on May 9, 1868.
On his marriage certificate, it specifically stated place of birth, County Wexford, Ireland. The same wording was used on his brother James' marriage certificate.
Place of residence at time of his marriage was Nasewaupee, WI.
At time of his marriage, Edward was teaching and Farming.  The Door Co. Who's Who of 1880 shows him born in Ireland in 1849, and with one child.
Edward ran in 1880 for Clerk of the Circuit Court and lost to H.C.Graham. The book gives the vote count 1470 - 700. Below is more on Edwards political ventures.

In an article written by Hjalmar R. Holland, in the book, "History of Door County, Wisconsin, the County Beautiful", Volume ll, there was a section on a man named M. J. Soukup. It said;
"MJ Soukup, of Nasewaupee township, has not only developed one of the finest farms in the county but has also been a prime mover in many projects that have proved a great value to his locality. A native of Bohemia, was born in 1851 and moved to Door County Wisconsin in 1872. He worked at the Lumber mills for three years when he purchased eighty acres of land on section 16, from Ed Kenny for $425.00. He cleared the tract of timber and began its cultivating and proved so successful as a farmer that he was able to purchase and additional one hundred acres some time later."

Also, in the same book, there was a section on Edwards son, Joseph Kenny, and below is an extraction of that story. See Joseph Kennys notes for the whole story;
" He (Joseph) was born on February 28, 1889, a son of Edward and Mary Anne (Mulville) Kenny (note: this should be Mulvihill). The father was born in January 24th, 1848, in Ireland but when only two years old was brought by his parents to the United States. (note: this should be Canada) In 1868 he came to Door County, Wisconsin and located upon a farm of 80 acres, to which he since added 70 acres. In 1879 he was married to Miss Mullville, who passed away April 18th, 1907, and was buried in the Forestville cemetery. She was a member of the Catholic church, of which Mr. Kenny is also a communicant. He is a Democrat in politics and has served as chairman of the township committee of that party and has also held political office. For 30 years, he served either as Chairman or Clerk, for two years he was the county supervisor of assessments and for several terms he was the clerk of school district No. 2. Fraternally he was connected with the Catholic Knights. To him and his wife were born the following children: Ellen, whose birth occurred July 20, 1881, and who is at home,; John, who was born December 9, 1882, and is still at home; Birdie, who was born October 21, 1884, and is at home; Mary, who was born October 17, 1886, and is now the wife of Ed M. Moeller; Thomas, who died in infancy; Genevieve, who was born January 19, 1893, and is teaching in Idaho; Angelina, who was born in 1897, and is now the wife of L. C. Davis, of Sturgeon Bay."

Many documents on this individual were supplied by Chris Surfus

Anna (Kenny) Gillick    The 1990 census also asked how many children. Listed were 17. It asked how many living in 1990, it stated 11. -10 in 1905.
she came to the US in 1868 according to the 1990 census.

Her obit in the Door County News, Feb 24th 1915 in the "Timely Topics of Sawyer" says:
"Mrs. Phillip Gillick passed away at 9:00 Sunday at her home in the town of Nasewaupee after a suffering illness of nearly a years duration. Death being attributed to a general physical breakdown.
Deceased was born March 5th, 1850 in County Wexford, Ireland. When only a year old she came to Canada. After spending the greater part of her girlhood in Canada, she moved to this county in the year 1868 and settled in the town of Nasewaupee, which place has been her home ever since. Her maiden name was Anna Kenney and in the year 1870 she was united in marriage to Phillip Gillick, the marriage taken place at Robinsonville, Brown County. To this union there was born 17 children, ten whom survived whom together with their father are called upon to mourn the loss of their dearly beloved mother.
The children are James, Edward, Mrs. E.S. Ackerman, Agnes, Anna, Margaret, Richard and Joseph.
She also leaves behind three brothers and one sister to morn her sad death: James Kenney of Sawyer, Edward of Nasewaupee: Richard of Omaha and Mrs. Frank Hourigan of Smith Falls, Ontario. Her sister on account of illness cannot be present at the funeral obsequies. All the children are expected to be at the funeral.
She was a member of the Christian Mothers of the St. Mary's church at Maple wood and an active church worker. She was a kind and gentle mother, holding the trust and confidence of all who knew her. By her departure from this earth she not only leaves her relatives to mourn but the entire community which she lived.
The funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday morning from the St. Mary's church at Maplewood. her six sons will be pallbearers."

Richard Kenny,   married Eliza Lovely on Feb. 27, 1865 in Smiths Falls, Canada. Eliza was one of at least 7 children, being one of the eldest. Her siblings were as follows; one being unknown, Mary, Michael, Ellen, Joseph and Edward. Her parents were Edward Lovely and Bridget Donnelly. Smiths Falls, Ontario's parish records confirmed that Thomas Francis Kenny was born in Smith Falls (SF) on June 16, 1865, to Richard and Eliza Kenny, which is contrary to all other records, including his grave stone which states 1866. Their next child was Mary Ann Kenny, born Dec. 17, 1866, in Smiths Fall. On March 3, 1869, their third child William, was born though I am uncertain where. William died, about 10 years later in Arcadia, Carroll County, Iowa, on Nov. 17th, 1879. In 1868, Richard, Eliza, and  their children moved to the US, to Door County, Wisconsin. According to the Index to Declaration of Intention for Door County, Wisconsin, his Date of "Intent" was filed on March 19th, 1868.  Both Richard and Bartholomew lost all their possessions and land when the great fire of 1871 swept though Door County.       See The Great Fire of 1871.

I do not know their exact point of entry. They did live a few years in Sturgeon Bay, WI where the Kenny's had their 3rd child, Richard Lawrence Kenny, in March 1871. Though there are conflicting reports, whether or not their next two children were born in Wisconsin or Iowa, I believe that Ellen G. Kenny and her twin sister Bridget Kenny, were born in Wisconsin on Jan. 3, 1873. Some of Ellen's record show that she was born in Sturgeon Bay, WI, and some show in Carroll, Co. IA. I could not seem to prove this, nor could I find any signs of Bridget in any records in IA or elsewhere, other that their badly worn pillar shaped grave marker in Arcadia, Iowa. Bridget past away on Nov. 18th, 1879. Richard and Eliza's next child, Edward was born in Arcadia, Carroll Co. IA in Dec of 1876. Next was Elizabeth, born in Arcadia, Iowa on Jan. 6, 1878 and died before her second birthday, on Jan. 2, 1880. Next was Michael James Kenny born in Arcadia, on Sept. 1, 1879. The last known child was William F. Kenny, also born in Arcadia on Oct. 1886. In 1910, Eliza and Richard reported in a census report that they had 12 children, but only 7 living at that time. This census, out of all of them, seemed to be the most accurate with its information. When the Kenny's and Lovely's move in to Iowa, it was in the winter of 1873. Richard and Eliza had purchased 80 acres on Nov. 25, 1873 and on May 14, 1874 purchased 40 more acres. The total cost for both purchases was $960.00. Edward Lovely purchased a larger section of land north of the Kenny homestead a few miles. The Kenny's moved to Omaha in 1889, and on Sept. 30, 1890, the Kenny's sold all 120 acres of land for $3,720.00. Thomas Francis, their eldest, was the first to come to Omaha, Nebraska. He first showed up in the city directories in 1888, where he lived at 1326 S. 16th. He would have been about 22. His occupation was a bricklayer. In 1889, Mary Ann, and her father showed up in the directories and I assume the rest of the family was with them. Mary Ann's occupation was shown as seamstress. They lived at 2011 S.18th. It was here that showed the only reference to Richard's middle name. "P". In 1890 the directories shows the first reference to Richard L. Kenny's employment as a bricklayer. He would have been 21. Thomas and Richard L went on and became master masons and were considered the best in this area of their trade as bricklayers Richard, the father, died on Jan. 11, 1910 in Omaha. His main place of residence was 1402 Pinkney Street. His wife Eliza Lovely Kenny died just a few months later on June 13th, 1910.

Mary (Kenny) Hourigan   The Hourigan family was a very prominent family name in the late 1800 even up to today, in the Smiths Falls, Ontario area.  Mary's father in law was Michael Hourigan. Michaels' brother, James was the Justus of the Peace in Kitley, Ontario, in 1880.  I found this article in a local paper there, when Michael died:  The Rideau recorder showed in Michael's Obit the following;
"An old and highly esteemed Citizen was called to rest, Michael Hourigan who died at his home on Market St. about 5pm last evening. For some time he had been failing in health, but didn't suffer as he slept away. he was 87 yrs And over three score years he had been a prominent figure in the community. he was born in County Clare, Ireland, and moved here when he was 20 yrs. He settled in Poonamalie and lived there all his life until he moved to town some years ago. He was always a good reader and the most intelligent and best informed men in his neighborhood. He served for a number of years in the Elmsley Council and was Reeve of the township. He is survived by his wife, 3 children, Patrick of Montague, Francis of Smiths Falls, and Mrs Thomas Balf of Elmsley. 2 other daughters, Mrs Moran?? and Mrs John McCann died some years ago. The funeral will be tomorrow at 2PM. RR Mar 27th, 1902

Michael's son, Francis, married Mary Kenny on April 24, 1876.  Before her marriage, I saw a Mary Kenny that was about her age in the 1870 census of Sturgeon Bay, WI.  After being married for about 25 years, the Francis Hourigan family were successful cattle ranchers.  I saw an article in their local paper, when they moved of a period, to British Columbia, Canada:  The Rideau Record, on April 4th, 1901, titled, "Going Northwest" showed , " Francis Hourigan and son, Michael will leave towards the end of this month for Calgary, Northwest Territory. Mr. Hourigan owns a large track of land 12 miles from Calgary and will go into the ranching business. He will take 100 head of cattle with him. The family will not go with him just now, but will follow later.
The later on page 9 it showed.
Auction of Frank Hourigans Farm. Sat. April 13th, 1901. "A large quantity of machinery and farming utensils will be sold. There will also be sold large amounts of real estate including farm properties and town properties. Everything will be sold as the proprietor will be moving to the Northwest. 12:00, by Auctioneer, DC Healy

From everything that I researched, I was under the impression that they did not stay in British Columbia very long.  Records showed them back in Smiths Falls shortly after.

Eleanor (Kenny) McGuiggan    The 1861 census shows her name as Eliza Ann, but at the time of her birth, it was recorded at the Smiths Falls parish as Elenor.
According to the Rideau Recorder, she died at the age of 30.
Cousins in Ottawa, mentioned that they had heard that their daughter Nellie had lived with one of the Hourigans because her parents died at a young age. Eleanor died just 11 days after giving birth to her son James McGuiggan.