According to family records, "Elenora"/ "Norah" Kearney (alternatively Elinor/Eleanor Carnie/Carney/Karney) was born in County Tipperary, and emigrated to the United States as a child around 1856. Elenora likely arrived at New York at Castle Garden, as she settled in Brooklyn, NY and married English emigrant James Sheldon Kenney (1831-1905) at the Bushwick Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn in 1860. We don't know if Elenora came alone or with an older sibling or relative (there is a hazy story of her being unhappily married off by an older brother upon arrival and promptly leaving the situation) but there don't seem to be any family connections maintained in the US. Regardless, the Kenney children were not raised Catholic. The Dutch Reformed 1860 church marriage record states: "Norah Karney daughter of the late Jno. Karney of Ireland", and there's no indication of a previous marriage for either Elenora or James Kenney either there or in subsequent records.
Elenora's DOB varies from 1837-1840 across 1870-1910 Federal and NY state census records. However, her 1913 NY death certificate records her birthdate as 2 Aug 1844, immigration date abt. 1856, and parents names John Kearney and Eliza Fitzgerald.
Searching for Elenora in the Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 Cashel and Emly Bansha and Kilmoyler 1820 - 1855 (image 47 of 179 on Ancestry.com) provides a *potential* baptism record (12 Aug 1835) which matches the correct general Co. Tipperary area and parents but would indicate a much earlier DOB than 1844. This 1835 baptism record states: "Hanora of John Kearney & Eliza Fitzgerald. Sps. John Lynch & Judy White."
I've not found clear US immigration records for Elenora (or other name variants), nor have I found other clear records for Elenora/Hanora in Co. Tipperary with parents John Kearney and Eliza Fitzgerald. I do know that Grandma Kenney was always said to be from "County Tipperary" so I think this is accurate.
Elenora and James Kenney had 6 children together in Brooklyn, NY--John, James, Elizabeth, Ruth, Richard, and Mary. They were loved by their children and grandchildren. James died in 1905 and is buried at Cypress Hills cemetery with their baby Mary who died in infancy. Elenora died in 1913 and is buried with them. Elenora's obituary was published in The Chat, 12 Jul 1913, page 28.
What is so interesting about Grandma Kenney is the remarkable resemblance between her, her grandson (our grandfather), her great grandchildren, and at least one of her great-great grandsons, who is a spitting image of her in 1860. I would be so interested to know if anyone in that area has old photos of family members that share that remarkable young likeness.
Here is a photo of her as a young woman
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