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Looking for KEARNEY and FITZGERALD ancestors

Hello, I'm looking for help from the Co. Tipperary area (or beyond) who might be able to shed some local light on the search for our G2 Grandmother's Irish family origins.  We know a number of things about Grandma Kenney's life (Elenora Kearney Kenney ca. 1835-1913) before she came to the United States:

We know that Elenora's father was John Kearney, and that her mother was Eliza Fitzgerald. We know that Elenora was born between 1835 and 1844, and that she came from Co. Tipperary. We know that she arrived in New York around 1856 (possibly a bit earlier) and we also know that her father John Kearney died before July of 1860 in Ireland, as he was recorded as deceased when Elenora wed James Sheldon Kenney in New York in July of 1860. We know that her subsequent children were named John, James, Elizabeth, Ruth, Richard, and Mary, and as they followed the 19th C. naming convention (with the exception of Ruth) it's probable that Mary is the name of the oldest maternal aunt on the Kearney/Fitzgerald side of the family.

We've not found any definitive immigration records for Elenora and we don't know if she traveled alone or with family, but again, we know that she was in Brooklyn by summer of 1860 when she was married to James Kenney.

It's also not clear whether a 1835 Bansha & Kilmoyler parish baptismal record is truly Elenora's (Hanora), but it is the only record yet found in the general area, with the right parents, at the right general time [Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 Cashel and Emly Bansha and Kilmoyler 1820 - 1855]. This 12 Aug 1835 record states: "Hanora of John Kearney & Eliza Fitzgerald. Sps. John Lynch & Judy White."

As for Elenora's parents, John Kearney and Eliza Fitzgerald, the closest record match yet found is a *very* tentative Cashel marriage [Bansha and Kilmoyler; County of Tipperary; Diocese of Cashel and Emly. Marriages, Jan. 1822 to July 1823] which records a marriage between a James (not John) Karney (not Kearney) to Eliza Fitzgerald in 1823:
"1823 Feb. 22 Jas. Karney & Eliza Fitzgerald
Karney Present:- Pat. Hogan & John Keating"

This record seems like a stretch, but it's the closest Kearney/Fitzgerald marriage in that area and timeframe that we've found.

Anyhow, I'm hoping there might be Kearney/Fitzgerald descendants out there who might be able to point me in the right direction--or other local family history buffs--and if so I'd love to hear from you. I did spend time in Tipperary/Cashel many years ago, but didn't find much definitive on Elenora's family. I'm hoping that with better access to records and some knowledgeable local help I can finally break through this particular brick wall. Thanks for your consideration!

(Here's Elenora's memorial on Find A Grave, FYI:



Elenora (Honora?) Kearney Kenney 1837-1913

Friday 3rd July 2020, 10:44PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi 

    The register that we see online was copied from the original register which was in a very bad condition so there are errors. 


    I have found that John Kearney and Elizabeth/ Betty/Eliza/Bess Fitzgerald had several children baptised in Bansha as did a James Kearney and Brid Fitzgerald. 


    There is a Margaret daughter of J Kearney & Betty Fitzgerald baptised 14 May 1822 suggesting that John Kearney and Elizabeth Fitzgerald were married before the register of marriages began on the 1st January 1822. 


    I had a look at surrounding parishes with earlier start dates and found no matching marriage. 


    There is an illegible stone along with a William Kearney in Killadriffe Cemetery which maybe of interest.



    Cordangan Tipperary

    Thursday 20th August 2020, 08:50PM
  • Hello and thank you for your reply. I didn't see it until now--for some reason I didn't get a notice that it had been posted. Anyhow, thanks for following up!

    As to your first point, I'm assuming that you're referring to both the 1835 birth record and the 1822 marriage records--they seem to be later copies of originals. Do you know of particular problems for these particular record sets or is it just that transcriptions can be generally problematic?

    Given the likelihood of transcription errors, does it seem possible to you that the two Kearney/Fitzgerald couples are the same, i.e. John Kearney/Elizabeth/ Betty/Eliza/Bess Fitzgerald and James Kearney/Brid Fitzgerald? I can see the error of John to James, and possibly a Brid from Bess--but would a woman be alternately recorded as a "Bess" and an "Eliza"?

    There seem to be precious few Kearney/Fitzgerald marriages in Ireland in general, and no pre-1822 records of a Kearney/Fitzgerald in that area--nor do there seem to be death records for either of them. Are there really no pre-1822 records to be found in that area? Might you have any suggestions for going forward? I feel like I have exhausted Ancestry, FamilySearch, and all the other online sources for information.

    Thanks so much for your help and any suggestions for leads!

    Elenora (Honora?) Kearney Kenney 1837-1913

    Friday 18th September 2020, 02:28AM