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Searching for Kenny family related to my great grandmother, Sarah Maria Kenny, said to be from County Clare, born 14 June 1846 in Ireland, migrated to USA about 1852 with her older sister Eliza Kenny, born 8 April 1839. Sarah died in Mendocino County, California 13 May 1931. Eliza died 13 November 1936 in San Francisco, California.  Their mother, Christine/Christina Kenny was born about 1811 in County Offaly or Kings County, Ireland.  She died 29 September 1890 in San Francisco, California. The family was Catholic. There was also a brother to Sarah and Eliza, Eugene, born about 1840 in Ireland who was living in San Francisco, California in 1910.

Would appreciate any help locating Sarah's father, last name Kenny, first name unknown, and any other relations. There is quite a large family of descendants in California.  Thanks.

Searching Kenny Family

Saturday 25th Mar 2023, 12:09AM

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  • You might obtain records of marriage and death of the family in the USA which should show their father's name.

    The surname "Kenny" was common in the mid 1800's in County Clare

    It is surprising that they emigrated at such a young age. It is possible that their father was deceased.



    Saturday 25th Mar 2023, 08:47AM
  • Dear McCoy,

    Thanks for your message.  The family lore says that the sisters, Eliza and Sarah Maria, emigrated to the US as teenagers and lived with relatives in Bangor Maine first, then came out to San Francisco and settled there.  I have found no record of the father and have no information about him.  The girls's mother Christina Kenny (or Kenney) is buried in the same cemetery near San Francisco where her daughters are buried. I don't know when Christina emigrated to the US.  I am hoping to find birth or baptism information for Sarah and Eliza in Ireland and hopefully marriage information for Christina (maiden name unknown) and Mr. Kenny.  Census info in the US says Christina was from Kings County/Offaly County.

    Do you know if it is possible to locate birth records in County Clare or County Offaly with just name and date of birth?

    Thanks for your help,

    Cindy Taylor

    Searching Kenny Family

    Saturday 25th Mar 2023, 06:02PM
  • Cindy,

    Yes, on the subscription site Roots Ireland you can search both counties by entering a surname, name, and range of years for their births. I looked for your three Kenny/Kenney siblings in both Clare and Offaly, but did not find them. All of the parishes in Co. Offaly have baptism records dating back to those years, except one...the RC parish of Clara....theirs begins in 1845. So, if the birth date of Sarah is earlier than 1845, then there will not be a record for her nor her siblings. Interesting that you mention Co. Clare....could it be the RC parish of Clara instead? If their mother was from Co. Offaly, chances are they were born there and not Co. Clare as those two counties are some distance away.





    Sunday 26th Mar 2023, 01:41AM
  • Cindy,

    I also searched the marriage records on Roots Ireland for the years leading up to 1840 in both Offaly and Clare, and found no records with a Kenny marrying Christine/a. The RC parish of Clara that I mentioned before in Co. Offaly has marriage records back to 1821, but nothing there. I have not seen the name Christine/a in many Irish records...any chance that she changed her name after arriving in the US? I say that because in my own family where all eight of my Irish great grandparents emigrated to the US, six out of the eight gave themselves middle names that do not appear in their birth/baptismal records.

    Good luck!



    Sunday 26th Mar 2023, 02:41PM
  • Dear Carolyn,

    Thank you so much for your help with my Kenny search.  I think your idea about the RC parish Clara, rather than County Clare, is quite plausible.  I have only word of mouth references to Clare but written source info stating County Offaly (or Kings County) as Christina's birthplace. Interesting to know that Christina/e is not a common name in Ireland. I am going to scour the San Francisco City Directories to try to pin down when she arrived in San Francisco.  I suspect it was many years later than the daughters' arrival. I'll be on the watch for other first names for her.  Many thanks for your helpful suggestions and information and for taking time to help.



    Searching Kenny Family

    Sunday 26th Mar 2023, 05:36PM
  • This record of the 1860 American census shows Sarah Kenny age 15 years, Christiana Kenny age 50 years, Patrick Kenny age 24 years, Eugene Kenny age 22 years, Eliza Kenny age 18 years, Bernard Kenny age 12 years, Bridget Kenny age 9 years, and two other people on the record are Patrick and Bridget Dour who are also from Ireland.


    Monday 27th Mar 2023, 10:47PM
  • Note Christiana is a widow on the record, remember this is the time of the famine in Ireland so emigration was at a height as families tried to escape the horror of the great famine ( An Gorta Mor...The Great Hunger)



    Monday 27th Mar 2023, 10:53PM
  • Dear Eileen,

    Thank you so much for the link to the 1860 Bangor Maine census information. I had found Christiana, Eliza and Sarah on a link through, but the original record was not legible and I had never seen the full original document.  And, it seems Sarah was also living with a family nearby, as was Eliza who was working as a domestic servant. Thank you so very much; I think you found the whole family, which is so helpful.  It is sad that so many families came to America because they were starving to death. I am afraid that might be what happened to the father in the family.  I still have not been able to find his first name or any records for him, but I'm looking.

    Thanks again for taking time to help. Best of luck with your own research, too.



    Searching Kenny Family

    Wednesday 29th Mar 2023, 10:46PM

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