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Good Evening Forum

I have just joined the Kennedy Group and hope someone may be able to help with my query.

My Grandfather was a Samuel KENNEDY na 21 Oct 1870 Coolyramer Co Derry, ob 11 Nov 1954 Hastings New Zealand. His father was Church KENNEDY who I believe was born C/- 1828 Caheny Co Derry, Church married Martha TORRENS on the 25 Oct 1855 at Moneydig Presbyterian Church, they had eight known children. Now my query.  Church's father is listed as Alexander KENNEDY on his Marriage Civil Record but there is no Mother's name noted and I note there are a number of Alexanders  around the area at the time of Churchs birth but I can find no birth or baptisimal record on line for him from here in New Zealand to link me with one paticular Alexander . I wondered if someone on the Forum may have stumbled over a referance or knows of a source not searched by me that would help me in the right direction.

Best wish's to all in Kennedy research


Colin Kennedy


New Zealand


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Replies to This Discussion

I haven't any information about your Kennedy ancestors in Derry, but I found your posting interesting. My Kennedy ancestors were from Derry as well. The names commonly used in the family were Samuel and David. My ancestors immigrated from Derry to Pennsylvania in the 1840s. It would be interesting if we discovered that we were related way back in Derry. On the other hand, it could just be that the name Samuel was popular among the Ulster Scottish. 

Hi Joanne

Thanks for responding to my post,  I am sure that given enough time to research we may well find a link to our families. In desperation a month ago I decided to load all Kennedy events ( B M D ) and Census. both 1901 & 1911  I can find from Co Londonderry plus those I have found to date into my programme in an attempt to try and see if there are links via specific townlands and parish's  to specific families, success with the help of an Australian researcher with one just yesterday enabling me to link one male Kennedy born 1808 from Agadowey Co Londonderry through to a 2010 Kennedy birth in Australia.

Samuel certainly is a popular Christian name, I have about 110 loaded so far whereas David is not quite so common, only 10 to date. however I have only scratched the surface in respect to adding the names I have, probably 10 percent and about 900 Kennedy's loaded I've still got quite a way to go. If I find a link to Pennsylvannia from the 1800's I will certainly let you know, I do have one from a 2nd World War Marriage currently loaded.  Thanks again for the contact

It would be terrific if you find any of my Kennedys in your research. My Samuel Kennedy was married to a Jane Gilfillan in Derry County. They immigrated to PA between 1817 and 1821. Their children Achsah, Samuel, John, Joseph, and Elizabeth immigrated with them. Margaret, Ellen, Maria, and David were born in PA.


Good luck in your research!

Colin, tell us what sources you have used so far  eg wills, Griffiths, Tithes, are they still present in the 1901/1911 census and the refs if so, when they emigrated, who stayed behind etc. It is all useful in rebuilding the big picture. Have you looked at how far back the parish registers go in the parishes you are interested in (using Ryan or similar)? Are they always in the Presbyterian church? 

Also if you are tracing back from New Zealand please explain how you linked to this particular Samuel, was his place and date of birth given on the NZ death cert?

Iain Kennedy


Hi Iain.

In answer to your questions, yes, my Samuel together with his mother Martha ( nee Torrens ) and sisters were shown in the 1901 Census,  Samuel married in Kilrea prior to leaving for New Zealand, I have purchased Full Copies of both his Birth and Marriage Certificates which show Father and Mother Christian name details ( Church & Martha ) from Northern Ireland. Samuels wife died in New Zealand 12 years after imigrating here, again her New Zealand Death Certificate shows Marriage date, Place, and her Parents Names, Samuel then re-married a widow of New Zealand Birth, this second Marriage Certificate (NZ) details the same Father /Mother name details.  I also have copies of two advertisments placed by Samuel 1903 & 1905 in Northern Ireland. The first putting the family property up for rent/lease prior to his stated intent to leave for New Zealand, the second offering the property for Sale, this one noting he was at this time domiciled in New Zealand. Griffiths shows Church Kennedy with land holdings. It would appear from all the documentation that I have obtained that they were Presbyterian and on one occasion noted as Church of Ireland, In New Zealand they followed the Anglican faith, ( Church of England ) finally his New Zealand death Certificate also shows his Birth Date and place of Birth and dates of both Marriages and subsequent issue from the second marriage . Of Interest he is described as a Settler on the first New Zealand Electoral Roll that his name appears which indicates he paid for the trip rather than having a Government assisted passage to New Zealand. All my research so far leads me to believe that the Samuel I have is 99.9% Church's son. I will leave that .1% standing, as always in Genealogy, there is no absolute cetainty using old records however I believe that I am correct all the same. Any additional referance address's would be most welcome in my effort to find the names of Church's parents

Kind Regards






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