Fennessy family genealogy

Arms: We are unable at present to give the Arms of this family; but the Crest [1] is a mailed arm holding a halbert. Motto: Recte adhibito Deus adjuvat.

THIS is a Munster family of purely Irish origin; descended from Fiangus, who, according to the learned Professor O'Looney, was "Chief of a district of country near Cashel of the Kings," in the County Tipperary; and a quo O'Fianngusa ("fiann": Irish, a soldier of the ancient Irish militia; and "gus," strength), anglicised O'Fennessy, and Fennessy. Fiangus, as the name implies, must have been a strongly-built man and a brave warrior. Commencing with Richard Fennessy, who died A.D. 1747, the following is the pedigree of this ancient family:—

1. Richard Fennessy [2] and Catherine his wife held a large farm at Ballynattin, near Clerihan, and a few miles south of Cashel, in the co. Tipperary; also farmed the adjoining townland of Shanbally. He died in 1747, leaving one son.

2. Richard (d. 1779): son of Richard; established a Nursery at Ballynattin, the first of the kind in Ireland; m. and had eight sons and four daughters: one of these daughters m. Bourke of Rouscoe, co. Tipperary; and another dau. m. Nicholas White of Kilcarone. The sons were:

I. John, a Nursery-man at Ballynattin, who m. Miss Murphy of Ballinamona, near Cashel, co. Tipperary, and had no issue.

II. William, of whom presently.

III. David, who was an Army-Surgeon, d. in Waterford, unm.

IV. Richard, who was by his uncle William, of Limerick, established in the Nursery in Waterford which had been previously occupied since 1712 by his uncle Nicholas, the VI. son of Richard (No. 2) who d. 1779. This Richard m. Miss Carey of the co. Kilkenny, and dying at the age of 96 (worth some £30,000), left four sons, besides a daughter Catherine (or "Kitty") who m. Timothy Lundrigan of Castle Grace, near Cloheen. The four sons were: 1. Edward, 2. Richard, 3. David, 4. John.

I. Edward (d. 1873), who was a Nursery-man in Waterford, m. Mary Belcher of Waterford, and had three sons:

I. William-Henry (living in 1887), a Nursery-man in Waterford; was High Sheriff of Waterford in 1874; m. Lilian Agnes, dau. of Major Ranee, and has, besides one daughter, two sons:

I. Edward, and

II. Arthur —both living in 1887.

II. Edward, a Nursery-man at Kilkenny, was High Sheriff of that city in 1886.

III. Thomas, living in 1887.

II. Richard, m. Miss Jones of London, and had a Nursery at Islington; emigrated to Australia, and died there.

III. David, was an Attorney in Waterford; m. Miss O'Brien of Waterford; emigrated to America, and d. s. p.

IV. John, who was a Nurseryman in Kilkenny, m. Miss Waring of that county, and d. s. p.

V. Thomas: fifth son of Richard (No. 2); was a Nursery-man at Clonmel; m. Miss Daniel of Powerbee, and had two sons and three daughters. The sons were:

I. Richard.

II. Hugh (alive in 1865), a Nursery-man at Limerick, who m. the widow of Mr. Sargent, and had, besides five daughters, three sons, one of whom, Thomas, was for some time Manager of the Great Southern and Western Railway (Ireland). This Thomas Fennessy emigrated to America, whither his brothers had preceded him.

The three daughters of Thomas (No. V.) were:

I. Ellen;

II. Mary; and

III. Anne, who m. Mr. O'Sullivan, of Limerick.

VI. Nicholas: the sixth son of Richard (No. 2); alive in 1732; established in 1712 the Nursery in Waterford; m. Margaret Power of Castle Blake, near Ballynattin, and had two sons:

I. Thomas, who emigrated to America.

II. Richard (b. 1719), who m. and also went with his wife and child to America in 1831; that child was a daughter Nancy, who m. Henry Wilkinson (alive in 1876), Inspector of Light Houses at Charleston, U.S.A.

VII. Michael: seventh son of Richard (No. 2); went to the North of Ireland, married, and settled on the estate of Lord Londonderry; had one son Robert (b. 1791, d. 1847), who joined the Army and was appointed Foreign Service Messenger to the King, m. an Irish lady and had three daughters (married), and four sons: three of the sons d. s. p., the youngest Rodney is m. and living in London in 1887.

VIII. Edward (or Ned), a Nurseryman at Ballynattin; alive in 1831; m. Miss Maher of Cloneen; having no issue he willed the place to one of his nieces, who m. Michael O'Donnell (d. 1855), of Seskin, near Carrick-on-Suir.

3. William: second son of Richard (No. 2); was a Nursery-man at Limerick and Castleconnell; m. Margaret Ryan of Bilboa Court, co. Limerick, and had, besides eight daughters, two sons:

I. Edward, who m. and d. in Limerick, s. p.

II. Richard (alive in 1835), of whom presently.

The eight daughters of William, of Limerick, were:

I. Ellen, who d. unm.

II. Mary, m. her cousin Richard Bourke, and with him emigrated to America. In 1856 this Richard Bourke was Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati.

III. Amelia, m. James Cooney, and with him emigrated to Australia, where they died s. p.

IV. Catherine, m. —— MacCarthy, and with him emigrated to America, where they died, leaving one son William (d. in San Francisco, 7th March, 1877), who m. and left two children.

V.Anne, m.—— Maclnerney, of the co. Clare, and with him emigrated to America, where they died, leaving a son Thomas who, in 1876, represented the 9th ward of his city (San Francisco), in the Legislature. This Thomas m. an American lady of Irish descent and has (1887) two sons—1. Thomas Fennessy, 2. Daniel Fennessy; and three daughters: 1. Mary, 2. Kate, 3. Anne—all taking the name Fennessy before that of Maclnerney.

VI. Susan, m. a Mr. Considine, and had a son.

VII. Eliza, m. a Mr. Ryan; left no issue; she d. Dec. 1879.

VIII. Margaret, m. another Mr. Ryan; and d. at Nenagh, co. Tipperary, April 1880, leaving no issue.

4. Richard (alive in 1835): second son of William (No. 3); established a Nursery in Tralee; m. Anne Beary of Derk, co. Limerick, and had two sons and one daughter:

I. William, of whom presently.

II. Edward (alive in 1887), a farmer at Ballybrood, Pallas green, co. Limerick; m. Maria Mulrenin, of Limerick, and had two daughters—1. Angelina (d. 1880), 2. Ada; and a son, Claude, living in 1887.

I. Maria, only dau. of Richard (No. 4), m. Robert Smithwick, of Cottage, near Tipperary, and had two sons and five daughters. The sons were:

I. John, living in 1887, and managing his father's lands.

II. Richard, a Civil Engineer, and B.A., living in 1887 at Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska, U.S.A.

The five daughters were: 1. Annie, 2. Georgina, 3. Cornelia, 4. Alexandra, 5. Florence.

5. William F. R. Fennessy (alive in 1887): elder son of Richard (No. 4); is a Civil Engineer; migrated to America, and lives at Avon, Fulton County, Illinois; was twice married: first, to Cornelia Woods, of New York State, by whom he has had (besides two daughters—1. Sophia, 2. Euphemia), six surviving sons:

I. William-Barton, of whom presently.

II. Ernest, a stock-farmer, living ing in 1887 at Avon. Illinois; m. Minnie Bliss, and has a daughter, Ethel-Cornelia.

III. Edward-Clinton, who is Chief Clerk in the Office of the P. P. C. Co., St. Louis, Mo.

IV. Maurice, Clerk in the Office of the P. P. C. Co , St. Louis, Mo.

V. Effie. VI. Florence.

William F. R. Fennessy married, secondly, in 1881, Lucy Robertson of St. Louis, Mo.

6. William-Barton Fennessy, of Lichfield, Illinois: eldest son of William; alive in 1887; is a Cigar and Tobacco Manufacturer; m. Bella Harry of Charleston, Illinois, and has a son Clinton-Lloyd, aged two years.


[1] Crest: On a tombstone over the grave of Richard Fennessy, in the churchyard of Tullamelan, near Knocklofty, co. Tipperary, is an inscription, and a crest which is a mailed arm holding a halbert.

[2] Fennessy: In Lenehan's History of Limerick we find amongst the names of those who, in 1747, under the Act 13 Charles II. took the oaths of allegiance, the name of Richard Fenecy (and his wife Catherine), farmer of Shanbally, co. Tipperary.