MacKenna (No.2) family genealogy

Of Dundalk

Arms: Same as those of "MacKenna" (No. 1).

UP to going to press with this Work, we have not met with the genealogy of this family down to the Chief of Truagh, who, with five young sons, was murdered by Cromwell's soldiers, after sacking the place and setting it on fire. One of the Chief's sons, who was then a child at fosterage up in the mountains, escaped the massacre, and was afterwards THE MacKENNA (commonly called the "Major"), who in March, 1689, was killed defending the Fort of Drumbanagher, near Glaslough, for King James II.; and who was buried in the family grave in Donogh, parish of Donogh, county of Monaghan, and diocese of Clogher. A grandson of that "Major" was Francis MacKenna, of Mulmurry, whose brother Charles was ordained a Catholic Priest on the Continent, was Chaplain to the Irish Brigade at Fontenoy, said Mass on that Battlefield, on the day of that memorable battle, afterwards settled in Ireland and became Parish Priest of Donogh, in the diocese of Clogher. Commencing with said Francis the pedigree is as follows:

1. Francis MacKenna of Mulmurry: a grandson of The MacKenna who, in March, 1689, was killed while defending the Fort of Drumbanagher, for King James II. Was twice married: first to Letitia Adams; and secondly to a Miss Gernon. The children of the first marriage were—1. William [1] or "Big Billy;" 2. James, who settled in Philadelphia early in life; 3. Felim or Felix; 4. Margaret, m. to a Mr. Brennan. The said Francis MacKenna went to Dundalk, and as above mentioned married secondly a Miss Gernon of the county Louth, and became the owner of an estate near Castlebellingham in that co.

2. John MacKenna of Dundalk: youngest son of Francis; d. 1820.

3. William-Alexander McKenna of Dundalk, solicitor: his son; m. in 1839, Ellen McKenna, his cousin, who d. 1849.

4. Philip McKenna of Londonderry: his son; living in 1882.


[1] William: This William (or "Big Billy") MacKenna of Wilville near the town of Monaghan, who d. 1816, and was buried in Donogh; married Ellen O'Reilly of Ballymaurin, co. Longford, and by her had twenty-two children, some of whom were—1. John McKenna, a general in the Spanish Service, d. 1814. (This John being an officer in the Spanish Service inclines us to believe that the pedigree of this family could be found among the public records at Madrid, or Cadiz); 2. Philip, of Tobago, d. unm. in Bristol, about 1832; 3. Captain William, d. unm. in Chelsea, about 1843; 4. Francis, a merchant in Drogheda, who m. Mary Markey; 5. James, who d. 1843; 6. Christopher, who d. young; and 7. a daughter Ellen, b. 1819. The aforesaid William was buried in a grave under a stone which has the following inscription:—"Here lyeth the Body of Phelemy MaKenna deceased the 15th April, 1666." It is the belief of some educated persons in that neighbourhood, that The MacKenna who was (as above-mentioned) killed at Drumbanagher in 1689, was buried in the same grave.