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RE: [Bann Valley] Kennedy

 Good morning, Colin,

I have copied your text attachment into the reply email just in case anyone
missed it as an attachment and I have pasted it below so that it may be
referred to in conjunction with my reply.

Let me start by saying that I am assuming what you want is the death of your
great grandparents, Church Kennedy and Martha Torrens as that is the only
brick wall I can see and I have to admit that I cannot find their deaths
either but by following the rest of their family, it should be possible to
find what church they belonged to and therefore where you might go to look
for their deaths.  Having said that, only Church of Ireland churches kept
burial records and your folk were Presbyterian so you will not find any
record there.  Your only hope is the graveyard and also Civil Deaths.  And I
have searched the only Civil Deaths available online at the Mormon website
and did not find them.  But these online records are not complete and you
might still find the deaths recorded in the indexes to Deaths which can be
ordered as a microfilm at the LDS (Mormon) website and have it sent to your
nearest Family History Centre.

But let's go back a step or two.

Yes, I can see Church Kennedy in the circa 1855 Griffiths Valuation, holding
a very small plot of land, Plot 5, in the townland of Cullyramer in the
Parish of Desertoghill consisting of just over 4 acres.  In the same
townland is an Alexander Kennedy holding the largest plot in the townland,
one of 34 acres, designated Plot 1.  Church does not live on his own plot of
land but in House g on Alexander's Plot 1 and he has another cottage and two
tiny plots of land on Plot 1 as well, consisting of little more than a
garden at each house.  This strongly suggests a close connection between
Alexander Kennedy and Church Kennedy, perhaps brothers or maybe father and

And sure enough, we have this marriage of Church Kennedy to Martha Torrens
in 1855 and his father is indeed an Alexander Kennedy:
Date of Marriage: 29-Nov-1855
Parish / District: MONEYDIG
County: Co. Derry
Husband Wife Name:
Church Kennedy  Martha Torrens
Address: Caheney  Coolnaman
Presbyterian  Presbyterian
Age:     18
Bachelor (Previously unmarried)  Spinster (Previously unmarried)
Husband's Father  Wife's Father  Name:
Alexander Kennedy  Hugh Torrens
Witness 1 Witness 2  Name:
Thomas Torrans  Alexander Kennedy
This comes from a pay website which sadly does not give the church where
they were married but yet again, it will be in Civil Marriages available on
microfilm from the LDS.  BUT, you now have your great great grandfather, an
Alexander Kennedy.

Note that Martha was aged 18 and therefore born in 1837.  Further note that
the witness was an Alexander Kennedy.  I am assuming this was perhaps a
brother of Church though it could be his father, or indeed a cousin.
You will also note that Church's address is not given as Cullyramer but as
Caheney and I do not have enough local knowledge to know if this is the same
townland with a different name, or a farm within the townland or another
townland nearby but it has to be your great grandparents as there will not
be too many people called Church Kennedy in the area marrying a Martha

Now fast forward to the 1901 Census and we find no sign of either Church or
Martha in Cullyramer.  There is only one Kennedy family there:
Residents of a house 8 in Cullyramer (Bovagh, Londonderry)
Surname	Forename	Age	Sex	Relation to head	Religion
Birthplace	Occupation	Literacy	Irish Language	Marital
Status	Specified Illnesses
Kennedy	James	56	Male	Head of Family	Presbyterian	Co Derry
Farmer	Read and write	-	Not Married	-
Kennedy	Ann	80	Female	Mother	Presbyterian	Co Derry	-
Read and write	-	Widow	-
McCahan	Catherine	48	Female	Sister	Presbyterian	Co Derry
-	Read and write	-	Widow	-
Kennedy	Thomas	46	Male	Brother	Presbyterian	Co Derry
Farmer	Read and write	-	Not Married	-
Anderson	Margaret	4	Female	Niece	Presbyterian	Co
Derry	-	Cannot read	-	Not Married	-
Leighton	Thomas	16	Male	Servant	Presbyterian	Co Derry
Farm Labourer	Read and write	-	Not Married	-

One has to assume that James was a son of the Alexander in the Griffiths
Valuation and that Ann is therefore the wife of that Alexander.

I then did a search for Church Kennedy and Martha Kennedy anywhere in County
Derry in the 1901 Census and did not find any Church but I did find a Martha
living with her son.... Samuel.  Look at this:
Residents of a house 10 in Lisnamuck (Aghadowey, Londonderry)
Surname	Forename	Age	Sex	Relation to head	Religion
Birthplace	Occupation	Literacy	Irish Language	Marital
Status	Specified Illnesses
Kennedy	Samuel	29	Male	Head of Family	Church of Ireland	Co
Derry	Farmer	Read and write	-	Not Married	-
Kennedy	Martha	64	Female	Mother	Church of Ireland	Co Derry
Farmer's Wife	Read only	-	Widow	-
Kennedy	Jane	42	Female	Sister	Church of Ireland	Co Derry
Farmer's Daughter	Read and write	-	Not Married	-
Kennedy	Mary	19	Female	Sister	Church of Ireland	Co Derry
Scholar	Read and write	-	Not Married	-

Martha was 64, which makes her born in 1837 = the same year as Martha
Torrens when she married Church Kennedy.

And Samuel was 29, which gives a year of birth of 1872.  When was your
grandfather born?  If he dies in 1964, he would have been very old = around
92.  You said he emigrated in the early 1900s and lo and behold, there is no
Samuel Kennedy in Lisnamuck in 1911, nor indeed any Kennedys.  Martha may
have died and his two sisters either married or moved.

So far so good.  Then everything went haywire.  I went back to the Griffiths
Valuation and I now see that there are TWO Church Kennedys in that.  The one
described above plus another one, also in Cullyramer but in the Parish of
Aghadowey!!  When I look at the maps and zoom in, it seems that Cullyramer
is divided between the two parishes of Desertoghill and Aghadowey.  And this
time Church has Plot 4 of 16 acres though he lives on Plot 3 belonging to a
Hugh Morrison.  I note there is also an Alexander Kennedy living in this
part of Cullyramer and also that there is a townland called Caheney
immediately after Cullyramer!

Two Church Kennedys after all?  Or the same man with land and houses in two
different parts of Cullyramer, one in the Parish of Desertoghill and one in
the Parish of Aghadowey?  I do not have enough local knowledge to give an
answer to this.  But the marriage certificate can NOT be wrong.  Those are
your great grandparents and your great great grandfather was definitely an
Alexander Kennedy.  

Where are all those Torrens researchers from the Bann Valley area when you
need them?!!

(One thing you could do is get your grandfather's marriage certificate and
see where he was living when he married Mary Fulton.)

Genealogy is such fun!


Boyd Gray




-----Original Message-----
From: el.rancho.makuri@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:el.rancho.makuri@xxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: 25 May 2011 09:15
To: BannValley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Bann Valley] Kennedy

Good Evening List. 
I am a new list member born and living in New Zealand attempting to trace my
ancestory from the Bann Valley Area. My Grandfather Samuel Kennedy with his
new Wife emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1900's His Father was Church
Kennedy and his Mother was Martha Torrens.  I canot find a death date or
burial referance for Church or Martha and wondered if any List Member has
come across a record which would help me and or offer a suggestion on a
direction of where to search   Checking the Griffiths Valuation I note that
Church had land on lease in the Cullyramer area, Ord S 18-10 Ref Number 5 G
& H.    I am considering a trip to Northern Ireland to do some on site
research and to visit the area from where My Grandfather came from, possably
around June July next year {2012}  My Grandfather had married a Mary Fulton
at Kilrea, she unfortunately died in 1918 in New Zealand. He then re-married
and my father Colin Church Kennedy was born in 1921. He died in 1964 when I
was 16, long before I had thoughts of my heritage and had started to ask any
questions so I have had a rather large Brick Wall in front of me from the
start of my research from here in New Zealand. Any help or information will
be most gratefully received. 
Kind Regards to all 
Colin Peter Kennedy

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