James (sometimes called Rufus James) Kennedy was christened 1 March 1781 in the parish church of St. Michael's in Tipperary town, the son of William Kennedy and Ellen Cunningham. He married Judith Anne Duane 23 February 1800 at St. Michael's parish in Tipperary, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. She is most likely the daughter of Michael Dwan of Tipperary. Witnesses at the wedding were William Duane and Winifred Ryan. William may be Judith's brother.

The Religious Census of 1766 for the town of Tipperary list three Kennedys, all shown as Catholics: Thomas Kennedy, John Kennedy, and James Kennedy. One of these is likely the father of William Kennedy. The census was ordered by Irish Parliament, and asked all Church of Ireland (Protestant) ministers to list the religions of the members of their parish, and whether they were of the Church of Ireland, Catholic, or Presbyterian. The census lists all of the male heads of household in the town of Tipperary.

The same census of 1766 lists only one Dwan (Duane): Michael Dwan. Michael is most likely the father of Judith Duane. The later Title Applotment (about 1829) in Tipperary town shows only one Dwan: Stephen Dwan, who is probably a brother of Judith.

James Kennedy and Judith Duane had the following children:

1. John was christened 30 December 1803 in Tipperary parish.

*2. Anne was christened 17 October 1808 in Tipperary parish. She married James Harrigan 16 February 1833 in Tipperary parish.

3. Patrick was christened 4 September 1810 in Tipperary parish: "Patricius ex Joanni Kennedy & Joanna Duan, sp. Joannes Dwyer & Maria Hiffernan.".

Patrick Kennedy


SOURCES: Parish register of St. Michael's parish, Tipperary town; 1766 Religious Census of Ireland; Tithe Applotment - Tipperary, Tipperary, Ireland.



William Kennedy and Ellen Cunningham were married in about 1775 in Tipperary, County Tipperary, Ireland. William's father may be Thomas, John or James Kennedy, who are listed in Tipperary town in the Religious Census of 1766.

In the Religious Census of 1766, only one Cunningham is listed in the city of Tipperary: John Cunningham. He is listed as a Catholic. John Cunningham is likely the father of Ellen.

William and Ellen had the following children:

1. Thomas, born about 1780; married Mary Murphy in 1795 "at the ridiculously young age of 15"; children - Timothy (1796 - 1802), William (1805), Patrick (1807), and Judith (1810).

*2.  James (called "Rufus" for his red hair), christened 1 March 1781 in Tipperary, County Tipperary; married Judith Anne Duane 23 February 1800 in Tipperary town.

3. Edmund, born 1784; married Alice O'Dwyer; children - Ellen (1810), James (1812), Martin (1814), Mary (1818), Mary (1819), Edmond (1821), Maria (1822), and Michael (1823).

SOURCES: Tipperary parish register; Religious Census of 1766, Tipperary; information provided by granddaughter Mary Harrigan Carey; additional information for Thomas and Edmund provided by Josephine Mcnern via County Tipperary Facebook page, citing information "from a direct descendant of these, still living in Cordangan".


The parish records for Tipperary town show other family groups of Kennedys, who may be brothers of James, and the children of William and Ellen:

Thomas Kennedy and Mary Murphy had the following children:

William, christened 11 October 1805 in Tipperary.
Patrick, christened 15 March 1807 in Tipperary.
Judith, christened 1 June 1810 in Tipperary.

Edmond Kennedy was born in 1784 in Tipperary. He married Alice O'Dwyer 18 January 1809. Edmund was buried with his wife Alice, and daughter Maria in St. Mary's Cemetery in Tipperary.
Edmond Kennedy and Alice O'Dwyer had the following children:

Ellen, christened 4 January 1810 in Tipperary. Sponsors are John Kennedy (possible brother of William?) and Mary Downey.
James, christened 5 January 1812 in Tipperary.

Martin, christened 3 January 1814 in Tipperary. Martin emigrated to Canada.
Mary, christened 1 March 1818 in Tipperary.
Mary, christened 29 September 1819 in Tipperary.
Edmond, christened 19 November 1821 in Tipperary.
Maria, born 1822 in Tipperary; died in 1838 at age 16.

Michael, christened 4 December 1823 in Tipperary.

(Sources: Tipperary parish registers; and information supplied by Edmond's descendant Daniel Kennedy.)

Michael Kennedy and Elizabeth Ryan had the following children:

James, christened 21 July 1805 in Tipperary.
Ellen, christened 11 July 1807 in Tipperary.
Michael, christened 9 April 1813 in Tipperary.
Brigid, christened 1 August 1815 in Tipperary.

John Kennedy and Margaret O'Dwyer had the following children:

Ellen, christened 25 January 1805 in Tipperary.
Mary, christened 18 June 1806 in Tipperary.
Timothy, christened 8 August 1808 in Tipperary.
Ellen, christened 7 January 1811 in Tipperary. (Sponsors: Patrick O'Mahoney and Judith Kennedy)
John, 21 June 1813 in Tipperary.

William Kennedy and Brigid Burke had the following children:

Patrick, christened 26 February 1804 in Tipperary.
Brigid, christened 21 February 1806 in Tipperary.
Timothy, christened 26 January 1808 in Tipperary.
Edmond, christened 29 August 1810 in Tipperary.
Ellen, christened 4 March 1815 in Tipperary.

William Kennedy and Winifred Murphy had the following children:

Timothy, christened 18 January 1805 in Tipperary.
Thomas, christened 4 February 1807 in Tipperary.
Stephen, christened 29 December 1808 in Tipperary.
William, christened 11 July 1811 in Tipperary.
Mary, christened 31 January 1814 in Tipperary.

John Kennedy and Mary Heffernan had the following children:

Joan, christened 28 February 1806 in Tipperary.
James, christened 8 May 1808 in Tipperary.
John, christened 28 December 1810 in Tipperary.
Michael, christened 13 April 1813 in Tipperary.
Mary, christened 11 January 1816 in Tipperary.

The first five listed Kennedys: Thomas, Edmond, Michael, John, and William are most likely children of William and Ellen Kennedy. Nearly all have daughters named Ellen, and Thomas' oldest son is William. Edmond and Michael both served as sponsors at the christenings of James Harrigan and Anne Kennedy's children.

The Tithe Applotment for Tipperary town (about 1829) lists only one Kennedy: Andrew Kennedy. Since the Tithe Applotment was assessed only on properties of one acre or more, the town-dwelling Kennedys, who generally had only houses and a small yard, may not have been included.

Griffith's Valuation (about 1850) lists the following Kennedys in Tipperary town:

Timothy Kennedy lives next door to James Harrigan on Bohercrow Street in Tipperary town. Timothy is not found living there in the Valuation List of 1858, so may have moved, emigrated or died.

Patrick Kennedy lives on Bohercrow Street in Tipperary town. He has a house and yard.

Morgan Kennedy lives next door to Michael Harrigan in Carrownreddy, on Donohill Road in Tipperary town. He has a house and yard.

James Kennedy lives in Carrownreddy, on Main Street in Tipperary town. He has a house, offices and yard. He has a house and offices. It is possible that this is our James Kennedy.

Martin Kennedy lives on the same street as James in Carrownreddy.

John Kennedy and Michael Magrath own a house on Meetinghouse Lane in Tipperary town.

Patrick Kennedy lives on Henry Street in Tipperary town. He has a house, offices and yard.

Edmond Kennedy lives on Gaol Lane in Tipperary town. He has a store.

In Slater's 1846 Commercial Directory for Tipperary, the following Kennedys are listed:

James Kennedy, baker, 8 East Main Street.

James Kennedy, public house, 8 East Main Street.

Edmund Kennedy, china, glass and earthenware dealers, 76 West Main Street.

Edmund Kennedy, linen and woolen drapers and haberdashers, 76 West Main Street.

The Petty Court Sessions Registers have these cases involving Kennedys of Tipperary Town:

Martin Kennedy of Tipperary Town, for "Larceny of a bottle of whiskey, the property of Wm. Burke on the 12th February 1852 at Clonmel", which was dismissed on merit without costs.

Edmond Kennedy of Bohercrow, for "Rioting and disturbing the peace of the town of Tipperary" 26 June 1852.

Edmond Kennedy of Bohercrow, for "Leaving his employment on the 26th of May last past contrary to agreement" case presented 3 June 1858.

Edmond Kennedy of Bohercrow for "Assaulting complainant at Bohercrow on 25th of September 1867".

In Bassett's City Directory for Tipperary in 1889,  the following Kennedys are listed:

Edmond Kennedy, grocer, Henry Street.
James Kennedy, baker, Main Street
Martin Kennedy, boot and shoe maker, Main Street 20.
Michael Kennedy, cattle dealer, John Street
Timothy Kennedy, butter merchant, Henry Street

This may give clues to the occupations of the earlier Kennedys.

Earlier records: The Hearth Money Rolls of 1666-7 were a householder tax. They show two Kennedys in the town of Tipperary - Teige Kennedie and James Kennedie. One of these may be the ancestor of our Kennedys.

SOURCES: Tipperary parish register; Griffith's Valuation - Tipperary; Tithe Applotment - Tipperary; information provided by Daniel Kennedy via e-mail; Hearth Money Roll 1666-7 for Tipperary; Irish Petty Court Registers on

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