NZ Relations

HARRIS, Catherine (nee Leen)

1866, Stacks Mountain, Co. Kerry

1937, Hawera, Taranaki

1884, Doric

Kate Mahony


GLEASURE Letters, Listowel



Tom Ahern.

The Late Late Show on RTE Television celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. It first aired on 6th July 1962 and love it or hate it the majority of people watch it on occasion. Last Friday night the three main presenters Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny, and Ryan Tubridy came together, with a select audience to mark the milestone. It has provided many memorable moments during that time, and kick started many musical careers .My late father had the honor of being a guest on The Late Late Show, on the 9th December 1972. It was presented by Gay Byrne and the topic was matchmaking. He was a panel member with John B Keane, Willie Finucane, and Michael McElligott, all from North Kerry. He also featured on Radharc, Newsbeat, and Halls Pictorial Weekly during 1969 and 1970 mainly on rural issues, and talking about old fashioned cures for warts, and blessed wells. It was always nice to see local people we knew appearing on Television, over the years, and the late Con Greaney made a number of appearances on traditional music programmes, in the nineties. Donie and Maura Nolan, Mattie Griffin, Frances O’Connor, Mike and Jerry Murphy and the O’Sullivan family also featured on Bring down the Lamp, and The Pure Drop. Mary Lawlor, Knocknagun, appeared on Cross Country Quiz, presented by Peter Murphy, in the seventies. Pat Barrett Glenastar, and John Hayes Knockfinisk, also appeared on Quiz Shows. The Radharc Programmes, from the sixties, and Halls Pictorial Weekly also featured West Limerick people and items of local interest. The Carrigkerry Wrenboys were featured on Ear to the Ground and many others appeared on Lottery and Money Game Shows. Television has provided great entertainment over the past 50 years, and no doubt life would have been a lot duller without the box in the corner of the room.




Craig Kanalley

I've been researching my family tree since 1998, and I've long been curious about DNA as a way to learn more about your roots. The technology has come a long way in the last decade, and it's become more affordable too. Finally, I went ahead and ordered a Y-DNA test (for my paternal line).

On Friday night, at 1:30 a.m., the results popped in my email inbox from the FamilyTreeDNA lab in Houston, Texas!

When I logged in to see the results, 29 "matches" popped up -- these are living people today with whom I share a common direct male ancestor with in about the last 1,000 years. (To be clear, the Y-DNA only passes father to son, so this traces my father's father's father, etc., and same for them.) These matches live in Ireland, England, Scotland, South Africa, the United States and presumably elsewhere (some don't list a location).


Of course, for any matches to come up, I need to have living blood relatives through the male line who took DNA tests themselves. And I'm so grateful and excited that two people I'm about to address did...

I had two close matches, genealogically-speaking, and the rest were more distant. The surnames to those closest matches? A Kennelly and a MacNeely, variations of my own last name. They both live in Ireland!

My relationship to the MacNeely, who I learned is about 28 years old today and lives in County Mayo, Ireland, goes back to a common male ancestor with the surname Kennelly (sometimes Mac an Fhaili in Ireland), MacNally, or McAnally who lived around the 1600s.

My relationship to the Kennelly is closer. He lives in Ireland today in County Cork near the border with County Limerick (where my great-great-great-grandfather Thomas Kennelly was born -- he immigrated to Canada during the Potato Famine). We seem to both descend of a Kennelly born in the 1700s.

What makes the connection to these two men so interesting is that most Irish genealogical records burned in fires in Dublin and don't exist today. Without them, it's hard to trace Irish roots any further back than the 1800s. But nonetheless I've made links with long lost cousins, prior to that time so many Irish researchers hit a brick wall.

I've written emails to both of them and hope to hear back!


The rest of the matches are more distant, though interestingly I found both a McKee and a McGee, with whom I have a common male ancestor in Ireland who lived around the 1400s or earlier. Also a McSorley, a Koster, a Walker, a Crauford and a Hannon who all share common male ancestors with me back around the same period.

But what I found most interesting of the distant matches -- the ADAMS connection. Three of my matches were males with the last name ADAMS. There was also one female whose maiden name was ADAMS (likely submitting a male relative's DNA) and one Smith who says he traces back (father's father's father, etc.) to a male Adams. There was a second Smith who I suspect could also go back to an Adams.

In all, that's five Adams descendants, possibly six, in my 29 matches. And sure enough, I learned the DNA subgroup / family group of former U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams matches my own.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams trace their Adams roots back to southwestern England, right across the water from southern Ireland, where my Kennelly roots lie.

My matches showed that my genealogical relationship to the Adams family lies in a common male ancestor way back, around the 1100s or 1200s. It's my best guess that an Adams, or a member of the same family in which male relatives took Adams as a surname, migrated from southwestern England to Ireland around that time period or shortly after, and that my Kennellys descend from this family.

It's also possible, however, that the connection goes back to before surnames were used at all, as they were just sprouting up around that time.

Either way, there is no doubt that I am blood related to the Adams family if you trace back through Y-DNA (my father's father's father, etc., and theirs). Eventually, we hit a single male figure who we both come from. And that's pretty cool.


I did some more research on my Y-DNA haplogroup, R1b1a2, and if you keep going back (through my father's father's father, etc.), my direct male ancestors were Celtics. They seem to have lived in Western Europe at the time of Jesus Christ and the Ancient Romans and Ancient Greeks likely saw them as uncivilized barbarians. They were likely tribal people in B.C. times, nomadic herders, moving around as famines and droughts hit.

Migration patterns show that my DNA group likely originated in western Asia, in the Middle East or Black Sea region (modern day Turkey), living there 20,000 and 30,000 years ago. There are relatives with similar DNA going thousands of years back in what is now Iran, India, Syria, Israel and Turkey. This family group also branched off into Africa, where the Y-DNA is alive and well in Central Africa. One branch ended up in Egypt specifically, and the Egyptian Pharaoh King Tut belongs to the same haplogroup as I.

After the Ice Age around 10,000 B.C., the larger haplogroup I come from R1b is believed to have brought agriculture to Europe from western Asia. It ended up becoming one of the most popular family groups in Europe, with some 50% of Western Europeans and Americans tracing back to them and 90% of those in Ireland.

My more specific subgroup R1b1a2a1a1b4 seems to have lived in southern Ireland, northern Ireland, and southwestern England in the last 1,000 years or so.


I was so excited by these results that I upgraded my account to trace my maternal line too. I also put in a "Family Finder" request so it gives me a rough overall breakdown of my genealogical DNA (what percentage I am Western European, what percentage other origins, etc.).

My DNA is already at the lab, so now I just have to wait another month or so, and I'm sure to find more interesting things.

Until then, I hope to hear back from my Kennelly and McNeely cousins overseas, who I emailed as I said earlier. I may contact some of these more distant relatives as well.

And later on, in November, I'm going to Ireland for the first time ever. I hope to track down Mr. Kennelly, Mr. MacNeely or at least more of my roots based on the new evidence I've uncovered. The power of DNA... it's really something.

Note: This post originally appeared on a personal blog.



Follow Craig Kanalley on Twitter:

Craig Kanalley

Senior Editor, Big News & Live Events, The Huffington Post




Hi from Jer Kennelly.
Got this e mail
Flavin may give you a lead to some of your relations.

I saw your reference to Newtownsandes the a rootsweb Kennelly page. You seem to have access to some facts and I was praying you might have what I have been searching for.

I am trying to find info on a "Murtagh (Mortimer?) Kennelly, born in Newtownsandes in the late 1700's. He Married Catherine Flahaven and had 4 children who emigrated to Canada. There might be other children also who stayed in Ireland or went somewhere else (U.S., Australia,New Zealand?), I have no idea. The 4 who travelled to the Ottawa area in Canada are Martin b.1807, Bridget b. 1793, Ellen b. ?, and Catherine b. ?.

There are at least 4 other Kennelly clans throughout Ontario, Canada, but we can't make any connection as far as relationship, even though they all seem to have come from the same area (Kerry, Limerick) of Ireland. Seems to be an old tale of some disagreement early after arrival in Canada and kinship was never claimed after that. Doesn't seem to be anything some Irish lads would do ... oh no!

I was hoping to get at least a small link to my g-g-g- gran. I have much of the line complete since arrival in Canada, and am hoping to go back a little more.

Thanks in advance,

Shaun Kennelly

The Kennelly Commons was officially dedicated on May 26, 2004. This newly completed center of the college is an outdoor plaza and pedestrian hub comprised of striking stepped entries into the Lindloom Student Center and the new Bleha Center for the Performing Arts. Bill Kennelly was a founding trustee who truly believed in "Think Students First." His vision for the college is further reflected in the new commons.

Highlighted by a magnificent s-shaped black granite water-wall and a 5,500 pound polished floating stone sphere, the Commons is a true center for Green River Community College. Water cascades down both sides of the water-wall creating intricate and random patterns on the grooved surfaces. The sphere is carved from meta-volcanic greenstone and rotates under positive water pressure. The water is returned to a recycling pump and uses a minimal amount of water daily. The sculpture was co-designed by artist Ted Jonsson and Seattle Solstice and was fabricated by Seattle Solstice.

The Kennelly Commons is providing students, staff, faculty, and community members a central gathering point on the campus. The amphitheater style steps and concrete seating circles provide seating for groups of all sizes, both formal and informal. Classes and clubs are already taking advantage of the commons for lectures, meetings, and impromptu performances. The Kennelly Commons incorporates landscaping throughout to provide natural beauty and lawn seating.

The Kennelly Commons was made possible through private contributions and an economic stimulus capital projects grant from the state of Washington. Donors are recognized throughout the Kennelly Commons on engraved granite tiles installed on the steps and seating circles. Major donors are also recognized on a series of plaques in the sculpture area. Space is still available for anyone interested in an engraved tile. For more information, contact or call 253-288-3384.

Special thanks goes to the following organizations for their involvement in the development and construction of the Kennelly Commons: Green River Community College Foundation, Green River Community College staff, Associated Students of Green River Community College, WJA Design Collaborative, Construction Enterprises, Seattle Solstice and Ted Jonsson, Mammoth Stone and Modern Tile. A special thanks is extended to the Green River Facilities staff for going above and beyond to bring this project to completion.

Hi Tom I have a note on the 1901 Census.

James Cunningham aged 38; wife Hannie aged 28; children, Brian 2; Edward. Catherine; Maurice a brother aged34; Margaret a sister aged 9.

Richard Cunningham aged 42; wife Bridget aged 40; child Brian 6; Hannie 5; Margaret 3; ellie ; servents Michael power 3?; Sarah Nash aged 4.

Margaret Hudson aged 13 was a visitor at Tom Sheahan's House, Tom's mother was Ellen aged 63


Mahony of Kilmorna
Hello, Tom,

I ran across your great website while Google searching for my Mahony descendants. My great grandfather, Bart Sheehan, married Honora Mahony in Mountcollins, Limerick in about 1850. Mountcollins is a village in the corner of Limerick within a "stone's throw" from both Cork and Kerry (closest Kerry town is Brosna).

As you know, Irish records are poor going back past 1850, so I had no details beyond that time-until I saw Part II of "Mahonys of Kerry" on your website. On the "Mahony of Battersfield" family tree, the top of the tree shows a Denis Mahony of Mountcollins marrying a Honora Sheaghane (Sheehan). Most likely, I am related to both these Mahonys and Sheehans

I am grateful for your putting the historical information on your website-that I was

My dad, David Sheehan, left Ireland in the early 1920's and settled in Chicago where he married my mother, Catherine O'Sullivan, who was born a few miles from where my dad was born in Mountcollins, Limerick.

Since 1971, I have lived in a suburb of Philadelphia, and I have a daughter who lives in Manhattan.

Thanks and best regards,




John Sheehan said...
Tom, I'm glad that you put my email on your website-and fully agree that making the Mahony information public will help me and other searchers make connections.

I have not yet connected my Mahonys and Sheehans to those listed on the Mahony of Batterfield tree, but it is a pretty good guess that they are related. There is a gap of several generations between the latest Mahonys listed on the Batterfield tree and my known ancestors below--

My great grandmother, Honora Mahony, married Bartholomew/Bart Sheehan in about 1850.
• Bartholomew Sheehan is listed on Griffiths Valuation in the townland of Seeconglas, Limerick (located a few miles outside of the village of Mountcollins. My guess is that the father of Bart Sheehan is David Sheehan who is listed on the approx. 1820 Tithe Valuation in Ballybeg (or Bailebeag), Brosna, Kerry. Ballybeg, located in Brosna, Kerry, is just across the River Feale from the village of Mountcollins.
• Honora Mahony, b. about 1830 and died after 1911, is the daughter of Michael Mahony and Mary Collins.
- Honora had 2 brothers, Daniel and Patrick, that I know of and possibly other siblings-
- Daniel Mahony, b. 1834 in Seeconglas, died Aug. 12, 1904 in Lowell, MA. He married Ellen Lyons about 1860 in Ireland. She is the daughter of Denis Lyons and Mary Daly and was born in 1830 in Ireland and died Dec 17, 1909
- Patrick Mahony, b. 1845 in Seeconglas, Limerick, died Nov 17, 1918 in Lowell, MA. He married Catherine Cronin on Nov 26, 1879 in Lowell, MA. Catherine Cronin was born in June 1843 in Ireland and died Jan 17 1920 in Lowell, MA.

If you know of or run across any Mahonys from the area of Brosna or Mountcollins, I would appreciate your letting me know or putting me in touch with the researchers.

Once again, Tom, I am very grateful for your work in placing Mahony information on your website so that searchers like me can find connections to our families.


***Iowa connection****
*****John Richard Wolfe...son of Richard James Woulfe and Johanna Relihan.
...JOHN RICHARD WOULFE married HONORA BUCKLEY sometime before 1843. They left Liverpool August 23rd, 1847 on the Cornelia bound for New York. By 1850, they are found near Ottowa, Illinois. They then moved to Clinton County, Iowa.

They had 13 children...

JAMES BUCKLEY WOLFE (b4/13/1843 Ireland - d1/1916 Iowa. Married ANNA O'CONNOR. 7 children.

PATRICK BERNARD Wolfe b1848 d1922

...(b10/7/1848 Chicago, Illinois - d6/13/22 Clinton) Lawyer in Dewitt, Iowa starting in 1871. Married MARGARET CONNOLE of DeWitt 1878.Elected to State Senate 1885, resigning in 1891. Appointed Judge in Clinton County 1891 - 1904. In practice with son JOHN LOYOLA WOLFE. Patrick also had a daughter, MARY ZETA WOLFE who never married. JOHN LOYOLA WOLFE (b1879 - d1962) Well known Lawyer and Member of Iowa General Assembly. Married MARY CATHERINE KANE 10/16/1912. 5 children.

JOHANNA (b1859) became Sister Scholastica.

KATHERINE (b1859 - d1947) Married Judge T.D. Fitzgerald in Montana.1 daughter.

RICHARD B. (b1862 - d?) Lawyer in Dewitt. 2 sons became doctors in the Chicago area. 1 daughter, Winifred, remained in DeWitt, Iowa till her death in the 1990's.

JOHN BUCHLEY (6/4/1869 - D7/16/1923) married Mary Lyons, 9 children. Remained in Lost Nation, Iowa.

MAURICE (b1855 - d?) married SARAH McANDREWS. 7 children.

MARGARET (b1857 - d?) No children of her own. Married Doctor Daniel Langdon (widower - 5 children) in Clinton, Iowa.