County Wexford, Ireland
|Death: ||Nov. 22, 1858|
The father of P. J. Kennedy and great-grandfather to John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
Patrick Kennedy was a son of a farmer, James Kennedy (c. 1770 c. 1835) and his wife Maria (c. 1779 February 16, 1835). James Kennedy was born in Dunganstown, (Whitechurch, New Ross, County Wexford) in southern Ireland to John Kennedy (17381803) and Bridget Shallow (17441774). James inherited a small farm from his father during the Penal Law times in Ireland. Patrick had three siblings:
Mary Kennedy, who married James Molloy;
John Kennedy (18041864), who married Mary K. Gunnip (18161881) and was a local farmer;
James Kennedy (18161881), who married Catherine Colfer and was also a local farmer.
By the time Patrick reached adulthood, both his parents were apparently dead and the family homestead was controlled by his older brother John Kennedy, more than a dozen years Patrick's senior, who was already married and the father of four children. The eldest son normally inherited whatever claims existed to the family's farm. Because of the life-threatening scarcity of food and resources, the rest of the children, such as third son Patrick Kennedy, usually were expected to leave for the New World.
Patrick's life as a farmer in Dunganstown consisted mainly of cutting and tying bundles of grain by hand, and planting and tilling potatoes for his family's consumption. This routine varied only when he ventured into the nearest town, New Ross, with supplies of barley, and when the family attended mass about a mile away.
At the age of 26, Kennedy decided to leave Ireland. It is assumed this was for reasons of starvation related to the Irish Famine, illness, or because he knew that a third-born son had virtually no hope of running his family's farm. His good friend at Cherry Bros. Brewery in New Ross, Patrick Barron, who taught Kennedy the skills of coopering, had come to that conclusion months earlier and left for America. In October 1848, in love with Barron's cousin Bridget Murphy and with a plan to wed, Patrick Kennedy decided to follow.
Patrick Kennedy arrived in Boston on April 22, 1849, having sailed from Liverpool, England on the Washington Irving, a substantial packet ship from the East Boston yard of Donald McKay. Patrick Barron helped settle him into Boston life and organised his coopering job on Noddle's Island in east Boston. Not long after, his fiancιe Bridget made her way to Boston and six months later they were married, on September 26, 1849 in the Holy Redeemer Church by Father John Williams, who later became Boston's Roman Catholic Archbishop.
The Kennedys had five children as follows:
Mary L. Kennedy
Joanna L. Kennedy
John Kennedy, who died before he reached the age of 2
Margaret M. Kennedy
Patrick J. Kennedy
The arrival of their fifth child was a particularly happy occasion after the death of John. However that same year thirty five year old Kennedy succumbed to the highly infectious cholera that infested East Boston, and died on November 22, 1858105 years to the day before his great-grandson John F. Kennedy would be assassinated.
Bridget Kennedy later went on to buy a stationery and notions store in east Boston where she had worked. The business took off and expanded into a grocery and liquor store, which helped pave the way for the success of her son P. J. Kennedy.
The story of Patrick Kennedy has become probably the most famous of any of Ireland's millions of emigrants, due to the quick success of his children and grandchildren in American society and ultimately his great-grandson John F. Kennedy's election as the first Irish-American Catholic President (the only Roman Catholic to date). In June 1963, John F. Kennedy made a state visit to Ireland, in which he visited Dunganstown and New Ross in County Wexford in what was seen as a personal tribute to his ancestry.
(Biography courtesy of Wikipedia)
**NOTE** My source for the cemetery comes from Laurence Leamer's book "The Kennedy Women," Fawcett Columbine, NY, 1994, p.24: "Bridget had given up her space in the family plot in the Cambridge Cemetery so that two of her grandchildren could be buried there. Instead, she was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden outside the city, far from the Patrick Kennedy she had met on a boat so many years ago."
Patrick's burial is also reference on page 16 of this same book.
Bridget Murphy Kennedy (1821 - 1888)
John Kennedy (1854 - 1855)*
Patrick Joseph Kennedy (1858 - 1929)*
Created by: Jeff Harvey
Record added: Mar 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86143316