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Sir Thomas Meiners “Tom” Donnelly

  • Birth 28 Jul 1934 Greenhills, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
  • Death 25 Jun 1997 Fort Thomas, Campbell County, Kentucky, USA
  • Burial Wilder, Campbell County, Kentucky, USA
  • Memorial ID 5058416

A devout Catholic, Sir Thomas Meiners Mary Michael Donnelly, O. S. J., was born July 28, 1934 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. He was a carpenter who crafted the communion rail, altar, and more at Saint John the Baptist's Priory in Louisville, Kentucky. He also worked in construction and in real estate. He took over the family's Sacred Heart Press from his father. Tom was a graduate of Saint Xavier High School in Cincinnati and attended Xavier University in Cincinnati where he played on the basketball team. He met his future wife at a mixer at Xavier University. A Knight of Saint John of Jerusalem (Knights of Malta via the Priory of Saint John The Apostle, Benton, Tennessee and the Priory of Saint John the Baptist, Louisville, Kentucky), a position inherited from his Heffernan ancestors, he married Mary Margaret Stauber Donnelly on September 3, 1955 at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky.

They had eight children: Thomas ("Tom") Christian Donnelly (anthropologist, attorney, athletic director, husband, and father), Ann ("Nancy") Mary Donnelly Maushart (nurse, wife, and mother), Kevin Roger Donnelly (real estate appraiser, real estate broker, husband, and father), Kathleen ("Kathy") Mary Donnelly Smith (artist, wife, and mother), Patricia ("Patty") Mary Donnelly Kues (nurse, wife, and mother), Mary Jude Donnelly Gruenschlaeger (business woman, wife, and mother), Molly Marie Donnelly Simmins (educator, wife, and mother), and Kelly Marie Donnelly (nurse, wife, and mother), 27 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. Tom and Mary made sure that each of their eight children got 12 years of Catholic education.

He was the fourth of five children and only surviving son of Cecilia Meiners Donnelly and Thomas James Donnelly. His siblings were Mary Donnelly Minges, Thomas J. Donnelly, Nancy Donnelly Riley, and Katie Donnelly (O'Fallon).

He died on June 25, 1997 surrounded by his wife, all his children, and other family saying the rosary at home at 77 West Villa Place in Fort Thomas, Campbell County of prostate cancer at age 62. He is buried next to his wife at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Wilder, Campbell County. His ancestry was German and Irish. Tom had brown hair, hazel eyes, and was very tall.

DNA tests on his direct-line male descendants reveal him to be a Celt descended from the Irish clan of Ui Neill who claimed the Irish High Kingship from 600 to 1000 AD. Niall of the Nine Hostages is credited with bringing a young Saint Patrick to Ireland and was one of the most prominent descendants of Conn of the Hundred Battles who was the first high king of Ireland. The four treasures of Ireland were the Lia Fail (the Stone of Destiny), the Spear Luin (the Spear of Direction), the Claiomh Solais (the Sword of Truth), and the Coire Anseasc (the Cauldron of Prosperity). The Stone of Destiny would cry out when a true King of Ireland stood on it. Conn of the Hundred Battles found the Stone of Destiny. The Spear of Direction was renowned for accuracy, and no one carrying it ever lost a battle. No one ever escaped from the Sword of Truth once it was pulled from its sheath. The Cauldron of Prosperity was bottomless, capable of feeding an army.

DNA testing also reveals Thomas Donnelly and his direct male descendants and ancestors are of the patrilineal clan of "Oisin" (pronounced "O-sheen") (Y-chromosome clade R1b). Oisin lived about 40,000 years ago in the Celtic area of Western Europe. Oisin was one of about seventeen men alive at that time from whom all people alive today are descended.

The Donnelly family gemstone is the ruby. The flower is the tiger lily.

Most of this information comes from the Donnelly and Meiners families. Any errors, however, are mine alone. Please go to the "edit" link on this site with any corrections or additions.


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  • Created by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
  • Added: 15 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5058416
  • Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Thomas Meiners “Tom” Donnelly (28 Jul 1934–25 Jun 1997), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5058416, citing Saint Josephs Cemetery, Wilder, Campbell County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Sharlotte Neely Donnelly (contributor 19199118) .