Monday, May 7, 2018

Felice and Sarah McKenna of County Tyrone, Ireland

As I was researching Susan McKenna Hughes (see post The Luck ‘o The Irish…Perhaps), I found out information about Susan’s siblings and her parents’ names-Felice and Susan McKeena.  Another generation back … and in Ireland.  YEA!!  I believe my paternal fourth great-grandparents (on my grandmother Agnes’ side of the family) were from County Tyrone, Ireland.  I wanted to see what I could find out about Felice and Sarah.

I always like to have maps handy when I am researching a place that I have never been to.  Here is one I found from 1777 that shows Moy, Clonfeacle, Tyronne, Ireland:

Tyrone is the County, Clonfeacle is a Civil Parish, Moy is the Village.  (See previous post Researching the Land of My Ancestors-County Tyrone, Ireland for additional information).  This family is located in the same area as where Susan was married.  I believe I am on the right track with this family but am not 100% sure. 

Here’s what I was able to find out:
Francis McKenna was baptized on 8 September 1799 in Armagh, Ireland.  Father-Francis  and Mother-Cate Hollyday.

Felice and Sarah McKenna had 3 children, that I know of.
  • Fel McKenna was baptized on 9 January 1817 in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone, Ireland.  Parents- Fel and Sar McKenna
    • Married Sarah Coleman on 9 September 1858 in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone, Ireland.  Perhaps a second marriage?
              Francisco and Sarah had:
      • a daughter Maria McKenna baptized in the Parish of Moy, County Tyrone, Ireland
      • a son Joannis (John) McKenna baptized in the Parish of Moy, County Tyrone, Ireland
      • a son Patrick McKenna
      • a son Thomas McKenna
  • Susan Helen McKenna was baptized on 2 January 1820 in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone, Ireland.  Parents- Felix and Sarah McKenna.  Susan is my 3rd great-grandmother who immigrated to America (New York City) with her husband Patrick Hughes after their wedding in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone, Ireland on 8 November 1846.
  • Ellen McKenna was baptized on 3 April 1822 in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone, Ireland.  Parents- Felice and Sarah McKenna

Francis McKenna died in 1864 at the age of 67 in Tyrone, Ireland in the Registration District of Dungannon.  This is the right area and age so I am hoping this is the same man.  I need to see if I can get a copy of his death registration to see if there is any additional information to prove this is the right man.
      When researching ‘Felix, Felice and Francis’ I found them all to be variations of the same name.

Many of the Irish used ‘Naming Patterns’ when naming their children during the 1700 and 1800s.  These might help me go back yet another generation.
     1st son named after Paternal Grandfather                                     1st daughter named after Maternal Grandmother
      2nd son                    Maternal Grandfather                                    2nd daughter                    Paternal Grandmother
      3rd son                     Father                                                            3rd daughter                     Mother
      4th son                     Father’s oldest brother

If naming patterns were used by this family then I would guess that Fel, is the oldest son and his paternal grandfather would also be named Felice/Fel/Francis. That fits with the Baptismal Record for Francis.  If Susan is the oldest daughter then I would believe that her maternal grandmother would have also been named Susan.  If Ellen is the 2nd daughter then I would believe that her paternal Grandmother was also named Ellen.  Hmm.. that doesn’t fit with Francis’ mother being Cate on the Baptismal Record.  There could have been other children that died at a young age that would throw this theory out the window as well.  Well, guess I have to do more research.

I found a wonderful song about Moy that can be listened to on YouTube called The Village That They Call ‘The Moy’.  (Click on the title to listen on YouTube.)  Or the lyrics and the song can be found at  Happy listening!

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

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