About Me

written Mar. 2006  – Updated 2022

Joseph Kenny is the son of Dan L. Kenny, and Veronica Janda.

My sisters are Susan Stevens Kenny, Nancy Kenny, Mary L. Kenny, and Anne Marie Kenny.

My wife is Wendy (Blott) Kenny, and children are Emma (Richardson) Beck,  D. Philip Kenny, Nicholas I. Kenny, Matt Richardson, Kyle J. Kenny, and Naomi (Richardson) Howa  Joe Kenny Family

              I became interested in Family History in the year 1987. I found some interesting things in the Omaha City Directory and the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery films. By looking in the city directories, I came across a name that kept appearing. When I investigated this address, I ended up meeting Francis Earle Kenny, my grandfather’s first cousin, and his best friend, I later found out. His son Pat, and Francis, I called him Fran, fed me so much information that I never new about the Mulvihill, Lovely’s and Kenny’s. Fran’s father,Richard Lawrence Kenny, was my great grandfathers brother. They instantly brought me back a generation of research by not only telling me about Richard Lawrence’s father, Richard Kenny, but they even gave me a picture of him and a tin picture that is thought to be his father.

 At this time, I learned about Richard’s wife Eliza Lovely and about some of the other Lovely’s, and they confirmed to me that the Kenny’s and Lovely’s came from Ireland to Smiths Falls, Ontario, which is the same information that my great aunt Marie (Kenny) Reynolds had also told me. From there I started digging. First I went to get Richard Kenny’s death certificate. This showed some good information. It showed his father being Thomas Kenny and his mother, Lucille Purcell. Note that the death certificate was incorrect as it showed Lucille,  Her name was Eleanor Purcell.  With this information, I ordered some films from the St. Francis de Salle parish in Smith Falls, Ontario which I got from the LDS Church, and found Thomas and his wife, but her name wasn’t Lucille Purcell, it was Eleanor Purcell. During the time of my Kenny research, I also found fabulous things about my mothers side of the family, the  Janda Family and the Toman Family 

After first publishing KENNYTREE  in 1997, I have received numerous inquiries and contacts via email and US mail in regards to this research.  Many distant and not so distant cousins and relatives have found this site and have based their genealogy around it.  Many have contributed their branches and thus, I now over 8000 names on this site.  I want to thank the family members and friends who have contributed to the research on these pages.

I had thought I was at a complete “dead-end” on the Kenny branch.  Suddenly, out of the blue, I received an email from a gal from Door County, Wisconsin, Chris Surfus, stating that she was doing research for a friend of hers, Jeanette Gillick, and she thought she might have some information on the Kenney’s of Wisconsin.  (Yes, she said Kenney’s)  It ended up, she had a ton of information.  Where I had information on Thomas and Eleanor (Purcell) Kennys children, Richard, Mary, and Eleanor, I had no other information about the other 4 children, James, Edward Anna and Bartholomew.  She sent me all sorts of records on them with obituaries, birth, marriage and death certificates and general information on them and their family and I am so grateful for this.

James, Edward and Anna settled, lived and died in the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin area.  Bartholomew was there for a short time in 1970-71, but left after the Great Fire of 1871.

Then, in 2004, I got back in touch with a person in Ottawa, that I had shared information with years before, named Anne Burgess.  She has always proved to be a very thorough researcher in the past and I knew she was working on the Balfe files, so I thought I would touch bases with her.  She was so happy to have heard from me, because she had lost my email address.  She sent me some information on the “Fitzwilliam Evictees“.   I was not aware that this CD could be purchased, but on it was my Thomas, his wife Ellen, and their children, Bartholomew, James, Richard, Edward and Anne Kenny, where they left Ireland from, which townland they lived in, what date they left, and what date the arrived, along with what ship they traveled on.  I was so grateful.  I had been searching for close to 20 years for this information, and have struck out in all aspects, including numerous trips to Ireland.

I made a trip to Ireland in November, 2004, met my family that are from the same family of Kenny’s from the past two centuries,  the same family that my ancestors left in 1851, and  I was able to stay with these cousins in the Kennystown/Motabower area. This area is just outside Carnew, County Wicklow.   This was the treat of a life time, being able to stay on the farmland of my ancestors.

I have several interests. I love music and come from a very musical family. I play guitar and sing. Beatles, Eagles and America are some of my favorite groups, or at least were my favorite groups. I also enjoy many musicals and Broadway productions. I have a music studio in my home which enables me to create CD’s of my music and my musician friends and family. Other interests are woodcarving and woodworking.  We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  My wife Wendy, is a British citizen. We met as pen-pals and we have 6 children in all, Wendy with 3 and myself with 3. Their names are Emma Richardson, Matthew Richardson Naomi Richardson, D. Philip Kenny, Nicholas I. Kenny and Kyle J. Kenny, all had lived with us at one time or another, even altogether.

Wendy worked at Creighton University at the Dental Clinic and had been there since 1992, retiring in 2011.  Her interests are shopping, (not the grocery type), and her grandchildren.

Emma is married to Matthew Beck.  They have two children.

Matthew Richardson, married Amber Boldt .  Amber is involved with helping foster children FosterLove and Matt is a Lincoln, NE firefighter..

Naomi married Tom Howa. They have three  children.

Phil and Claire practices law and graduated from the University of Chicago. They have seven children,

Nicholas, graduated from BYU, Utah, with a major in English, also has an MBA in Business and a masters in Cyber Security. He also served in the Army as a Captain. He married Sierra Tindall.

Kyle also attended BYU, Utah,.  He is has a Masters Degree in  Math / Accounting.  He is married to Aom Phetdermpun and they have four children

I dedicate all the family work that I have researched, for the generations to come and I hope that it will be used by all of our descendants so that they will know our family heritage and know who their distant grandparents, great aunts and uncles were and the struggles that they went through.

Joseph A. Kenny