My Kennedy, Graham, and Murray Ancestors from Ballintoy, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbor. Photo copyright Stephen Dickey – MountainsAndWaves.com

The furthest I can take my Kennedy family line back is to my 6th great-grandparents John Kennedy and Anne Graham.

John Kennedy (I) was born about 1700 in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Anne Graham was born about 1702 in Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Kennedy and Graham families lived in Ballintoy and had kin 5 miles away in Ballycastle. Going way back, possibly to the early 1600’s, my Graham ancestors were from The Outer Hebrides in Scotland and came to Ballintoy.

Most present-day Grahams in Ireland stem from an extended family of that name who settled in White Park County Antrim in the early 1600’s having been banished as Reivers (Outlaws) from Scotland where they suffered from persecution and certain death as a law had been passed that anyone by the name of Graham were to be hanged summarily. (1)

White Park Bay, County Antrim by William Yeaman. William Yeaman used to paint at Ballintoy Harbor. He passed away in 2008.

White Park Bay is about 2.5 miles from Ballintoy.

Ballintoy is a small village on the Causeway Coastal Route between Ballycastle and the Giant’s Causeway. It is 17 miles northeast of Coleraine, 5 miles west of Ballycastle. The village was originally built around a single street. Ballintoy means “the northern townland” in Irish (Baile an Tuaigh). It is in the historic barony of Cary. The village lies about a half a mile from Ballintoy Harbor, a small fishing harbor at the end of a very small, narrow, steep road down Knocksaughey Hill which passes the entrance to Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The harbor is host to a dawn service on East Sunday each year. (2)

The village was used for the fictional town of Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke second season of HBO’s medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones. The harbor has hardly changed in hundreds of years, which makes Ballintoy the perfect setting for the medieval saga. [Being] Home to just under 200 people. (3)

The majority of Kennedys who settled in Northern Ireland are of Scottish origin from territories of Galloway and Ayr just across the Irish Sea some 20 miles away. These Scottish Kennedys intermarried with local Irish. (4) The years after the middle of the seventeenth century saw a large migration from Scotland to Ireland.

John Kennedy and Anne Graham had one known confirmed son:

John Kennedy (II) born about 1722 in Ballintoy, Antrim, Northern Ireland, and died 1795 in York, York County, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah Murray in 1748 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Shortly afterward they immigrated to America and first came to Baltimore, Maryland, then migrated to Pennsylvania.

The Murray family lived in and around Ballintoy, but Murray kin are thought to have also lived in Bushmills which is 8 miles from Ballintoy. For those that enjoy Irish whiskey, the town is best known for the Old Bushmills Distillery that was established in 1784.

John Kennedy (II) and Sarah Murray had the following known confirmed children:

  1. Elizabeth Kennedy born probably about 1750 and died after November 1835.
  2. John Kennedy (III) born 23 December 1753 in Pennsylvania, and died 20 November 1835 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He married in 1777 in Pennsylvania to Margaret Burkhart. Margaret Burkhart was the daughter of George Frederick Burkhart I. (I am a DNA match to several descendants of this couple).
  3. Dennis Kennedy born about 1752 in Pennsylvania, and died 1824 in Pike Township, Perry County, Ohio. He married Ruth Davis about 1778. Ruth Davis was the daughter of Rev. Thomas William Davis and Tacy Crandall. A few of her Davis cousins also came to Perry County, Ohio. Her Davis line goes back to Llanstephan, Radnorshire, Wales. (My 4th great-grandparents). Please see my blog post My Davis, Maxson, Crandall, Burdick, and related lines, in Wales, England, and Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. for details about my Davis, Crandall, and related family lines.
  4. Jane Kennedy born about 1756 in Pennsylvania and died after November 1835. She married ______ Wright.

Elizabeth Kennedy and Jane Kennedy Wright were listed in the will of their brother John Kennedy (III). That is how we know they died after November 1835. Little else is known about Elizabeth Kennedy and Jane Kennedy Wright. I have not found any descendants for them as of yet. Dennis Kennedy was not in his brother’s will, because he had died 11 years earlier.

In the U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application for John Kennedy (III), his father is listed as John Kennedy and his mother’s maiden name as Sarah Murray Kennedy.

Regiments of the American Revolution 1775-1783

John Kennedy (III) served in the U.S. Revolutionary War in Butler County, Pennsylvania as a First Peace Officer.

John Kennedy (III) stayed in Pennsylvania. He and his wife Margaret Burkhart had eight children.

Dennis Kennedy was in the Pennsylvania Milita in Allegheny County with a muster date of 1791. His military service was after the Revolutionary War time period. Below is information about militias and especially in Pennsylvania during the time he served in the militia.

Militias Under the Constitution

The militia for the new nation of the United States of America diverged significantly from the colonial system. The Articles of Confederation and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution called for the formation of state militias in lieu of a permanent standing army. Similarly, the Pennsylvania Constitutions of 1776 and 1790 expressly stated the danger of a standing army in peace time and based the defense of the state on militia companies. In 1792, during Philadelphia’s decade as the nation’s capital, the U.S. Congress passed a Militia Act requiring each state to maintain militia units and authorized the president to call and command state forces (as President Washington did during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794). Philadelphia companies participated in military engagements against foreign aggressors and civil emergencies throughout the nineteenth century, including the War of 1812 and the Nativist Riots of 1844. (5)

Dennis Kennedy and Ruth Davis had the following children:

  1. Priscilla (Prucyilla) Kennedy born 30 July 1774 in Pennsylvania, and died 1845 in Morgan County, Ohio. She married James Nelson. She is listed by the nickname Prucy in her father’s will. (I am a DNA match to descendants of his couple).
  2. John Kennedy born about 1776 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1850 in Pike Township, Perry County, Ohio. He married Jane Williams on 14 January 1812 in Muskingum County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Zachariah Williams and Elizabeth Swartzlander. (My 3rd great-grandparents).
  3. James Kennedy born after 1781 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1850 in Pike Township, Perry County, Ohio. He never married.
  4. Tacy Kennedy born about 1782 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, she died young.
  5. Sarah “Sally” Kennedy born about 1874 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died after 1866 in Malta, Morgan County, Ohio. She married Thomas Risen.
  6. Ruth Kennedy born about 1785 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died 2 February 1856 in Perry County, Ohio.
  7. Seth Kennedy born 1790 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1850 in Pike Township, Perry County, Ohio. He married Polly Ashbaugh on 2 December 1821 in Perry County, Ohio. Her surname is incorrectly listed as Ashbrook in their marriage record. She was the daughter of John Ashbaugh and Catherine Miller. (I am a DNA match to descendants of this couple).
  8. Abigail Kennedy born about 1795 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1850 in Maxville, Perry County, Ohio. She is aged 16 to 25 in the 1820 US Federal Census, so her birth year is between 1795 and 1804.

In later census records, descendants of Seth Kennedy and John Kennedy list their father born in Virgina and Pennsylvania. They most likely list both Virgina and Pennsylvania because Allegheny County was disputed between Virginia and Pennsylvania until the Mason-Dixon Line was finalized in 1780.

Dennis Kennedy is found in the 1800 US Federal Census living in Beaver, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. I have not located him in the 1810 Census.

By 1811, Dennis Kennedy and his wife Ruth and many of his children had migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio. They traveled with a group of other Scots Irish, most coming from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and being born in Counties Antrim and Armagh in Ireland (now Northern Ireland). The group was of the Protestant faith. By December 1817 when Perry County, Ohio was formed, he, his wife, and children were some of the first settlers of the county. Perry County was formed (from sections of Fairfield, Muskingum, and Washington Counties) on 26 December 1817.

Dennis Kennedy‘s wife Ruth and all his children are mentioned by name in his will found in Perry County, Ohio. In his will, it is stated that he is to be buried next to the Baptist Meeting House. In his will, he assigned his son John Kennedy to be guardian for James Kennedy and he asks for his daughter-in-law Polly (wife of Seth Kennedy) to take care of James Kennedy. It appears he had some kind of disability.

The Old Baptist Cemetery in New Lexington, Ohio. The cemetery is now sandwiched between houses within a neighborhood.

A few years after Perry County, Ohio was formed, Dennis Kennedy financially contributed to the building of The (Old) Baptist Meeting House. He with his sons John and Seth helped build the (Old) Baptist Meeting House, which stood next to the (Old) Baptist Cemetery for many years. Dennis Kennedy, Ruth Davis Kennedy, John Kennedy, Jane Williams Kennedy, Seth Kennedy, and Polly Ashbaugh Kennedy are all buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery in New Lexington, Perry County, Ohio.

Ruth Davis Kennedy‘s father Rev. Thomas William Davis, several of her brothers, and her paternal uncle were all ministers in the Seventh-Day Baptist Church.

John Kennedy and Jane Williams had the following children:

  1. Rebecca Kennedy born October 1813 in Muskingum County, Ohio, and died after 1880 in Little Salt Precinct, Lancaster, Nebraska. She married Anthony Dittoe (as his 2nd wife) on 26 July 1834 in Perry County, Ohio. (There are a few living descendants for this line).
  2. Moses Kennedy, born 1814 in Muskingum County, Ohio, and died March 1893 in Pike Township, Perry, Ohio. He married Chloe Brown in Perry County, Ohio. (They had numerous children but there are no living descendants for this line).
  3. Elizabeth Jane Kennedy born 27 November 1817 in Pike Township, Perry, Ohio, and died 16 September 1903 in Randolph County, Indiana. She married Ezra Robinson Coddington on 22 March 1834 in Perry County, Ohio. (I am a DNA match to descendants of this couple).
  4. Priscilla Jane Kennedy born June 1819 in Pike Township, Perry, Ohio, and died after 1900 in Perry County, Ohio. She married Absalom Brown (brother of Chloe Brown) on 20 August 1839 in Perry County, Ohio. (I am a DNA match to descendants of this couple).
  5. Capt. John Davis Kennedy born 8 July 1825 in Pike Township, Perry, Ohio, and died 8 October 1873 in Maxville, Perry, Ohio in a mining accident. He married Susan Palmer on 17 October 1844 in Perry County, Ohio. She was the daughter of John Palmer and Mary Ann Spotts. (My great-great grandparents). See my blog post Daniel Streing / Strang, Sr. and Charlotte Marie Lemaistre – My first confirmed French Ancestors. for my Palmer related French ancestors Daniel Strang, Sr. and Charlotte Marie Lemaistere.
  6. Sarah A. Kennedy born 1829 in Pike Township, Perry, Ohio, and died before 1859. She married Levi Henry (as his 1st wife) about 1853. (She died shortly after her marriage and had no children).
Captain John Davis Kennedy in his U.S. Union Civil War uniform.

Prior to fighting in the U.S. Civil War John Davis Kennedy worked as a Cooper. He continued this trade after the war but also worked in a mine in Perry County, Ohio. He died unexpectedly in a mining accident at the age of 48 years old. His wife, Susan Palmer Kennedy, outlived him by 57 years! She died at the age of 106 1/2 years old.

John Davis Kennedy and Susan Palmer had the following children:

  1. John Davis Kennedy (Jr.) born 1846 in Ohio, and died 23 January 1863 in Youngs Point, Louisiana while serving in the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War.
  2. Abraham G. Kennedy born 10 January 1848 in Pike Township, Perry County, Ohio, and died 24 July 1939 at St Anthony’s Hospital in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. He married Mary Elizabeth Price on 26 May 1870 in Perry County, Ohio. She was the daughter of James Price and Julia Ann Mateer/Meteer. (My great-grandparents).
  3. Mary Jane Kennedy born 14 October 1849 in Ohio, and died 27 December 1927 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida. She married 13 October 1870 to Levi Worth Marlowe in Perry County, Ohio.
  4. James Monroe Kennedy born 14 April 1852 in Perry County, Ohio, and died 4 December 1903 in New Lexington, Perry, Ohio. He married first to Sarah Ann Sprankle on 8 October 1880 in Perry County, Ohio. He married second to Laura E. Free on 7 February 1893 in Perry County, Ohio.
  5. George W. Kennedy born 4 March 1856 in Vinton County, Ohio, and died 30 January 1919 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon. He married 22 June 1882 to Alice Augusta Arnold.
  6. Alfred P. “A.P.” Kennedy born 1 January 1858 in Perry County, Ohio, and died 27 September 1946 in Lima, Allen, Ohio. He married first to Mary Caroline Poling on 27 January 1876 in Perry County, Ohio. He married second to Mary Ellen Poling on 14 November 1879 in Perry County, Ohio. He married third to Emma L. Poling on 19 February 1910 in Hardin County, Ohio.
  7. Amanda Jane Kennedy born 28 June 1860 in New Lexington, Perry, Ohio, and died 23 December 1918 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. She married first to James Clement Hoy on 13 June 1882 in Perry County, Ohio. She married second to William Ardell Castor on 24 March 1888 in Franklin County, Ohio.
  8. Laura Ellen Kennedy born 6 September 1864 in Perry County, Ohio, and died 3 January 1953 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She married in 1889 in Perry County, Ohio to Charles A. Johnson.
  9. Ida Alice Kennedy born 31 March 1866 in Hocking County, Ohio, and died 7 July 1930 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She married 28 May 1891 in Perry County, Ohio to Isaac Newton Whipps.
  10. Charles Henson Kennedy born 31 December 1870 in Monday Creek Township, Perry County, Ohio, and died 9 November 1925 in Bellevue, Huron, Ohio. He married in 1899 in Perry County, Ohio to Leonore M. “Linnie” Stewart.
5 Generation photo. Abraham G. Kennedy is standing, his mother Susan Palmer Kennedy is seated in center front.

In the above 5 generation photo is Susan Palmer Kennedy seated in center. Her son Abraham G. Kennedy is standing behind her. Emma Florence Kennedy Ricketts, daughter of Abraham G. Kennedy, is seated on right. Lillian M. Ricketts Deaver Winsor, daughter of Emma Florence Kennedy Ricketts, is seated on left. The twin baby boys are Gilbert McKeever “Mac” Deaver and Wilson Charles Deaver.

My grandmother Glenna Annette Kennedy Cole. ♡

References:

  1. Graham, Joe. The Graham Family History. Genealogy of the Graham Family (rushlightmagazine.com)
  2. Ballintoy – The Causeway Coast. Ballintoy (causewaycoast.holiday)
  3. Day 22: Filming at Ballintoy Harbour – Winter is Coming WinterIsComing.net. 15 August 2011.
  4. The Kennedy Clan of Ireland – Kennedy Society of North America. Compiled by Garry Bryant. Sources: Irish Families, Their Names, Arms, & Origins by Edward MacLysaght; Irish Pedigrees by John O’Hart; Great Families of Ireland, page 225; and If You’re a Wee Bit Irish by William Durning. Kennedy Society of North America
  5. Militia – The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia – Essay written by William V. Bartleson.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

About Anna Kasper, ACDP

I am an avid Genealogist. I am currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary (one of the few Catholics!). I am an ACDP - Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence (Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas). If you are unfamiliar with what a Religious Associate (also called an Affiliate, Consociate, Oblate, Companion) is exactly, visit my about me page for more information. In community college, I majored in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies when at university.
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3 Responses to My Kennedy, Graham, and Murray Ancestors from Ballintoy, Antrim, Northern Ireland

  1. Pingback: My Davis, Maxson, Crandall, Burdick, and related lines, in Wales, England, and Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. | Musings of Lady Anna Kasper

  2. Pingback: My Ancestor Johann Philip Kaes (John Philip Case) of Anhausen, Germany and New Jersey, and his Interesting Relationship with Chief Tuccamirgan of the Delaware Tribe. | Musings of Lady Anna Kasper

  3. Pingback: Daniel Streing / Strang, Sr. and Charlotte Marie Lemaistre – My first confirmed French Ancestors. | Musings of Lady Anna Kasper

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