County Kilkenny, Eire
My ancestors came
from County Kilkenny, where there were supposedly many Fennellys before
the Anglo-Norman invasions. However, I have been unable to find a SINGLE
reference in any historical site I have seen on the Internet to the origin
of the name, or the history of its existence, ANYWHERE in Ireland. There
is a theory that the name was a Norman name, Fenelon, and that the O'Fenelons,
who were the lords of Delvin Castle in County Wicklow in the 1600's. may
actually have been the ancestors of the Fennelly name. It is also true
that many names disappeared entirely from Ireland during the potato famine.
I have run into one wonderful "official
website" for the Fennelly name, but all the people to whom it refers
are residents of Nova Scotia, or descended from them.
My own family
is descended from Patrick Fennelly, who left Kilkenny in the late 1800's
with his brother Martin and his two sisters, one of whom was named Ellen
or Elanor. They settled, along with Patrick's wife, Mary Smollen, in Ansonia,
Connecticut, USA, where the two brothers went to work on the railroad,
and the sisters moved to nearby Derby, Connecticut, and opened a restaurant.
Among the children of Patrick and Mary was John Kyron, my maternal grandfather.
His oldest child was my mother, Mary Jane Fennelly, whose name heads this
page. If anyone who finds this page has any further information on the
Fennelly name and history, or on one of the family members above, please
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