While searching the Limerick Ireland Genealogy database (http://www.limerickgenealogy.com/) for birth records on James Kenna found here in my database, I found a James McKenna born or baptized 14 May 1810. The record is from the St. Michael's (Roman Catholic) district in County Limerick. His father is listed as Michael McKenna and mother as Catherine Collopy. There was no other information on the transcribed record.
This could be the guy I am looking for (the date and location are matches), but I can't be sure since I don't know his mother or father's names.
(This search cost me 5 euro!!)
I've just completed digitizing and uploading a Hansel/Hansler family genealogy based on an old book that I believe was compiled by (Benjamin?) Franklin Hansel, 1853-1940. Hansel is one of the family names that connects to the Willette/Ouelette line on this site. The book starts with Hans Hansel around the early 1700's, and it is mostly a list of names with some personal accounts. The bulk of the information (412 people & 147 families) has been loaded into the family tree database - but there is more that I did not input yet. The records start here with Hans Hansel and his descendants.
Photo from Jacob Hansel/Hansler (gg-grandson of Hans Hansel) family reunion, 1 Jul 1916.
On my quest for relatives I ordered a copy of the Civil War pension file (certificate #577430) for a Michael Kenna (1845-1904). He was a private in Company C, 74th Regiment of the NY Volunteers from 7 Jul 1861 to 6 Jul 1864. He was born 1845 or 1846 in Ireland to John Kenna and Kate Gleason (both of Ireland), moving to the US around 1854. He was married to Mary Ralph (b. 1842) on 6 Feb 1868 by Rev. Father O'Burn/Byrne at St. Michaels Church in Flushing, NY. They had at least two children: Annie Kenna, b. 13 Feb 1872, and Mary Kenna, b. 9 Mar 1881. Michael died at the age of 58, on 24 Jan 1904, at Laurel Hill, Queens, NY, from a cerebral hemorrhage. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery.
I can't be certain he is a relative, however, his mother's name of Gleason shows up elsewhere in our family tree. Perhaps St. Michaels church or naturalization papers can help prove or disprove a connection.
If you know this man or his relatives, please let me know.
UPDATE: The nice folks at St. Michael's Church did a search for the marriage record and could not find one for them on the date above. :-(
Betty K. Willette (born Elizabeth Kathleen Varcoe), 90, a native of Buffalo N.Y., and longtime resident of Rochester, NY, and Deland, FL, passed away Wednesday July 18, 2007 at a local nursing home. She was preceded in death by her husband, G. James Willette, and a granddaughter, Kristina Willette. Survivors include: one daughter, Joan Laird, Hadley, MA, two sons; David Willette, Fairhope, AL, and Douglas Willette, Seneca, SC; one brother, George Varcoe, Flager Beach, FL; seven grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren. Throughout her long life, she was an avid and accomplished bridge player, volunteer, and world traveler. Private arrangements are being made by the family.
For the last few weeks I've been taking advantage of the temporary free access to military records on Ancestry.com and collecting records of relatives with connections to the US Civil War, World War I and II. Updates have been made for the following persons:
Begun in 1868, Memorial Day was set aside to honor the those who died in the American Civil War. In 1971 Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.
I have uploaded a compiled list of Civil War soldiers for common surnames on this site here:
The photograph below was taken at cemetery in Alexandria, VA between 1860 and 1870.