Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Patrick Hennessy Immigration to America

On January 11, 1894, Patrick Joseph Hennessy emigrated to America from his home in Conahy, Killkenny Ireland.  He would have been 19 years old at the time.  Patrick Hennessy was born in Kilkenny, the son of Patrick Hennessy (b.1839) and Catherine Brennan (b.1845).  Patrick Hennessy Sr. parents may have been John & Ann Hennessy, however I have been unable to confirm that to date.
Due to the number of individuals with similar names, it has been difficult to find information that relates conclusively to either Patrick Hennessy in our tree.  It is unknown what ship Patrick arrived on in 1894 nor whether he came to this country alone or with relatives.

Patrick J. Hennessy's birth date is April 12, 1874.  This is confirmed in multiple sources, however, he did alter the year of his birth from 74 to 78 in census and other records as he got older, possibly to appear younger.

Patrick married Mary J. Archer in approximately 1895 based on multiple records.  Since Patrick arrived in the US in 1894, the assumption is that they were married here, however, no documents has been found to date.   Mary Archer was also born in Ireland, date of immigration unknown.  Their first child, Joseph, was born in 1898 possibly in Brooklyn, NY.  Their second son, Thomas Francis (my grandfather) was born on July 8, 1899 in Brooklyn as well.  Their third son, Henry, was born on January 26, 1901 in Pittsfield, Massachusets, although records indicate his parents resided in Brooklyn, NY at the time.  The fourth son, John, was born in 1906 in New York.

Patrick J Hennessy became a naturalized citizen in 1905 and worked as a chauffer or coachman.

Mary Archer Hennessy passed away sometime between 1906 and 1910.  The 1910 Census indicates that Patrick Hennessy (1874) was a widow.  At the time he was living in New Rochelle with 3 of his sons, Joseph, Thomas and Henry.  It is unknown where John was living at the time.

Patrick Hennessy married his second wife Anna M. Hussey (1887-1968) in approximately 1914.  The 1915 NY state census has them married living with Patrick's 4 sons (including John) as well as their first child, James, who is 75 days old at the time of the census.  Patrick and Anne had 5 more children from 1919-1931.

Of note, the 1915 census is the first time that Patrick claims his birth date to be 1878 instead of 1874.  His second wife was born in 1887 and is 13 years younger than Patrick which may have been part of the reason for the error in dates.

The Children of Patrick Hennessy and Mary Archer were:
Joseph Hennessy (b.1898) who served in the military and is believed to have died during WWI
Thomas F. Hennessy (1899-1954) married Margaret F. Cox (1902-1981)  (my grandparents)
Henry Hennessy (b.1901) - confined to the Craig Colony for Epileptics, Groveland, NY
John Hennessy (1906-1979)


  1. I am one of Patrick and Anna Hennessy's children, Anna. I have been trying to figure out the "real" date of Patrick's birth and agree with your assumption that it was an arbitrary change and the real birth date is 1874.

    I applaud your research. You have filled in a lot of information that I was unable to find. thank you.

    Are you related to the Hennessy family?

  2. Patrick Hennessy was my great grandfather. My grandfather was his son Thomas (1899-1954), by his first wife, Mary. If you look under the newspaper articles tab near top of page, you will see a number of articles concerning Patrick including the wedding announcement of Patrick and Anna.
    Do you know what cemetery Patrick was buried in or the year he died? Unfortunately I have not been able to find out much about Patrick's ancestors.

  3. Anna, am I correct that you are Thomas Hennessy's half sister? I am very happy to hear from you and would be interested in any family history you want to share.