About PetersPioneersJames and Charlotte McDonald Kenny Family

Marilyn Carrroll Biggins, Mickey Carroll Varro, and Sister Patricia Warbritton contributed to this family history.

Index      Census      Descendants      Home Page

James Born in 1871

Irish Flag
James Kenny
Irish Flag
James M. Kenny
Irish Flag
Mary Hartigan
Irish Flag

37-Star US Flag 1867-1877Albany, 1871-1871/79. James M. Kenny was born in Albany, New York, on January 3, 1871. The U.S. flag had 37 stars, the most recent one being for Nebraska. The President was Ulysses S. Grant.

James M. was the second child of James and Mary Hartigan Kenny, both born in Ireland. James M. had a brother, John T., who was born three years earlier in Chicago, Illinois. His father immigrated to Chicago in 1865 at age 17, along with his father's older sister Ellen, age 25, and worked as an expressman and a teamster. In 1868, his parents married, and his aunt Ellen marrried Hugh McNally, a watchman.

Why James was born in Albany rather than Chicago is unknown. His family lived in Chicago before and after his birth. In the 1870 census, his family was living on the near south side in Chicago. In 1879, his mother died in Chicago. So, his family moved to Albany in 1870 or 1871 and back to Chicago sometime between 1871 and 1879.

Chicago, Near West Side, 1871/79-1907. Sometime between 1871 and and 1879, James' family moved to the Near West Side in Chicago. They lived at 1079 W. Lake Street (2511 W. Lake Street after 1909). This was in St. Jarlath Parish. St. Jarlath was an Irish parish located at 1713 W. Jackson Boulevard (after 1909). It opened in 1869 and closed a hundred years later in 1969. St. Jarlath lived in Tuam, Ireland, from 445 to 540.

On February 5, 1879, James' mother, Mary Hartigan Kenny, 43, died at 1079 W. Lake Street of pneumonia. She was buried at Calvary Cemetery. James M. was 8 years old.

Ten months after his mother died, James' father remarried. On December 9, 1879, James Kenny, 32, and Mary Flannery, 26, were married at St. Jarlath Church by Father W. A. Horan. Mary Flannery was born in Ireland and immigrated in 1872.

In 1879, James' father's younger sister Kate Kenny immigrated from Ireland to Chicago.

In the 1880 census, James Kenny, the father, was listed as a shipping clerk. In the 1880 Chicago directory, he was listed as a clerk at 4 Market Street. He was not listed for 1881 to 1883. In the Chicago directories beginning in 1884, he was listed as an express man.

In the 1880 Chicago directory, there was a second James Kenny listed living at 1079 W. Lake Street, a sail maker. This could not be the son James M., who was only 9 years old. It could very well be the grandfather of James M., but no other reference to him has been found yet.

Sometime between 1880 and 1884, the family moved around the corner to 54 N. Maplewood Avenue (253 N. Maplewood Avenue after 1909).

In 1882, St. Malachy Church, also an Irish parish opened at 2248 West Washington Boulevard. St. Malachy lived in Armagh and Bangor, Ireland, from 1094 to 1148.

In 1882, James M.'s aunt, Kate Kenny, married Peter Doody. Born in Limerick county, Ireland, Peter Doody came to Chicago in 1880. He would become Illinois state president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Chicago Board of Trade, 1909
Chicago Board of Trade, 1909.

In 1890, James M., age 19, was listed in the Chicago directory as living with is family on Maplewood and working as a clerk at 40 Board of Trade building. The Chicago Board of Trade was founded in 1848 and is the oldest futures and options exchange in the United States. The building was built in 1885 at LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard and torn down in 1929, when the current building was completed on the same site. It was Chicago's tallest building at the time it was built. It was the city's first commercial structure with electrical lighting.

In 1891, James M. became a clerk at the Post Office. In 1899, at age 28, he became a clerk in the Railway Mail Service on the train between Chicago and Detroit.

RMS & Owney
Four members of the Railway Mail Service & Owney.

On March 25, 1904, James Kenny, the father, died at 54 N. Maplewood of pneumonia. He was age 55. In addition to James M., he left his wife Mary Flannery Kenny and James M.'s older brother John. The two boys were still living at home. Following a funeral Mass at St. Malachy's Church, James was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Charlotte Mae Born in 1885

Birth Record      Baptismal Certificate

Daniel McDonald
Irish Flag
Daniel McDonald
Eliza Young
Irish Flag
Charlotte McDonald
James Flannery
Irish Flag
Ellen Flannery
Mary Murray
Irish Flag

38-Star US Flag 1877-1890Browntown, 1885-1885/90. Charlotte Mae McDonald was born May 12, 1885, in Browntown, Cadiz Township, Green County, Wisconsin. The U.S. flag had 38 stars, the most recent one being for Colorado. The President was Grover Cleveland.

Lottie, as she was known, was the fourth child of Daniel and Ellen Flannery McDonald. When Lottie was born, she had a sister Lillian who was 13, a brother John who was 10, and a sister Katie who was 8. Lottie's father Daniel was a farmer. He died sometime between 1885 and 1893, and Lottie's mother remarried David Powell, a harness maker, in 1893. David Powell died sometime between 1893 and 1900.

Lottie's paternal grandparents were Daniel McDonald, a farmer, born in 1813 in Scotland, and Eliza Young, born in 1816 in Ireland. Sometime before 1836, Daniel and Eliza were married and immigrated to Whitehall, New York. Sometime between 1847 and 1850, they moved from Whitehall, New York, to Wisconsin. In the 1870 census, they were living in Albany, Washington Township, Green County. In the 1880 census, the McDonalds had moved to Iowa except for their son Daniel who, with his wife Ellen Flannery and there three children, was living in Adams, Green County. Daniel and Eliza McDonald died in Iowa in 1883, two and a half months apart.

Lottie's maternal grandparents were James Flannery, a farmer, born in 1823 in Ireland, and Mary Murray, born in 1830 in Ireland. James and Mary were married in Castlebar, County mayo, Ireland, in 1848 and had a child Bridget there. They immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland, arriving there aboard the ship William Patten on May 10, 1852. Their children Ellen and Patrick born there. Sometime between 1855 and 1857, they moved from Maryland to Wisconsin, where their children Catherine, Ann, John, James, Martin, and Edward were born. In the 1860 census, they were living in Porter, Rock County. In the 1870 census, they were living in Adams, Green County. Their daughter Ellen married Daniel McDonald in 1871.

Charlotte Mae was baptized March 7, 1886, by Father Henry O'Brien at the Church of Saint Victor in Monroe, Wisconsin. Sponsors were John Eveland and Mrs. Martin Sullivan.

Jordan, 1885/90-1900/07. Sometime between 1885 and 1900, certain McDonald and Flannery families moved to a farm in Jordan Township, Green County. The farm was owned by Lottie's grandfather James Flannery and two sons, James and Patrick. The 1900 census shows four households with a total of 24 people on this farm.

  • Lottie was in a household headed by her brother John McDonald. John had a wife Martha and a newborn baby. Lottie and John's twice-widowed mother, Ellen Flannery McDonald Powell was there. Lottie's sister Lillian was married and living elsewhere.
  • Lottie's sister Katie was living in a household headed by their uncle, James Flannery, who had a son. Also living there was Lottie's grandfather, James Flannery, but not her grandmother Mary. They were divorced, and Lottie's grandmother was living somewhere else.
  • Lottie's uncle, Patrick Flannery, was living there with his wife Amanda and their eight children, two of whom were married with no children.
  • There was an unrelated fourth household consisting of an older couple from Germany and their son, age 25.

In 1900, Lottie's grandfather James Flannery died. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Argyle, Lafayette County, Wisconsin. Argyle is 12 miles north northwest of Browntown, Green County, Wisconsin.

Chicago, Near West Side, 1900/07-1907. Sometime between 1900 and 1907, Lottie, age 15 to 22, moved from Jordan Township, Green County, Wisconsin, to Chicago. Her granddaughter Marilyn Carroll Biggins remembers her saying that she moved away from the farm as soon as she could because she did not like having to wait on so many people. She probably lived somewhere on the Near West Side, because that is where her older sister Lillian lived. In the 1910 census, Lillian and her husband Charles Hill, a carriage driver, lived at 2427 W. Fulton Street, just three blocks away from where James Kenny grew up in St. Malachy's parish. They lived there with their daughter Christine, who was called Teen and would become a close friend of Lottie's daughter Bunny.

James and Lottie Marry in 1907, Have 1 Child

Marriage Record

James M. Kenny, 36, and Charlotte Mae McDonald, 21, were married on January 23, 1907, in Green County, Wisconsin. James was 15 years older than Lottie. James' father James Kenny was married to Lottie's aunt Mary Flannery Kenny, but Mary Flannery Kenny was James' stepmother. James' mother Mary Hartigan Kenny died in 1879, when he was only 8 years old.

Chicago, Near West Side, 1907-1908. James and Lottie lived at 1004 W. Lake Street (2350 W. Lake Street after 1909) in St. Malachy Parish on the Near West Side's of Chicago. St. Malachy was an Irish Catholic parish located a block east and a block south at 2248 West Washington Boulevard. It opened in 1882.

James and Lottie's only child, Henrietta Margaret Mary Kenny, who was called Bunny, was born on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1907. Bunny was baptized by Father T. V. Shannon on February 2, 1908, at St. Malachy's Church. Godparents were Patrick Hughes and Annie Bowman.

Chicago, Austin, 1908-1934. In 1908, the family moved three miles west, from St. Malachy's parish to St. Thomas Aquinas parish. They lived in the Austin section of Chicago at 1917 Park Avenue, which was renumbered to 4744 Park Avenue in 1909 and later renamed 4744 W. Maypole Avenue. St. Thomas Aquinas was an Irish Catholic parish located at 5112 West Washington Boulevard. It opened in 1909 and closed in 1988.

Flannery and Kenny
Charlotte's uncle James Flannery (1862-1942) and James Kenny (1871-1944). Circa 1905.
Kenny Family
James and Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny and daughter Henrietta, 1913.
Ellen and daughters
1918 photo of Ellen Flannery McDonald Powell, 65, and her daughters, Lilliam McDonald Hill, 46, and Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny, 33.

Sometime between 1910 and 1920 the family moved three blocks west to 220 N. Leclaire Avenue, still in St. Thomas Aquinas parish.

In 1912, Lottie's grandmother Mary Murray Flannery died. She was buried next to her husband in Calvary Cemetery in Argyle, Lafayette County, Wisconsin.

In October 1918, James' aunt, Ellen Kenny McNally, 74, a widow, died at home in St. Columbkille's parish. She left one child, Mary K. McNally Mustard, who lived in St. Thomas Aquinas parish.

4715 W. Maypole Avenue
4715 W. Maypole Avenue.
Sometime between 1920 and 1928, the family moved three blocks east to 4715 W. Maypole Avenue, still in St. Thomas Aquinas parish. Bunny went to St. Thomas Aquinas School for grammar school and graduated in 1921.

The family may have gone to the show at the West End Theatre around 1921. The theater was a couple blocks away at 121 N. Cicero Avenue. Granddaughter Mickey has a West End Theatre program that her mother gave her.

After grammar school, Bunny went to Austin High School, where she joined Pi Sigma Sorority. Bunny left high school after two years but continued to be active in her sorority.

After leaving high school in 1923, Bunny went to work. The 1928 Chicago city directory shows her working as a clerk at the French Lines and living with her parents.

Bunny worked for Frederick Wacker at Automotive Maintenance Machinery Company (AMMCO), an auto parts manufacturer, until the company moved to North Chicago. Fred Wacker was the son of the late Charles H. Wacker, Chicago capitalist and first chairman of the Chicago plan commission. The 1930 census shows Bunny working as a stenographer for AMMCO and living with James and Lottie.

Bunny later worked for the estate of department store founder Marshall Field. She was secretary to Ward Farnsworth and Marshall Field III, when in town. The office was in the Field Building, which the Estate built from 1928 to 1934 at 135 S. LaSalle Street.

In 1933, James retired from the Railway Mail Service after 44 years of service. He was 62 years old. Lottie was 47 years old.

Henrietta Kenny, age 26, and Edward Carroll, age 28, were married by Father Matthew J. Mulligan on June 20, 1934, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Edward was a plumbing fixture salesman in the Chicago branch office of the Kohler Company in the Tribune Tower. Bunny was an executive secretary for the Field Estate.

After their wedding, Bunny and Ed lived at 4955 W. Fulton Street, a few blocks west of James and Lottie in St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

In 1934, a fire destroyed the farm house where Lottie's mother, Ellen Flannery McDonald Powell, lived with Lottie's brother John McDonald. They moved from the farm to Monroe, where Lottie's sister Katie lived. In 1935, John McDonald died. In April 1937, Ellen sustained a head injury when she fell on a downtown street and struck a piece of pipe protruding from a truck. In May 1937, Ellen moved to Chicago to live with her daughter Lottie on Maypole Street. On June 13, 1937, Lottie's mother Ellen, died. She was age 83. She was buried next to her parents in Calvary Cemetery in Argyle, Lafayette County, Wisconsin.

Kennys at Pell Lake
Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny and James Kenny at Pell Lake.
Kennys at Pell Lake
Celebrating a birthday at Pell Lake, 1934. Adults from left: Kathleen Doody, Henrietta "Bunny" Kenny, Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny, Jack Doody (in back), James Kenny, and Lillian McDonald Hill. The Doodys are children of James Kenny's sister Kate Kenny Doody and her husband Peter Doody. Children from left: Lois McCann (Klinger), 6, Doris McCann (Atkinson), 4, and Patricia McCann (Warbritton), 8. Photo probably by children's mother, Christine "Teen" Hill McCann.

James and Lottie had a cottage at Pell Lake, Wisconsin, 70 miles northwest of their home, where they would go during the summer. The cottage was near a dance hall, where they would go at night. The Kennys and the Carrolls were good friends. The Kennys would invite the Carrolls to Pell Lake during the summer.

James and Lottie's first grandchild, Marilyn Kathryn, was born January 3, 1940, at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois. Bunny quit her job as executive secretary for the Field Estate and became a full-time mother.

After Marilyn was born, Bunny and Ed moved around the block to a 4-unit apartment building they purchased at 200 North Lamon Avenue, at the corner of Maypole Street.

James and Lottie's second grandchild, Maureen Joan, was born on June 19, 1942, at Garfield Park Hospital in Chicago. Maureen was baptized at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. She was called Mickey.

Marilyn and Maureen went to kindergarten at Spencer School and then went to grammar school at St. Thomas Aquinas. Their mother had attended St. Thomas Aquinas and had the same first grade teacher.

James and Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny.
Charlotte Mae McDonald Kenny and James Kenny.

During WWII, Lottie began working as an assembler for an manufacturing company as part of the war effort.

On Christmas Day in 1943, James' aunt, Kate Kenny Doody, 80 years old, widow of Peter Doody, died at her home in St. Mel's parish. She had been employed in the bond department of the state's attorney's office for many years. She was born in Ireland. Seven sons and daughters survived.

James Dies in 1944 at age 73

Death Certificate

James Kenny died at Alexian Brothers Hospital on December 6, 1944, of cirrhosis of the liver. He was 73. Following a funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, James was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery (Section 32, Block 10, Lot 100).

Chicago Tribune, December 8, 1944
James M. Kenny of 4715 Maypole avenue, beloved husband of Charlotte M., fond father of Mrs. Edward W. Carroll, grandfather of Marilyn and Maureen Carroll. Resting at funeral home, 217 N. Cicero avenue. Funeral Saturday, 9 a.m., to St. Thomas Aquinas church. Interment Mount Carmel.
Chicago Tribune, December 9, 1944
Services for James M. Kenny, 73, who retired in 1933 after 42 years as a railway mail clerk, will be held at 9:30 a.m. today in St. Thomas Aquinas church. He died Wednesday in Alexian Brothers hospital. His home was at 4715 Maypole av. His widow, Charlotte M., and a daughter, Mrs. Edward W. Carroll, survive.

Kenny Tombstone
Tombstone for James Kenny and Charlotte McDonald Kenny, Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Lottie Widowed at Age 58

Austin, 1944-1948. Lottie was age 58 when her husband James died. They had been marrried 37 years. She continued to live at 4715 Maypole Avenue. She continued working as an assembler for an manufacturing company as part of the war effort. Lottie was her granddaughter Marilyn's "favorite person." Marilyn remembers walking to the bakery at Maypole and Cicero Avenue and waving to her grandmother standing across Cicero Avenue waiting for a bus to go to work.

Three generations
Three generations in 1947: Henrietta "Bunny" Kenny Carroll, 40, Charlotte Mae "Lottie" McDonald Kenny, 62, Marilyn Carroll, 7. Woman on far right is unidentified neighbor.

Lottie Dies in 1948 at Age 62

Coroner's Certificate of Death

On April 19, 1948, Charlotte Mae Kenny fell down a flight of stairs at the neighbor's next door and died suddenly. The man next door was sick, and she was going to visit him. The hallway was dark. She opened the wrong door and fell down the stairs. The coroner certified that the cause of death was a "skull fracture" and that "the deceased fell down a flight of stairs striking her head on the basement floor."

Following a funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Lottie was buried next to James at Mount Carmel Cemetery (Section 32, Block 10, Lot 100).

Chicago Tribune, April 22, 1948
Charlotte M. Kenny, nee McDonald, suddenly, of 4715 Maypole avenue, beloved wife of the late James M. Kenny, fond mother of Henrietta M. Carroll, sister of Lillian Hill, grandmother of Marilyn and Maureen Carroll. Resting at funeral home, 217 N. Cicero avenue. Funeral Friday, 9:30 a.m., to St. Thomas Aquinas church. Interment Mount Carmel.

Descendants of James and Charlotte McDonald Kenny: 1 child, 2 grandchildren

Henrietta Margaret Mary Kenny 1907-1989  m. 1934 Edward William Carroll 1906-1955

6 great grandchildren

Information on great grandchildren has been excluded. A version of this page without the exclusion is available upon request. Contact Peter Biggins:


Peter: pabiggin@optonline.net




230 Old Kings Highway North
Darien, CT 06820 USA

Index      Census      Top      Home Page