Father Anatole Oster married Thomas Shea and Jane Kenna on November 8, 1893 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Clontarf. Witnesses of this union were James Shea and Margaret Callaghan. Thomas and Jane were Jim Egeland’s great-grandparents, and he provided the following history:
Thomas Francis Shea married Jane Irene Kenna in Clontarf on 8 Nov 1893. Jane Irene Kenna was the daughter of John Edward Kenna Sr. and Jane Howard Kenna. Thomas and Jane had 5 children, Francis, Mary, John, Jane (my grandmother), and Dorothy. I know that Thomas Shea’s two oldest children, Francis and Mary, were born in Clontarf. Thomas, a farmer, moved his family to Columbia Falls, Montana around 1897 and then to Great Falls, Montana after a few years. When Jane Irene Kenna died in 1907, Robert (her brother) came to Montana and he and Thomas took her body back to Clontarf to be buried with her mother as was Jane’s wish. The (Shea) children were raised for a few years by his sisters (in Montana.)
The children of Thomas grew up, not knowing anything about the Kenna relatives until the early 1960′s when the Kennas who were doing genealogy found the family.
Taking a step backwards, I thought I would share some of the Kenna family history that Jim received many years ago from a Kenna family member:
John Edward Kenna, Sr was born in 1834 in County Cork, Ireland, and was married to Jane Howard, born March 21, 1835 in Ireland. The date of marriage was May 9, 1858. They emigrated to America and settled in Concord, New Hampshire where their children were born. The children, Ellen, William, Jane, Robert, and John, Jr. who was born May 5, 1871. When the youngest, John, was 9 or 10 they moved to Swift County, Minnesota and bought a farm at an Irish settlement, Clontarf, near Benson. A year or so later, on August 7, 1882, John Sr. was killed while digging a well on the farm by suffocation with gas in the well. Jane continued on the farm with the help of her children until her death Feb. 27, 1897.Additional information passed along about the Kennas in the area at that time:Ellen Kenna married Michael Conlogue of Clontarf.William married Margaret Kent of Clontarf.Robert married Anne AllenJane Irene Married Thomas F. Shea of Clontarf.John Edward Jr. married Ursula McShane of Benson Nov 1900.
I may have previously posted this photograph, but I thought we could get some fresh eyes on it. The man standing on the right is John Foley (brother of my great-grandmother Mary Foley McMahon) and seated on the right is John Kenna. The other three men are unidentified…any ideas?
Both the Foley and Kenna families came to Tara Township from Concord/Fisherville, New Hampshire. Perhaps these men represent other families who also came from New Hampshire? Maybe a Duggan or a Kent?
I would love to learn more about the Shea family. I know they were early settlers in Tara Township. Tiffany shared some information on her Shea ancestors last week:
Parents: Michael and Alice Shea
Children: Thomas F Shea, Margaret (Maggie) Shea, John Shea, James Shea, Nancy Shea, Mary Shea, and Alice Shea.
In 1886, the Shea family occupied the southern 320 acres in Section 32 of Tara Township. By the 1902, the only Shea that remains on the plat map is Margaret Shea Dailey who retains 80 acres. Did the rest of the Sheas all move to Montana?
Through Ancestry.com and this blog several Shea descendants have made connections. This is exciting, and I hope they continue to share their discoveries with us!