Letter from John Carney

This fascinating letter was given to us by Matthew Kearney, a great great grandson of a couple named Denis Kearney and Margaret Kennedy who lived in Clogheen Parish. Matt's great-grandparents were James Kearney and Julia O'Donnell, two of the emigrants mentioned in the letter. He would love to hear from relatives in America or Ireland at matthewkearney@msn.com.

Since Griffith's Valuation lists two Denis Kearneys in Clogheen, one in Scart East and one in Killbeg, we can't be certain that the Denis Kearney referred to in the letter is the one who sponsored Patrick and Johanna Hogan's oldest child Ellen and lived next to Johanna in 1851, or whether it is the other one.

However, the
church records reveal some circumstantial evidence that might suggest it's the Denis from Scart East: the letter is addressed to a Thomas O'Donnell, and an earlier Thomas Donnel sponsored a child named John Hogan in 1779. Also, a David Kearney sponsored another John Hogan in 1778.

James Kearney's Obituary

From the Kansas City Times, October 20, 1919:

KEARNEY -- James Kearney, 85 years old, died yesterday at his home, 4102 West Prospect Place. Mr. Kearney was born in Tipperary County, Ireland, and went to St. Louis in 1855. He came to Kansas City from St. Louis in 1869 and settled on a farm in the West Bottoms. Twenty-five years ago he sold his farm to the Kansas City Stock Yard Company. Surviving are four sons, Dennis Kearney, Spokane, Wash.; James Kearney, 942 West Forty-second Street; Thomas Kearney, 4505 Liberty Street; Patrick Kearney, 1317 West Forty-second Street, and a daughter, Mrs. Thomas F. Martin, home address.

Julia O'Donnell's Obituary

From the Kansas City Star, May 22, 1916:

KEARNEY -- Julia, wife of James Kearney, 4102 West Prospect. Funeral from residence, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 24. Services at Our Lady of Good Council Church. Interment Mount St. Mary's Cemetery.

Springfield [Pennsylvania], April the 15th, 1857

Mr. Thomas O'Donnell:

Sir, I take this opportunity of sending you these few lines hoping to find you, your wife and family in good health. As this leaves me and wife and family in at present, thanks be to God for his mercy to us all.

Dear Thos., I mean to inform you and wife that I am sending for them two orphans. I mean Jude and Thomas O'Donnell that are under your care at present.

I hope you will escort them with care to Cork and see them on board of the steemer for Liverpool for I am paying their passage here and let them immediately after getting this letter and also go to William Ivory and tell him and to go to my brother Dennis Carney and let him know that I have paid his son James' passage.

Let him be redy as quick as possible and the three of them will be together -- let them make no delay as soon as they get this for they may not have one days delay between this letter and the letter they will get to go -- Let Jude and Thomas go to Father Burke to Ballypooreen and get the thirty shillings. You be sure and don't let them run through it for they won't have no more money to pay their fare to Liverpool. I am trusting in you and your wife to see them rectified so far.

They will want some provisions. Let them bring some herrings and some potatoes and some butter and some oatmeal and some pork and let them make 4 or 5 small bags and let them be sure and take every thing the Captain will give them and keep whatever flour or meal they will have when they will land and don't they throw any thing away when they land in New York but pack them up in the box.

I want James to get a good large box so that all their provisions will fit in it and -- if they want anything that he can give them let him share wi them -- they want a tin vessel that will hold 10 or 12 quarts of water, they will want a good coffy pot and a pan to fry meat and bake bread and 3 sauce pans to drink out of and a knife and fork each of them -- let them be sure and have some kind of a bed to sleep on in the ship -- all can be had in Cork.

Let Jude when she go to Father Burke see James Lomasmy or Father Lanagan and if they have any card from Mr. O'Conners in Liverpool for it is with him Ellen stopped when she was comeing. He is an honest man.

When them come to Liverpool let them stay in the steemer until James find Mr. O'Connors. James can call out for O'Conners when they are rushing out to the steemer. If they will have any delay Mr. O'Conners will return right and go to the office with them and so all right. Don't they give their check to any one but to Mr. O'Conners.

I want James Carney to bring some money to bring it to Liverpool for they would want it to pay for their board that is what they eat. And let him bring 5 or 6 yards of a small roap to ty the box to the post in stormy weather.

Now is the time he James have to look sharp. When they land in New York be shure and do not go with anyone but stop in cattle yard and go to the office and you will be sent to Erie by the New York and Erie rail road for I will have your passage paid to Erie or Springfield that is where I am.

Your fare will be paid clear to Springfield. If you will not be sent from that office in cattle yard, leave Jude and Thomas in care of the box and go to Mr. Tapscott & Co. foreign exchange and Emigration office 86 South Street New Yorke.

Tell him your kname and Judes kname and Thomas kname and that ye are to go to Springfield Erie County State of P.A. Be shure they will change cars in Donkirk ye change cars also and look out in Erie for fear they might change too.

When ye come to Springfield ye can enquire for John Carney or Richard Hourigan and there you will find both of us without any trouble. Be shure and take care of your selves for you are to have a long journey.

I want you James to understand me this time. When you come to Erie then Springfield is only 20 miles from you. Be shure to know in Erie if the cars are to stop in Springfield. Tell the conductor that it will do to stop in Girard that is 15 miles from Erie and 5 miles from Springfield where I live.

Anyone you enquire of in Girard will tell you where we are and direct you to us.

Keep this letter as shure as you can for if you loose this letter you loose us for this place is from 500 to 600 miles from New York.  Let James enquire in Ballyporeen for the Linehans for they are to come soon.  The money was sent home.

Mrs. Kearney wants Jude to bring the directions of her sisters from St. Louis and when they get an account from Liverpool and the kname of the ship be shure and send me an answer and the kname of the ship and when she is to sail from Liverpool.

Make shure and do not delay. Direct as follows -- to Mr. Shuler Springfield Cross Roads, Erie County, State of P.A. for John Carney --

Yours truly untill death

John Carney