My Meenavoy Ancestors

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Sadly, Paul died in a car accident 7 May 2009

RIP Paul



My greatgreatgreatgrandfather was Dennis (Dinny) Kelly of Meenavoy, Stranorlar, County Donegal. He was born c1795 and died c1865.

Dennis had 2 sons:                     

John (my greatgreatgrandfather) and Charles.

John and Charles married 2 sisters:     

Ellen (my greatgreatgrandmother) and Mary Jane Bonar from Callan, near Drumkeen, Convoy, Donegal.

The father of Ellen and Mary Jane was Patrick Bonar/Crampsie.                      


John Kelly (born c1830) and Ellen Bonar (born c1840) had at least 11 children:


William Kelly (born 1861): married Mary McGlynn in Stranorlar c1883.

- they moved to Garngad, Glasgow c1884 and had at least 6 children.

John Kelly(1862):married and settled Glasgow. Died young (accident) leaving a daughter

Patrick Kelly (born 1868): married and settled in Crossroads, Killygordon, Donaghmore

James Kelly (born 1874): married Ellen Patton and settled in Magheracorran, Convoy

Charles Kelly (born 1870): married Annabella Patten and settled in Tivickmoy, Stranorlar

Dennis Kelly (1872): did not marry and settled beside his brother Charles in Teevickmoy

Francis Kelly (born 1879): married Kate Doherty and settled in Tivockmoy, Stranorlar

Joseph Kelly (*) (born 1871): married Mary Anne Tinney and settled in Meenavoy

Ellen Kelly (born 1876): married James King (from Co Roscommon) and settled in Derry

- their son, Derry journalist Cecil A King, owned the Donegal Democrat  newspaper for many years

Mary Jane Kelly (1864): married her 2nd cousin John Kelly (also from Meenavoy and the son of a Patrick Kelly) and settled first in Meenavoy and later Stranorlar.

- I understand their grandson, Peter Sharkey, is the owner of Sharkey’s Bar in the Gorbals, Glasgow.                                                                            

Hugh Kelly (my greatgrandfather) (born 1866): Moved to Glasgow c1886.

- Hugh married Elizabeth McCormick/McCormack in Glasgow in 1890 and they had 2 children.

- Elizabeth had grown up in North Lanarkshire and Glasgow and her parents had come from the Killygordon/Ballybofey area in Donaghmore, Donegal.

- My grandfather, James Kelly, was born in Garngad, Glasgow in 1895.


All the above had children except the unmarried Dennis


Charles Kelly (born c1835) and Mary Jane Bonar (born c1845) had at least 7 children:


Anne Kelly (b1867):married William Ponsonby (^) from Tivickmoy and settled Convoy

Dennis Kelly (#) (born 1865): married Elizabeth Sweeney and settled in Meenavoy.

Charles Kelly and Mary Jane Bonar had 5 other daughters:

Ellen (b1869),             

Catherine (b1870),

Isabella (b1872),

Margaret (b1874)

Elizabeth (b1876).


2 of the sons of Joseph Kelly (*), Bernie (b1898) and Frank (b1903), married 2 of the daughters of Dennis Kelly (#), Ellen (b1899) and Agnes (b1904). More examples of Kelly 2nd cousins marrying! Bernie and Ellen settled in Meenavoy and had 17 children.

Frank and Agnes settled in Garngad, Glasgow and had 15 children.


Another greatgreatgreatgrandfather of mine was John Tinney (Tunny) from Meenavoy. John was born c1805 and died c1870. (I suspect John was actually born in Drumkeen, Convoy and that he married and settled in Meenavoy.)

John had at least 3 children: Catherine (my greatgreatgrandmother) (born c1840), Bernard (born c1841) and Susan (born c1850).


My greatgreatgrandmother Catherine (Kate) Tinney (born c1840) married Alan Rutherford. Alan came from near Lockerbie in the Scottish Borders and worked as a policeman in Stranorlar. Alan and Kate settled in Meenavoy and had at least 5 children:


Mary Anne Rutherford (born 1867) (married an O’Donnell),

Bernard (Barney) Rutherford (my greatgrandfather) (born 1869),                                                

James (born 1871),

Catherine (born 1873)

Patrick Rutherford (born 1875).


Bernard Tinney (born c1841) married Anne McBride from Dooish, Ballybofey and settled in Meenavoy. They had 6 children:


John Tinney (born 1869 and the first born) died as an infant.

Margaret Tinney (born 1878) died as a young woman and did not marry

Mary Anne Tinney (born 1872) married Joseph Kelly (*) from Meenavoy and settled in Meenavoy. Mary died in 1901 and Joseph remarried Hannah Loughlin c1902

Catherine Tinney (b1880) married William Ponsonby (^) (a relative of the previously mentioned William Ponsonby) from Teevickmoy and settled in Stranorlar town.

Patrick Tinney (born 1871) married Catherine Gallagher from Roosky, Raphoe.

- they had no children and adopted a daughter.

Bernard Tinney junior (born 1874) did not marry and died in Meenavoy in 1945.


Susan Tinney (born c1850) married James Monaghan and settled in Meenavoy - they had no children.


My greatgrandfather Barney Rutherford (born 1869) married twice: firstly Mary Anne Bradley (my greatgrandmother) from Meenbane, Stranorlar and secondly Margaret Quigley from Cappry, Ballybofey. My grandmother, Sarah Jane Rutherford, was born in Meenavoy in 1899. After Mary Anne Bradley’s death in 1903 and Barney Rutherford’s subsequent marriage to Margaret Quigley and move to Ballybofey in 1904, my grandmother, Sarah Rutherford, was brought up in Meenavoy by Susan Monaghan.


The website ‘Donegal Genealogy Resources’ by Lindel Buckley has a copy of the 1901 Irish census for Meenavoy. Many of the above people appear in it.

The website also has a copy of the 1857 Griffith’s Valuation for the parish of Stranorlar. The 1857 Griffith’s Valuation lists the heads of all the households in County Donegal in 1857, parish by parish. My greatgreatgreatgrandfathers - Denis Kelly and John Tunny - are both listed in the 1857 GV for Meenavoy in the parish of Stranorlar.


Meenavoy or Meenavay is also known as Kellystown or Kellytown.

BACK to Meenavoy

BACK to Stranorlar

Lindel Buckley

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