Kennedys settle, establish cemetery

Published 12:50 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

The earliest Kennedy/ Kenady/Kenaday ancestor found on was Donald Kenney who was born circa 1891 in Scotland and may have died in Scotland or Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was married to Flora Mac Isaac, daughter of John Mac Isaig. Flora was born in 1689 in Argyleshire, Scotland. Donald and Flora had a son named Joseph Domhnull Kennedy.

It is believed that Joseph was born in 1735 in Inverness, Nova Scotia. He appears to have died in 1768 in North Carolina; therefore, he would have been the immigrant ancestor of the family being featured in this column. He was married first to Catherine David, and they eventually settled in Duplin County, N.C. shows him to have been married later to Mary Dix (1745-1798).

Joseph and Catherine had a son named Thomas “R.S.” Coleman “Tom” Canady or Kennedy. Thomas was born between 1755 and 1763 in Cateret County, N.C. He was a pensioner most likely from service in the Continental Army. He resided and reared his family in Dublin County, N.C. He was first married to Sarah Bridgers (1760-1795), daughter of John Bridgers (1710-1763) and Faith Ruffin (1739-1785). They had the following six children before Sarah’s death in 1795: James Henry b. 1785, d. 1841; Joseph, b. 1786, d. 1860, m. Silvy Sandlin; John Joshua, b. 1788, d. 1865, m. Elizabeth Wilder (1790-1858); David, b. 1790, d. 1868; Felix, b. 1792, d. 1848; and Daniel, b. 1794, d. 1869.

Thomas was married second in 1896 to Nancy Bishop (1775 or 1780-1853), daughter of Robert Bishop (1750-1831) and Mary Southerland (1755-1846). Nancy’s paternal grandparents were Robin Robert Bishop and Anne Lewis). Joseph and Nancy had the following 10 children: Robert, b. 1798, d. 1868; Loretta “Rilly,” b. 1799, d. 1885, m. ? Southerland; Delia “Dilly,” b. 1802, d. 1880, m. ? Southerland; Mary, b. 1803, d. 1807; Sarah “Sally,” b. 1805, d. 1870, m. ? Wilkins; Catherine “Kitty,” b. 1808, d. 1889; Henry Hamm, b. 1809, d. 1880, m. Pensy Anna Whitting (1812-1903); Nancy Z., b. 1812; Susan J., b. 1814, d. 1896; and Rebecca, b. 1817, d. 1909.

A valuable document, Thomas Kennedy’s will, is available for those researching this family. It was dated June 1840, and in it he bequeathed to his wife, Nancy, their plantation, two cows and calves, 20 head of hogs, one feather bed and furniture, and 3 slaves, namely Tony, Amy and Cloe. He left $10 to each of his three oldest sons, so he may have already given some things to them. He left one half of the Bread Branch land to David and the other half to Felix. Daniel received a slave named Tony, and Robert received a piece of land. Joseph left his daughter, Rhilly a slave woman, Movin and four children, and he left Dilly a slave boy, Hammon. He left Sally a slave woman, Lucy, and two children, and he left Kitty a slave woman, Ories, and a bed and furniture.

Continuing the instructions of Joseph’s will, his son, Henry Hamm, was to receive one horse and one bed and furniture. Nancy Z. was to be given a slave girl, Jinnie, and one bed and furniture. Susan was to receive a slave girl, Mary, and one feather bed and furniture. The youngest daughter,

Rebecca was to receive two slave boys, Bryant and Abel, and $40. Joseph had apparently been a prosperous farmer who owned several slaves.

Most of his children remained in North Carolina, but a few of the older ones migrated to South Alabama and lived in Dale and Barbour Counties.

In 1850, Thomas and Nancy’s oldest son, Robert Kennedy, was living near them in Duplin County, N.C., with him being 52 and his wife, Mary A., being 32. Both Thomas and Robert were identified as farmers.

One of Thomas’s sons by his first wife, Joseph Kennedy, was married to Silvy Sandlin.

This Kennedy family migrated in 1858 from Georgia to Dale County, Ala., where Joseph died in 1860.

The journey was made by ox cart and wagon with two girls and three boys and two slaves.

On their way they picked up a small boy named John Hawkins and reared him as one of their own.

When grown, John married one of the Kennedy daughters. Among their children were two sons, John L. and Shepherd Green Kennedy, who have been identified.

John L. Kennedy was born in 1829 and later made his home in Midland City of Dale County. When the family first moved to Midland City they settled at a crossroads where they built a store. The site became known as Kennedy’s Crossroads, and the family established the Kennedy Cemetery. John L. was first married to Lodeski Snell, and circa 1867 he was married to Sarah Jane Hudspeth (1847-1919). John L. and Sarah died in Midland City and were buried in the Kennedy Cemetery.

John L. and Sarah Jane Kennedy reared the following children: Minnie, b. ca 1868, m. 1887 W.A. Underwood; John L. Jr., b. ca 1870, m. (1) Martha L. ? (2) Mallie Andrews; Charles S., b. 1871, d. 1942, m. Eudora Trimnell; Mary “Mollie, b. 1874, d. ca 1950, m. ? Goodman; Ida, b. ca 1876, d. 1919 of flu, single; Robert Lee, b. 1878, d. 1972, m. 1902 Blanche Jones; Jessie H., b. ca 1879, m. 1899 O.S. Carlisle; Thomas Coleman, b. 1882, d. 1952, m. (1) Minnie Lee McLelland (2) Grace Yawn; and Claudie, b. 1883, d. 1930, m. 1900 Henry Tice.

John L. Kennedy’s third son, Robert Lee Kennedy, was married to Blanche (Jones), daughter of Stephen Jones and Missouri Wingate. They reared the following five children: Robert Norman, b. 1904, d. 1906; Rubie Lillian, b. 1908, d. 1910; Corene Teasley, b. 1910, single; Coleman Doyle, b. 1914, d. 1972, m. Glennie Mae Bowen; Doris, b. 1917, m. William “Mac” A. McDaniel; Infant boy, b.&d. 1920; Sarah Eunice, b. 1923, m. William Lonnie Woodall, son of Lonnie Woodall and Althea Cobb; (twin) Lois, b. 1923, m. Taze R. Tisdale.

The Robert Lee Kennedy family lived for a number of years in the community of Pinkard, which is near Midland City.

In 1930 the family moved to Covington County and settled in the Sanford community a few miles east of Andalusia.

These were difficult years economically, and Blanche yearned to return to their farm in Midland City where conditions had been better.

Robert Lee became a police officer and worked for a while in Florala.

Their oldest surviving son, Coleman Doyle Kennedy, and his wife, Glennie Mae, reared the following children: Mozelle, m. Christian Lehman; Wayne Murray, b. 1935, d. 2009, m. Annette Peek; Sylvia, m. Wayland McAdams; Jerry Doyle, m. (1) Patricia Donaldson (2) Dot Barfoot; and Robert Clifton “Bobby,” m. Elizabeth Wyatt.

Joseph Kennedy’s second son, Shepherd Green Kennedy, was born in 1836 in Lee County, Ga. In 1866 he was married in Barbara County, Ala., to Martha Martin (1838-1908). They resided in Barber and Dale Counties and were some of the original settlers of Kennedy’s Crossroads. They reared the following five children: Cordelia, b. 1870, d. 1953, m. 1902 Jesse E. Turnipseed; Andrew Jefferson, b. 1972, d. 1954, single; Viola Lee, b. 1874, d. 1877; Mattie E., b. 1876, m. 1895 S.A Starke; and Cora Pauline, b. 1878, m. 1901 L. Buckhalt.

Sources for today’s writing were the family records of Eunice (Kennedy) Woodall, an interview with Bobby Kennedy, and for the early generations.

Anyone who finds an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library.