Kernan Generations

Family records and oral family history regarding the known generations of the Kernan family reveals three generations prior to that of my paternal grandfather, William G. Kernan (LIVING).  Family group sheets detailing information from the Bible of Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979) show that Delmar, the father of William G. Kernan (LIVING), was the son of George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) and his wife Maudena Elizabeth Stearns (1885-1936). These same family group sheets also show that George was the son of Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901) and his wife, Harriet (1836-1928).

The Kernan Family Group Sheet for George Edward Kernan, showing George's father, Owen Kiernan, and his son, Delmar Clare Kernan.
The Kernan Family Group Sheet for George Edward Kernan, showing George’s father, Owen Kiernan, and his son, Delmar Clare Kernan.

Research into available historical records, moreover, confirms what is revealed by oral family history and family records, corrects some of the information on the family group sheets, including the birth place of Owen and the maiden name of Owen’s wife Harriett, and reveals an additional generation of the Kernan family. Historical records reveal the identity of the parents of Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901). The most recent historical record for Owen is his 1901 death certificate, which identifies his father as “Phelix Kiernan.” The identity of his mother, however, is not shown on this record. Several census records prior to 1901, moreover, confirm this as well as providing further details. The 1860 U.S. Census identifies Owen’s father as “Poehlix Kiernan” and his mother as “Rosa Kiernan.” The 1857 Minnesota Census identifies Owen’s father as “F. Connon” and his mother as “Roseline Connon.” The 1851 Canadian Census identifies Owen’s father as “Felix Kiernan” (or “Felix Kernan”) and his mother as “Martha Sheridan.” Earlier than this, Owen’s 1836 birth/baptismal record in Quebec, Canada identifies his father as “Felix Kernan” and his mother as “Rose Sheridan.”

The 1851 Canadian Census showing the oldest members of the Kernan family (Felix and Martha) as having been born in Ireland.
The 1851 Canadian Census identifying the parents of Owen Kiernan (line 32) as being Felix Kiernan (line 27) and Martha Sheridan (line 28).

Attempts, moreover, to trace the Kernan family further back than Felix Kiernan have proven to be challenging, particularly since many Irish records were lost in a fire during the Battle of Dublin in 1922. However, recent transcriptions of surviving Irish records have revealed the identities of Felix’s parents. According to a baptismal record for Felix, his parents were Patrick Kiernan (?-1835) and Bridget Wire (?-1843).

Baptismal record for Felix Kiernan showing his parents as Patrick Kiernan (shown “Patt Kiernan”) and Bridget Wire (shown “Bidy Wire”)

Thus, oral family history, family records, and historical records reveal that there are six generations presently known for the Kernan family, from the earliest known ancestor (Patrick Kiernan) to my paternal grandfather (William G. Kernan). The following table summarizes the known generations of the Kernan family (and their spouses) as revealed by these sources.

Table 1: Known Generations of the Kernan Family
Gen. Kernan Ancestor Spouse
1 Patrick Kiernan (?-1835) Bridget Wire (?-1843)
2 Felix Kiernan (1796-1882) Martha Rose Sheridan (1797-?)
3 Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901) Harriett Dunton (1836-1928)
4 George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) Maudena E. Stearns (1885-1936)
5 Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979) Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992)
6 William G. Kernan (LIVING) Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004)

To view information on each of the generations shown above, please click on the links or access it through the drop-down menu in the site navigation bar.

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Published 07/04/2012. Last Updated 06/13/2017.