George & Maudena Kernan Family

The child of Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901) and Harriet “Hattie” Dunton (1836-1927) that concerns the ancestry of William G. Kernan (LIVING), my paternal grandfather, is their eleventh child, George Edward Kernan (1884-1960). What is presently known about the life and family of George Kernan will be discussed below.

Early Life and Marriage

George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) was, according to most sources, born on the 31 August 1884 in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri, where his parents, Owen and Harriet, had been living since about 1880. According to his Missouri Permanent Record of Births entry, George was the eleventh child born to his parents, a fact that is supported by both family records and other historical records. Although this record does not provide any further details about George, it does state that his father, Owen, was of Irish Nationality and born in Canada, as well as being employed as a laborer. It also states that his mother, Hattie, was born in New York and that her maiden name was Dunton.

The Missouri Permanent Record of Birth for George Edward Kernan (1884-1960).
The Missouri Permanent Record of Birth for George Edward Kernan.

George’s birth in Maryville, Missouri, moreover, occurred just prior to the family’s move back to Minnesota, which they appear to have done in 1884. Although the exact reason for this is unclear, a second record for George’s birth is found on the Minnesota Return of Births. George’s presence on this second record seems likely to be due to the fact that their return to Minnesota was so close to George’s birth. This is clear from the dates for these birth record entries. George’s entry on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births was record on the 1 October 1884, while his entry on the Minnesota Return of Births was recorded on the 10 January 1885. Thus, the family moved from Missouri to Minnesota at some point between 1 October 1884 and 10 January 1885, which was between about one and four months after George’s birth.

The Minnesota Return of Births Entry for George Edward Kernan.
The Minnesota Return of Births Entry for George Edward Kernan.

George’s entry on the Minnesota Return of Births contains some similar information to his entry on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births. However, there are differences apart from the location of George’s birth. The Minnesota Return of Births shows Owen and Harriet’s birth locations as being Ireland, instead of Canada and New York as found on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births. Additionally, the Minnesota Return of Births only shows the first names of George’s parents, excluding Harriet’s maiden name, unlike the Missouri Permanent Record of Births. Given the fact that George’s entry on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births is more complete than his entry on the Minnesota Return of Births, the facts revealed on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births are supported by other records, and that records show that Owen and Harriet were living in Maryville, Missouri at the time of and prior to George’s birth, the Missouri Permanent Record of Births is maintained here as the more accurate of the two.

Although George’s entries on these two different state birth records is likely the result of the family’s move from Missouri to Minnesota within the same year of George’s birth and the dates of these records make this clear, which of the these two locations of George’s birth is accurate is, on face value, a challenging issue. This is made more challenging by the fact that a few later records also show Minnesota as the state of his birth, such as George’s death certificate, obituary, and funeral card. However, these records were likely based on information provided by George’s daughter, Gloria, who was the informant on George’s death certificate. It is highly likely that the identification of Minnesota as George’s birth location on these records was a reflection of what Gloria believed to be the location of her father’s birth, as she undoubtedly heard of the family having lived in Minnesota prior to moving to Oregon. Given the fact that the family lived briefly in Missouri, it seems unlikely that she was aware of it. Additionally, the majority of historical records and family records show Missouri as George’s birth location. Thus, the identification of Missouri as his birth location can be made with a high degree of certainty despite the existence of two birth records. Table 1 below summarizes George’s birth location according to various records.

Table 1: George Kernan’s Birth Location According to Records
Record Year(s) Birth Location
Missouri Permanent Record of Births 1884 Missouri
Minnesota Return of Births 1885 Minnesota
Minnesota Census 1885, 1895 Missouri
U.S. Federal Census 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 Missouri
WWII Draft Card 1942 Missouri
Oregon Death Certificate 1960 Minnesota
Obituary 1960 Minnesota
Funeral Card 1960 Minnesota
Family Group Sheet (George) Missouri

Following the family’s arrival in Minnesota between 1 October 1884 and 10 January 1885, moreover, they settled in St. Paul in Ramsey County. The family is found enumerated on the 1885 Minnesota Census, which shows George living in the household of his parents in St. Paul, where his father, Owen, was likely employed as a baker.

The 1885 Minnesota Census showing George Kernan living in the household of his parents in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The 1885 Minnesota Census showing George Kernan living in the household of his parents in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Because of the loss of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census due to a fire, the next record that has been found for George during his early years is the 1895 Minnesota Census. According to this record, George was ten years old and living in the household of his parents in St. Paul where his father, Owen, was employed as an “elevator man.”

The 1895 Minnesota Census showing George Kernan and his family living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The 1895 Minnesota Census showing George Kernan living in the household of his parents in St. Paul, Minnesota.

At some point following their enumeration on the 1895 Minnesota Census, moreover, George’s parents moved the family to Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Although an exact date or year for the move is not presently known, it occurred before the death of George’s father, Owen, in 1901, which occurred in Portland. The fact that the family has not been found enumerated on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census may indicate that they were still in route to Oregon from Minnesota.

Although no details are presently known about George’s childhood and young adult years in Portland, it was only a few years after their arrival that George was married and beginning a life and family of his own there. According to a family group sheet for George that details information from the Bible of Geroge’s son, Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979), George married Maudena Elizabeth “Lizzie” Stearns (1885-1936) on the 01 June 1903 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Maudena was born on the 15 April 1885 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon the daughter of Theodore Frelinghuysen Stearns (1844-1930) and Anna Eliza Backer (1854-1919).

The Kernan Family Group Sheet for George and Maudena Kernan.
The Kernan Family Group Sheet for George and Maudena Kernan.

The Family of George and Maudena Kernan

Following their marriage, George and Maudena had twelve children between 1905 and 1925, five of which died in infancy or young. Although every detail has not been found for each of their children, what is presently known is discussed below.

George and Maudena’s first child was Curtis George Kernan (1905-1918), who was born on the 08 March 1905 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 25 October 1918 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. According to Curtis’s death certificate, he likely died from influenza, though the death certificate also states pneumonia as a contributory condition at the time of his death. On the 28 October 1918, Curtis was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Earnest William Kernan (1907-1926), George and Maudena’s second child, was born on the 26 February 1907 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 04 October 1926 at a Naval Hospital in San Diego County, California. According to family records, Earnest was serving in the U.S. Navy at the time of his death, which he probably enlisted in in about 1925. Although few details of his service are known, he was a Seaman Second Class serving aboard the USS Litchfield. Although Earnest was nineteen when he died, no record has been found indicating he was married. On the 11 October 1926, Earnest was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

George and Maudena’s third child was Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979), who was born on the 03 August 1908 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 04 September 1979 in Sherwood, Washington Co., Oregon. In 1929, Delmar married Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992), the daughter of William Phylitis Davis (1876-1960) and Mary Magdelene Williams (1883-1968), in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Following their marriage, Delmar and Maxine had two children, which were named Deldalyn and William. In about 1948, Delmar and Maxine’s marriage ended in divorce, after which both remarried. In 1950, Delmar married Pauline Katherine (Rains) Rowlands (1913-1997), the daughter of Rex Aden Rains (1885-1973) and Vesta Ferrell Keith (1884-1931) and the widow of Donald Robert Rowlands (ca. 1907-1948), in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Throughout the majority of his working life, Delmar was employed as a salesman of prefab-homes. Delmar and Pauline were buried in Skyline Memorial Gardens in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Owen Marcel Kernan (1911-1979), George and Maudena’s fourth child, was born on the 04 February 1911 in Cowlitz County, Washington, and died on the 30 March 1979 in Nevis, Hubbard County, Minnesota. In 1929, Owen married Helen Dora Potter (1913-1996), the daughter of John Willis Potter (1879-1963) and Elsie May Street (1888-1941), in Oregon. Following their marriage, Owen and Helen had at least four children between 1935 and 1939, which were named Marceline, Betty, John, and Dolores. At some point after 1940, Owen moved his family to Minnesota, settling in Nevis, Hubbard County, Minnesota. Throughout his working life, Owen was employed as a truck driver. Following Owen’s death, Helen married Herman Arthur Myers (1920-1998).

George and Maudena’s fifth child was Florence Elizabeth Kernan (1913-1915), who was born on the 28 March 1913 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 06 June 1915 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. According to her death certificate, Florence died at the age of two from pneumonia with a contributory condition of intestinal toxemia (botulism). On the 08 June 1915, Florence was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Walter Ray Kernan (1915-1931), George and Maudena’s sixth child, was born on the 10 February 1915 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 19 July 1931 in Coquille, Coos County, Oregon. According to his death certificate, Walter died from an accidental drowning while swimming in the Coquille River. On the 24 July 1931, Walter was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

George and Maudena’s seventh child was Vernon Woodrow Kiernan (1916-1962), who was born on the 10 December 1916 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 29 September 1962 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Although he was born with the Kernan spelling of the surname, Vernon changed the surname to its original spelling for himself and his descendants. On the 18 May 1937, Vernon married Mildred L. Kirtland (1922-?) in Clark County, Washington. Following their marriage, Vernon and Mildred had at least two children between 1938 and 1941, which were named Shirley and Vernon. At some point after the birth of their second child, Vernon and Mildred’s marriage ended in divorce. On the 29 March 1946, Vernon married Delma UNKNOWN in Oregon. Following their marriage, Vernon and Delma had at least two children, which were named Delmar and Linda. Throughout his working life, Vernon was employed as a truck driver for Oregon-Nevada Freight Lines.

Francis Otis Kernan (1919-1987), George and Maudena’s eighth child, was born on the 14 April 1919 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 24 November 1987 in Monitor, Marion County, Oregon. On the 09 March 1939, Francis married June F. Brock (ca. 1923-?) in Clark Co., Washington. June was born in about 1923 in Oregon the daughter of Fred Frances Brock (1896-1955) and Hazelle L. Miller (1901-1984). Following their marriage and before their divorce, Francis and June had three children, which were named Fred, Georgia, and Eddie. On the 25 May 1948, Francis married Laura M. Durkee (1926-2001) in Skamania Co., Washington. Laura was born on 25 November 1926 in Oregon the daughter of Edward W. Durkee (1902-1978) and Essie M. Dunkin (ca. 1907-?) and died on the 18 June 2001 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Francis and Laura’s marriage ended in divorce by 1950. On the 14 May 1951, Francis married Bernice Evelyn Bollinger (1918-2002) in Skamania Co., Washington. Bernice was born on the 25 July 1918 in Aurora, Marion Co., Oregon, the daughter of Earl C. Bollinger (1896-1967) and Esther P. Welch (ca. 1899-1931).  Following their marriage, Francis adopted Bernice’s son, George, from a previous marriage, and they had three other children together, which were named Steven, David, and Kathy. Throughout his life, Francis worked as a truck driver. In 1940, he was a road construction truck driver for Public Works. Both Francis and Bernice were buried in City View Cemetery in Salem, Marion County, Oregon.

George and Maudena’s ninth child was Earl Leonard Kernan (1920-1979), who was born on the 17 October 1920 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 01 June 1979 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. During World War II, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Navy on the 13 December 1941, serving as a Gunner’s Mate (GM3) until the end of his service on the 16 December 1945. On the 26 January 1952, Earl married Mary Joan Wilson (1933-2015) in Oregon. Mary was born on the 26 April 1933 in Oregon and died in 2015 in Oregon. Following their marriage, Earl and Joan had four children, which were named Danny, Darlene, Karen, and Mary. Following his death, Earl was buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon.

Lloyd Edward Kernan (1922-1970), George and Maudena’s tenth child, was born on the 06 May 1922 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 07 December 1970 in Clackamas County, Oregon. During World War II, Lloyd enlisted in the U.S. Army on the 10 September 1942, serving as a Sergeant in the 187th Engineer Combat Battalion until the end of his service on the 19 December 1945. On the 11 June 1943, Lloyd married Peggy Elaine Hereford (1923-2011) in Clark County, Washington. Peggy was born in October 1923 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 11 September 2011 in Oregon. Following their marriage, Lloyd and Peggy had five children: Dennis, Wayne, Carol, Wayne, and Kathy. Following their deaths, both Lloyd and Peggy were buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

George and Maudena’s eleventh child was an unnamed male child that was born and died on the 14 June 1923 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. He was buried in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Gloria Lucille Eliza “Gert” Kernan (1925-1995), George and Maudena’s twelfth child, was born on the 29 May 1925 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 15 May 1995 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. On the 16 June 1945, Gloria married Robert James Blue (1917-1974) in Clark County, Washington. Robert was born on the 29 May 1917, the son of William and Lucille Blue, in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 14 November 1974 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Gloria and Robert’s marriage, however, ended in divorce. On the 6 April 1953, Gloria married Donald G. Bisson (1921-1978) in Skamania County, Washington. Donald was born on the 25 May 1921, the son of Sylvester Orlando Bisson (1876-1953) and Anna Margaretha Eggers (1882-1953), in Minnehaha County, South Dakota, and died on the 31 January 1978 in Pierce County, Washington. Donald served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Gloria and Donald’s marriage, however, ended in divorce. On the 16 June 1962, Gloria married Paul W. Lee (1926-1976) in Skamania Co., Washington. Paul was born on the 02 December 1926, the son of Pearl Willard Lee (1885-1963) and Edna M. Little, in Multnomah County, Oregon, and died on the 24 June 1976 in Multnomah County, Oregon. Gloria had at least six children, two sons and four daughters. Two of these children, Donna and Steve, were born to Donald Bisson. Another of her children was named Jeff Kernan, who died in 2001. Where Gloria was buried, moreover, is not presently known.

Table 2: The Children of George & Maudena Kernan
# Name Birth Death Marriage
i. Curtis George 08 March 1905 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 25 October 1918 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon Died young.
ii. Ernest William 26 February 1907 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 04 October 1926 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon Died young. Unmarried at the time of death.
iii. Delmar Clair 03 August 1908 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 04 September 1979 in Sherwood, Washington Co., Oregon 1929 to Maxine Elizabeth Davis in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon; 1950 to Pauline Katherine (Rains) Rowlands in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon
iv. Owen Marcel 04 February 1911 in Cowlitz Co., Washington 03 March 1979 in Nevis, Hubbard Co., Minnesota 1929 to Helen Dora Potter in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon
v. Florence Elizabeth 28 March 1913 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 06 June 1915 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon Died in infancy.
vi. Walter Ray 10 February 1915 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 19 July 1931 in Coquille, Coos Co., Oregon Died young.
vii. Vernon Woodrow 10 December 1916 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 29 September 1962 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 1937 to Mildred L. Kirtland in Clark Co., Washington; 1946 to Delma UNKNOWN in Oregon
viii. Francis Otis 14 April 1919 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 24 November 1987 in Monitor, Marion Co., Oregon 1939 to June F. Brock in Clark Co., Washington; 1948 to Laura M. Durkee in Skamania Co., Washington; 1951 to Bernice Bollinger in Skamania Co., Washington
ix. Earl Leonard 17 October 1920 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 01 June 1979 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 1952 to Mary Joan Wilson (1933-2015) in Oregon
x.  Lloyd Edward  06 May 1922 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon  07 December 1970 in Clackamas Co., Oregon  1943 to Peggy Elaine Hereford in Clark Co., Washington
xi.  Unnamed Male 14 June 1923 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon 14 June 1923 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon  Died in infancy.
xii.  Gloria Lucille Eliza “Gert”  29 May 1925 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon  15 May 1995 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon  1945 to Robert J. Blue in Clark Co., Washington; 1953 to Donald G. Bisson in Skamania Co., Washington; 1962 to Paul W. Lee in Multnomah Co., Oregon

Life in Oregon

Coming Soon…

Later Years and Death

Coming Soon…

George & Maudena Kernan Timeline

The following chart summarizes the major events in George and Maudena Kernan’s lives, from their births until their deaths.

Table 3: Timeline of George & Maudena Kiernan Family
Date Event
Aug 1884 George Kernan was born in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri
Bet. Oct 1884 & Jan 1885 Moved with parents and siblings to St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota.
Apr 1885 Maudena Elizabeth “Lizzie” Stearns was born in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.
1895-1901 Moved with parents and siblings to Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.
1903 George Kernan married Maudena Elizabeth “Lizzie” Stearns in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.
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Published 07/13/2012. Last Updated 12/14/2017.

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