George & Maudena Kernan Family

The child of Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901) and Harriett 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), Owen and Harriett Kiernan’s eleventh child, was born on the 31 August 1884 in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri, where Owen and Harriett had been living since about 1880.

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

George’s birth is recorded on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births, which shows some important information about his parents that does not match oral family history and records. Oral family history claims that George’s father, Owen, was born in Ireland. George’s birth record, however, states that although Owen was of Irish Nationality, he was born in Canada. Oral family history also claims that George’s mother, Harriett, was born in Ireland and that her maiden name was Beecraft. According to George’s birth record, however, Harriett was born in New York and her maiden name was Dunton. Although the reason for these discrepancies is unclear, many other records support the details found on George’s birth record.

Owen & Harriett Facts Oral Family History George’s Birth Record
Owen’s Birth Location “Northern Ireland” Canada
Harriett’s Birth Location Ireland New York
Harriett’s Maiden Name Beecraft Dunton

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. Although George’s birth entry on the Minnesota Return of Births contains similar information to his entry on the Missouri Permanent Record of Births, there are differences. The Minnesota Return of Births shows Owen and Harriett’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 Harriett’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 most accurate of the two.

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

Following their arrival, moreover, George is found enumerated on the 1885 Minnesota Census living in his parents’ household in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. Because of the loss of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census due to a fire, the next record found for George 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 George’s 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 life as a child and young adult 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 born 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 born 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 born 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 born 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 born 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 born 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 born 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 Ottis Kernan (1919-1987), George and Maudena’s eighth born 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. UNKNOWN (ca. 1900-1931).  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, Salem, Marion County, Oregon.

George and Maudena’s ninth born 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-) in Oregon. Mary was born on the 26 April 1933 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.

More coming soon…

# 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 Ottis 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-) in Oregon
x.
xi.
xii.

Life in Oregon

Later Years and Death

George & Maudena Kernan Timeline

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

Date Event
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