My great grandmother Catherine was born into a very large family of Andrew Kennedy 1815-1869 and Mary Hogan b. 1811. She was sentenced for stealing a cow to 7 years transportation to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).

My info comes from records of 'The Female Convicts in Van Diemen's Land Database'. My problem is that her records do not state exactly where in the Limerick area. Old records via Ancestry seem to conflict... it depends as to whose tree I look at. Finding the 'correct Kennedy' family is a real challenge.

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    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 4, 2021 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


Be aware that not all parishes in Co. Limerick have baptism records for 1829. Some parishes have gaps eg Fedamore which has no records between 1822 and 1854, and KIlfinane which don’t start till 1831. So one reason that you cannot locate the correct baptism may be that the relevant records simply don’t exist.

You can see what exists and where they are accessible, parish by parish using this link:



From Ancestry.com records (Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915) I found baptism records in 1829 in the county of Limerick for:

  • Catharine Kenedy on 31 Dec 1829;
  • Catharina Kennedy on 23 Dec 1829; and
  • Cath Kennedy on 12 Jan 1829

Loosening the year range of my search to 1828-1830 brought in another 6 candidates. Father and mother were named on each baptism with none of them naming the father as an Andrew and only two of them naming the mother as a Mary.

Loosening the year range of my search to 1827-1831 brought in another 7 candidates but still no father named Andrew and only one Maria added to the two Mary's.

Depending on the reliability of your source for the names of Catherine's parents, I think you should keep an open mind as to their names. If you are confident that you know the name and birth order of Catherine's children then they may give hints as to her parents' names.

FamilySearch says that:

A traditional naming pattern was often used by Irish parents until the later 19th century:

  • First son usually named for the father's father
  • Second son usually named for the mother's father
  • Third son usually named for the father
  • Fourth son usually named for the father's eldest brother
  • Fifth son usually named for the mother's eldest brother
  • First daughter usually named for the mother's mother
  • Second daughter usually named for the father's mother
  • Third daughter usually named for the mother
  • Fourth daughter usually named for the mother's eldest sister
  • Fifth daughter usually named for the father's eldest sister.
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    This worries me: "it depends as to whose tree I look at." You should focus your attention on the original records, as PolyGeo did in his answer. Other people's tree are commonly loaded with errors.
    – user5836
    Dec 8, 2021 at 16:49
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    Also, it was not terribly important for Irish folks in the early 1800s to know how old they were, and not uncommon to find age estimates off by up to 10 years!
    – user5836
    Dec 8, 2021 at 16:51

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