Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kiniry Family - Twig on the Family Tree

It's amazing how much time you can get caught up on researching twigs in your family tree. I recently was contacted through Ancestry about the Kiniry family. I really only had a small amount of information about them. My grandma Irene Veronica O'Neill, a staunch Catholic, when I was younger, told me about cousins Rev. Father Tom Kiniry and Rev. Father John Kiniry. That was about the extent of my knowledge. My uncle Paul Pearce another mad fellow family historian had given me the information that Brigid Hurley cousin of my grandmother's through the McMahon family married Peter William Kiniry and they had a daughter Agnes Kiniry.

My contact through Ancestry wanted to know more and when, where and who came out to Australia from Ireland. I then had to go to work doing more research, starting with the Victorian Birth, Death and Marriage indexes. I am luck enought to have access to these on CD, but for a fee you can access the Registry of VIC BDMs online. This gave me a wealth of information that I spent several hours sifting through. The number of * wildcard searches on the surname Kiniry I had to do as they were very creative in their spelling of this name.

Peter William Kiniry I found had been born in Maldon, Victoria in 1874 and died at Korong Vale, Victoria in 1922. The Kiniry's and many of my other relatives including O'Neills, Hogans, McMahons and Ryans farmed in the Boort, Korong Vale and Whychitella surrounds in Victoria.

Peter married Brigid Hurley in 1908 at Wychitella. She was the daughter of Patrick Hurley and Jane McMahon. and was born in 1879 probably at Wychitella and died 24 December 1917 at Korong Vale. She is buried at Wedderburn Cemetery.

Peter farmed the Koprong Vale area and was a member of local council for many years. Furhter information was found on newspapers on the National Library of Australia's newspaper website.

Peter was the son of John Kiniry born 1835, died 1918 at Korong Vale and Mary Morrisey born about 1835 and died 1922 at Korong Vale. Now I know they came from Ireland, but when and where from. That was the next test on which I spent a long time searching and again the many ways of spelling their surname made it difficult. This meant searching on the PROV Online Assisted British and Unassisted indexes. So far I have had no luck. I even tried the Passenger indexes from NSW State Records with no luck. One to keep working on!!

Next problem where they came from. I tried looking for all the children of John Kiniry and Mary Morrisey. The first one born in Victoria was Margaret in 1863 in Melbourne. With further searching on found a Thomas Bartholomew Kiniry dying in 1916 age 58 in Brighton, Victoria and working backwards I found he married in 1883 in Victoria to Jane O'Neill stating that his birthplace was Cork, Ireland.

Well I now have a lot more information to send to the contact in USA, but it has now given me more work in trying to track down the immigration of John and Brigid Kiniry and son Thomas from Cork, Ireland in Victoria, Australia. I do know from John's death register that his parents were John Kiniry and Mary O'Connor, so a little more to go on.


  1. And her uncle has photos of the two Kiniry priests somewhere in his vast chaotic black-hole of a filing system.
    Interestingly at Mullagh Cemetery one sees graves of many people connected with the O'Neils and like them they immigrated after the famine in 1849.

  2. Hi Nicole,

    John and Mary Kiniry are my g-g-grandparents. apart from peter b 1874, they had other children, including Patrick 1871-1923, my g-grandfather. His 3 daughters include Annie b1903 who is my grandmother. She married Wilfrd ryan, and had 3 daughters including my mother Patricia b 1933. She married Graeme watkins, and they had me, philip.

    Patrick K married Mary Scully whos mother Annie (nee Costigan) opened Scullys Hotel in KorongVale in 1895. patrick was first pres of the Aust Railways Union, hes buried at williamstown.

    as to the priests, one was in Elmore Vic, the other in port Fairy as I recall. i have the funeral book for Father Tom, (not quite sure where i got it from).

    So, what does that make us? I tried to draw a tree from your comments but its a bit holy.

    Thomas Kiniry d 1916 aged 58 was married to Bridget , whos maiden anme was cantwell. Trove: Argus of 18/8/16 has the death notice. not sure where Jane O'Neill comes in (m 2 perhaps?). he is buried at Brighton Cem. Other children of John and MaryK were Nora (a nun, Sr Berchmans of Tasmania), Mary, Michael, John, Peter (as above) and thomas (as here).

    Would love to compare more notes if we can.

    Phil Watkins, Wodonga

    1. Hi there
      I have a 3 x great grandmother Matilda Files nee Richardson who was born in Launceston Tasmania in 1846. She had a son out of wedlock to Michael Kanery in 1866. I notice that Kanery is probably a miss-spelling of Kiniry. Michael Kanery was born circa 1840. He was a shoemaker in Launceston in 1866/67. I found a Michael Kiniry who died in Victoria in 1893, the son of John Kiniry and Mary Kiniry nee Morrison. Does anyone have Michael Kiniry in their tree who might match with Michael Kanery. Regards Mathew, Marrickville NSW

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I was talking to my sister in Ireland and she mentioned that she had read something about Fr. John Kiniry and asked if I knew of him.
    I knew the name and "Googled" it to come up with your web page.

    Mr GGrandmother was Bridget O'Neill who married Thomas Melican.(Litchfield. Vic.) One of their children married an Annie Hurley. Bridget had a brother who came out here from Co Clare as well.
    I can remember hearing of the O'neills at Wytchetella. I grew up in Melbourne and had cousins by the surname Pearce.(Regmond & Leonie) children of Eileen O'Neill & Len Pearce.
    Regards Anne Hewitson

  5. Hi, my name is Jane Kiniry. My husband ,David is the great grandson of David Kiniry who emmigred to the Phila, Pa. Region in either the 1840's or 50's.he was from County Cork, Ireland & I believe from Mogeely & the Church of St.Anne,s, Shandon . David fought for the Union in the Civil War. And he was a prominate member of the 69th Pa.,Volunteers. His unit basically held off the Rebs in Pickett'c Charge. Love to see if we are related. If interested please contact me @
    Thanks, Jane T

  6. Hi there,
    Margaret Kiniry Morrissey was my g.mother.
    I understand from our family history, that John and Mary immigrated from either Cork or Tipperary.
    They had 5 sons and 2 daughters; Mary, Tom, Patrick, Michael, Jack, Peter and Nora