Our Kennedy ancestors, who originally hailed from Scotland, before moving on to Ireland, has been traced to first settling in Pennsylvania. Then another move found the next generation in Ohio. Illinois was just the next short stop before the family was enticed by the opening of the new Territory of Kansas. They seemed to always look for expansion of land due to their expanding family.
I featured Margaret Ralston Kennedy in my Thimble of Soil book. She came with eight of her thirteen children – as a widow – to settle them all together on new territory. The oldest sons did a scouting trip the year in 1854 before that final move.
According to records I found in the Watkins Museum in Lawrence, KS, most of the family, 23 in number, made the trip by a wagons. They stopped in Kansas City to meet up with family that made the trip by boat with a year’s worth of supplies and farm equipment.
Quite an undertaking for any family, but many an Irish immigrant dreamed of a better life for their family and America provided it for many.
So to my relatives that crossed the sea, I thank you for your adventurous spirit, and I celebrate your special day today.