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John F. Kennedy, jr

More Scots than Irish ?

THE RECENT TRAGEDY that robbed American society of three of its brightest ornaments occurred as we were preparing a provisional account of the origins of the Kennedy clan in Scotland. Kennedy power throughout the mediaeval centuries was enormous in the southwest, it being traditional that ~

'Twixt Wigtown and the town of Ayr,
Portpatrick and the Cruives of Cree,
No man need think to bide there
Unless he court with Kennedy.

(The cruives were the fishtraps on the River Cree running northerly from Wigtown Bay.)

The known ancestry of the late John F. Kennedy claims Irish roots, but the Irish of that name, in common with those of many others (George Bernard Shaw, incidentally, a favourite son of Dublin, was a cadet of the Shaws of Rothiemurcus, on Speyside in Inverness-shire), were originally Scots. Some confusion is found among the readers of Alexander Nisbet, who wrote in 1722 that ~

The first of this name and family is said to be one Kenneth, an Irish or Highland Scotsman

....... but at that time "Irish" was a synonym for "Highland" (as is well evidenced by contemporary letters), and it is more probable that the clan springs from a younger son of the 1st Earl of Carrick.

The first of John F. Kennedy's known ancestors in North America was Patrick Kennedy, the youngest son of Patrick Kennedy (born circa 1785), a tenant farmer at Dunganstown in County Wexford, Ireland, by his wife Mary Johanna. He emigrated to Boston, married Bridget, daughter of Richard Murphy by his wife Mary, and died at Boston in 1858, leaving several children who included ~
Patrick Joseph Kennedy, born in 1858, married Mary Augusta, daughter of James Hickey by his wife Margaret Martha Field, and died in Boston in 1929, leaving several children who included ~
Joseph Patrick Kennedy, born in 1888, married Rose Elizabeth (who was created a Countess by Pope Pius XII in 1951), daughter of John Francis Fitzgerald by his wife Mary Josephine Hannon, and died 1969 having had several children who included ~
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, born in 1917, married as her first husband Jacqueline Lee, daughter of John Vernon Bouvier III by his wife Janet Lee, and was assassinated in 1963. leaving two children who included ~
John Fitzgerald Kennedy . . . . . . .

John F. Kennedy jr inherited the arms granted to his father by the Chief Herald of Ireland. (The blazon specifies the tinctures of the mantling as Gules and Argent, although Sable and Or would have been expected ~ and on the only representation we have seen the wreath is in fact, nonsensically, Or and Sable, with Gules and Argent mantling.)

The badge shown above is that of the Scottish Clan Kennedy of which the late President and his family could claim to be members.

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