James Kennedy, Senior

Male 1735 - 1825  (~ 90 years)

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  • Name James Kennedy 
    Suffix Senior 
    Born @1735  Mecklenburg County, North Carolina or Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 01 Oct 1825  Paint Lick, Garrard County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old Paint Lick Cemetery, Paint Lick, Garrard County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • James Kennedy Senior was born about 1735. He was probably born in Northern Ireland but could have been born in America after the family immigrated here. He possibly lived in Augusta County, Virginia and is proven to have lived in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and Paint Lick, Garrard County, Kentucky. He immigrated to Paint Lick, Kentucky sometime around 1780. He was appointed Deputy Surveyor for the state of Kentucky in 1783, serving in this position at the same time as Daniel Boone. He married twice. The name of his first wife is unknown. His second wife was referred to as Betty and was about the same age as his oldest daughter. He was the father of 13 children: Mary, John, Hannah, James Junior, Thomas C., Francis Herron, William, Robert, David, Andrew A., Samuel, Elizabeth and Joseph. He died in Paint Lick, Kentucky on 1 Oct 1825 and was laid to rest in the Old Paint Lick Cemetery.
      by Rick L Gray

      My line of Kennedys can be documented to James Kennedy who was born about 1735, possibly in Ireland. We know from family documents that he lived in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina before emigrating to Kentucky around 1780. He is said to have brothers named John Kennedy and Dr. Joseph Kennedy, but I have never been able to prove this conclusively. Both James and his "supposed" brother, John, settled in the area of Kentucky that would become Paint Lick in Garrard County. When James first arrived in Kentucky, he lived in a hollowed out tree while his home was being finished.

      In North Carolina, he most likely married around 1768. We believe his first wife to be a Herron, based on a nun-cuputive will made by a James Herron leaving one of his children to his sister, Mrs. Jas. Kennedy. The Herron name is used in the 2nd and 3rd generations of the family as a middle name. This James Herron had sisters named Hannah and Elizabeth and both are possibilities as his wife, but no record has ever been found. While living in North Carolina, James and his first wife had the following children: Mary, John, Hannah, James Jr., and Francis Herron Kennedy. After moving to Kentucky, he had one more child with his first wife. It was a son, Thomas C. Kennedy.

      Sometime before 1783, his first wife died and James remarried. His 2nd wife was named Elizabeth but no surname is known for her. He and Elizabeth, known as Betty, had seven children: William, Robert, David, Andrew A., Samuel, Elizabeth, and Joseph Kennedy. In 1783, James was named deputy surveyor, along with Daniel Boone.

      In about 1806, several of the members of the families of John and James Kennedy (supposed brothers) began making their way into Middle Tennessee. The youngest daughter of John was named Mary. She married Robert Gordon. Robert and Mary were the parents of eleven children: Thomas Kennedy, Elizabeth, Evander, John Boyd, Samuel, Andrew, Mary, David, Robert D., Margaret Amanda, and Nancy Jane Gordon. In 1806, Robert made his way to Williamson County, Tennessee and settle for awhile, joined later by his family. Robert and two of his sons moved on to the Brick Church area of Giles County where they lived alone for several months while getting their home and land ready. They were then joined by the other family members and many of them lived out the rest of their lives in the Brick Church area. Later other family members would join them in Giles County including Mary's great-nephew, John Booker Kennedy. Many descendants of these families still reside in the area today.

      By 1807, 6 of the children of James Kennedy also began to make their way into Middle Tennessee. The earliest most likely being his oldest son, John, who is shown as one of the signers of the petition to form Maury County. In 1790, John had married Barbara Gordon and they had seven children: Elizabeth, John M., Evander, James, Robert Gordon, Hannah Gordon, and Mary Ross Kennedy. She had died by 1805, and he remarried to Nancy McDonald/McDaniel. She bore him twelve more children all but the two oldest born in Maury County: Samuel Gordon, Andrew, Martha, Lucinda, George Washington, Amanda, Zurilda, William, Eliza, H. Lawrence, Reuben S., and Benjamin L. Kennedy. John and Nancy settled in the Carters Creek area of Maury County. Most of these 19 children married and had children. They settled in the couties of Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis and Williamson in Tennessee. Several of them also went into Texas, and one went into Illinois. Many of the descendants of these 19 children still live in the southern Middle Tennessee area today.

      John was soon joined in Maury County by 3 of his brothers, James Jr., Francis Herron, and Thomas C. Kennedy.

      James Jr. and his five children (Thomas Denny, Hannah, Mary Ann, Nancy R., and Elizabeth Herron Kennedy) settled in the area of Maury County that would switch between Maury and Giles early on eventually become Marshall County in 1836. He died in Marshall County in 1837. Many of the descendants of his daughter Elizabeth Herron Kennedy still live in Marshall County today. The remainder moved to Texas or Mississippi.

      Francis Herron Kennedy died in Maury County by about 1826. He had at least eight children - only four of them can be proven. The proven ones are Dr. Thomas Jefferson Kennedy of the Cornersville area; Francis H. Kennedy of Lawrence County; James P. and John B. Kennedy who died early in Maury County. I suspect some of the other children to be Elizabeth Kennedy (name taken from estate settlement); Nancy Kennedy who married John B. Kitchens in Maury County; Gideon Kennedy (taken from church records); and William Kennedy who married Sarah Hardy in Maury County.

      Thomas C. Kennedy married Mary Young. They had ten children all born in Maury County: James B., Thomas C., Elizabeth M., John Young, Hannah Herron, Mary D., Laura, Asa Hall, Allen Berge, and Nancy Mahala. The oldest was born about 1807. Thomas moved his family to Missouri in about 1830. He died there about three years after their move.

      The second daughter of James Kennedy Sr. also moved to the Middle Tennessee area. Her name was Hannah. She had married three times in Kentucky. First to Thomas Ross, who she bore one son, Thomas Jr. She next married Francis Herron and then Thomas Patterson. She and her third husband along with her son Thomas, and his children settled in Bedford County, and then later in Marshall County. Hannah died in 1847 and was buried in Marshall County.

      Also coming into Middle Tennessee at one time was Robert Kennedy, the second child of James and his second wife, Betty. We believe that the family lived in Davidson County, but have not been able to prove this yet. He and his wife, Elizabeth King, had eleven children. Two of the children were born in Tennessee in 1807 and 1810. They moved back to Kentucky before eventually moving onto Indiana.

      The family had one other notable descendant to move from Kentucky into Middle Tennessee. James Sr.'s grandson, David Newton Kennedy, left Kentucky first for Nashville where he worked a few years before eventually settling in Clarksville, Tennessee where he made a success in the banking industry. David was the son of William Kennedy, oldest child of James Sr. and his 2nd wife, Betty.

      This family has a rich history in the Middle Tennessee area, and have left many descendants. I would love to make contact with any of the descendants, and especially fill in any blanks on the family of Francis Herron Kennedy. He is our biggest roadblock in this line.

      Rick Gray
      12 September 2005

    Person ID I458  Root Tree
    Last Modified 12 Apr 2017 

    Family 1 Elizabeth Herron 
     1. Mary Kennedy
     2. John Kennedy
    +3. Hannah Kennedy
    +4. James Kennedy, Junior,   b. Mar 1777, Garrard County, Kentucky or Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1837, Marshall County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 60 years)
     5. Thomas C Kennedy
     6. Francis Herron Kennedy
     7. Robert Kennedy
     8. David Kennedy
     9. Andrew A Kennedy,   b. 20 Nov 1793, Garrard County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jun 1863, Garrard County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     10. Samuel Kennedy
     11. Elizabeth Kennedy
     12. Joseph Kennedy
    Last Modified 27 Aug 2013 
    Family ID F164  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth 
    Last Modified 12 Apr 2017 
    Family ID F2036  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Headstones
    James Kennedy Senior
    James Kennedy Senior
    Who died Oct. 1, 1825
    In his 90 year.