Friday, August 9, 2013

How Far Is It From Kilkenny To Kilkenny?

In the last couple of years the town of Kilkenny, MN has begun to forge links with the city it was named after: Kilkenny, Ireland. On 20 March 2013, the mayor of Kilkenny, MN, Kevin Taaffe Jr., visted Kilkenny in an official capacity and agreements were signed to twin the two places. The links between the two go back to the 1850s when some of the first settlers in that area of Le Sueur County, MN came from county Kilkenny.[1]

One of those first settlers, Dennis Doyle was baptized in the Catholic parish of Danesfort, county Kilkenny, in 1822.[2] He was an early leader in the community, holding important positions, such as state senator, and being the first to marry there.[3] He married a French woman, Catherine Raway (various spellings) [4], and the community of Kilkenny took off. The Catholic church was even named St. Canice, after the famous Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Probable Dennis Doyle and Family in the 1865 Minnesota State Census[5]

Many other Kilkenny people came to this part of Minnesota, including Patrick Shortall and Daniel Walsh, from Paulstown. Pictures of the town are available at this link and you can find more information about this, and other Minnesotan Irish settlements, in The Irish in Minnesota by Ann Regan (2003).

[1] Minnesota Historical Society, 2009. Minnesota Place Names accessed 1 August 2013
[2] Danesfort Roman Catholic Parish, (Kilkenny, Ireland), Baptism of Dennis Doyle, 1822; index entry, RootsIreland accessed 1 August 2103.
[3] Minnesota Historical Society, 2009
[4] "Minnesota, Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Aug 2013), Catherine Raney Doyle, 14 Apr 1921.
[5], 1865 Minnesota State Census, Le Sueur  County, Minnesota, population schedule, Kilkenny, John and Catherine Doyle and Family; digital image, accessed 1 August 2013; LDS microfilm number 565715

1 comment:

  1. Welcome! I'm now following - I have McBride's and McAleer's from Tyrone...that's all I've got!