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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Kennedy

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1209-1211 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Clan Uhic, Duncan de Carrick, so-called from a district in Ayrshire, Scotland, lived in the end of the twelfth century, and in 1220 his son Nicol, actuated by the piety of the age, granted the church of Maybole to the Nuns of North Berwick. Nial or Nigel, Earl of Carrick, executed a deed of confirmation and acknowledgment to Roland, son of Nicol, in which he is styled "caput tocius progeniei suae," having right to the calps and whatever else belonged to the chiefship of his clan, he being head of his race. The most likely derivation of the name Kennedy, which became the common appellation given the clan mentioned after patronymics came into use, and the one most consonant with Celtic practice, is that it is derived from personal appearance and very likely it is from the blackheaded Roland, "Ceanndubh," that the name Kennedy arose. Certain it is that Carrick and Kennedy were used for the same person in many charters. In Carrick, even until the time of Buchanan, the Gaelic was the spoken language, Gaelic customs prevailed and surnames in that language are yet abundant. Alexander Kennedy, who was chancellor in the time of Baleol, 1295, is the first of the name who appears in written record. In 1296 Alexander Kennedy, with John and Hugh, signed "Ragman's Roll," that bond of allegiance forced on the Scots by Edward the First. The name of the people has puzzled antiquarians, but a knowledge of the Gaelic makes a solution easy. It is simply "the people of the black feet," and this appellation seems to have been acquired from their practice of wearing Cuarans of a different character from those in general use among the Highlanders of former ages, which, being made of deer skins with the hair outwards, gave rise to the term "Red Shanks," by which they were distinguished among their lowland countrymen. Uhic Kennedy went from Carrick at an early period and settled in Lochaber, and from him descend the MacUhics, who put themselves under the leadership of the Camerons. The armorial bearings are: On a field argent, a chevron gules, between three cross crosslets, fitchee sable, all within a double tressure, flory counterflory fleur de lis of the second. Crest: A dolphin naiant proper. Supporters: Two swans proper, beaked and membered gules. Motto: "Avise la fin." In [James Logan's] McIan's costumes of the clans of Scotland, a beautiful print of the Kennedy clan costume may be seen.

(II) Peter H., son of Richard Kennedy, was born in Troy, New York, January 22, 1828, died at that city, April 5, 1909. He was a wood worker and did fine cabinet work. He followed this occupation in his earlier life, and engaged in the express business in Troy for the twenty years preceding his death. He resided for a time in Stephentown, Rensselaer county, where he followed his trade. About 1850 he located permanently in Troy. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, belonging to Trinity Congregation, Troy. He married, March 4, 1848, Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh, born April 4, 1829, at Kinderhook, New York, died in Troy, January 4, 1909, daughter of Richard and Polly (De Voe) Van Valkenburgh, of Schaghticoke, New York. Peter H. Kennedy and wife celebrated their golden anniversary, and in 1908 their sixtieth wedding day. Of their five children, two died in infancy. Children:

  1. Richard V., born November 25, 1851; still continues in Troy in the express business founded by his father.
  2. Elizabeth M., married Sanford H. Moses; two children:
    1. Martha E., married Everett Snyder, engaged with Cluett, Peabody & Company, has a daughter, Wilna;
    2. Sanford H., Jr.
  3. Howard Samuel, see forward.

(III) Howard Samuel, youngest son of Peter H. and Elizabeth (Van Valkenburgh) Kennedy, was born in Troy, New York, July 11, 1858. He was educated in the public schools, and from the date of his leaving school has been intimately connected with the collar industry at Troy. He first entered the employ of Coon & Van Valkenburgh as a boy. That firm was succeeded by Coon & Company, who made him later superintendant of their factory. The collar, shirt and cuff business had now assumed large proportions, and his position was a responsible one. In 1889 Coon & Company consolidated with G. B. Cluett Brothers & Company, and Mr. Kennedy was made general manager of all the firm factories. In 1898 he was admitted a partner. In 1901 still other changes resulted in the incorporation of Cluett, Peabody & Company, Mr. Kennedy being elected a director and third vice-president. In 1907 he was elected first vice-president and now (1910) is filling that office. His interests in other enterprises are large, including the Adirondack Spring Company of Saratoga, of which he is vice-president, and the Lancaster Realty Company of Troy, of which he is president. He is actively interested in politics, working for the success of the Republican party. He is an active, zealous and influential member of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a local preacher, licensed by the Troy conference. He is trustee of Trinity church and also a steward. Is also a trustee of the Troy conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. Is a director of the Young Men's Christian Association, trustee of Poultney Academy, Poultney, Vermont. Mr. Kennedy is deeply interested in Sunday school work and has gathered together a class of one hundred and fifty men who each Sunday meet with him for Bible study. His class is named "Life Lights," and is a most potent influence for good. He has taught this class for many years and its power for good is felt in every department of Trinity Church. He is a ready and interesting public speaker, and is often called upon to address audiences in Troy and elsewhere. He devotes a great deal of his time to this and Sunday school work, believing in its importance as a means to advance the cause of religion and as a help to his fellowman. Other lines of social improvement work also receive his support. He is president of Social Union of Troy, vice-president of the Law and Order League of Rensselaer county, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. His clubs are the Troy, Island Golf and Republican, all of Troy. He married, December 17, 1879, Josephine A., daughter of James E. and Jane R. (Roberts) Sharp, of Troy. Children:

  1. Howard Walter, see forward;
  2. Hulbert, died in infancy;
  3. Richard O., see forward;
  4. Josephine, graduate of Troy high school, class of 1908.

(IV) Howard Walter, eldest son of Howard Samuel and Josephine A. (Sharp) Kennedy, was born in Troy, New York, April 26, 1881. He was educated in the public schools and Troy Academy, and is an alumnus of the University of Virginia, class of 1907. From 1898 to 1904 he was with Cluett, Peabody & Company as secretary to the vice-president and assistant department manager. In 1908 he associated with the Polk & Calder Drug Company and was elected vice-president, which office he now fills. The company deals in wholesale drugs and conducts an extensive business. He is also vice-president of the Central Publicity Company of Troy and interested in Cluett, Peabody & Company. He served in the Troy Citizen Corps from April, 1900, to 1909. He is a member of the F. W. Farnum Fire Company, No. 5, and of the Troy Chamber of Commerce. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. His clubs are the Pafraets Dael, Island Golf, Colonade of University of Virginia, New York Alumni Association of University of Virginia, General Alumni Association of University of Virginia. His fraternity is Mu Delta Sigma. He married, October 15, 1906, Edith Gage, daughter of Mrs. Charlotta E. Hendee, who is descended from one of the old families, colonial, Stanleys. Child,

  1. Edith, born March 4, 1910.

(IV) Richard Oakley, youngest son of Howard Samuel and Josephine A. (Sharp) Kennedy, was born in Troy, New York, September 12, 1885. He was educated in the Troy public school, St. Paul's Preparatory School at Garden City, Long Island, where he was graduated in class of 1904, returning here in 1905 for a post-graduate course. He began his business life as shipping clerk with Cluett, Peabody & Company, passing through several promotions, and now (1910) is assistant to the vice-president. He is fond of outdoor sports and at St. Paul's took an active part in athletics. He is a member of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Troy Chamber of Commerce, Pafraets Dael and Island Golf clubs. He married, February 4, 1907, Sarah, daughter of Otto and Sarah Klein. Child,

  1. Howard Samuel, born October 29, 1907.

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