My Genealogy search started with a gravestone in the old Knockanure Cemetery in Murhur parish, County Kerry, Ireland. It reads:
Erected by the Very Rev. JAMES HENNESSEY O'CONNELL PP Melbourne Australia to the memory of his grandfather EDWARD O'CONNELL and his father JAMES O'CONNELL, died June 3 1868, who was also father of Chevalier MICHAEL O'CONNELL, Knight of Pope Pius IX, died July 1864 and Sister MARY BRENDAN O'CONNELL died Nov 4, 1904, Presentation Convent Listowel RIP.
EDWARD is the earliest recorded name I've been able to find so far and I believe he must have been born in the vacinity of Knockanure. His son James b.1800 married ANNA POPE HENNESSEY b.1806 in Larhardane Townland just outside Ballybunion. There James acted as agent for a large proportion of land and had at least six children.
FRANCES O'CONNELL b. July 16 1837 MICHAEL O'CONNELL b. Aug01 1839 d. Jul1864 USA. EDWARDO'CONNELL b. Sept 27 1840 d.1920 NZL. JAMESO'CONNELL b. Feb1844 d. Jan 04 1920 AUS. ANNAO'CONNELL b.1846 d. Nov 04 1904 IRE. JOHNO'CONNELL b.1847 d.1930 AUS.
JAMES O'CONNELL the father died in Listowel, Jun 03 1868, along with his wife ANNA POPE HENNESSEY, d. Mar 28 1881, and their daughter Sister BRENDAN (ANNA) O'CONNELL, d. 1904. MICHAEL O'CONNELL was killed in the Civil War in Virginia while fighting with the Fighting Irish. JAMES O'CONNELL joined the priesthood and emigrated to Melbourne Australia where he was joined by his brother JOHN O'CONNELL. EDWARD O'CONNELL emmigrated to Otago New Zealand in 1862 where he married LETITIA GILDEA b.1845 Boyle, Roscommon.
If anyone wants to know more or better still can tell me more please reply or email me. My family tree is at: