Just Found: Marriage Record For My Kennedy Great-Grandmother And Her First Husband

This past Sunday afternoon and evening proved to be an extremely productive one for my genealogical journey. In addition to the wedding record that I found for my great-grandparents Patrick Thomas Flanagan, Jr. (c. 1897-1928), and Sarah Kennedy (c. 1898-1930), I also found the wedding record for Sarah’s first marriage.

Orphanage records for their son Michael John Flanagan (1927-1997), my grandfather, indicate that the five orphaned boys had an older sister named Catherine, and correspondence over the past decade with cousins, confirms that Sarah had a daughter named Catherine (Ward) Reinacher, now deceased. Neither I, nor my cousins, knew the name of Catherine’s father.

Until now.

After striking gold with the marriage record for Sarah and Patrick, which lists the name of her parents — Joseph Kennedy and Catherine Darnley — I continued to search FamilySearch.org for records referencing Sarah and her parents. Which is how I discovered the record for the June 25, 1913, Mahoning County, Ohio, marriage between Sarah Kennedy and Frank J. Ward (of Bellaire, Ohio).

Sarah Kennedy Frank Ward Wedding 1913

Marriage record courtesy of FamilySearch.org. Click the image to view a larger copy. Marriage record courtesy of FamilySearch.org. Click the image to view a larger copy.

Although I need a birth record for my great-aunt Catherine (Ward) Reinacher to confirm that Frank J. Ward is indeed her father, I feel pretty good about this assumption.

This find doesn’t come without frustration though. In the 1925 marriage to Patrick Flanagan, Sarah noted her birth date as November 27, 1898. But, in her earlier marriage to Frank J. Ward, Sarah lists it as November 19, 1894. And so the mystery continues. But, at last both marriage records are consistent in listing Cumberland, Maryland as her place of birth.


    • says

      It’s one of those sites I forget about every few years. I used it heavily years ago for my Mexican ancestry, because they were really the only ones that had Mexican records. But, I forget to check for US record collections, so have recently started paying attention to the weekly updates that get posted.

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