The Tinneny Family History Site

Biographies of Our Forefathers

Robert Tinneny

Robert Tinneny was the son of Philip Tinneny and Bridget Reilly.  His daughter Mary thought he was born in Belturbet, County Cavan, according to her nephew Thomas Tinneny of Co. Meath, Ireland.  The Census of Ireland 1901 showed Robert as having been born in County Leitrem.  There are other records that also support that he was born there. As a young man, Robert left Ireland and went to England to find work.

Photo:  Robert Tinneny and wife Elizabeth Murphy Tinneny. Courtesy of Rosalyn Tinneny 

He spent some time working in the shipyards of Northern England.  He returned to Ireland and bought land in Killahurk, Carrigallen, County Leitrim.  He and his family were members of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Carrigallen.  After settling in Carrigallen he married Elizabeth Murphy and the couple had nine children who were born in Carrigallen.  They were Bridget, Elizabeth, Mary, Margaret, Alice, Terence, Robert, Philip and Thomas. 

Robert, Elizabeth and their children lived in a house made of sod.  The house was surrounded by several large fields, which comprised the family farm.

In 1999, I visited the site with Francie Smith and it was but a vacant pasture. Francie told me that as a neighbor and a cousin of the Tinnenys on the Murphy side he had been in the house many times as a young man.  He said that the Tinnenys were fond of dancing but did not really drink much. He also remembered that Robert had sandy red hair when he was older.  After the death of Robert and Elizabeth their son Robbie came into the land and sol.

Photo: The site of the  Tinneny family farm at Killahurk, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrem, Ireland. Photo by R. J. Tinneny 

Photo: Elizabeth, her daughter Margaret and son Robert on the family farm at Killahurk, Carrigallen. Courtesy Rosalyn Tinneny.

Photo:  L to R - Dan Prior Jr., Elizabeth Murphy Tinneny, Dan Prior Sr., 

Bredagh School, Carrigallen by J. Tullen

Maggie Prior (Elizabeth’s sister). One of Elizabeth’s daughters in front of her.   The other children are unknown.

 Taken outside of  Maggie and Dan Prior’s house.  Photo courtesy of Rosalyn Tinneny.

Robert seemed to have had a bit of a temper to match the red hair.  This was evidenced one day when a substitute teacher gave his son Philip a beating.  Seems Robert went into the school and whipped-up on the substitute then took all of his children out of the school.

Photo:   Elizabeth and some of her children at the beach on a day trip to Bundoran about 1932. L to R Betty Tinneny, unknown man, Terrance Tinneny the small boy in short trousers, his sister Bridy in the middle, an uncle, Elizabeth Murphy Tinneny, (wife of Robert) and her daughter Mary Tinneny.  Photo Courtesy of Rosalyn Tinneny.

Robert died in Carrigallen on December 12, 1936 at 72 years of age.  Elizabeth died on May 5, 1945 at age 56.  Both are buried in a marked grave under the large hew tree to the right of the entrance to the yard of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Carrigallen which was founded in 1846.  It is interesting to note that originally, Robert was not buried in that grave but instead was buried in another part of the cemetery.  I seems, according to his daughter Margaret, that Robert had gotten into an argument with the parish priest over the confirmation of one of his daughters.  The child had not regularly attended confirmation classes yet Robert insisted that she be confirmed.  The priest said no and Robert threatened to go to the Bishop.  That put Robert on the wrong side of the priest and when he died the priest did not permit his remains to be buried in the grave, which is now their resting-place.  Upon returning to Carrigallen and her parents grave in the mid 1990s Mary Tinneny Hall noted that the stone was near impossible to read and contracted to have it polished and re-engraved.  There are probably other of the Carrigallen Tinnenys buried in the churchyard but a check for headstones in 1999 revealed no other Tinneny markers.

Note: Robert's descendants include the descendants of his son Philip who established the family in New York in the 1920s, the Tinnenys in Co. Meath, Ireland and the Brember, Hall, Keegan, Cunnion families in England. The Tinnenys of  Bromborough, England, in London, and Alyson Carter and her daughters in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



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Updated January 7, 2024
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