Biographies of Our Forefathers
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 ayoung man, Robert left
Ireland and went to
England to find work.
Photo: Robert Tinneny and
Courtesy of Rosalyn
He spent some time
working in the shipyards
of Northern England. He
returned to Ireland and
bought land in Killahurk,
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
Mary, Margaret, Alice,
Terence, Robert, Philip
Robert, Elizabeth and
their children lived in
a house made of sod.
The house was surrounded
by several large fields,
which comprised the
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
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
Carrigallen by J. Tullen
Maggie Prior (Elizabeth’s sister). One of Elizabeth’s daughters in
front of her. The other children are
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.
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.
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.