The Tinneny Family History Site

Biographies of Our Forefathers



A Brief Biography


Alice Rose Hart Earlston 

Alice Hart was born 27 December 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the 6th (or possibly 7th) child of Cornelius and Alice (Tinneny) Hart. She was christened at Holy Family Catholic Church in the Manayunk section of the city.  Alice had two sisters, Isabelle and Margaret.  Isabelle, the oldest child, may have had a twin who died in infancy, and three brothers: Cornelius, John, and Francis (Frank).

Photo: Colorized photo of Alice at age 3 on the steps in front of her house.   Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.

The Hart's attended Holy Family Catholic Church on Hermitage Street in Manayunk. Alice went to Holy Family Grade School and received the sacrament of Confirmation in that parish church in 1927.







Photo: Alice in her confirmation dress standing in front of Holy Family School. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.







They lived at 128 and 4780 Silverwood Street in Manayunk at various times.  Alice was 9 years old while the family lived at the latter address in April of 1930 as reflected in the US Census taken that year.

Extract US Census 1930. (Click image to view large image)

The 1930 Census of the United States showed Alice as age 9 along with her parents Cornelius (42) and Alice (41). Also living in the family home at 4780 Silverwood Street, Philadelphia were her siblings Isabella (20) and husband William McLaughlin (21), Cornelius Jr. (19), Margaret (17), John (13), Francis (11). Alice’s father’s occupation was listed as an electrician who worked in a local steel mill and her mother was a homemaker.

Alice’s brothers and sisters, close family members and friends always called her “Dolly.” Alice told her daughter, Mary Ellen (Kennedy) Sariti, the story of this nickname. In the story, the next oldest child in the family, Francis, who was two years older than Alice, demanded one day soon after baby Alice was born: “Mother, put down the doll (baby Alice) and pick up the baby, (himself). The nickname stuck throughout her life and a very prescient nickname it was. Alice was not only a beautiful child and woman (like a Doll) she amassed a large collection of beautiful Victorian dolls with porcelain hands and faces during her life.  

As in every person’s life, Alice’s life comprised many stages: schooling in a Catholic school in Manayunk through grade 11 presumably, the early death of her mother, Alice Tinneny, when Alice was 17. Her mother was 53. Being the last child at home, her mother’s death during her teenage years was a terrible blow to young Alice. She spoke often of losing her mother at that critical age. 

Alice met and married James Barnett of Philadelphia and the couple had twin daughters, Constance and Alice, in 1938 when Alice was just 18. The twins were premature and quite small when they were born at 7 months gestation, but they grew strong and healthy.

Photo : Alice with 6 1/2 year old twins Connie (L) and Alice(R) holding one year old Mary Ellen, August 20, 1944. 

Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.

The marriage of their parents, however, soon ended and Alice raised the twins alone until in 1942 she met and married James Vincent Kennedy, who became the adoptive father to the twins. James was from Philadelphia.    The couple settled in the Northern section of the city just before James was drafted into the Army and sent to the war in the Pacific.





Photo: Alice and James Kennedy on their honeymoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1942. Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.

A daughter, Mary Ellen, was born to James and Alice in 1943, while James was serving in the Marianna Islands of the Pacific theater of war.






Photo: James in uniform during World War II. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.





Left: Image of V-Mail birthday message from James to his daughter Mary Ellen sent August 4, 1945 from the island of Tinian in the Pacific. Two days after this message was sent, August 6, the Enola Gay took off from Tinian and successfully dropped the Atomic bomb on Japan ending World War II. Thus Alice’s husband was a witness to an element of this  major historical event. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.





Photo : James and Alice with daughter Mary Ellen. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.




Alice and James had a son, James Vincent Junior who was born in Philadelphia in 1947.

Photo : Alice and James’ son James Jr. age 6 while a student at Saint Mary’s grade school. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.




The family moved to Williamstown, New Jersey in 1950. They were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and their four children were enrolled in St. Mary’s School.  Through the mid 1950s Alice stayed home and raised the children.

In 1957 Alice enrolled in a hair styling school and began working part-time as a hairdresser in Williamstown. Alice’s marriage to James Kennedy ended in 1960. 

The 1960s was a very productive period for Alice. She was always very gifted with hair and make-up and was always perfectly groomed herself. She took to the beauty business naturally; she had a gift of bringing out the beauty in every patron she worked with and truly lived a “beautiful” life herself. She first rented then bought a beauty salon in Merchantville, New Jersey, and employed several hair stylists there during the 1960s. She also taught the art of beauty and make up in the Haddonfield School District.


Photo: (L-R) Alice with son James, and daughters Connie and Mary Ellen taken in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania 1956. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.


Photo: Wedding photo Bob and Alice, 1970. Courtesy of Robert Earlston.


In 1971 Alice married Navy Lieutenant Bob Earlston, whom she had met in 1970. Alice and Bob were married for 41 years and were true soul mates and perfectly suited to each other. It was “a union that lasted forever.” 

She continued to do hair styling as she accompanied Bob on his assignments.  Bob built her an in-home salon in Cherry Hill, New Jersey when he was stationed in the Philadelphia area and Alice managed the base hair salon in Bath, Maine. 

Alice traveled with Bob to his Navy assignments in Bath, Maine twice during the 1970s, Newport, Rhode Island, Norfolk, Virginia, the Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard and Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Pennsylvania, Signonella, Sicily, and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.  Bob retired from the Navy in the grade of Captain following the Patuxent River assignment.














Photo: Alice and Bob at his retirement ceremony from the United States Navy, 1989. Courtesy of James Kennedy Jr.



In 1989, Alice  and Bob retired to Jupiter, Florida where they both worked part-time at Costcos as food demonstrators until Alice was 89 years old. From their arrival in Jupiter, they were very active members of St. Peters Catholic Church.







Photo: Alice and Bob’s home in Jupiter, Florida. Source Google Images.










Photo: Saint Peter Catholic Church Jupiter, Florida. Source the parish website.




Alice was a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother. She and Bob hosted several Camp Earlston family reunions for their grandchildren during the 1980s and 1990s. The “cousins” from these camps enjoy a very special bond nurtured by their lovely grandmother and capable granddad.

Alice passed away January 31, 2013. Following a Mass of Christian Burial on February 7 at St. Peter Catholic Church Alice was interred at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens, West Palm Beach, FL. The following obituary was published in the Palm Beach Post.

Alice Rose Hart Earlston 

“Alice was born 27 December 1920 in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and passed away January 31, 2013 in Jupiter Florida. She was the youngest of 8 children of Cornelius Hart and Alice Tinneny and the sole survivor of her family. Alice was predeceased by her brothers Cornelius, John, Frank, Sisters Alice, Margaret and Isabel. She was married to retired Navy Captain Robert Earlston and resided in Jupiter Farms Florida moving there from Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Great Mills, Maryland.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters Alice Palmer of Yuma, Arizona and Mary Ellen & Anthony Sariti of Bethesda, Maryland and a son James & Teri Kennedy of San Clemente, Ca. She was predeceased by her daughter Constance Mangan , She is survived by step-son Jere & Linda Earlston of San Diego, Ca. and a step daughter Dixie & Larry Benoit of Lafayette, La. Surviving Grand children James Koch, Kevin Koch, John Lynch, George Brownridge, Constance Lutz, William Waite, Marcus Waite, Whitney Braden, Lonnie Benoit, Jamie Benoit, Robin Calafata, Sam Earlston, Amy Sariti, Andrew Sariti, and Jeanette Kennedy Gordon, and many great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren.


She was a long time parishioner at Saint Peter Catholic Church in Jupiter and participated in many support roles. She was an employee of Club Demonstrations Company at the Costco store on North Lake Blvd were she participated as a food demonstrator for 18 years, She was a resident of Pennsauken, N.J. were she was the owner and operator of the Park Beauty Salon for 17 years. She was a teaching beautician and taught the art of beauty and make up in the Haddonfield School District. In 1971 she married Navy Lieutenant Bob Earlston, a union that lasted forever…”  

Following Alice’s death Bob remained in their home. He passed away June 17, 2014. Following a Mass of Christian Burial on June 21 at St. Peter Catholic Church Bob was interred with Alice. The interment services was with full military honors and both United States Navy and Knights of Columbus  honor guards at the Royal Palm Memorial Gardens, West Palm Beach, FL. The following obituary was published in the Palm Beach Post.

“Captain Robert P. Earlston, U.S. Navy Retired, passed away Wednesday, June 17th 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Robert was born August 27th, 1928 in Danville, PA. Captain Earlston enlisted in U.S. Navy in 1946 and retired as a Captain in 1989. He was the first naval officer to reach rank of captain as a limited duty officer. He was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church where he was a head usher. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th degree where he served 2 terms as Grand Knight of Council 6569 St. Jude Parish in Tequesta. He served as faithful Navigator of the Fourth Degree Assembly, Father Andrew Doherty Assembly #0155.

He was predeceased in death by his wife Alice Earlston for 42 years before her passing in 2013 she was the love of his life; parents Wayne & Susie Earlston; brothers, Wayne, Jr., Ray, Henry, Bruce and Donald; sisters, Lenna Kassak and Lillian Earlston. Survived by daughter, Dixie (Larry) Benoit, Lafayette, LA; son, Jere (Linda) Earlston, San Diego, CA; stepson, James (Teri) Kennedy of San Clemente, CA; 2 stepdaughters, Alice Palmer, Yuma, AZ and Mary Ellen (Anthony) Sariti, Bethesda, MD; brother, Bill Earlston, Danville, PA; 15 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren…”

As mentioned earlier, Alice always loved dolls. She collected beautiful Victorian dolls and displayed them in her Florida home at Christmas every year. Each woman in Alice’s immediate family received a doll from this collection as a memento of Alice for Christmas 2013 from her husband, Bob.




Photo: Alice’s doll given to her daughter Mary Ellen by Bob Earlston Christmas 2013.  Courtesy of Mary Ellen Kennedy Sariti.









Alice died at the age of 92 still the “Doll” she was so aptly named nearly 92 years before back in Manayunk by her brother Frank.

Alice was the granddaughter of Patrick “Yankee Pat” Tinneny of Goladuff, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland; Greenock, Scotland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Note: The descendants of Alice Hart include but may not be limited to Kennedy, Sariti, Lutz, Mangan and Lynch, Koch, Gordon, Brownridge.


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Updated January 7, 2024
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