The Tinneny Family History Site

Biographies of Our Forefathers

Patrick Tinnany

Patrick Tinnany was born on May 24, 1881.  The birth was registered in the second quarter of that year in the registration district of County Cavan, Ireland in Volume 3, page 91.  He was the third child and second son of Robert Tinneny and Bridget Rooney.  Paddy was born on the Saunderson estate located near Belturbet in County Cavan. He was baptized in Staghall Church in Belturbet.  His godparents were John Rooney and his paternal aunt Margaret Tinneny Casey.  Like some others in his branch of the family, Paddy spelled his last name Tinnany.  His children also used that variation of the name.

Patricks parents lived on the grounds of Castle Saunderson Estate where his father was a carpenter and the boat builder for Colonel Saunderson.  The estate was acquired by the Saunderson family in the 14th century. Robert Sanderson, who fought on the side of William of Orange, inherited the estate with its castle from his father in 1676. James II's troops burned the castle in 1689.

The present castle dates to 1840 and was destroyed by fire in 1990.  It was on these castle grounds that Patrick was raised with his family in a small stone house in the rear of the castle. It was there that he learned carpentry from his father.  The estate has entrances in both County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland.  The grounds of the existing estate include a church with crypt and family graveyard.

Photo: Ruins of Castle Saunderson with the courtyard in the rear. 

On January 12, 1904, young Patrick got into a bit of a scrape with the law in the little village of Red Hills outside Belturbet. The Petite Court report of the incident stated that Patrick Tinnany of Castle Sanderson was taken in by  Constable Patrick Casey, the Royal Irish Constabulary, for being “drunk on a public Street at Redhills.”

Image: Entry from the Petite Court Report January 1904.

The record shows that he was convicted and ordered to pay 2/6 fine (2 Shillings and 6 pence in Irish currency) and if he was  “in default of payment to be imprisonment in Armagh for 7 days.”  He also had to pay 6 pence in court/confinement costs. He likely paid both rather than going to jail.  This was not an uncommon charge back in the day and Patrick obviously learned a lesson since there are no indications that there was ever a recurrence of the incident. 

As a young man, Paddy found his way to the Firth on Clyde, Dumbartonshire in Scotland.  He worked there as a gardener.  He met, courted and married Sarah Sweeney (1885-1962) who was born and raised in Helensburgh.  At the time of the 1901 census of Scotland, Sarah was listed as 16 years of age, the daughter of James and Bridget Sweeney living at 9 John Street in Helensburgh in the civil parish of Row.  Her occupation was stated as Domestic. 

Patrick and Sarah were married January 5, 1915 in Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Helensburg.  At the time of the marriage Patrick's occupation was given as Gardener and his father was listed as Robert Tinnany - occupation Carpenter, his mother as Bridget Tinnany nee Rooney.  Sarah's occupation was given as Laundry Worker, age 33 with her residence as 11 Colquhoun Square, Helensburg and her father - James Sweeney, occupation Gardener, her mother Bridget Sweeney - nee Campbell (deceased).  Witnesses to the marriage were Edward Sweeney and Annie Wilson.The marriage was performed after publication of Banns, in the Parish of Row, Co. Dunbarton.  Paddy and Sarah had six children Elizabeth, Helen Ella, May, Winifred, Sarah Sadie” and two sons who died in their infancy.


Photo: Sarah Tinnany holding daughter Winfred with Helen (Ella) left and Elizabeth right.  Courtesy of Muriel Cudby.

Photo: Sarah seated background with her daughter Sarah “Sadie” foreground. Courtesy of Muriel Cudby.


Photo: (L-R) Sarah, Helen and Margaret Daughters of Paddy and Sarah Tinnany. And two of Paddy and Sarah's grandchildren, Ian and Muriel, sitting on the rail. Taken at Dunoon, Scotland about 1953.  Courtesy of Muriel Tinnany Cudby.



Paddy's brother William and his daughter Pat came from England and visited Paddy and his family in Helensburgh several times  prior to 1955.  Paddy's nephew Joseph Tinneny (Fr. Joachim OFM) also visited Paddy and his family around 1955-56. 

Paddy's daughters Ella and Sadie traveled to the Franciscan Friary in East Bergholt, England to attend the ordination of their first cousin Fr. Joachim on September 24, 1955.  Following the ordination they attended Joseph's First Mass at the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Church, Quex Road, Kilburn, London.  After the ordination, Fr. Joachim spent a holiday at the home of his Uncle Paddy. 

Joachim described Paddy as being very tall and quiet” whereas, his own father, Paddys brother William, was quite short but otherwise the two looked much alike.”



Photo: Sarah with her granddaughter Muriel Tinnany Cudby.  








Photo: Paddy Tinnany and his nephew Joseph, (Rev. Joachim Tinneny, OFM), taken during Josephs visit to his uncle and the Tinnany family in Helensburgh shortly after his ordination.  Courtesy of Muriel Tinnany Cudby.


Photo: Sarah is memorialized on this headstone in Helensburgh Cemetery along with other relatives.  Courtesy of Nicola Cudby Burns.

Paddy died April 2,1959 and Sarah past away October 29, 1962.  They died in Helensburgh and are buried in the Helensburgh Cemetery. 

Note: Their daughters Margaret and Sarah didn’t marry and their daughters Ella and May had sons who bear their fathers last names thus ended the Tinnany name in Scotland.

Descendants include Cudby, Fullbrook, Jones, Fowlis, Harvey, Duckett, Towler, Donaldson, Burns, Deeney, Erith and Hall.


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Updated January 7, 2024
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