The Tinneny Family History Site

Biographies of Our Forefathers

Mary Anne 'Mollie' Tinneny

Mary Anne Tinneny was the eldest child of Francis Tinneny and Annie Dolan.  She was born April 13, 1893 at the family home on Chapel Hill in Belturbet.  Margaret Tinneny Casey who was a midwife attended her birth.  Molly was baptized in Belturbet on May 1, 1893.  Her godparents were Bernard Devine and Ellen Fitzpatrick.

Photo of Mollie. Courtesy of Betty Tinneny 

As a child growing up in Belturbet, Mollie no doubt visited her cousins, the children of her Uncle Robert Tinneny, who lived at nearby Castle Saunderson.  Also living very nearby were other cousins, the children of her Uncle Thomas Tinneny, who lived at Holburn Hill in Belturbet. 

As a young woman Mollie went to England to work. While there she met William "Bill" Haynes who was a policeman. The couple married and eventually moved from England to the British Colony of Hong Kong where Bill served for 21 years on the Hong Kong Police Force.  Prior to being assigned to Hong Kong, Bill had been stationed in Palestine with the police.  It was when the forces were withdrawn from Palestine that Bill was assigned to Hong Kong.  Bill had also been

On July 22, 1924 Mollie served as the godmother for Joseph Tinneny (Fr. Joachim) who was the son of her first cousin William Tinneny who was raised on the Saunderson Estate.

Sometime around 1920 Mollie and Bill took home leave from Hong Kong and went to England to visit with her cousin William Tinneny and his family.  During this visit her godson Joseph was so impressed by Mollie that from the time that he was in his early teens until her death many years later they corresponded regularly.

Mollie is described as having been a tall, slim, good-looking woman.  This is certainly verified in photos of her that were given to me by her grandniece Betty Tinneny of Roslea during my visit with her in 1994.  Mollie enjoyed bowling as a hobby. 

During World War II Bill retired from the Hong Kong Police Force with 21 years of service.  According Mary Tinneny O'Kane, he and Mollie were unable to travel back to Ireland because of the War so they went to Australia instead.  Molly’s nephew Jim Tinneny said while living in Melbourne Australia, Mollie had taken a holiday trip to New Zealand and found it to be much like Ireland with its green landscape.  She went back and convinced Bill and the couple immigrated to New Zealand where they settled for good.  Sometime after they settled in New Zealand Bill died.  He was buried in the Garda (police) Cemetery in Auckland.  Mollie broke her hip in 1974 and gangrene set inMay 1st of that year she passed away in the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor. 

Her godson Fr. Joachim was serving at his mission in Jawalgira, India when shortly following her death he received a letter from a Mrs. Ngaire Green of Flat 1, 23 Vien Rd., Mt. Eden 3, Auckland, New Zealand.  The letter was dated May 3 1974.  Mrs. Green wrote:

Dear Father Joachim,

You will be sorry to hear your cousin Mollie passed away May 1st, 1974.  The service, full requiem mass, was held in Saint Joseph’s Chapel.  It was a lovely service and all of her friends were there.  Mollie had suffered great pain this last year.  Her leg would not heal and the last 3 months she could not stand so she was in a chair.  If you can remember Mollie that was most frustrating; she was always so lively and had a great sense of humor.  The Little Sisters of the Poor were so kind and gentle to her.  I am not much good at writing about these things as I feel words are futile.  Your letters gave Mollie a lot of pleasure and I am sure the family appreciated them too. I hope you are well.

        Kindest wishes.SincerelyNgaire Green

Fr. Joachim was subsequently contacted by Mollie’s estate agents: Bruce, Scott, Stevens and Partridge, Barristers and Solicitors.  Their offices were located on the 3rd floor, A.N. 2 House, Corner Queen and Victoria Streets, Auckland 1, New Zealand.  He received two letters from them.  In the first letter was a copy of Mollie's will, which reads in part as follows:

"....THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me MARY ANNE HAYNES of Auckland in the Dominion of New Zealand, Widow.  I.... DECLARE .... a) TO pay to the said PHYLLIS MARY READ the sum of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100-00) without reference to her portion as executrix of this my will b) To pay to the Reverend Father Joachim Tinneny of the Order of Friars Minor Catholic Church, Jawalgira, South India the sum of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($500-00) free of all duties in New Zealand currency. c) (i) TO pay to each of them my five grand nieces and nephews (the children of my nephew JAMES FRANCIS TINNENY, PATRICK THOMAS TINNENY AND PETER GERARD TINNENY the sum of THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300-00) free of all duties in New Zealand currency. (ii)TO pay to each of them my grand nephews and grand-nieces (the children of MARGARET JOYCE) namely STEVEN JOYCE and PATRICIA JOYCE the sum of THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS (300-00) free of all duties in New Zealand currency. (iii) TO pay to each of them my grand nieces (the children of Mrs. J CURRAN) namely (BERNADINE CURRAN) the sum of THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300-00) free of all duties in New Zealand currency. d) TO divide the balance equally between the REVEREND FATHER JOACHIM TINNENY of the Order of Friars Minor Catholic Church, Jawalgira, South India, the MATER MISERICORDIA HOSPITAL, AUCKLAND DIVISION CANCER SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND INCORPORATED and THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR 9 Tweed Street, Ponsonby, for their generous purposes.....

.....IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto subscribed my name this 5th day of April One thousand nine hundred and seventy four (1974). ....."

Letter contents courtesy of Father Joachim Tinneny O.F.M. 

Note: Mary Ann had no descendants.


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Updated January 7, 2024
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