This site is a collation of descendants of Alexander Kennedy of Kirkmaiden, Scotland.

The information comes from various Kennedy descendants, both in my line and others.

The jump from Mary Allison née Kennedy, who immigated to the United States, back to Scotland is the uncertain one. As a starting point we have a family Bible belonging to her, inscribed "Property of Mary Kennedy Allison of Kirkmaiden, Scotland." This begs the question of whether she was listing Kirkmaiden as her place of birth or simply a residence when she acquired it. The other data point is that John Blair Linn says Mary was the third daughter of John Kennedy and she was born on 1 Nov 1730.

Looking at the Scottish registrations of birth and baptism, we don't find a Mary such as Linn describes. The closest we can come to that is: Mary, daughter of John, baptised 30 Dec 1730. Two months is a rather long delay for those days where baptisms usually followed within days or a fortnight, but surely possible. However, this Mary is baptised in Ochiltree in Ayrshire. If we look at a map, Ochiltree is some 60-70 miles away to the north; it is unlikely a Kirkmaiden birth would be baptised there. If this is our Mary, I think we have to assume she was born in Ayrshire and the Bible entry meant she moved to Kirkmaiden later in life.

We haven't found a marriage record between Mary and Archibald to help and the first children were probably born in Ireland. Coupled with the lack of baptismal records in Kirkmaiden for them, this suggests either they got married in Ireland or moved there shortly after marriage. We wouldn't suppose a marriage in Ayrshire and then a long stay in Kirkmaiden without children.

The other alternative is to assume Linn got his dates wrong. While there's nothing to suggest that directly, there's also nothing to make us think that his history is any more accurate than others of that period, which were often unreliable beyond the borders of the United States. If we abandon that birth date, the parish records show us a Kirkmaiden Mary, daughter of John. In fact, it shows us two: one in 1717 and one in 1727, born to the same parents. Presumably the first died and the name was regranted to a later child. Mary1727 meets the criterion of being the third daughter of John. This alternative strikes me as slightly more plausible, so I've organized these pages around it. The parish records trace this Mary back to Alexander Kennedy listed above.

Kirkmaiden is the southernmost parish in Scotland, located not far from the Mull of Galloway which is Scotland's southermost point and where, supposedly, St. Ninian started his conversion of Scotland to Christianity. The parish church was originally about five miles south of Drummore (about where Kirkmaiden is shown on the map above) but parishioners were unhappy with the difficulty of reaching it—John MacQueen suggests that early parishoners attended mass at the church by boat—and built a new church slightly to the west of Drummore in 1638. The location "Kirkmaiden by Drummore" found in our family's marriage and baptismal records probably refers to that newer church.

John Blair Linn, History of Centre and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia: Lewis H. Everts, 1883).

John MacQueen, Place-names in the Rhinns of Galloway and Luce Valley, (Scotland: Stranraer & District Local History Trust, 2002).