Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Double Wedding of the Sisters Kennerly, 1891

You are invited to attend the marriage of Helen Kennerly to A.B. McCans, and Maude Kennerly to J.D. Tanner, Wednesday morning, April twenty-ninth at half past ten o'clock, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, at the residence of S.J. Kennerly, Cottonwood Street, Gainesville, Texas.

This wedding invitation was found in the attic of Moran Place among the papers of Fannie Moran.

It's not certain at this time if there is a familial relationship between these families and the Morans but I would not rule it out.

Helen and Maude Kennerly were the daughters of William W. and Martha (Mattie) McGehee Kennerly. Based on research and perusing family trees William Kennerly was born in 1833 in Franklin County, Tennessee.  He died Feb. 20 1881 in Smithville, Georgia.  He married Martha McGehee about 1867 based on the fact that in the 1880 Census their daughter Helen was 12 years old. William died Feb 20 1881 in Georgia but was interred in Featherston Cemetery in Franklin County, Tennessee.  Mattie was born Oct 22 1844 in Griffin, Georgia. On her death certificate her name is listed as Mattie F.C. Kennerly.  I found a tree on ancestry that listed her full name as Martha Frank Oliver McGehee. Her parents were James Andrew McGehee and Sarah "Sally" Hamilton Harper both of South Carolina. The informant was W.H. Beaty, the second husband of Helen Kennerly McCans Beaty.  Mattie died on august 20 1919 in what was then known as Polytechnic, Texas but is now a part of Fort Worth.  She was interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.  Helen Kennerly was born Dec. 9 1868 in Georgia while Maude was born Feb 29 1872, also in Georgia.

William was the son of Samuel and Helen Kennerly.  Here is the makeup of the Kennerly home as it appeared in the 1850 Census for Franklin, Tennessee:
Samuel Jackson Kennerly, age 47, merchant, Real Estate valued at $2000, Birthplace Tennessee
Helen (Taylor) Kennerly, age 36, Tennessee
William W. Kennerly, age 16, Tennessee
Leathy J. Kennerly, age 14, female, Tennessee
George T. Kennerly, age 7, Tennessee
and his twin brother
John P. Kennerly, age 7, Tennessee
James H. Kennerly, age 5, Tennessee
Archy Jordan, age 22, Physician, Tennessee
George R. Kennerly, age 46, Farmer, Tennessee
In addition to those named above Samuel and Helen Kennerly had another son named Samuel Jackson Kennerly born in Jun 1849, but not listed in the 1850 Census. He moved to Gainesville, Texas by 1881.

Martha appears in the 1850 census  for Pike, Georgia with her family:
J.A. McGehee, age 41, physician, real estate valued at $80, born in South Carolina
S.H. McGehee, age 38, South Carolina
Maude R. McGehee, age 15, Georgia
Jane H. McGehee, age 12, Georgia
Stephan G. McGehee, age 9, Georgia
Martha F.C. McGehee, age 7, Georgia
Sarah C. McGehee, age 5, Georgia
Charlotte E. McGehee, age 3, Georgia
Susan L. McGehee, age 1, Georgia

William appears in the 1860 Census for Marion, Buena Vista, Georgia, in the household of John Matthews.  His occupation was school teacher. He was 27 years old.

1860 Census for Martha McGehee not located at this time.

1870 Census for W.W. Kennerly not located at this time.

1880 Census Lee, Smithville Georgia
William W. Kennerly, age 47, School Teacher
Martha Kennerly, age 35, wife, Georgia
Helen Kennerly, age 12, daughter, Georgia
Maude Kennerly, age 9, daughter, Georgia

After the death of her husband William Kennerly, Martha moved to Texas with their daughters Helen and Maude.

In a double wedding ceremony April 29, 1891, Helen married Alexander Bailey McCans and her sister Maude married James Donnell Tanner at the home of their uncle Samuel Jackson Kennerly.

Helen and her first husband A.B. McCans had six children: Alexander B. Jr, Josephine, Maude L, Lindsey Harper McCans, Helen and an unamed infant that died in 1899.  The family lived in Gainesville, Texas, a place I've written about before.  Most likely the McCans knew J.T. Edwards and his wife Josie Gardner who were from Weakley County, TN and had moved to Gainesville.  Another Moran and Weakley County connection would be Rufus Franklin Scott who married the sister of John Williamson Moran, Martha Helen Moran.  They moved to Gainesville in 1858 and were prominent citizens as were the Gardners.  Helen and A.B. named one of their daughters Josephine Gardner McCans.  I find it interesting that Alexander B. McCans Jr became a banker and the Moran family helped found the Dresden Bank.

A.B. McCans died in 1898 and was interred at Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville.  After his death, Helen became a dressmaker and  in the 1900 Census Alexander Jr, Maude and Josephine were living in the Masonic Orphans and Widows Home at Justice, Texas.  Helen married William Herbert Beaty on Dec. 25 1903 in Bryan, Texas.  They had three children: Jennie, Samuel and William H. Jr.  Helen Kennerly McCans Beaty died in 1941 and is interred in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park Cemetery at Fort Worth as is her second husband W.H. Beaty.

Maude Kennerly and her husband James Donnell Tanner appear in the 1910 Census for Pontotoc, Oklahoma.  James is 52 years old, born in Alabama and was a bookkeeper.  Maude is 38 years old and had 6 births and 6 living children: Val (son) age 17 TX, James D. age 14 TX, Martha age 10 OK, Willie W. age 7 OK, Hellen P. age 4 OK and Robert W. age 2 OK.  Maude Kennerly Tanner died May 5 1956 and is interred at Highland Cemetery in Pawnee Oklahoma.  Her husband, James Donnell Tanner died October 30 1910 and is interred at Mannsville Cemetery in Mannsville Oklahoma.

As always, the research is subject to corrections.  If there are descendants of Helen and Maude still surviving we hope this information proves useful to them and that they will enjoy seeing the wedding invitation of the sisters Kennerly.

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