CONHEENEY FAMILY HISTORY

Great great Grandfather and Grandmother

Patrick Conheeney (b.1836) Catherine Tully (b. 1840)

Original name came from "Rabbitt"and is the Anglicization of the Irish word "coinine" which sounds similar in Irish to Conneeny. The standardized spelling has come to Conheeny in the last few generations. Patrick and Catherine had eight children:
James Joseph Conheeney (b.1860) (My great grandfather) m. Nov. 8 1888 in Newport to Mary Josephine Finnerty.

Michael (Rabbitt) Conheeney b. April 1 1862 in St Brandon, Co Galway, Ireland
John (Conneeny) Conheeney b. June 20,1863 in St Brandon, Co Galway d. April 14 1865 in Kilcoosh
John (Conheeny) Conheeney b. June 15 1865 in Kilcoosh, Newbridge, Co Galway
Honoria (Cunneeny) Conheeney b. Dec 23, 1867 in Kilcoosh, Newbridge, Co Galway
Bridget (Conneeny) Conheeney b. Aug 4 1872 in Kilcoosh, Newbridge, Co Galway
Eleanor (Conneeny) Conheeney b. Aug 5 1874 in Kilcoosh, Newbridge , Co Galway
Catherine ( Conneeny) Conheeney b. June 27, 1878 in Kilcoosh, Newbridge, Co Galway

Great Grandfather James Joseph Conheeney b.1860. He left the family farm (Still in operation in Kilcoosh, Co Galway with 100 acres and 200 head of cattle and run by two brothers Peter and Andrew Conheeny) after having a fallout with the English landlord who returned the following day to shoot him.

James arrived in Newport in 1881 and opened Conheeny's wine room which was located on the upper part of Hammond Street located in a predominately Irish section of Newport. There are still Conheenys residing on the street. In 1888 James married Mary Josehine Finnerty and moved the building and bar around the corner to Spring street where the building still remains as a residence.
NOTE: original photographs of the building and great grandfatherare on display at Shamrock Farm.

James and Mary had six children born in Newport (that includes Thomas's twin who died in infancy).

Andrew b. Aug 6 1889 d. July 3 1890
Thomas b. Aug 6, 1889 (married. Henrietta) d. Sept 1966
Andrew b. April 19, 1891
Katie Agnes b. Oct 19 1892
James J b. May 20, 1894
Elizabeth b. Feb 1897

Grandfather Thomas Conheeny Lived his entire life on Hammond Street (Newport's Fifth Ward) and was only of the city most well known police officers. Most of Newport’s high society knew him as the ( "Whistling Cop" stationed on Newport’s most famous street Bellevue avenue). After retirement from the police dept he became the first greeting officer for the Newport preservation society’s Breakers estate.

Thomas married Henrietta and had three sons:

Thomas Conheeny II b. July 4 , 1916
James Conheeny Henry Turner Conheeny b. May 23 1919
Father Henry Turner Conheeny Henry grew up on Hammond Street and remained in Newport’s Fifth ward Irish community. Henry enlisted in the army during WWII and served over seas during which time he was credited for saving his company. He was later awarded highest honors at the famed Fort Adams Newport RI which once served to protect the harbor during the revolutionary war.

Henry (Harry) was married to Eileen Virginia Harry and Eileen lived in the heart of the old Fifth Ward. Harry worked as a postman and was an accomplished chef with mostly cooking for large groups some of which were entertainers at Newport Folk and Jazz festivals held yearly in Newport, also at Newport society functions, communion breakfasts and the old fashion clambakes. He was a very well known man throughout his life and was donned the (Mayor of the old Fifth Ward) of which there is a local park dedicated to him and his life. The park was dedicated on St Patrick's Day and the only time the parade extended beyond the judging stand to the park a short distance from the ceremonial end.

Harry and Eileen had three sons:

Henry T Conheeny II b.July 17 1946
Peter Andrew Conheeny b.December 9 1949
William Joseph Conheeny b.June 9 1953 who grew up in their Newport home assisting his father in his cooking career, was educated in private schools run by the Christian brothers and continued studying in the Botany/genetics field. After completing an associate degreeat the Franklin Institute of Boston in 1977, he founded Shamrock Electric an electrical contracting firm which is licensed throughout the east cost and now services many of the buildings of the Newport Preservation Society and Newport's society that is so much a part of his heritage. William has restored several pieces of property one of which was the Irish American Athletic Club located on Thames street in Newport Fifth Ward. This building once housed a speakeasy during prohibition and forever an icon in Newport's local Irish history. Here William would use his father's taught food skills to feed and entertain the locals. In 1986 William purchased the main house of an original farm located on Union street in Portsmouth an area of rich history from the revolutionary war and at the center of the island. In 1994 he purchased the original barn and adjacent property. After a 5 year restoration process Shamrock Farm Inn was created with six elegantly decorated rooms which has been open since 2000. Has one daughter: Kirby Alison Conheeny b. September 11 1988