In Memory of Mrs. Hetty McKenny Flynn

A few grave markers documented by the WPA in 1936 are missing, and one of those is that of Mrs. Hetty Flynn. Since the WPA workers arranged their listing geographically, we know that her marker was adjacent to those of Patrick Flynn’s three sons, Rev. Thomas Augustine, James, and John. So, it seems logical that she was their mother and Patrick’s wife. According to the WPA records, the only inscription on the missing marker was, “In Memory of Mrs. Hetty Flynn / Died October 2, 1884.”

In Catholicity in the Carolinas and Georgia, Rev. Jeremiah Joseph O’Connell tells us that Mr. Flynn married the widow “McKenna” who had two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, and that he and the widow had the three sons mentioned in the previous paragraph. You can read more about them in this earlier post.

One grave marker in this graveyard is that of Michael “McKenny,” and some digging around in unearths Michael “McKinney” whose wife was named Hetty. We have no further information about Hetty, but there are also in this graveyard markers for Elizabeth A. (McKenny) Walker and her husband, Coleman or Cole Walker. Elizabeth’s mother is identified as Hetty.

So, allowing for some variation in the spelling of McKenna, it seems almost certain that Hetty was married to Michael McKenny and that they had two daughters. Michael died, and she married Patrick Flynn with whom she had three sons.

Rev. Jeremiah Joseph wrote, in the book linked above, that daughter Mary McKenna married a Mr. Magnum and “died at an early age.” That is interesting because the marker for Michael McKenny also includes an epitaph for Mary: Also died April 21, 1857 Mary Ellen Aged 25 years and 11 months. There is no mention of Mr. Mangum or the two children. The marker is below, the addition for Mary Ellen, having been added later, showing some signs of less erosion or slightly different engraving. Mary Ellen may or may not have been buried here.

It is significant that Hetty’s memory of her first husband is that he was “loving and kind.”

Elizabeth, second daughter of Hetty and Michael Kenny, married Coleman Walker and died in 1904. Both are buried in this graveyard. This marker is with those of Hetty’s three sons.

It seems evident that Mrs. Hetty McKenny Flynn was a strong woman and faithful Catholic and parishioner of St. Peter’s in difficult times, a woman who outlived two husbands and suffered great sadness in the loss of them, her first daughter, and her three sons. What a shame that her grave marker is missing. We know nothing of her parents or ancestry, and nobody left words of tribute in her memory.

The chart below is an attempt to show on a timeline the connections of the folks mentioned in this post. The yellow highlighting indicates persons buried in this graveyard.

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