The name Kennedy can be traced back to the 11th century to the nephew of Brian Boru, the Irish King. Brian Boru was born in the year 942 and was the last of twelve sons born to King Cennedig, head of the Dal Cais tribe. Anglicised Dal Cais surnames include Malone, O'Brien, O'Grady, Healy, MacNamara, MacDonnel, Quinn, Kennedy, Aherne and Hanrahan.
The Kennedy's were one of the most powerful families in the famous Dal gCais tribal grouping. Their homeland was near Killaloe in Clare until they were driven out by O'Briens and MacNamaras, leaving behind them the civil parish of Killokennedy.
In their new home of Tipperary they rose to fame as the Lords of Ormond for over four hundred years, and became far more influential than in their ancient patrimony in Thomond. From Tipperary they spread through-out Ireland as far south as Wexford, where the ancestors of John F Kennedy the thirty-fifth US president originated.
The earliest trace of my Kennedy Family was found in Arles, Queens County, an inland county in the province of Leinster. It is likely that the Kennedy's were descendants of the Tipperary clan having moved into the neighbouring county of Queens.
According to the Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland in 1837 by Samuel Lewis, Arles village was part of the parish of Killaban, Queens County. Arles is located about five miles from Carlow and about three quarters of a mile north of Ballickmoyler on the main road between Carlow town in the south and Maryborough (Portlaoise) in the North.
In 1837 the village contained about 250 inhabitants and about 40 houses. The area was well known for its production of excellent quality house and roofing tiles. These were sent to Dublin and other places around the country where they were in much demand at the time. These type of tiles were eventually superseded by the use of slates and the tile works became extinct in the village. The village then began to manufacture yarn and linen to a small extent.