Descendants of Johanna LYONS / LYNES (to contribute information, please email

First Generation

1. Johanna LYONS / LYNES was born about 1794 in possibly Knockbrane, Lixnaw, Co. Kerry; or Newtownsandes (Moyvane), Co. Kerry. She died on 1 Mar 1879 in Kilbaha, Moyvane, Co. Kerry.

Unfortunately very little is known of Johanna or the Lyons/Lynes family (the names Lyons and Lynes are interchangeable) although I have been told thay may have come from Knockbrane in Lixnaw, Co. Kerry or Newtownsandes (now Moyvane), Co. Kerry.

However, Heather Olson, a descendant of Johanna and her husband, Myles Cunningham, tells me she has an uncle who is a DNA match with the following people with Lyons/Lynes connections:

1. A descendant of Edmund Dineen from Glenalappa, Moyvane and Honora Lynes from Shronagragra, Moyvane who were married in Moyvane in 1858. Honora was baptised in Duagh, Co. Kerry in 1835 and her parents were Daniel Lynes and Honora Shine who would have been contemporaries of Myles and Johanna. Honora Shine was from Kilbaha.

2. A descendant of Margaret Lynes and Richard Woulfe. It appears Margaret was a sister of Honora Lynes and was baptised in Kilbaha in 1844. She emigrated to the United States, married Richard, and they had a daughter named Aileen.

3. Mary Stack, a daughter of Catherine Lynes and Michael Stack. Catherine was a daughter of  Dermot Lynes and Mary Sullivan and was baptised in Kilbaha in 1839. This DNA match is also a shared match with the descendant of Margaret Lynes and Richard Woulfe.  

It appears, therefore, that our Johanna above was related to Daniel Lynes and Dermot Lynes. Could they have been siblings?

Lynes is a variant of Lyons and is most numerous in counties Kerry, Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. It is an anlicisation of the Irish surname "Ó Laighin" from the word "laighean" meaning lance or spear. The Lyons surname is one of the commonest surnames in Ireland, particularly in the three southern provinces. In Ulster it is usually a variant of the English and Scottish surname "Lyon", but elsewhere it is virtually always the anglicised version of one of two Irish names, Ó Laighin, or Ó Liathain which possibly derives from the Irish word "liath" meaning grey. The Ó Laighin name originated in two areas, Co. Kerry and east Co. Galway. In Kerry the name was almost invariably anglicised as "Lyne". The Ó Liathain family is reputed to have originated in Co. Limerick but the Ó Liathain name is now more common in Co. Cork, particularly in the north of the county.

Johanna married Myles CUNNINGHAM, son of 'unknown' CUNNINGHAM and 'UNKNOWN'. Myles was born in abt 1780s in Templeglantine, Co. Limerick; or Kilbaha, Newtownsandes (Moyvane), Co. Kerry. He died before 1 Mar 1879 in probably Kilbaha, Newtownsandes (Moyvane), Co. Kerry.

Myles and his wife, Johanna Lynes (or Lyons), had a son and seven daughters, all of whom married and remained in the parish of Newtownsandes (now known as Moyvane). Everyone in the area knew of the seven daughters because it so unusual to have seven sisters all married and living in the parish at the same time.

They had the following children.

+ 2 M i Bryan CUNNINGHAM was born in 1822. He died on 7 Jul 1901.
+ 3 F ii Ellen CUNNINGHAM was born about 26 Apr 1825. She died on 26 May 1883.
+ 4 F iii Hanora (Norrie) CUNNINGHAM was born about 1826. She died after 31 Mar 1901.
  5 F iv
Johanna CUNNINGHAM was born about 24 Apr 1830 in Kilbaha, Newtownsandes (Moyvane), Co. Kerry. She was christened on 26 Apr 1830 in Newtownsandes, Co. Kerry. She died in probably between 1830 and 1840.

Because another daughter also named Johanna was born ten years later, it is likely that this Johanna died as a child.

There were no sponsors listed on Johanna's baptismal record.
  6 F v
Mary CUNNINGHAM was born about 4 Oct 1832 in Kilbaha, Newtownsandes (Moyvane), Co. Kerry. She was christened on 6 Oct 1832 in Newtownsandes, Co. Kerry. She died in possibly after 2 Apr 1911 in possibly Aughrim, Moyvane, Co. Kerry.

Sponsors at Mary's baptism were James Cunningham and Mary Woulf.

It is thought by one family source that Mary married a Pat O'Sullivan from Knockbawn (in Co. Kerry?) and that they emigrated to the United States where Pat was killed in a railway accident in the course of his work. However, other family sources believe Mary married a Mr. Moore (possibly named James) from Aughrim.

There is a record (on of the marriage of a widow named Mary Cunningham from Newtownsandes to a James Moore from Listowel on 28 May 1874, but the name of Mary's father on the register is John, not Myles. Furthermore Mary would have been 42 years of age in May 1874 so it is unlikely that this record relates to the marriage of our Mary.

Perhaps Mary married twice, marrying Pat O'Sullivan first and later marrying a Mr. Moore.

If our Mary did indeed marry a Mr. Moore from Aughrim, then it is likely she lived with her niece Margaret Moore (née Mulvihill) in Aughrim towards the end of her life as there is a Mary Moore, aged 81 and widowed, listed in the 1911 census return of Margaret and her husband, Patrick Moore.
Mary married 'UNKNOWN'.
+ 7 F vi Margaret (Peg) CUNNINGHAM was born about 3 Mar 1835. She died after 2 Apr 1911.
+ 8 F vii Johanna CUNNINGHAM was born about 25 Sep 1840. She died on 16 Jan 1920.
+ 9 F viii Brigid (Biddy) CUNNINGHAM was born about 25 Sep 1840. She died before 2 Apr 1911.
+ 10 F ix Ann (Nance) CUNNINGHAM died before 31 Mar 1901.

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