At some point 100 years or so ago, the nuns at St Ignatius in Centralia Pa. decide they liked the spelling of Kenneff, but I have come to a tentative conclusion that it was originally Cunniffe.
My g-grandfather John emigrated to US in 1873 with his mother Ann and her 2 grandchildren Thomas & Agnes O'Brien. The O'brien's mother had died in childbirth in Ireland. I found birth/death records for a Maria Cunniffe married to John O'Brien in Clonfort, Co. Galway in 1867. When John came to Centralia, he married Margaret Horan, whose father had been born in Clonfort. Based on this, I think I have the right family.
US census shows the original bunch as not being able to read or write English, so I think that accounts for the name mangling.
Very interested if any of this matches any Cunniff(e), Conniff(e) history.
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