"COSNAHAN 1510 to 2010 and KNEEN STORY" 1780’s to Present Day

Updated  2014  by Brian E. P. Kneen 1999

I thought an introduction about ourselves reference the "Kneen's" / Cosnahan's". I am Manx born, left home 1953 like all young Manx do, to explore the world just like our ancestors did in the 1600 to 1900's and still do today.

Mary and I have two married daughters, nine grand children plus four great grand children and one married son. We are scattered from the Isle of Man / Wiltshire, to Middlesex / Cheshire  / West-Sussex . I am a retired Aircraft Engineer, I.Eng A.M.R.A.e.S. 

Mary is a dressmaker, City and Guilds qualified Fashion & Design Teacher and retired college lecturer, now into computer sewing and embroidery computer designs and more classic hobbies.

Angela our eldest daughter was the one on the Isle of Man Bulletin Board, back in 1994 also the N.A.M.A. list like myself ref, the family genealogy we do.

She has researched her first marriage Manx name" Kinvig" (see home page here “Kinvig Tree “ ) she has since remarried to a “Moore” and I am doing our family name " Kneen / married line Barrow / Rose / White in Dorset / Somerset , " plus Cooksley / Mathews my “Kneen” maternal line in Lancashire / U.S.A./ Canada , and my Grandfathers maternal line the "Cosnahans" in the Isle of Man , plus all the many family connections. Our youngest daughter Vykky is a very successful beauty consultant with her own business in West Sussex and our son Jason is co-owner of www.bouncingfish.com and owner of our www.kneen.com  server.

The Cosnahan's were a very famous Manx Clergy Family now died out on the Isle of Man. But not in the rest of the world, I have found three families in the UK only. There are forty or so Cosnahan households in the USA. I am in touch with three ladies who are connected to the ancestors of Cosnahans in one way or other, who went to the America’s in the 1700’s

I am back to 1700’s on my Grandfathers Fathers' paternal side "Kneen" and 1510 back on his maternal Grandmother's side, The Cosnahan's  The Kneen line back to 1700’s is proving difficult due so many family members called Thomas Kneen so progress is slow and very rewarding. This has now been completed, and presently searching the Manchester area UK for my Grandfathers eldest brothers descendants..

My Mother's side (Mathew's) is interesting from England in 1876 through to the USA in 1876 and Canada in 1886 and then back to England in 1901 /10. But then this is still being researched, like all the families.

There are approx., 68 present day "Kneen " households on the Isle of Man in 2001. Many are my family and cousins; I am in touch worldwide with about 45+ on the net and email. I have over 3400 names from 1613 through to 1892 extracted from the I.G.I. records, with reference to the Isle of Man only.

I have done an approx., World study on the "Kneen " households and this is it, USA 279, Canada 47, Australia 243, UK 399 (not I. of Man) as not part of the UK, France 1, and South Africa 31 = total approx., 1069 there abouts + or - about 10 %.

I did a quick check on the number of "Cosnahan's", as I mentioned before and as far as I know they have died out on the Isle of Man. In England I know of three present days "Cosnahan's".

Also as I said before there are 40 odd Cosnahans on the phone in the USA! There is also a link somewhere with the McDaniel’s in the America’s. As I have had email enquiries from them, I did a web search once for the McDaniel’s name and came upon hundreds. It would take a lot of resources to contact them all, same goes for any known name in numbers. I know I have tried it.

Our "Kneen " name dates from about 1422 and was spelt Kynyne, in 1666 it was Keneen, and Kaneen in 1740. It originated in Scotland and when the Isle of Man was invaded by the Scots many Manx names were formed. Kneen is also related to the clan Macintosh; we are entitled to wear their tartan. Like a lot of Manx names I have seen the clan chart at the Laxey Woollen Mills, we did try and get a copy but was unable to. A complete kilt dress out costs about 1000 pounds!

I have found over the years the I.G.I. it is not reliable. You have to double-check it out with church records. But it is a good place to start off ones Genealogy.

Reference the "Cosnahan's my Grandfather was one of six sons of George Kneen and Alice (nee Kaye) 1835 – 1906 her Mother was Eleanor Cosnahan who married Robert Kaye 1803 – 1861. They apparently eloped and up set the "Cosnahan " tradition of inter marrying through cousins to keep land and heritage all together. See Canon Stennings 1941 story "Cosnahan" in the index.

Eleanor's parents were Mark Cosnahan and Alice Bridson 1770 – 1812. Going further back now, Mark Cosnahan parents were Hugh Cosnahan and Eleanor Finch. 1728 – 1790 Hugh's parents were the Vicar General John Cosnahan and Ann Corrin 1693 - 1770. John's parents were Sir John Cosnahan and Margaret Moore 1668 – 1730 and then further back to 1510 and the first three sons who came from Scotland in the 1510’s.

I think the "Oates " connection came in at Sir John and Margaret Moores children I would have to recheck all my records. This as I said it is only briefly this since I have started my genealogy. I have been and still am in touch weekly and monthly with more people who are connected to this history. But this is another story; my Kneen side as I said is back to 1780’s on the Manx homeland.

I am progressing slowly and only started sixteen years ago .Many years ago when our children were at school about 1976, they came home one day, saying their teacher had asked them to do a project on their family. We did a rough one back to my Grandfather, they got top marks, and I hate to think what would happen now! Anyhow the chart went in the cupboard for twenty odd years.

We go home every other year, I still call it home regardless, while there in 1994 we visited the Manx Heritage Centre in Douglas and I was hooked line and sinker!  I still have many family and cousins still living on the Isle of Man.

So there you have our short story; there is a coat of arms and history placard on Kneen. Many Family Research centres do them by post; we certainly have ours on our web site under "Surname"

"The Cosnahan Project " Lesley McNaughton and I are the founder's of it.  We do like to share our history because it brings people together and breaks the "ice" as they say. During this research time I have made many friends and email contacts all over the world, many of the contacts are related to the Cosnahan tree like we all are. I hate to think what the real figure’s are it must be thousands of thousands.

Best wishes and regards to all.

Brian E. P. Kneen. In Wiltshire. England.

"Good Luck " and never give up.

"Lesh  Yeearreeyn Share" (Manx)

(" With Compliments ")


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