The History of 8 Families

I have been helping my fiance find information about his grandfather, Charles Kearney. I have to say that I am not having much luck in finding anything here in the U.S. and thought that maybe if I started backwards I might come up with something.

Not much is known about Charles Kearney. Just that he came from Ireland. (Not much help!)

In the U.S. he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad. In the early 1900s, he married Rose Lunski, in Minnesota or North Dakota.

Their first child, James Kearney, was born in 1914, in New Rockford, North Dakota.

Their second child was Don. The family then lived in Grafton, North Dakota.

Rose was pregnant with their third child, Mary, when Charles disapeared. And I mean without a trace! Rose could not locate him and gave up searching. She raised her children in Grafton, North Dakota, taking in boarders and laundry to support them. Rose never spoke much about Charles to her children. The boys came to hate him for leaving as they had to take much ridicule from others for not have their father there.

Mary, (who is now 80 years old) said that she asked her mother about her father only once. When she was about eight or nine it "dawned" on her that she was the only one of her school friends that didn't have a father. Her mother told her that she came home one day and he was gone. She also said that he was a gambler and a big drinker. We are guessing he was in his early twenties when he and Rose were married. Mary has one photograph of her father. Charles Kearney was a very good looking man, and has a great-grandson that could pass for his twin! No one really knows what happened to him. Did he run away intentionally or was he killed somewhere over a gambling dispute? I have searched the social security records, land and census records and have come up empty handed at every turn. I cannot find any record of him in the United States.

So by trying to find out where he came from and what family he had in Ireland, maybe I can find some clues. If anyone has any other suggestions for trying to find out about Charles Kearney, I would be ever grateful.


Sherlyn Meiers

Last updated Oct. 6, 1998

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