68 James Francis Kenney

Dr. James F. Kenney to whose memory this present volume is dedicated

Acting Dominion Archivist, a past president of t h e Irish Historical

Association n and at the time of his premature death, secretary of the Canadian

Catholic Historical Association, James F. Kenney M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., D.

Litt., died suddenly, Tuesday, Jun e 4 the at his residence, 133 Rideau Terrace,

Ottawa. Dr. Kenney was in his 62nd year. He was widely known in Canada

as a Dominion archivist, in the United States, as advisory editor of the

Catholic Historical Review and in Europe, for his work in Irish historical


Dr. Kenney was born 1884 in Belleville, Ont. completing his early

Education there, he entered the University y of Toronto, where he graduated in

1910 with the e Master’s degree in Arts, majoring in Canadian history. He

attended the University of Wisconsin, receiving the degree of M.A. and later

studied at Columbia University where the Ph.D. was conferred upon him. Dr.

Kenney entered the office of the National Archives in 1912. His exceptional

ability as a research historian in the classification and summarization of

documents dealing with the constitutional and political history of Canada were

rewarded in 1926 by order-in-council appointing him Director of Historical

Research and Publicity in the Public Archives of Canada.

Noted Historian.

History and its problems formed the all-consuming interest in life for Dr.

Kenney. As a Dominion archivist, past president of the American Catholic

Historical Association, and o f the Irish Historical Association, and secretary

of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association, and former secretary of the

Royal Society of Canada, he devoted hi s entire life that the past might

enlighten the present . Members of all these Societies recognise his

painstaking research and scholarly contributions to Canadian, Irish and

Catholic history in general, for all of which they held his life in grateful

memory. Dr. Kenney is known from coast to coast in Canada as founder of the

C.C.H.A. Since its foundation in 1933, he has been the untiring dynamic

Secretary o f the English Section. Furthering interest in Canadian Catholic

history through the activities of the Association became his life-work. The

Association now numbers approximately 1200 members about evenly divided

between the French and English Sections. Twelve annual volumes containing

the scholarly papers read at t h e an n u al Meetings are a monument to the


Two funeral Masses were held for the deceased. The first REQUIEM was

sung in his parish church of St. Brigit’s, Ottawa, where many priests and

members of the Government including the Hon. Paul Martin, K.C. Secretary

of State, attended the service. The remains were later brought to St.

Anthony’s Church, Toronto, where Solemn High Mass was sung by Msgr.

McGrand assisted by Very Rev. E. J. McCorkell, C.SS.R., Superior General,

as Deacon and Rev. John A. Gallagher, C.S.S.R., President of the English

Section of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association, as Sub-deacon.

Interment took place in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Toronto.

Dr. Kenney was a very devout Catholic. It is said of him that to see him

receive Holy Communion was a most edifying and inspiring experience. A

Scholar, a public-spirited citizen, a Christian gentleman, a zealous promoter

of Catholic Action in a most important field, history, Dr. James Francis

Kenney is a distinct loss to the Church and Canada. May his soul rest in


John A. Gallagher, C.SS.R.

President General,

Canadian Catholic Historical Association