September 6, 1888: Birth of Joseph Patrick Kennedy
Mother: Mary Augusta Hickey Kennedy
Mary Augusta Hickey was born on December 6, 1857 in Winthrop, Massachusetts. Her father was James Hickey of Cork, Ireland, who was a contractor, and her mother was Margaret M. Field, also of Ireland.
Father: Patrick Joseph “PJ” Kennedy
Patrick Joseph Kennedy was born in East Boston, Massachusetts on January 14, 1858 to Patrick and Bridget Kennedy, whom emigrated from County Wexford, Ireland in the late 1840’s for various reasons. “PJ”, as he was called to differentiate him from his father, was the youngest child among his siblings (three sisters, one deceased brother 4 years prior to PJ’s birth) and was raised primarily by his mother because his father died at 35 years old of cholera, only 10 months after PJ’s birth. From then on, PJ’s mother Bridget was in charge of the household and looked for jobs, sometimes as a housecleaner and hairdresser before eventually owning a notions shop in East Boston. As PJ grew up, his mother made sure her son was given a proper education and he was enrolled at the Sacred Heart parochial school located in East Boston. Said to most likely have been in school into his early teen years, PJ went on to work for his own earnings and by his twenties he was involved in the political process, specifically in ward two of East Boston. Though a relatively quiet man, PJ went on to become a successful and respected man in the community as a ward boss, banker, real estate developer, and businessman. He was also elected chairman of ward two, then to the state house, and finally the Massachusetts state senate, where he served alongside John Francis Fitzgerald, his son’s future father-in-law.
On November 23, 1887 PJ Kennedy and Mary Augusta Hickey married and on September 6, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts the couple welcomed their first child Joseph Patrick Kennedy into the world.
Birth Certificate courtesy of Joseph P. Kennedy Personal Papers. Family, 1888-1973. Joseph P. Kennedy, 1888-1969. Birth certificate (JFK Library)