William Henry Roll

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. --Laurence Binyon,"Ode of Remembrance"

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Documenting your family history is a lifelong pursuit, a task of pleasure and research that is never completely finished.

Not to know one's ancestors, is to be a tree without roots, a stream without a source. --Kung-fut-se

The wind whispers through the trees, recalling words and dreams and memories of those who left us long ago. --Unknown

St. Basil of Caesarea, born about 330 A.D., said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."


This website was created the old-fashioned way; it has been hand coded.

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The Lennon Family

The Genealogy of the Lennon Family
by Marguerite Wilks Lennon

Philip J. Lennon and Mary McKenna

The Lennon family owned a farm near Maynouth, Ireland. They sprang from the ancient MacLennon clan. Philip J. Lennon married Mary McKenna; they had four boys and three girls. I can remember that two of the boys' names were Philip John Lennon and Patrick Lennon.

Patrick Lennon - Brother Christian

Patrick, the second son of Philip J. Lennon and Mary McKenna, worked his way through college. He joined the Christian Brothers Order in New York City and took the name Brother Christian. He became president of La Salle College in New York, and later built a college in Hong Kong, and another in Ceylon. He retired in New York City.

Philip John Lennon and Gertrude Owens

As was the custom in those days, the family saved to send their first son to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood. Philip John Lennon attended St. Patrick's College in Maynouth, County Kildare and graduated with a Master of Arts degree. He traveled to Canada to study at the Notre Dame seminary at Montreal, Canada.

After withdrawing from his studies for the priesthood, Philip came to the United States. He taught mathematics, Latin, and Greek at Fordham City College in New York, and Rutgers in New Jersey. He moved to Clifton, Pennsylvania, and founded the Clifton Times newspaper, later called the Clifton Lansdowne Times.

Philip John Lennon

Philip John Lennon

Philip married Gertrude Owens, the daughter of John and Marion Hughes Owens of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marion was a Roman Catholic and died giving birth to Gertrude. John Owens was a successful Philadelphia lawyer, but was shot to death during anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia, having been mistakenly identified as a Catholic. John and Marion had three children: John, Henry, and Gertrude.

John Owens, the first child, also became a Philadelphia lawyer. Henry, the second son, left home in his youth despite his fathers strong opposition, and joined the army during the Civil War. He enrolled on July 16, 1864, as a private in Company D, 195th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers Infantry for one hundred days. He suffered all his life from a wound he received during the war. On November 4, 1864, he mustered out with the company. His age was given as 23 or 25 on the discharge papers. He worked as a cabinet maker. Known to us as Uncle Harry, he died at the age of 75 years at his home in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was buried at the Catholic cemetery in Pleasantville, Atlantic County, New Jersey.

Gertrude Owens attended a boarding school for young ladies. While attending, she met Philip John Lennon and married him. Her father did not approve. She became a Catholic. Philip's parents in Ireland sent a goose feather mattress as a wedding present, according to Irish custom.

Philip and Gertrude Lennon had children. One died young of diphtheria. Other children were John Francis, Minnie, Philip Henry, and Gertrude Cecilia. There may have been other children that died in infancy.

Minnie Lennon became an actress. She married and had a daughter named Gertrude, who later used the name Rice until she married Hugh Smith of Newark, New Jersey. I do not remember the surname of Gertrude's father. Gertrude and Hugh had a daughter named Ann.

Later Minnie married Elmo T. Rice, a son of a well-heeled box manufacturer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who had contracts with the United States government to supply cases for munitions during World War I. Minnie and Elmo had one son, Elmo, known as Jack Rice. Jack lived for a time at Franklin Village in Morristown, New Jersey, where he had an orchestra. Family tradition holds that his wife was a well-known vocalist. Minnie died in Newark, New Jersey.

Gertrude Cecilia , daughter of Philip John and Gertrude Lennon, became a hairdresser, starting her own business in Newark, New Jersey.

Philip H. Lennon and Marguerite Wilks

Philip H. Lennon, son of Philip John and Gertrude Lennon, was studying law in Philadelphia at the time of his father's murder, but had to abandon his studies to become a printer. He started a printing business, the Lennon Bros., with his brother John. Their printing plant was in Bloomfield, New Jersey, supervised by John Lennon. Philip H. Lennon had his office in Newark, New Jersey.

John Lennon soon left the Lennon Bros. printing business to study for the Methodist ministry, and married Martha Dupre. They had three children: John, who also became a Methodist minister, Martha, and William.

Philip closed the Newark office to supervise the Bloomfield plant when his brother left, changing the firm's name to The Lennon Press. Later he moved the family and business to the second floor of a building above a post office and a grocery store on Mount Pleasant Avenue, Hanover Center, now named East Hanover, New Jersey.

A linoleum cut for the Lennon Press

A linoleum cut for the Lennon Press (mirror image)

Philip H. Lennon married Marguerite Wilks of Williamson Avenue, Bloomfield, New Jersey, about 1910 at Sacred Heart Church. They had four children: Philip Walter, Mary Catherine. Frances Howe, and Marguerite Gertrude.

Philip Walter married Eleanor Artho, and had two daughters: Florence married Wayne Crouse. Philip later married Doris Davenport who had one son, Philip Davenport.

Mary Catherine married David Hedges Roll of 182 Grove Avenue, Verona, New Jersey. David became a Senior Design Engineer at General Dynamics Corporation in San Diego, California. They had three sons: William Henry, David Hedges, and Philip Lennon.

Frances Howe married Joseph J. Durham of Whippany, New Jersey. They had children: June, Mary Beth, Peter, and Kevin.

Marguerite Gertrude married John Kostenko of Singac, New Jersey.

I wish to thank my daughter, Frances Howe Lennon Durham, for her wonderful, patient, and helpful assistance in this effort.