James Kennedy was born at Armagh, Ireland, September 9, 1832. and emigrated to Canada when he was 17 years old. He first settled in Brampton, Canada, but soon thereafter moved to the United States. He first took residence in Michigan City, Indiana.

On the stormy night of September 1st 1785 the Faithful Steward, having journeyed 53 days from Londonderry Ireland en route to Philadelphia, ran aground during an intense squall near Delaware’s Indian River Inlet. On board were 249 immigrants, Captain Connolly McCausland