Thanks Sue. Let me catch you up and we can see if any of it makes sense to you ..
I'm actually researching another Kenosha family, the McKillip's.
I first found them in Kenosha in the 1850 census where William McKillip and his wife Bridget are listed with their two children. Based on birth years and places of the children, I believe they arrived in Wisconsin between 1846 and 1848. William was a grocer and had a store on what was then the corner of Park and Main.
They are again in the 1860 census in Kenosha with now seven children ... William still working as a grocer.
Until recently, I had lost them until 1880 when I found Bridget and children living in Chicago. Bridget by now is a widow and besides three of her children, she has two boarders, William English and Mary Duffy.
In trying to find the McKillip's in the 1870 census, I went back to Kenosha and found Mary Duffy as a widow with one other person, Thomas McKillip, aged 8. Her occupation is listed as "keeps grocery store". Based on this, I feel there is a connection between Mary Duffy and the McKillip's. My best guess is that she is Bridget's sister and was watching her nephew Thomas while the family moved to Chicago. I did finally find the McKillip's in the 1870 census in Chicago.
Seeing the connection to the McKillip's and Mary Duffy, I thought perhaps William English might also be related. Returning to the 1870 Kenosha census, I found a possible candidate family for William. There is a family in Kenosha's 3rd Ward which has a William English aged 7 in 1870 (he was listed as 17 in 1880). The parents are Thomas and Ann English. Other children are Margaret, John, Mary, James, Alice, Anna and a Joseph Leonard who is listed as an "adopted child". Thomas is 45 years old at the time. Bridget McKillip is 57 and Mary Duffy is 51.
I'm wondering if Bridget, Mary and Thomas were siblings and all settled in Kenosha? After Bridget's husband dies around 1870, she moves her family to Chicago and is joined by Mary Duffy, by now also a widow, and her nephew, William English. I know that Thomas English, Mary Duffy and Bridget McKillip were all born in Ireland. I'm hoping to find someone who might have earlier info on the English line and might be able to help me piece together the early families.