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“Connecting the Present With The Past”™
The following was contributed by an Irish relative in County Sligo, Ireland. He will be a guest contributor from time to time:
American Presidential elections always start a search for the village in Ireland where an ancestor came from. The year before he was assassinated President Kennedy visited the farm in Wexford that an ancestor had left about 1850. the farm was still in the Kennedy family.
Later still records were found of a Reagan ancestor who had left Ballyporeen in Co. Tipperary. President Reagan made a visit while he was in office. (Poreen in Hiberno-English means a tiny potato so Ballyporeen means Town of tiny spuds which is code for Hungry Town).
A lovely row is developing between Moneygall and Shinrone in Co. Ofally both claiming ancestors of President Obama. As I understand the story so far, and I have not followed it that closely, it started when the local Church of Ireland vicar in Moneygall was contacted from Salt Lake City to see if he had a baptismal certificate for Falmouth Kearney President Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather. The vicar was only too delighted to confirm and indeed has gone to the inauguration with a 7th cousin of the President. It seems that Falmouth Kearney, aged 19, went to the United States in 1850 and over the years his whole family moved there.
When they followed up the research they found that Falmouth’s father was the local shoemaker, was originally from Shinrone, married Mary Healy from Moneygall and had settled in his wife’s home place. Back came Shinrone with the graves of all Falmouth Kearney’s ancestors.
Moneygall, of course, have all his Healy ancestors and the cousins to the 7th degree are all Healys.
If anything interesting develops in the row I will keep you informed.
See more Irish family history articles and lessons learned in earlier posts below and in the archives.
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