Thursday, May 17, 2007

Barrick has Irish roots...who knew!

Documents unearthed by an Irish vicar show ancestors of Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama may have arrived in the United States from a tiny village in central Ireland as early as the 1790s.
"They're old parish records going back to 1799," Canon Stephen Neill, rector for the parish of Moneygall, told Reuters.
"They're in remarkably good condition and we have constant applications from Americans chasing their ancestors."

Genealogy Web site asked Neill, whose father is Anglican archbishop of Dublin, to check parish records after discovering documents indicating Obama's great-great-great grandfather arrived in New York in 1850 before settling in Ohio.
"Like most of us he has an interesting mix of ancestry, including some impressively early all-American roots," said Megan Smolenyak, a spokeswoman for the Web site.
Between 1845 and 1851 over a million people left Ireland on 'famine ships' to escape mass-starvation caused by potato blight and says passenger lists show Obama's great-great-great grandfather Falmuth Kearney was among them.
Subsequent research into the parish records provided by Neill revealed not only that the Kearneys hailed from Moneygall in County Offaly but also that other family members may have crossed the Atlantic before him in the 1790s, the Web site said.
Born in Hawaii to a white American mother and Kenyan father, Obama's European connection means he can also join more than 30 million of his countrymen in claiming Irish descent.


budajsguy said...

Isn't everyone Irish? And if they aren't, shouldn't they be?!

Cool news, though. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, but does not change my vote.

Anonymous said...

So much for playing up that his family came over right from africa on the boat.