Kurt Cobain

Nirvana rocker Kurt Cobain's Irish roots discovered


Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, the late singer with the cult 1990's rock band Nirvana, has had his family roots traced back to the small village of Inishatieve near Pomeroy in the County Tyrone.

The unexpected discovery came after Tyrone woman Fionnola O’Reilly delved into her family tree at the suggestion of an American relative, who hinted that there might be a connection to the famous rock singer dating back to the 1800's.

After nearly six years of researching her family records O'Reilly was surprised to discover her long-lost cousin was indeed the legendary Nirvana frontman.

Kurt’s ancestors Samuel and Letitia, whose surname was originally spelt Cobane, left their humble farm in Tyrone five generations ago bound for Canada before settling and working as shoemakers in the state of Washington.

The wild and mountainous terrain surrounding the village of Inishatieve is a world away from the mean streets of Aberdeen in Washington where Kurt, who married the controversial singer Courtney Love, grew up.

Nirvana had massive success with a series of well-known hits but the troubled singer developed a drug problem in his teens and committed suicide at the age of 27.

O'Reilly's father Pat Kelly, who lives with his wife Eileen in Inishatieve, said the famous family tree discovery was of more interest to his children and grandchildren than himself.

“To be honest I didn’t know who Kurt Cobain was or who Nirvana were but my children were quick to tell me,” he said. “There are some Cobanes living around us here in Tyrone and I think there are a few in Antrim, but this is the first time the link has been discovered and written down.”

O'Reilly, who alongside her siblings presented her father with the completed family tree on his 70th birthday last month, said she is looking forward to bringing this history to life one day.

“I would love to see where Kurt was based during his lifetime so we will have to plan a trip to Aberdeen and Seattle sometime down the line for sure,” she told the press. “Maybe when my baby son is all grown up.”


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