\"Research

Research shows surprisingly humble County Kilkenny origins of George Clooney. Photo by: Getty Images

Court records show George Clooney’s Irish family had their land stolen

\"Research

Research shows surprisingly humble County Kilkenny origins of George Clooney. Photo by: Getty Images

Findmypast is working in partnership with IrishCentral to share fascinating insights into your Irish ancestors. Click here to get a special half price subscription, and discover your Irish roots today!

New research by Eneclann has discovered the previously unknown story of George Clooney’s Irish ancestors.

Using newly available court records on www.findmypast.ie renowned genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons discovered Clooney’s Irish ancestors didn’t jump, but were pushed.

Clooney’s Irish ancestors were small farmers from Windgap, County Kilkenny.  

Nicholas Clooney (George’s great great grandfather) was one of many cottiers in Windgap the 1850s who fell foul of "middlemen" who tried to force farmers off the land so they could amalgamate small holdings into bigger farms.   

This situation often tipped-over into violence.

New court records prove that in 1852 Nicholas Clooney (George’s great great grandfather) was violently assaulted and for months was harassed through the court-system.
 
“Nicholas Clooney decided shortly after to leave Ireland and settle in Kentucky.  The rest is history,” says Fitzsimons.

Research showed that Nicholas’ widowed mother (George Clooney’s great great great grandmother) remained behind in Ireland.

“Now through a family connection and for the first time, we have photographs of the old Clooney house and farm taken in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  The photos show a way of life now vanished.  It’s closer in time, and probably also in terms of experience, to the life of the immigrant Clooneys,” explained Fitzsimons.  

The silver fox, Hollywood star, known to billions was born in Kentucky in 1961 into a well-known family of media types and entertainers including his aunt, the actress and singer Rosemary Clooney.

The name Clooney is an anglicized version of the Gaelic O’ Cluanaigh, which translates as a descendant of Clughnach, meaning a rogue or a flatterer. His father’s mother’s maiden name, meanwhile was Guilfoyle.

Speaking about his ancestral home Clooney said, “I’ve been to Dublin before with my folks.

“My Dad went to Ireland when he told them his name, he said everyone insisted on buying him drinks and he got smashed and had a great time!”

Far from the humble begins of his family’s tale in the 1850s!

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: