Newly digitized pre-Famine records have revealed fascinating information about President Obama’s Irish roots, as well as information on other famous people such as Walt Disney and President John F. Kennedy.
The new information on Obama, Kennedy and Disney and authors Oscar Wilde and CS Lewis all feature in the new online collection of historical Irish records which date back to the 19th century. It is being released in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
Disney’s great-grandfather Arundel Elias Disney was born in Kilkenny in 1801 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1834, travelling with his brother Robert and their families from Liverpool to New York.
Three of Disney’s other Irish ancestors are buried in Clonmelsh graveyard at Ballyloo, Co. Carlow.
The new online records show the tithes, comprised of more than 600,000 Irish land tax records, one of which reveals information on Obama’s great great great grandfather who was living in Ballgurleen, Co. Tipperary in 1829.
Details of Obama’s ancestors are also featured in Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland which was dated from 1848-1864. The records feature more than 2.5 million names and addresses in land tax records.
The records have particular historical significance as they cover a period prior to the Great Famine.
The Griffith Valuation shows that Oscar Wilde’s father William resided at Westland Row in Dublin, where the renowned author was born in 1854.
Speaking about the new online database, the website's international content director Dan Jones said, "The new collections will be hugely relevant to anyone with Irish ancestry as they may hold the earliest or final record of their ancestors' existence during these tragic yet nation-defining years in Ireland's history.
"The Irish Potato Famine was a significant event in world history which caused a huge spike in international emigration from across Ireland -- meaning today, people from every corner of the globe may find they have Irish ancestry."
Visit the website here www.ancestry.com.
Best of Ireland
11 places in Ireland you have to visit