Meghan Markle's great-great-great grandparents were wed on this day, 159 years ago in the Church of Ireland parish of Donnybrook, Dublin.
On her visit to Dublin with Prince Harry last year, the young Duchess of Sussex discovered she is descended from a young Belfast woman named Mary McCague, who married English soldier Thomas Bird.
According to the Irish Independent, the January 23, 186,0 entry for Bird, a private in the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment - based at Beggar's Bush Barracks, and McCague, then residing at Merrion Strand, is complete with smudges where the registry may have been closed before the ink had time to dry.
The discovery was made by Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss of Eneclann, a genealogical research firm.
"It was known that Thomas Bird was in the army, but no one had thought to examine whether he might have served and married his Irish wife in Ireland. With this as our starting point we were able to follow Meghan Markle's family to Malta and then to New Brunswick, in Canada," they explained.
While the parish registry identifies Meghan's great-great-great grandmother as Mary McCue, she signed herself as Mary McCague. Thomas Bird signed the registry with an 'x' meaning he could not read or write.
Within six months of their marriage, the 22nd Regiment, which Thomas belonged to, was sent to Malta in June 1860, and the couple left Ireland on board the steamship Olympus.
In 2016, Eneclann launched the Irish Family History Centre, based in CHQ Building and partnered with EPIC, which Prince Harry and Meghan visited during their trip to Ireland.
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