Newstalk
Newstalk

11.03 1 Feb 2015


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US President Barack Obama has spoken many times about his Irish ancestors - and now we know what they looked like.

Falmouth Kearney, who hailed from Moneygall in Co Offaly, was the most recent immigrant on the maternal side of Mr Obama's family tree.

His father, Joseph, inherited land in Ohio and left Ireland for the United States in 1849. Falmouth and his sister, Margaret, followed in 1850, and his mother and two younger siblings in 1851.

The passenger list for the Marmion, which entered the port of New York on March 20th 1850, included a labourer named Falmouth Carney (Kearney) - aged 19.

Two years after he arrived in America, Falmouth married Charlotte Holloway.

Some of the similarities are ear-ily creepy

US Census records from 1860 show that Falmouth, a farmhand, his wife Charlotte and several children were living in Deerfield, Ohio.

In 1870, the US Census showed Falmouth listed as a farmer in Tipton County, Indiana.

Charlotte Kearney died in 1877, and Falmouth died the following year.

They were survived by five daughters and at least three sons. Mr Obama is the great-great grandson of Falmouth's youngest daughter, Mary Ann.

Genealogist Megan Smolenyak has now uncovered this photo of Falmouth in a scrapbook - next to a photo of his wife, Charlotte - which shows the date of their deaths under the pictures.

Charlotte and Falmouth Kearney, with their dates of death below | Image: Megan Smolenyak

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