Great great great grand father from Moneygall
'You discover a lot about yourself when you’re running for President.…
It was brought to my attention last year that my great-great great grandfather on my mother’s side
hailed from a small village in County Offaly.' – President Barack Obama
An t'Uasal Obama's Irish ancestry is traced back 6 generations to a shoemaker in the village of Moneygall in County Offaly.
His son Fulmuth Kearney left for America following the Great Famine in the mid 1800's.
Delving deeper in to Barack's Irish roots, researchers have also found grand uncle Michael Kearney from the 1700's who brushed shoulders with Ireland's polictical, social aristocracy and traded in wigs and property throughout the country from his Dublin base.
Obama's Irish roots date back to 1850.
Traveling from Ireland to the USA in 1850
Barack Obama's Irish Family - The Kearneys Phoebe Carney...
Leaving his wife and children in Ireland, Joseph Kearney traveled to America to claim his land. In Liverpool, he boarded the Caroline Read, arriving in New York City on 25 April 1849. His eldest son followed soon afterwards. The passenger list for the Marmion, which entered the port of New York on 20 March 1850, includes a 19-year-old labourer named Falmouth Carney (Kearney). The next year, the last of the family said goodbye to Moneygall. Phoebe Kearney and her children William and Mary (Anne), entered New York on the Clarissa Courier on 28 August 1851.
Two years after he arrived in America, Falmouth Kearney married Charlotte Holloway, with William Kearney -most likely his uncle– serving as Justice of the Peace. U.S. Census records from 1860 show that Falmouth, a farmhand, his wife Charlotte and several children were living in Deerfield, Ohio. Sometime later the family moved. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Falmouth Kearney is listed as a farmer in
Tipton County, Indiana.
Charlotte Kearney died in 1877, and Falmouth Kearney died the following year.
They were survived by five daughters and at least three sons. Barack Obama is the great-great grandson of Falmouth Kearney’s youngest daughter, Mary Ann.
When famine struck in the 1840s, the Kearneys’ world changed. In just five years, nearly a quarter of the people in Offaly starved to death, emigrated or perished from disease.
During this desperate time, a surprise inheritance brought the Kearneys of Moneygall their best chance for survival. Years earlier, Joseph Kearney’s younger brother Francis had emigrated to the United States. Just a week before his death in 1848, he filed a will in the courthouse in Circleville, Ohio. In it, he left a tract of land to his brother Joseph, “if he comes to this country”. To pay for his family to emigrate, it is likely that Joseph Kearney sold his rights to property in Moneygall.