Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Obama's "Shamrock Connection"

Know who I'd like to see as the next President of what was, and hopefully what can be again, the great nation of America; Barack Obama.

A while ago he made an historic trip to the nation of Kenya in Africa to search for the roots of his father's side of the family. Now as it looks, he will make another equally historic trip to search for his mother's side of the family, this time to a tiny village in Ireland.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, Democratic candidate for president, is the talk of this village because of recently unearthed records made by Stephen Neill, a local Anglican rector, that indicate that the church documents, along with census, and in accordance with immigration and other records tracked down by U.S. genealogists, appear to show that Obama's great-great-great-grandfather, Fulmuth Kearney, was reared in Moneygall, the tiny village in Ireland, and then left for America in 1850, when he was 19.

Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for, an online repository of family history records, said that although no single "smoking gun" document was found, there are about 20 different records that when pieced together make her "absolutely certain" of Obama's Moneygall roots.

Kearney sailed to New York aboard the S.S. Marmion at a time when legions of Irish were leaving their famine-stricken island. The shoemaker's son made a life in America, and his family line eventually produced Ann Durham, who was born in Kansas, according to Durham would eventually marry a Kenyan, also named Barack Obama, who was studying in Hawaii, and in 1961 they would have a son, now a leading candidate to become president of the United States. And while neither Obama nor his campaign has confirmed the connection, it has created a buzz in Moneygall, which has one stoplight, two pubs and a population of 298. Find out more about the candidate at:

Research info from an article in The Washington Post by Mary Jordan.

Before you comtemplate your bloodlines, here's a poem to read:

"Skip #86" Sonnet

I have my reasons. For instance,
the ability to carry a brimming
teacup across a crowded station
for one. To carve a world from
an aerodrome of downed power
lines for another. Cloned orchestra
conductors and a new symphony
composed for an odometer instead
of a grandfather clock makes sense
to me too. Tarred toast. Rat-tailed
soup. Lead feathers. A forest after
forest after forest with no shortage
of pine cones. Or maybe a lamp on
a table that fits. Books that can read
to themselves. What we don't need
is more defiant caterpillars.
Edible snails. Beauty when it's not
accidental. And of course, those few
who walk around asking "why".

This poem first published at:
Copyright 2007 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.
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