Wednesday 21 August 2019

Meghan Markle to learn about her Irish relatives during visit to Ireland

NEW FAMILY: Meghan and Harry in London last Thursday. Picture: AFP/Getty
NEW FAMILY: Meghan and Harry in London last Thursday. Picture: AFP/Getty
Queen Elizabeth II with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a group photo at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London
Meghan Markle in 2018. Picture: PA
IRELAND’S ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL: Visits by the British royals, like Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, have come to feel encouragingly unremarkable and not controversial. Photo: Getty Images
Meghan will want to have children with Prince Harry soon, says Thomas Markle (Jane Barlow/PA)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets members of public as she and Queen Elizabeth II walk from Storyhouse to Chester Town Hall on June 14, 2018 in Chester, England
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Royal Ascot Day 1 (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan. Photo: Getty Images
GRACE: Meghan Markle has, without doubt, an easy charm with people that we haven’t seen since Diana. Picture: Getty
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Steve Parsons/PA)
Meghan Markle in 2018. Picture: Getty
Down with the kids: Meghan accepts a gift of flowers from a young girl. Photo: PA
Meghan Markle in 2018. Picture: Shutterstock
Harry and Meghan
Composite image of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Photo: Getty) with Trinity College's Old Library in the background (Photo: Fáilte Ireland).
Meghan Markle in 2018. Picture: Reuters
Meghan Markle in 2016. Picture: Getty
Meghan Markle in 2018. Picture: PA
Meghan Markle with her dogs Guy and Bogart. Picture: Instagram
Meghan Markle in 2014. Picture: Getty
Meghan Markle in 2015. Picture: WireImage

Alan O'Keeffe

Irish ancestors of Meghan Markle will be detailed in family tree information to be presented to the new royal during her time in Ireland this week.

She will receive the information when she and Prince Harry visit EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, in Dublin.

Lorna Moloney, resident genealogist at Dromoland Castle in Co Clare, said she did not know the contents of the genealogical information that the Duchess of Sussex will receive when she visits Dublin but Ms Moloney has done her own research of public records concerning one aspect of the duchess's Irish ancestry.

She found information that links Meghan to an Irish ancestor, Mary McCague, who was born in Ballinasloe in October 1829.

Mary was the daughter of William McCague and Brigid Galaher.

The information was sourced in Catholic parish registers which are available free online. Mary went on to marry a Thomas Bird, who was a soldier in a British Army regiment stationed in Ireland, Ms Moloney said.

Down the centuries there were many marriages between Irish women and British soldiers stationed in Ireland.

Ms Moloney said Thomas Bird was a member of a Cheshire foot regiment.

Mary travelled with her husband when the regiment was transferred to Malta in June 1860.

The couple had two daughters, Mary and Hattie, both of whom were born on the Mediterranean island. It is possible that they had more children, Ms Moloney added.

Years later, the daughters ended up travelling across the Atlantic to North America.

They would have entered Canada before later travelling south to the US.

Ms Moloney said she did not contact any relatives of Meghan and relied on public records for her research.

Ms Moloney derived information from the public marriage records in Massachusetts of Mary McCague's daughter Hattie Bird. Hattie was a sister of Mary Bird, a direct ancestor of Meghan.

"The details available about army life of soldiers and their families in Malta is quite detailed. The regimental histories of the British Army can be very good sources for genealogists," she said.

A spokesman for EPIC declined to comment on the details of the royal couple's visit to the museum.

Sunday Independent

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