| 12.2°C Dublin

US vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine claims Nth Cork roots


Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine has family links to Annakisha parish, which is between Mallow and Shanballymore.

That's according to American genealogist Megan Smolenyak, who famously traced some of President Barack Obama's ancestors to Moneygall in Offaly.

She began looking at Senator Kaine's Irish roots after the 58-year-old father-of-three was chosen last week by Democratic Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton as her running mate.

Ms Smolenyak uncovered Irish links on Senator Kaine's mother's side, tracing his maternal great great grandfather, Richard Hannon, to Annakisha parish between Mallow and Shanballymore where he was born on January 15th 1839.

This is Cork Newsletter

Cork's essential reads in local news and sport, straight to your inbox every week

This field is required

"Richard was born to Patrick Hannon and Catherine Jones who were married in Mallow parish on March 20th 1838 - there is a Patrick Hannan listed as living in Carriganaltig in Castletownroche which borders Shanballymore in 1839 so I believe that's Richard's father," said Ms Smolenyak.

"Richard emigrated from Ireland and arrived in New York on November 28 of 1851 at the age of 11 on a ship called Florida. There were no other Hannon/Hannan folks on board, so my guess is that the James Jones two lines above him on the register might have been an uncle.

"That's just speculation, of course, but it's as good a guess as any and Richard apparently spent a few years in New York before going to Illinois where he married and had a few children before moving on again to Kansas where he died in 1910.

"I know Tim Kaine has connections with Cork and frequently visits Courtmacsherry in West Cork after his parents, Al and Kathleen visited there 25 years ago but it appears from my research he has strong ties with North Cork too so maybe visiting Cork was a sort of homecoming for him as well."

Senator Kaine - who was born in Saint Paul Minnesota - highlighted his paternal links with Longford earlier this year during an address to the American Ireland Fund: "I am about as stone Irish as you get for somebody's whose family has been in the country for 150 years - all four of my grandparents were born to Irish immigrants." In his first year as Governor of Virginia, in 2006, he visited Ireland with his family; driving to the ruins of the Longford home his great-grandfather PJ Farrell has been born in. "This is where we came from," Senator Kaine told his children at the ancestral home. His father's mother had Kilkenny roots meanwhile.