Kearney Family History

President Barack Obama’s Kearney family history, as researched by Eneclann, is interesting because it illustrates over five generations a family history that was not untypical in Ireland, but which we don’t often consider as a typical emigrant story.

  • The Kearney family, were probably Gaelic Irish in origin, based on the family name, and the probable place of origin is Tipperary.
  • They were Church of Ireland.
  • They were skilled artisans, who prospered in the 18th Century. One branch of the family did extremely well; Michael Kearney became embroiled in the Dublin city politics of the day and John Kearney, who would be a distant cousin of Obama’s, went on to become the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, and later Bishop of Ossory.
  • As the 19th Century progressed the family line from which Obama descended failed to prosper and they emigrated to the US.