Tag Archives: Irish Roots

George Clooney’s Kilkenny roots revealed

The controversy surrounding the tracing of George Clooney’s roots to the South East of Ireland appears to have been resolved.

George Clooney’s Kilkenny roots revealed


Story by Zara King@ZaraKing_UTV

A genealogy expert has shown UTV Ireland evidence from land records which prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that George Clooney’s ancestors lived on land in Knockeen in Windgap, Co. Kilkenny.

Known as the “Clooney homestead”, George Clooney’s ancestral house and land has since been passed down through the Burke family.

Noreen Burke Hayes, the great granddaughter of Richard Burke, said that her father always talked about how the Clooney’s lived in her house.

“He was a great historian in his time. He always mentioned the fact that the Clooney’s lived in the house and that a Burke man married in,” she explained.

Fiona Fitzsimons from genealogy service Eneclann, has been scrutinising documents to verify the Burke families claims.

“Nicholas Clooney, born in 1829 in Windgap Co Kilkenny is George Clooney’s great, great, grandfather, so he is his direct ancestor.

“We know that the Clooney’s settled in Kentucky, and they remained in Kentucky for the next four generations,” she said.

In August of 1852, Nicholas Clooney and six other farmers known as cottiers, were jailed for illegally working on the Sabbath.

It was an old law, which the authorities usually chose to turn a blind eye to.

“Nicholas Clooney was convicted and he was fined four shillings and two pence. Now, I sat down and did that math and that actually works out as the equivalent of eight days wages for a labouring man.

“So it was a sizeable sum for somebody who was already feeling the pinch. It was a sum that he was unable to pay and he served four days hard labour in lieu of the fine which he couldn’t beat,” explained Fiona.

Following his release from prison, Nicholas Clooney and his siblings emigrated to the United States in search of a better life, leaving behind only his widowed mother Mary Clooney who became the link to the Burke family who now live on the Clooney homestead.

“Mary Walsh, who was a niece of the Clooney’s, came to live here in Knockeen with her widowed aunt Mary Clooney. While she was here she married Richard Burke, a boy who lived next door, and they continued to live here and had eight children,” said Noreen.

It is not known yet if George Clooney himself will visit Kilkenny in the coming months, but an invitation has been extended to the Hollywood A-lister and his wife Amal.

© UTV Ireland

RTE: Road to the Rising Event


road to rising image

Will you be on the“Road To The Rising” this Easter Monday ?

Eneclann are delighted to be a part of this very exciting and action packed event on Easter Monday, 6th of April in the General Post Office on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.Step into history and experience sights and sounds of the capital in 1915.

This wonderful family event is completely free and will be running from 11am to 6pm on Dublin’s O’Connell street and is set to come alive with street theater,music and vintage attractions as RTE recreates the atmosphere of Ireland before the Easter rising.

You will find Eneclann in the GPO in the parcels office along with our partners findmypast and also Timeline Research and The National Library of Ireland. We will all be on hand on day to help you trace your Irish roots and discover your past.

Bring all the family and join RTE and Eneclann on “The Road to the Rising”

See you there!


18th of January 2015, Latest Eneclann Newsletter.

Welcome back and happy 2015. In the latest Eneclann newsletter we let you in on some exciting new events coming up this year for Eneclann. We have the latest edition of Irish Lives Remembered featuring part 2 of the story of Princess Charlene of Monaco’s Irish roots, and an intriguing royal link to QE2!  We bring you the real truth behind George Clooney’s Irish Roots, and our readers’ “favourite bit” – the Research tip of the week. We have the first news of events in 2015, where you can meet the Eneclann experts at home and abroad; And, if you still want more, we have an article on “Workhouses and Direct Provision”, published in The Journal. Enjoy 🙂

newsletter divider on blogThe Truth about George Clooneys Irish Roots

george clooneyEneclann feature’s in today’s,Sunday Independent with an article on Hollywood star George Clooney and his Irish Roots, The article gathers information from research discovered by Eneclann’s very own Expert researcher Fiona Fitzsimons, You can also read the full story on his Kilkenny homestead in,Irish Lives Remembered, Read all you,need to know here.


newsletter bar

Fiona’s trip to Saltlake City

Earlier this month Fiona visited Salt Lake City, Utah for work. She was there to attend a board meeting of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and stayed on for the APG’s annual Professional Management Conference. Read how Fiona got on here.


newsletter bar

Teaching Irish Family History in Salt Lake City

The British Institute has invited Eneclann’s own Fiona Fitzsimons to teach the Irish Track in its’ prestigious course, next September in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the recent edition of British Connections magazine, Fiona wrote about what she hoped to impart to all those signing up to her course. “My main goal will be to help my students to “navigate” the tumult of Irish history” Read the full article .


newsletter bar


Irish Lives Remembered

The January/February edition of ,Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy e-Magazine is now out, There’s some fabulous feature articles in this latest issue, but we’re most interested in the story of Princess Charlene of Monaco’s Irish roots.  Princess Charlene has an intriguing connection to the English Queen Elizabeth II.  Go to page 26 and,read this wonderful story.



newsletter bar


RootsTech 2015

Eneclann are heading to,RootsTech 2015 conference, The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) will also hold its 2015 National Conference in conjunction with,RootsTech  in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 12-14, 2015,Read all about it here.

newsletter bar

Probate Genealogy.

Eneclann and,Heirsireland, Ireland’s two leading probate genealogy firms, have combined to provide a comprehensive genealogical service to the Irish legal profession. With over 60 years combined experience on legal, title and probate research, which includes: Completing research, Identifying rightful heirs, Preparing required documentation and more,Read about The Irish Probate Genealogy Partners services here.




newsletter barWorkhouses and Direct Provision.

Eneclann’s own Fiona Fitzsimons recently published an article in the online magazine The Journal, in which she compared the hated workhouse system in the 19th Century and the current system of Direct Provision in today’s Ireland.  The article developed out of the Expert Workshop series held last year.  Fiona drew on the research of Dr. Gerard Moran, who gave the September workshop in the National Library (2014),Read the full story here,and tell us what do you think ?

newsletter bar


Irish Genealogy Summer School


The UCC Genealogy Summer School is back in 2015.  The School will include some of the leading experts working in their field, and will include over 42 lectures, field-trips, and other optional visits,Read all about it here.


newsletter bar


The Genealogy Radio Show.

Tune in to the most recent episode of Lorna Moloney’s “The Genealogy Radio Show”, broadcast on Community Radio Corca Baiscinn. Listen here to Episode 16: ‘Nicholas Rynne – Michael McTeigue, Champion of the world from Kilnamona.



newsletter bar


Research Tip of the week

This week our research-tip is written by Carmel Gilbride, who ponders on the use of,‘negative findings’ in research.

newsletter divider on blog




Eneclann’s latest Newsletter 28/02/2014

Eneclann Newsletter

In this issue:

Who Do you Think You are? Live 2014.

Irish Family Census Records

UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School 2014

Research Tip of The Week



Dear Eneclann customer,

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014

Every year Attendees put their family history in the hands of genealogy experts at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in the Olympia London, and of course Eneclann were there to help you understand and find whatever jigsaw pieces you were missing to uncover your family history. The enthusiasm from all the attendees not to mention the exhibitors at the show was second to none, and we were delighted to have been apart of this unique opportunity to offer our Irish Genealogy and History Research services to all. Have a look at some images from the show on our facebook page by clicking on the image above.


WDYTYA Live London 2014 Talks

On Thursday afternoon, Eneclann’s own Fiona Fitzsimons gave a talk on ‘Tracing records of children in care in Ireland 1840s to 1990s.This paper draws on Fiona’s own experience since 1996, working to trace records of children orphaned or otherwise separated from their parents, and raised outside their family.”The information in this talk is intended to be used as a ‘road-map’ for anyone tracing their own record, or the record of an immediate family member, including grandparents and even great-grandparents.”The talk was attended by a small but beautifully formed audience of 40 strong, and interest was such that Fiona was still answering questions an hour after she finished speaking.On Thursday and Friday afternoon of the show, Fiona did some very enjoyable sessions as the Irish expert for the Society of Genealogists.

Eneclann’s Brian Donovan also gave a talk on “Researching Irish Family History Online”. This paper gave an overview of all projects, both private and state funded, to publish Irish records online. There has been a digital revolution in Irish genealogy over the last ten years, but what has been done? And what needs to be done? This talk focused on three issues.Firstly, the background to digitisation in Ireland, and the reasons for the slow pace of development in the past.Secondly, an overview of the major projects in Ireland or abroad dealing with Irish records, and lastly, the options for future progress, and how the genealogical community abroad can help us in Ireland.Brian spent much of his talk focusing on the work of our joint-venture partners findmypast, who have brought so many new records online over the last three years, and gave a sneak peek at what is due for release this year.
Brian also gave two talks on the  findmypast stand entitled “The Irish record collection at findmypast” which gave a beginners overview of the rich resources available there.

     Here are some sneak peek images of records series due for release on findmypast within the next 6 weeks.

1821 Census: Townland of Inisheer,  Aran Islands, Co.Galway

1831 Census: Parish of Ballyscullion, Co. Londonderry

VO House Books: Townland of Killina , Co. Offaly


Irish Genealogy Summer School at Cork University 2014.

There’s a terrific line up of speakers at this years UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School, including Eneclann’s very own, Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan.

Other experts include Eileen O’Duill, Paul McCotter,Hilary McDonagh,Maeve Mullin and Kyle Betit.

The Summer school is open for online booking see,


Anyone interested can also contact Lorna Moloney directly at


Click on the image below to see the full Timetable of Events.



Research Tip of the Week!

Family names in Ireland can sometimes vary between records.
What at first glance may appear to be a separate and distinct individual, may in fact be the same person recorded by a variant of their family name.
In the last week alone I found a Mary Mulderg who was also recorded in the parish registers as Reddington – the common denominator being the Irish word ‘dearg’ i.e. ‘red.’
When in doubt consult the oracle: McLysaght’s Surnames of Ireland is an excellent guide.

Best wishes, The Eneclann Team

Browse our Shop Browse our Shop Browse our Shop