Celeb stories

George Clooney shocked to discover his ancestors were violently forced from their home

Hollywood legend George Clooney made a shocking discovery in his family past when he found that his ancestors had been violently forced from their homes.

The Ocean’s Eleven actor traced his lineage back to 1850s Windgap in Co Kilkenny, Ireland, where his great great grandfather worked as a farmer.

During this time in Ireland, many small farmers faced pressure from larger landowners who wanted to take over their land to create bigger farms.

Many resisted and defended their homes and livelihoods but were often subjected to threats of violence and intimidation.

It was not uncommon for entire homes to be burnt to the ground.

The wealthy landowners flexed their financial muscle to have most small farmers and landowners removed whether it be with legal orders or through violent threats.

George Clooney’s ancestor Nicholas was one of the victims of this intimidation.

The actor learned that his great great grandfather was harassed through the court system for several months but refused to back down and sell his property.

Unfortunately, his stance was not accepted by the landowners who wanted to buy his farm.

Nicholas was subjected to a violent assault according to court reports and he decided that for the safety of himself and his family he had no choice but to leave Ireland.

He moved to America to start a new life in Kentucky and just around a century later George Clooney as born.

The actor has gone on to become an elite star of Hollywood and one of the most recognisable faces in the world.

Clooney was assisted in his family search by historian Fiona Fitzsimmons. She found much of the information on the findmypast website. She said: “Now through a family connection and for the first time, we have photographs of the old Clooney house and farm taken in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The photos show a way of life now vanished. It’s closer in time, and probably also in terms of experience, to the life of the immigrant Clooneys.”

George Clooney has often spoken about his pride of his Irish heritage and has even visited the country to meet some of his long-lost relatives.

He said: “I’ve been to Dublin before with my folks. My Dad went to Ireland and when he told them his name, he said everyone insisted on buying him drinks and he got smashed and had a great time!”

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