US candidate’s family visited Kilkenny to trace roots

The Irish roots of US vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan have been traced to County Kilkenny, and in fact some of his relations have already visited the county to see their ancestral homeland.

The Irish roots of US vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan have been traced to County Kilkenny, and in fact some of his relations have already visited the county to see their ancestral homeland.

With the revelations in Irish media this weekend that the great-great-grandparents of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate lived near Graignamanagh and were married in the parish, it has also emerged that Mr Ryan’s uncle paid a visit to the parish back in 2010.

Bill Ryan and his wife visited the county at the time and were received informally by then-mayor Martin Brett. They also visited Rothe House and the Graignamanagh area.

Paul Ryan’s ancestral roots have been traced back to James Ryan and Catherine Shea, who were married in the parish of Graignamanagh. They lived in the townland of Cloghaste, or Cloghasty, in the parish of Ullard, according to research carried out, including by Chicago-based hobbyist genealogist Rick Barrett, whose results were outlined in this weekend’s Sunday Times.