THE most filmed literary creation in history has a strong Kilkenny connection. The man responsible for the original blood-sucking vampire that has frightened generations of cinema-goers and scared millions of readers is from a Kilkenny family.
In recent times we have learned that US actor George Clooney’s great-great-great-grandfather cane from Tullahought and that Barack Obama’s seventh-generation uncle is buried in a vault at St Canice’s Cathedral. However, the link with the creator of Dracula is a real find. Bram Stoker was born in Dublin but his antecedents are from Kilkenny city.
There has been an explosion of interest in Bram Stoker and his life in recent times, and work by a number of genealogists has shown that Bram Stoker’s great-grandfather Richard Stoker, who was baptised in 1766, lived in the city.
While he comes from a long line of Dublin-based tailors, Bram’s great-grandfather was a member of the 2nd Regiment of Horse of the Irish Establishment based in Kilkenny city.
The information is thanks to Kilkenny Family History at Rothe House, who have helped to develop the Roots Ireland database for online searching by those who wish to search themselves for their ancestors using transcribed data from various sources including church and civil records usually from the earliest available up to the early 20th century.
Kilkenny Family History is part of the Irish Family History Foundation, a network of all Ireland centres and is the largest provider of professional family history research services in Ireland.
At Rothe House visitors can avail of a walk in service where their enquiry can be examined and dealt with by the genealogist for a small fee presuming that their query relates to Kilkenny. Should the client have an enquiry for another county then they will be directed there and telephone contact can be made booking an appointment for them where necessary.
Visitors may require state certificates which can be issued only to those who have details regarding a specific location and this can frequently be organised for them almost immediately or on the same day. Likewise the same day research facility can be offered to those who arrive early in the morning with their stated question and staff will where possible attempt to make an identification of their ancestor within the day.
However, intending visitors are always advised to send their queries at least one month in advance so that staff have time to prepare records pertaining to their family history.