Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discovered he has Irish ancestry – which might help to explain why he was pretty good at hurling when he gave it a try.
In 2017, genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons led a team of experts at The Irish Family History Centre (EPIC) in tracing Trudeau’s family back 10 generations to 17th century Ireland.
They found that he has Irish heritage thanks to his mother Margaret Sinclair, who is a descendant of the Bernard family from Co Cork.
Francis Bernard and Mary Freake married in 1661 and had eight children – six daughters and two sons.
Francis died in 1689 fighting against the Catholic Jacobites during the Williamite War. Ten years later, his son Arthur Bernard was appointed the High Sheriff of Cork before becoming MP for Bandon from 1713-14.
Arthur Bernard and Anne Power married in 1695 and were part of the elite society in late 17th and early 18th Century Ireland, along with their relatives, the Boyles.
They had 14 children, the third oldest was Francis Bernard, who was Trudeau’s great (x6) grandfather.
Francis Bernard graduated from Trinity College in 1729, before moving to England. Francis’ grandson moved to Singapore and Malaysia, which was then part of the colonial Indian ‘station’.
After a century in Asia, the Bernard family moved to Canada in 1906.
Trudeau was presented with a full Irish Family History dating back 10 centuries to 17th century Ireland when he visited EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre.
Elsewhere during his visit to Ireland, Trudeau showed that he was handy with a hurley as he gave the Irish sport of hurling a try.
Take a look at the video below.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling