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Bruce Springsteen's family tree traced back to Co Kildare

Published 27/05/2016

Records show Bruce Springsteen's great-great-great-grandfather settled down in 1827 and went on to have no fewer than eight children
Records show Bruce Springsteen's great-great-great-grandfather settled down in 1827 and went on to have no fewer than eight children

Bruce Springsteen may have been Born In The USA - but his roots are in Ireland.

Researchers have uncovered The Boss's great-great-great-grandfather was from Co Kildare.

And Christy Gerrity, from Rathangan, was also known as a hell-raiser and outspoken protester in his glory days.

He was arrested and imprisoned in 1823 under the Insurrection Act - which targeted those protesting the social injustice of excessive tithes, rent payments and related evictions of the time.

Records show he settled down in 1827, married Catherine Kelly and the pair went on to have no fewer than eight children.

They lived in a simple mud cabin with a thatched roof in the townland of Mountprospect.

In 1847 - one of the worst years of Ireland's Great Famine - Gerrity worked as a carrier, earning a living by transporting people, goods and livestock.

Despite the hard times, he remained a staunch believer in education and sent his sons to study at Rathangan National School, genealogists at the Irish Family History Centre found.

However, like millions of others, the Gerritys eventually succumbed to being famine refugees.

They left Ireland for New Jersey in 1853.

The roots were revealed by Tourism Ireland, which is encouraging people worldwide to discover their Irish heritage on the Ireland.com website.

Mark Henry, of Tourism Ireland, said he was delighted to share the details of Springsteen's Irish ancestry on his sell-out gig at Dublin's Croke Park.

"We are encouraging people around the world to visit the island of Ireland in 2016 and learn more about their heritage," he said.

"Our message to the Irish diaspora everywhere is that there has never been a better time to visit, to trace their ancestry and learn more about their Irish roots."

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