New Research Has Shown Walt Disney Was Irish
There's no shortage of famous Americans who claim to have Irish heritage. From Barrack Obama to Pink, there's no end to the stars who can trace their roots back to the lovely Emerald Isle.
Yet we never expected this one. New research has shown that the one and only Walt Disney was a direct descendant of a farmer from Kilkenny. Kepple Disney lived in Clone in the parish of Freshford.
According to Kilkenny People, a local historian was doing some research on an unrelated topic when he came across the name Disney. Frank Kavanagh then decided to dig a little deeper and found that Kepple Disney was born in early November 1832 and was Walt Disney’s grandfather. He also discovered that Kepple’s father was Arundel Elias Disney, who was Walt’s great-grandfather.
Arundel Elias Disney was born in 1801 in Kilkenny and records show he married a woman named Swan, with whom he had 16 children.
The Disney family emigrated to America and records there show Kepple Disney (Walt's grandfather) married Mary Richardson in the mid 1850s. It is also documented that Elias, who was Walt Disney’s father, was born in 1859.
They moved on to settle in Kansas about 1880. Elias was a common farm worker and eventually settled in Kansas City with his wife Flora and five children, of which one was Walt who was born on December 5, 1901.
Walt only visited Ireland once back in 1946 for research for his film Darby O’Gill And The Little People, but never visited Kilkenny.