Grave end for Disney's
Sunday Mirror, Aug
- The last resting place of Walt Disney's
ancestors is in RUINS - even though the cartoon
king's legacy is worth millions.
- Walt Disney's Irish ancestors are buried in Clonmelsh
graveyard, Ballyloo, Co Carlow.
- But while the Disney corporation is worth millions, the
graves of Walt's ancestors are overgrown and covered in mounds
of filthy rubbish.
- Angry councillor Jim Townsend claims locals even had to
remove the gates to the graveyard to stop vandals stealing them.
- He said: "What's happening is a disgrace.
- "The council cleaned up the rubbish six months ago, but it's
all back now."
- The Disneys left Clonmesh to travel to New York in 1834, but
three of Walt's ancestors are buried in the cemetery.
- The all-star graveyard also boasts the family of Pierce
Butler, one of the men who signed the American Constitution, and
millionaire Thomas Tracy.
The Disney Family
In 1801, Arundel Elias Disney, great-grandfather of Walt Disney
was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. He is a descendant of Hughes and
Robert d'Isigny who settled in England with William the Conquereor
in 1066. In the Primary Valuation of Tenements from May 1849, one
Kepple Disney is listed as renting property of 4 acres comprising
"House, offices, and land", and valued at £5 10s in the parish of
Rathbeagh, Kilkenny. Also listed is one Henry Disney with over 34
In 1832 Arundel married Maria Swan and gave birth 2 November of
that year to Kepple Disney. They would have a total of 16 children,
In 1834 Arundel and his brother Robert left Liverpool with their
families intending to settle in the United States. They reached this
destination on 3 October after spending a month crossing the
Once on American soil, the two brothers separated, with Robert
settling on a farm in the Midwest while Arundel proceeded to
Goderich Township in Ontario, Canada. Arundel built a windmill near
the Maitland River, and made his living selling corn and wood. But
his fortune was temporary and he was soon in debt.
In 1858, Kepple married Mary Richardson (20 March 1838-10 March
1909) who was an Irish immigrant.
In 1859, after settling in Bluevale, Ontario, Elias was the first
of their 11 children. Kepple attempted various jobs such as work
drilling oil or mining salt.
In 1878, Kepple and his two sons, Elias and Robert, soon joined
the rest of the family and settled in Ellis, Kansas where they
purchased 80 hectares of land from the Union Pacific Railroad. They
did not have the means to buy wood, so the family built a cob house
before embarking on a career that would allow them to build a stone
house. During this time, the Disneys farmed cattle and corn.
Kepple Disney died in 1891 at the age of 59.
December 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. USA.
December 1966 in Los Angels, California. USA
Disney, the son of Flora and Elias Disney, had three
brothers and one sister. As the co-founder (with his
brother Roy O. Disney) of Walt Disney Productions, Walt
became one of the best-known motion picture producers in
Disney's ancestors had emigrated from Gowran, County
Kilkenny in Ireland. His father Elias Disney had moved
to the United States after his parents failed at farming
in Canada. As a child Elias moved with his family all
around the United States, as his father chased various
business ventures. He also worked as a mailman in
Kissimmee (Orlando), Florida, future home of Walt Disney
World. Elias moved to Chicago in the late 1800s soon
after his marriage to Flora Call. Walt was born in
Chicago. Gowran is a small town in County
Kilkenny. Kilkenny (Contae Chill Chainnigh in Irish) is
located in the south east of Ireland in the province of
Leinster. ... Elias Disney (February 6, 1859 - September
13, 1941) was the father of Walt Disney. Kissimmee is a
city in Osceola County, Florida, United States.
1906 Elias grew disenchanted with the violence in
Chicago and moved his family to Marceline, Missouri,
where his brother owned property. There he bought a
house and 45 acres of farmland. While in Marceline,
Disney developed his love for drawing. One of their
neighbours, a retired doctor named "Doc" Sherwood, paid
him to draw pictures of Sherwood's horse, Rupert. He
also developed his love for trains in Marceline, which
owed its existence to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
Railway which ran through town. Walt would put his ear
to the tracks in anticipation of the coming train. Then
he would look for his uncle, engineer Michael Martin,
running the train.
- Sources: Roger Nowlan
- Walt Disney
- His parents, Elias Disney
- His grandparents Kepple Disney
Roy Edward Disney died in California on December 16th 2009 at
the age of 79. He was the last member of the Disney family to be
involved in the company made famous by his uncle Walt Disney. He owned a
castle in Cork and came to Carlow several times to view the areas
associated with his ancestors. During his last visit he was presented
with copies of documents dating from the late 18th century signed by
George Disney of Carlow.
Source: Michael Purcell
Carlow Methodist Church register transcribed by Marlborough Clarke
Douglas now in PPP.
James Thomas Disney, Farmer, married Elizabeth Mary Pierce, Farmers
daughter, of Killamoate, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow. 10th April, 1912.
Source: Michael Purcell from PPP
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