The followig is a release from Ancestry.ca
STEPHEN COLBERT IS CANADIAN – AND SO CAN YOU!
Ancestry.ca discovers the roots of Colbert’s passion for hockey
December 2, 2009 - He’s accused Canada of cheating at the upcoming Winter Olympics. He's referred to Canadians as “Godless” and “Syrup Suckers.” He believes Canada is Obama’s America, and supports an American-based Ontario Hockey League team, claiming a war of Good vs. Evil between his beloved Saginaw Spirit and their Canadian adversaries. But what Stephen Colbert may not know is that he’s as Canadian as the Maple Tree and universal healthcare.
Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website[i], made the shocking discovery that the right-wing pundit of “truthiness” and opponent of social welfare has not one, but two paternal relatives that lived, worked and even passed on, in the Great White North.
James Quinn, Stephen’s great-great-grandfather, was born in Ireland in 1830. At some point James, like millions before and after, set sail for a better life in Canada.
According to his 1851 Census record, James Quinn lived and worked as a labourer in Frontenac County near Kingston, Ontario, which coincidentally is a noted hotbed of hockey and home to proud Canadian and hockey icon, Don Cherry. James’ daughter Angeline Quinn married George William Colbert, Stephen’s great-grandfather.
Mary Skelton (nee Mary Ann Gurry) is another paternal ancestor of Stephen’s. Also born in Ireland, she was Stephen’s great-great-grandmother. She immigrated to the United States where she would meet her future husband Creighton Skelton.
What happened next is unclear, but at some point Mary ended up moving north of the border, where she would live out her last days.
According to her Ontario death certificate, Mary Skelton passed away on June 29, 1880 in Haldimand County, near the shores of Lake Erie.
Mary and Creighton’s daughter Elizabeth Skelton married Hugh Tormey. Their daughter Mary Tormey married James W. Colbert Sr. – Stephen’s grandfather.
“As Stephen himself admits, he has little time for facts, logic or information… he prefers to feel the truth rather than look it up in historical records,” quips Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca. “However, we are confident that if he searches his soul deep down, the truthiness of his Canadian heritage will be too powerful to deny.”
This intriguing discovery highlights the fact that most people have family origins in many different places: information that can be lost or forgotten with each passing generation. Thanks to the online preservation of historical records this information is now readily available and easier than ever to search.
To discover your personal family history story, visit ancestry.ca