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John F. Kennedy Signed Six-Volume Set of Early History of Ireland
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Brian Boru was of the family of Cormac Cas. His father was Kennedy, son of Lorcan. He was slain in battle with the Danes (951). At his death Brian was but a lad of ten years.

What must John F. Kennedy have thought, when he read his surname in this history of the royalty of Ireland from a millennium ago? Brian Boru went on to become the high king of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. He was less pleased to learn that the name Kennedy (Cennétig) meant “ugly head.”

President John F. Kennedy was America’s first Irish-Catholic president, with his family’s Irish roots stretching back for generations. The Fitzgerald and the Kennedy families both migrated to America in the mid-nineteenth century to escape the devastating potato famine and to find work and a better life. JFK relished his Irish heritage and visited Ireland during his presidency in June 1963.

Rev. Edward Alfred D’Alton was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1887 and served in several parishes before becoming dean and vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Tuam in 1930. As a historian, he was best known for his History of Ireland, published in three multi-volume editions between 1903 and 1925.

JOHN F. KENNEDY. Signed Books. Edward A. D’Alton, History of Ireland, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. London: Gresham Publishing Co., 1912. Complete in six half-volumes. 6 x 8.75 in. each. With color frontispieces (missing in one volume), black-and-white plates, illustrations, and one fold-out map of Ireland. Five of the six volumes are signed on the front free endpaper, and the sixth is signed on the back free endpaper, “John F. Kennedy” in black ink.

Inventory #27515       Price: $36,000

Historical Background
The Fitzgerald family was from County Limerick in western Ireland. President John F. Kennedy’s maternal great-grandparents migrated from Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. Around the same time, cooper Patrick Kennedy migrated from County Wexford in southeastern Ireland to the United States, where he married Bridget Murphy, also from County Wexford, in 1849. They were President Kennedy’s paternal great-grandparents. All four of President Kennedy’s grandparents were the children of Irish immigrants to the United States.

Both the Fitzgerald and the Kennedy families lived and worked in Boston and faced the prevalent discrimination against Irish-Catholic immigrants. By the end of the nineteenth century, both of President Kennedy’s grandfathers had become successful Boston politicians, one serving twice as mayor of Boston and as a member of Congress.

At his 1961 inauguration as the 35th President of the United States, Kennedy took his oath of office on a large family Bible brought from Ireland by his ancestors. Within its pages is a handwritten chronicle of the Fitzgerald family since 1857, and it includes a record of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on May 29, 1917.

In June 1963, President Kennedy made a trip to Ireland, where he visited the Kennedy family’s homestead in County Wexford. At New Ross, Ireland, Kennedy told the audience, “When my great grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston, he carried nothing with him except two things: a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty. I am glad to say that all of his great-grandchildren have valued that inheritance.”

Condition: Green cloth-covered boards with gilt titling and decoration on spines and front covers; light wear to the covers; bumped spine edges and corners; cracked spines; light toning and foxing throughout internal pages.

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