Source: Faces of America: "Tenant Farmers"
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Tenant Farmers Transcript (Document)
Narration: Stephen’s mother is the great-granddaughter of a couple who left Ireland’s county Laois in the 1820s. at the time, the English aristocracy who ruled Ireland called it “Queens county.” Stephen’s ancestors, like most Irish Catholics, were tenant farmers. English laws prevented Catholics from buying land, from practicing their faith, holding public office, or even owning a horse. They could not – or would not – record the details of their lives in church or civil records. so they left Ireland without a trace.
Gates: Have you ever gone looking for your roots in Ireland?
Stephen Colbert: When I was fourteen, we went over to Dublin and then we drove across to Limerick, and on the way we stopped at a bunch of different places. We went to Roscommon, which is the last, you know, the last lead we had on the Tucks… and we found a lot of dead ones. It would say things like “went west…” which could mean Limerick, or it could mean the United States… and so, never found any over there.
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