Corzine and Napoleon

Posted by Michael O'Hearn on February 28, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, like most in the small Illinois farming community where he grew up, considers his personal ancestry to be an unimportant commodity, saying that it may have been Italian or French paternally. My own research has uncovered a possible Corsican connection.

It started in March of 1984 when I visited Ireland in search of my patrimonial roots. Upon departing Shannon Airport, I inexplicably began driving North toward Ennis in County Clare, just a few kilometers south of presumptive patrimony location of the O'Hanraghan Clan of Clare of Munster, later to be discovered, through painstaking DNA testing and review of mid-19th century Wisconsin records, as my own ancestors who were actually called O'Haran or O'Haren on the way across the Atlantic and early in America, being a form of O'Hanraghan. My ancestor John apparently arrived in New York with two brothers, and although illiterate, soon got married, became a successful dairy farmer, and served on the Manitowoc County Board during the time of the Civil War.


It so happened that a notorious paramilitary fugitive suspect from Derry in Northern Ireland was apparently staying in a farmhouse on that same stretch of road going toward the lovely town of Ennis, of which I learned while listening to the car radio and reading the Irish Times during my week long stay. He was caught after being wounded in a gun fight with Gardai during the time of my stay, extradited to Belfast where he was convicted of charges, and later released after the convictions were overturned on appeal for lack of evidence. Ten years later in 1994 he was killed in a gun battle among other partisans.


Fast forward.


In reading about this fugitive last week, I stumbled upon information regarding art thefts with several cool Mercedes car chase videos, and regarding Mr. Corzine's contacts with an Irish fugitive suspect seeking sanctuary in America.


Since Corzine's ancestry was traced to the Dutch community in New Amsterdam but glossed over in the wikipedia article, I checked the name in the Ancestry index which stated that to likely be of indeterminate French Huguenot origin with Dutch influence. From this and Corzine's mention of it being Italian or French, my conclusion is that the name apparently pertains generically to a Corsican living in France, Corse being the French equivalent for Corsica.


My own ancestral research includes a possible Corsican matron, not directly related to my branch,  married into the noble Farnese family of Lombard descent in Italy, including Alessandro Farnese who became Pope Paul III, a cousin of my Italian ancestors who eventually settled in Provence, France.


Of course Napoleon Bonaparte was also Corsican. From DNA tests it is concluded that his paternal ancestry was probably Moorish being of type E, an African type relatively uncommon in Europe, and in this respect similar to Adolf Hitler's direct paternal ancestry.

Last updated: 16 May 2012

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