Star Wars actor traces his roots to Longford

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Star Wars actor traces his roots to Longford

The Force is strong with Longford now it’s been revealed that ‘Star Wars’ actor Warwick Davis’ ancestry traces back to a Longford woman who left Ireland before the Great Famine.

Davis, who featured on last week’s episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, discovered that his family history, in fact, lies in Co. Longford, where his great-great-great-grandmother, Margaret, was born.

It seems that a long time ago, in a galaxy not so far, far away, Margaret Manning and her husband, Owen, travelled to England in the mid-1800s. Census records from 1851 place them on the fringes of London.

Using the power of the Force - namely the resources of the Longford Historical Society - the Leader can reveal some potential links that have been dug out of the archives.

Chairperson of the Longford Historical Society, Hugh Farrell, has been looking into Davis’ ancestry and said that the evidence seems to point to his great-great-great-grandmother being a lady named Margaret Conway.

“Margaret Manning, it would seem, was born in Longford circa 1808. Many family trees have listed her as Margaret Conway.

“Some say she was born in County Longford. Others say Mullingar, County Longford. And others still say Mullingar, County Westmeath. 

“I would think she was born in South County Longford, which is very close to Mullingar,” he said.

“She married Owen Manning circa 1826. There’s no marriage record, but some of the sons were born in 1827. Dennis, great-great-grandfather of Warwick Davis, was born in 1834.”

More records state that Margaret had eight sons and five daughters with her husband Owen between 1828 and 1848. She died in January 1893 in Shoreditch London, having lived to the ripe old age of 84.

Davis shot to fame when he played Wicket W. Warrick in ‘Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi’ but is also known for his roles in ‘Willow’ and ‘Harry Potter’ among others.