Henry Ford Ancestral Site

The Henry Ford Ancestral Site is located on part of Lisselan Estate.  Henry Ford first made cars of a type and a price, which almost everyone could afford to buy.  He sold millions of the famous Model T Ford. One of the Ford Vintage Cars, "Ford Model A" can be seen when visiting Lisselan Estate & Gardens.

Henry Ford, son of William Ford was born in America on July 30, 1863. Henry's father William Ford along with his grandfather John Ford were born in Ireland. John Ford was a tenant farmer in Madam, Ballinascarthy, Clonakilty (part of the Lisselan Estate) farming 30 acres of land.

John's landlord at the time was William Bence Jones of Lisselan Estate. John was married to Thomasina and had seven children, one whom was William, who as a teenager received an education in Kilmalooda School.

In 1847 when the Great Famine hit Ireland John Ford left with his family and headed for the United States of America. Shortly after arriving his wife passed away. John brought his family to Dearborn in Michigan and bought an 80-acre farm.

When William (Henry's father) was thirty -five years old and a successful farmer he met and married Mary Litogot. Mary lost her first child, but on the 30th July, 1863, they had a son who they named Henry.

Henry as a child did not pay attention to school books, but was forever tinkering with machines. William once said about his son Henry "all my children seem normal except Henry. I don't know what will become of that restless child".

This "restless child" became the inventor of the first really practicable motorcar, the father of mass production and mass distribution.

Henry met and married Clara J. Byrant in 1888. They had one son, Edsel Bryant Ford, born in 1893.

When the Cork factory of Henry Ford & Son was under construction in 1917 it began to manufacture tractors to Europe. In 1932, Cork became an assembly plant for passenger cars and commercial vehicles for the Irish market. A newspaper even nicknamed him 'Henry O' Ford of Cork'.

Henry was proud of his ancestral home, and even named his own home 'Fairlane' after a place name in Cork, it was later given to a large area of Dearborn and to one of Ford's most successful American cars.

When Henry Ford died at his residence in l947, he was 83 years old. The rest they say is 'history' as Ford is a world wide name. Lisselan feels privileged to be a part of such 'history'.