Easily one of the most popular and reliable box office performers today, actress, comedian, producer, and now fashion designer Melissa McCarthy has a lot to be proud of. With a string of hits (Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat, Spy!, The Boss, etc.) that consistently deliver an enviable ROI, it’s a no brainer that her next one will follow suit because she’s part of the long-anticipated Ghostbusters dream team of Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig. While they’re all ghostbusting, I thought I’d do a little ghost-searching – that is, for the ancestors who populate McCarthy’s family tree – and here’s what I learned.
- As many probably assume, Melissa McCarthy is of mostly Irish heritage (though with a twist – more on this shortly) – roughly 69%. German comes in second with 19% and the remaining 12% is deep American, mostly tracing back to England. Surnames in her past include Brolley, Burke, Carty, Clark, Condon, Connelly, Cook, Coyne, Dagenhart, Daley, Gallacher, Garvie, Green, Hoffman, Hughes, Humphries, McFayden, McGerrick, McLaughlin, Moore, O’Reilly, Owens, Quinn, and Walsh, so if you share any of these, you could be cousins, especially if your family hails from Illinois, Indiana, Ireland or Scotland.
- Yes, it’s true that Melissa and Jenny McCarthy are first cousins, but their family’s name wasn’t always McCarthy. For reasons that are unclear, their immigrant grandfather, Michael Carty, changed from Carty to McCarthy between his appearance in the 1930 census and his 1934 marriage. He had entered the country (by railroad from Quebec) and become an American citizen under the name of Carty, but perhaps he had one too many, “My name’s Mike Carty.” “McCarthy?” “No, Carty. C-A-R . . .” conversations and decided to go with the flow. And for those wondering which corner of Ireland gets to claim Melissa McCarthy’s Carty roots, congratulations to Currygranny in the Newtownforbes area of County Longford!