MARILYN MONROE’S family heritage has been traced all the way back to Ireland as part of a new DNA study.
It had been thought that the Hollywood star was descended from the Scottish Highlands people of Clan Munro, who took their name from a group of mercenary soldiers based near the River Roe in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The seat of Clan Munro is established at Foulis Castle near Evanton in Easter Ross in the Highlands.
However, fresh research conducted as part of the Munro DNA Project has now traced the clan’s origins back to the south west region of Ireland.
According to the BBC, the DNA project took in samples from Munros living all over the world, which helped researchers put together a complex family tree.
The project successfully traced Some Like It Hot star Monroe’s ancestors back to a branch of the Munro family based in Edinkillie, near Forres, in Moray, Scotland.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, the actress's mother, Gladys Pearl Monroe, had ancestral links to Scotland and Clan Munro.
It also found the fifth US president, James Monroe, who was a descendant of the Munros from Easter Ross, who were banished to Britain’s America colonies following the conclusion of the English Civil Wars of the 1700s.
Most significant of all, however, the DNA project identified an Irishman who lived some 1,750 years ago and had four distinct male lines with living descendants.
Further branches of the Munros were also traced back to Ireland, including the forefathers of the Munros of Foulis, the chiefs of the clan.
"The origins of name Munro has puzzled historians for generations,” modern day Clan chief, Hector Munro of Foulis, told the BBC.
"Tradition has it that we were mercenary soldiers from near the River Roe in Derry, Northern Ireland, hence the name Munro - Mac an Rothaich in Gaelic. But it had proved impossible to verify."
These findings change that with Munro noting that "all four lines [from the Irish ancestor] can be traced back to south west Ireland."
Born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, Monroe emerged as one of the most iconic stars and symbols of the 1950s and 60s.
She passed away, aged just 36, after overdosing on barbiturates.