Which, if I’ve done my homework correctly, translates to: “Long life to you!”
On this St. Patrick’s Day, when I tote up my sixteen great-great grandparents, it works out to about twelve Irish, one French, one Danish and two question marks. But perhaps as many as four of the Irish were, for at least one generation, Irish-Scots. But those Irish-Scots self identified as Scottish! So if I come down a generation, to my great grandparents, then the scales are still tipped decidedly toward the Irish, but with at least one quarter Scottish.
Which begs the question: who cares? Well I do. Surely, not so I can slap on a silly “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button on the 17th of March every year. I care because of those sixteen ancestors and the thirty-two before them and the sixty-four before them and so on, back before there are records, back before there are any names left to be remembered.
I have cared ever since I was a kid and began asking my parents and grandparents lots of questions. For some reason, I have always been conscious of the very different circumstances every generation lived under. Perhaps it came from spending so much time with my grandparents. Perhaps it was their stories which piqued my interest. Perhaps it was the times they answered any of my innumerable questions with a simple: “I don’t know.”
No matter how it came to be, this genealogical research and record keeping is important to me. I owe everything to them. The least I can do is pore over the records and write their names, their birth and death dates and any bit of information I can find. Folks who worked so hard and took such enormous risks deserve at least to have their names spoken once again, their lives and life’s work acknowledged.
So on this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s to: Miles, Catherine, Hugh, Eliza, Hugh, Winifred, Margaret, William, Bridget, Thomas, Catherine, John, Mary, George, Sarah, Owen, James, Delia, Patrick, Catharine, John, Catherine, Joseph, Winifred, George, Augusta, Augusta Florence, Edward, Mary, Frederick, Elizabeth, James, Mary, James, Alexander, Catherine, John Mervyn, Marion, Dorothy and George - - -
Go raibh maith agaibh!
Thank you all!