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Monday, March 17, 2008

Saol Fada Chugat!

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!

6 comments:

purpleronnie said...

I think it's fantastic to care about one's geneaology (?). I am also part Scottish and I am extremely proud of my heritage. I also have a bit of Dutch and Austrian but I think I need to do a lot more research where that is concerned.

Nana Fi said...

Me too, I am Scottish, born in Kenya of Scottish parents, but somewhere along the line I think there is some Irish blood too. Who knows in this small world we live in we could be related in some way!!! Fiona xx

Roo said...

If it helps at all, my mother's maiden (and full) name is; Rose Patricia Cecilia Murphy, so I think we might have some Irish in us ;o)

In fact I used to have the mickey taken out of me at school for being one of the few kids with an English surname (Hall btw)as my best friends where - Michael Kelly, Patrick Carrigan, Andrew Kellagher, Raymond McDermot and Tony Quinn oh and Tony Neal, and Stephen Harrison, and not forgetting Stephen O'Kelly too, oh and Mark Rogers (not so Irish)

Pink Granite said...

Hi All -
The genealogical research is fun, tedious, exciting, frustrating and satisfying.

According to the latest science, all of us with blue eyes are in fact related way, way, way back in our family trees! And I wouldn't doubt that more recently on our family trees, many of us are cousins of one degree or another. With our ancestors doubling every generation, the math is on our side!

As for your Mom, Roo, with a name like Rose Patricia Cecilia Murphy, yeah, she sounds just a little, teeny bit Irish! (I'll keep my eye out for any Murphys on my family tree!)
;o)
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

Do you get the BBC series "who do you think you are" over there? I suspect you'd love it.
I'm a bit of a mongrel (in the nicest way), bit Irish, bit English, bit Scottish, possibly a bit Welsh and way back a bit of Spanish. But if anyone asks me "what are you?" I just say "Australian", because I'm glad fate made it so.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Lets here it for all the 'mongrels" and for pride in country - however we come to be where we are!
;o)
- Lee
P.S. Unfortunately we don't get "Who do you think you are" on BBC America over here. But it looks fascinating. I've bookmarked their webpage and will explore it further. Thanks!