Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ST. PATRICK'S DAY


I recall from my childhood an old clipping my mother showed me, that was beyond merely yellowed. It looked almost like it should have been in a jar in a desert cave, but it wasn't quite that old. It was from the local newspaper in, if dim memory serves, South Tettegouche, New Brunswick, and was the death notice of one of the area's long-time residents, my great-grandfather. The article mentioned that he had been born in Baltinglass, County Wicklow, and came to Canada as a young man. I wish I knew the years that spanned his life. All I know is that one of his sons, my grandfather, was born in 1875. As the second eldest, my grandfather didn't inherit the farm, and ended up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, working as a "barn boss" in a lumber camp. As I recall, there was even a photo accompanying the obit. It put a face to the scrap of oral history of my family: Mother's side - English, Scottish, and Irish; Father's side - French Canadian. I have no idea what became of that clipping, but I still observe this day every year as someone who is at least a small bit connected by blood.

Here's a video from YouTube, with scenes of Ireland and art work, set to the haunting music of Enya. At nine minutes, it's a little longer than I would normally post, but I thought it was really lovely. So listen to as much of it as you have time or inclination for. And have a happy St. Patrick's Day to all who are Irish by blood forever, or Irish by choice for the day!







Video by YT member ryerin
Book cover photo and info at
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.knowth.com/images-books/stones_of_adoration.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.knowth.com/stones_of_adoration.htm&usg=__zkV8Wh15p6SQiG-avOrnEGNHnd8=&h=277&w=275&sz=35&hl=en&start=42&sig2=eBGMLEZ-Lm3QCNN9Dm0ixg&tbnid=MI2NiQ3_x8V2PM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=113&ei=Bey-SeL4HoS-Mv6-2KsN&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dirish%2Bstanding%2Bstones%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D40

18 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting history, Deb..I hope someone in your family will trace that history back. That would be so neat!

Love Enya... I have several of her CD's.
Happy St. Patty's Day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Poetikat said...

Deb - Surely, your grandfather can't have graced this earth from 1975? 1875, I can see, but 1975 - I was 14 and you were a bit older than that. Ha ha. (I think you've been away with the fairies, have you?)

Just kidding. Great post! I'd love to trace my dad's family history. Unfortunately, my grandfather on that side was a bastard (in the true sense of the word).


Kat

Deborah Godin said...

Thanks for catching my typo, Kat - they're the bane of dyslexic existence!!

Lin said...

funny you should post this...I asked on my blog today if you have any Irish ancestors. You do! I bet you could find that old obit in a local or regional library. it would be worth a try to find a photo of your grandfather and maybe more interesting info you had forgotten

Small City Scenes said...

Interesting post. I always try to access your blog and usually can't---but today I could. All in honor of good old St. Patrick. LOL MB

Carolyn said...

Thank you for your post and the interesting history. May you enjoy the day. How is the Ice Watch going? Yesterday there were mini icebergs in the lake! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.
Smiles

Kathiesbirds said...

Happy St. Paddy's day to you too! What an interesting life story. Seems worth pursuing! The celtic clip is interesting too. I've watched part of it and may come back for more later.

Indrani said...

Interesting story there, great read.
Happy St. Patrick's day!

Shellmo said...

I bet your grandfather would've had a lot of interesting stories being a barn boss in a lumber camp in the U.P. - more rugged times.
Love Enya - always sets the mood!

Quiet Paths said...

It is so amazing how much history we can hold in our hands via just a few words. A distant relative recently sent me something written by my Gr. Grandfather - a letter from 1921 describing how they were harvesting wheat in eastern MT. It was simply amazing to read the letter. It was neat to learn something of your family.

Kallen305 said...

Love reading about your family history. Happy St. Patricks Day!

mom/caryn said...

Great to learn some of your family history. I love stories that dip into the past.

I'm a wannabe Irishman. I think. I used to claim Irish blood... but, my mother informed me that she doesn't think we have any "green" blood flowing in our veins. Dang it! I love the Irish landscape, (hillsides covered in heather, old stone walls, thatch covered roofs) the whole idea of leprechans, and the lilt of an Irish brogue. So.. I envy your ancestry.

And Enya is always worth the time listening to it.

Thinking Aloud said...

Wow,
Loved the post. I am giving you a little Monday Lovin on Tuesday. I look forward to reading your posts in the future.

Squirrel said...

nice post-- genealogy leaves us wondering--what was Hs/She like? every scrap makes us imagine their lives a bit better.


Good Old Enya! (Ms. Brennan of Donegal)

SandyCarlson said...

Those enigmatic Irish ancestors! What an interesting story. Sounds like a nut for Lin to crack.

My Irish ancestor left after the Great Hunger with his three daughters and stayed in NY. He received a monthly check on the condition that he not return to Ireland. So we wonder....

Happy St. Patrick's Day. And thanks for the video.

Sylvia K said...

Love your post! Late getting here, been one of those days! I've been thinking about my Irish ancestors today as well. They were a wild bunch! There's a story told about one McCarty guy who would cut off the finger of men he killed in battles around the countryside and would drop that finger down the neckline of whatever lady was sharing the table. Sounds about like someone I'd be related to!

Cloudia said...

Thank you for sharing your ancestors with us, Deborah.
Aloha-

zoya gautam said...

..the proud sensitive people of ireland..

"a happy St. Patrick's Day to all who are Irish by blood forever, or Irish by choice for the day! "..

(not sure of the grammar-but why not be irish ..by thought..)

great post..many thanks..