My cousin Liz went on a three-week long study abroad course to Belfast, Northern Ireland this summer–and she brought me back this book.
I should probably explain. I appointed myself the family historian.
This is for a couple of reasons: 1) I love history. 2) I’m a masochist (hehe) and 3) Since I basically have to explain my ethnic origins every ten minutes, I might as well know as much about them as I can find out.
I can already tell you that I’m not ready to write a family history any time soon.
The earliest ancestor I’ve been able to trace (mind you, this is almost all on the Irish side of the family because I can’t read Japanese and those records aren’t online anyway) is Peggy Mulroy, born in 1791, death date unknown. She’s my 4th great-grandmother.
Otherwise, I’ve been able to trace a few cousins, at least out to the third degree.
But the fact is, I don’t know a lot about any of my ancestors beyond a certain point (so, my great-grandparents, who all died before I was born), as happens to us all. I know names, some dates and how I’m related to these various (and mostly dead) people but stories? Pictures? Nope.
There are things I’d like to know more about, though. My grandmother’s mother’s family, for instance, were my first ancestors to set foot on American soil. My great-grandmother Annie was born in New Jersey–but her parents both died before she was six years old.
Supposedly, we have cousins in Australia. Who are they, why did they go there? I’m not sure what branch of the family they’re from.
I still don’t know what my ancestors were up to during the Potato Famine.
We’re related to Father Flanagan somehow. How? Don’t know.
I’ve decided that all Irish family trees lead back to a Peggy, Biddy, Mary, Thomas, or Paddy. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the several women named Sabina and Honora back in my tree.
I am thinking of how I can fit all the people I’ve traced onto a poster or something and drag it with me to Christmas dinner.