St. Patrick’s Day, 2015

Somehow I feel compelled to mention this every St. Patrick’s Day. I’m at least a quarter Irish and possibly as much as half Irish. After fifty years of genealogical research that’s as specific as I can be. I have two parents, four grandparents, and eight great-grandparents, just like most people. Of my four maternal great-grandparents at least two were Irish and one may have been half Irish. My best guess if that the other great-grandparent was mostly French (it’s possible that half Irish great-grandparent was Irish and French, too).

My best high school buddy, among the most Irish Americans I know with four grandparents all born in Ireland, used to wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day in protest.

18 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    Orange on St. Patrick’s Day? Hard core!

  • PD Shaw Link

    We, as usual, spent a few hours at our St. Patrick’s Day parade on a beautiful Saturday morning. If the Irish are trying to overcome the stereotype of being foul-mouthed drunks, they have Heaven and Hell to move to get there as long as this day is celebrated.

  • PD Shaw Link

    I did like the t-shirt worn by an African-American man: “F**k You! I AM Irish.” Like being an American, anybody can be Irish for a day with a bit of green and a bit of beer and a bit of both in each.

  • CStanley Link

    I’m 100% Polish but hubs is 1/4 Irish and we all love corned beef so we’re about to dig in. The soda bread appears to have turned out well and smells great- I steamed the raisins first and tossed them with a bit of vanilla.

    Just wondering, Dave, if you’ve done any of the genealogical research recently? The availability of records has exploded in recent years. I’ve found so much stuff that we never thought we’d find.

  • I’ve subscribed to for about a decade. I check in there on a regular basis. Every so often I do a bit of searching.

    I haven’t taken any field trips in a while. There just hasn’t been anywhere else I thought I’d find anything. I used to haunt the Federal Records Center. I haven’t needed to do that since everything went online.

    I might be able to learn something by hiring somebody in Ireland. I’ve researched my Swiss ancestry completely for about 800 years.

    Every so often I learn something new. It’s been a while.

  • CStanley Link

    I imagine sometimes you do hit dead ends, but several times I’ve been ready to give up on one line or another and then found hot leads. It’s fun when it finally starts to fall in place. Most of my research has been on more recent generations though- have only been doing this for about two years and the farthest I’ve gotten is on one of my paternal lines, to the 18th century. I’m working on one other line but it’s hard for various reasons, not the least of which is that I can’t read the records that are in Russian.

  • Modulo Myself Link

    I’m part Murphy, but it’s through the south. My great-uncle in the Murphy side did several volumes on the Murphy line. He claimed a connection to Andrew Jackson. I remember reading that as a kid and finding the whole thing then pretty tenuous.

    Today all of the mailboxes near my office off 5th Ave were bolted shut, just in case a drunk wanted to use one, which left me wondering exactly how much mail comes to one after having been saturated in urine.

  • Modulo Myself Link

    If the Irish are trying to overcome the stereotype of being foul-mouthed drunks, they have Heaven and Hell to move to get there as long as this day is celebrated.

    I know a couple second-generation Irish guys. They have memories that extend far beyond their age. For example, the generic O’Shamrock bar where you can get a Black-and-Tan is not a place to go, even if they are giving away free beer.

    They can’t stand the holiday. They also hold grudges against St Patrick for converting the island, but I think that’s just in the spirit of the sentiment.

    The Southie parade in Boston is more down-home than the NY parade. Probably not more sober but it felt, the one time I was there, like a homecoming event.

  • I’m working on one other line but it’s hard for various reasons, not the least of which is that I can’t read the records that are in Russian.

    I’d be happy to see what I can make of them. Pre-20th century Russian can be tricky, particularly cursive. They made a major change to the orthography after the revolution but I’ll do what I can. Leave a message in comments if you’re interested.

    In my case I have most of my lines traced back to their arrival here in the States. That’s usually a stopper except in the case of my Swiss ancestors. The Swiss are great recordkeepers and they haven’t had war.

  • PD Shaw Link

    As I recall, Irish genealogical records are problematic because a lot of records didn’t survive, there are no whole census records prior to the 20th century. There was also discrimination against natives in various professions and property ownership under English rule. And I think if you go far back enough, the Irish tended to own land in family, not individual, name.

  • My Swiss records are all church records. Marriages, baptisms, deaths. The church was built in the 13th century.

  • CStanley Link

    Oh thanks so much for the offer, but I have a source for translations of both Polish and Russian documents. The issue is that I haven’t been able to familiarize myself enough with the Cyrillic (and yes, it’s cursive too, and sometimes poor quality) so I can’t skim to make the same kind of discoveries that I made with the Polish records. There’s a process, starting with an ancestor you know, and finding a birth record and then that person’s parents’ marriage record, and then you can skim the years after the marriage to find the siblings. I had a lot of success doing that with one line, which was important because it explained a cousin connection between my NY immigrant ancestors and another group that settled in Chicago.

    On my father’s matrilineal side though I found a birth record for his grandfather that had been indexed so I knew it matched (and have had it translated to confirm) but I can’t browse through to pick up additional family members.

    I assume you haven’t located the immigration documents for the missing links? I’ve had mixed success with that, but when you find a ship manifest or naturalization papers it is naturally very helpful.

  • Too early. There were no such things

  • CStanley Link

    Ah…I never thought about the ways that the eras differ! Probably a lot less information on the US census documents too, if there even were any.

  • Prior to 1850 the federal census only provides names for heads of households with tallies of other household members by age bracket

  • Jimbino Link

    I’m half-Irish too, my middle name is Patrick, and I also wear orange out of disdain for the Roman Catholic Church and all it represents. Fortunately for me and my siblings, our very religious RC father was excommunicated upon marrying my Protestant mother after his earlier divorce. Imagine: someday, we may see a Protestant on the Supreme Court!

  • PD Shaw Link

    That’s the biggest mix-up I’ve ever seen, Jimbino’s mother was orange and his father, HE was green.

  • PD Shaw Link

    /Irish Rovers reference

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