Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Irish portraits: An "album" of stories

Welcome to the 16th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. This is a special week for the carnival as we celebrate both our 16th edition and our second anniversary on the web. A special thanks to all of our readers, our commenters, and especially our talented contributors (Irish or not) who have supported the carnival throughout the past two years!

In this Irish Portraits edition, we've chosen to focus on Irish men and women and their personal stories. Some stories include photographs; others paint only a verbal picture of part of a person's life.

Records with names, dates and other data are essential to the search for family history, yet perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this search is the discovery of the stories behind these names and dates. Some sad, some triumphant, some representative of many others of their time, some seemingly made for the movies, the stories in this edition take us on a tour of various places and centuries through the lives of those that have passed before us.

We hope you'll enjoy this "album" of "story portraits" that we've put together for you in this edition of the carnival. Happy reading!

The search for family history can sometimes be tedious as we try to make sense of data and documents from days gone by. Then there are those discoveries that shock our emotions and draw us back into time as we feel the sorrow and pain of those that have gone before us. The life of my ancestor Margaret Foley Cowhey is one such story. In Death comes in threes: The sorrows of Margaret Foley Cowhey, 1891-1895, I've shared the stories of the tragic losses of three of Margaret's loved ones in a short span of three and a half years. Although saddened, I am thankful to know the details of this heartbreaking portion of my family's history. Visit my article here at Small-leaved Shamrock to read the story and view the various documents that gave me clues into this part of my great-great-grandmother's life.

Martin Kelly, the great-great-great-grandfather of Melody LaSalle, was an enterprising man. Read the story of his life first in County Roscommon, Ireland, then in Boston, Massachusetts, and then at his final home city of San Francisco, California. From horse trader to owner of several boarding houses on Mission Road outside of San Francisco, Melody shares the story of her ancestor's "nomadic" life, including his sad demise, in Martin Kelly, My Family's First Business Owner? posted at The Research Journal.

The troubles in Ireland in the early 20th-century caused Robert Farrell of Ulster and each of his brothers to make the decision to emigrate from Ireland. All but Robert, however, headed for Australia and New Zealand. He began his new life as a Canadian farmer in Saskachewan. Visit A Portrait of my Irish Grandfather – Robert Farrell (1896-1965) by Alana Farrell posted at A Twig In My Tree for more about her grandfather's reasons for leaving Ireland and the story of the rest of his life in Canada.

Many of us researching family members have found that one discovery can open up many more questions that we hadn't known to ask before. Terri O'Connell has had that experience as she has learned about the life of her grandfather Dennis O'Connell of New York, USA and Alberta, Canada. View his photograph, read what she knows about his life, and learn the questions she still has yet to answer at My Irish Ancestor posted on her blog entitled Finding Our Ancestors.

Inspired by the lifelong creativity of her mother, Marian Joyce Neil, Earline Bradt shares a few of the many crafts and projects that she worked on throughout her life (many of which Earline dabbled in along with her). In Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture #16 - My Creator posted at Ancestral Notes, Earline tries to "paint a portrait of [her] mother" and her creative talents. Visit Earline's story to learn her father's reaction to Marian's creative whimsy when she decided to faux paint the family's dining room chairs.

Sharing about her Little/Lytle ancestors, Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski lets us in on a "little secret": this family may not be Irish after all. As Cindy states, "It has been interesting, not to mention challenging, untangling family legend and lore from facts." Read her article Carnival of Irish Heritage Irish Portraits: Little/Lytle posted at In My Life to learn about the family members within this branch of her family and to view two family portraits.

In the spirit of the recently passed Halloween holiday, Sean Lamb of Finding the Flock shares with us the story of the haunted house in his family. Sean gives readers a chronology of the life of Alexander Meharry, who emigrated from County Cavan, Ireland to Ohio in the late 18th-century. The story of his life is not quite as exciting as what happened to him after his passing. Visit Sean's blog to learn why Alexander Meharry's story brings new meaning to the phrase "skeletons in the closet".

James Hayley/Haley was an Irishman who arrived in America very early: 1675 to be exact. Within her Hayley genealogy blog, Ruth H. has chosen to share what she knows about his life for our Irish portraits edition, including the items listed within his will and estate. It's an interesting read including everything from "one cart and wheels", one-hundred-and-forty-six "head of hogs", two spinning wheels, one looking glass and more. Visit Ruth's Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 16th Edition submission to read more.

Ruth also had another story to share with us for this edition of the carnival. In Mattie Reed ---- granddaughter of Robert Reed (Sr.) of Donegal, northern Ireland, and Mary (Polly) (Pomeroy) Reed she tells the exciting story of her ancestor who survived an Indian attack by outrunning the young warrior in pursuit of her during the year 1778. Visit Ruth's blog Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me to read about Mattie's close call and learn what became of the Indian brave who failed to capture her.
Finally, professional genealogist Donna Moughty shares the story of her search for her husband's Irish roots in her article Moughty and Lynn of Westmeath posted at Donna's Genealogy Blog. Donna shares a portrait of a cousin of her father-in-law's whom she met on a recent trip to Ireland. According to Donna, "The resemblance between my father-in-law, Bernard Moughty and Jack Moughty of County Longford is uncanny." Visit her blog to learn the story of the Moughty clan of Westmeath.

I hope you have enjoyed paging through our "album" of stories about Irish folk hailing from various times and places. Please plan to join us for the upcoming 17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. The topic will be Genealogy treasure "show and tell". For details visit Upcoming 17th edition: Genealogy treasure "show and tell" on the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture blog. Deadline for this upcoming edition is January 3, 2010. Hope to see you there!

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