Welcome (Céad Míle Fáilte!) to Small-leaved Shamrock

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Parade!

Welcome to the
3rd Annual
St. Patrick's Day
Blog Parade

(otherwise known as the
18th edition of the
Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture)

If you love the history and culture of Ireland, have Irish ancestry, are an Irish citizen - or just love a parade - you've come to the right place this St. Patrick's Day!  We'll talk Irish genealogy with some articles from those that are seeking their personal roots in Ireland (or helping others trace theirs).  We'll ponder the faith of the Irish people, discuss Irish travel and music, and - last, but not least - take a look at the beloved St. Patrick and his big day: March 17. 

It's great to have you with us for the parade!  Find yourself a spot with a good view and get ready to watch the entries parade by on this, the day of worldwide celebration of the feast of St. Patrick of Ireland!

On Irish roots

“I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way:
by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.”
- George Bernard Shaw

We'll start our parade off with a look at Irish Genealogy.  Donna Moughty warns against believing the fairy tale that "you can't research in Ireland because of the fire".  As a professional genealogist in Florida with a specialty is 19th-century Irish research, Donna presents some very good online resources for Irish genealogy.  Just getting into genealogy or need some fresh how-to reminders?  Take some time to visit the Strategies for Starting Your Family History series on Donna's Genealogy Blog.

Is there anyone among us with Irish heritage who doesn't dream of uncovering a handwritten letter from one of their Irish forebears?  Shauna Hicks of Victoria, Australia has done so (more than once).  She shares a few of these family treasures with us in her article Letters Home – My Irish Families on her blog Shauna Hicks History Enterprises.  Visit her blog to read transcripions of her great-great-grandmother's correspondence to and from her home in Brisbane with family back in County Armagh, Ireland in the early 20th-century. 
Another Australian contributor to our carnival is working on tracing her roots in Ireland, this time in County Tipperary.  In her article Tierneys on Parade - My Irish Heritage, Geniaus shares what she has learned about her ancestors who settled in Dungog, New South Wales, Australia in the early 19th-century, showing a vintage photograph of their family home.  Visit the Geniaus blog for more on her Tierney ancestors and her search for cousins.  (Here's hoping that she and I will discover a connection someday between our Tierneys from Tipperary!)
The lack of personal Irish ancestry didn't stop Donna Pointkouski from joining us in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.  Within her Surname Saturday series she has included an article on the Irish ancestry of her niece who hails from the McGeehan clan.  Visit Donna's Surname Saturday: McGeehan at What's Past is Prologue for an indepth overview of the surname including its history, variations and name distribution, along with some thoughts on her own challenges as she researches her niece's family tree.
A hitching post brought all the way from Ireland and used for a tombstone?  That's one family legend from the Conlin and McGowan families of  Roscommon, Ireland that Jenna shares about on her blog Desperately Seeking Surnames.  Visit the short narrative about these families and learn about their roots in Roscommon, their settlement in Missouri, and one family member who found work on the Panama Canal.
T. Casteel joins our parade Doin' the Happy Jig at the discovery of her first real proof of an ancestor hailing from Ireland.  Visit her blog Tangled Trees to learn what she found while researching her French-Canadian ancestry.

On the faith of the Irish people

“If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.”
- St. Patrick

The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Londonderry, New Hampshire calls to mind the many connections that the area has to its sister town in Ireland and its own Irish past.  Within her blog Nutfield Genealogy, Heather Wilkinson Rojo writes about this town in New Hamphire settled by Irish immigrants in 1715 and its modern day connections to Ireland. She includes a photo of a statue of St. Bridget given to the local St. Mark's Catholic Church from their neighbor, the Londonderry Presbyterian Church, in solidarity for their shared Christian faith.

Knowing the faith of our ancestors often provides the key to understanding more about their lives.  In Joan Miller's case, the search for her Kerr ancestors who immigrated to Canada in the mid-19th-century led her to research the Early Irish Methodists during the time of the Great Famine. Visit Joan's blog Luxegen Genealogy and Family History for an introduction to the history of Methodism in Ireland within the context of the potato famine.  I found Joan's excerpts from Irish Methodist Reminiscences particularly compelling, especially the comments of the wife of a minister who began: "Oh! the scenes of filth and wretchedness, hunger, nakedness and disease which my dear husband witnessed and tried to relieve..."

Going back even farther into Ireland's history, Katie O. of You Are Where You Came From reminds us that St. Patrick is not the only saintly figure held in great esteem by the Irish people.  She shares a paper she wrote examining the native and Christian motifs in Medieval Irish Hagiography (that's a fancy word for the biographies of saints or venerated persons).  Based on readings of The Life of Senan, Son of Gerrgenn and The Life of Ciaran of Clonmacnois (taken from a 15th-century manuscript), Katie offers a scholarly look at the legendary genealogies, lives and influences of these heroes of Ireland.

On St. Patrick, the Irish and Ireland

“I've always liked it here. Part of me is Irish. . . .
My family comes from the west coast, so whenever I come to Ireland
I get a wee tingling in my heart that I'm where I belong.”
- Billy Connolly (Scottish Actor)

It's funny how Irish Pride sometimes wells up in us for surprising reasons.  In Terri O'Connell's case, it was her German grandmother that encouraged her love of her own Irish heritage each St. Patrick's Day when she was young. Stop by Finding Our Ancestors for Terri's childhood March 17 memories in Chicago including a "cute little green polyester pant suit".
Wearin' O' The Green and St Patrick's Day Tradition is alive within the family of Frances Ellsworth (a.k.a. Hummer) as she shares on her blog Branching Out Through the Years. Stop by to view a collage of her favorite St. Patty's Day family photos and read about her fondness for St. Patrick because of the legendary way he ran the snakes out of Ireland.

The shamrock has long been a beloved symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick.  On her blog Celtic Voices Cindy Thomson muses about its probable use by St. Patrick as a tool to explain the Trinity to the Irish people. Visit Cindy's Did St. Patrick Really Use the Shamrock to Prove a Point? and also her article The Shamrock for more on this well-known native Irish greenery.

What would a St. Patrick's Day party be without Irish music?  Kerry Dexter of Music Road has some recommendations for us.  As Kerry wrote in a previous article, the music of Ireland "goes back centuries, and is still sung, and is still vital. Music about the substance of life is a tradition which continues with today’s musicians as well..."  Visit her blog for the scoop on some of the modern Irish musicians that she enjoys most.

How could we celebrate this very Irish holiday without our thoughts turning back to Ireland itself?  We all have images of Ireland that stir our imaginations, whether we have visited the island or not.  If you do have a trip in your future, you may do well to take some advice from Corey of the Wandering Educators blog.  His article Spots the Tourists Miss in Ireland highlights not-so-well-known destinations in Ireland that are worth working into the itinerary.

If you can't make it to the Emerald Isle, why not plan a visit to a place outside of Ireland with a little bit of Irish history?  One such place is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as Eyelyn Yvonne Theriault explains on her blog A Canadian Family.  Visit The Irish And The Queen Victoria Bridge to see a vintage postcard of the Victoria bridge and read about its tie to a special memorial designed by Irish Quebeckers to commemorate their own.

I hope you've enjoyed this 3rd annual edition of the Small-leaved Shamrock St. Patrick's Day Blog Parade!  Many thanks to all of our contributors. If you just can't get enough St. Patrick's Day reading, make a visit over to the 2008 and 2009 editions of the parade. 

This year's edition was particularly challenging for me to complete thanks to the wee one in my care and the other activities of my family (including this week's Irish dance performances).  If you enjoyed reading, please take the time to leave a comment or send an email.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. 

The topic for the upcoming 19th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture (in honor of U.S. National Poetry Month 2010) is Poetry!  Read details about the Small-leaved Shamrock Poetry Party on the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture blog. Deadline for this upcoming edition is Monday, April 26, 2010

In the spirit of Irish poetry (which spans from the serious ballad to the silly limerick), here's a traditional Irish "blessing" (if you can call it that!) to take with you on your way:

May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping.

(Ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Please let me say that you have easily one of the loveliest looking blogs on the net!
I love the way you've displayed all our entries in this special St-Patrick's Day issue.
It will be a few days before I can begin my Irish visits, but I do appreciate all the work you put into creating these beautiful Carnivals.
Evelyn in Montreal

Donna said...


Wow - I didn't even know I wrote a carnival post! Thanks for thinking of me ;-)

'Twas a grand parade, as usual!

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Donna O'Pointkouski

Unknown said...

As always, great job Lisa! Awesome posts from everyone. I wish I could have contributed. I've fallen off a bit and need to get posting again. Funny how the little ones consume our lives.


Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

Thanks so much for your compliments, Evelyn. So glad you could join us with your entry!

Donna - funny how your article got worked into the parade. I had read it and was thinking that you might have plans to submit it, so I bookmarked it. Later I included it forgetting that you had not "officially" submitted. Hope you didn't mind my mistake!

Colleen - we did miss you! You're such a regular here at our carnival. Hope to see you at an upcoming edition. Thanks for reading.


Kerry Dexter said...

thanks for letting me add some fine music to the parade again this year.
all the best,

Dorene from Ohio said...

You have been awarded the "Ancestor Approved Award." Please pick it up at:


Éire Historian said...

I would dearly love to give your blog the Ancestor Approved Award. I hope that you will stop by www.thesearchforanneandmichael.blogspot.com to pick it up.
Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman

J said...


Great blog - wonderful posts.

I was presented with the Ancestor Approved Award and I am passing it on to you. You can pick it up at http://j-macsjourney.blogspot.com

irish historical research said...

Really interesting! Well done! Beautiful post in every way!


Related Posts with Thumbnails