• Ireland
  • May3

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    While searching through the 1901 and 1911 Irish census today, I looked at the “Age + or – 5 years” search field and thought, “Hmm.”

    Because, that’s the sound thinking makes.

    I wondered, who was the oldest person enumerated in the entire census?

    The winner is John McDonough of House 7 in Drimmeen, Errislannon, Galway who was 122 years old. Assuming his age was correct (ahem), he would have been born in 1779.

    John McDonough, 122 Years Old in 1901 Irish Census

    But don’t worry about old John – he’s got his 90 year old wife and 95 year old sister-in-law to take care of him.

    There are:
    9 people between the ages of 112 and 122

    227 between the ages of 101 and 111

    6,146 between the ages of 90 and 100

    Various occupations of those not retired are “Labourer”, “Jobbing, Gardiner”, “Begging”, “Nurse”, “Farmer” and “Optician.”

  • May2

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    Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters MostLittle Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters Most by Gwendolyn Bounds

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Little Chapel on the River is a community study of even tempo and simple observation. I appreciated the author’s reserve in description of both place and people.

    Over time she lets their actions and words paint the picture of a group of people whose intersection is not in their own backgrounds or personalites, but in their desire, no, their longing for a place to step out of life for a bit to contemplate and discuss what passes by on river and road.

    I had some difficulty in rating the book, though – I would give it a 3.5 stars if possible. My only complaint was that I found the stitching of the author’s passages to the life around the Little Chapel a little abrupt. I confess this was mainly an issue for me in the beginning of the book when I had not yet bought into the atmosphere and people of Guinan’s.

    Perhaps it is just that I found the apt simplicity of the writing at odds with the events of 9/11 that led to her journey up the river – but I suppose that a return to basics does make sense in retrospect and any other method would have run the risk of overexposing the image too early on.

    I would certainly recommend this to someone looking for a story of people and community.

    I actually found Little Chapel mentioned in a genealogy thread for people while searching for info on the Guinan family in my great-great-grandmother’s part of the tree. My Guinans happened to come from near Birr where the family in the book came from – so I thought I’d see if I could learn anything from the book.

    While I did not find too much info on the Ireland side of the story, I’m glad I found the book.

    View all my reviews

  • Jan24

    3 Comments

    A favorite photo I originally found on a Ferbane, Offaly, Ireland website that is no more.

    Behind the Stone, Ferbane, Ireland

    Ferbane was the town near my grandmother’s birth in Creggan, Kings County.
    The more I look at this photo, the more it reminds me of The Graveyard Book by @neilhimself

    Thanks to Tom’s comment below, this photo is likely from Clonmacnoise Monastic Site, which is northwest of Ferbane.

  • Dec31

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    While reading Vincent J. Cannato’s American Passage – The History of Ellis Island I found something interesting in the section about Annie Moore being the first official emigrant at Ellis Island.

    “How Annie became the first official immigrant at Ellis Island is unclear. One story claims that officials had rushed her ahead of a male Austrian immigrant. Another claimed that a fellow passenger named Mike Tierney, in a “spark of Celtic galantry,” pulled the Austrian away from the gangplank by his collar, shouting “Ladies first,” and let young Annie pass.” (Page 58)

    Annie Moore, Mike Tierney mention in American Passage While 1892 is too late for the Mike Tierney mentioned here as Annie Moore’s helper to be my great-grandfather (who arrived about 1880), I had a look into old Mike and see if there might not be some connection. (It would be a long shot if there were, but seems an interesting story to follow up on in any case.)

    Unfortunately, my first look searching the manifest at Ellis Island doesn’t show any Tierneys on the same ship as Annie Moore. Guess I’ll need to page through the whole thing in case there was a transcription error and/or check other ships that may have landed that same day. Or, it the story does have some truth to it, could it have possibly been a worker from Ellis Island? Hmm.

    Update (14 Feb 2013): I saw a mention of the Annie Moore story again today and looked around the see if I could find the source of that “spark of Celtic gallantry” quote – I see the quote has been used a few times online without having a Mike Tierney mentioned, but I haven’t found a source for it more detailed than “According to a local cub reporter….” (Before anyone suggests it, American Passage does not list a source for this story either.)

    I’ve searched the Chronicling America newspapers around 1892 to see if it might appear, but no luck yet. Has anyone actually seen the source of this quote, or better yet, one with the mention of the gallant Mr. Tierney?

  • Dec16

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    I have had absolutely no time to write the last week or so, so I will show my face with a quick photo collage I whipped together while waiting for servers to reboot…

    My grandmother’s Egan family was all from near Ferbane in County Offaly (King’s) Ireland. Her sister Kathleen went to Dublin and became a nurse and joined the church, later going to China and Hong Kong working with Caritas helping children and others in hospitals.

    She took the religious name of Sister Attracta, and the name Attracta has continued on in the family one of nieces being named after her and my sisters both taking it as their confirmation names.

    Sister Attracta Collage

    The first photo is a crop from a beautiful one of her and several sisters, the second I believe is from her time in Dublin. The third, I’m told was on the cover of a Catholic magazine, and the last two are from later in life: visiting back home in Ireland and in China. (She wrote on the rear of that last photo that the small houses in back of her on the hillside are graves.)