Happy St. Paddy’s Day

My Grandfather and his championship Irish Football Team, the Tuam Stars, from Co. Galway, in 1947.  My Grandfather is the last player on the right in the back row.  He emigrated to Boston shortly after this, at the age of 25.

In our house, St. Patrick’s Day is a serious holiday–certainly more important to me than Valentine’s Day and maybe even more than Easter. Growing up in Boston, St Paddy’s Day was a big deal.  I didn’t know that there were parts of the country that didn’t really celebrate it until I was in my 20s and moved to California.

On Matt’s side of the family, the children are solidly American.  No one knows who came to America when or from where–his family has been living in this part of the country since before anyone has been able to trace roots.  His grandmother has done a pretty extensive genealogy, and knows there is probably some Welsh and possibly some German in there.  Maybe.  They’re simply American.

On my side, the children are mostly Irish, a bit Scottish, and possibly a touch of English.  It’s quite simple to trace our Irish heritage, because both my parents are first generation Americans on their fathers’ sides–both my grandfathers emigrated here from Ireland.  Both my grandmothers were first generation American–their parents were born in either Ireland or Scotland.  I do have one great-grandfather who was born in Boston, and my sister was able to trace our family tree through him all the way back to the mid-1600s when one of my ancestors arrived in Boston from either England or Ireland.  It’s pretty cool to look back through the family tree that far and to know I have ancestors who arrived in Massachusetts not too terribly long after the Pilgrims did.

Today our little American-Irish family celebrates our Irish heritage.  Matt and I talk about taking the kids to see the farm in Galway where my grandfather grew up one day.  We listen to reels and jigs and pipes and drums.  We eat corned beef and Irish bread.  And we keep an eye out for any Leprechauns who might be around.

Today–whether you are or you aren’t–everyone is a little Irish. 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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