Monday, May 23, 2011

One of 40 Million

They say that 40 million Americans trace at least some of their ancestry back to Ireland.  I'm one of 'em.  Juli (and obviously Ashlyn) are two more of them.  It wasn't until a few years ago that Barack Obama (or is it O'Bama?) discovered that he has Irish roots as his great, great, great grandfather Falmouth Kearney originated from the small town of Moneygall in county Offaly.  Today my President came home and met some of his distant cousins including his 8th cousin Henry Healy (or is it Henry the VIII?).

A few years back my first cousin, Johnny Smith traced my dad's side of the family back to Ireland through at least two lines.  One of my ancestors, Matthew Wallace came from Raphoe, in county Donegal.  Another one of my ancestors, John Smith (also my dad's name - quite original, eh?) came from the north of Ireland.  I've not located the exact location of John Smith's origins, but I have been to Raphoe (a tiny little village between Donegal town and Derry) a couple of times and spent the night there in a quaint little B&B. 

Before President Obama spoke to a throng of thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic Irish well wishers, Taoiseach Enda Kenny introduced him to the crowd and then invited the other 39,999,999 to follow the path of their President back home to the emerald isle.  Based on our conversation 3 months ago in Galway, Taoiseach Kenny should have remembered that he only need invite 39,999,997 because 3 of them are already here. - Shay


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