Last year was our 80th anniversary and we launched a story writing project to collect your stories of favourite Irish born ancestors. Throughout the year, we heard tales from all over the world describing the colourful lives of men and women across the last 300 years.
Some sought new lives in new worlds, perhaps fleeing the Great Hunger or just seeking new adventures. Some stayed in Ireland and worked the land. Several became soldiers, fighting for causes foreign and domestic. Some had interesting professions that allowed them to establish business abroad. Women had stories to tell that were sometimes heart-breaking but often uplifting, with several becoming matriarchs of large extended families. Some stories give a very personal view of important world events, particularly those that shook the world in the first half of the 20th century.
We have taken these themes as our inspiration for chapters under which to publish the stories for the archive and shall be working to get them all published as soon as we can. Use the links below to find the latest stories. Who knows, you may find a missing branch of your own family tree or be inspired to hunt further afield for missing ancestors?
20th Century Lives
Ned Keogh (1896-1957) by Helen Byrne, Ireland Irish Republican
Annie Molloy (1884-1953) by Claire Melvin, UK Wife of a Russian oil magnate
Annie Kerr (1905-1942) by Claire Melvin, UK Nun during WWII Malta
Cornelius J. Harrington (1802-1878) by Maureen Dwyer, USA Ice-Cream Maker
James McGuire (1804-1874) by Wendy McGuire, USA Umbrella Maker
Eyre John Powell (c.1812-?) by Lorian Edwards, UK Scottish Policeman
Joseph Perry Price (1824-1874) by Kendrick Price Daggett, USA Wheelwright and Actor
Delia (Teevan) Lewis (1860-1932) by Gail Gruetzman, USA Successful Milliner
Dennis Manning (1798-1859) by Peter Manning, UK Royal Navy Greenwich Pensioner
James Guerins (c.1859-1919) by Claire Bradley, Ireland Victorian Irish Soldier
Patrick (Paddy) Kelly (1883-1915) by Robert Frewen, Ireland WWI Soldier (See below: ***)
New World, New Lives
Thomas Sadler (c.1790-1857) by Warren Sadler, Canada Blacksmith and early emigrant to Canada
Patrick Coffey (1794-1863) by John Coffey, Canada Another early emigrant to Canada
John Dorsey or Darcy (1828-1904) by Joseph Dorsey, USA Texan pioneer and Civil War soldier
Women Surviving and Thriving
Jane (Lloyd) Bonynge (c.1812-1886) by Susan Strange, USA A marriage promise broken!
Elizabeth Little (1832-1898) by Beth Golden, USA A letter sent across the years
Rose Switzer (1835-1920) by Jill Thomas, Australia “Inheriting” a sister’s beau
Tales of the Famine and Working the Irish land
Bartholomew Corry (1811-1865) by Anne Herdman Martin, UK Poor Law Guardian
Samuel Henry Wood (1862-1897) by Alison Carter, UK Romantic Gamekeeper
***(A word of warning, this story contains a photograph that you might find upsetting.)
All views, opinions and statements made are those of the individual writers and are not necessarily shared by the IGRS.