Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Reading - 392 Years and Still not Sure

Happy St. Paddy's day!!! On this day of honoring all things Irish I have a story to tell that has nothing to do with prepping, bashing feminism or Liberal/Multi-culturalism or any of the other "isms" I usually take shots at, although it is a story of some pioneering spirit. Some of you may find it boring but it is Sunday reading. Time to relax and contemplate. Well, relax after the work is done since Sunday's are my best wood cutting days and yes I managed to get out and do some today despite Winter kinda giving us a so-long "till next year" kiss this weekend.

For some years my family has always pretty much been certain we were Irish. Without giving the name away I can say that honestly I cannot see how we could be anything else. For one the sur-name is actually an Irish  county name with a "y" added and that particular sur-name is all over Ireland even today. However all is not as it seems or at least there is an odd little twist in the story and St. Patrick's day seems a good time to tell it.

Tracing my family lines has been a very easy thing to do. Up to a point. There are several branches and tribes of us scattered all over the South East and some out into Texas and further but they all came from the same couple which is quite easy to trace all the way back to about 1621 or so originating in Virginia. There are no other off shoots with the same name in the US that came over at a different time to muddy the waters or send someone off in the wrong direction. Any one of us from those still living in Virginia to the ones you see out in California today can simply trace their grand fathers or great grandfathers and then be on a well published tree. There is a Black family branch with the same surname but I am pretty sure I know how that came about so no need to go into it.

So if you're still reading (and I wouldn't blame you if you weren't) I will get to the point. The line ends at a curious entry from a boat in 1621 supposedly filled with French Huguenots and Walloons and a family with two surnames. One very French and not reproduced anywhere in Europe that can be documented and the other the obviously Irish name we have today. The father has one name the son and mother another and no one has ever been able to answer as to why although there is a curious entry of a marriage in Ireland dating from 1612 about a widower who married a French refugee with a  very similar name.

The ship sailed from Bristol in early 1621 and arrived in late Summer. So Huguenot, Walloon or Irish I still claim all three when it suites me :)

By 1622 it is reported there was less than 1250 Europeans residing in the Virginia colony. The Indian wars against the Powhatan had reduced the various outposts almost to ruin. At the very least even if the Irish portion of my family heritage is questionable I can confirm the Homesteading and pioneering part is very real. This is also why I tend to name my bee hive colonies with Virginia colonial names.

Anyway just thought I would share a little "Maybe" Irish family history for St. Patrick's Day.

I hope you all had a good one!!!

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

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