Thursday, January 24, 2008


This is my entry in the Carnival of Irish heritage and Culture.Once again, this Carnival is open to all. For this third edition has the of the theme of visitng places, either in or outside Ireland :

"If you know it, tell us about the county, city or village in Ireland where your family originated. If not, tell us about a place that figured prominently in an Irish history book that you enjoyed, or a place that you visited (or hope to visit) that is steeped in Irish history. The Irish place that you describe need not be in Ireland itself. Your entry can include a place where the Irish settled once they emigrated, or a place that has seen Irish culture grow within its boundaries ".

Entries are due 29 January and will be published on 1 February.
To find out more, click on Lisa's excellent blog, Small leaved shamrock


I have a fictitious place very much connected to Ireland, whose story fascinated me for the first time at age 15. I read the book at least three times during my teen years and early adult years.

This was Gone with the Wind, which features the plantation named Tara.

Tara was the well-named, as going back to ancient Irish history, Tara was tha ancient capital of Eire, being the center of the four kingdoms of the country.A symbolic spot for all Irish and their descendants around the world.

Tara was also used by author Margaret Mitchell to evoke the now famous O'Hara plantation, founded by Gerald O'Hara. In the film, Gerald O'Hara is, played by Thomas Mitchell ( I do not believe that he is related to the author of Gone with the wind).For those who remember Mr Mitchell in the film,also may remember the wonderful Irish accent that Scarlett O'Hara's father had. Thomas Mitchell was for the record, born in New Jersey a son of Irish immigrant parents.

Of course, when I was younger, this story interested me much more for the doings of the fiery Katie Scarlett O'Hara, then for the historical or political setting. But, I knew the rags to riches story of Gerald O'Hara, who immigrated to America, and won the plantation in a card game. This interested me because even as a teen, I was interested in our family's history. I knew that my own ancestors had also immigrated from Ireland.
I was not yet into genealogy, but the pride in my origins was already handed to me by my father.

The "home away from home" with the lovely Irish name of Tara, was a reminder of the strenght of the ancestral homeland for immgrating Irish.

It's a shame that Tara does not really exist, as it is so beautiful in the film. But,it is symbolic of these homes that our ancestors may have built in the New World.With all the promises of new beginnings, but still with the sweet nostalgia of the land left behind.

Happy Carnival to all !


Janice said...


I too have always been fascinated with the story, "Gone With The Wind," and with its heroine Scarlett. I enjoyed reading your article!


barbara said...

Hi Janice,
Thank you for your comment. Even though I know one of my ancestral villages ( Kilkenny city), I can't speak about it first hand.
Gone with the wind was one of my all time fav novels, and the Ireland connection was not lost on me.