Friday, June 6, 2008

Carnival of Irish heritage & culture.

This is a contribution to the Carnival of Irish heritage & culture that will be published on June 9.
To read other entries, please come and take a look at Small Leaved shamrock

Lisa ( of Small leaved Sharock) asked if I could write a post on the Carnival theme of "What does Ireland mean to you ? ".Those of you that are still following my blog know that I'm on a "blog hiatus" as I construct a new Genealogy website.

But,I have of course agreed to help my friend Lisa out.

What does Ireland mean to me ??

For myself, Ireland means " to never forget the ancestral homeland "

I'm US born and a fourth generation Irish American. I have never set foot in Ireland, yet I hope to do so in the near future.

That means that culture wise, I count myself more US than Irish, but I always remember that there is Irish in me also.

The anecdote that follows is true and underlines this pride :

My father told me the story of how his Mother, Mary Agnes Hansen Carroll, became ill. I don't recall at what age this was, but Mary contacted Tuberculosis. Mary was becoming thin and her parents wanted desperately to spare her.
What happened is that Christian and Kate ( nee Morris) Hansen, sent Mary away to a healthy place where she could recover.
I can only imagine the sacrifice that this modest family must have gone through to save up money for Mary's ticket to Ireland. Christian, Mary's father worked as a Railroader, and Kate was a homemaker.But, NanNan was procured a ticket and she left Philadelphia to discover her Mother's native Ireland.

This was Mary's first trip to Ireland. I never knew where or with whom Mary stayed with. But I can only assume was either her grandparents or other kin such as Aunts or cousins.
According to my Dad, "Nan Nan" ( Grandma) got stronger and regained her appetite and force.

Once she was healthier, Grandma took the boat back to Philadelphia. One of the quotes that Dad passed down to me he said " they( I suppose our relatives) watched her go away, shook their heads & said 'Poor Mary Hansen' .
And our Irish kin never saw poor Mary Hansen again.

Bless our kin for taking care of this lass.

Mary Agnes Hansen in an undated photo.

Mary as a bride in 1919. She married John Bernard Carroll Sr.

Even if we are children of Irish immigrants, no matter how far down the generations we are, that Irishman/woman is still breathing & kicking inside us.

Shall we never be ashamed our our origins.

Happy Carnival to all.


Janice said...


May we never be ashamed of our origins! And may you soon take a trip to Ireland!


Elizabeth said...

Lovely post, Barbara! May we be PROUD of our origins!

I'm sure it was difficult to send Mary away to get healthy. I wonder if I could make that sacrifice for my own daughter? How hard that must have been!

barbara said...

Hi Janice,
It's nice to hear from you ;)
I'am very proud to be Irish. Thank Dad for passing on that love of the homeland.
I want to go in 2009 to Ireland for my first trip. To be continued !

Hello Elizabeth,
I can only imagine the hard decision that it was to send Mary off. It must have been heart-breaking.
Yes;I'am sure that you would have had the same hopes yet also the tears to say goodbye.

Thank you both for stopping by.
Have a great day :)

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