The past summer, the first of my retirement, my early morning hours were spent on Ancestry.com researching our family histories to bring this process, started 2013 in preparation for our tour of Ireland, to a point where I can start to consolidate it into a document shared with other family members.
It is a wonderful feeling when the pieces come together. For example the passenger manifest when Grandfather McArdle brought Grandmother and then three year old Mom to Quebec, Canada from the port of Belfast April 1926.
Their belongings are gathered together in just such a manner. My parents marked all my belongings that left the home with me with my name and address.
Our thought were on this when we selected this suitcase marked with the shamrock from a “Christmas Store” along the streets of the Pennsylvania town of Jim Thorpe, as the memory of our ancestors our exploration of Ireland.
Pam and I had the emotionally moving experience of Cóbh Heritage Center on May 29, 2014. This statue stands outside the center, on the quay from with thousands of Irish emigrated from what was then Queenstown. My father’s mother, Elizabeth Wills nee Duffy, left from here April 28, 1898.
These are the words on the plaque:
“Annie Moore and her brothers Anthony and Phillip embarked from this town on 20 December 1891 on the S.S. Nevada. Annie was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America through the new immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York on 1 January, 1892. This sculpture was unveiled by the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson on 9 February, 1993. It was erected by Cóbh Heritage Trust Ltd. and is dedicated to all who emigrated from Ireland.
This sculpture won the Zeneca Ireland Ltd. commemorative sculpture award . A statue of Annie Moore was also erected at Ellis Island, New York. The commemoration of Annie Moore at New York and at Cóbh was initiated by the Irish American Cultural Institute.
This sculpture is the work of Jeanne Rynhart of Bantry.”