Tag: wicklow

Historical Imaging 2



This follow-up post presents the historical imaging I’ve done focused on maps and location. Actually, I’d say that it’s most correct to say that this is imagery driven not by simply the “location”, but by the agenda of attempting to locate a thing; to impart a sense of how and where the thing in question is located–oriented–to the viewer.

To locate a thing so that it fits with the audience’s world.

Obviously this can’t always work.

It turns out (of course) that usually at least some sort of context is necessary. For images of a place (whether from a map, an aerial photograph or other rendering, crude diagram in the sand…whatever!), for it to mean a ding dang thing, your intended audience much of the time needs to have at least some basic geographical knowledge.

But that said, it’s a very interesting and multi-faceted challenge to try and make an image conveying a sense of place if you consider your audience consisting of people who don’t know…don’t really care. lol

When & Where… & when, again?

  1.  Basic “when & where” map for an individual or familyMD2MA-1
  2. Tighter focus on the “where” (central Massachusetts in this case; a father and son located)
  3. Placing the very specific in the macro
    1. Farmstead of 4x-great-grandad that served as homebase for 3 generationswashcozoom1
    2. City unfamiliar to coast-dwelling typesLOUISVILLE 1 copy2
    3. When the exact part of a foreign place is important (for some reason)Jura copy
    4. Using cool maps cooly. For this one, the only context necessary is that this is the east coast of Ireland, just south of Dublin and that north is to the right.
      Wicklow 3D2 copy
    5. Tighter focus–after you’ve given some context
      1. Tober Townland was directly referenced on the map above, so now  you can zoom in there to see detail. The inset maintains the tether to the broad knowledge base you’re attempting to access.TUBBER1 copy 2
      2. southwestern Wisconsin, a couple miles off the Mississippi River & 5 or 7 miles from Illinois, showcasing an original land grantee whose descendants carried on in the location; 4x-great-grandkids remain in 2017.T DUSTIN LAND copy
      3. Various specific spots within a larger, but still relatively small (and not commonly  nown) location, the Dordogne in southwestern France. In the upper right of this one is Jumilhac, the castle seen in the last post.
      4. one place, Haverhill, Massachusetts and vicinity…

        image2212 copy

        … variations on perspective

        HAVERHILL SALEM copy

      5.  One place in detail: Foley, Minnesota

        FOLEY copy

Foley sits nearly smack dab in the middle of the state, among the flat, flat fields 15 miles east-northeast of the mini urban hub of St. Cloud and the bend over which it presides of the still quite wide Mississippi River. The tiny hamlet FLC LHC FOLEY copyof Foley has given the world doctors, lawyers, Indy 500 participants, lumber, all-night jazz dances in barns once upon a time, and been home to retired farmers, aspiring capitalist fashionistas, former religious zealots & their kids, descendants of royalty and lots and lots of regular people who very well might’ve been born in other countries or been the kids of those who were.

Rockefeller had a gas station here (like 10s of thousands of of other places in these United States); women turned out nearly to a 100% here in 1924 the first occasion they GnG OGG FOLEY copywere permitted to help choose the President. Foley is a stand-in for whatever your little town is, or was. Our Town is the most performed play (or close to it) in America because 100s of millions of us came from our towns like this. “I didn’t, but my mom did”,–we’re all from it together.

These small towns, whose children and grandchildren have flocked and flown out to the gothams and metropolitanias  were in their way, factories of the ever-new, ever-renewing people, of us all–factories of Americans.

The sprawling and ever interconnected suburbs and ex-urbs where so many millions of us now reside and have for some time–they are built by the developers and they are inhabited by the dwellers on the model of the myriad iterations of “Small Town America” like Foley, Minnesota. It was in these places that generations of people learned and were taught how to be Americans. Despite the regional differences that might inculcate one attitude or another toward or about other people, the style of day-to-day interaction and pacing and level of attentiveness to the people around you, it’s all very similar in this small town substrate of our collective sense of ourselves and how and who we are.

It is from this America that in many critical ways we came. And it seems to me worth knowing in order to figure out into what America we are, might, or can decide to be going.


St. Patty’s Day Greeting!

So my kids have an Irish ancestor–through their mom–who was born on none other than St. Patrick’s day.

Ellen Ryan, a 4th great-grandmother to them, was born March 17, 1833 in Galway. She came over to this side of the pond, married a fellow Irish (one Mr. Peter Maloney) where she’d settled in Louisville, Kentucky, and died there in 1911.

And here we have the map of Ireland showing the general point of origin of my kids’ Irish ancestors.

The Leprechauns came to my house two years ago on St. Patty’s Day, leaving unspooled rolls of microfilm all over the place that also happened to lead to little stacks of treasure for each kid. Well you can bet they were pestering me to do whatever was necessary to ensure that the little pests would return this year! (Cuz don’t ya know my kids loved the mayhem!) So indeed they returned, turning my house inside out, etc. My daughter then went about setting up a Leprechaun trap for next year. All good fun.

Well then later the next day as I’m researching some of my wife’s Irish ancestors I come to find that one of her 3rd great-grandmothers — lady named Ellen Ryan, from Galway — happened to have been actually born (back in 1833) on March 17th! What’s more, her father was a shoemaker! (Leprechauns’ story is that they were shoemakers). The kids still loved it when I told them.

On the Point of Origin Map

You’ll find six big dots indicating these locations, along with a surname and a year (and an arrow to make it bleedingly clear). The years refer to the year of birth in the referenced vicinity of the person or persons who later departed the green isle. Places, names and dates in red indicate people in my background, while those in green are from my wife’s side.

Campbell 1775 – Londonderry, Derry ~ Alexander Campbell, my 4th great-grandfather, presumably of Scottish derivation as part of England’s intentional populating of Northern Ireland in the 1600s, nonetheless, he seems to have been born around Londonderry. Based on historical context, it’s thus highly likely his parents and grandparents were as well, transplanted from Scotland. He and possibly an as-yet-unknown wife went to the newly independent USA in the 1790’s, joining a large pod of other Scots-Irish in what we know today as western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He is my mom’s direct, male-lineal ancestor.

Rourke 1821 – Newry, Down ~ Owen Rourke, another of my 4th great-grandfathers (of which we all have 32, along with 32 4th great-grandmothers), his daughter Bridget married one Patrick Coughlan (probably born in this area as well, although much research is still needed), and the whole bunch moved to Liverpool by 1842 (when Thomas Cochlin was born there, son of Patrick and Bridget, grandson of Owen, and gr-gr-grandpa to me.) Particularly interesting is the fact that these folks are all on my dad’s side (my dad was born in Liverpool), but it seems that what can be inferred is that in the year 1780 or so, my mom’s namesake ancestor (Alexander Campbell) and a few of my dad’s ancestors were living all of 50 miles (80 km) from each other in Northern Ireland. Funny!

Garvey 1843 – Roscommon ~ Winifred Garvey, daughter of a John Garvey, was born here. She married the Thomas Cochlin mentioned above. Their life together was, again, in Liverpool, where their daughter Sarah married a fellow named John James Dunn, whose parents (and grandparents) hailed from Wicklow (see next). John and Sarah were the parents of my dad’s dad.

Dunn 1844 – Wicklow ~ Edward Dunne was born there that year, as were his parents, Peter and Ellen Welsh, in 1818 and 1819, respectively. They all went to Liverpool together in the 1860s. These last ones are my dad’s people. Edward’s son John J. Dunn married (in Liverpool) another child of Irish immigrants to the ‘Pool, and their son, also John J, pure Irish, was my grandfather. But since he was a mean and cruel man, we’ll move on and just ‘tank ‘im fer dem Irish genes!

Happy Irishness to you for St. Patrick’s 2015. (And happy 182nd, Ellen Ryan Maloney!)

The Long Wait for My Irish

From knowing absolutely nothing at all about my paternal grandfather or his ancestry just two years ago — including being uncertain about what his first name even was — I’ve been able to rather quickly learn quite a bit. (And boy howdy! Lemme tell ya: back in the days before the Web, when we researched in civic offices and archives and by letters in the mail, the three or four generations that I’ve uncovered would have been enough to satisfy for a while. For me there are layers of tasty irony in this because on the one hand, the tree I share today seems so modest compared to the many branches elsewhere that reach back to the dim and distant recesses of the actual Dark Ages; it’s just a few generations, barely breaking into the 1700s! But on the other hand, the satisfaction is as deep as any I’ve enjoyed in my long genealogical adventures because of the basic fact that this wasn’t just a road block in my research, it was the deadest of dead ends, and at nearly 40 years old I’d juuuust about surrendered to my never knowing anything about my paternal line.

This handful of my people — one of my two grandfathers, his parents and grandparents, six of his eight great-grandparents and three of his gr-gr-grandparents — were hard-won with that extended wait-period, not to mention some emotionally harrowing (and ultimately utterly rewarding) ins and outs. At some point I’ll get into the whole tale of their discovery, but for now, suffice it to say that the breakthrough was obtaining my grandparent’s marriage certificate, which was practically only possible due to my grandmother’s maiden name being unique. From there, some military service records and the census of England thawed the informational ice, et viola! Hey, look! I’m a quarter Irish! (roughly… 😉

Final note for now: the lives that these newly discovered ancestors lived unfolded entire new worlds to me as I came to know something of the urban life of Liverpool 100 years ago, and of course, of the flow of people on the Green Isle. Having always assumed my dad’s father was “regular” ole “English”, my connection to Ireland was limited to my admittedly deep-bordering-on-fanatical love of James Joyce’s writings. Though I didn’t know any of these ancestors of mine, or live in cramped urban tenements or in verdant Irish woods or feel more than a general empathy for the impact of potato blight, suddenly their movements which led to my dad’s life journey are directly relevant to my being here at all. Not to mention the whole large portion of my DNA coming from the Irish gene pool.

Learning is fun!