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Day 474 - Irish Heritage

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"May you never forget what is worth remembering nor ever remember what is best forgotten."

I've spent much of today thinking about my Irish heritage. My grandmother was born Eleanor Grace O'Keefe in 1908. Unfortunately, I am unable to get any information on my family tree before her grandfather George A. O'Keefe who was born in 1835 in New York State.

On the Wylie side, however, I can trace my lineage back to John Wylie who was born in Cullybaky, Ahoghill, County Antrim, Ireland around 1688. (He's my direct ancestor going back 9 generations - in other words, he's my seven-greats-grandfather) He and his family emigrated to Connecticut in the US in 1729. I am unable to trace the Wylie family back any farther at this point, although the website I use (myheritage.com) has some suggestions for his parentage. It is fun to research.

After my accident, I got into genealogy as a way to pass the time while I was on disability. It was a wonderful pastime that I still enjoy, although I spend very little time on it now. Once a month, I do a short update to the family tree, which is now up to 1616 individuals, including much of Steve's family (which I've traced back to 1540, 13 generations back).

Family heritage is a wonderful thing. It tells us where we came from, and often there are stories of hardship and struggle. What's most important is to use that information to steer us forward into the future, so that we can create our own heritage. Do we want to be remembered as someone who struggled with body image or fought the urge to overeat or spent our lives laying on the sofa eating snacks and watching TV? Or do we want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the world, and lived a healthy, active life up until the end?

Strive to be better than you think you can be, and you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish!

In the spirit of my Irish ancestors, I toast your good health! Slainte mhath!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I hope you had a great Paddy's Day, Steve! I spent most of my childhood living near Dublin and the St. Patrick's Day Parade was an exciting Event for us kids! Wow - great work on all your geneology! My father's cousin is working on our family tree and the information he has come up with is really fascinating! Flemish linen weavers, Scottish farmers, civil servants in the Foreign Office, cooks, butlers, teachers - you name it, he found it!
    1811 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    It is great that you can trace that many generations emoticon

    My paternal bloodline hails from Germany. My maternal bloodline on her mother's side hails from Germany and England and on her father's side from The Netherlands.

    Hope you had a wonderful St Patrick's Day emoticon
    1813 days ago
    Steve you have a big family and so does Steve. My grandmother from my mothers side had 17 kids. I thought we had a big family. You have the luck of the Irish. May you always have good prosperous things in your life buddy. Love you my dear friend. emoticon
    1813 days ago
    I do not have one iota of Irish in me, but love the traditions and I loved your Irish family blog. xoxo
    1813 days ago
    1813 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I had a friend at church named Dermott O'Keefe, from County Cork. He and his wife died a few years back,but he was a photographer at our newspaper, "The Bay City Times", for years. Still had the brogue too!
    1813 days ago
  • SISSIE21
    I also come from Irish ancestry grew up in a fairly large Irish family. When I think of how strong my ancestors were, the thought of me lying around watching TV is just sad...Yet I am also a fighter and want to be remembered for never giving up!
    Happy St. paddy's! emoticon
    1813 days ago
    Well, that's interesting! I am sure it was fun to trace and learn...and as people seem to forget we are here (the USA) because someone made the pilgrimage to this land.
    I might have to see what I can find out one day...I know someone on my Dad's side did some research years ago.
    Hope your Saint Patrick's Day was great emoticon
    Leprechaun Hugs emoticon
    1813 days ago
  • GOODLIL991
    1814 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!
    1814 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    Our roots matter. We can trace our very not Irish heritage back 2 generations and it stops there but I grew up in Catholic Irish and French Montreal where names like Claude Ryan are common ( politician ) and everyone celebrated on March 17. ☘🍀
    1814 days ago
    I love your quote. This brings a poignant memory about what people say about you after your gone.

    To your good health and happiness!
    1814 days ago
    Nice quote. Happy St Patricks Day!
    1814 days ago
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