What is the old saying – everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day? Well how many of you actually are? What are those Irish roots hiding in your ancestry?
According to DNA I am 20% Irish. Doesn’t surprise me since my Irish great-great-grandmother, Lucy Murphy, was the epitome of Irish! Evidently she shared her genes for red hair down through the years. My paternal grandfather, her grandson, had the famous red hair, and the first question he always asked when a grandchild was born – does it have red hair? He gloried in his children and grandchildren and I feel very blessed to have received that love for the first sixteen years of my life!
On my paternal grandmother’s side is Emeline White – my great-great-grandmother. Two Irish ancestors on my dad’s side of the family.
On my mother’s side are John E. Smith and his wife, Ellen Lyons. Both are of Irish heritage. As to 3rd great grandparents, I have three that are Irish – O’Bryan, Cusick and Moran.
I was actually surprised at some of the Irish names. White and Smith, in particular, I would not have thought Irish. I found a list of 49 common Irish surnames and used that for some of my finds. Here is the entire list: Brennan, Brown, Boyle, Burke, Byrne, Callaghan, Campbell, Carroll, Clarke, Collins, Connell, Connolly, Connor, Daly, Doherty, Doyle, Duffy, Dunne, Farrell, Fitzgerald, Flynn, Gallagher, Healy, Hughes, Johnston, Kelly, Kennedy, Lynch, MacCarthy, Maguire, Mahony, Martin, Moore, Murphy (the most common of all Irish surnames!), Murray, Nolan, O’Bryan, O’Donnell, O’Neill, Quinn, Reilly, Ryan, Shea, Smith, Sullivan, Sweeney, Thompson, Walsh, White.
In the ‘wearing of the green’ we all have a little bit of Irish in us today. Think about those ancestors – Irish or not – while enjoying corned beef and cabbage for dinner, then raise your glass and toast, ‘May your home always be too small to hold your friends, and your family tree filled with ancestors!’