Thursday, April 27, 2017

Finding My Roots, and Grandma's House

I had been told that my Great Grandparents had been buried in the cemetery in Ballinafad, which is about 1 mile from Ballynahinch.  We decided to try and find them, and this is what we found, an overgrown, untended graveyard.  It was hard to tell where to look, and when we did find graves that had names on them, it was hard to decipher them.
There were many 'famine' graves, these are just stones in the ground, that have no name, and only signify someone is buried there.

I have cousins who have tried and failed to find their graves, and even an Uncle who came with his son to try, and they couldn't find it either.  Even through I never knew my great grandparents, this place seemed to be an indication that they had a hard life and their resting place was also a hard place to be.  Not even the sheep were grazing here.  
My grandmother had 10 siblings, and all of them came to the US or to Canada from here. I can't imagine the courage it took to leave all that you'd known, and get on a boat to sail to a place where you wouldn't know anyone.  Grandma Nora (Honoria) Geary from what I remember was a starched lady, who worked as a domestic for the Cabot Lodges and other Boston blue bloods.  She worked hard, and when she had enough money, she sent it to Ireland to bring the next sibling over.  I'm guessing that things in Connemara were pretty bleak if they all left.  
After our trip to the cemetery, we decided to find the house where she was born.  We'd been given sketchy directions and a photo, and found it without any problem at all. 

I don't think anyone was living in it, it looked like it was abandoned.  But we did find it, and that was enough.  I have a new appreciation for this side of my family, and the tough life that they lived here in this north western part of Ireland.  

No comments:

Post a Comment