Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Man From Nowhere and Other Stories

I often heard Matty refer to my father's paternal grandfather as 'the man from nowhere.' It is true that there does not seem to be much information about him, or where he came from. It does not help that his name, John Byrne, was very common in Ireland. Imagine then my pleasure to come across this little snippet on the internet. It's from the Catholic Journal, an American publication. This section was titled,

The date given was between 1900 and 1903 but I think these items dated from 1900-1901. My great-granny Byrne was a widow in 1901 according to the census records.

Good to know that the priest picked an apt subject for the sermon. "Death" always goes down well at a funeral. I'm also glad to inform readers that the little church in Tannaghmore is still as neat as ever it was. And it pleases me to know that my ancestor was charitable as well as mysterious.

But the death of a man, no matter how mysterious, is still a humdrum affair and I was glad to read other lively snippets from the island of Ireland.

Longford folk came across as lively enough. The Widow Boyle certainly displayed a zest for living.

And Michael Fury does not care a fig for the government of the day.

Nor did the Kerry people care a fig for the Royal family.

There was more of course. So if anyone wants to know what the nuns, the priests, the plain people of Ireland and the United Irish League in Drumkeeran, Leitrim were up to at the turn of the 20th century, here is the link. Enjoy!


ganching said...

He must have been a man of some standing to get a mention in this publication. I too thought it a very apt choice of topic for a funeral.

Brighid said...

How interesting to find these snippets of times long gone.
I had a job once writing obits (and the fish report) for the local rag til I got a little too exuberant with the telling...

Grannymar said...

I love to read snippets like this and plan to blog a newspaper item from 1900 on Saturday.

Thanks for the link.

Mage said...

Fascinating bits indeed. I'm afraid to mention that my grandpa came over from England. Now my name is Mage Bailey. I would have made a good Irish cook.