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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! These are my great-grandparents Thomas Keys Foster, born in County Tyrone on September 5, 1852 and Eliza Ann Job, born in Fintona, County Tyrone on August 18, 1852. Thomas came to Canada in 1876 to join his older brother, George, on his farm near London, Ontario, Canada. Eliza came the following year and worked on the same farm. Thomas and Eliza decided to move out west where they got married in 1882 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The couple obtained a land grant near Salcoats, Saskatchewan, a few miles south of Yorkton, where they build a sod house and later on a wood frame house that they named "Fairview" after a hill in Ireland overlooking the house where Eliza was born. That's where my grandmother, Ella, was born.

Other ancestors in this line came from the adjacent counties of Donegal (surname Foster) and Fermanagh (surnames Keys, Emerson, Moore) and possibly Londonderry (surname Job).

One of the cool things about studying your genealogy is that you can find connections to almost everyone. This means you can celebrate dozens of special days. In my case it was easy to find other ancestors from England, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Belgium, Ukraine, Russia, and the United States. Today, we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day. It's rather hectic keeping up with all the national holidays but somebody has to keep the traditions alive!

It's nice to have an excuse to celebrate, especially when it means you can drink beer. However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention one little (tiny, actually) problem. Since my maternal grandmother is pure Irish, I should be 25% Irish but my DNA results indicate that I'm only 4% Irish. That's probalby because my Irish ancestors were Anglicans and were undoubtedly the descendants of settlers from England, Wales, and Scotland who moved to Ireland in the 1600s. This explains why they don't have very Irish-sounding names.

I don't mention this when I'm in an Irish pub.


3 comments :

  1. A similar story: my maternal grandmother Kathleen de Birmingham was born in Carlow, County Carlow. But the surname indicates the family was Anglo-Norman. Doesn't matter, even a little Irish DNA is enough and will suffice!

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  2. There's a beautiful Irish tune called Moran's Return. You should whistle it next time you're in an Irish pub.
    My grandparents were from Tyrone and Fermanagh...good enough for an Irish passport- which thanks to Brexit I really need!

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  3. thats what I suspected. in fact St patriots day is for the real Irish who lived there forever and were Roman Catholic. In fact it was a American invention to exalt and insist Irish Catholics in america would not assimul;ate and therefore they had numbers to respect for issues of power and who gets what. Real Ireland never had St pattys day as in North America. It was here a political ethnic , in yoiur face, thing while in Ireland it was a low key religious day. only later did they copy america.
    My surname, byers, came from ireland but were the scits who migrated there in the 16600;s. so i have no interest in it except as far as its not a general holiday. in canada the Irish Catholics have almost vanished into the rest of us unlike in america.
    the orange colour and lodges were more important in old ontario then any st Patrick day thing in the 1800's. All forgotten now.
    by the way Evangelical christians would see the rea; St pat as one of ours and not a real Celtic or Catholic minister if you read his two existing accounts.

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