Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Emerald Isle Day 10

The day started out soft and by the time we reached our destination the rain had stopped and the sun made a long appearance.

What We Did Today: We took our time getting out of Galway and had a 3+ hour drive to Armagh in Northern Ireland. We are staying in a renovated farm house about 6 miles outside town. It's a working farm with cattle, sheep and a couple dogs.

The terrain here is breathtaking. Gentle rolling hills peppered with light colored homes, property divided by short rock walls overgrown with foliage, and full of every possible shade of green. We're supposed to have sun for the remainder of our trip. We're thrilled!

Our host, Larry, offered tea, coffee and conversation. We learned a lot about him, his family and the struggles Northern Ireland had when the violence over English presence was ever prevalent. It makes your hair stand on end to hear the stories of English troops occupying border towns, easy suspicious of strangers and spontaneous deadly violence so close to home. It was also good to hear how times have changed and improved in the last 10 years.

Dundrum House with dog Jack in the front.

What We Learned Today: Once we finished afternoon tea we were off to Armagh proper to conduct some McVerry family research. First stop was the Irish and Local Studies Library... No luck. They recommended the Cardinal Tomas O Fiach Library and Archive which holds the birth and baptism records of the local parishes. PAY DIRT!!! We found my great, great grandfather, his wife and all 10 of their children's births records. The gentleman at the library was an absolute gem, stayed well after closing time and showed us how to find the occupation and parcel of land my ancestors rented and farmed. I now have tons of information to work with, a huge list of websites to consult, and a way to perhaps go back even further in family history.

Word for the Day: Red Sauce = Ketchup and Brown Sauce is a cross between hoisin sauce and BBQ sauce (just weird especially with breakfast, as the Irish dip breakfast meats in it).

Loads of driving and research brought our day to a close. Tomorrow we're off to the far, far North.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Galway to Armagh

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