March 17, 2014

My Irish Roots

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today I am celebrating my Irish roots from my mother's side of the family. My Aunt Rosie, the oldest of my mother's siblings, wrote what she remembered about our family history. The writing of Aunt Rosie was given to me after her death by her daughter, my cousin. All four of my mother's siblings are gone, and the writings/stories of my Aunt Rosie is all that we have. How I wish I would have asked questions about my mother's life when I was young. Today I want to share with you the beginning of her writings.

"The first mention of your Mahaney connection was of a Lady Mary Connors, who married your great, great-grandfather who was a printer. I think your great-grandfather did not follow that trade for he never did in this country.
When the Crimean War (1854-1856) broke out your great-grandfather, William Mahaney, went to fight for the British. I believe he was wounded or suffered from a fever, for he was never in good health thereafter.
When he returned to Ireland, he and the other survivors were awarded a medal for outstanding service, by Queen Victoria in person.
It did not take long for great-grandfather to become involved in what is now the I.R.A. Whether he distributed pamphlets published by his father, or was caught in some other unfortunate endeavor, he landed in jail. When brought to trial, his lawyer pleaded for his life on the grounds that he had fought for the crown and had been awarded a medal. The judge taking this information into consideration, handed down this decision. He had two choices; leave the country immediately or be hanged. As you know, the next boat out found great-grandfather listed among the passengers bound for Canada. Leaving great-grandmother alone in Ireland with five children."
As the story continues my great-grandmother and her children arrive in Canada and ultimately settle in Toledo, Ohio.

With the help of my Polish cousin, Ruth from Dian's Timpanalley, who is a genealogist, records of dates and places of birth have been found. For her help in finding this information I am very gratfeul.



  1. What an interesting family history post, Paulette! I wish I had asked my grandmother (and my mother) more questions about our family history, but when I was young it wasn't that important to me. When we get a bit older is when we realize how important is that connection to the past.

  2. Very nice post - Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!!

  3. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you my cousin. I am glad that I found out what I could on your Irish roots. That is a wonderful story to have in your family and very well written.

  4. It's a lovely story Paulette. We have Irish ancestry too and my youngest two granddaughters Mum is Irish by birth. They went to a St Patricks day parade in Leeds yesterday afternoon and have all been back over to Ireland to see family.

  5. Happy St Patty's Day to you....:)JP