24 years ago I had the opportunity to do my junior year of high school at a sister school in Worcester, England. Bookending my time there I had a chance to visit Ireland, where I was pretty sure my ancestors came from (at the time there was a question about Wales, since my last name is Morgan and apparently ALL Morgans were thought to come from Wales…not true, by the way)…alas, I digress.
So I went for two brief trips to Ireland, once with my Ma to Dublin, and once with my Dad to Dublin, Waterford and the East Coast that lies between.
At the time, the family lore, such that we knew, had referenced Waterford in our history, and Ireland, and that the clan was in upstate New York somewhere in the mid to late 1800s, and that was about it.
I was 15 and 16 at the time of these visits, and it would be a few years after that when I would decide I would take on the challenge of trying to sort it all out. 20 years later, I am an avidly addicted genealogist in my spare time, and have had quite a few mysteries redefined.
Waterford, for example, had nothing to do with Ireland so far as I have found…but was a town in New York State that my ancestors went to after getting off the boat in NYC and heading up to the area of Rensselaer Co., NY. Indeed, the truth is now known, we hail from Ardee Parish, Co. Louth. At least, that was where we were last before we decided to make for a new frontier in 1850.
So now, 20 years after taking on this very celtic responsibility of documenting the facts, dates, stories and legends, my job is bringing me back to the British Isles, only a quick hop over to Ireland. Finally, I will have the chance to not just wander the Isle that my family left to come to the USA, but I will be able to wander the actual roads and parish that my Morgans hail from.
Only a genealogist will understand this, for sure, but the anticipation is almost overwhelming.
What I hope to find? The list is endless, and might well require the bribing of a parish priest or two for a glimpse at closely held records, but I am ready for whatever might be revealed, and oh so very curious.
This whole journey began with the basic question – why did they leave? How did where they were, and who they were, lead to who I am?
I may never have all the answers, but these are questions I am more than happy to keep seeking the answers to.