Sunday, October 3, 2010

Irish Ancestors

All of my life, my mother has told stories of and wished to visit two places:
Ireland and Scotland.


She and my grandmother are avid genealogists (causing me to catch the bug, as well) and have long dreamed of their Irish and Scottish ancestors.

When you delve into a family' s history, you may find that your ancestors came to America from Ireland...but long before that from Scotland....and long before that descended from the Normans, who once were Vikings.   I've begun to realize that for the most part, we are all made up of many ancient ancestries.

In my own family, we have the O'Flynns and the Logans, the Milligans and the  McQueens.
Names like Dugal McQueen and Brian Boru can really get your imagination flowing!



In my husband's family, we are finding more information all the time.  The Irish we know of are the McGuires and Griffins, the Martins and Kelleys.

One story in my family is that of Honora O'Flynn.  Daughter of  Edward O'Flynn,  chieftan of the O'Flynn clan.    In the 1500's -1600's, Ireland was ruled by many kings- each with their own kingdom.  Each of these kings (clans) were unhappy about paying taxes to England and when the English king changed from Catholic to The Church of England in order to divorce his wife; several of the Irish kings refused to conform, beginning The Rebellion.

England sent troops into Ireland to force them and war began.  As the British conquered each kingdom, they would burn villages, kill people and kidnap women.    Often, they would send the kidnapped women to America as available wives for the colonists.   

One of these kidnapped women was my ancestor; Honora Mary O'Flynn, daughter of King of the O'Flynn clan.  She was described as a beautiful, red-haired, vibrant princess who was a very pious Catholic.    She, along with other women, were captured around 1700 on the coast of Kerry County, Ireland and shipped to America.  She was sold in Baltimore harbor to William Logston for a bag of tobacco.  He married her in 1702 in the St. James Catholic Church in Baltimore, Maryland.  There are many historical writings of her story.


As a side note, her husband William Logston came to America from England around age 13, as an indentured servant to Lord Baltimore.  He was later able to purchase land and he and Honora became wealthy landowners.   
It's amazing to me that for most of my life, I had thought all slaves were of African origin.   I did not realize that the capturing and selling of human life has touched virtually all races.  

At the time that William Logston was sold as an indentured servant, the British were known for rounding up many who crossed their path and shipped to America as workers.   William may have been sold by his own family....but he also may have been captured against his will.



Most of the Irish in my family came to America in the early 1700's.  My husband has one line that came over during the Potato Famine.
 During the famine, over 1 million Irish died and another million emigrated.  My husband's people came over on cattle barges.  I cannot imagine the depth of suffering they went through.


Through my mother's stories and those I've read on my own; I've long had a soft-spot in my heart for the Emerald Isle.
This past Christmas, my youngest sister surprised my mother with a plane ticket to Ireland.  She cried.
We were all so  happy for her- to finally live her dream!
The months have flown past and her date for departure is arriving.  My sister is going with her.
Suddenly, the Man of the House asked me if I'd like to go.  It being a once in a lifetime chance and all.  
We pondered things, looked at our finances, weighed out the decision.
I'm pleased to say that both he and I are going to be accompanying Mom on this trip!
How amazing to be able to witness her dream come true and see a country I've long loved.


My husband and I were married in Bandon, Oregon.  We plan, while in Ireland, to visit the town for which it's named.
Not only that, of course, for we will see many wonderful places: from fishing villages to ancient ruins; castles to natural landmarks.  
 Recognize the above picture?  These are the Cliffs of Moher.  They have been seen in movies- including The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the latter of which I've never seen).  
They have also been named as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.




I'm hoping to settle down for a bit in some quaint little fishing village.   I want to watch the locals do their daily thing, listen to Irish accents and, hopefully, Gaelic language.  Maybe even fish a bit with The Man of the House.

I'll post lots of pictures and commentary when we return!
Until then; I'll leave you with an Irish blessing:


May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.


And one more for the road:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


18 comments:

  1. Jessica,
    I am so excited for you and can't wait to see your pictures. Have a wonderful time!
    BTW...wish we would have gone through your home just so I could have seen you while we traveled. Home now :)
    Talk with you soon ~ Stacey

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  2. King Edward and Mary Honora O'Flynn were also my family.

    baldwindeb@yahoo.com if you want to share

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  3. william logsdon and honora o'flynn are my direct ansectors im from pennsylvania william logsdon is my 8 greats grandfather and honora would be my 8 greats grandmother

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  4. What a small world.. William and Honora are my 9th great grandparents. Thank you so much for sharing your stories of their journey here.

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  5. I am also descended from Honora O'Flynn and William Logsdon.
    Sherry Butler


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  6. Thank you for your comments, It's exciting to connect with other descendants. How neat!

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  7. I am too a descendant of William and Honora. My mom was born Mary Annabelle Logsdon in Millersburg, OH. I will watch for pictures of Ireland...lucky you

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  8. How exciting! My brother started researching our genealogy; turns out we are related to Honora as well! My connection is a ways up my paternal grandmother's branch of the tree. I grew up thinking genealogy was a little pointless. At the very least, it wasn't for "normal families" like ours. Ha! I now have so many exciting stories from both sides of my family to share with my kids! Thanks for documenting this story! Sincerely, Amanda (Kunkle) Roby

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  9. You are so welcome, I really enjoyed delving into Honora's story!

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  10. How crazy how one woman created (sort of) so many people! I too am related to her and the O'Flynns. I feel very cool, being related to royalty! :)
    -Brennan

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  11. I am descended from William & Honora Logsdon and am in the process of starting my family tree. My relatives are from Western Maryland. I've researched to Lawrence Logsdon (1800-1886) for sure but cannot get accurate info aboout his father. I think it was either William IV (1754) or Thomas (1764). Can anyone help me? Thank you for any help.

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  12. I have just researched my family and King Edward O'Flynn is My 7th great grandfather...Honora to William, their daughter Prudence married James Kelly, their daughter Pateince had a daughter Harriet and Harriet Married James Pelton who had a son Daniel and Daniel's son was Philo S. Pelton and Philo's Daughter Lena L. Pelton is My Father William J. Snyder and I am Loren Keith Snyder. On the other side of family tree my 3rd Great Grand Uncle is President James Buchanan our 15th President. I live in Mansfield, Ohio. lorenksnyder@aol.com

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  13. I too am related to William and Honora. It is amazing what you find out when you research your heritage.

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  14. I am also a descendant of William and Honora. They were my 8th great grandparents. My grandmother is Ernestine Logsdon born in Kansas in the early 1900s. Thank you for sharing your information!!

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  15. my husband has Irish ancestry also I have always wanted to see Ireland and Scotland im holding out for Ireland one day...im so glad you will be going farewell

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  16. Becky,
    I too am a descendant of Honora and William Logsdon. They are my 8th great grandparents all the way back to the wages. Very nice to meet you.

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  17. Honora is my 8th great grandparent. I live in SD. Does anyone know what town she came from? Have fun in Ireland

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  18. Hi, Regarding the picture supposedly of James McGuire that somebody posted on Ancestry, I would say no way could this be Lt. James McGuire who died at the battle of Blue Licks. Lt James was a backwoodsman, a frontiersman. I doubt that he ever owned clothes like the dude in the picture is wearing. As for his body being recovered and buried in Lee county, I doubt that too. My understanding is that the bodies of those killed had been mutilated and they were rotting in the sun for days before being buried in a mass grave. I was there at the reenactment of the battle last year, and there is a memorial ribbon for Lt. James placed next to the grave stone for all the fallen. I would like to know who placed that memorial for Lt James. Respectfully, James McGuire, jamesemcguire@hotmail.com

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