Tag Archives: Ireland

Thankfully, the Troubles are over, mostly.

My interest stems partly from being a descendant of immigrants from Northern Ireland, Ulster Presbyterians.

ajh

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Three hundred and ninety-two years ago — March 2̶5̶ 27?, 1625 — King James dies.

OOPS!

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I signed up to get a daily history email from the folks at the magazine Christianity Today.

March 25 is an important date for me. (It’s my birthday.) So, I like to read about it, that particular day, such as who share a birthday with me.

Well, then I learned that King James died on that day in 1625, only to realize that it is probably a mistake. Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica put his death date as March 27.

I was typing away, nearly ready to publish when I discovered this discrepancy.

Three hundred and ninety-two years ago, King James I of England died — on March 25, 1625. Twenty-one years previously, in 1604 at the Hampton Court Conference, he had authorized the translation project that produced the King James translation (KJV) of the Bible.

ajh

Embracing my Irish heritage

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Besides the potato famine and the resulting hordes of immigrants, Irish history is mostly neglected in America, despite the fact that many have some Irish blood in them.

In 1916, a rebellion began, or rather continued, and although successfully repressed by the Brits, independence finally came six years later, in 1922. The Irish, including some of my relatives, had been fighting the English for centuries. Some still are.

One branch of the family, on my paternal grandmother’s side, arrived in America in 1790. But when an insurrection against English rule began in 1798, some of the boys returned, itching to help in the fight, despite having to make the perilous transatlantic crossing yet again.

ajh

250 Years Ago Today — March 17, 1764

Londonderry, Ulster/Northern Ireland
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1764, somewhere in Ireland, a little baby boy was born. He was christened James. Born to a man named Boal and a mother whose name is lost.

It was a Saturday. An ocean away, in British North America, New York City had just begun the tradition of celebrating the day, the first five years without a parade.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, life went on for James. He became a linen and carpet weaver, trades probably learned from his father. James wed in 1787.

James left for America in 1790 with his wife Elizabeth and two children, Margaret and George. They left from Londonderry in the North.

ireland_mapBeing poor, “the trip was made by the cheapest passage.”

It was not a pleasant journey.

“The voyage of three months was a stormy one, during which the ship sprang a leak, and much of the cargo, including some of the goods belonging to the Boal family, was thrown overboard.”

They were devout Presbyterians.

At least one grandson of James, John Shannon Boal, fought in the Civil War.

I doubt James could fathom the chain of events he had instigated with his decision to leave Ireland. How could he foresee that a descendant would write about him on the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth and that the day, a truly Irish one, would be so widely celebrated?

ajh