Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Call of the Mother Country


Lately I’ve had an aching in my chest to go to England, Wales, and Ireland. In order to explain why this is the case I have to tell you where it all started.
A few years ago, I started organizing my genealogy. I started with everything I had at home in various books, and then moved on to what I could find in FamilySearch.org. Along the way I came into contact with a distant cousin I have living in London. Knowing that I have family there started the spark of longing I have for the small islands, that were, and as it turns out, still are the homes for generations of Porters, Hicks, Cottams, Leeks, Packs and any other names that I have found, or will find within myself.

I’m reading a book called: The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog By, Patricia Monaghan. In it she writes something that summed up my longing.

“How could I ever know myself if I did not know where I was from – not just the scenes of my personal memories, but the places where my ancestors had walked, where my body understood the way time unfolded its seasons on the land, where people still spoke a language whose rhythms echoed in my own? Where history had been made by people with my family names? Where the unrecorded history of ordinary loves and losses had been lived by people with features like mine?”

I long to walk the streets of Malmesbury. See the countryside of county Fermanagh and the streets of Dublin. To visit the Parish church in Cardiff where generations of Porters are now buried. Find the graves in Manchester where my Great Great Grandfather laid several of his infant children before boarding a steamer bound for New York. I want to experience these places and hundreds more like them. I want to shake the hands of my cousins, look into their eyes and reunite our two branches of the family.
For some reason the mother country is calling to me, and I so want to heed that call.

Do I sound crazy?

5 comments:

Tasses said...

I got into genealogy a few years back and wish I had more time to devote to it. Once you get caught up, it's hard to stop. So, to answer your question ... Yes, I understand and I'm jealous because I never dug up any Irishmen in my search.

Murph said...

Don't be jealous of the Irish. Fads come and go. Today it's cool to be Celtic... next season it will be Latvian... or some such.
All I can say is that I wish I had a touch of the ethnic in me. I'd kill to be able to tan.

Melissa said...

I don't think it sounds crazy at all. You should save all your pennies (and nikels, dimes and quarters) and just take the plunge....go on the trip already! (okay, I know, then reality sets in...but still, you should make it a goal).

Murph said...

Yaaaa...
Ummm...

Goal is set. But while flights have come down in price, and the Dollar does seem to be doing a bit better against the Pound... It's still going to take ALOT of pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, and the odd dollar here and there for this one to come to pass. ;)

Melissa said...

I know....I hate that!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...