Tales of our ancestors

Many of you who have added yourself to our map have left intriguing snippets of tales of your ancestors. Indeed, in many ways our little bubbles on the map are rather like short tweets of Irishness. However, these stories are fascinating and it’s something we’d think would be great to expand. What’s your story Your ancestor is the person who has probably bestowed you with that strange affliction called ‘Irishness.’ Their story has been handed down to you from parent to child. Or maybe you knew the Irish ancestor who first arrived in your country. Whatever it is, we’d like to hear your story. And so would lots of other Irish descendants people too! Share their story We’d like to offer you a place to share your family story with others who would be interested to hear it. At our sister site SeventyMillion.com we are attempting to create an online storybook of Irish emigration tales. Why not write a little something about your Irish ancestor. When did they leave Ireland? Why? Where did they land or settle? What did they get up to in their new home? What did they pass on to you? You can add photos or videos. It’s your ancestor so you decide how to tell their story. Here are a few examples we’ve been lucky enough to collect already: The Killing of Major Mahon” and Patrick Hunt Famine Casualties ‘Survivors’ by Trish Giles Black 47 – emigration to Argentina How to participate If you’d like to…

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Bernardo O’Higgins – The Emancipator of Chile

It’s really quite amazing the things we Irishmen and women got up to in our new homes. Even more amazing is what the descendent generations get up to. Terrance who always fires me interesting titbits about Irish Diaspora history around the world, recently revealed that the man known as the Emancipator of Chile was another one of the Diaspora, one Bernardo O’Higgins. Yep, that’s right, another Irishman causing trouble down South America way. Bernardo O’Higgins was born on 20 August 1778, in Chillán, a small village in southern Chile to Isabel Riquelme. He was the illegitimate son of Ambrose O’Higgins, a Sligo-born 58-year-old military man who was the most powerful man in the region. His father took some interest in the care of his son but, as far as can be established, didn’t ever meet him. When his father died in 1801, leaving Bernardo a large piece of land (hacienda Las Canteras) near the Chilean city of Los Angeles, Bernardo who had been living it up in Lonon returned to Chile, adopted his father’s surname, and began life as a gentleman farmer. He became involved in local politics and so, it was only natural that he became involved in the independence struggle. The Chilean war of independence began roughly around 1810. Like most of the wars of independence in Latin America the impetus for the revolt came from events in mainland Spain. Napoleon had invaded Spain in 1808, exiled the king and installed his brother Joseph as new puppet king…

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Challenge of nations life!

This week, Brian Lenihan the Irish Finance Minister, warned that the nation faced the challenge of its life. The doom-mongering came as he outlined plans for Ireland to set-up a national asset management agency (Europe’s first ‘bad bank’, another first from Ireland) to take over an estimated Euro80 – 90 billion of bad loans extended by local domestic banks to developers and property companies that now look as if they will not be able to repay. At the heart of Brian’s measures is a levy of 4 per cent of gross income on anyone earning more than Euro75k, rising to 6 per cent for those earning above Euro175k. The levy is on top of income tax. So here we have it: the banks bail out the developers, the government bails out the banks, and the tax-payer bails out the government, in particular the middle-class tax payer. There are two things I wanted to say about this turn of events. One, I’m intrigued by the notion of a bad bank: what if we could introduce it into other aspects of our lives? What if there were a ‘bad me’ and a ‘good me?’ You could get home after a two-day Guinness-driven bender and avoid any arguments by simply depositing it in the ‘bad me’ bank. Why not have that dessert even though you’re already full and could do with losing some weight? The healthy food goes in the ‘thin me’ and the chocolate fudge sundae is deposited in the ‘fat me’…

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It’s not easy being Irish but the Guinness helps!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And before we head out to drink some green Guinness we thought it’d be good to reflect on where the seventymillion project is just now and more importantly, where it’s headed. Karl and myself started this project, a project to connect the global Irish Diaspora on the Internet, exactly one year ago today. We wondered at the time if there were in fact seventymillion of us and if so, where exactly in the world. Beyond that, we wondered what’s the state of the global Irish Diaspora – is it alive and well? Is Irishness meaningful generations down the line? If it is, in what way is it meaningful beyond beer promotions and green hats on St. Paddy’s? Although we called the project ’seventymillion’, it was always more than about the number, it was about the people. Seventymillion is then a human project and going forward into year 2 it needs to remain just that is our feeling. It’s been slower going than we thought in the first year – we have a thousand involved in the project now so just sixty-nine odd million to go. But this is a passion driven project – it’s not commercially backed and we’re not politically connected. We’re sure we could increase the numbers if we worked harder but we both have our day jobs. It’s organic, it’s modern, it’s the Internet the way Tim Berners-Lee intended it. We wanted this project to be for the community and to come from…

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Happy Paddy’s Day!

Whether you are Irish-born or have an Irish Mum or a granny, or you just have that single molecule of Irishness in you, today is your day. Today is the day for all of us around the world to celebrate our wonderful, ancient, strange and incomparable heritage. Wherever you are and however you celebrate, we hope you have a happy, craic-filled Paddy’s Day. This day also marks the the first anniversary of the SeventyMillion Project and over the next few days we’ll be telling you what we have learned from the many hundreds of people around the world who have shared their feelings about their Irishness with us. But if you want to get a sneak peek, you can go to the home page and run the map movie. We’d love to hear from you and about how you celebrate Paddy’s day where you are. Share it with us all with a blog post or upload a pic or a movie at the SeventyMillion community site at www.SeventyMillion.com. In the meantime, have a great day!

Mayo Memorial and Peace Park, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland

Every once in a while we get an email to the site asking for help. We are, of course, only too glad to help out when we can. I reprint the and we wanted to share it with you. It follows: My name is Martin Coyle I undertake voluntary Research for the Mayo Memorial. It is a non political non sectarian project. Are aim is to find and Remember all County Mayo Personnel who have lost there lives in conflict anywhere in the World, no matter what uniform they wore or traditions they followed from the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, Merchant Navy, Medical Staff, Clergy and Civilians who were from County Mayo Republic of Ireland.  The Website is: http://www.mayomemorialpeacepark.org The Memorial was opened by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese in October 2008 it contains the names of 1,114 to Date. We believe there are some names which have being Forgotten and they need to be added to the Memorial Wall so we are asking all Groups and Organisations to forward there names to this site they will be added in due course. The most recent being Marine Robert McKibben RM. Who lost his life in Afghanistan in November last Year. This is an Irish Television Station RTE. The Nationwide Programme in Remembrance week (November 2008) broadcast on the Event, Six Minutes duration. Click here to view. Contact – http://www.mayomemorialpeacepark.org