Luck of the IrishPosted: October 21, 2011
We post your testimonies when you send them to us, and we’ll add them to the yourStories page too. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. This one is from new Repatriot David’s blog GoodBadFree, check it out:
Wow, what a week. Some of you may know that I recently became a geneaology fanatic. I mean, fanatic! I never knew there were so many online resources to help someone research their family tree. I started with ancestry.com, but then I found others, too. I even dug into the boxes in the attic– grandma always wanted me to take an interest in the dusty old photos and documents, and now I can see why.
I knew that grandma’s side of the family was from a wide-spot in the road called Martin, Michigan, just south of Grand Rapids where I grew up. That’s the kind of town that America is made of: wholsome, patriotic, apple pie. Grandma always talked about the “luck of the Irish” we had, so I knew that we were from Irish stock. I didn’t know we were also English– I guess Grandma liked the wearin’ of the Green better, because she never mentioned that.
Turns out, and this is where I was shocked, there was no record of Grandma’s mother’s birth. I found Grandma Betty’s birth certificate and christening certificate from right here in Michigan, but where was Great Grandma Mary born? So, using Ancestry.com, I looked for her arrival– I didn’t know our Irish ancestors came so recently. Ancestry.com didn’t have any record of her coming through Ellis Island! So, I dug out the dusty boxes in the attic and I found letters between Great Grandma and her best friend back in Tipperary. She jumped ship with Grandpa Lawrence! They were on the boat coming over, about 20 years old and thinking they’d make a better future stateside than back in old Ireland, and guess what? They fell in with a guy from their town on the boat who’d been living in Boston. This guy was getting off the boat in Boston (it stopped there before continuing down to NY Harbor). He had papers to allow them to get off wherever they wanted. He offered Grandpa Lawrence work in Boston– you know how the Irish mafia works– and I guess Lawrence couldn’t refuse. Instead of continuing on the boat down to NY where they would have been processed at Ellis Island, they hopped right off there in Boston, ran past the check point (and we thought the border was full of holes now– Grandma wrote in one letter the officials on the dock didn’t even notice, they just skirted right around them!). Her friend loved that! Grandma went on and on about how Tipperary makes ’em clever and how grandpa Lawrence was sly as a fox. They lived there in Boston five years before they made his way to Michigan started a family.
Seriously now, this is a big problem. You see, my whole life I thought we came from a background of legal immigration. When I joined the movement, that was why: why can’t people come the right way to the United States like my family did? Now I find out my own great-parents were illegal just like all of these we’re dealing with here in Michigan. If I am going to praise ICE for finally rounding some people up and getting rid of them, what do I do with knowledge about my own family history?
Well, then I heard about Patriots for Self-Deportation and the answer became crystal clear. Patriots don’t scrimp on ethics, they don’t make excuses and they don’t whine about “rights” and “entitlements”. The law is the law. That’s why I’m using this blog post to announce, Tipperary, here I come! I already sent letters to the addresses where my family used to live. I gave notice at my job, and I’m on my way. Walk the walk, baby. Who’s with me?