Before I add to the blog/diary for Day 3, I’d like to divert for a moment and comment a bit on my family history and how it relates to this trip, geographically.  Probably this is of interest only to the McBrides and Dunnes in my family tree reading this, but I bet many Irish folk making a trip over here have a similar quest – where did my ancestors live, and what does that area look like? 

As I mentioned, I am 75% Irish apparently, the McBride side apparently 50% Irish (though my mother claimed my father was Scottish, but more on that later), and my mother was 100% Irish.

DUNNE SIDE.  On my mother’s side since she has the trump card here, her father was Pierce Dunne, and as I mentioned the Dunne stores are all over the place, so I guess that must be some sort of relative.  But Pierce’s father Jimmy Dunne migrated through Canada with his wife who was Mary Carey.  Much of what I write next will be due to my brother Dennis McBride (who looks the spitting image he does of Jimmy Dunne) – who has done a lot of great genealogical work, building on some little bit of writing down of work my mother did before her death, and my wonderful Aunt Bobby.

Dennis reports that the Dunnes likely came from County Mayo and the Careys from Galway.

Pierce Dunne married Julia Flynn, the daughter of Dominic Flynn (who I am named after) and he is descended from Patrick Flynn and Bridget Foy (yes, of the famous 7 Little Foys, probably where we get our penchant for being show-offs).  The Flynns apparently come from County Cork.

Here is a photo of Patrick Flynn and Bridget Foy (we love this picture!)

Most of these Irish relatives on the Dunne-Flynn side migrated to Canada and then the US during the period around the great famine, we believe.

McBRIDE SIDE.  As I mentioned, we believe the McBrides came from Ireland, though my parents often fought about this, my Dad claiming of course he was Irish, and my mother claiming he was Scottish.  Like most of the absurd arguments they had, this was rather a stupid one, because as I understand it the McBrides (or maybe MacBrides) came originally from Scotland and then many moved to Ireland anyway, so the heck cares?  Regardless, we know that many if not most McBrides in Ireland were from County Donegal, and the ones we are descended from came through PA and then moved to Nebraska.

Here is an amazing picture of Edward McBride, my great-grandfather (father of John McBride, who was father to my Dad, Ray McBride), pictured with his wife in their wedding photo from the 1800s.

On my grandmother’s side, Hannah Gallagher (who died in childbirth, giving birth to her seventh son) descends from Gallaghers who likely came from County Derry.  And Patrick Gallagher, her father was married to Mary Welsh, also from County Mayo.

So the bottom line is the McBrides and Dunnes have links to Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Cork, Derry.  To me that is guiding the trip, as when we go through those counties, it peaks my interest.  Unfortunately on this trip, we won’t get to Donegal or Mayo, but that will happen on the next trip!

I would be remiss if I did not mention my bride, Shirley.  PORTERFIELDS....Yes, she is almost entirely Scottish, though I don’t hold that against her J.  But she a piece of her that is Irish (I bet the McBrides don’t know that).  If I have it right, her maternal great-grandmother’s maiden name was McWhatty, which is Irish.  Shirley will tell me later what small piece of her is Irish.

There is a humorous story to tell later about the Porterfield and McBrides.  For a blog entry at a later day.