I Love my Irish Heritage
I love my Irish heritage. Like Millions of people in the United States, my family originates in Ireland. Unlike many, my family came here in the late 1690’s. In fact, both sides of my family have been here since before the revolutionary war but my first Irish ancestor on my fathers side of the family came over as an indentured servant/slave. I know that he was transported on a ship called the Dublin Merchant and subsequently sold on the block. I know little of his life after that other than he was one of the few who lived through an incredibly difficult situation on a tobacco farm in Virginia.
He either worked out his indenture or bought out his contract but he managed to become free at some time in his life. From there he married and fathered children. The family moved from Virginia to South Carolina to Kentucky to Illinois then to Missouri. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War on the Union side, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The family has a history of service and allegiance to the country. We are a patriotic lot but through it all we have never forgotten our Irish roots. From the time I was born I was told that I was American first but Irish always. Even after 300 years of being here we take pride in our Irish heritage. In fact I took the Ancestry.com DNA test and confirmed that even after 300 years, I am 50% Irish. We even lived in Ireland for three years when I was a child. Everyone in our family was raised the same as me. We are not hyphenated Americans. We are Americans but our ancestry is Irish and we respect and honor that.
What does all that mean. It means simply that I am a patriotic American who lives Ireland and Irish culture. I married and Irishman and hold dual Irish and American citizenship. I love traditional Irish music and literature and sharing them with others. My family will always know that they are Americans first and Irish always.