Published July 3, 2020

In my last blog post, I wrote about a connection between my husband’s 2nd great grandmother Lillian Ann Gracey (c.1836-1920) and the Irish scholar and politician Eoin MacNeill. Now I’ll turn to another mystery, regarding Lillian’s father Robert Gracey. Lillian married twice: first to Arthur Boyle in 1855, then to…

Read More The mysterious Mr. Gracey

Published June 24, 2020

Eoin MacNeill was an influential Irish scholar and a key figure in the emergence of an independent Republic of Ireland in the early twentieth century. He was a co-founder of the Gaelic League, which sought to re-introduce the study of Gaelic language, history, and culture in Ireland. He led the…

Read More The mysterious Eoin MacNeill connection

Published September 26, 2019

The new 2019 season of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are features an episode on the ancestors of tv personality Sharon Osbourne. Her Victorian Irish ancestors fled the potato famine, sailing to Massachusetts in hopes of securing jobs in a textile mill that would provide happy, prosperous…

Read More The streets weren’t paved with gold

Published October 9, 2017

My husband’s great grandfather Maurice John Macauley was an Irish physician who lived much of his life in England. Maurice’s older sister was Mary Elizabeth Macauley, born in 1868 in Belfast. Mary Elizabeth was married, for a very brief time, to another physician (both her husband and Maurice John attended…

Read More The wonderful jabberwocky animals

Published September 24, 2014

I have been looking a lot lately at my husband’s ancestors from Northern Ireland, specifically the Macauleys from County Antrim and County Down. In the late 1800s, this Irish Catholic family owned a linen manufacturing business in Belfast, called Hugh Macauley & Sons. How they rose economically to become mill…

Read More Albert Crescent and the Belfast riots of 1857