Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Paddys Day

I'm Irish. I know, I know- EVERYBODY is Irish on St. Pats Day.
But really- my heritage is somewhat Irish. (with a little dilution in the last year or so).
My Ancestor came to America in 1773 ish- from County Offaly in Ireland. His name was William and he was an indentured servant. Not much more is known about him, except he did his servitude and then promptly lit out for Pennsylvania. That was around the time of the Revolutionary War.

He moved around, going into the Appalachians and ending up in Illinois. He must have had a bunch of kids, cause there is a whole bunch of Berrys ( my maiden name) in Illinois. Somehow they migrated into Arkansas and there is a Berryville there somewhere. Since women were few, brothers and sisters married into the nearby families, and since no one liked the Irish except other Irish, I can only think that the families nearby were of the same or similar descent- Scotch Irish. Of course I've heard that someone along the line had a Native American wife, my Fathers Grandmother in fact- but no one will talk about that and everyone who really knew is long gone.

My very own Great-grandfather -Pridge- was born near there and his sons fought in the Civil War- a few on each side. Some lived and some died. Widows married brothers in laws, raised each other kids.
My Grandfather settled in Arkansas, but my own father had the same gene as his great grandfather- the wandering gene- and he ended up here in California.He met my mother- who is of German heritage and there is where the dilution of the Irish in me really took place.

I'm sure that a lot of you have the same kind of history- immigration, assimilation, migration, until you've ended up where and who you are. We should all have days that celebrate our heritage- but I don't know of many that are as -shall we say... public.... as St Patrick's Day.

Of course St. Patrick's Day began as a Catholic Holiday- but as things sometimes do, it has morphed in to a 'commonplace' drinking holiday.
Shame really.
(Green Beer and Soda Bread? Corned Beef? Couldn't we think of something better than that?)

So no matter what ethnicity you are , no matter where you came from, celebrate today as an extension of those happy coincidences that brought you to where you are and who you are with.
And of course-
Don't Drink and Drive, or I'll take my shalayleigh to ya!