Did Your Ancestor Have an Irish View Like This One?
I was going through some photographs and came upon the view featured below. It got me wondering just how many of our shared Irish ancestors had an Irish view like this before they decided to emigrate?
I was going through some photographs from the past few years and came upon the one that I feature in today’s letter. It’s a photo of my good self sitting in a field in my father’s old farm in west County Cork on a beautiful day in July. It got me wondering just how many of our shared Irish ancestors had a version of this view before they decided to emigrate?
Take a look at the view at the top of this letter – and then let me describe a little more of what you see in the picture.
I’m sitting on a rock of sandstone in a two acre field in the townland of Foilnamuck near the village of Ballydehob in the west of County Cork. It’s late July and the purple heather is starting to bloom all around. It will be another few weeks before the coconut-scented yellow leaves of the gorse flower pop out their heads. I’m surrounded by mostly poor farming land. The sort of land that you would farm only if you had no choice.
Following my gaze, there’s plenty of mixed fern (bracken) and gorse in the near view. Further on you can see the cultivated fields of Cappaghglass townland with a few farm buildings spread out in the distance. Further on again you can see the open sea. This is the Atlantic ocean on the south west of Ireland. The still-Irish speaking island of Cape Clear can be seen on the horizon to the left of the picture. Just barely visible in the middle horizon is the Fastnet Rock and lighthouse. Over the years this became known as “Ireland’s teardrop” as it was often the immigrant’s last sign of Ireland as they sailed away forever heading to the west for a new life in north America.
This is the type of view that our shared west of Ireland ancestors would have experienced on a regular basis. Maybe one of your own ancestors looked out on a similar view before they said a final farewell to their homeland. What do you think? Do feel free to let me know in the comments below.
That’s it for this week. As always do feel free to share the names and stories from your own Irish family tree.
Slán until next week,
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