Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rostrevor and Kilbroney Parish

I am speaking of the town in Northern Ireland that we actually visited to trace our Irish roots when we were there this summer. Well, it is not my Irish roots, but one track of the Irish roots on Charlie's side of the family. (I tried and tried to find a link of my Irish roots to go visit, but had no luck. I need to dig a little deeper) So in this case, we are looking at the line from Charlie's mom (Sarah/Lauren's grandmother). Her name is Jetta. Now Jetta's grandfather was James Nicholas Hollywood and we was born 1/1/1893 in County Down, Northern Ireland. (Very interesting I find that Jetta is also a January 1st, birthday!) SO this would be Sarah and Lauren's Great Great Grandfather. Jetta actually found prior to our trip information that he was baptized in a church called St. Mary's Star of the Sea in the Kilbroney Parish in Rostrevor. This is all in County Down, Northern Ireland. The records show that his parents were Lawrence Hollywood and Bridget Carroll. So when we went to Rostrevor, we found the church. It was beautiful!

Sarah and her Nana on the steps of the church that her Great Great grandfather was baptized at.

This is what the region around Rostrevor looks like...GORGEOUS.

We even found the old cemetery where his parents are supposedly buried. Although we did not find their grave sites, we found many other grave stones with names belonging to the Hollywood and Carroll families. We wrote the names down and hopefully sometime we will find where those pieces to the puzzle fit. We spoke to a caretaker there and she said it was quite possible that who we were looking for was buried there, but it was a big cemetery and a lot of the older grave stones were very weathered. So even though we didn't find the actual names we were looking for, we did find the area, the church and we all felt a connection to it. I know I did and I am only related by marriage.

To continue the James Hollywood story, we have record that he left Ireland on February 5, 1913 from Queenstown (now Cobh in County Cork, Ireland). He departed on the S.S. Carpathia arriving in Boston on February 16, 1913. You might remember that the S.S. Carpathia was the famous ship that rescued the survivors form the Titanic disaster in 1912. It was eventually sunk by a German torpedo during WWI in 1918. We were very lucky to get to travel to Cobh and visit the dock where all these Irish immigrants departed so long ago. To be standing in a place where you know your ancestors passed through with dreams of a better life in a new country and to think that such great ships as the Titanic were once at port there, was very moving. This was by far one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Gorgeous church in the town of Cobh

This is the interior of the building that once was where the immigrants went to board the ships. It is now the museum and shopping are of the Cobh Heritage Center. Click HERE to learn more about this amazing place

This is a painting rendition of what it might have looked like with the huge ships at port!

The statue of Annie Moore that became the first ever emigrant to be processed at Ellis Island. She left the port at Queenstown (Cobh) in 1892.

I only wish I had proof of my relatives passing through the same way. I know I have Irish in my blood, my mother told me so, but I have yet to confirm it! This red hair came from somewhere!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Daughters of the American Revolution

I am now a member! I am a proud member because it was an organization that my mother was most proud to be a part of. I think if she were here today she would so love to share this with me and would probably make me go to every meeting! My main reason for joining was to honor her. I remember as a child being part of the Children of the American Revolution and we would have fun parties from time to time. My favorite memories, though, are of going to the DAR meetings with my mom every now and then. Because we did not live in San Antonio proper, she couldn't attend every meeting, but she selected to attend those that were held at the San Antonio country club and such. She picked those mainly to expose me to something nice and refined. I think she got something out of the meeting (I certainly didn't), but I know she loved to give me an opportunity to learn about which fork to eat with and how to keep my elbows of the table and how to make small talk, etc.... Even at an early age, I knew it was practice on how to be a lady and have manners. So, anyway, if you were to look up the DAR, I don't think that is one of the goals of the organization, but it was one of my mother's.

Aside from that it was a way for my mother to teach me to be proud of our heritage. To be a member of the DAR you have to show proof that you had relatives that were in the country during the time of the American Revolution. (Note: that may not be the only qualification, but it is one of them.) Thanks to my moms hard genealogy work, we have such a link in our lineage. Because I am her daughter I automatically can become a member and so can my daughters and so on.

It is a very interesting group and maybe one day I will attend a meeting. I am anxious to see if they are how I remember them as a little girl.

(Note: She was also a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and I am looking into becoming an official member of that too. In my mind, our Texas heritage is way more interesting and the stories are the ones I love the most!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Who's the Fairest of them all....


I am in Snow White La-La Land right now. That is going to be the theme for Lauren's 3rd birthday party next month and I am a party planning fool right now. So far I have found super adorable things..such as the invites! Check them out!

I also found these cute graphics to use on all my party planning goods. I am basing my whole color scheme and decor around this.

I have also found cute, cute things to give away as party favors. There is tons more stuff out there with apples on it than there is Snow White. She is one of the princesses who is currently not getting the props she deserves. Why is it always Cinderella??

FYI...Beauty and the Beast comes out next month... you can reserve your copy at The Disney Store!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dublin: What to do

Ok...maybe by the time we take our next vacation I will be done blogging about the last. Sorry folks. I know I have been back in the country almost 2 months now and I still haven't gotten you guys out of Dublin...I will try harder to blog more.

So what did we do in Dublin? Besides eat and drink? No much....In fact one of my to-do's is to go drink. So let's get to it.

1. Day trip to Howth.
This is a nice little trip to take. I know it is not really Dublin, but I still recommend it. It is a 30 minute train ride east of the city. Howth is a little port town on the Irish Sea. Why go here? It is quaint, beautiful, you can feed the seals, you can eat great Irish fare like fish and chips, there is a little park and playground if you have kids, and there is a bit of shopping. (Don't let the shopping really sell you that much, it wasn't great). We enjoyed getting out and seeing the ocean. There are some nice views and it is a nice area to leisurely walk. There are lots of good restaurants and we ate at the Oar House. We spent most of the morning there and went back after lunch, so it wasn't a full day, but a nice escape.

2. Trinity College
What a gorgeous campus this is. We took the 30 minute tour, which I recommend. It gives you a little history on the college and you realize it has really been around for a long time. They also preface you a bit on the Book of Kells, so when you go see it, you know more about what you are looking at. The Book of Kells is a must see. On the surface it is not overly impressive, but when you think about how long ago it was done and completely by hand, that is when it becomes pretty awesome to look at it. That is why I think the tour was great. Once I knew more about it, it was infinitely more interesting. Plus...at the end of going to see the Book of Kells you walk through the old library which is a magnificent treat. It looks like something out of a movie or another era. Truly how you imagine an old college library to be. My favorite part of the whole Trinity college experience.

Isn't it AWESOME!

3. Shop Grafton Street
Yes...this is a must and yes there is a Gap and other stores we already all know about...but what a nice little afternoon to have spent perusing the other interesting shops. We found several great little finds. If you have little girls...take them to the Accessorize store...soooo cute clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, etc... They have some great things for mom too!

4. Visit the Guinness Brew house
This was not at the top of my list of things I was dying to do in Ireland, but it is a definite must I will admit. Even if you don't drink beer, it was a great tour, an impressive building, and there is an amazing 360 degree view of Dublin at the top at the Gravity Bar. SO for nothing else....go for that. The gift shop is one of the best I have ever seen too.

Sarah playing in the Hops (Who says there is nothing for the kids at the brewery!)

Charlie pretending he is excited about it sample of Guinness! He is not a beer drinker.

These guys are beer drinkers, on the other hand....

Sarah and her Sprite at the Gravity Bar

5. Go find a pub and enjoy the good life in Dublin. If you are lucky they will be playing some Irish music and if you are really lucky, there might be some Irish dancing!
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