Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Monday, March 16, 2015

#SOLSC15 Day 16

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers and the Slice of Life writing community for providing this opportunity to share our "slices." Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to share our work. Check out the other slices and join in the fun!

My parents invited us over last night for our annual Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. We weren't sure we could fit this tradition in on Tuesday this year, so we made a plan for yesterday. It was amazing.

My cousins came and we relished in some after dinner talk. We were catching up about our week, laughing, and discussing the St. Patrick's Day holiday that is fast approaching. This prompted a discussion about our heritage. My mom was able to tell me that my great, great grandmother (Margaret) and my great, great grandfather (Patrick) came over from Ireland and then she dropped this...we have his citizenship papers.

So, my mom and I ran to dig through their files and we found it!


We noticed that he was granted citizenship in 1880 so that meant that he must of came to the United States a short time before.  I then went to Ellis Island online and found several by his name, but nothing before 1880. So, this left us with some questions. I learned on this site that Ellis Island was the reception point from 1892, so I wonder if that is why we couldn't find him within the online information at Ellis Island? I did find my paternal grandparents' from Italy, so that was pretty neat.

This all felt like an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? and it makes me curious enough to keep learning about the rest of my heritage. Last year I started a picture collage in my dining room and, although it is a big project, I realized that I need to keep working on it.

Who knew such a great dinner would lead to uncovering this citizenship paperwork. I never knew my parents had it! 


  1. How neat that you uncovered that citizenship paperwork? I love finding things like this! Several years ago we found the ship manifests from the boat my grandfather took over from Russia to the United States in 1921. We found out my great-grandmother took her two sons (one of which was my grandfather), plus 2-3 other kids to the new world with her. My grandfather, who died 25 years ago today, never told us about these other kids who traveled over with them. It will forever remain a mystery who they were. Could they have been cousins or kids from the village. We'll never know...

    1. ah, those mysteries of heritage that we never knew to ask about until it was too late. That's one thing fiction is for, I think, to explore the possibilities.

  2. What a wonderful treasure to have his citizenship papers! Uncovering family heirlooms is so exciting. Putting together a collage is definitely worth the work. Your family is continuing strong traditions and memories by having an annual St. Patrick's Day meal! Your great, great grandfather would be proud. :-)

  3. I loved the way one revelation led to questions and then more questions. It feels so good to be a lifelong learner. I would love to research my family tree one day; and the collage for your dining room sounds like a wonderful idea.

  4. it is so fascinating to find these tangible pieces of family history. It gives you something concrete to latch your imagination and speculations onto: your great, great-grandfather held that paper in his hand. It was given to him in some office. He took it him and showed it to his wife? his parents? his siblings? And what did he do with it then?