I have a net friend, Janet Maher and we've known one another a long time and a couple of years ago (2012) I said to one friend I am NEVER going back to the US again and the very next day I get an email from Janet saying 'book published, launch on such a date" and I said to myself 'That's it Lyons, you're going back to America"
Off I went for about 2.5 weeks.
I'd been in the U.S. a number of times but this time, it was so different. This time I did not have to pay to stay in any hotel, this time I was 'kept'/put up in people's homes. People I had never met took me , kept me, arranged meetings for me. I had the most incredible holiday of my life. I stayed with Janet, Cassie, Sue & Joanne. People came from all over to meet me, one man even drove 800 miles, I was amazed. It was incredible. I met *very* important people in the genealogical world but then, that doesn't really matter cos the ordinary people are more important to me. I have a different friend, 'Edna'. I've never met Edna, but I have telephoned her. She's an older lady and I think I'm going to take the parish records for counties that her most unusual surname was found in and go through them, and maybe, we'll keep our fingers crossed, just maybe I might be able to point her to a possible place that her ancestors came from. The Edna's of this world are more important to me than the 'important' people.
Outside of that - my friend Janet, she did incredible research and she wrote a book. She didn't just research her own surnames she has a ton of information on other surnames as well, because she worked with a graveyard.
I couldn't possibly begin to explain to you all the work she did except to say I was always extremely impressed.
The 'laugh' about it is that I got to the airport that Janet and her husband Paul picked me up at - and for me, it was the middle of the night my time, I just had to go to bed. Then, next day, I woke up real early and sat there with the book reading it so's I'd have some idea of what Janet had done and there it was, she had named me in her book.
I cried....... I'm good at crying - and I'm smiling as I say that, but I shouldn't be.
Back then I said to Janet, "If we could put your stuff and my stuff together, God knows, we could probably bring an awful lot of people home"
and Janet is coming over exactly for that reason, to go through graveyards and find people - and yes, she is lucky that she has me who has worked many of the graveyards she is interested in as a friend - but then, I'm lucky I have her as a friend
Maher and Meagher - these last few days I've been trying to put together collections from my own data, Mahers and Meaghers to give to Janet
That's my spiel for tonight - the sun is shining, I think I'll go sit out for a while
Amazon Extract: Beginning from an interest in her own family's history, with From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley Janet Maher shares a deeply textured journey through a fascinating corner of the Irish Catholic diaspora. She explores the history of Ireland through the perspective of Catholicism, bridging it to the origins of Catholicism in Connecticut generally, then to several Irish families whose personal stories extend to the present. Mapping and thoroughly transcribing the oldest Catholic cemetery in Naugatuck, Saint Francis, Maher has made connections between generations of families and friends. The book includes selected marriage, baptism and death records throughout the nineteenth century and excerpts from rare letters between Irish immigrants and individuals still in Ireland. It is replete with photographs from Ireland and Connecticut, and restored personal images selected from families' collections, including her own, from materials safeguarded in scrapbooks and albums for years. In many ways Maher has made the people whose graves she encountered in cemeteries come alive again.