I found the story quite heart-rending, especially as O'Sullivan is my maternal grandmother's name. When I first went in search of the family farm in Bounard, Rathmore, Kerry, I asked a farmer for directions and he asked: "Is that O'Sullivan Beare?" I had no idea what he meant but said "yes" anyway. After many more visits to the family farm, I found this signpost at the bottom of the road pointing the way. NOTE: we were not related to this O'Sullivan who was, I think, a poet!

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Comment by Gerry Regan on January 3, 2015 at 11:15am

Margaret, tell us a bit more about your grandmother's family, the O'Sullivans. Did she enjoy cooking, as well?

Comment by Margaret M. Johnson on January 4, 2015 at 3:06pm

My grandmother, Minnie, was one of 8 children who grew up in Bounard, Rathmore, Kerry. She left Ireland in 1898 and all of her siblings--Peter, Kate, Nora, Margaret, Julia (she became Sr. Mary Fides when she joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky)--traveled to Boston and settled around there (I've forgotten the names of the other siblings). Only one brother, Tadeen, twin to Kate, remained in Ireland and the family never saw him again. During a visit to Dublin in 1992, I met a young gal who was---believe it or not-- neighbor to Tadeen and who also attended Meentogues School in Bounard where all the O'Sullivans went. We have been friends now since then, I attended her wedding (to an O'Sullivan from Cork!) in Rathmore, and her children now call me 'auntie Margaret"!

My grandmother passed away when I was only 3, so the only memory of her cooking is of her molasses cookies. My mother was an excellent cook, so I will assume that Minnie's skills were passed down to her. 

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