January's subject was 'Emigrant ancestors who returned to Ireland'. Could be for a visit or permanently. Tell us the story. Here is Cleve's Watson's story From Ireland to the USA and back
I did not know what research journey I would undertake when I asked my wife a simple question. What do you know about your mother's father?The answer was that he was Irish and died before she was born.
With the help of this site and others in Ireland we have at last put together a picture of his family life.
His father Patrick Donoghue and mother Mary Mcdarby married in Carlow October 1888 and within days were on the ship Berlin which arrived in New York on 26th October.
Patrick set up in New Jersey as a Bar Tender and had 6 children. The first did not survive but the second was James the grandfather born December 1890.
For an unknown reason they all to returned to Carlow on ship Germanic in February 1898. Unfortunately Patrick died soon after and Mary remarried. As was so typical in those days
Mary also died young soon after and the smaller children ended up in a Dublin children’s home. James and his brother John did not go to the home but Mary’s sister took them in to the McDarby
During the First World War James requested from the USA a copy of his birth record. This probably saved his life. So he was not called up. His brother John did not bother and was killed
in France in 1916. The other brother Christopher managed to survive but did not marry. The two sisters became nuns. So the family only continued with James. Later James ended up in England and married Florence, her family also came from Ireland but a few generations before. James and Florence had two children: James F and Florence P. This time James F could not avoid the call up for World War Two and survived the hostilities but was killed after the European war ended during the peace in June 1945, while guarding Nazi suspects. His father James did not take this news very well and passed away only 5 years later. His daughter Florence P married and had my wife Frances but Florence P contracted a form of cancer and died when my wife Frances was only two years old. Her grandmother Florence raised Frances with the help of Frances' father.
A few years ago my wife Frances and I visited James F's grave in Germany and noticed there was no personal family inscription on the headstone. We contacted the War Graves Commission and although unusual have given us permission for a new headstone with our family inscription to be added.
A happy ending for James and his family after all the years of turbulence.
We sometimes wonder what would have happened if James had not returned to Ireland.