Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

According to (and they - if anyone - ought to know) one in eight americans have some Irishman (or woman) in their family tree. That is about thirty-six million people.

My own Irish ancestor was Constant Thomas Barchus; a red-haired, fiddle-playing Irishman. He came over the Oregon Trail in 1864, when he was just eighteen years old, and claimed a quarter-section (160 acres) under the  land grant law. He settled next to some Welsh immigrants and eventually claimed their eldest daughter, as well. They raised eight children on their farm, where he also had a blacksmith shop. His wife was midwife for most of their neighbors.

Here's to you, Constant, and all immigrants from everywhere who have come to America seeking a better life. May all your dreams come true.

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