Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I have Irish roots on my mom’s side and am hungry to learn more about them and the place they came from. My great-great-great grandparents and one or two of their young children settled in North Carolina directly from Ireland. As best as I can tell from my searches online and looking at census information and ship manifests, they came from Ballymoney in what is now Northern Ireland. A couple of their children, including my great-great grandfather, were born over here. He became a shoemaker and owned a store in Asheville around 1900, his ad stating, “Custom Shoes Made……Fine Shoes a Specialty.” Even before I knew these things about my family, I was drawn to things Celtic/Irish, almost a visceral feeling, maybe some of that DNA and family history passed down genetically through the generations and just a part of me, and now I’m fascinated by this man, my great-great grandfather, Thomas, and his parents. His daughter, Anna, was my great-grandmother. She died when I was 6 years old, and I do have a few sweet memories of her.
A few years back, I was in AODA briefly (Ancient Order of Druids in America). The head of AODA at the time, John Michael Greer, who has written books about Druidry and still has a blog called The Archdruid report, suggested we take druid names. I gave him the meaning of the name I wanted, and then he gave me the name.
This is a long roundabout way of saying what my Irish name is: “Merch y Mynyddoedd” and what it means: “Daughter of the Mountains.” It’s perfect for me, as I love these mountains of North Carolina I live in, they’ll always be part of me, and I also love my Irish roots.
Merch y Mynyddoedd (Daughter of the Mountains)
Copyright (c) 2017 by Raindrop Ridge Press