Tag Archives: Irish

My maternal family heritage.

My Irish Name

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

Danny Boy

Today is my dad’s birthday.   He would have been 82 years old.   I still think about him in one way or another every day….something reminds me of him.  It doesn’t hurt so much now most of the time; the memories have become more bittersweet than just downright sad or depressing.  Anyway, the song, “Danny Boy,” reminds me of him.  He liked this song, too, and the photo show of Ireland, where my ancestors came from, is icing on the cake.  This song has always made me feel a little sad or whatever that feeling is I get like when I hear a far-off train whistle in the dark of night.  Sad, lonely, nostalgic, but drawn to it nonetheless.  That’s how memories are.  I hope you enjoy it or get something out of it.  Tonight, my mom and I, joined by my younger daughter and her husband, had dinner together to celebrate – or maybe really acknowledge is the better choice of words – my dad’s birthday and make a toast (with sweet tea) to him.  Papaw (as we all called him), we love you and miss you and you’ll always still be a part of our lives.  It was nice to be with family tonight, just what I needed.


 Copyright (c) 2013 by Raindrop Ridge Press