Mar 17, 2016

Family Roots in Ireland

by Kari Diane Pike

In honor of St. Patrick's Day (and the birthday of our first grandchild - Happy birthday Melissa - who turned 16 today - which makes me feel old) I decided to go on a treasure hunt of the family history kind. I remembered coming across some Irish roots a few months ago and decided to go digging for them (which is why I am posting this late in the afternoon because the more I dug, the more excited I became, which lead to more digging, and... yah. I found gold!). 

Since almost all of my ancestors came to North America between 1590 and 1700, I knew I would have to dig kind of deep. Lucky me. I hit pay dirt in less than a minute. Thank you

The first gem I found was Ferdinand MacVeagh (b. 1625) and his wife Leticia Richardson (b. abt.1631). One website described him as "a prominent physician who flourished in County Monaghan in the central portion of Ireland." His great-great grandmother Christina Kerns MacVeagh, was born about 1540 in Camagh, Queens, Ireland.  Over time, the spelling of the name changed to McVey.

Then I found Moses Williamson, Sr., born in Ireland in 1723 to Scottish parents. My quick search indicates that the family lived near Derry, Ireland. Moses appears to have been about ten years old when he came to America with his parents. He served in the Revolutionary War and was a private in the French and Indian War. 

All along the way, I met other ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Hungary, Germany, France and Italy. Some sailed across the pond to flee religious persecution. Others sought land and opportunity - the hoped for pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. I suspect one or two came to avoid prison or worse. Although one ancestor, George Jacobs ended up on the end of a noose anyway, as the first man hung in the Salem Witch Trials. Whatever their reasons, I am grateful for courageous ancestors who helped build this nation where I am free to enjoy those "'unalienable rights' which the Declaration says has been given to all human beings by their Creator, and for which governments are created to protect."

Where do your people come from? If you don't know, it's really easy to create an account on Warning: It's addicting!

Life is magnificent!


  1. I have quite a few Irish ancestors, most of them way back. It's too late to look for them, but they're there. Mostly ancient royalty as I remember.

  2. I have not yet got past American ancestors, I would probably find Irish. I love the story of the Salem Witch there's a genealogy story. I will always be grateful I got to be born here thanks to them.


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