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The Celtic seed

Don Rogers

We’re headed to the Irish Festival in Littleton first thing Saturday, mainly to see one of our favorite bands, Gaelic Storm. They play lots of traditional songs, as well as their own stuff too ” most of it livened up to please the modern rock ‘n’ roller’s ear.

The boy wants to get going by 7 a.m., pick up the girlfriend, and his sister’s buddy, and feed the neighbor’s dog his sister is taking care of, and get down there in time to hear a lecture about Celts in the American Civil War. I’m interested, too, considering we have some ancestors with Irish and Scots blood who fought in the war. I’ll bet some, probably on my side, were fresh off the boat. So we’re talking family here.

Funny how that perks your interest when it’s family history. My wife was supposed to be checking, repacking and moving boxes downstairs. I guess she did that, sort of. Mostly, though, she read, and read, and read after bumping into geneaology files. Fascinating stuff.



Our lines are remarkably similar. Welsh names, tons of Irish, Scots, Welsh and more English than anyone wants to admit, I think. We knew there was some English on my side. I’m related to Canada’s savior, Sir Isaac Brock, who beat back the Americans in a decisive battle in the War of 1812, I think. Cost him his life, but I’m told by Canadian friends, particularly eastern Canadian friends, that he’s rememberd to this day. Might even be a holiday named after him.

My wife, though, discovered the other night in her boxes that she’s got some English blood too, as it turns out. And not just regular Brit. She’s tied to the Prince of Wales, royalty, the crown! The youngest son of the Prince of Wales way back centuries ago moved to Ireland and built a castle. Blaney Castle, I think it’s called. It’s a park now.



But mostly, we’re Irish and Welsh and Scottish ” kids, parents, our parents and so on. Where the Celts wound up, basically. No doubt there’s some of everything else European in there, too, as long as at least one thread weaves back for both of us. My wife’s line has a hint of a relation who might have come over on the Mayflower. My mother’s side has a Pastor Tillinghast, who in the early 1600s founded the first Baptist Church in America. And my wife’s father’s line only came to America from Ireland three generations ago.

Our son finds all this fascinating. He’s the one who studies Celt history, plays some traditional instruments, and fires up the family to see Celtic-inspired music groups.

I’m afraid he’ll be the first in this line to emigrate the other way, and talk his sister into it too. She’s bit the hook so hard I don’t think that would take much selling.


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