John laid another block of turf on the fire and slid into bed waiting for Johannah to finish with the little ones, then wrapped himself around her to warm her chilled body. The children deserved the warm fire, he thought as he drifted uneasily toward sleep. “John, do you hear that.” She struck him in…Read more Chapter 5: A Long Night
Look around you. What would it be like if half of the people living in your state disappeared? That’s what happened in Ireland in the middle of the 1800’s. And half of those people died of starvation and disease while the other half left Ireland to find a better life.
As I stood looking at the graves of my great-great-grandparents who immigrated to Pennsylvania in Ireland in 1848, I felt like I had to write their story and the stories of the millions of other people who left their homelands to come here for a better life, a life of freedom and hope.
So this is that story, and maybe you can relate. You have ancestors who left Ireland or Wales or England or Europe like John and Johannah did.
Remember, I wasn’t there back when all this happened. This story is built on a skeleton of historical facts, research about he history of the time and the history of my family. Butit is fleshed out the best I could imagining what their journey might have looked like.
Chapter 4: The New Stories Grow The More Bitter
“They came for them, them at the manor house, didn’t they? Finally there’s a few taties to be et and we have to watch them go off the land to some other man’s bairns. There’s grain to make flour and we must, as we always must, watch it to be loaded onto wagons to…Read more Chapter 4: The New Stories Grow The More Bitter
Chapter 3: Johannah Speaks
Johannah traced a path, into the dark of the cottage and back to the road, sometimes pickin’ Bridget up and buryin’ her own face in the wee one’s neck and prayin’ to the Virgin to bring her boys back alive. Other times, she set the child back down again as if freein’ Bridget from her…Read more Chapter 3: Johannah Speaks
Chapter 2: The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys 1846, chapter 2 of Leaving Ireland All the way back to the cottage, John scoured the fields and called until his troat dried up and squeaked only useless sounds, and none that would be after carryin’ far. “Patrick, Timothy! Patrick, Timothy, answer me!” Hot and cold pursuing him, anger and fear. Finally,…Read more Chapter 2: The Lost Boys
Chapter 1: So how did they get here to Bradford County?
Did you ever wonder how your family came to be in Bradford County? I knew my father's side of the family, the Brennans came from Ireland, journeying here at the height of the potato famine in 1848. Over a million other Irishmen who wanted better for their families left home between 1845 and 1850. But…Read more Chapter 1: So how did they get here to Bradford County?