#40 Find out the full name and profession of your Great Grandfather and Grandmother


Michael McDermott (aka. Terry’s Mickey).  He was a very successful farmer.  Sadly he contracted glaucoma and was mostly blind for the majority of his adult life.

Brigid McDermott (née McGarrity).  Housewife.  My mother describes her as a lady: always very well dressed, well spoken, carried herself with utmost care.

Their children:  Kathleen (my Granny) and Mary McDermott.

Owen Conroy.  Farmer.  My mother never did meet him – he went in to the hospital for an operation, but never made it out again.

Mary-Jane Conroy (née McCann).  Housewife.  My mother never met her either – she died at a fairly young age of a brain hemorrhage.

They had 16 children together, including my Granda Simon.

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Frank McClean.  Farmer.  His father was a train driver and converted to Catholicism from Protestantism (possibly for marriage purposes).

Minnie McClean (née Donnelly).  Housewife.

They had 8 children, including Elizabeth McClean (Nanny, our grandmother on Daddy’s side)

Michael McCann.  Went to America to seek his fortune, came back with a small fortune after working in bars for a few years, bought his own bar in Sixmilecross (our nearest village), called Strand Brae Bar (called so because of the incline of the village – ‘brae’ meaning slope), which is still there today.  He died of blood poisoning in his forties.

Catherine McCann (née Shields).  Housewife.

They had 12 children together, including my Granda Hughie (Hugh).

Unfortunately I was not able to get copies of the beautiful photographs my mother has of this generation, as I forgot to bring my camera home, and my parents don’t dare dabble in the dark arts of computer technology anymore, so I wasn’t able to scan them either.  The one of Michael McCann (my father’s father’s father) is an especially gorgeous portrait – all soft focus and feathering, and looks startlingly like my father, Gabriel.  I was, however, able to source this photo of his pub from the internets, as it is still there, and still in use in good old Sixmilecross:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI would also like to elaborate slightly on the womenfolk listed above, for although they are all listed simply as ‘housewife’, it is clear from any stories I’ve heard of their lives they toiled daily on the farm as well as looking after all of those children as well as running the household, and in Catherine’s case, running the bar alongside her husband.  Just in case anyone got any old-timey, rural Desperate Housewives kind of imagery from that job title.


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