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Mar 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

My 9th great-grandfather, Thomas Lee was born circa 1672 in Carrickfergus, Antrim, Ireland. He had a son named Gershom, who had a son named Gershom. This Gershom was born in New Jersey in 1735, and his brother Andrew was born in 1745, and died on December 30, 1795, at Lee's Ferry, Edgefield, S.C. And so on and so on, until you come forth a few more generations and I was born in South Dakota, raised in New York, and settled and had a family in Texas. Where will the next generation carry the tradition of Ireland to?

The amazing trails of an American. The roots are far and wide, and always intriguing to explore.

I celebrate my heritage of Ireland today. In honor of Saint Patrick, who was known as the one who brought Christianity to the island of Ireland. The moniker of the Shamrock, a three leaved one, represents the Holy Trinity as he explains Christianity to his new students in Ireland. Patrick is said to have worked as a shepherd while a slave in Slemish, County Antrim. The same County Antrim where I trace my ancestors to. Patrick died on March 17, but historians disagree if it was in the year 420, 460 or 493 AD.

There is some interesting history here and goes into why immigrants felt forced to do so at different times. There is also a short history of Ireland here. Here it states that "Oliver Cromwell arrived in 1649, determined to make Ireland into a Protestant country. His forces ruthlessly killed thousands of men, women, and children, and his violent persecution is one of the most bitterly remembered events in the culture and history of Ireland."

May the spirit of Saint Patrick live on, as we celebrate it as a day of feasting and goodwill among men.

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