We have many of this style of photo in our family collection: studio portraits of people in their twenties and early thirties, taken circa 1900. This is a favorite because it reminds me of one of our first meetings with my grandpa’s cousins Donald and Gerald Regan.
I remember showing them this photo and Donald saying, “Ah, yes, that is Pat on the left and that would be Uncle Jim on the right. Isn’t that right, Gerald?”
Gerald nodded in agreement.
You could just about see the memory wheels turning in the brothers’ heads as the smiles crept across their faces. Chatting with Donald and Gerald about the old days was always a treat.
“Pat” was their father, Patrick Regan, and “Uncle Jim” was James Duggan, their mom Julia’s oldest brother.
I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born.
Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...