By Jim Hagarty
In 1999, I published a book of family/Irish history called Home Again: An Emigrant Family Returns to Ireland. I will run excerpts from the book over the coming weeks and eventually offer it for sale in the Corner Store.
My Hegarty family started leaving Ireland in 1845. More came to North America in 1848 and by 1852, the entire family was resettled.
The history of the family and its origins was mostly lost to descendants as the decades past. By the time I was a teenager, more than a hundred years after their exodus, there was little knowledge among family members about our Irish roots. We knew from what county we came (Cork) and eventually, the town of Fermoy and the village of Conna were mentioned.
In the sixties and seventies, there was a surge of interest in genealogy among North Americans. Some family members started doing what digging they could.
I eventually became interested too, and made some research trips to Ireland.
In 1994, my wife and I discovered the 26-acre farm the Hegartys had left. The stone cottage they had lived in was still standing, though out of use. When I opened the door to the farmhouse, I was the first Hegarty to see inside the building in almost 150 years.
That was the genesis of my book but it grew into a much bigger story.
I will share that story with you as this blog continues to develop and grow.
Please stay tuned.