Irish Roots

Downey Family video & Duchais.ie Irish Folklore website.
(Please ignore my monotone voice; there was much info to share in a short amount of time.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Many of us have Irish heritage or wish we did! I wanted to share some of my Irish roots with the blogging community. My maternal grandmother, Eileen Francis Downey Coomes, had parents (Edmond and Anna (Harvey)) who lived in County Kerry, Ireland. Edmond and Anna moved to the states and started a farm in Ohio, Illinois, where they raised six children.

My grandma Eileen met a young, handsome man from Kentucky, Dennis Coomes, and the rest is history… They made a home in Dixon, IL, and raised eight wonderful, Irish Catholic kids. The following pictures are from our family’s momentos, which we look forward to viewing throughout the year, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

I love placing old family photographs around our home. They are conversation starters and remind us that our family just didn’t ‘appear’ on planet Earth… we have a strong heritage of ancestors who lived before us, paving the way.

Eileen & Dennis Coomes get hitched
The Coomes posing with relatives outside Ohio, IL, Catholic Church

Throughout the years I’ve made real (that would be paper) scrapbooks. While they were time consuming to create, I am thankful to have made them while my children were younger. Opening to one of the pages is taking a nostalgic step back in time. I hope one day my grandchildren will look through them and be curious about their family heritage.

Below is the young Coomes family with four of their oldest eight children (baby Colleen, oldest son Denny, second oldest Margaret, and oldest daughter Barbara). My mom, Margaret, is on the top left; she and Barbara are in the right upper corner picture.

For a graduate school project, I researched the Duchas.ie Irish Folklore website and wrote about its features. The video at the beginning of this post is the final project for the course. Users can read in English or Ga eilge (the Celtic language). It is a well researched site with loads of information, pictures, writings, and much more about Ireland and its people. Below are some interesting pages from the site

Decorating for the month of March/St. Patrick’s Day fills me with joy. March is a transitional month, moving us forward to real spring for many parts of the US. Adding some Easter decorations seems natural. I usually dedicate March for all our Irish momentoes, but any spring decor is welcome.

Even if your family doesn’t have Irish blood, there are many ways you can bring this delightful country into your home. Shamrocks, pots of gold, leprechauns, rainbows, horse shoes, Celtic crosses, and more can transform front/back porches and inside your home into a bright, happy, spring time place. Below are some inexpensive, Irish decorations our family has collected over the years.

Sweet little Irish Children’s Names book
Love the Irish name descriptions and pictures. Place a book like this in a guest room or bathroom.
Whimsical detailed Shamrock pages
Save Irish/St. Patty’s Day cards and display around the house to
bring a touch of Luck to your day.
Adding seasonal books to you home decor is an inexpensive way to liven up a space and display some history in your home.
(I found this beauty at Half Price Books for under $10)
Simple Shamrock scarves are versatile placed on tables or around a neck:)
Shamrock garland & green candles liven up a dark fire place.
Whimsical placemats elevate your Irish
at the dinner table.
Simple St. Patty’s Day table runners are bring more green into your home.
Find a favorite Irish Pub.
Impressive bottle ‘chandelier’
Get your sewing machine out and make simple Irish inspired pillow cases and table runners.
Green up your outdoor chairs with homemade pillow covers.
Packing tape works wonders if you can’t find a rod to hang seasonal flags.
We have the FRECKLES to back up our Irish heritage…:)
She just makes me happy…
Inexpensive signs bring cheer to
your home
Prayer of St. Patrick
My CHRP (Chris Renews His Parish) Sister shared this with our prayer group

Many Blessings to you and your family…

May the Luck of the Irish be yours today,

Sarah Heinzelmann Andersen

p.s. Share your Irish stories:)

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