Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – St. Patrick’s Day Memories

I wasn’t at all surprised to see this week’s topic for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun on Genea-Musings with Randy Seaver.

That’s because it’s St. Patrick’s Day! There are two parts to the St. Paddy Day theme:

1)  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I know that you participated in “festivities” as a child and teenager.

2)  What memories do you have of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in your family?

1. I have absolutely no Irish ancestry of which I am aware. As I wrote yesterday, the closest I think I get to Ireland is John Tuttle, who was decidedly English, emigrated to Massachusetts, had some business troubles and hightailed it onto a ship to Carrickfergus, Ireland, where he lived the remainder of his life.

Passaic, New Jersey, the town where I was born and lived until I was eleven, was and is a definite immigrant melting pot. However, at no time was there a large influx of Irish immigrants into town and, while there were more Catholic churches than I can count, there were no predominantly Irish parishes. The city had the yearly Holy Name Parade at Columbus Day. All the Catholic parishes participated, but there was never any St. Patrick celebration that I remember.

That might have a lot to do with the fact that Passaic is only about 15 miles from New York City. The Irish arrived at Ellis Island and stayed in New York.

My only memories of St. Patrick’s Day growing up are watching the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade on television and being sure to wear something green so as to not get pinched.

Not getting pinched was a big thing, from my elementary years up through high school.

March art activities in elementary school always included something with shamrocks and leprechauns.

2. My family had no St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at all. Playmates on my street were mainly of Dutch, Slovak, Hungarian and German ancestry, so none of my friends’ families celebrated the day, either.

I did always think it would be really neat to claim Irish ancestry – who didn’t love the idea of leprechauns and a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Sadly, my DNA test completely supports my Irish ethnicity estimate being at 0%.

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