Help Me! I have fallen into the Black Hole again...
Every so often, about every 9 months or so, I fall down the Black Hole of the Internet genealogy search. Yep, I am a victim of a terrible force of ancestral gravity. It happened again tonight.
For years, the stories in my family were told that the only Irishman is my grandfather Kilroy and that all the rest of the family on both sides is English and German. Then how come I look as Irish as Irish can be?
After extensively interviewing and collecting records from all family members over 55 and then researching the various family members online and via the US census dating back to 1800, guess what? Lots of Irish. Some Scotch-Irish, but lots of Irish Irish. More than 60%. Then Scottish, Welsh, English, French, and a bit of German.
My father always thought Hanen was German. My research from the US census of his great-grandfather says Irish. My father was upset and asked his dad if this was true. My grandfather said of course it was, the Hanens were Irish. After my dad protested that he had spent his whole life thinking he was German and English, my grandfather replied, "Even as late as 1937 when I was just out of college, to be Irish was not to get a job in Oregon or Los Angeles except in the strawberry fields, so I lied."
In 1988, when I went to Ireland for the first time, I felt home for the first time in my life. I saw people who looked like my dad and my brother. Men flirted with me, not my California blonde traveling companion. Same in Boston in 1994.
In preparation for my Ireland trip over Thanksgiving, I am trying to nail down as much exact genealogical info as possible so that I can go visit birthplaces, churches, and cemeteries of my ancestors.
Now I really must go back to client work, but according to a google search the Hanen's originated from County Clare, good thing Clare and the Burrens is already on our itinerary.