This week I took the family history information my brother gave me and started connecting the puzzle pieces together, only to discover it was one of those 5,000 piece puzzles!
But simply writing down the stories gave me enormous insight to the contributions, success and struggles of my ancestors, and getting to know them better explained why I have certain tendencies or characteristics that connect me to them.
I began with the ladies first – my two grandmothers.
My maternal Grandmother descended from The De Linch Family of Normandy in the 12th Century, who immigrated to Galway, Ireland, and their name was changed to Lynch. They built The Lynch Castle in Galway in 1320, and the first mayor of Galway in 1484, Pyerce Lynch, lived in it.
The Castle is where the term “lynch mob” originated, as the mayor’s son was hung from the castle.
Trade and commerce continued to thrive in Galway for the next 150 years, until The Reformation and Oliver Cromwell’s invasion caused Galway to surrender in 1652 and all Catholics were expelled from the city. Most of the fine houses and castles of the prominent tribes were confiscated and fell into disrepair, trade declined and the greatness of Galway came to an end.
The Lynch Castle is the current home to The Allied Irish Bank on Shop Street in the city centre of Galway.
The Lynch Family moved to County Derry.
My paternal Grandmother descended from The Wilkinsons of Danelaw in England. The Danes invaded York during the Viking Invasion of the Anglo Saxons beginning in 876, and eventually gained control of 15 shires over the next hundred years, instilling Danish rule over them, and taking over one third of England.
Her family name was shortened to Wilkins, but there was a fire in 1823, and it disrupted a claim against the crown for land in London, and the trail stopped there. Her family emigrated to Quebec, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
It was fun discovering some new facts about my ancestry, and I realized there are many more that I have yet to discover.