“A nimble exercise in storytelling in which Tom shapes his recollections into a series of richly detailed
vignettes….Plain, honest, funny, occasionally sad and rich in material
detail, this [is a] wonderful memoir….This is the real thing.”—Newsday
“Phelan’s memoir of his boyhood is exceptional…Phelan’s prose has an unpretentious beauty…With rich detail and sensitivity, We Were Rich translates for us a rural world that has disappeared.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A tender recollection of growing up on a farm in Ireland in the 1940s. In precise, vibrant prose, novelist Phelan creates…a captivating portrait of a bygone time.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review “At a time when we have so much and are satisfied with none of it, the story of We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It is one of grace and beauty.”—For the Love of Books Tom Phelan’s We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood is a heartfelt and masterfully written account of growing up in Ireland in the 1940s. Tom, who was born and reared in Mountmellick, County Laois, spent his formative years working with his wise and demanding father as he sought to wrest a livelihood from a farm that was often wet, muddy, and back-breaking. It wasa time before rural electrification, the telephone, and indoor plumbing; a time when the main modes of travel were bicycle and animal cart; a time when small farmers struggled to survive and turkey eggs were hatched in the kitchen cupboard; a time when the Church exerted enormous control over Ireland. We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It recounts Tom’s upbringing in an isolated, rural community from the day he was delivered by the local midwife. With tears and laughter, it speaks to the strength of the human spirit in the face of life’s adversities.
Published by Gallery Books / Simon and Schuster
Available at Amazon and bookstoresin hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats
Irish Women of Action
For years Irish New Yorkers supported struggles in Ireland for reform and independence. New research into the activities of Irish women in New York has revealed dramatic information about their activities on behalf of change in Ireland…and within the United States. This Roundtable program focuses on four of these Irish Women of Action – Dr. Gertrude Kelly, Marguerite Moore, Mary Jane Irwin, and Alice Comiskey.
This unique program brings together experts on the topic: Miriam Nyhan, William Rossa Cole, Elizabeth Lee Hodges, and Maureen Murphy.
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: McCloskey Meeting Room
Parish House of Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street
New York, NY
On Tuesday, April 2, at 11 a.m. the Forum will tour the NY Archdiocesan Archives. Archivist Kate Feigh-ery will show us the archdiocese’s library and its phys-ical, and digital, collections, including its sacramental records at FindMyPast. We’ll also see an exhibit on the Irish Mission at Watson House, a former home for immigrant girls. The archives are located on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, 201 Seminary Ave., Yonkers, NY.
This event is free for Forum members, and each member is welcome to bring a guest. Please sign up for the tour at the February general meeting, or email Patricia Phelan at programs @ifhf.org.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars has added closed captioning to many of its webinars
Legacy Family Tree is offering free webinars each day in April
In 2017 NYC Dept. of Heath and Mental Hygiene proposed a new rule that would affect when birth and death records are made available to the public. Rule goes into effect April 17, 2018 restricting access to birth records until 125 years after a birth and to death records 75 years after a death.
If this rule had been in effect when I applied for and received my Grandfather’s 1949 death certificate after 50 years, access could have been denied until 2024. Already reports have been made of people who have legal rights to records being denied due to inconsistent interpretations of rules by DOH employees.
Although the greater genealogical community fought hard against it, the rule recently passes. Thanks to overwhelming opposition to the plan, the NYDHMH proposed a new amendment allowing more relatives access to these records. However, its expansion only applies to a strict biological lineage that does not consider realities of family life today for adoptees or blended families.
We can let NYC know that the new amendment is an improvement, but greater access is desirable.
When: Monday, April 23 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Where: New York Dept. of Health and Public Hygiend
42-09 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 3-32,
Long Island City, NY 11101
For information about the issues involved, please see D. Joshua Taylor, President at the NYG&B at https://www.facebook.com/nyfamilyhistory/videos/1699893130032829/UzpfSTQ5ODIwMDI0MzU4MzIxMDoxNjM0NTE4MjA2NjE4MDY5/
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims March 2020 as Irish-American Heritage Month
The Archdiocese of New York in conjunction with Findmypast has published indexes containing over eight million records dating from 1785 to 1915. These records cover the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island in New York City. Westchester, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties are also included.
New York Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms
New York Roman Catholic Marriages
Find My Past info on Catholic Heritage Archive https://www.findmypast.com/catholicrecords
Future Learn presents online courses from the top universities in Europe. They are free unless you choose an upgrade which entitles you to unlimited access to the course and a Certificate of Achievement. For general information go to https://www.futurelearn.com/courses
Check out these courses which might be of particular interest to those of us who are interested in Irish genealogy:
Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture
Dublin City University, Dublin
Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Provided by Clare Curtin