|Me and Jeanne|
|Billy and Cindy|
Both Jeanne and I have been to Ireland before, but Billy and Cindy have not. I contacted a fifth-to-eighth-generation cousin, Marian, who lives in coastal South Carolina. She is on the Clan board and has been to The Gathering many times. I connected with Marian through Facebook and Ancestry.com. We have been emailing regularly and I am so excited to meet her in person. She put me in touch with another Crowley cousin who runs a coach service, Martin Crowley Coaches. Either Martin or his brother Liam will meet us at the airport and drive us to Bantry via Dromina, Killabraher North and Adare. The former villages are the closest family sites I could find through Ancestry.com. The latter is a village Cindy wanted to visit and is also on the way to Bantry. When I asked Martin how he would find us, he said, "Crowleys all resemble one another. We'll know you and you'll know us." This statement alone has us excited. Will we know either Martin or Liam on site? It already feels like a great adventure!
The Clan has a host of activities planned for us all through the weekend, including a visit to Crowley Castle and a banquet. There will be an election and a genealogy session.
On Monday, we'll leave The Clan and continue our tour with Martin Crowley to Dublin. Along the way, we'll stop in Skibbereen where other Crowleys resided, and anywhere else we want. We plan to arrive in Dublin for supper and pub time. Our hotel is in the Temple Bar area, so we'll be in the thick of the pub scene.
On Tuesday, my sibs will tour Dublin while I go on a personal quest to Newgrange, a World Heritage Site purported to be older than Stonehenge. On one of our road trips to South Carolina, Larry and I listened to an audio book by Frank Delaney called Ireland. In it, we learned about Newgrange, and I became enthralled by it. I've never been to Stonehenge and long to connect with the ancients. What better way to do this than in the land of my own ancestors? I will take a tour with Mary Gibbons, who has the best reputation for her tours of this site. I am very excited.
I will meet up with the sibs for supper and more pub dancing and fun. Wednesday morning after breakfast, I will go to one or two County Cork records offices to try and obtain more Crowley ancestry information. I have hit a wall on Ancestry.com, and hope I can learn more about our Crowley great-grandparents, et al, by finding actual records on site. We'll all meet up for lunch and catch a cab to the airport for our 4:30 pm non-stop flight back to Boston.
This should prove to be the trip of a lifetime, and we are all getting very, very excited. Stay tuned for pictures and stories as we tour our ancestral past. Slainte.