3.19.2011

Cead Mile Failte - This Irish Girl Says Hello!

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I thought this is a good time to say hello as my forefathers did: Cead Mile Failte! It's pronounced kayd meeluh foll-tjuh roe-uht in Irish. The phrase appears in both Irish and Scottish Gaelic. In both, it means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes".

This blog will be largely focused on emerging media for the next nine weeks as part of an assignment for graduate school.  I am currently a student in West Virginia University's groundbreaking Integrated Marketing Communications program and have been asked to have the blog center on emerging media for a while.  So what does this have to do with being an Irish-American?  Well, quite a bit.

Both my mother and father are "young" Americans. My mother's family immigrated to the states around the 1920s from Rocca de Mezzo, Italy.  My great-grandmother lived to be 99 years old and passed away in 2005. So, we know a lot about our heritage.  We are registered at Ellis Island. However, the Irish history, while new, is a little unclear......which brings to me to the point about emerging media.

My father's grandfather and father both died in their 30s, so we know very little about the Connors family.  So, to the internet we went in search of some answers about who we are.  Starting of course with Ancestry.com, we did a simple search for a name.  We found some interesting facts.  Our name was not Connors, but rather Connor.  What we have pieced together through public records like marriage and death certificates is that Michael Connor came to the U.S. from Ireland. This is my great-grandfather (one of the ones who died in his 30s).  He died in 1912.
  He is the last person in our lineage without the “S” at the end of the name.  This was curious to us, so to the internet we went to find out why.

When Michael died, it left his children orphans, one of whom was my grandfather, Edward Connor. In 1912 women didn’t work so my great-grandmother sent the children to a children’s home.
  When she walked in she said, “These are the Connor’s” signifying that there were multiple “Connor” children, one of whom was my grandfather. And the name was recorded as Connors.

Through the power of Facebook, my father and uncle recently found someone who lives in our same city named Michael Connor.
  This person is their FIRST cousin because his father was not sent to the orphanage thereby keeping the original name.  WOW!

So as we think of the power of emerging media, we often think of it in terms of marketing or growing a business.
  For the Connors family, it has become a way for us to finally understand who we are and from where we hail.

On a side note, my married name is Ennis.
  Through YouTube, we found that there is a town in Ireland called Ennis.  Our wedding bands are emblazoned with the Celtic Knot for the town of Ennis so that we can carry it with us always.  Incidentally, my husband’s first name is Michael. 

So in this week as we commemorate St. Patrick, I say to you Cead Mile Failte!


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