Family History is by its nature historic, but of course present day events will too become history as soon as they have passed. With this in mind, I thought it appropriate to mark a family milestone on these pages, in the hope that it may be of interest to the upcoming generations when and if they choose to look us up!
Our grandparents James D Gallagher and Mary O’Friel were married on September 20th 1915 at Edeninfagh Church outside Glenties, County Donegal. (about which, more later) .
They went on to have five children, who were our parents, aunt(s) and uncles. Aunt May was born in 1917, Aunt Eileen in 1919, our father Gerard was born in 1921, Uncle Sean arrived in 1923 and finally Uncle Jim arrived in 1925.
These five children in turn went on to have their own children, which is our generation. As Aunt May was a Religious Sister she did not have any family. Aunt Eileen had three children, our Dad had six ,Uncle Sean had four and Uncle Jim had one. All of that generation have sadly left us. Their 14 children make up the ‘present generation’ of Gallaghers. Unfortunately, Aunt Eileen’s first little daughter died just weeks old in 1946. She was the eldest in our layer of Gallaghers. The next-born was our brother who was born in Newtownforbes, County Longford in February 1947 and therefore he holds the title of ‘Family Elder’, being the eldest grandson and eldest surviving grandchild of JD and Mary. Of the 14 grandchildren only 12 of us survive as our baby brother, the youngest in our family also died in 1959 at the age of 15 months.
Unfortunately our Gallagher Grandparents did not know any of us as they both died very young, some years before any of us were born. In fact when our grandmother died her own 5 children were aged 5, 7, 9,11 and 13. So this is a nice time to remember both of them as our current ‘Elder’ who also bears the initials JDG, celebrates a big birthday.
Our grandparents would now be great great grandparents to a number of beautiful little children, as our generation of siblings and first cousins have become grandparents too.
Two family portraits..one pre 1956 the other in 1959
So as we look back a number of generations and look forward at the newer couple of generations, it seems a good time to acknowledge our current family elder! Happy birthday JDG!