Back in 2014, we were thrilled to read about the gradual success that a determined Mary O’Connor Tossell from Florida had in tracking down the Irish roots of her O’Connor ancestors. The process took almost 20 years! As Mary told us, looking for a specific O’Connor family in Ireland is like searching for relatives called Smith or Jones in the USA or UK – but without an inkling of their address.
Read the full, fabulous tale of Mary’s ups and downs in the excellent published article by clicking on this link: A story every Irish Ancestry Researcher should read
Now – in 2016 – the story has the ending it deserves: Mary being welcomed back “home” to County Kerry by her O’Connor cousins at the very property her ancestors abandoned way back in the Black year of 1847. Of course, as we learned, the old homestead is now used as a cow-shed, but this didn’t hinder Mary’s unbridled joy at literally standing in the footsteps of her Irish forefathers. Mary kindly wrote to me to try and express her feelings, and share a few photos of the momentous occasion, as follows:
I cannot put into words what it was like seeing and being in “the cow house”… it was a very emotional experience; it was a bit overwhelming. My cousins who helped me make the connection greeted me with a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks… it was beyond all my expectations. Some of my other new-found cousins traveled from County Kildare and County Clare in Ireland to meet me in Dingle. It was the end of an incredible journey ….. I was back among “my own ones.”My message to researchers… Never give up! And now we have DNA!
Mary in the most special cow-house in the world
[The former home of Hugh & Johanna O’Connor of An Chlais, and their son Maurice who emigrated to America during the Great Famine]