My grandmother was the only person I knew growing up who didn’t love the English or their Queen. She usually made this clear by slightly snide remarks, an oddity because she was generally very nice to people.
I didn’t understand this until many years later, when my father told me that while my grandmother was a teenager in the second decade of the 20th century, her grandfather lived with her family at the hotel they ran in Christoval, Texas. He was going blind by then, so she used to read to him from books he was fond of as well as from the newspapers.
So I imagine that in the spring of 1916, she read to him about the Easter Uprising in Ireland against the British.
I should mention that her grandfather, Florence McCarthy, was born in County Cork, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States as a young man in the 1850s. I don’t know why he came, except that he had a brother in New York, but while it might have been for economic reasons, it might also have been political ones.
In any case, based on my grandmother’s attitude about the English, I venture to say his politics were on the Irish side of the Uprising.
My grandmother, in fact, always saw herself as Irish even though she never visited the place. I don’t think she left the U.S. except for a trip or two to Mexico. But she was always more Irish in her own mind than she was Texan. Continue reading “Family History and the Queen”…