My grandmother was Mary Kelly, her grandparents having immigrated in the mid 1800's. So you would think that I grew up with a strong sense of my Irish ancestry. Maybe even a brief mention that we were Irish at this time of year. As a child I had no idea. Family history was never discussed as far as I can recall.
I've always known that my mother's maiden name might be Irish. Some sources say the that that immigrant ancestor came from Scotland. It was always pointed out that they came so long ago that we were Americans, period. (Except for the above mentioned Mary Kelly who was always a Canadian citizen!) Until I started researching I never knew that mom's grandmother was Rose Graham, described in a brief family history written by a cousin as "dirty shanty Irish." I've learned from census records that Rose was born in Michigan and her father in Indiana so I've always wondered at this reference. I have much to learn about my Irish roots but today I'll just fix myself and Irish Coffee and celebrate the fact that I'm Irish.
Edited 26Mar07 to remove picture.