Tuesday, July 2, 2013

High Street in Lissycasey

The view from the neighboring farm on High Street
 The first time I went to Ireland I was 9 months old. It was my mom's second trip. She, my dad, and I were staying in a B&B in Ennis, Co. Clare and she was intent on finding out where exactly her grandfather, Denis Melican, had come from and if she still had any relatives there. She knew he was from Lissycasey, so she picked up the phone book and called the first Melican.

The woman she spoke with didn't think they were related, but suggested she talk to Peggy and Patrick Melican. As it turns out we are not very closely related to Peggy and Patrick either (a DNA study does suggest that all the Melicans in Co. Clare are distantly related though), but they nonetheless became very good friends of ours. They invited my parents over to their house right away. My mom agreed and said that we would hitch hike out the next day. Naturally, Peggy thought they were crazy.

Peggy and Patrick were able to deduce that my great grandfather had probably lived on High Street. They took us to visit an older Melican woman still living in the area who, as it turned out, was my grandfather's first cousin. Her father and my great grandfather were brothers. A few months later my mom and I traveled to Ireland again, this time with my grandfather. He was thrilled to find that he had a first cousin in Ireland. As the child of immigrants, he did not have many relatives of his generation or older in the states.

On this trip, my aunt Clare and my mom's cousin Martha got to visit High Street for the first time and see the old farm house where their grandfather was born and raised. It's not owned by the Melicans anymore, but someone does live in it (the satellite dish is a nice touch for a house that's probably 200 years old).

My aunt Clare and my mom on High Street
My mom's cousin Martha and my mom in front of the old Melican house
The old Melican farm house

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