I am your first cousin once removed. How about that? You have a cousin in Philadelphia. I am not sure whether it was your mother or your father who was the child of Mary, your grandmother, but at any rate, whichever of your parents it was is my first cousin. I am married to Ellen. I am raising your two second cousins: John (same name as your granduncle) (4), and Finn (2.)
I am the youngest of my Father's 13 children, 12 of whom survived to adulthood. The eldest, yet another Pierce, would be about 78 if he was alive - he died three or four years ago. I'm 42. Big age spread in our family. My father was also the youngest in his family. His name was Tom too. He was your grandmother's little brother. He left school age 12, did an apprenticeship in a grocery in Aughrim, moved to Dublin and worked in Hoey's on (I think) Thomas Street. Later he ran an ice cream shop in Dolphin's Barn, he had a farm in Carrickmines (wish we still had that... whew!) and later the Olympic Ballroom off Camden St. Big Bands, later Show Bands... all that. I remember your great-granduncle, Pat Birthistle, vaguely. He lived with my folks and my older siblings and half siblings on the farm in Carrickmines. By the time I was sentient, he was in an old folks home. I remember visiting him when I was a little chap. Your grandmother had another brother, John and a sister (we called her Auntie Edmond) who went to England and became a nun. Is your Mom also known as Maisie or Mysie or is that another sister?
Years ago, when I had a summer job in Clery's in Dublin as a kid, there was another young fella there for the summer who turned out to be a cousin. I think he was Mysie's son. What was his name now? It's on the tip of my tongue. I bet you know. He might be a cousin or brother of yours or, if you are young, maybe your uncle or even Dad. He'd be about the same age as me. I think he had reddish hair. Was the name Gleeson? Something beginning with G, I think.
Your great-grandfather (my grandfather) died of pneumonia at a young age as you say. The year was 1908 or 1909. My father was just about able to stand. He had one memory of him. Shaving. The pneumonia was a complication after an accident. He got hit by a tram while saving a child. (One of those stories that I hope is true- my mother, who is still alive, says it was, but, of course she wasn't around.) My sisters, all but one of who live in Dublin - the other is in Perth, Western Australia- remember your great-grandmother well. Granny Ivory.
Look me up if you're ever in Philly.
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