SARAH FRANCES DEVENISH O’BRIEN
In the voice of Sarah in 1891
By Evelyn Harry 2005
From my book "Sarah's Box"
My name is Sarah Frances. My family calls me Sally. I am writing now because I think others in my family may some day be interested in our family’s history. Some of my facts may be wrong because I am 74 years old now. Sometimes I don’t remember everything, but I want to let others know some of my story. I was born Sarah Frances Devenish in 1819 in County Roscommon in Ireland.
I was married August 29, 1838 in Mount Pleasant, Parish of Bumlin, County Roscommon to William Lloyd O’Brien of Mount Francis.
Some of the things I remember from my childhood are my soft feather bed, lunches of bread and cheese, and school. My school days were full of fun with friends. I learned to speak, read, and write English. The old language was spoken by some of our tenants but my family spoke English. The other Anglo-Irish or English speaking Protestants spoke English, too. William was an O’Brien and his family also spoke English. There are two distinct families by the name of O’Brien in Ireland. One family is Catholic and the other is Protestant. We are of the Protestant family. We belonged to the Episcopal Church of Ireland. I guess you could say that we were part of the Protestant gentry. Speaking English came in very handy when we moved to America.
One of the prize possessions of my life is a box Mother gave to me when I was a girl. It is a small wooden jewelry box. When I was young I kept my favorite necklaces in it. Sometimes I picked up pretty rocks or buttons or coins and kept them in my box. For years I kept the box on top of the chest in my bedroom. The handmade box was beautiful, all shiny and made of such pretty wood. It had a small latch, which I would lock so my brothers couldn’t get into it. The latch got broken and we never fixed it.
When I was a teenager I put the box into the top drawer of my writing desk. I thought I was too old to have a child’s box on my chest, but I kept it because it was so pretty and Mother gave it to me.
(to be continued)