Those of us who left Ireland left because we had such a strong desire to survive and give our children a better life. We never gave up hope for the future. Some of the people who came to America went to New York, or Canada, or New Orleans, Harper’s Ferry, Iowa, St. Louis, Texas or Little Rock, but we had family in Ohio. Ohio is where we were headed.
No matter where our people (I mean the Irish) settled, the men found jobs and went to work as soon as possible. They found work in factories, went to school, farmed the land and some taught. We lived normal, decent, hardworking lives. Many Irishmen became politically active in their new communities. William and I were among the many Irish immigrants who came to America but never became famous or made the headlines of the local paper.
William had not been able to find work in Strokestown because our families owned land. Gentleman did not work for other people. When we moved to Ohio, William found work in the woods but since he had no work experience he soon had an accident. While cutting wood one day, he cut off his finger. When it healed he found another kind of work that was not so dangerous.
Life in America was so different from life in Ireland. I had to learn so many new ways. But it was also exciting and I had known it would be different. The children learned the new way of living faster than I did. I was homesick for my parents, but I was the mother of this family. I had to be strong and not show my sadness and frustration. I am so glad we spoke English at home in Ireland. After a while I even learned to be comfortable with my new life and the new ways of America.
We settled in Lorain County Ohio, first in Grafton then moved to North Eton. Sarah Frances was born on January 13, 1854 in Grafton, Lorain County, Ohio; and Susanna Caroline was born on May 3, 1860 in North Eton, Lorain County, Ohio. Now, William and I had eight children.
Later we moved to Allegan, Michigan where we still live. William died in 1888, and is buried in Lindsley Cemetery, Cheshire Township, Allegan County. Michigan reminds me of the old country: green with the rivers and many lakes. I can’t believe we have lived in America for nearly 40 years.
Now I am old and I don’t think I have many more years on this earth. My life has been good. My children are grown and have children of their own. I am proud of all of them.
I still have the little box Mother gave me so long ago. When I look at it I remember Ireland and my family there, and I especially remember my Mother. I want Mabel Frances to have my box. I hope she will cherish it and care for it as I have done.