Posts Tagged ‘family’

Arranged Marriage

Out with The Granny recently, my sister decided to ask about arranged marriage. I can’t remember how exactly but it was relatively related to what we were talking about.

“So, did anyone ever marry the wrong person back in your day?”

“Yes, ME” replies The Granny.

“Oh no, I meant a person that wasn’t approved of or who turned out to be a nasty piece of work?”

All said in hushed tones across the restaurant table.

“Or were there any arranged marriages?”

According the The Granny, yes one of her aunt’s marriages had been arranged. Rewind to 1940s Wexford where it was all about the land you had and the living you could make from it. There was a local bar, Murphy’s, where a certain bachelor farmer would go from time to time for a drink or two and a chat with Mr. Murphy behind the bar. He was a man in his forties and he made it known to Mr. Murphy – who surely knew every man in the surrounding area (with and without a daughter) – that he was on the lookout for a wife.



Read Full Post »

You’d have to wonder what prompted it so late in life, but The Granny sought out her marriage cert and related documents recently in the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or wherever such ancient documents are kept nowadays.

It’s almost 60 years since she got married but a lot less years have passed since her marriage was unceremoniously ended, and even that preceded the untimely death of my grandfather about ten years later, alone in a bedsit in Bray.

The man behind the counter of whatever office she was in kindly offered to go fetch her documents for her. He came back several minutes later with her marriage certificate and her permission cert or whatever the proper name is for the signed cert from her parents allowing her to get married. This had to be signed by both her parents as she was under 21 when getting married, not unusual in 1949 I’m sure, she was a bride of just 19.

She was not very happy to discover that the priest’s name was filled in incorrectly-she knows his name as the priest in question was her uncle, my great grand uncle (I think?!) but they had left out one letter, rendering him with a different last name entirely. She asked to have it changed.

The name of her mother was also incorrect and she was much maligned that any future generations seeking to trace back their family history as she has done, would find she had been born to a mother called Elizabeth and married by a complete stranger called Fr. Horan when neither was the case. So she has asked for both to be changed.

I’d wonder what prompted her seeking out the documents but I have to remember that she entered the last year of her seventies last week, possibly age is playing on her mind. Getting things in order while she can, considering her next birthday will bring her to her eighties. Funny how these things happen, I still wouldn’t put her anywhere older than about 72 or 73 and there she is almost in her eighties! Hopefully those young-looking genes are ones that I’ve inherited 🙂

Read Full Post »

An unexpected stop

A few days ago I was having a very busy day. I spent most of the day in the car in fact, driving from A to B and back again, only to do it all over again. On my way to a 4pm appointment I found myself in an unusual situation-I was really early! By almost an hour! That almost never happens to me. So how was I going to fill in this time? I knew when I reached my destination I had a few notes to read but that would take me twenty minutes at most, thirty if I really stretched it.

So, driving along, I saw a familiar turn off and on the spur of the moment I took it.

The day was cold and bright like today, clear azure skies, no clouds, lots of wind and lots of sunshine. I parked the car, checked and double checked that the car was locked. I was driving my father’s car that day so I was extra careful, it wouldn’t do to come back to an empty space! And with coat on, off I went.

I approached the gate but it seemed to be closed.

“Oh no,” I thought “it’s closed to visitors today”.

When I got closer I saw that the wind had just blown it shut though and I went on in. Walking over the railway bridge I looked ahead. There was no one around, I had the place to myself.

Not another living soul to be seen.

I walked up along the wall to my right watching out for the familiar avenue. I found it, went along a little bit, eyes peeled. I couldn’t find what I was looking for though so I retraced my steps and continued on to the next avenue. I noticed a strange noise. A tinkling type of noise, very light but distinct. After another two avenues I decided to approach from the other side and I ended up in the original one and there it was, hidden in the third row, a familiar and welcome sight. My grandparent’s headstone. I hadn’t been there for a year or so. It looked clean, has worn well and doesn’t look too shabby. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the ground in front of the headstone. I pulled some large weeds and cleared away the broken head of an angel from a neighboring grave off theirs. I said hello and a prayer and I promised I would be back to sort out the grave and make it look better for them.

And off I went to dump the weeds and broken angel head bits in the bin.

I could still hear the strange sound but looking around I realised I was still alone-apart from the thousands of dead people, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t them! Eventually as I was leaving I passed right by a grave with lots of beautiful, fresh white flowers on it. One of the bunches had blown over into the footpath so I stopped to pick it up and replace it on the grave. And I noticed the rosary beads tied around part of the headstone. It was rosary beads! Hundreds of pairs of rosary beads of all sorts of sizes tinkling and blowing in the wind were making that lovely noise!

It was an unexpected stop in a day of hurry and rush and stress and it chilled me right out. It’s nice to visit family, no matter where they are.

A perfect day for a stroll in the cemetery 🙂

Read Full Post »