Friday, March 20, 2009

Why I am going to Ireland

See these people....they are my great great grandparents--Joseph and Mittie Butler. He was a well-respected community member of the booming metropolis of Lavina, Montana. Population something like 23. My grandmother made a quilt once that I now own. There isn't much more I know of their story, but that genealogy piece is always a work in progress.

See these people....we are their direct decendents. My grandfather Tom, my biological father Tom, me and the baby goats (children). This is on the land that used to belong to Joseph and Mittie, standing by their graves. As my mother would say, "we had to drive to hell and back"to see it. Kids hated it. "Worse family trip ever" is a phrase they use to describe it.
Naturally I paid homage to my additional family history by wearing a Buddah t-shirt.

Until January, we didn't know where "across the pond" (overseas in the British Isles) that the Butlers came from. We know now, thanks to my father, Tom (who we call T-Rex since I now have two fathers with very different roles).

T-Rex had his DNA tested by the National Geographic. The rest, they say, is history. His DNA matched to the 90% DNA matches of the world's population that resides in southern Ireland.

He called to let me know, and mentioned some family rumor of the Butlers being powerful in historical Ireland.

Naturally, I googled and sure enough, it is not some rumor. There is a even a family castle to prove it. This is the castle of Kilkenny, Ireland, built in 1170's. It remained in the Butler family for about 800 years. It belongs to the state now and is a tourist site with huge gardens. The family also began the wooling mills business of the region over 300 years ago. :) Buzy folks.
I have only been acquinainted with T-Rex and his family in the last four years, so the Butler story is still very new to me. But there is something pulling me to Ireland, and has been for months, long BEFORE I knew I was a direct irish decendent.

But I like it. I enjoyed St Patrick's Day just a little differently this year. I listen a little more closely to political problems in Northern Ireland and Ireland. I think a little differently than I used to.

I bet Joseph and Mittie are excited to see it all unfolding from their Celestial seats above. Ireland is a long way from Montana that is for sure. :)