Immigration and My Heritage

I Don’t Believe in Trump’s Muslim Ban-By a White British Immigrant.

I’ve been thinking of writing this for a while, but today I saw #shareyourheritage on Jamie Lee Curtis’ instagram and I thought no time like the present! I don’t usually talk about my family, because I try to respect their privacy, but everyone that I’m planning to talk about are dead, so I don’t think they’ll mind too much.

The Mongrel

hound

I have been living in Ireland for just over 20 years now. I went to school here, my kids were born here, I’m getting married here, this is my home, but it wasn’t always. I was born in the UK, I lived in Scotland for 8 years or so, then my family immigrated, we moved from Scotland to the Republic of Ireland.

Why Ireland? Well, my maternal grandfather, my Papa, hailed from there originally, so that’s where we went. Why my family chose to move, I can’t tell you, not because I don’t want to, it’s just I’m not really sure. Plus, I was distracted by the fact that deer would run through the garden and that sheep were everywhere.

I’ve referred to myself as a mongrel for most of my life, a cross breed who never really fit in anywhere. It probably doesn’t seem like much of a change. the catholic white girl moves to a country full of catholic white girls, but it was a time of what we’ll call gentle ethnocentrism. But that’s another story for another day.

 The Irishman

2nd-para-uk-migration-map-credit-jan-davidson-234x300

My Papa left rural Ireland and headed to Scotland for work, and work he did. He was a grafter, he laid gas lines and something to do with irrigation, water pipes or something. It was back breaking manual labour. He worked for most of his life and came out of it with a stellar reputation and a bent back.

He was a good man, he helped others get set up with places to live and work opportunities. Irish immigrants, who travelled across the water for a chance at a better life. Immigrants who worked hard to send money back to their expansive families back home.

He was a purebred Irishman, his roots so deep in Ireland that they’re fossilised. His ancestry dates back to ancient Eire as far as we can tell, I mean there might be a rogue Viking in there, but who knows.

 The Scot

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My maternal grandmother, or you know, my Gran, was Scottish. She was in Manchester in 1940 with her mother, I’m not sure why. While they were there Manchester got bombed. So there she was, a tiny child, hiding under a table,  while the ground shook and the city rumbled. For the rest of hr life, she would be terrified of thunder.

To escape the bombings, the little girl and her mother walked from Manchester to Glasgow to escape the bombings. They walked 180 miles, they walked for days, but they did it. They had to.

The Jew

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My paternal great-grandfather  was a Polish Jew, he served in the army until he  and many other Jewish servicemen were kicked out. Stanley, like many other Jews, fled from the wave of anti-semitism and escaped Poland with his wife. They took what they could and hopped on the first boat to England.

His brother wasn’t so lucky.

My GG changed his name, choosing his surname from a place he liked in Surrey, to sound more ‘English.’ That’s everything I know about him.

The Slave

slavetrade

Susanna, oh sweet Susanna, after much, much research I discovered this gem. It’s amazing what you find when you go back a few generations. Long story short, she was purchased from Trinidad. You see the children he already had required a mother. So he bought them a new one.

They got married and they had children together. Thus producing the lineage that led to my existence. It’s funny, there’s not even a death certificate for her, but there is a receipt.

Share Your Heritage

heart-earth

This is my heritage. I am the product of immigrants and those fleeing war. It’s a melting pot of religions and races. I don’t believe in Trump’s Mulsim Ban, I don’t believe in sectarianism and I sure as hell don’t believe that the world is going to stand for this.

Even though it’s pretty tame compared to most, but  this is my heritage, my immigration story. I want to know yours. Tell me in the comments down below. x

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