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18 June 2014
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Immigration and Emigration
Your Story: Decendants of Irish in Caribbee Island

My gt,gt Grandmother Catherine Flynn was born in Caribbee Island in 1841 as was her brother Patrick in 1843. After this date my family moved to Manchester. Having studied the conditions that they had to endure in Wolverhampton it is a credit to there determination and amazing endurance that they not only survived and reared children but also moved on and lived into their 60's and 70's.

The predjudice agianst the Irish at this time was terrible. I, a woman in my 50's with a history research background am moved to tears when I read accounts of the terrible living conditions and biased accounts of these people.

Even prior to the Famine social conditions for the ordinary Irish peolple in Ireland could be appauling. I have researched my own family history in an attempt to give these 'forgotten' people a name and their rightful place in history. Schools often tend to ignore the ordinary folk and history books tend to present a biased overview of the history of ordinary lives.

My Irish family moved to Manchester where more children were born who in turn married into other Irish families - for this probably gave a feeling of solidarity and shared culture.

My own paternal family, by the mid 1900's onwards knew little of the Irish heritage and are now proud to claim it with the exception of one of my uncles who denies any links with Ireland or the Irish*UNKNOWN ITEM "Interestingly"*he along with my late Father could not be mistaken - for their looks Irish - twinkling blue eyes and black wavy hair gave them away!

I am continuing to look into not only my own family history but much more closely at the history of the Irish in Britain.

I hope that my ancestors would be proud of us - their successful and well educated decendants who rather than being forced off the land now own some of it.

I am very very proud to be decended from those Caribbee Island dwellers and hope that my gift to them can be their story and their place in history.

I would be very interested if anyone else has a similar story, for I am at present researching a book on the Irish in the Victorian City

Words: Gillian Smith

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