Most everyone has heard about geneology research sites such as Ancestry.com which help us to search records for snippets of information about our families. Many families pass down stories about their ancestors to younger generations, but my family didn’t.
I was always interested, but when I asked questions of my parents, they had very few answers. My grandparents had difficult lives, and I doubt it left much time for passing on stories of their youth. Most of what I’ve been able to find out has been through a couple of stories one of my uncles told me and the web.
Kate McGinn is my alter ego. When I decided on my pen name, I chose a combination of my own name and my grandmother’s maiden name. If I was to be known as someone else, I wanted it to be connected to me in some way. It was important to have a name with meaning. When I started writing and creating social media sites for promotions, several of my relatives asked my mother “Who in the world is Kate McGinn?”
My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in the near future. It will be my first time traveling to the homeland of my ancestors. I really wanted to travel to the town where my grandmother grew up — Carrickmacross in County Monaghan. In preparation, I contacted some of my family members to see if anyone still had contacts in Ireland. I was pleased to find out several of my father’s cousins still lived near my grandmother’s hometown.
When my aunt told them how I was using their mothers’ and my grandmother’s family name, they were very pleased. It was such a special feeling to know I would see the place that my McGinn ancestors called home.
My curiosity has peaked thinking about walking the streets my grandmother traveled as a young girl and woman. I look forward to seeing if any of our Irish family bear a resemblance to their American cousins.
The story of my family and their past awaits, and Kate McGinn can’t wait to see it unfold.