Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland was not actually Irish rather British born sometime near the end of the fourth century. The son of a wealthy British deacon, Saint Patrick was taken prisoner at the age of 16 by a band of Irish raiders who took him to Ireland where he was imprisoned for six years. During his captivity, Saint Patrick turned to his faith for solace and became a devout Christian dreaming of converting more Irish people to Christianity. Contrary to popular belief, Saint Patrick did not bring Christianity to Ireland. There were a few Irish Christians living there at the time although the majority practiced a nature based pagan religion. After having a dream in which an angel told him to leave Ireland, Saint Patrick was able to escape from prison where he walked 200 miles to the Irish coast and headed back to Britain.
While in his homeland, Saint Patrick completed his religious training and then returned to Ireland at the
prompting of another angel in another dream in order to minister to Irish Christians and convert more to Christianity. Saint Patrick gained many converts to the faith by using a gentle, welcoming approach which honored their pagan customs and beliefs. He used the pagan symbol of fire to celebrate Easter and integrated the pagan symbol of the sun onto the Christian cross to create the Celtic Cross.
Source: http://www.history.com/
One Irish legend regarding Saint Patrick tells that he used the shamrock, a common clover which grows all over Ireland, and was sacred to the Irish Celts and the Ancient Druids to explain the Holy Trinity to his potential converts. It is said that Saint Patrick held the shamrock up high and stated, “Do you not see how in this wildflower, three leaves are united on one stalk? Will you then believe that there are indeed three persons and yet one God?”
Source: urbanlegends.about.com
Given the Irish penchant for legend and fo
lklore, it is not surprising that it is common belief that Saint Patrick drove all snakes from Ireland. Alas, this is pure fabrication and there likely were never any snakes in Ireland to begin with. The legend represents the symbolism of Saint Patrick converting so many Irish to Christianity. In Ireland, Saint Patrick actually did drive out pagan beliefs which, along with evil, were often represented by snakes in Christianity.
Source: ancienthistory.about.com

Irish-American immigrants brought St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to the U.S., and the first public celebration took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. In 1780, General George Washington allowed his soldiers of Irish descent to have a holiday on March 17th, which is believed to be the date of Saint Patrick’s death.

During the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in 1845, nearly a million poor, uneducated Irish Catholics poured into America. Discrimination against these immigrants for their religious beliefs and culture on the part of the Protestant majority was rampant. Transplanted Irish Catholics had a very difficult time finding any sort of work during this period of American history. Newspapers of the time portrayed them as stereotypically violent drunkards, particularly when they took to the streets to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

KAY'S KOLLECTION Watergate Salad
The Eating O’The Green…

This recipe from Kay’s Kollecktion of Favorite Recipes is not only a pretty green color befitting this month’s holiday but it is a light, delicious dessert type salad.

• 1 12 oz. carton of Cool Whip, thawed
• 1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
• 1 cup miniature marshmallows
• 1 small box pistachio instant pudding
• 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans taste best, I think)
• Mix all ingredients together and chill several hours before serving

(Bob & Kay Rhodes and Cathy Rhodes)
Cathy Rhodes / 2007

We decided to use a tour company for our first vacation trip to the British Isles, knowing we would need help in traveling around and seeing the important tourist sites. So, we joined a bus tour group with a Scottish driver and an Irish guide to keep us moving and to help us enjoy the points of interest. On September 6, 1985, our driver drove our bus onto a large SeaLink British Ferry to make the 4 hour trip across the Irish Sea from Holyhead, Wales, to Ireland. We were able to get out of the bus and move around the ship, eat lunch, and sit on deck to absorb the atmosphere.

Upon arriving in Ireland, we headed for Dublin to spend a couple of nights at the Royal Dublin hotel.The next day, on September 7, 1985, we began our sightseeing tour of Dublin. We enjoyed visiting Trinity College where the Book of Kells is housed, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Guinness Brewery on the River Liffey. We traveled around the city of Dublin with our guide pointing out many of the highlights.

On September 8, 1985, we left Dublin and traveled toward Kildare to visit Ireland’s National Stud farm where Ireland’s finest horses are bred. We also stopped to tour Bunratty Castle, built by the Normans, near Shannon in County Clare. We traveled through Limerick and on through Adare to Killarney taking in all of the beautiful countryside scenery. We stopped at the Three Lakes Hotel in Killarney, County Kerry, which is in the middle of a scenic setting of lakes and mountains known as MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. We attended an Irish Singing Pub that night and saw a candlelight parade down the main street.September 9, 1985, we took a bus tour from Killarney, around the Ring of Kerry, which has some breathtaking views of the mountains and sea, and traveled through such places as Killorglin, Cahirciveen, and Sneem Village, then the Black Mountains and Molls Gap and Queen Victoria’s ‘Ladies View’. We stopped at Muckross House, a stately home with beautiful gardens. Here we all took a Jaunting Cart ride through the estate.

We returned to the Three Lakes Hotel for the night.Then, on September 10, 1985, we left Killarney and drove eastwards through the Derrynasaggart Mountains and the Gaelic speaking area of Ballyvourney and on to Blarney. Here, yes, we ALL climbed the 15th century castle steps and each of us kissed the ‘stone of Eloquence’, i.e. the famous Blarney Stone. This required us, one by one, to lie on our back, grab the hand holding bars, swing out over a 30 foot drop, and kiss the castle stone…and we have the pictures to prove it. After that death-defying act, we went shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills and purchased many souvenirs. After this adventure, we traveled on through Cork and to Waterford to visit the beautiful Waterford Glass showrooms. We arrived at the Whites Hotel in Wexford to spend our final night in Ireland.

On September 11, 1985, we bid farewell to Ireland and boarded the SeaLink ferry to travel back across the Irish Sea to Wales. We have many fond memories of our travel through Ireland along with pictures and mementos.

Click the photo below to view a slideshow of the Rhodes1985 vacation to Ireland

Ginger's Family Fact

In the early to mid 1700's, many families immigrated from Ulster, Ireland to the new world. These groups eventually became known as the Scotch-Irish, as many of the families had originated in Scotland before settling in Ireland. Most came to America by way of Philadelphia, and spread out from there. One of the reasons for this immigration was religious persecution in Ireland. Thomas Beard and his wife Jean McNutt, were part of this influx of immigrants. Thomas Beard eventually settled in Augusta County, Virginia, as did the McNutt family. We show that Thomas bought land in the "Borden Grant" in that county in 1753. The McNutt family also purchased land in the same land grant in 1753. Thomas Beard and Jean McNutt were the 5th great grandfather and grandmother of William Lee Rhodes.

Below is one of the many land transactions for Thomas Beard, as recorded in original court records of Augusta County, Virginia.

Virginia Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 about Thomas Beard
Name: Thomas Beard
Date: 14 Aug 1753
Property: 389 1/2 acres in Borden's tract; corner John Huston and Robert Wier.
Notes: This land record was originally published in "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County" by Lyman Chalkley.
Description: Grantee

Here's an excellent overview of the Scots-Irish. A little history of their settlements in Ireland, and their life in Virginia.

"Rambling Irishman"


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