Every year, I make a special dinner with different rainbow-colored or green-colored foods to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with my family. This year, however, the holiday took on a little more meaning to me. As I was searching my family tree on FamilySearch.org, I found that I had an ancestor from Ireland—a grandmother, Mary Ann Moore, whose whole line is Irish!
After making this discovery, I started wondering what it was like to live in Ireland when she was there and what brought her to the United States. She was seven when she sailed from Ireland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1819 with her father and younger sister. What happened to her mother? Did she die giving birth to Mary Ann’s younger sister? I really wish I had a way to interview these ancestors in person. I have so many questions!
Since I was making a St. Patrick’s Day dinner for my family anyway, I decided I would turn it into a more traditional Irish dinner. I wondered what kind of food she would have eaten and what recipes came with her from Ireland to Utah. Before that week, I had no idea that I had Irish heritage. So I started from zero. I researched traditional Irish dishes that I could make for my family, including Irish soda bread, potato pancakes, and Irish cabbage.
While we were eating dinner, I read my kids the little bit of info I had about Mary Ann Moore. I love having this info right at my fingertips (on my cell phone), and I am so thankful for the person that entered it into FamilySearch.org!
After dinner, we had treats and games while traditional Irish music played in the background. My daughter told me that she liked this night better than our typical family history stories, because of the food and the games. I’m glad it was meaningful to them.
You can bring your own family history to life by using the following “recipe” to help you plan a similar Homeland Heritage Night in your home. You could use it for anything from a family night to a family reunion. Try searching for different recipes, games, or traditions from your ancestors’ homelands and plan a special night to celebrate their heritage and share their stories with your families.
To read the complete post from Risa, click here.
Find more great activities to get the entire family involved with family history in a fun and memorable way!