Happy St Patrick's Day!
On this great day I celebrate — even though I'm not irish in the least. NOPE, not even a bit. People wrongly assume I'm at least part Irish because of the red beard. But, I'm English and Welsh for the most part. If you believe Ancestry.com the Smith's name is entirely English in my case.
My Grandfather, Delmer W. Smith, never knew much about the Smith family beyond two generations back from him — he knew his dad Delmer C. and William Smith his Grandfather but beyond that, not much. Both of those Smith's lived in Marysville, Ohio. However thanks to some sleuthing on ancestry.com I was able to find that William Smith's father was in all likelihood a gentleman named Jacob H Smith born in England around 1822.
According to a ship's manifest Jacob's occupation at the time was listed as farmhand when he arrived in America. If I was to guess why a person would pull up roots from his homeland and move to America it was because a normal non noblility guy like him could actually OWN land in this new country. You see he was escaping the King's tyranny.
He supposedly enlisted in the civil war when he was one year older than I am currently at the RIPE OLD age of 39! At that time he supposedly had like 7 children at home, it's not surprising he he took his chances on enlisting. He mustered out due to injury not long before his unit headed to Culp's hill at Gettysburg.
Name: Jacob H Smith
Age at enlistment: 39
Enlistment Date: 28 Nov 1861
Rank at enlistment: Private
State Served: Ohio
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Enlisted in Company F, Ohio 66th Infantry Regiment on 26 Dec 1861.
Mustered out on 27 Mar 1863 at Alexandria, VA.
Birth Date: abt 1822
Sources: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio
You see, if you lived your whole life as a farmhand, under the thumb of the King and Queen and you had NO POSSIBILITY of EVER owning land in your lifetime, then you might like the idea of heading out to the frontier of this wild new country called America and settling down.
Heck, the American government was basically GIVING AWAY land on the frontier of Ohio to keep it out of the hands of the Native Americans, not something I'm proud of, but we can't change history. You might even enlist in the Army to help defend the Union!
So for me, I can somewhat identify with the Irish's strife. Their struggle for independence is fairly close to home. It's the same reason many of us ended up over here.
So for the DAY — fuck it, I'M IRISH!
I'm missing my St. Paddy's day morning pint at my old haunt Byrne's Pub.
Here's one of my favorite Irish musicians the legendary guitar player John Doyle.