It was a thrill to get the large envelope in the mail a few years ago from the National Archives in Boston. Inside I expected to find the naturalization application for my great-great-grandfather, Patrick Tierney. I had learned the year that he probably became a U.S. citizen by reading his U.S. census records. Now here were copies of the original documents that had helped to make him a citizen of his new country.
That was exciting enough. Little did I know what information I would find in the application.
I learned (drumroll, please) that Patrick Tierney was originally from County Tipperary, Ireland! Exciting news! After knowing my entire life that I had Irish heritage and being proud of that heritage, finally I knew where one of my ancestors had actually lived in Ireland!
Well, the county, at least.
It's a large county.
But to be able to look at a map of Ireland and actually zone in on a county and be able to say: "My family lived there!" What joy!
Now if I could only get past the county level and learn the actual town where he lived. Then I can plan my long-awaited trip to Ireland.