On my recently discovered Irishness

I was watching Antiques Roadshow on ABC last night: this episode

Fiona Bruce and the team return for another busy day at the Titanic Drawing Offices in Belfast.

Objects uncovered include a medicine chest from early Victorian times, complete with many intact medicines; an historic document marking the end of World War II; and a pair of rare Irish plate buckets worth the price of a new car.

I found myself fascinated by the accents I heard, as I had been many years ago at Cronulla Presbyterian Church by the accent of the then minister Thomas Peden McEvoy, born in Belfast in 1895. Back then I had no idea at all that my father’s family too had come not from Belfast, but not too far away in areas now divided between Northern Ireland and the Republic. I guess at one time they had the accent, or something near. The truth about my family only emerged less than 25 years ago.

In September 2011 I posted Returnee! It featured this photo of my grandnephew Nathan in an Irish landscape that year.


I am 99% sure he is the first of Jacob Whitfield’s descendants to set foot in the Old Country since the 1820s! Of course someone may have…

See among many posts here Irish again – new light on Jacob Whitfield’s 1820 crime? For an overview of the Irish in Australia see Australian Communities: Irish Australians and Richard Reid’s essay Irish in Australia.