52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Bridget McGovern

I wrote about Bridget (McGovern) Kiernan once before, my great great great grandmother who came to America with her children after her husband, Philip, had died. What I omitted from that post was that basically up until that day, I had been laboring under the impression that McGovern was her married name and not her maiden. I had read the letter from Alice Galvin years ago and had either misunderstood or misremembered. I could never find any information on this branch of the family tree. Suddenly, I understood why.

The day after I wrote that post, I edited my Ancestry family tree with the correct last name. Within 10 minutes, I was serendipitously linked to the family tree of Thomas Galvin, the son of cousin Alice who wrote my Pop Pop all those years ago. There was loads of information that I hadn’t known before, but most importantly there were pictures: the genealogist’s holy grail.

Bridget McGovern Kiernan

Bridget McGovern Kiernan

So there she is, my 3rd great grandmother Bridget. She looks like members of my family in the way that all Irish people look like members of my family – it’s the facial features, really, the eyes and the mouth and the shape of their face.  She looks sad, and maybe she was. She had lost a husband, after all.

Pictures weren’t the only things I discovered, though (and there are more, to be shared at a later date). I messaged Thomas Galvin, who in turn sent me about 20 pages of his mother’s typed recollections of her family. They are quite possibly one of my favorite things ever – stories, loads of them, told by someone who either lived them or was told firsthand by those who had. I plan on sharing all of those stories here eventually, but for today it’s just the photo. (And what a photo it is, hm?)

This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge over at No Story Too Small.

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3 Responses to 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Bridget McGovern

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 5 Recap | No Story Too Small

  2. Erin says:

    I hope some day to be able to add photos to names in my tree because I have none for my father’s line. Your post gives me hope!

    • kerlanger says:

      Pictures always seem to be one of the things divided among children when a parent dies and then are inevitably lost, either by accident or purposefully when the names and faces no longer mean anything to anyone. I barely expected to ever see a picture of any of my great grandparents, let alone any further degree of great after that, so I’ve been shocked how many family photos I’ve been able to come across by happenstance. Once (and I think I wrote about this in a previous blog) I stumbled on a picture of my great grandfather as I was combing through newspaper archives. Mostly I’ve discovered pictures through the goodwill of distant relatives, but also a few relatives who are much closer. Some people never think about the old pictures sitting on their mantle until I decide to ask about them. My goal is to have a picture for each direct ancestor of mine – a goal I probably will never fully achieve, but it’s something to work towards. I hope you’re able to find some pictures of your father’s line someday!

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