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.
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?)