Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Belfast Blitz in Alloway!

A huge thank you to Alloway and Southern Ayrshire Family History Society (www.asafhs.co.uk) for its warm hospitality last night, when I gave a talk on tracing Irish ancestry.

There is a saying in Northern Ireland that everyone knows everyone through everyone else - there's no truer instance than last night! I wrote an article for the first edition of the Irish Family and Local History Handbook last year on the experience of my family within the Belfast Blitz, when my grandparents' house was damaged by a German bomb. In the article I quoted a gentlemen who I had managed to trace who remembered my family from then, and who as a small boy was also present on the same night in the same part of Belfast. He had hidden with his aunt's family under an oak table, and when a parachute bomb blew up and destroyed most of the house, the family had survived in an air pocket in the rubble, thanks to the sturdiness of the table. Well last night, I met this guy's cousin! He had a copy of my article and also brought along a photograph of his aunt who had resided in the property I had described at Vandyck Gardens - so yes, we do indeed all know everyone in Northern Ireland through everyone else!

Chris

Scottish Research Online - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 26 SEP 2012 - see www.pharostutors.com
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... www.thehistorypress.co.uk/products/The-Mount-Stewart-Murder.aspx (from June 12th 2012)

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