'My father was the only one who didn't emigrate. The rest went to America and never returned'

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'My father was the only one who didn't emigrate. The rest went to America and never returned'


Margaret shares details about her family and ancestry.


Margaret McLoughlin


Trinity College Dublin




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Margaret McLoughlin

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I was the third of six children one died at a few months. We were always told we had a brother an angel. Daddy was a tailor and employed another man Jim Dolan (a lovely man) who lived down at the lake. He would bring us a big bag of apples when they were in season. They worked in the room which was always strewn with material. My father trained with another tailor who had quite a big establishment as he had a few apprentices working. I suppose when he met my mother he started out on his own so he lived all his life in Dromahair. He was born in the Manor hence his great love of that place. He was always saying it was the nicest place on earth. He came from a family of four two boys and two girls. My father was the only one who didn't emigrate. The rest went to America and never returned. His father was a master plaster and did beautiful plaster work on quite a few big houses one which was Friarstown House. He died at an early age around forty five. My grandmother married again and then emigrated to America but in her later years returned when her second husband died. She lived to be a great age but got a stroke for the last two years of her life. That was very hard on my mother and father as they had to nurse her and in those days there were no disposal sheets or any respite care. I remember her very well as she lived in the little house in the back and cooked for herself. Of course if there was anything nice cooking in our house we would bring her out a portion. Also when she was cooking something we children would be quick to pay her a visit. She was great for making oat cakes which were lovely. I loved listening to her singing and they were all the American songs like 'Oh Suzanna' and many negro spirituals 'Marching through Georgia' etc. I suppose they were the favourites from the war period. She wore long black clothes and had a wonderful selection of hats. My mother came from Ardakip . There were ten children in her family. She told me her mother only met her husband on the morning of her wedding. He came from Manorhamilton nine miles away but it turned out a good marriage. Unfortunately my grandmother died when my mother was twelve so she left school to look after her mother. In spite of her having no formal education she had a great knowledge of life. She worked on the farm and knew everything about animals .When she was nineteen she married my father who was fifteen years older than her and they rented the house in the village which belonged to the doctor. It was a thatched cottage and I think the rent was something like two and six a week. Indeed that was difficult enough in those days but the priority was always to pay it on time.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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