I have some Irish blood from both of my Dad's parents and a little from my mom's side too. (My mom's side is quite a bit more mutty BUT I've just about traced a grandparent on my mom's side back to the Mayflower) In all I'm at least one quarter of Irish and one quarter of Scottish and one quarter of English decent. One of the surnames on my dad's side is Toal. This is my closest Irish surname as my Great Grandpa Toal came over from Northern Ireland. I need to really dig into my genealogy before long but little research has shown me that most likely Toal was originally O'Toal which would have first been O'Toole. O'Toole would have been the Anglican version of the Irish O'Tuathail. Everyone on my dad's side considers themselves "Irish," including myself. Although I've a good bit of Scottish and English blood there's just something so intriguing about Ireland. I think the love for the old Emerald Isle gets passed down in the genes.
Let me dream a little now... A tiny Irish history will thus ensue: The Tuatha De are the race of people who are said to have inhabited the Emerald Isle before the Celts arrived. We're talking pre-history here. There is said to have been a great battle and the Tuatha De Danann lost to the Celtic invaders. The Tuatha De were driven underground or into the under world. I can't say this was such a horrible loss because they then became the gods and goddesses of Ireland. For ages afterwords these were the deities to which the Irish inhabitants prayed and offered sacrifices. The fairy folk you hear of in Irish folklore, the fairies and leprechauns and spirits that haunt the hills were the Tuatha De Danann who were driven into the underworld or should I say are the Tuatha De Danann since many Irish people still believe the fairy folk are there. Since the Toal in my own personal Irish history is a derivative of Tuathail I like to imagine some of my Irish ancestors at the beginning of time living on the very ancient Island of Ireland. Possibly being a descendant of Irish gods and godesses is about as good as being of royal decent, right? I think so. haha!
St. Patrick; Patricius, son of Calpornius, son of Potitus whose name means "noble, of the patrician class" was a Roman citizen born in Britain. His father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest. Maybe you already knew that St. Patrick was not Irish but I think it's safe to say that many, many people assume he was. This British lad is one of my all time favorite historical figures. So, maybe I was raised in a non-denominational Christian church and know very little of religion. I still love the Lord and love the Holy Bible. So, maybe I never lived in Ireland and can only claim one quarter decent. I'm still Irish at heart. I love that St. Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland and I love that we have a day to celebrate his life and all things Irish (even if most people aren't really celebrating him and probably know very little about Ireland).
More to come just because I'm a bit too enthusiastic about St. Patrick and the glorious emerald Isle.