Friday, January 28, 2011

Mary Isadora Lawlor Shurtleff

While on the island this week, awaiting the arrival of a grand-baby and finding myself with time on my hands that has allowed me to do a little digging into the family archives, I came across this photo of my great-grandmother Shurtleff, about whom I know very little except for the fact that she was the grandmother that my mother spent summers with as a child, and in whose house she played games with her cousins on summer nights in the glow of kerosene lantern light (a couple of which I have, but now electrified). I raised my children in a house that was built next door to the Shurtleff family farmhouse, on land that will also be home to the new baby, Mary Shurtleff's great-great-great-grandchild. It boggles my mind to think that my mother's grandmother, this long-ago figure, is now, on some level - me.

Mary Shurtleff is my most direct and probably only actual genetic connection to Ireland (if such things matter); her parents, James and Mary Lawlor, both having been born and died in Naas, County Kildare. 

I often think, if the people who have died actually don't go anywhere; if they are still quite close by - as I believe they are - that Mary Shurtleff must be amused at seeing her great-granddaughter playing, and enamored so with Irish music.

Mary Isadora Lawlor Shurtleff
My Great-granny Mary Shurtleff

Shurtleff Farmhouse
The Shurtleff Homestead today.

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