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Michael Thompkins
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Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part Two

by Michael 5/1/2011 12:35:00 PM


Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part One is in the Blog Archives.  Part One details the beginning of a personal journey for this writer in 2008 in which I managed through a combination of blind luck, perserverance and professional help from Colleen Fitzpatrick (see her blog article) to stumble across the ancestral home of my grandmother, Anne Conway in Lisheenavalla Townland, Galway County, Ireland.  There I met my second cousin (once removed) Kitty Conway and Padraig Conway, my third cousin.

The next step was to locate my grandmother's baptismal and birth certificate, and other documentation.  Late in 2009, I applied for US/Irish joint citizenship.   

Kitty, Myself and Padraig in Lisheenavalla



 Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part Two is an installment for which I will let a picture speak a thousand words.  Look forward to more.


Finding Irish Roots Part One

by Michael 1/23/2008 2:43:00 PM

When I first concieved the Shooting Shrink Series, I named my protagonist Dr. Tom Reynolds after my grandmother and my grandfather on my mother sides. My Mom's maiden name was Helen Reynolds; her parents were Michael Reynolds and Anne Conway, both of whom immigrated from Ireland at the beginning of the last century. Just last month I returned from Lisheenavalla, county Galway, Ireland where after days of research in Dublin and follow-up research in Galway City, I discovered Anne Conway's birth house in Lisheenavalla.

It will be my duty and delight to expand my scope as a writer and begin a non-fiction story of my discovery of my Irish roots and, simultaneously to apply for Irish citizenship. On our last night in Dublin, my wife and I met a group of Americans in a pub who had spent the last ten years looking for their roots unsucessfully. WHen they asked me, I shared that from first idea to find my "Irish writer" roots to success was less than a year. They shared my joy over pints of Guiness. I was already daydreaming of the large number of book awards in Ireland.  More later.




 Michael, Judith, Lisheenavalla Village historian Julia and granddaughter





 Julia Conway             Michael                     Padriach Conway

Both second cousins o.r.



 My grandmother Anne Conway's birthplace


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