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Irish Terms Genealogists Might Encounter
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Bricks tossed by a spalpeen [rascal or scamp] at an omadhaun [fool, idiot or simpleton]
in the course of a donnybrook Irish version of a knock-down-drag-out brawl.
The English overlords taxed any improvement on Irish cottages and such a policy
naturally destroyed ambition and led to a slackness in maintaining their homes.
Laborers or peasants in Ireland's bogs; or more likely derived from accounts of British soldiers pursuing
rebellious Irishmen across bogs, where the fugitives attempted concealment but usually were discovered
and bayoneted until "the bogs ran red with Irish blood." (According to Morris Dictionary
of Word and Phrase Origins by William Morris and Mary Morris, New York, Hagerstown, San Francisco,
London: (Harper & Row, Publishers), 1977.
An attempt by the Famine Irish immigrants to achieve social status with a show
of material things in a hostile British-oriented, American Protestant society.
Actually the potato was first cultivated in South America and introduced in Europe around 1570. However,
the Irish depended on the potato so greatly for food that when disease destroyed the potato crops in the
1840s, famine resulted and many Irish left their homeland and emigrated with large numbers of them
coming to North America.
A type of seaweed (chondrus crispus) found off the coasts of Ireland and North America, formerly
used to make a drink to treat chronic bronchitis.
The name given to those who emigrated from Ireland (ca 1840-1860) after the potato crop failures in Ireland
in the 19th century.
According to rumors and legends, the Black Irish are the descendants of a few surviving ill-fated Spanish
sailors who sailed with the Felicima Armada from Spain to invade England in 1588 and were shipwrecked
on the northern and western coasts of Ireland in the autumn of that year. Out of a small number of the
approximately 700 Spanish men who survived and made it to the Irish coast, was the number large enough
for them to have become intimate with enough Irish women to create a new inter-racial strain of progeny?
"In research to date there is no other written source to be found that mentions a dark-skinned,
dark-eyed, dark-haired Irish phenotype created by the infusion of Spanish blood. Given the lack of supporting
evidence, such as birth and death records, genealogies, surviving Spanish surnames, much less anything
more than an oral tradition in times of well-documented 'history,' the opposing argument that the
darker Irish phenotype is falsely ascribed to the genes of the Armada's sailors stands. As a story
which purports to be true and is widely and seriously believed, both in time and space, but devoid of
any data with which to support its claim, it enters the realm of myth. As myth it is open to investigation
as to the reasons for its existence: how it came to be told, why, and with what effects."
The Myth of the Black Irish: Spanish Syntagonism and Prethetical Salvation, by T. P. Kunesh.
People of Northern Ireland who are descended from Scottish settlers. The term
is commonly used in the United States, but not in Ireland or Scotland.