Monday, March 17, 2014

Homage to my Irish Ancestry

When I got home from our Corn Beef and Cabbage dinner at Kiwanis, we went up to the Turner graves to pay homage to my Irish ancestry.Their "Turner" tombstone is very near the main entrance to the Greenwood cemetery on 2nd street. The Civil War Veteran star is shown next to Christopher's marker and Matilda's is to the left. Christopher was born in northern Ireland on September 1834 and immigrated to the United States in 1851. He settled in Cass County, Illinois and was involved in farming. At the age of 28 he joined the 99th Illinois Infantry to support the Union Army in the Civil War. The 99th was very prominent in the Vicksburg battles and are recognized in the Illinois monument at the Vicksburg National Battlefield. We have a picture of me pointing to a bronze tablet showing Pvt Christopher Turner's name in the monument. He went back to farming in Illinois after the war and 
 came to Nebraska in 1873. Matilda Robinson was born May 12, 1857 in Tyrone, Ireland and came with her parents to Cass County, Illinois in 1858. She moved to Seward in 1876 and married Christopher on October 1878. They built and lived in a house at 348 North 2nd St in Seward where all eight of their children were born. The oldest, a daughter Anna Alice married William H. Walker and were the parents of Florence,  my Mother .
Christopher worked as a bricklayer in Seward and died November 20, 1905. This is a picture of their home with Great Grandma Matilda seated and my Mother, a 7-year old looking away from the camera. Mary Watgen is standing behind Matilda and Mattie standing beside them. Mother's brother Bert is sitting on the porch and George Turner is on the Donkey. Two of Chris and Matilda's sons  (Tom & Fred) and daughter Mattie never married and they along with Matilda moved to a farm a couple miles south of Seward.  Matilda  died July 15, 1930  and while I have only faint memories of her, I do remember the farm where they lived.  I have always been proud of my Irish heritage and feel like a lot of it did get passed on through my Grandmother Anna and Mother Florence. It has blended well with my Czech heritage on my Dad's side of the family where both of his parents came over from Czechoslovikia. Is this a mixing pot or what?

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