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Saturday, August 27, 2016


My father, Joseph Patrick, would
say that August was the most eventful
month of his life. 

The 112th anniversary of his birth
was this past August 25.

His father. my grandfather Michael J
was born in August 1873 and died in
August 1908 in the Nevada gold mining
camp of Rhyolite on the edge of Death Valley.

Mike's brother, Black Jim, who ran a
saloon on the Anaconda Road, "Doublin
Gulch" and my grandmother Julia's
brother John, a Butte miner brought
Mike's body back from Nevada to
Butte, for burial in St Patrick's  Cemetery
and rescued grandmother Julia's and her
four surviving children, including my father
to Butte. Julia was near death with typhoid
all the children very ill with scarlet fever.

No welfare then. People took care of their

Julia's father, Sean Harrington A Buaile 
(Sean of the Field), my great grandfather
also a Butte miner, died and was buried
in St Patrick's that same August week in

Grandmother Julia , a widow, ran a boarding
house for Beara miners on the Anaconda Road
across from Black Jim's saloon, until August
1913 when she took the family back to Beara.

She, Rob, George and Liz went to the Killaugh
farm of her uncle, Paddy Owen O Sullivan

My father went to the Inchinteskin farm of
his father's aging parents, Sean Mhichil Anna
O Sullivan and Johanna O Sullivan Shearhig.

He said those years were the best of his life.

In August 1925 he left that Inchinteskin farm
and sailed for Boston,  nevermore to return.

Neighbors said his faithful dog kept a futile
vigil at the cross roads for many weeks awaiting
Dad's return. 

Uncle Rob, Dad's eldest brother, proud of being
born in the Cripple Creek, Colorado gold district
died in Long Island City, August 1974.

That was the last old time Irish wake I attended.
Old Beara relations came from Boston, Fall river
Jersey and Pennsylvania to say good bye to Rob.

Bridie (Murphy-Allihies) Rob's wife had me
sleep in Uncle Rob's bed that sweltering August
night. Thunderstorms and lightning raged all
night long.

Son, Tim's birthday is in August. My father would
always ask: "how's Tim?"

So, tonight, I will play Dad's NY Lotto numbers
in his memory.  Those numbers never came in.

But, he was a winner in his own way.

I have felt his presence very much this August
although 32  Augusts have drifted by since he
walked this earth.    

Yesterday,  son, the Colonel, called to say he had
received word that he received dna test results
that our male Y Dna terminal SNP is R- L -270
the same as Florence O Sullivan Beare
Castletownbere (1815) Philip O Sullivan Beare
b 1353  Dunboy Castle. and
Teige O Sullivan Beare b 1397.

Not suprising because we carry the  dna of
a number of O Sullivan ancestors including
the  Shearhigs, Sounish's  Ni Hurrigs, Rabachs
and Keagh's

The Shearhigs intermarried with the O Connells
of Kerry across Kenmare Bay from Coulagh.

Riobard O Dwyer says that Shearhig means "of

The O Connell's married in with the
FitzGeoffreys (Normans) who displaced the
O Sullivans from their ancient seat at Knockgraffen
Tipperary after 1192.

Geoffrey O Connell was ancestor of Dan O'Connell.

O Sullivan Mor went to Kerry. O Sullivan Beare
to the Beara Peninsula of Cork-Kerry.

When Cromwell came to Ireland he destroyed 
the old Gaelic order of West Cork.


After the fall of Dunboy Castle 1602
O Sullivans scattered the world over.
Some were transported as slaves to 
Barbados and other Caribbean Islands.

Prenders 1659 Census of Bantry-Beara
shows the population was reduced to 
about 1,300.

Many went to fight in regiments 
for Austria, Spain, Bavaria, France 
and other European countries.

Others went to sea.

The Ardea castle branch came to 
America ca 1650
Owen O Sullivan to Maine, father
of General John of the American
Revolution. Donal Cron and some
from Eyeries went to Virginia.
 Sea Captain Florence O Sullivan
brought the first ship load of Irish to
Charleston, South Carolina, by way
 of Barbados. Sullivan's Island lies
 in the harbor.

Most of the Sullivans of the Southern
states to Texas are the descendants of 
the latter two., including those of
the infamous Sullivans' Hollow Mississippi.

My mother's mtdna is U5ala,  descended
from the prehistoric hunter- gathers that
roamed Europe 35 -50,000 years ago before
during and after the ice ages.  Today less than
10 percent of this haplogroup survives among 
the populations of Europe and America.


                                                   Joe Sullivan



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