Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News from St Pat's Cemetery

This past April, Dr Eileen Murphy (Dr Donnelly's wife) and Dr Lyn McKerr from Queen's Uni in Belfast spent a couple of days with me in the cemetery.  Eileen was given all the data we've collected over the years (about 150 inscriptions from slate and marble stones and about 10,000 interment names not listed in cemetery records).  This is all work that had been sitting around and few folks have benefited from it.  Part of me said it was going to be a dissertation, but those days are long gone.  When our friends from across the pond saw it, they took a major interest in it.  The 3 of us spent 2 days from dawn to dusk in Yard 1. 

There have always been rumors that there are Irish burials in Old English.  We checked records and made  an interesting side trip to OE, but there is no evidence of such.  You never know though if there were burials, but just not recorded.  It  turns out the 2 days we spent were the 2 coldest in April.  We kept the car running so we could warm up and made multiple trips to Dunkin's for coffee.  Our Irish friends had never gone through a drive-up for coffee!  Though I have spent hours working with the data, Eileen and Lyn made some great observations.  The plans are to write an article for publication in an historical journal.  New photos of the ancient stones and a better analysis of the data will add yet another piece of the puzzle to Lowell's Irish story.

To be honest though, the best part of their trip was a visit to Parker's Maple Barn in NH where they bought over $70 in maple syrup.  Go figure!

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