“Butte, America” or “Until We Meet Again”

Two weeks ago today, we stopped in Butte, Montana to see my cousin, her husband – and their adorable granddaughter. We had a short but wonderful visit.

They live downtown so we were able to walk around and see some of the old buildings and even had time for a few meals – dinner on Friday evening at the Metals Sports Bar & Grill located in the historic Metals Bank Building, and breakfast on Saturday morning at Gamer’s Cafe, a Butte institution.

Butte holds quite a special place in my heart.

My great grandparents Joseph and Kate (Myers) Kieron immigrated there from Ireland in the late 19th century. Their daughter – my grandmother Nora Marie (Kieron) Blacker – was born there in 1900.

An Ri Ra flyer

And as luck would have it, we were there on the same weekend of the Irish Festival, which this year was commemorating the Easting Rising of 1916 – which I wrote about earlier this year.

We had some spare time on Friday evening so we headed up the hill to the Original mine – one of only a few remaining headframes left in Butte – where we listened to Irish fiddle tunes and saw a group of young Irish step dancers. As you can see in the picture below, the stage was set up at the bottom of the headframe, also sometimes referred to as a “gallows” frame.



Irish Dancers at the Original Mine, Butte Irish Festival 2016
Irish Dancers at the Original Mine, Butte Irish Festival 2016

Listen to a wonderful Irish fiddle tune while you finish reading this post.

And as it was a little chilly out, I had to buy a sweatshirt!








As I sat at the Irish Festival next to my cousin, listening to the tunes, I couldn’t help but wonder about our great grandparents and our grandmother.

  • I know my great grandfather worked in some of the mines . . . but which ones?
  • What neighborhoods did they live in?
  • What was life like for them in Butte?
  • And do you suppose my great grandparents Joseph and Kate ever danced together to fiddle tunes from their homeland?

(I’ve been doing lots of research since returning home, hoping to answer some of these questions in a forthcoming blog.)

The next morning before leaving town, we visited the graves of our great grandparents at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

I was so happy to share this time and place with my cousin and her family. And I’m already looking forward to our next visit.

Beannachtaí libh go bhfeictear arís sibh.

Until we meet again.

Fearless Females Day 15: Six-word memoir tribute

I just came across this wonderful post by Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist, in which she suggests the following:

Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Wish I had seen this earlier in the month! But better late than never, as they say.

And so I’ll begin with Lisa’s prompt for March 15th, which is to “write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.”

In honor of my great grandmother, Catherine “Kate” (Myers) Kieron of County Galway, Ireland . . .

Álainn, cróga, dóchasach. Imithe ró-luath.

English translation: Beautiful, brave, hopeful. Gone too soon.

Mystery Monday – or is it Madness Monday?

This family mystery is about to drive me mad!!

           Kate (Myers) Kieron and Delia (Myers) Mitschke

First a little background. These two beautiful women are my great grandmother Catherine “Kate” (Myers) Kieron and her sister Bridget “Delia” (Myers) Mitschke. They were born in Ower Townland, County Galway, Ireland in the 1860s.

Both emigrated to the United States and lived in Montana – Bridget in about 1887 and Kate in the mid 1890s. Sadly, Kate died in Butte in 1902 and Delia in Helena in 1903. You can read more here about Kate’s story.

The mystery – and the madness – enters the story with their brothers, Denis, Thomas, Patrick and Michael. All four brothers also emigrated to Montana between about 1899 and 1901 and lived in Montana near their sisters.

And then after Delia died in 1903, all four brothers simply disappeared. Or so it seems. Continue reading

Tombstone Tuesday: Catherine “Kate” (Myers) Kieron and Infant Baby

Kate Myres Kieron_vignettte
Kate Kieron circa 1900
2011 Kate Kieron tombstone
Photo of Kate Kieron’s grave taken August 2011


Wife of

Joseph Kieron

Died Aug. 4, 1902

Aged 28 years.

Also Infant Baby

Aged 2 Days


This is a view of St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Butte, Montana, looking north from Kate’s grave.

2011 St. Patrick's Cemetery
Photo of St. Patrick’s Cemetery taken August 2011

“Tombstone Tuesday” is a Geneabloggers daily blogging prompt.