Or at least that’s the date of her birth according to this record I located at FamilySearch.org.
As stated in a previous blog post, there is some discrepancy about her birth date due to the fact that the 1900 U.S. Census record has her born in 1864, the Irish birth record states 1865, and her marriage record in Butte, Montana states 1877.
Clearly I have some additional investigative work to do in order to confirm this record, which is only an index. Ultimately I need to locate the actual record on which this index is based.
But for today, I am happy to simply gaze upon her lovely face – and wish her a happy birthday.
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.
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.
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.
Monday of this week marked the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising1. So I’ve been wondering what my Irish-born great grandfather Joseph Kieron might have been thinking as the events unfolded that week in 1916.
Joseph had immigrated to the United States from Ireland in about 1895 and made his way immediately to Butte, Montana. With its large Irish population, stories of the rebellion must have been big news in Butte.
So of course I got right on the computer to see what more I could learn.
According to this recent article from the Montana Standard, the impact on Butte was “huge”. Both the Anaconda Standard and the Butte Miner ran nearly identical stories but the headlines of each paper were quite different – the Standard being the more “restrained” of the two. And among the group of activists eventually tried and shot for treason was James Connolly who had visited Butte in 1910.
On April 30th, the day most of the Irish nationalists surrendered in Dublin, at least 1,000 Butte Irish met at the Hibernia Hall to establish the Butte chapter of The Friends of Irish Freedom – a group founded to support the goal of national independence of Ireland.
Quite accidentally, I also learned that the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives has a CD which contains “scans of documents pertaining to the Friends of Irish Freedom from 1910 to 1936”, including membership rosters. I’ve ordered a copy of the CD – it should arrive any day.
Do you suppose Joseph attended that meeting in a show of support for his countrymen? I’m hoping to find out.
Copyright (c) 2016, Lark M. Dalin Robart
The Easter Rising was an armed rebellion by a group of Irish nationalists determined to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic. ↩