Until my mom and I began researching our family history in 2004, this was about all I knew of my great-grandmother Annie Hill Regan – she liked nice things. And we wouldn’t have learned much more if it wasn’t for Donald and Gerald Regan. Donald and Gerald are Clontarf natives who grew up across the railroad tracks from Annie, her husband Neil, and my grandpa John. Over the past seven years, Donald and Gerald have shared their memories of life in Clontarf. Working as a team, one brother fills in the blanks when the other can’t quite recall a name or detail. They are really quite remarkable, and their memories are a treasure!
In the August/September 2011 issue of Irish America magazine, I wrote about how we learned about Annie, guided by our chats with Donald and Gerald. Click here to read the article online.
Here are the two photos I mention in the piece:
Perhaps there is a mysterious figure in your family tree? Sometimes it just takes a little bit of digging, but you can uncover the story behind the mystery. In our case, talking to people who knew Annie along with researching census returns, church records, newspapers, and other public documents helped us answer questions we thought would remain unanswered forever. A little luck never hurt, either!