Wednesday, December 31, 2014

'Looking back as we move forward': The most popular posts on this blog: 2014

On this last day of 2014, inspired by Shelley Bishop's top 10 countdown on her blog A Sense of Family, I have decided to list the top 10 most popular posts on this blog for 2014. Truth be told, given the challenges that have come up for our family on both the living and the dying sides of life, I haven't done this sort of looking back for a while. Each year's end usually brought with it a desire to simply move ever forward. However, there is always something to learn in looking back, so I surveyed the statistics for this blog to see which posts emerged as the most popular over the past year, and have listed them below.

Interest in the first two posts on the list makes me very happy because they are two of my favourite posts. The first is about the dancing life my parents enjoyed in their younger days. Both of my parents have passed away — Dad in 2000 and Mom in 2012 — so it always makes me smile when I think about the fun they had back when they were 'footloose and fancy free'. The second post is a favourite of mine because it reflects on the long life of my mother's childhood home in Ringsend Dublin, a home that was part of the Ball family for over 80 years. As to the other posts on the top 10 list, I won't offer any commentary on them, and instead hope you'll stop by and read them to see if you agree with the statistics.


2. Within these walls, the life of a family: 80 years on Gordon St., Ringsend

3. Angels of Dublin: The Wingéd Victories & O'Connell's Monument

4. Tuesday's Tip: Finding 'lost' children: Revisiting the 1901 & the 1911 Irish Census

5. Mappy Monday: On a map, the fortunes of an ancestor

6. Sudden death in Bow Bridge: The Flu Pandemic in Ireland

7. Between the pages in a prayer book...

8. 'Ireland is not a leaving place': For ancestors who stayed

9. 'The big guns are coughing...': Commemorating Irish lost in World War One

10. 'Clip, clop & clatter': A driving life in Dublin City

There is one other post I would like to mention, one which I wrote at the end of 2012, entitled The 525,600 minutes of 2012: A season of love, loss and family history. It is a post I revisit often to remind me of the importance of celebrating all of the 'seasons' of life.

During this past year, because of this blog, I've had a couple of experiences that have frustrated me, but I've had far more that have delighted me. I really appreciate receiving comments and questions, and have loved engaging in discussion with readers over various post topics. So too, especially meaningful for me are the contacts I have been able to make and maintain with family members far afield in Ireland, England, Australia, and the United States. As well, I very much appreciate contact with the second, third and fourth cousins, and others who have contacted me after discovering this blog.

One of the most touching emails I received this past year is from a gentleman in Ireland, to whom I am not related, who wrote to thank me for writing about the Irish who gave their lives serving as members of the British military forces during the First World War. Like mine, his family lost three members on the battlefields of Europe. He wrote, “for far too long we have forgotten our brave Irish soldiers. They fought with the British but it’s time we remembered them all”. It is indeed time.

As to what 2015 will bring for me, I do not yet know. The two Irish history projects on which I am working absorb a lot of my time; however, I do hope to be able to keep researching and blogging about my Irish family history.

To each one of you who follows this blog, and have taken the time to read these posts, whether or not you write comments, I offer my deepest gratitude. Thank you so very much for your time and attention. I hope you know how much you are appreciated.

As the new year dawns, I wish for each and every one of you a year filled with peace, love and many family history finds.

Until we meet again,

Jennifer

Low tide at Murrisk, on the shores of Clew Bay, County Mayo.

©irisheyesjgg2014.

12 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Jennifer. I remember thoroughly enjoying each of these posts. Wishing you all the best for 2015!

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    1. Thanks very much, Dara. I really appreciate your comments. Wishing you all the best in 2015, as well!

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  2. Jenn, I've also been following all along. My favourite in this list is the one about the house on Gordon Street. Thanks for sharing your expertise and your beautiful writing. I've learned so much from you my friend. And, Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks very much, Charlotte. I really appreciate your comments, and compliments. I'm so glad your favourite post is that one. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year. All the best to you in 2015!

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  3. You delight your readers with your stories Jennifer. Thanks for everything you share. Wishing you all the best in 2015.

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    1. Thanks so very much for your comments, Pauleen! You have uplifted me this morning. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2015.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  4. Jennifer, it's been particularly rewarding to read your posts over the years--in a sense, gaining a perspective on the Irish roots in our family's history by proxy of your observations and experiences. I know it is a thin link, but your writing imparts a flavor of the ambience of your family's homeland. Sometimes, the words alone could not convey what your pieces, combined, achieve.

    Best wishes to you in this New Year, both for the success of your projects and for your personal aspirations!

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    1. Jacqi, thank you so very much for your comments and compliments. I always appreciate hearing from you, and am very glad that the 'flavour' of Ireland comes through. Now that you have travelled there, and your daughter has been at school in Cork, I suspect you have a better understanding of my obsession. All the very best to you and yours in the New Year.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  5. I'm delighted to have provided a spark of inspiration for you, Jennifer, because you're a constant source of inspiration to me. I so enjoy reading your posts, and also love seeing your beautiful photographs. I hope the New Year brings you every happiness!

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    1. Shelley, thank you so much for your comments and compliments, and thank you for your inspiration to look back over the past year. I wish you and yours all the very best in the New Year.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  6. jennifer, it is always useful to look back at what we have done & make plans for where we are headed. Of course, I sometimes head in one direction and end up someplace entirely different. ha!

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    1. Colleen, thanks very much for your comments. Always much appreciated. I'm with you :-). I always end up with that Steinbeck saying in my head: 'the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry'. Wishing you and yours all the very best in the New Year.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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Cheers, Jennifer

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