Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby Gender Mystery Solved

The mystery surrounding my unborn child has been solved!! We found out on Monday that we are having a baby girl. Her name will be Grace O'Malley after my grandmother and the Irish pirate/rebel, Grace O'Malley. She will be called Malley for short in order to distinguish her from another Grace that we know whose parents we are friends with. Malley weighs 1 pound, 7 ounces and is right on target. She is kicking all of the time now and seems to be very laid back and shy.

The reason that I believe that she is laid back and shy is because her kicks are very gentle and nothing seems to affect her, even sugar and caffeine! She is shy because she is always trying to hide her private parts or her face with her hands during ultrasounds. We were able to find out what she is when she was hiding her face for a change instead of her privates. She does not seem to like the ultrasound wond and will contort herself into positions that it make it difficult for the ultrasound tech to get accurate measurements which are required each month to check on her growth since I am high risk due to the MTHFR clotting factors which could stunt her growth.

Well, that is all for now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jiggs's Modesty

My husband and I went for my 20 week ultrasound on Monday to find out if we were having a boy or girl. Everything looked great measurement wise and the baby was doing great. However, the question of what gender Jiggs is could not be answered that day as he/she decided to be modest and not show us if it was a boy or girl. Jiggs kept its legs crossed Indian style and its hands between its legs, and the ultrasound tech had no luck in getting the baby to move at all. I was very upset and even told the baby that it was a pain in the arse since all of the pregnant women that I know already know what they are having. I was upset that I had to still call Jiggs an it.

However, I realized today that the baby is healthy and is right on target and that is the only thing that matters. I will have to have an ultrasound done every month since my pregnancy is high risk due to my blood clotting issues and the fact that I have to take heparin injections to carry the baby to term. So hopefully we will find out next month. Until we find out, I will keep getting gender neutral items for the baby until we know if it is a boy or girl.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I know I have very much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I passed comps and baby thoughts

Just a quick post to update everyone about comps. I passed them with flying colors. So, now I am half-way to being ABD (all done but dissertation) for my PhD. I have two exams left: major field and minor field exams. Once I have completed them, I can begin work on my dissertation on the transfer of Bombay from Portuguese to English hands. It is amazing how the stress has lifted from my shoulders and how relaxed I feel now that the ordeal of comprehensive exams are over with.

Now, on to the baby front. We will find out the sex of the baby in only seven more days. We think it is a boy but we would be happy if it was a girl too. We have finally decided on names for a boy and girl. Michael Collins or Grace O'Malley are what we decided upon. Both names are based on Irish rebels from Irish history, so it seems fitting to name our child after an Irish historical hero since we are both Irish and very active in the Irish-American community here in Toledo. I also finally felt the baby kick. It felt like bubbles popping in my stomach. It was a pretty neat feeling and I can't wait to feel the baby kick on a regular basis.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Turning 30

I will be turning the ripe old age of 30 this month and I wanted to post my thoughts on the subject. This time last year I thought I would be really upset about turning 30, but I have realized lately that I have accomplished a lot in my life and that I shouldn't let getting another year older get to me. I have graduated with my bachelor and master's degrees and I am working on my doctorate. I am also employed as an adjunct instructor, so my career is heading in the right direction. In my persona life, I am married to my best friend and love of my life, have two great dogs and my husband and I are expecting the child that we have always wanted. So, life is good overall. So, I have decided to not let a number such as 30 make me feel depressed or think about what I have not accomplished in life. Instead, I am going to think about what I have accomplished and what all I have to look forward to in the future.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The joy of doctoral exams

I haven't posted on my blog this past month as I have been busy concentrating on my comprehensive exams for my PhD in history. Comprehensive exams or comps as they are called are a two day testing process where you are tested over the entire field of European history from 1600 to present. You are not allowed notes or other study aides, just some clean notebook paper, your exam questions and a lab top which you type your answers into. Day one consisted of European history 1600 to 1815 while day two was 1815 to present. I don't feel like I did very well at all. The only thing that I am sure of is that I know absolutely nothing about European history or at least that is how I feel at the moment. I will not know find out if I passed or not until a couple of weeks from now. If I did actually pass (which will be a miracle) I will get to move on to the oral examination which is two hours of grilling by my committee members about what I did not write down in my exam or what I got wrong. So, if I pass the orals, then I will have passed my comps and get to move on to my major and minor field exams and write a dissertation.

Now back to my post comps feeling like my brain is fried.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The highs and lows of pregnancy

There are many things that are wonderful about pregnancy and not so wonderful. The not so wonderful things are nausea, exhaustion, headaches, and the emotional craziness that comes along with it. The wonderful things are seeing the baby on the ultrasound, hearing its heartbeat, and the comfortable yet stylish maternity pants that you get to wear. I am looking forward to feeling the baby kick and to find out if we are having a boy or girl so that I can stop buying gender neutral clothing for the baby. Now I have a quick story to tell about my baby, Jiggs.

I went for my 12 week appointment last Friday. They could not hear the heartbeat on the doppler so they decided to do an ultrasound. As they are leading me back to the ultrasound room, I am sobbing with worry, thinking that the worst has occurred, that Jiggs is no longer with us. But as soon as they put the wand on my belly, Jiggs appears in all of his or her glory on the screen. This time he/she looks like a real baby and not some sort of blob. He/She was kicking its legs, jabbing its fist into my stomach and slapping itself upside the head with its other hand. It turns out that there are two reasons for the heartbeat not being able to be heard on the doppler: (1) the placenta is located at the top of my uterus and acts as sound proofing to some extent and (2) the baby was moving around so much and wasn't laying still long enough for the doctor to be able to get a heartbeat.

So, everything looks good with both Jiggs and me. I will keep you all posted as we progress through this wonderful journey.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm sick of it all

This blog is more of a rant today. I am sick and tired of all of the crap that is going on this country. I am sick of President Bush, Mayor Finkbeiner, the shitty housing market, living in the ghetto, doctors who won't listen to their patients, and anyone who is in a position of authority. I am sick of the bull shit, the inability of anyone in a position of authority and power to listen to the needs of all their stakeholders, not just the ones they deem important. I could go into more specifics about some of the above, but I don't feel like being arrested for speaking out against the president, getting shot in the ghetto, having to find another ob/gyn, and there are other other things that I can't mention for fear of reprisal by people in position of authority.
I AM SICK OF IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Introducing Jiggs

To the left is our baby (my husband and me) nicknamed Jiggs in honor of my Grandma who gave me that nickname when I was in-utero thirty years ago. At the time of this ultrasound, Jiggs was about an inch long and weighed not even an ounce. We are hoping to find out the sex of our child by the end of this year, if Jiggs cooperates with us and the ultrasound tech.

I am excited about being a mother. I can't wait to see what he or she looks like and what kind of personality they will have. My husband and I just want a healthy baby but several members of our family have put their request in as to whether they want a boy or girl. My mother-in-law wants a red-headed girl named Moira born on March 17. However, March 17 is way too early for the baby to be born, I have no control over the red hair thing, Moira is no longer in the running for a girl's name and I hope its a boy, although I would love a girl too. My uncles-in-law want a boy to carry on the family name (which they weren't that serious about because they put that request in on the day that I met my husband for the first time). So what do you think we will have? You can leave your guess as a blog comment or vote in the poll that is on this page.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


This weekend was my Mom's birthday. After going out with my family for her birthday lunch, we went back to the old homestead and went through stacks of letters and photos that my grandma had left us when she died of cancer in January of this year. It was great to see old photographs and to see letters that I had written to my grandma when I was a child. Among the items was baby blanket that she had left to my Mom and me. Its almost like my Grandma knew that I was going to be pregnant sooner rather than later. So in addition to the letters, photographs, and a healing medallion, I took the blanket back with me to Toledo where I added it to the few items of clothing that I bought for the baby and the stack of books that my Grandma had read to me as a child. These items are something that I can give to my baby once they are born and share with them the wonderful great grandmother that they will never know, but will come to know through my memories and stories that I will share with them. I love you Grandma and you will always live on in my heart and memories.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ancient Order of Hibernians and Culture Part II

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the usual mass and banquet combination of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Irish heritage continued in Ohio. Youngstown AOH’s program was to follow mass and “recount the glories of Ireland and of St. Patrick in songs and stories.”[1] A year later, in 1926, the Mahoning County members focused their celebration on the Gillespie Fiddlers’ Orchestra of Five Instruments whose presentation focused on “the endearing ballads of Irish tradition during the [St. Patrick’s Day] feast.”[2] Dayton AOH and LAOH held dinner banquets for St. Patrick’s Day throughout the Great Depression.[3] Dayton celebrations in 1936 focused on “Irish wit and Irish song [which] permeated the green-festooned ballroom of the Miami hotel [and speakers] who spoke on subjects pertinent to the Irish people and nation.”[4]
During the decades between the thirties and sixties, Irish-American culture took a hiatus according to historian Dennis Clark in his work entitled Hibernia America: The Irish and Regional Cultures.[5] He argues that:
The hitatus in the Irish-American tradition in the second half of the twentieth century had numerous causes. Decreased emigration, changes in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, decline of traditional roles for members of the group, displacement by other groups, and failure to renew organizational forms all contributed.[6]

However, it was the onset of the civil rights movement during the 1960s that inspired many Americans to work in the interests of their communities.[7] Irish-Americans were drawn to this struggle as well. Many women [and men] “rediscovered their ethnic backgrounds” as a result of the work they embarked upon in their local communities.[8] Third generation Americans:
were now secure enough in their American identity to turn more openly to ethnicity;moreover the “new ethnicity” was encouraged in the late 1960s and after by a national climate more favorable to individuality and diversity.[9]

According to historian Maxine Seller:

The impact of the new ethnicity varied from individual to individual. Some women were virtually untouched. Others participated in ethnic heritage festivals,
revived ethnic arts, crafts, dances and foods, conducted ethnic holiday celebrations in their homes, sent their children to ethnic schools and camps, and read-and sometimes wrote-about their ethnic backgrounds and immigrant ancestors. Some traveled to the ethnic homeland as tourists or students. Grandchildren sometimes made efforts to learn the language of their grandparents, efforts that helped bring the generations together.[10]

This new found sense of cultural and ethnic identity encouraged many Irish-Americans in Ohio to join the old Irish ethnic organizations such as the AOH and LAOH beginning in the 1960s.
The latter half of the 1960s was the beginning of a new generation of the AOH and LAOH in Ohio. It is necessary to examine why the AOH and LAOH developed a new focus in their promotion and preservation of Irish culture and history before examining the organization’s activities during the latter 1960s. This new generation of Hibernians strove to get the community as a whole to participate in Irish cultural activities such as parades, festivals, concerts, and other events. The primary reason for Hibernians to involve the community at large was to illustrate the positive side of being Irish-American according to leading AOH members in Ohio.[11] Another Hibernian goal was to ensure that there was a “historical context to what we’re trying to do.”[12] An example of this “historical context” is the pike carrying division of the Columbus AOH which carries pikes in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade to honor those Irish who fought the British with pikes during the rebellion of 1798.[13] In order to promote Irish culture, the AOH sponsors “Irish dance, Irish language, involving other Irish groups in their history projects, financial support of PBS programs which concentrate on the Irish, attending Irish cinema and theatrical productions.”[14]

Parades became the first and one of the most popular activities that promoted Irish culture during the latter 1960s. Following the St. Patrick’s Day parades in cities such as New York and Chicago, the AOH in Cincinnati planned the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in a century for that city in February of 1967. The primary goal was to involve the community at large in an Irish-American cultural tradition. The parade featured:
the bands of both Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati, Irish dancers and musicians, uniformed members of Cincinnati’s Police, Fire and Postal Departments and all the Irish organizations also will be represented. And there’s a place for any loyal Irishman who feels he’d like to participate. But get out those maps of Ireland, because the Irish will be divided into groups according to the province of ancestry: Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster.[15]

The parade has been held every year since 1967. Each year the Hibernians of Cincinnati “borrow the statue of St. Patrick from Immaculata Church in Mt. Adams.”[16] The statue leads the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The Cincinnati members attend an Irish language mass “before purloining the statue and hiding it away for the parade.”[17] According to the AOH members, borrowing the statue is a somewhat complicated task as the statue “is ceramic, 6 feet tall, and requires the muscle of about six strong men to hoist it aboard the pickup truck for its trip to its day of glory.”[18]

Community participation is encouraged through a variety of ways. One way is the nationality division in the parade. The “various ethnic groups of Cincinnati march in costume.”[19] Nearly “40,000 people and 67 bands participated in the parade” in 1973.[20] Another way to encourage participation is the “interrelationship between the [different] Irish groups and you’ll find that those people who are active in one [Irish organization] are usually active in the others” according to Gordon Thomas in an interview with the Cincinnati Post in September of 1973. This interrelationship is important due to the fact that various Irish American groups collaborate on large events such as festivals and parades in order to increase capital and participation amongst a community’s Irish American citizens. Cleveland’s United Irish Societies is an excellent example of this interrelationship of the different Irish groups working together to put on Irish events such as parades, dances, and festivals.[21] Both the AOH and LAOH in Cleveland work with the United Irish Societies in order to put on the annual parade on St. Patrick’s Day and Irish festival in the summer. Without the help of other Irish organizations, large scale events such as these would be difficult for a small organization such as the AOH to organize.

Besides St. Patrick’s Day parades, the AOH “either coordinates or supports various Irish events” throughout the year all over the country, these events feature Irish music, food, dance, and culture according to AOH member, Joe Casey.[22] Youngstown AOH invited an Irish step-dancing organization called the Theresa Burke Irish Dancers to their annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon in 1973.[23] Cincinnati LAOH “sponsors the Hibernian Dance Group” which is made up of mainly children of Irish descent but does include members of non Irish descent.[24] Akron AOH sponsors an Irish dancing organization as well.[25] Originally, “Irish immigrants brought traditional step-dancing to America, where it became part of theatrical dancing” according to author Maureen Dezell in her work entitled, Irish America Coming into Clover the evolution of a people and a culture.[26] Dance has played an important role in Irish history. It was one aspect of Irish culture that the British were unable to stamp out of Ireland. Although Irish dancing schools existed in the United States before the 1990s, it was not until the popularity of Riverdance that led to the explosion of Irish step-dancing in America.[27] The Hibernians decided to sponsor Irish step-dancing schools in order to meet the demand for dancing instruction amongst their membership and to expand the organization’s attempts at involving the community at large in Irish cultural activities.
Another way that the AOH promotes Irish culture is through the Irish language. Many Hibernians join Irish language societies such as Cumman na Gaeilge in Cincinnati whose goal is to “revitalize Irish, the oldest language in western Europe.”[28] At Hibernian meetings, the Irish language is used in prayers, rituals, and sometimes voting in order to educate members about the language of their ancestors.[29]

Hibernian divisions in Ohio also recognize their members and others in the community who promote Irish culture. An example of this is the Kevin Barry Award given by the AOH and LAOH in Cincinnati “in recognition of service within the local order in promoting the Irish and the goals of the Hibernians in Cincinnati.”[30] The Youngstown AOH gives out the “Irish persons of the year” for service to the community at large.[31]
Hibernians in Ohio are active in preserving their own history in addition to the numerous activities they pursue in promoting Irish culture and heritage. The preservation and documentation project that Ohio has embarked upon has garnered national attention. “In the latter part of the 1800s and early 1900s the AOH donated stained-glass windows to many Catholic churches in Ohio and across the country.”[32] The windows have been found in churches “of all sizes, from cathedrals to small mission churches.”[33] Many have been found where there are no longer active AOH divisions.[34] The Hibernians:
are now involved in a project to identify and photograph all of these windows. To date, the organization has identified eleven churches in Ohio that currently have or have had Hibernian windows. Several of these churches have two windows, one donated by the AOH and one by the Ladies Auxiliary (now known as the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians).[35]

The project began in 2001 when the state board:
began a campaign to raise funds for the preservation and restoration of the AOH window at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Ironton, Ohio. This fundraising effort drew the attention of the Hibernian National organization, which also made a financial contribution to the Ironton project. Subsequently, a project was begun through the National Archivist’s Office to identify all of the AOH windows around the country, Dan MacDonald, AOH state president, said, “We are pleased that our continuing efforts to assist the parish of Ironton St. Lawrence with their window preservation effort has resulted in this nationwide campaign to identify these physical pieces of our history.”[36]

The project has been taken on by the national AOH board as well. According to national AOH president, Ned McGinley:
This gifting of the stained glass windows began as early as 1870 in PA and across the nation wherever the immigrant Irish went to work. In the past three years 227 windows have been discovered and this is thought to be only a fraction of the number originally gifted. Of that amount, eight no longer exist so it is likely that hundreds may be lost already.[37]

Besides historic preservation projects, the AOH holds cultural activities in order to bring in new members for the Order.
The AOH in Ohio organizes and supports numerous Irish themed festivals, dinners, and religious services that are open to the public at large. The goal in opening up such events to the public is to increase membership. According to Toledo AOH president, Maury Collins, the belief is that “the more people you have involved, the more good you can accomplish.”[38] Both the AOH and LAOH:
Sponsor or support cultural programs such as festivals wherein Irish dance, music,
instruments, storytelling and clothing are featured. Many LAOH divisions also help sponsor competition festivals (a.k.a. Feis) wherein children and adults compete in dancing, singing, and instrumentals. Many divisions also work on Masses dedicated to the feasts of St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and the Our Lady of Knock apparition of Mary.[39]

At the national level, the AOH sponsors high school students to study and travel in Ireland for five weeks through the Irish Way Program.[40] The program “is a unique cultural and educational program for American High School students.”[41] Students involved in the program travel to Ireland and live with an Irish host family for five weeks. While in Ireland, “they learn about Irish history, literature and language through classes and field trips; experience Ireland’s culture through traditional Irish music and dancing…and travel the Irish countryside.”[42] Both the national boards of the AOH and LAOH give two $500 scholarships to help send the children of members to Ireland for the program. Hibernians also sponsor a study abroad scholarship for juniors in college who are children of AOH/LAOH members in order to study in Ireland. The national board gives away two $1000 scholarships and in return the recipients of the scholarship:
are expected to do two years of a community service project. The community service project could possibly be a lecture on his/her experiences or the setting up of a display of Irish books at their local library during National Library Month.[43]

Additional programs that the national board involves themselves with are historical projects that promote and preserve Irish and Irish-American history in the United States. One such project known as the Jeanie Johnston Project, is a replica of a ship, which brought Irish immigrants to America who were fleeing An Gorta Mor. The AOH and LAOH sponsor historical sight-seeing trips to Ireland as well.[44]
The AOH and LAOH have and will continue to preserve and promote Irish culture and history through their variety of projects, festivals, parades, and competitions. Many people joined the AOH and LAOH because they “wanted to become more of an Irish-American and learn as much as …[they] could regarding …[Ireland’s] history, politics, and culture.”[45] Another reason for membership was Irish-Americans to join was so that they “…wanted to be more than a St. Patrick’s Day Irishman” according to AOH member Joe Casey.[46] However the most important factor of taking part in the AOH and LAOH is the fact that many Irish-Americans “need to know where [they have] been and where [they are] going.”[47]
Both the early and latter time periods of both AOH and LAOH activity promoted and preserved the various aspects of Irish culture not only for its own membership, but for the state of Ohio as well. The AOH of the latter twentieth century has utilized the activities of the early twentieth century and expanded them to include dance, literature, language, music, and historical preservation projects such as the Jeannie Johnston Project. By building upon the past, present and future of Irish culture, the organizations have been able to “foster the ideals and perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish people [and] to promote Irish culture.”[48]
An important aspect of “…the ideals [and] the history and traditions of the Irish people [and]…culture” is the Catholic faith.[49] Catholicism and Irish history and culture have been intrinsically linked since the time that St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle. That faith and culture have also played an important role in both the AOH and LAOH history as well. The importance of religion to the organizations has shaped the activities of the Orders, especially in regards to charitable activities throughout the nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

[1] Youngstown Telegram, March 13, 1925.
[2] The Youngstown Vindicator, March 7, 1926.
[3] Dayton Journal, March 8, 1936 and March 18, 1936.
[4] Ibid., March 18, 1936.
[5] Dennis Clark, Hibernia America: The Irish and Regional Cultures, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), 193-194.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Maxine Schwartz Seller, Ed., Immigrant Women (New York: State University of New York Press, 1994), 304.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Interview with author, J. Michael Finn, February 8, 2004. and interview with author, Dr. Thomas O’Mahoney, February 8, 2004, Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Interview with author, Dr. Thomas O’Mahoney, February 8, 2004.
[15] Cincinnati Post –Times-Star, February 9, 1967, 20.
[16] Cincinnati Post, February 19, 1979, 18.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.
[19] The Cincinnati Post, September 18, 1973. Ethnic groups such as Polish-America Society, Germania Society, Oriental Band, and Mexican American groups according to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, March 17, 1978, E13.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Catholic Universe Bulletin, March 16, 1979. Other cities where AOH/LAOH works with other Irish organizations are Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo.
[22] Email correspondence with author, February 17, 2004. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[23] Catholic Exponent, March 16, 1973.
[24] The Cincinnati Post, September 18, 1973.
[25] Akron Beacon Journal, March 17, 1975.
[26] Maureen Dezell, Irish America Coming into Clover the evolution of a people and a culture, (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 19.
[27] The Irish World, December 6, 2002
[28] Cincinnati Enquirer, March 16, 1979, E21.
[29] Lucas County LAOH meeting minutes from the years of 2002-present, Ohio State board meeting minutes, 2003-present. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Catholic Exponent, March 16, 1990 & March 15, 1991.
[32] Catholic Exponent, May 23, 2003.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Ibid. Following is the list of churches in Ohio where AOH/LAOH windows can be found: Diocese of Youngstown: Immaculate Conception (two windows), there have been other documented windows but those churches are no longer in existence within the diocese; Toledo: Historic Church of Saint Patrick and the Catholic Church located in Ironton.
[36] Ibid.
[37] “Media Release Regarding AOH Window Search, January 31, 2005” J. Michael Finn, Hibernian email listserv, Yahoo groups. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[38] Email correspondence with author, July 26, 2004. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[39] Email correspondence with author, February 15, 2004. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
77 Ibid.

[42] Ibid.
[43] Ibid.
[45] Joe Casey correspondence. Uncatalogued materials, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[46] Ibid.
[47] Dr. Thomas O’Mahoney interview.
[48] AOH constitution preamble.
[49] Ibid.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A real face of war

As many of you know I work at a local moving company here in Toledo that is an agent for one of the national moving companies. From time to time we have a number of military shipments that come into storage at our warehouse. Today, a 24 year old soldier's belongings have returned home. The sad news is that this is not a joyful homecoming of a solider. This soldier was killed in Iraq in early July and his truck and 8 boxes are being returned to his family here in Northwest Ohio. I looked up the soldier's name online and was presented with a real person, Keith Kline, which put a face on this senseless and tragic war in Iraq.

I never knew this soldier but seeing his things come of the truck and into our storage put a real face on this war. Before when I had heard of deaths in combat in Iraq, it saddened me at the moment, but I couldn't put a face on it so I would go about my day. Today, I saw his face and I will never let it be a fleeting moment again. Our young soldiers are dying everyday and for what? I don't understand why we are at war and why so many young lives have been lost. What is the best way that we can honor these young men and women killed in the line of duty, a duty that many Americans such as myself do not fully understand. Although I do not support the reason why we are in Iraq, I do support our troops, because they have been sent to do their job, whether or not I agree with the reason for them being there.

For the soldiers of who have served in Vietnam and Iraq and their families, I thank you for your service and sacrifice. You will always be remembered in my heart and I am sure in the hearts of millions of our fellow Americans, even if it is just in passing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ancient Order of Hibernians and Irish Culture Part I

The promotion and preservation of Irish culture have played important roles in AOH activity and history since it’s beginning in Ireland during the mid-sixteenth century. In regards to promotion and preservation, AOH involvement in Ohio can be traced to two distinct time periods: 1880 to 1936 and 1967 to 2004. The first time period is important because it was those years that AOH began in Ohio and grew to become one of the largest in the nation. This earlier period is ripe with newspaper coverage of the various AOH events that promoted and preserved Irish culture. The second time period is important because the resurgence of the AOH can be traced to that time period. This period brought new Irish-Americans into the fold as events in Northeastern Ireland unfolded and the explosion of Irish cultural activities such as step-dancing in the 1990s.

During the 1880 to 1936 era, the AOH in Ohio primarily focused on Irish history and music in preserving and promoting Irish culture. This earlier era primarily focused its promotion of culture amongst its own members, thereby overlooking the promise of promoting Irish culture within their local communities. The AOH of the 1967 to 2004 era has broadened its preservation and promotion of culture to include Irish step-dancing, literature and language in addition to the older era’s history and music cultural promotions. This latter era primarily focuses its attention on preserving and promoting Irish culture for the community at large, not just for the benefit of its own membership. The preamble of the AOH constitution clearly spells out that the AOH must “…foster the ideals and perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish people [and] to promote Irish culture.”[1]

One of the first accounts of the AOH promoting Irish culture was in Youngstown where the divisions held a procession through the town for St. Patrick’s Day in 1876. A lecture was held for the AOH members about why Irish-Americans celebrate the holiday in honor of their heritage.[2] This lecture educated Hibernian members about the history of their native country and why it was important to honor their heritage at their gatherings. The Dayton AOH members in 1890 held a gathering for St. Patrick’s Day in order to educate their membership about the importance of preserving their Irish heritage in America.[3] That same year, the Cleveland AOH held a procession through the streets of Cleveland followed by a speech that was given by the Speaker of the Ohio State House, Representative Hysell. According to the newspaper account of the speech, Representative Hysell said, “he could appreciate the love of country implanted in every true Irishman’s breast” after viewing the parade.[4] Mr. Thomas McNamara, Jr. spoke at the gathering in Youngstown in 1893 on how Hibernians “appreciate what St. Patrick’s day is in the green isle beyond the sea.”[5] In March 1890, Cleveland’s AOH divisions hosted two speakers at a community wide event which focused on Ireland as It Was and Irish-American as the topics for the evening.[6]

Columbus divisions of the AOH held a celebration of Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day in 1901. The morning began with mass at St. Patrick’s church with the AOH divisions of the city. Following mass, a parade consisting of Hibernian members, Columbus police, Hibernian military divisions known as the Hibernian Rifles, and civic leaders of Columbus. The evening entertainment was held at the Board of Trade auditorium with speakers, music, and dramatic recitations of famous Irish speeches in order to educate the community at large about the culture and history of Ireland.[7]

The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) in Youngstown held its first annual ball in honor of St. Patrick’s Day with music provided by the Mahoning Orchestra in 1903.[8] For Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the shops of the city were decorated with “…pots of hardy shamrock…and the bits of fluttering green on every other pedestrian gave the proper note to a festival which has the peculiarity of being almost a national holiday in every country on the globe” according to the Cleveland Catholic Universe during that same year.[9] The AOH in Cleveland organized a banquet featuring speakers and Irish music at a local parish for their members later that evening.[10]

AOH in Columbus focused on promoting Irish history during the centennial anniversary of the execution of Robert Emmet by the British in 1803. A tribute “of word and song” was one of the highlights of the remembrance according to the Sunday Columbus Dispatch during the event in 1903.[11] Speakers for the ceremony were Ohio Governor George K. Nash, Mayor Robert H. Jeffrey of Columbus, Honorable T.S. Hogan (state president of the AOH), and Captain George Sweeney (chairman of the state AOH committee). LAOH took charge of the evening program where Irish songs were sung and a presentation was made on the historical contributions of women in Ireland.[12]

In December 1903, national AOH president James E. Dolan spoke to the Cleveland AOH about the movement to revive the Irish language in America. Cleveland Catholic Universe stated that the AOH are “devoting thousands of dollars a year to spread the movement, because they believe that with a general knowledge and use of their native tongue, Irishmen will regain their racial individuality and her national independence.”[13] To help with this endeavor, the AOH created an endowed Chair of Gaelic at Catholic University for $50,000.[14] In addition to the Irish language, Hibernians placed an emphasis on Irish literature when the AOH in Cleveland also planned a literary evening with lectures given by Irish writers such as Seamus McManus in order to educate their members about Irish literature.[15]

The AOH members in Youngstown decided that in lieu of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, they decided to celebrate the division’s fortieth anniversary on March 9, 1904. Michael Davitt, “the famous Irish member of Parliament, will be here to deliver an address” in celebration of the order’s existence.[16] Toledo AOH held a program celebrating Ireland’s literary tradition entitled, “Modern Irish Literature” in March 1904. The speaker, J.P. Madigan talked about “the position that Ireland held in the world of letters and her educational institutions, [which were made] famous during the early centuries…[and how modern Irish writers] are restoring Ireland to her ancient literary glory” according to the Cleveland Catholic Universe.[17] AOH Cuyahoga county board members published “a list of books in the public library relating to Ireland and by Irish writers” so that its members could educate themselves about their Irish heritage.[18]

In 1904, the Youngstown AOH hosted the Ohio state convention for three days in August. “A parade through the principal streets of the city, in which home and visiting folks… [took] part” was held after the opening of the convention.[19] An estimated “10,000 people … [were] expected in the city while the convention is in session” according to the Youngstown Telegraph.[20] Ireland’s history was celebrated throughout the course of the parade:
The parade was headed by a squad of the city police. Next came the Youngstown
Military band with brilliant white head pieces, and the rifle companies in the following named order: Springfield, Cleveland, Columbus, and Zanesville, followed by the Gallow Glass pikemen, wearing the costume of the fighting men of the time of Ireland’s patriot, Brian Boru who drove the Danes from that country about the eleventh century.[21]

During the state convention, a resolution was passed which stated:
Resolved, That we most heartily endorse the action taken by the national convention at St. Louis, commending the efforts and work of the Gaelic League, in endeavoring to revive the interest in the Irish language, and that we, this committee, request that wherever possible, the work be taken up by our sisters [in the LAOH].[22]

With the passage of this resolution, Hibernian members wanted to stress the importance of promotion of Irish culture and history were to the Hibernians in Ohio. They had a real desire to keep various aspects of their culture alive, especially the Irish language which was struggling to survive in the Emerald Isle.

The AOH in Cleveland continued to honor and promote Irish history in a celebration “commemorating the 127th anniversary of the birth of Robert Emmet” in March of 1905.[23] The event was:
attended by over 800 people, who crowded the large auditorium and the ante-rooms. County President Callahan made the opening address, after which the Hibernian Rifles, of Division No. 12, under Captain A.F. Burke, gave an exhibition drill lasting half an hour. The ladies especially were much interested in the work. Panoramic views of scenes in Ireland …were then shown under the direction of John Graham, of Division 12. While the picture of the trial scene was displayed on the canvas, Miss Conroy recited Emmet’s speech in the dock.[24]

The reenactment of important themes from Irish history such as Robert Emmet’s speech from the dock reinforced the themes of struggle and triumph over tragedy that have been rampant throughout the history of Ireland. By keeping their members aware of those themes, they AOH was able to keep the flame for Irish freedom from the British alive and to keep their members interested in their culture and heritage.

Promoting Irish music became the focus of the Youngstown AOH during the summer of 1906. The program concentrated on “…the music of Irish composers and the tunes so dear to the Irish hearts” according to the Youngstown Daily Vindicator.[25] The musical program was such a success that more and more people flocked to AOH sponsored events that promoted Irish culture. At the 1907 St. Patrick’s Day banquet, “it was estimated that the crowd would probably number from 1,200 to 1,400 people, but it is safe to say twice this number turned out, the outpour being simply amazing” according to the local newspaper.[26] The program consisted of dinner, music, and comedy acts. Entertainment was limited during the first couple of decades of the twentieth century before the advent of television and radio due to the fact that access to facilities was limited and that many Irish worked a six day work week. Musical shows held within the local community were an important part of bringing people such as the Irish together for an evening of culture and fun.

At a March 1909 open house celebrating the dedication of new AOH headquarters for Mahoning county, Father John L. Moran addressed the gathered Hibernians on the subject of St. Patrick. Youngstown Telegram said that Moran:
referred to the early life of Ireland’s patron saint when the youth was a slave, to his return to preach the gospel of Christianity, to the prosperity, the learning and the wealth of Ireland at that time and lastly to the indissoluble relations of the history of St. Patrick and the history of Ireland.[27]

The focus on Irish history and Christianity continued at Youngstown’s St. Columba Church in March 1910. Father Maurice Griffin reviewed:
the history of the Green Isle during its missionary period when its children entered the church and spread the gospel throughout Europe. After three hundred years of religious zeal persecution followed, and after drinking the cup of sorrow the Irish people came through the frightful period lasting for centuries, stronger in their faith than ever [before].[28]

Youngstown brought a speaker by the name of P.H. O’Donnell from Chicago who spoke on “Irishmen’s Contributions to Civilization” at the St. Patrick’s Day banquet.[29] The Youngstown Daily Vindicator concluded that O’Donnell’s presentation was “…pleasing, inspiring, [and] ennobling.”[30] Hibernians brought speakers in to keep their membership informed about Irish history and culture.

The AOH divisions of Columbus held a parade through downtown and a mass where Father Gaffney spoke on “Irish Ideals.”[31] According to The Catholic Columbian, Father Gaffney’s sermon was:
a tribute to the trinity of trait characteristic of the Irish race-loyalty to God, to Church,and Country. Devotion to these Irish ideals during the past sixteen centuries was briefly traced down to the history of the Fighting 69th, recently issued by Father Duffy, its Chaplain. It was pleasing and inspiring to listen to Father Gaffney, who always stays with his text and emphasizes his points with apt quotations from recognized authors.[32]

In 1921, the Chamber of Commerce was the setting for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Columbus under the auspices of the AOH and LAOH. The local Catholic newspaper described the event as:
The most complete Irish program ever attempted in this city…The entertainment…will include a review of Ireland’s most loved songs, dances and instrumental numbers. The famous marching song of the Irish Republican Volunteers will be given by members of the Hibernian Rifles chorus and many beautiful Irish melodies will be given by the most prominent Irish singers of the city. Musical numbers including the Irish harps, concertinas, melodians and flute will be given and a chorus of pretty colleens will sing delightful Irish airs.[33]

In addition to events previously discussed, which were held to promote Irish culture and history, the Hibernians decided to expand their outreach to the children whose parents were already members or those who were not in order to educate Irish-American children about their ethnic heritage.

In January of 1923, the outreach activity decided upon by the national AOH was to create an essay writing contest that was open to all parochial and public schools “for the purpose of stimulating an interest in the study of Irish and American history.” [34] The contest was open to grades seven through twelve and college students and contestants need not be of Irish descent. “Twelve cash prizes ranging in value from $200 down, will be given successful contestants in the competition.”[35] The division of subjects were the following:
The choice of two subjects is given the essayists in each class. In the college division the subjects indicated are: “Did Ireland Gain or Lose, or Both, and How, by Not Becoming a Part of the Roman Empire?” and “Ireland’s Influence on American Affairs and America’s on Irish Affairs.” The prizes for this class will be $200, $100, $75 and $50. The length of the essays for this class will be about 3,000 words. In the high school and academy class the subjects will be “The Relation of the American Colonies to England and That of Ireland, Till the Year 1800, Compared,” or “Why We Should, and How We Can Best Study Irish History.” The prizes in this class will be $100, $75, $50 and $25 and the length of essays about 2,000 words. In the grammar school class the subject will be:
“What in Your Opinion, Was the Greatest Event in Irish History, and Why?” or “My Favorite Irish Hero or Heroine.” The prizes will be $50, $25, $15 and $10 and the length of the essays about 1,000 words.[36]
The essay contest continues to play an important role for Irish cultural outreach for American children today.

[1] AOH constitution preamble, (circa 2000), uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[2] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, March 24, 1876.
[3] Dayton Daily Journal, March 17, 1890.
[4] Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 1890.
[5] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, March 18, 1893.
[6] Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 1893.
[7] Columbus Sunday Dispatch, March 17, 1901., This is the only account of a Hibernian Irish culture event that was open to the public at large. All other events during this era continued to be geared towards the education of their own members.
[8] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, February 5, 1903 & February 25, 1903.
[9] Cleveland Catholic Universe, March 20, 1903.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Columbus Sunday Dispatch, September 20, 1903.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Cleveland Catholic Universe, December 4, 1903.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, March 9, 1904.
[17] Cleveland Catholic Universe, March 25, 1904.
[18] Ibid., July 15, 1904.
[19] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, August 5, 1904.
[20] The Youngstown Telegram, August 8, 1904.
[21] Ibid., August 10, 1904.
[22] Ibid., August 11, 1904.
[23] Cleveland Catholic Universe, March 10, 1905.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, June 12, 1906.
[26] Ibid., March 17, 1907.
[27] Youngstown Telegram, March 15, 1909.
[28] Youngstown Daily Vindicator, March 14, 1910.
[29] Ibid., March 13, 1914.
[30] Ibid.
[31] The Catholic Columbian, March 12, 1920.
[32] Ibid., March 19, 1920.
[33] Ibid., March 11, 1921.
[34] Ibid., January 19, 1923. The contest is now run by the LAOH today.
[35] Ibid.
[36] The Catholic Columbian, January 19, 1923.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A sense of accomplishment

I have decided to leave the kid thing to God and to focus on school. I began studying for my comps yesterday. I have already plowed through two chapters on early seventeenth century European history on topics such as expansion, slavery, and the Austrian War of Succession. So far, I seem to have maintained a lot of the knowledge that I have learned in years past. While I seem comfortable with the facts, I need to work on the historiography. That will come with time and studying.

I have a study plan somewhat mapped out and I will be going to the library this weekend to get some research material as I am working on a possible publication for my CV. I also had a job interview with a local college here in Toledo for teaching a class in the fall. There is a good chance that I will get it. They offered me a course already but it conflicted with my class schedule at UT, so I am hopeful that they will find something else for me to teach. Everything seems to be coming together and I know that I will be ABD by the end of this coming academic year.

This post is short due to the fact that I have to return to work from my lunch hour.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Life is easy for some and hard for others.

I have often marveled at how life in general appears to come easy for some people, while everything is a constant struggle in life for others. Then again, the grass always appears greener on the other side. I will admit that life in general seems to be a constant struggle for me and that nothing comes easy for me. But that is my perception and others may disagree with me on my opinion. I tend to see the glass as half empty and not half full. People tell me to just think positive and that everything will work out. I try to think positive, but it always seems to backfire. How does a person focus on the positive and not on the negative in life? How can you change your perception of life and believe that it can come easy for you in some ways. This is the question that I have struggled with most of my life.

I know that I have been blessed with many good people and events in my life such as my husband, parents, siblings, friends and my two dogs. I have been fortunate to earn both my bachelor and master's degrees in history and that I can pursue my dream of becoming a historian and college professor. However, the one thing that I want in my life more than anything else in the world is a child and that does not seem to be easy for me to achieve. The people around me seem to get pregnant easily while my womb remains empty. I know that I have PCOS which will make getting pregnant difficult (see prior posts about this subject). I take my temperature every month and chart it to ensure that I am ovulating and my husband does his part, but still no baby. I feel that time is working against me, both because of my age (turning 30 in November) and my health issues. We can't afford fertility treatments because our health insurance will not cover it.

People tell me to relax and it will come. But every time I hear that, I want to scream. I don't want to be told to relax and it will happen. That does not help with how I feel. It does not help with the empty feeling inside and the feeling of inadequacy of not being a complete woman since I can't seem to get pregnant. Hopefully writing this will make me feel better. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Response to Historymike's tag

I was tagged by Historymike at ans so I have to respond to this tag. The rules according to Historymike are: "1. Let others know who tagged you.2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged."

1. I began my undergraduate career at Ball State University as a vocal performance major with a history minor.

2. I collect hurricane glasses from every Hard Rock Cafe location that I visit.

3. I have been to Ireland two times. During those two trips, I met a guy and on the second trip we broke up. Lesson learned from this experience is don't date the tour guide that hits on you during a walking tour. By the way, Ireland is a beautiful place to visit and I would highly recommend visiting if you ever get the chance to vacation there.

4. I attended law school for a year at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing Michigan. I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. However this experience wasn't priceless, it costs me thirty grand in student loans in order to figure this little life lesson out.

5. I have had three different last names, but only have been married once.

6. I am addicted to General Hospital.

7. My fast food obsession is Taco Bell. I have to eat there at least once a week to satisfy my cravings.

8. I really want to be an Irish history historian but since there are no jobs in Irish history, I have turned my research interests toward European Expansion to Asia and World History.

I don't know eight people who write blogs. So the buck stops here and I have violated one of the 4 cardinal rules of blog tag.

Friday, July 6, 2007

General musings

It started up again this morning at midnight and lasted until 5am. So not much sleep last night either. At least we got three hours, which was more than the 4th. Not much else going on. Just starting the process of studying for my comprehensive exams. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A rant about inconsiderate neighbors

I know it has been quite a while since I have written a post on this blog. The events that took place in my North Toledo neighborhood last night have inspired me to rant about them in this post. I understand the need to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, family, and fun. What I do not understand is why drunken debauchery, gun shots, sounds of fighting, vandalism, shooting of fireworks, glass breaking, and other events have to continue past midnight, especially when people have to work the next day.

My husband and I had the window a/c unit and television on in an attempt to drown out the above activities of our inconsiderate neighbors last night. We were not able to go to sleep until 4 or 5am. The only reason our dogs were able to sleep was for the fact that they have to be sedated due to being intensely afraid of the neighborhood activity on the 4th of July. They were not afraid until this year until some freaking idiot threw a lit firecracker at them in their own backyard.

I do not understand the people that live in my neighborhood. I know that it is a small minority making it rough for the majority of people in the neighborhood who work hard and cannot afford to live anywhere else due to over priced housing in the suburbs of Toledo. We are trying to get out of this neighborhood as we do not want to raise our future children there. We are both in college to improve our lot in life and to flee this city which we feel has imprisoned us due to the lack of economic opportunity, affordable housing in a safe neighborhood and good schools.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

LAOH: Conclusion

With this in mind, the Hibernians turned their attention to the fears of Communism and the Cold War. Members were American first and Irish second. This sense of being American first and Irish second led to many Irish rallying around the American and even, the British flag during World War II and the Cold War. They felt that it was their patriotic duty to defend America from the evils of Communism. As the Irish became more educated, they became exposed to improved economic conditions, and they were soon swept in the consumer culture that began in the 1950s.[1] Throughout the next thirty years there was a lack of Irish-American involvement in their culture. By the 1980s, Irish-American attention became centered on the conflict in Northern Ireland. This new found interest in the current events of Northern Ireland combined with the new found interest in understanding their ethnicity led many Irish, Catholic Americans back to the old fraternal organizations, especially the AOH and the LAOH.[2] Historian Ronald Takaki summarizes this need to understand our ethnic heritage with the words of Walt Whitman, “of every hue and caste am I, I resist any thing better than my own diversity.” For example, Sister Ann McManus joined the LAOH because “it means I’m continuing my Irish heritage.”[3] Her parents were born in Ireland and by becoming a member; she could ensure that “Irish roots would continue in Toledo.”[4]

The LAOH re-emerged in Toledo at a meeting at OB’s Tavern on May 17, 1990 when a group of Irish-Americans met with the purpose of organizing a new chapter. The person responsible for leading the charge was Mary Ann Buckley.[5] Buckley had received a phone call from the Dayton, Ohio LAOH about starting up a new division in Toledo.[6] Shirley Keaton, on behalf of the state LAOH board, initiated new members into the division. On June 2, 1990 a meeting was held at Chicago’s Restaurant with LAOH state president Kathi Linton present to witness the election of officers.[7] This served as the first official meeting of the new division in Lucas County. In addition to the election of officers, the determination of the amount of dues and names for the new order were suggested. These included Cardinal O’Faigh, Bernadette Devlin, and Oliver Plunkett, but Mother Catherine McCauley was chosen as the name for the division.[8] One charter member, Sister Ann McManus, along with Mary Ann Buckley went on a “rampage for new members” for the division.[9] The result of this rampage was between 25 and 35 new members.[10] The resurgence of the LAOH in Toledo and the state of Ohio was reflected nationwide as well.

Today, the LAOH nationwide has over 12,000 members in thirty states.[11] The LAOH remains committed to their motto of “friendship, unity, and Christian charity.” The lady Hibernians actively raise money for various Catholic charities and to support the renovations of historical Irish parishes throughout the United States. An excellent example of this is the annual St. Patrick’s Festival held by the AOH and LAOH of Toledo, Ohio to raise funds for the restoration of Historic St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. The LAOH actively promotes Irish culture through lectures at schools, Irish dancing demonstrations, exhibits at libraries, and musical gatherings held at local Irish-American pubs such as Mickey Finn’s on Lagrange Street in Toledo. The LAOH in Dayton also participates in promoting and preserving Irish culture. The division organized an Irish step-dancing school in the 1950s in order to instruct its junior members in that tradition. The dancing school known as the Celtic Academy participates in parades, banquets, political rallies, and dance contests throughout the state. They also “heartily support national LAOH efforts such as the Columban Missions, the Irish Brigade Civil War Museum at Antietam, scholarships, vocations, and the annual Irish history essay contest.”[12] In addition to all of the activities just mentioned, the LAOH is actively involved in the conflict in Northeastern Ireland.

The Mother McCauley division works with Project Children to bring the children living in northeastern Ireland, both Catholic and Protestant, to America. Here they have an opportunity to see that they have quite a lot in common, although they are raised in northeastern Ireland to be on opposing sides. Since the Good Friday Agreement, Project Children is more focused on bringing the disabled children of northeastern Ireland to America where children with disabilities are more widely accepted than in their homeland. A second activity of the LAOH is to give the Catholic families of northeastern Ireland a vacation outside of that area. Because Catholics have the highest unemployment rate in northeastern Ireland, they often do not have the money to escape the conflict for a few days. A third activity involving LAOH is the Between Project, which brings children from both northeastern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland together in order to show that the children are the same, rather than different from one another.[13] Dayton LAOH chose to get involved in northeastern Ireland by “adopting” Sister Corrigan at St. Paul’s parish in Belfast “in efforts to help diminish the affects of The Troubles among the youth there.” Some of their contributions to the children there are “sports uniforms, monetary donations, and many prayers.”[14]

The emphasis on historic preservation, raising funds for Catholic based charities, promotion of Irish culture, and involvement in the conflict in northeastern Ireland is a shift in the focus of the LAOH in the late twentieth century from that of the LAOH in the early twentieth century which focused its energies on social gatherings and raising money for the scholarship endowment at Trinity College and local charities. This shift in focus of the LAOH can be traced to the liberation of women from the traditional roles of society. During the early twentieth century, married women were expected to not work outside of the home. Society’s gender roles deemed that middle class women belonged in the home cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children while men worked outside of the home. However, Irish women did not always fulfill the traditional role in which society deemed appropriate for them. Many Irish immigrant women worked outside of the home as domestic servants, nurses, teachers and only left the work force when they married late in life when compared to other immigrant women in America according to Diner. But, the overwhelming majority of LAOH members worked inside of the home, due to the fact that the majority of the LAOH members were part of the middle class.[15]
Since the LAOH members of the early twentieth century worked inside of their homes, their activities within the order were confined to the traditional middle class activities such as planning socials and raising money for local charities. The AOH discouraged the LAOH during the early twentieth century from taking part in the cause of Irish independence from Britain; this cause was strictly reserved for the male organization.[16] As middle class Irish women began to bend society’s traditional roles and left housework for work outside of the home, the scope of their activities within the order changed. They honored their roots by raising money to preserve historically significant buildings, which are important in Irish-American history and by hosting Irish dances, speakers, and other events to promote Irish culture. The AOH during the late twentieth century encouraged the women to become involved in Irish nationalism. LAOH delved into issues by the 1970s and 1980s that they had not dealt with before, such as the conflict in northeastern Ireland. By joining the LAOH, Irish-American women were able to go beyond the “green beer” aspect of their heritage and to use the organization as “an eye opener to my Irish heritage” according to Ann Dollman, a heritage where their Irish ethnicity is intrinsically linked with their Catholic faith.[17]

[1] McCaffrey, The Irish Catholic Diaspora, 172-177 and interviews with J. Michael Finn and Thomas O’Mahoney.
64 Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (New York: Little, Brown, & Co., 1993), 1-17 and 378-428 and interviews from the following individuals: Ann Dollman, Mary Ann Buckley, J. Michael Finn, Thomas O’Mahoney, and Sister Ann McManus.

65 Quote from Whitman comes from Takaki, A Different Mirror, 428 and the other quote comes from: Sister Ann McManus, interview with author, 12 December 2003. Sister Ann McManus is an Ursuline nun born to Irish immigrant parents from County Roscommon. She has held every office in the Lucas County LAOH division except for Treasurer. She was involved in various Irish organizations as a child and young adult such as the Irish Benevolent Club and Knights of Equity. Information and quote taken from interview dated 12 December 2003. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
66 Ibid.
67 Mary Ann Buckley is an Irish immigrant born in County Mayo, Ireland. She began working in Dublin as a waitress at an ice cream parlor on O’Connell Street. She moved to London and trained as a typist and began work in the Ministry of Works. Poor wages in London led her to follow her brother to immigrate to America, who was living in Toledo in 1947. She worked in a local office doing secretarial work until she met her husband, Morris in 1949. She was actively involved in several Irish organizations in Toledo such as the Irish Social Club and the Knights of Equity before starting up the new LAOH division in Toledo in 1990. Information gathered by author in interview on 24 November 2003 in Toledo, Ohio. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
68 Ibid.
69 Ibid.
70 Kathi Linton went on to become the national president of the LAOH during the latter half of the 1990s.

67 Mary Ann Buckley is an Irish immigrant born in County Mayo, Ireland. She began working in Dublin as a waitress at an ice cream parlor on O’Connell Street. She moved to London and trained as a typist and began work in the Ministry of Works. Poor wages in London led her to follow her brother to immigrate to America, who was living in Toledo in 1947. She worked in a local office doing secretarial work until she met her husband, Morris in 1949. She was actively involved in several Irish organizations in Toledo such as the Irish Social Club and the Knights of Equity before starting up the new LAOH division in Toledo in 1990. Information gathered by author in interview on 24 November 2003 in Toledo, Ohio. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
68 Ibid.
69 Ibid.
70 Kathi Linton went on to become the national president of the LAOH during the latter half of the 1990s.
71 Membership drive correspondence from Mary Ann Buckley dated May of 1990 and minutes from the June 2, 1990 meeting of the Mother Catherine McCauley division of Lucas County, Ohio. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.

72 Sister Ann McManus interview.
73 June 2, 1990 meeting minutes of Mother McCauley division of Lucas County Ohio.
74 National Hibernian Digest (Philadelphia, PA: Ancient Order of Hibernians & Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians), July-August 2003. Eileen McNeil is a past state of Ohio LAOH president.
75 Information from Toledo taken from meeting minutes and Dayton came from the Townsend article on the history of the LAOH in Dayton, pgs 6-12.
76 Information contained in paragraph was obtained in interviews from the following people: Sister Ann McManus, and Ann Dollman. Additional information was obtained from meeting minutes of the Lucas County LAOH and Townsend, 12. The term “The Troubles” refers to the conflict in northeastern Ireland from 1969 to the present.
77 Information contained in paragraph was taken from the following sources: Diner, Erin’s Daughters in America,, Nolan, Ourselves Alone, Ann Dollman’s private collection of LAOH in Ohio historical papers. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.

78 Diner, Erin’s Daughters in America, 25 and interviews with Mary Ann Buckley, Ann Dollman, J. Michael Finn, & Thomas O’Mahoney.
79 Ann Dollman interview.

Monday, May 28, 2007


By the 1970s, the tide of decline in membership changed to an increase for both the AOH and LAOH. With the explosion of the interest in ethnicity and genealogy due to the successful television mini-series of Alex Haley’s Roots during the 1970s combined with
a time of great social and political turmoil inspired by the Vietnam War, the
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the Women’s Movement, people
of many different national backgrounds began to recognize and assert their
ethnic identities. They objected to ethnic stereotypes and promoted the benefits
of their individual cultures. They took the view that rather than a “melting pot,”
America was more like a “tossed salad” in which each ingredient is distinct and
adds its own flavor the whole[1]

This was also a time where both the AOH and LAOH seemed to be reborn. In 2004, the AOH has over seventeen divisions and total membership of over 2000 in Ohio, while the LAOH has over ten divisions in eight counties and a total membership of over 700. Both organizations continue to induct new members every month into their respective organizations.[2]

The activities of the LAOH changed during the course of the twentieth century. During the early years of the LAOH, the Hibernian women tended to keep within the traditional societal roles of women in carrying out their activities for the order. During the early part of the twentieth century, “propriety demanded that wives [and women in general] remain at home, and in many cases domestic chores and childbearing drained them of any energy that they might have devoted to intellectual activities or careers.”[3] According to Sara M. Evans, a historian of women’s history, “the urban middle class appeared to be devoted primarily to the elaboration of a life-style focused on domesticity and motherhood.”[4] She went on to argue that “women were to serve as an emotional center of the family and home.”[5] Although women were confined to the home, they were able to take part in the community through organizations such as the LAOH.[6]

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the LAOH, or the Auxiliary as it was known, was featured in the March 16, 1903 issue of the Youngstown Daily Vindicator in an article describing the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the city. Mr. J.T. Carroll, state secretary for the AOH state board of Ohio commented that the evening’s festivities would not be complete without thanking the ladies for “their assistance in furthering the A.O.H. work” and the Auxiliary members who sang at the banquet with their “sweet soprano voice.”[7] The ladies division in Youngstown met every other Wednesday evening at the AOH hall at 145 W. Federal.[8] In addition to singing at the banquets of the AOH, the Auxiliary held an Easter dance and card parties to provide entertainment for the men of the order.[9] Auxiliary members in other cities played similar roles according to newspaper accounts in the cities of Toledo and Dayton.[10] State board president of the LAOH prior to World War I, Eva DeVanney summarized that the motto of the friendship, unity and Christian charity
will be practically demonstrated so that in coming years all entitled to
membership will be included in its ranks and the history, language, customs,
traditions and songs of our mother country will be perpetuated.[11]

The LAOH in both Toledo and Dayton raised money for various causes. The Dayton LAOH collected over $1700 and gave it as death benefits to the families of fifteen sisters “who had been called from our midst” during the early years of the organization.[12] The LAOH in Toledo’s project focused raising money for the stained glass windows in the new Irish parish of St. Patrick’s on Avondale Avenue in downtown Toledo. The women of the organization, along with the men of the AOH, were able to raise enough money to install a beautiful stained glass window depicting St. Patrick and the birth of Christianity in Ireland.[13] Both of these examples fulfilled the traditional role of women within the community, which was to assist their community in times of need and to improve the beauty of their surroundings.[14]

However, bigger events to plan for the Youngstown divisions came to fruition with the announcement that the AOH state convention of 1904 would be held there on August 9th through the 11th.[15] The women assisted with the planning of the state convention, which began in June of 1904 according to an announcement in the Youngstown Daily Vindicator. The announcement states:
The convention soon to be held here is exciting uncommon interest and the enthusiastic way in which the members are perfecting details leads to the conclusion that the gathering will be extremely pleasant as well as successful in other ways.[16]

By the eighth of August, members of both orders began arriving in Youngstown. Some of the members who arrived that day were Catherine Collins of Toledo, the state president of the Auxiliary, state secretary Gertrude O’Brien, state treasurer Mary Blakeley and state board officers for the men’s order including D.D. Cahill and J.P. Rigney.[17]

The Daily Vindicator described Catherine Collins as “brilliantly educated, tactful president” in an article about the first day of the convention.[18] Collins addressed the Convention delegates with the following statement:
It is indeed a pleasure to me to have an opportunity to greet the majority of this assembly as sisters and brothers in the cause of friendship, unity, and true Christian charity, as children of the mother church and as sons and daughters of an unconquered race. The auxiliary to the A.O.H. is still in its infancy but by faithfully following the footsteps of our brothers we have already accomplished a great deal for the cause of education by contributing $10,000 for the endowment of a free scholarship for the members at Trinity college. Our hopes for the future are many but among our most cherished are the introduction of Irish history and the revival of Irish literature in our schools.[19]

Collins came across as a traditional, but strong and independent woman who informed the men of the convention that the women were pursuing their own goals, and not just what the members of the men’s order deemed appropriate for them. She followed the proscribed gender role of women of that time by promoting the traditional roles of women in educating the children on both the primary and higher levels of education. A testament to her character was her refusal to accept another term as state president she said that “there are so many capable, brilliant young women throughout the state who are willing to fill the office.”[20]

In addition to Collins, the journalistic coverage of the convention focused on Gertrude O’Brien of Urbana, Ohio who was re-elected to her position of state secretary “by acclamation which shows her popularity” according to the Youngstown Vindicator. The Vindicator described Miss O’Brien as “ a charming young lady and [was] gifted with many affable and pleasing traits” who was “deeply devoted to the interest of the L.A.O.H. and there is no more sincere worker [than her] in the organization.”[21]

Besides commenting on the individual leaders of the LAOH, the newspapers concentrated on the philanthropic ventures of the organization. The Youngstown Daily Vindicator came across as “surprised” by the fact that the auxiliary treasury “ had a balance of $9,030.45” which the reporter remarked was “a financial condition which would do credit to any association.” The report continued, “ the members of this state forwarded a contribution of $525 to the $10,000 endowment given Trinity college by the national auxiliary and … [gave] without reserve to countless other worthy enterprises.”[22] The endowment at Trinity College was created in 1902 at the Denver, Colorado national convention, where “a resolution was adopted to establish a four years’ scholarship.” The leaders of the LAOH set up the endowment as they saw a “need for and the value of good educational opportunities for the young women of the day.”[23]

After commenting on the charitable activities of the organization, attention was drawn to the number of people involved and the Daily Vindicator seemed impressed with the number of members in the auxiliary. At the 1904 state convention, the auxiliary had over 2500 members.[24] In addition to commenting on its large membership, the paper sang the praises of the Youngstown division of the auxiliary:
Although organized but six years, the Mahoning county division of the Ladies’ Auxiliary has prospered in a most remarkable manner, and none are more active in the state. The constitution of the auxiliary is practically the same as that of the men and many a benevolent and charitable action has been engineered by them.[25]

The delegates of the AOH complimented the women on the work, yet the editorial board of The Youngstown Daily Vindicator did not fail to mention that a woman’s duty was to the home first:
They have accomplished and are accomplishing a great and noble work and we believe that they are doing this work without detriment to home and fireside. The Irish women of today are maintaining the noblest traditions of the women of our race. It was Christianity that first emancipated womankind, and in woman has ever been found the purest and best exemplifications of Christian virtues and Christian principles.[26]

Although the news coverage gave a favorable opinion of the LAOH, by the tone of the report, the paper appeared that it did not want to insinuate the idea that women should neglect their duties to the children and home by taking part in fraternal organizations, but rather that such involvement kept women in their confined societal roles as cook, housekeeper, and nurturer.

After the conclusion of the 1904 state convention, the auxiliary went back to the normal order of business such as planning and participating in social gatherings and charity events with the AOH. In May of 1912, the six local divisions of the AOH along with Auxiliary held an outing at Lincoln Park in Youngstown. The outing was to serve as a fundraiser for a local hospital, St. Elizabeth’s. Events such as ball games, sprinting, dancing, and other Gaelic related sports were organized, which drew over 5,000 people.[27]

During the time of events such as the state convention and the fundraiser for St. Elizabeth’s the Auxiliary in Youngstown saw an increase in membership when it expanded from one division to four by 1915.[28] This increase in membership can possibly be explained by the fact that during this time the overwhelmingly majority of Irish immigrants were women, according to historian Janet Nolan. These women were fleeing Ireland due to the loss of their independence and life, as then they had lived prior to the Great Hunger of the 1840s and early 1850s. Before the Great Hunger, women in Ireland were seen as equals in society, however they were seen as secondary to Irish men afterwards. This new role for Irish women forced many “to seek a new direction in their lives by emigrating.”[29] Between the years of 1880 and 1920, the majority of emigrants coming from Ireland to the Untied States were women.

Nolan argues that the influx of female migration during those years resulted from the fact that Ireland lacked an urban and industrial culture. “The inhibiting social, demographic, and economic constraints placed on women promoted overall economic recovery but, at the same time, also prevented women from achieving an adult status as wives and wage earners within the still agricultural world of rural Ireland.”[30] Women saw emigration as their chance at gaining back what they had lost in Ireland as a result of the Great Hunger or An Gorta Mor.[31] Upon their arrival in America, women worked in various occupations such as domestic service and joined Irish fraternal organizations such as the LAOH “where women found support and aid” which enabled them to remain committed to their heritage according to historian Hasia Diner.[32] Diner goes on to state that “their economic assertiveness and strong sense of self did not jar those cultural traditions but proved instead to be the mechanism for blending old-world ideals with American needs.”[33]

Irish women became involved in all facets of Irish-American life, which helped them to regain the independence and status that they once had in Ireland. However, with this independence, many women turned away from their cultural roots and instead celebrated their newly found American heritage. This new sense of being an American combined with the political events including the outbreak of World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, led the LAOH to suffer a decline in membership. The children and grandchildren of Irish immigrants became Americanized and did not seem to be concerned with keeping the heritage of the older generations alive. This lack of interest in Irish roots can be tied to a variety of factors such as the devastation of two world wars which led a to great loss of life and an economic depression which caused people to be more concerned about putting food on the table than maintaining the cultural roots of the earlier generations.[34] A final and most important factor, which led to the decline in membership of the LAOH, was that the majority of the island of Ireland achieved its independence from Britain in 1921. Since Ireland was finally free of British rule, many Irish-Americans were no longer concerned with the events that occurred back in the old homeland. According to noted Irish-American historian Lawrence J. McCaffrey, “many Irish-American Catholics were disgusted and puzzled by the 1922-1923 civil war between Free Staters and Republic diehards.”[35] The overwhelming majority of Hibernians felt the same way in regards to the Irish civil war and “they agreed with Michael Collins, Ireland’s leading hero in the 1919-1921 guerilla war of liberation, that dominion status was a major British concession, and that it provided an opportunity for expanded sovereignty.”[36]

[1] Michael Novak, Ethnic Groups Never Truly “Melt’ into American Culture Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints, ed David L. Bender and others (San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1992), 49-50.
[2] Information compiled from AOH and LAOH state board information given to author via correspondence from J. Michael Finn, state historian of Ohio for the AOH and Ann Dollman, LAOH state board vice president. Information given to author consisted of directory and membership lists for each division in the state of Ohio. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[3] Barbara J. Harris, Beyond Her Sphere: Women and the Professions in American History (Wesport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978), 102.
[4] Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (New York: The Free Press, 1989), 138.
[5] Ibid., 229.
[6] Additional information which the author used to explain how the early twentieth century LAOH’s activities differed from that of the late twentieth century organization: Teresa Amott and Julie Matthaei, Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1991), Babara Kuhn Campbell, The “Liberated” Woman of 1914: Prominent Women in the Progressive Era (United States: UMI Research Press, 1976), Maurine Weiner Greenwald, “Working-Class Feminism and the Family Wage Idea: The Seattle Debate on Married Women’s Right to Work, 1914-1920l” The Journal of American History (Jan.,1989) & Sharon Sassler, “Learning to Be an ‘American Lady’?: Ethnic Variation in Daughters’ Pursuits in the Early 1900s” Gender and Society, (Feb., 2000).
[7] The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 16 March 1903.
[8] The Burch Directory (city directory of Youngstown, Ohio, 1903 & 1904).
[9] The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 20 February 1904.
[10] Toledo News Bee, March 1904. Toledo Blade, March 1905. Dayton Daily Vindicator, March 1903, March 1904, March 1907.
[11] Townsend, Centennial celebration, 1896-1996,1. The Dayton division also assisted sisters who were in need of financial assistance for medical reasons as well.

39 Information on the Toledo LAOH project was taken from the following sources: Toledo Blade (Toledo, Ohio), 16-18 March 1904 & 20 July 1904 and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Local History Collections, Historic Church of St. Patrick records, Toledo, Ohio, Box 1 Folder 2-5, Box 2 Folder 16-18, Box 3 Folder 37, and Box 4 Folder 70,95,114,118, and 121.
40 Harris, Beyond Her Sphere, Campbell, The “Liberated” Woman of 1914, and Evans, Born for Liberty
41 The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 21 July 1904.
42 Ibid.
43 Ibid., 1 June 1904.

[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid., 9 August 1904.
[19] A scholarship, which is still given annually to either a member of the LAOH or a relative of a member at the national convention. Excerpt of speech taken from the following source: The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 9 August 1904.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid., 12 August 1904.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and Trinity College: Partners in the Education of Women for More than a Century. Brochure in the hand of Ann Dollman, state board Vice President, Toledo, Ohio. Brochure is a timeline of information about the relationship between the LAOH and Trinity College in Washington, D.C., Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[24] The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, 10 August 1904.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid., 11 August 1904.
[27] Ibid., 24 May 1912.
[28] Youngstown City Directory (1915, Youngstown).
[29] Nolan, Ourselves Alone: Women’s Emigration, 42. Before the 1880s, men made up of over fifty percent of those emigrating from Ireland. By 1885, females were the emigrant majority. This shift occurred as more opportunities became available to men in Ireland, while those for women were non-existent. Lack of opportunity combined with a decrease in the male population and an increase in the female population, led to the increase in female emigration.
[30] Ibid., 73.
[31] In Ireland, it is referred to as An Gorta Mor. Also known as the more commonly used Famine, but I disagree with the word famine as that would indicate that there were no sources of food available in Ireland and that all of the crops had failed. However, the only crop that failed was the potato, which 90% of the Irish relied on as their main source of food. According to Dr. Seamus Metress, noted scholar of Irish Studies, the An Gorta Mor was “a time period when Irish peasants starved in the midst of plenty. Wheat, oats, barley, butter, eggs, beef, and pork were exported from Ireland in large quantities.” Seamus Metress & Richard A. Rajner, The Great Starvation: AN Irish Holocaust (Stony Point, NY: American Ireland Education Foundation, 1996), xviii. An Gorta Mor is an Irish phrase that is used extensively throughout the field of Irish Studies and in the Republic of Ireland.
[32] Diner, Erin’s Daughters in America, 153. Members of the LAOH in Ohio were predominantly married women who did not work outside of the home. Newspaper coverage about the LAOH seemed to introduce LAOH members as Mrs so and so and not Miss. Many Irish single women were often too busy working to earn a living to become involved in LAOH activities. Once they married, however, many women were able to combine LAOH activities with their roles as wives and mothers.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Thomas O’Mahoney, interview with author, 12 December 2003. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
[35] McCaffrey, The Irish Catholic Diaspora, 169.
[36] AOH/LAOH opinion comes from the following interviews conducted by the author: Ann Dollman, interview with author, 14 December 2003; Sister Ann McManus, interview with author, 12 December 2003; Mary Ann Buckley, interview with author, 24 November 2003; Thomas O’Mahoney, Ohio AOH state board president, interview with author, February 2004; and J. Michael Finn, Ohio AOH state board historian, interview with author, February 2004. Uncatalogued material, Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.