The first thing you have to understand is, I loved Ireland.
The next thing you have to understand is how much joy I felt when I realized that my first Burroughs ancestor in the US was–wait for it–
I was also astonished, having determined long ago that Burroughs was an English name.
However [and yes, I realize this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke], that Irishman named Burroughs was Baptist.
[An Irish Baptist walks into a bar…]
And whilst we have been unable to go further back than the year he set foot on the docks in Maryland to find out more about him, I have been able to research Baptists in Ireland and discover two things:
An Irishman leaving Ireland in 1787 was 98% sure to be Protestant [mostly Presbyterian], because the Catholics were generally too poor to emigrate at that time.
The first Baptists in Ireland came with Oliver Cromwell, and most left with him and good riddance to them all, if you know much about Irish history.
Having a connection to Oliver Cromwell is not the answer to my prayers, let me assure you.
And if you wonder whether genetics will tell, I will share these unconnected facts about my trip to Ireland, and let you decide for yourself.
After days of searching, the self-catering cottage site I chose to book our stays [imagineireland] turned out to be–not Irish. When I sought help finding the next cottage via the Tourist Information Centre, the very lovely lady there stiffened a bit and said very regretfully that she could not use ‘the google’ on their computer to help me find it, because all I remembered about the cottage was that it was on imagineireland, and unfortunately, that is a British service, not Irish.
The sweater, shirt and socks I bought in Cork City [pronounced Cark Citty] were from Fat Face.
A British chain.
To add insult to injury, the lady in Adrigole I mentioned my purchase to nodded and said wisely, “Yes, Americans seem to like Fat Face.”
[Which makes me wonder, which is worse, being British or American, when insulting the Irish by not buying their sweaters? And yes, I am kicking myself for not getting that Aran sweater I almost bought, damn it.]
I had a couple of other Ooops, that’s British not Irish moments, as well, but you get the picture without any more self-incrimination, I hope.
Once an invader, always an invader.
However, I did buy and fall in love with Barry’s Tea. To my astonishment and relief, I just discovered that it’s as Irish as the potato! “Barry’s Tea is an Irish tea company founded in 1901 by James J. Barry in Cork City.” And from Cark Citty, no less! Does this redeem me, even a little bit?
I didn’t think so.
Here. Have some shamrocks.