My Grandmother, Sarah Conn, was born in Beragh (near Ballygauley) in County Tyrone on December 15, 1901. Part of her family had already emigrated to the United States due to the well-known hardships in that area of Ireland during that time. They were extremely poor, but my great-grandmother, a widow at age 35, managed to scrape enough together to bring her family of five children through Ellis Island to stay with that Irish-American relative.
They traveled on the ship Invernia across the ocean, in what was to be a long, desperate and arduous voyage. My grandmother was only 4 years old at the time, and was so small and weak they didn’t believe she’d survive the journey.
My sweet grandmother did survive, and as an adult settled in Middlefield, Ohio, where I grew up. Sarah never reached five-foot-tall, so she was a tiny but feisty role model for me and my sisters. She spoke so fondly of her homeland and loved anything green. In fact, she had a miraculously green thumb and could turn the smallest snippet of any plant into thriving greenery.
Although not an artist herself she was extremely creative with any handwork, especially crochet, and we still enjoy her afghans and doilies. My artwork reflects her love of everything Irish, from plants and wildlife to her favorite beverage –tea (with milk in it, of course!).
I feel extremely privileged to have descended from such brave and creative Irish stock. I am thrilled to share my work with other readers and all those with similar Irish heritage.
More of my work can be found on Etsy — search Cavahockey. Cavahockey is a mythical creature that my son created in elementary school.