This photo is a treasured family photo from my husband’s family.
It is his great grandfather (born in 1850) with SOME of his EIGHTEEN children, outside the family farm in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. He had two wives, when the first one died (probably from exhaustion!) he married within months, and went on to have another 9 children.
The year is approximately 1910.
The youngest child is Alfred, my husband’s grandfather, (2nd from right) and he is holding a HEN for reasons unknown! William (Bill), the boy on the right, lived there throughout his life. His mother died in the 1940’s, he never married, dying in 1973. At the time he died, it had been extended and then with 3 bedrooms, and living area with an open fire and a kitchen/scullery. There was an outside toilet. After Bill died, my husband remembers his father kept pigs, goats and calves at various stages in the cottage for a number of years!
The family are wearing their “Sunday Best” clothes in front of their cottage. The occasion of a photographer coming to take their photograph must have been quite an occasion.
Last Sunday, as we were in the area, we went to take a look at the cottage, and see if it was still standing. It is, just about!
So here is a photo, taken 98 years later, in the same spot. My kids are wearing their “Sunday Best” too.
There was a byre opposite the cottage, but it has long since tumbled down and is very overgrown.
The cottage is up a narrow lane, and at times we were not sure our car was going to make it. Five days later, and some of the family mud and weeds from the lane are still attached to the under-carriage of the car. Taking being in touch with your “roots” a bit too literally perhaps!
Here are a few more pictures which show the state of disrepair. The cottage and land were sold a number of years ago, and while the surrounding land is being farmed, the cottage has been abandoned.
The kids finish school for Halloween Half-Term today, and we are looking forward to a few days at the cottage, and meeting up with friends.
I plan to share some Northern Ireland Halloween Traditions next week on my blog, so why not subscribe so you won’t miss a thing.
Until next week.