Carolyn L. Braun (

Slainte (Cheers) … agus beannacht (and blessings)

St patricks greeting.jpg

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This holiday always reminds me of my childhood. On many St. Paddy’s Days, my parents would host a celebration – complete with green beer. Corned beef, cabbage cooked in milk and butter (and, yes, I like that), boiled potatoes, green jello and a green-colored dessert were typical fare. There may have been some sipping of Irish Whiskey going on. The best part, of course, is that us kids were allowed a small glass of green beer, after which we were banished to the upstairs – where we sat at the top of the stairs, listening to the adult conversation – instead of going to bed. For the most part, the adults didn’t notice; they were busy celebrating. 

Our mother never let us leave the house on St. Patrick’s Day without wearing something green. Well, I did not like the color green – so I would try to wear something orange. That wasn’t a good plan. You see, the ‘green Irish’ were Catholic Irish and the ‘Orange Irish’ were Protestant Irish. Our mother considered us to be Green Irish and was very firm on that. And she was clearly not happy with me when I wore orange. I never understood why she thought we were Green Irish – and I haven’t been able to find any trace of Catholics in the family. I do find a long line of Protestants. She also was convinced that her maiden name, Fadden, was Irish; it turns out it is Scottish – derived from McFadden, McFaydean, McPhayden, etc. Even though I knew about the Scottish connection before she passed away, I never told her. And I still have a small collection of books on Irish surnames, all purchased in my quest to find the Irish Faddens. Our Scottish ancestor did, however, travel from Scotland to Ireland, where he found an Irish bride just before he left for America – in the late 1600’s. So there we have our Irish ancestry. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you come back again. Slan agus bennacht leat (Goodbye and blessings on you)!!



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