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)!!
A few Irish tidbits …
As we grew up, my mother was convinced that she was at least half Irish. Green Irish. Not orange Irish. Green Irish are generally Catholic. Orange Irish are generally Protestant. Since we were Lutheran, and many of the ancestors were Methodist, I always thought we would be orange irish – so, on St. Patrick’s Day, I would wear orange. I didn’t much like green. However, my orange attire wasn’t much appreciated and I often had to change and put on something green.
St. Patrick’s day was a day of celebration in our house – complete with green beer. I remember one party where the kids were allowed to drink a little green beer. I think I must have overdone it … I just remember feeling sick afterwards … green sick.
The thought-to-be Irish ancestral name on my Mom’s side of the family is McFadden (also spelled McFadyen). My mother’s maiden name was Fadden, having lost the “Mc” in later years. For years, I painstakingly researched the name, looking through many books on Irish names. I couldn’t find the name Fadden or McFadden in those books. I turned to the Mormon records, starting with my mother’s information and moving back in time. I ended my search by finding Andrew McFadden – born in 1675 – on the Isle of Mull, Scotland! I didn’t tell my mother of my find – because she was in poor health at the time. After she passed away, I did the search again – this time using the internet (which is much easier than looking up paper documents) – and quickly came to the same conclusion. However, the story doesn’t end there — Andrew went to Ireland where he first married an Irish woman named Marsey Mallory (4 children) and then married an Irish woman named Jane Lindsey (3 chldren). (Andrew came to the Boston area in 1718 and lived the remainder of his life in Arrowsic Island, Maine.) Aha -here’s the Irish connection. My mother may not have been half – Irish – but she was more than a wee bit Irish!
A wee bit more on Andrew McFadden, since he is the one who brought the Irish into our lneage — According to the McFadden Project (click HERE), the MacFadyens of the Isle of Mull in Scotland may be the oldest recorded McFadden clan. Their story begins in the 14th century when Hector the Stern was granted lands on Mull and found them already inhabited by MacFadyens. Hector was the founder of Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie. From the many accounts I’ve read, it appears that Hector and his clan told the McFadyens: ‘Join us or die’ Being the wise group that we are, the McFadyens were more than happy to join. “Any McFaddens (or variants) with connections to Mull or the surrounding area, including the nearby isles of Tiree and Coll, are almost certainly affiliated with Clan Maclaine.” As such, the McFadden’s are considered a sept (a branch of the clan) of the McLaine clan had have the rights to the McLaine crest and tartan along with the McFadden crest and tartan.
Thanks for reading!!