This kind of detail from a family's history, which allows us to make contact with an ancestor's personality, just as much as the information about shared more remote ancestors and as well as the information about what happened in subsequent generations to the emigrants from Ulster, is a great resource for family historians in the north of Ireland, since most if not all has been lost to memory in Ireland. Making contact with longlost relatives in America, or even just reading about them, can begin to heal wounds that those of us who live in Ulster in the present day often do not realize that our society has suffered throughout its history. Generation after generation after generation, ever since 1718, parents in Ireland have reared children and have had to part with them; people have said goodbye to friends and kinsfolk, and never knew what happened to them. It is hard to imagine the scale of loss and disruption of relationships. People who sat beside our ancestors in church, or who had worked alongside them in the fields, just vanished from view; it was almost like the results of losing people by death. The people who stayed in Ulster, in any generation between 1718 and 1950 may have had to adjust, over the course of their lives, to the absence of three quarters of the people with whom they had been in significant relationships in earlier life.
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