Visit Ireland 2018

My trip to Ireland September to October was to gain an understanding of the people, the culture and history of my Irish Shannassy, Begley, Fogarty, ONeill people. I was particularly interested in Mayo, Donegal, Derry. These where the counties that my mothers side of the family came from.

During my journey I made it my mission to visit various small villages along the Wild Atlantic Way.

However, to start, I now write about the other county I visited which was Killkenny in search of the church lands where MARY PIDGEON born and baptised 1831. Mary was the only Irish person in my fathers tree line, with all others coming from Shetland. Her baptism image is from the Gowran townland and found in a genealogical site Find My Past. An excellent site if interested in being able to download an image.

It was toward the end of my trip that I located the church land and was able to photograph some beautiful images. St. Mary’s Collegiate Church Gowran (Gaelic/Irish: Eaglais Mhuire), also known as the Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, is a church in the centre of the town of Gowran, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is an ancient site and a National Monument of Ireland.
The local people told me that there are “over 9000 souls in the ground”.

I will include some photos of the church land and some of the grave stones after I get myself organised. In the meantime here is an example:-


The pub was just across the road and the older people were interested in the family names. I was astounded. I must admit I spent hours wandering around the grave sites and taking in the feelings associated with finding a precious link to our family story.

This person from across the world popping to a little local pub was welcomed with open arms. A young couple took me under their wings and invited me inside where it was warm and cosy. I listened to their story and they listened to mine. Why was I here so long away from my home? I told them about my family and Mary Pidgeon being a first family settler, arriving in Sept 1852 at Point Henry, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. They knew exactly the right question to ask when I mentioned the name married to KENNETT. Was he in the barracks? Well yes he was. The Kilkenny Journal, 25 July 1849 and The military in Kilkenny 1800-1870 by Liam Böiger B.A. Thesis for the degree of PhD Department of History National University of Ireland Maynooth will allow you to read the history.

Thomas Trevanian Kennett served in a Dragoon Guard component for a short while, before returning to England and then leaving for Australia.

He married Mary Pidgeon in 1852 and their second child MARY EMMA KENNETT was my fathers grandmother.

Jindabyne in the high country

Years ago I went to Jindabyne in the high country of New South Wales. I still have very fond memories.

I spent a couple of weeks walking in this lovely area in the high country several years ago. This was a challenging trip.  I ventured to this area to help recover from a difficult work environment. I received a taste of bushwalking and stayed at a little cottage at lower heights and spend many days enjoying the clean fresh air of the Snowy Mountains.  Such a beautiful place to be.

I observed nature; went fishing for trout and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and clean air. I also spent time laying on the various rocks, watching the skinks sunnying themselves. It was warm weather during this trip.

Jindabyne, NSW High Country

Much to my surprise I also achieved some abseiling under the watchful eye of a professional climber.

Jindabyne Rock was okay for me. Not too tough. I must admit that I was exhausted by the end of the day. This climb was mid morning. I finished off the day with short swim in Lake Jindabyne.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

My name is Maggie. I would love to hear from you. My passions are family history research and photography. I do hope you will enjoy travelling alongside me through my webpage.

I have just returned from Ireland. My journey took me along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Walking with Camels – Flinders Ranges, South Australia

The first humans to inhabit the Flinders Ranges were the Adnyamathanha people (meaning “hill people” or “rock people”) whose descendants still reside in the area and the Ndajurri people who no longer exist.  Cave paintings, rock engravings and other artifacts indicate that the Adnyamathana and Ndajurri lived in the Flinders Ranges for tens of thousands of years. Occupation of the Warratyi rock shelter dates back approximately 49,000 years.  (courtesy Wikipedia / Flinders Ranges)

A personal experience – I gave myself a gift to clear my head after leaving my passion of working with the elders in aged care.    I walked the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Flinders Ranges you will find clean fresh air, magnificent rock formations, flowers in unexpected places.  You will also come across walking tracks and wildlife.

I camped in a swag and enjoyed the beautiful, crisp, icy mornings as well as stunning sunsets.  I took many photographs and here an edited version of one, a couple of the camels.

They are aloof animals.  They enjoy their space, can spit, and can ark up if another one of their kind gets too close.


Even today it is a remote place.  As I was mounting the saddle on my camel one of her friends tried to bite my ride.  Of course, my camel took offence and quickly started to stand up, knocking into my rib cage.  I came off the saddle too.  I was a bit sore that morning and wrapped by rib cage around several times with my long scarf.  That night I slept with quite a lot of pain.  Thank goodness for my travel scarf which I just happen to carry where ever I go.   It always comes in handy for something.

The people I was walking with called the hospital, using satellite technique.  The hospital was miles away.  They reported there was no doctor was on deck and wouldn’t be for days.

It was even difficult getting into the swag.  Days past, I continued to walk.

Continued on my journey, slept in pain, couldn’t lay flat in my swag, heard some gurgling sounds coming from my chest and decided it was best not to move around in the swag at night.

I was bruised and sore.  It set me back somewhat, however, I loved that walk and campfires in the evening.

When I arrived back home in Victoria, I sort medical advice.  Yes, I had several cracked ribs.  There wasn’t much that could be done for that though.  I had handled my injury in the best way really, by wrapping my scarf around my rib cage.  Cracked ribs heal themselves.  It took a while.


Irish 101 & 102



Before my Journey
Well, I’m slowly getting used to this lovely language.  I intend to be able to say a few words, greetings from Australia when I’m over in Ireland.

The clock is counting down.  Everything booked.  Just a few last minute details to attend to.  I will be taking a walk with a small group around Eire very soon.

I’ll be taking loads of photographs in Connemara, Dublin, Mayo, Derry, Kilkenny and other places where my Irish families came from.  I’m hoping to go right to the small towns where they lived. Of course, all of them travelled to the new world of Australia, America, New Zealand and one to Canada during the famine times.   This trip will be a pleasure.

I’ve booked a literary pub crawl to listen to the poems and plays of famous literary giants – all played out in the places where they recited and acted. 
I am also looking forward to visiting Trinity College and viewing the Book of Kells.  You can follow along with me.  I will be posting regular updates.

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During my Journey

I have completed my Irish adventure. Travelled around the Wind Atlantic Way. Met friendly people and was able to use some basic Gaelic words of greeting, good byes and thank you. What a beautiful country Ireland is. My first day in Ireland was frustrating and rewarding. How can that be?

Unfortunately my taxi driver did not wait for me to arrive through the airport. I sought assistance from the airport information people who were helpful.
I caught a bus instead, however the ticket seller gave me the wrong information about my bus stop where I had to get off for my hotel – the Dylan.
I walked for at least half an hour, with my backpack and bag and called into another local hotel to get directions.
It would take another hour to walk to the Dylan hotel and I was very tired after my long haul flight.
My god-send was a young lady named Claire who was walking the same path. Clair asked me if I like some help with my bag. I must have looked tired by then.
I told Clair I was heading toward the Dylan hotel and bless the girl, she said she was “walking that way”.
Clair was my first introduction to the friendly people of Ireland.
A real blessing. Thank you Claire. I will never forget the friendship she offered to a stranger.

Dylan Hotel Dublin