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tjHogan's Story

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Location: Carson, Washington

The Stories Of The Irish Diaspora Discussion:     tjHogan's Story

Being Irish American I grew up In Seattle Washington. Born in 1952 I am the fourth son of Paul Kelly Hogan, and Charlotte Hogan. Since this is my Irish History, suffice it to say that on my mother�s side, I have a bit of German and English roots.

Growing up in Seattle in the post war baby boomer years, my family lived in a quiet neighborhood, where several Irish and Scottish Families settled down. Names like MacDonald and McClain were common.

My Father was a deputy Sheriff, in King County. Besides that he started his own Merchant Patrol business in West Seattle. My father died when I was only twelve years of age. So I really did not get to know the man to the full depth that I yearned to. I do remember though, that he was an easygoing man. He stood about 5 foot nine inches tall. Built like a bull of a man, with thick neck and arms like oaks. He loved Golf above all else and we belonged to a local Country club where we often went on weekends. He also loved to sing, and was known as the "Singing Cop" He had a rich Irish tenor voice. I have a record he made in 1948 that I treasure. One side plays " On the White Cliffs of Dover and the other side plays, "My Buddy."

I will forever remember his funeral, being twelve; I was amazed that the man was so well loved in the community. The church, Our Lady of Guadalupe held six hundred, and it was packed to overflowing. With a full honor guard we traveled the Roads of West Seattle to lay him to rest.

Since then, I have grown and fathered two wonderful Daughters myself. Sarah and Shann. Shann is now the mother of two, Mattie and Davis are now the apple of me eyes. My older daughter Sarah will be married in November.

Like most Americans, I knew I was from Irish descent, and I faithfully honored that each St. Patrick's day. I don't think I fully appreciated what it stood for, in that I enjoyed the drinking and free kisses that were my right more. I had grown and would have looked down on my father if he had lived. Standing Six foot one with a Lineman body. I played college football on the offensive line.

The years passed and not until River dance hit the stage did I give my Irish roots any serious consideration. But hearing that rich music and lively dance evoked a deep yearning in me. As I watched the dancers and listened to the music, I literally cried. Such a deep emotional pull drove me to find out more about my true homeland.

I am one of those people that give me an inch and I will take a mile, I delve into things with a flourish!

What I found warmed my heart to overflowing. The name Hogan comes from "ogan" the son of an O'Brien. My ancestors flourished in County Clare. From 2000 to 2001 I researched Ireland and stored visions of things I wanted to see.

In late 2001 my wife and I decided to visit there. With our passage booked, we went to Ireland in late November, and for the first week traveled the roads on a tour bus. It was post 9/11 and most of the Americans who shared that bus with us were New York Policemen and Firefighters, along with their wives and girlfriends. We toured Ireland for a week and than left our group and ventured out for another week by car. Boy did I rack up the miles, but I had so many places I had to see.

Before we left we found alot of information about my family roots. Thanks in large part to my wife Jan, who researched diligently for many long months.

On the Hogan side, we learned that three brothers left Ireland in 1848, they lived in Upper Church area or Lower Church near Thurles. One of those brothers was named Edward. He along with his wife Elizabeth came to Boston with his two brothers, John and wife Mary, and another who we could not find his given name.

We know, that they joined the railroad crews and labored at that until they got to Illinois. There the two Brothers with wives, settled down in Tippytown Illinois. Which is now a part of the greater Chicago area. The other nameless brother, labored on the railroad until he got to Colorado. We lost his trail there.

From here on out I will concentrate on Edward, for he is my Great great Grandfather. He was a farmer and did well until he took sick and could not do the chores necessary to keep up a farm.

Because of that, he moved his family to St Louis, where he and his sons became Drayers. (Those that drive wagons) One of his sons was named John, who is my great Grandfather. He grew into a strapping man and he married young lass by the name of Winifred Mahon. She bore him two sons by the name of Edward Francis Hogan and John Edward Hogan.

Winifred died in 1898 of an unknown illness and my great grandfather remarried. He met a young Irish immigrant by the name of Deliah Kelly who had relocated here from Rosscommon in 1900 along with her sister. She bore him five sons, Paul, my father was the youngest.

Life in St Louis was good, John held weekly card games at his house, and Deliah was often in the mix as well. John often had to work, but that did not stop Deliah from hosting the weekly card games. Deliah cooked Pork Roast every week for the visitors. Because of that, my father was not a huge fan of that fare in his later

When my wife and I traveled to Ireland first in 2001 and than again in 2003, we were armed with all this data. It was our highest priority to track down our ancestors and most importantly to find if we had any surviving relatives still there. Unfortunately, the Catholic side of things is a very sticky matter. They, being the Priests who hold the records want an arm and a leg for that information. The first time over there we had more success finding info on Deliah, but the parish priest from her village was more inclined to watch a soccer match that day. He promised to send us her info but he never did...

On the Hogan side. It got stickier. All the records are held in Nenagh. On our second visit there, we traveled there, hoping so much to zero in on that side of the family. To our great dismay, the records� building was closed, due to lack of funds to keep it running. Our enquiries and pleadings were met with up raised hands and so sorry...

The second time there in 2003 we stayed for a month. Although we were saddened by these developments, we never the less had a super time over there. Each time I leave there, I cry...Ireland has become a second home to me. I have traveled the roads and byways and have been so enriched by doing so...Maybe some day we will meet our living relatives in the Clare region. We sure hope so anyway...

I am sorry if this as gone on a bit long, but those that know me call me "Tell it like a novel Hogan" but hey I am what I am.

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