Brigid's Cross

Growing up as a fourth generation American in my family has always made me feel like I was missing out on great tales of my heritage. Little did I know that something to satisfy my curiosity had been on the wall right near the front door my whole life. My mother told me, "It's something your Great Grandfather gave us when we moved in, I think it's Irish." This was my chance; finally I could connect with some aspect of my ancestry that was actually part of my family directly. After hours of searching on the computer, I finally came across an image that matched the mysterious symbol. It was Brigid's Cross, a symbol to represent St.Brigid, who was able to convert a dying pagan and baptize him in time by weaving this cross. Today, it is still used all over Ireland as a popular symbol, and certainly fit with my family’s Roman Catholic identity. Further research revealed an even older story that answered why my great grandfather had told my parents to place it near the front door, as is still customary in Ireland. Brigid was believed to protect homes, and placing her symbol near the front door would protect against a house fire. While I am sad to say that my parents got rid of the cross for redecoration, I was still able to learn and can pass on the legacy of its meaning to future generations. Even if my parents have lost their connection to our history, finding this symbol has begun my determination to recover what has since been lost to us.

Place(s): Ireland
Year: 1980

– Matthew Dreyer

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more