My Great-Grandmother, Nora (Reagan) Leary, had a genealogy book of the Reagan family. This book represents the Irish roots of my family. Her grandparents, my great-great-great grandparents, Jeremiah and Mary Reagan left West Carberry, County Cork, Ireland in 1849 because of the potato famine. In 1847 Ireland had its hardest year of starvation and death. Mary and Jerimiah, like many other Irish farmers, an estimated 1 million people, decided to emigrate from Ireland in search of a better life for their future family. After two long months in a sailboat on the frigid waters of the Atlantic, Jerimiah and Mary landed in Montreal. They then migrated across the ice of the frozen St. Lawrence River to Northern New York. Shortly after they arrived in America, they built a log cabin the country. Many of their descendants have remained in the Northern New York area, such as my family.
The genealogy book of the Reagans is an invaluable item for my family. It is a reminder of the struggles that our ancestors endured that eventually led to the better lives we were blessed with because of them. On the back of this old book is the Reagan Crest, which I pictured here. Many of our family traditions take root in our Catholic faith which was brought over from Ireland by Mary and Jerimiah. They most likely received criticism for their faith like many other Irish immigrants of the time. That is why I am proud to practice my Catholic faith and live in Northern New York.