Grandma Bunny's Irish Passport

My paternal grandmother Mary emigrated from Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland, to New York on June 23rd, 1958 using this (pre-EU) Irish passport. The eldest daughter of cattle farmers, my grandmother (affectionately called "Bunny") was always a hard-worker, but at the age of 14 helped raise her younger siblings after her father passed away. She flew to New York International Airport, which has since been renamed after JFK, looking for work, intending to return to Ireland after 2 years in the U.S. Initially, she stayed with a cousin in Massachusetts before moving to Long Island, where she became a governess. She worked for a wealthy lawyer and was invited to a wedding he was hosting. It was at this wedding she met Jim Kilkenny, an engineer and WWII vet. They married on July 23, 1960. After having 6 children in less than six years, my grandmother became a U.S. Citizen in 1976. Though my grandmother passed away in 1995, this passport has allowed me to learn a little more about her journey to America. Written in Gaelic, English and French, the Irish passport shares she was 5'6'', had dark blue eyes, and dark brown hair. Grandma Bunny was unique in that she is my only grandparent who was not born in NY, and yet, found her way here because of the promise of America. I feel blessed to have learned more about Bunny's journey to the U.S., and am thankful for her and my Dad for keeping this passport as proof of the sacrifices she made to build a life on Long Island for her and her family.

Year: 1958

– Kyle J. Kilkenny

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant