Grandpa Maurice

This is my greatgrandfather Maurice at 19 years old, shortly after he moved to Boston from Ireland in 1911. Maurice left his home in County Kerry in hopes of making a better life for himself in America: he was poor in Ireland & there were no jobs or money to be made. Shortly after arriving, Maurice married Nora, also Irish, who also happened to be his first cousin (something that did not go down well with the folks back in Ireland & is rarely talked about in my family today.) Nora worked as a maid for a rich American family, but she eventually quit when she had her four children: 3 girls & 1 boy - John, my grandfather. Maurice avoided the WWI draft since he was caring for his mother, who grew sick and died in 1919. He did just about anything to support his family: he dug graves, worked as a car salesman, a chauffeur, many more (unskilled) jobs. The pin on Maurice's lapel is an Ireland Free State pin. More than 10 years would pass after this photo was taken until Ireland would fully gain its independence. My great grandfather did not come to America to make it big and get rich but to create a better life for his future family. Because of his father's sacrifices, my grandfather was able to make a nice living for himself & his 7 children (including my dad) as a WWII veteran. I bet Maurice would've never imagined his grandson (my father) would go on to meet the mayor of Dublin and his great grandchildren would attend some of America's best universities.

Place(s): Ireland,
Year: 1911

– Devon Kelliher

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