Irish Passport/Rosary Beads

Passport and Rosary Beads
Passport and Rosary Beads

My Great Grandfather John Keogh and Great Grandmother Julia Moriarty immigrated to the United States from Ireland, settling in Malden, Massachusetts after they were married, to raise their Keogh Clan of children, one of whom was my Grandfather, Robert Celsus Keogh. I always refer to him as my "Irish Papa." He became a union sheet metal worker for Local 17 based out of Boston, the same local that my Father and Uncle are now a part of. When my Papa passed away a few years ago, I was lucky enough to gain two special objects from his possessions. The first is his Irish passport, which was issued in 2000, before his one and only visit to the island. This same passport later accompanied me on my visit to Cork. The other object is his set of Rosary beads, an item that shows the importance of Catholicism to his upbringing, but also reminds me of how he and his descendants have embraced religious change as part of life in America. My Papa married my Protestant Grandmother, but the children were raised Catholic. My own Father then married my Episcopalian Mother and my sister and I were brought up in her church, but also attended a Catholic school. I wear these rosary beads almost everyday, bringing me comfort, hope, and strength to think of the prayers that my Papa would have said on them for all his family members. 
Labor, religion, and our Irish heritage have always been central to my upbringing, but above all else reign my Papa's words "Family comes first, and don't you forget it."

Place(s): Ireland,Boston
Year: 1927

– Samantha Keogh

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