Waterford crystal jelly jar

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My piece of the family collection
My piece of the family collection

When I first reflected on my family, I honestly concluded that there was nothing interesting or unique to share about our cultural identity. I thought we were a typical white, Roman Catholic family, born and raised in the United States. However, once I started talking with my parents about my ancestry I discovered how unique the Simmons family truly is. My great grandparents, Margret Horgan Monahan and Michael Monahan, immigrated to Boston from Ireland in the 1920s. They each had one suitcase, which they packed with valuables to always remember their home in County Cork, Ireland. A few of their most important mementos were four precious house decorations made of waterford crystal. My first question to my family when they shared this story was, “Why would great Gram and Gramps chose to bring such heavy and fragile possessions to America?” My mother informed me that waterford crystal was inexpensive at the time, and precious for all those native to Ireland. My great grandma gifted this waterford crystal to my Nana and Great Aunt when they grew up and got married. Before my Nana Simmons died, she passed on four pieces of her collection- which included a vase, bowl, angel figurine,and jelly jar- to my father. Three of these items were gifted to my three older sisters, Jennifer, Julianne, and Kimberly, when they got married. As for me, my mother has stored it away in safekeeping until my magical day arrives.

– KS

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