Dr. Kevin Poupore - March 2018


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MARCH 2018


On March 17, many of us will celebrate that fun Irish holiday St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know the entire month of March is an Irish celebration? March is Irish-American heritage month, and I can’t think of a better time to consider the importance of remembering our family heritage. My mother’s side of the family was Irish, English, and Welsh. However, my immediate family was more heavily influenced by the French side of my father’s family. Pop’s family hailed from Alsace-Lorraine, a little region right on the border of France and Germany. Here is an interesting detail about that area: Over the centuries, it has jumped back and forth between being a French and German territory. Originally belonging to France until the mid-17th century, Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by the then-German empire in 1871. It wouldn’t be claimed by France again until after World War I. Mindy did a whole genealogical study of her family and discovered we have similar family backgrounds. Her family also came from France and Ireland, but they’re mostly German. Both of our families moved to Canada when they left Europe, though before coming to America, Mindy’s family lived in Toronto, and mine settled in Quebec. During her research, Mindy learned a lot about the French and German sides of the family,

but she found trouble when it came to the Irish side. A trip to Ireland gave us a clue as to why that is. Some years ago when I was vice president of the Malone Golf Club, Mindy and I went to Ireland to celebrate the centenary of our sister club, also called the Malone Golf Club. We stayed with a wonderful family, the Lambs, and had a great time. The celebration itself was a fancy affair, with attendees dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos, and bagpipes playing as the club president and governor walked in. We also spent some time driving around Ireland. On every corner, there is a pub and church. At one point, we drove by a small building with a sign that read “Mungovan’s Pub.” Mungovan was my

mother-in-law’s maiden name, and Mindy was excited to stop and check it out. We walked in and asked if there were any Mungovan’s still running the pub. “No, they all died a long time ago,” the bartender told us. It turns out, a lot of our Irish ancestors died young. Even if there isn’t a wealth of family stories, it’s still cool to look into your heritage and genealogy to find out where you’re from. It helps you know who you are and appreciate what your ancestors accomplished. Who knows? You might even learn something about where you are today and where you could be in the future. –Dr. Kevin Poupore

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