When Irish eyes are smiling


Traditionally, I celebrate St. Paddy's Day one of two ways: drinks with friends in a noisy bar, if it's a drinks with friends in a noisy bar kind of year (some years are, some years aren't) or with some traditional Irish food at home (usually Soda Bread) and a viewing of The Quiet Man.  This year will be somewhere in between with a stop at a birthday party for a dear friend and then home to some good food, including the requisite Soda Bread.  I feel somewhat obliged to mark the day, as my Irish ancestry runs deep.  I don't know a lot of the details when it comes to my ancestors and their stories, but I do have a few wonderfully evocative photos. Typically, I'm finding myself more curious about this stuff now that I have a child of my own.  I'd like to have more information to pass on to Lenny.  Perhaps it's time for me to embark on a family tree project?

This is Michael Nolan, my Great Grandfather who was born in Ireland and at some point moved his family, including my Grandfather James, to Nova Scotia.

My Grandfather James Patrick Nolan and his siblings.  I'm guessing this is still in the Old Country, but I'm not sure when they came to Canada.

Love this one.  Where are all the photo studios with fake snow now?  Huh?  Where?  That's James Patrick in the flat cap, standing next to his Mother (who is sporting an impressive hat herself).  I think I have his eyebrows.

James Patrick (known to most as Paddy) in his later years in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia where he  owned a bar.
Love the bow tie.

Happy St. Paddy's Day, everyone!  Hope you're celebrating in the way you like best!


  1. Special honours go to the young lady in those family photos. Your Great-Aunt Ruby was the first of the Nolan girls to go to NYC. She stayed!

    How to spend St. Patrick's Day? Well, I'd like to put the kettle on and talk a little treason, but the cats are the only ones about and they'll just give me that "superior" look.

  2. You see? I didn't know about Aunt Ruby. How great is that? Will have to name a future cat in her honour!

  3. Love it! Beautiful photos. The snow effect was something, eh?

  4. Went back to check out the eyebrows again, and yes!

  5. I love old pictures.


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