Sunday, February 6, 2011

Maguire Castle

We boarded a ferry that took cars across the River Shannon then drove to the Cliffs of Moher. After the umpteenth time, we stepped through disinfectant because of the foot and mouth control. It had been raging in England and had gotten into Northern Ireland so the Republic of Ireland was making sure it did not cross the borders.
Cliffs of Moher

Later, that day we found a B&B on a farm near the edge of the Burren close to Lisdoonverna. The Burren is strange looking country with lots and lots of rocks and small narrow one-lane roads that I am sure used to be cow paths in a very hilly landscape. The Burren is described as a place where there are no trees to hang a man, not enough water to drown a man and if you finally succeed in killing him, it is too rocky to bury him.

The Burren

We bypassed Galway and headed north toward Enniskillen to see the Maguire Castle.  Thomas Meguire immigrated to Philadelphia around 1777 and was married in 1796.  My 3rd great grandfather was his youngest son, William who was a school teacher.  William heard Joseph Smith preach in Philadelphia and after investigating about 15 different religious sects, he decided to join the Mormons so he and his wife became pioneers. They moved to Nauvoo, were chased away from there and crossed the plains to Utah.  Anyway, in all of the Utah history books, his name is spelled Maguire, Meguire, McGuire - you pick.  The original Maguire became many many different spelled names. I finally found the original way that William spelled his own name because I found a cousin that I had never met who lived not more than 15 miles from my house who had an original diary that he wrote while living in Plain City, Utah. She and I were able to connect because we had both been emailing another McGuire who lives near Philadelphia.  We were all researching, trying to find our roots.

It seems that I have lost my subject so back to getting to Maguire Castle.  My daughter was the navigator and I the driver during our whole trip.  She had me turn onto a "short cut" toward Colleeney and we ended up driving through a dense and very wet forest on a one-lane road.  One-lane roads make me very nervous plus the fact that I was driving a car with the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car than what we Americans are used to. It was really pouring by the time we reached Enniskillen and in my head, we were driving the wrong direction for miles but apparently, my daughter is good at reading maps.

Maguire Castle

The castle was easy to find. We took pictures, walked around the castle and found that it was closed. The only day we had for Enniskillin where my ancestor had lived and I couldn't even go into the castle. We visited two churches there and looked at tombstones in the rain. We bought some pastries at a bake sale next to one of the churches (now that is the way to get home made goodies!)

We left there and headed northeast; had Chinese food in Cookstown but were caught off guard when we didn't have English pounds to pay for our dinner but they took our Irish Punts.  Not every place did.

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