Look up Deedy in Websters Dictionary and you will see the following definition - \Deed"y\, a. Industrious; active. [R.] --Cowper. But to me Deedy is simply my last name and not a very common one at that. My Father always said "find yourself in a strange city? Open a phone book, find a Deedy and give them a call - chances are they are a relative." So, for all the Deedy's out there hello and welcome.

Old Color Photos of Ireland

An article in the Boston Globe: Twilight of the color photo brought to my attention a series of color photographs of Ireland taken in 1913 and housed in the Musée Albert Kahn in Paris.

A little searching revealed that the photos are currently on exhibit in Ireland: In Search of Ireland, 1913. Five of the photographs can be seen here: In search of Ireland.

Here is the description for the photograph above: Two fishermen characteristic of the west coast, gentle, pleasant and hardened to poverty. They love Ireland with a passion, I would say, with lyricism as they all speak poetically. But what surprises most is their openness and their great interest in everything. The boy is dressed in a skirt which is common in the region for all boys up to the age of 12.

Interesting that my great-grandfather likely wore a skirt as a young boy.


Silent Film: Connemara's Appeal


Connemara's Appeal

"There is no famine, but distress does prevail through failure of turf and of potato crops...

Their rockbound soil offers no opportunity of development. New industries are required to relieve the situation for all time."
This silent British news reel is from about 1915 and shows potato farmers in Connemara Ireland. As you watch the film, notice how the farmers are transporting their crop. The shots of the countryside show a rather bleak landscape full of rutted roads and very rocky soil. It also appears to be rather wet and cold.

Toward the end of the film you see a small farm family. The women are wearing colorful shawls - not coats.

The last shots seem to show some sort of work relief program. The farmers appear to be building a road with their bare hands using the abundant rocks.


The Prendergast Letters

I recently finished reading The Prendergast Letters: Correspondence from Famine-era Ireland, 1840-1850 which I found very interesting. The Prendergast family lived in Milltown Ireland, just six miles from Firies where the Deedy (Deady) and Donovan families originated. Some of the Prendergast children immigrated to Boston and the letters provide some insight into what life in Ireland must have been like for my ancestors.

If you are interested in reading some first source material about this era, this book is well worth reading.





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