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St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: The O’Brien Clan

In Win A Trip to Ireland by Leslie IntriagoLeave a Comment

What intrigues me most about visiting Ireland is our deep Irish family heritage from both my father’s side of my family and my husband’s father’s side of his family that I wish we knew more about. We just know some bits and pieces of information and, unfortunately, now everyone from the generations older than us are gone. I’ve encouraged my husband to do genealogical research now that he has time in retirement, but so far that has not happened. Perhaps the motivation of actually visiting Ireland would light the fire in him to see what more he can find out from research here from the few pieces of information we do have and then have something more concrete to go on if we are fortunate enough to be able to visit Ireland.

My paternal great-grandparents were John Lindsay O’Brien, born July 30, 1868, in Noblesville, Indiana, and Sophie Jane Shields O’Brien, born May 16, 1861, in Brooklyn, Iowa, and who were married March 29, 1882, but we don’t know where. Their daughter, my paternal grandmother, was Jessie Louise O’Brien (born in 1883 in Iowa; died in 1969 in Kansas City, Missouri) who married George Wallace Wood on June 7, 1902, in McPherson, Kansas. Their fifth child was my father, Charles O’Brien Wood (born February 8, 1915, in El Paso, Texas; died in 1994 in Raymore, Missouri) but was raised from the age of two on in Kansas City, Missouri. Every one of these O’Brien men worked many years for the Santa Fe railroad. My husband’s great-grandparents, James O’Brien and Ellen Montz, were married July 15, 1892, in Cameron, Missouri. Their son, my husband’s grandfather, William O’Brien, and his wife lived in Meadville, Missouri, and their only child, my husband’s father, Bill and his wife, lived in several small towns across northern Missouri all along the Burlington Northern Railroad line as all of these O’Brien men also worked for the railroad, as so many thousands of Irish Americans did. I married their son, Donald Eugene O’Brien, in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 12, 1995, so I then became Diane Elise Wood O’Brien. If that isn’t enough Irish O’Briens in the US heartland for you, well, faith and begorrah!

Visiting Ireland has truly been a long-time fantasy of ours for many years. We would especially like to see the O’Brien Tower on the Cliffs of Moher and we have heard that traveling the Ring of Kerry is beyond fabulous. Wherever the footsteps of our ancestor Brian Boru might have gone, we would like to visit there! Many years ago I was fortunate enough to visit cousins near Frankfurt, Germany, from my mother’s side of the family (her father’s name was Oscar Herman Lohmeyer; you don’t get much more German than that!), but my husband has never had the opportunity to travel outside of North America, least of all to his (well, our) dream destination, Ireland. By faith and by God (faith and begorrah), we hope and pray that we will be able to make that trip one day soon!


With all of the available genealogy resources and old records in Ireland, your next trip to Ireland can also help you discover your potential family roots. Authentic Ireland has many connections with genealogy experts, and would be more than willing to help direct you to the right area to learn more about your heritage. In the meantime, be sure to read our Authentic Ireland Reviews, as well as submit a quote with us to get started!

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