Waterbury Irish Event on November 14!

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PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Attention

Further Info, Contact Bilal Tajildean, 203-757-2279

JOHN BALE BOOK COMPANY HOSTS WATERBURY IRISH BOOK DISCUSSION

On Saturday, November 14, 2015 John Bale Book Company will host author, Janet Maher, and the director of Prospect Library, John Wiehn, for a discussion about her recent History Press publication, Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. This is part of the Bale Lyceum Series, designed to provide interesting conversation after a High Tea lunch. The Lyceum and the lunch both take place in Bale’s second floor rare book room at 158 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT. It is a cozy and comfortable atmosphere, great for enjoying a lunch with a friend or for bringing several friends. There is a $10 charge for the High Tea Lunch (noon to 1:30), and a $10 charge for the book discussion.

Waterbury Irish is the second scholarly book that Waterbury native, Janet Maher, has obsessively researched and written about the history of the Irish immigrations into New Haven County, Connecticut. Exhaustive reading about Ireland and Irish-Americans and two research trips to Ireland have also informed her work, as has friendships she developed with others interested in exchanging information about Irish genealogy since 2006. She has produced and/or restored massive numbers of her own original photographs and historic photographs from her and others’ collections, and completely transcribed and re-mapped a Naugatuck cemetery. Throughout her long project her quest has been to find bridges between the early New Haven county Irish settlers and their specific origins in the “Old Sod,” then following their progress through generations. She has attempted to recreate a sense of the former communities on both sides of “the pond” such that all who share common ancestral origins may glean a beginning point for their own further research forwards, backwards and sideways.

Primarily an artist, Maher directs the Studio Arts program at Loyola University Maryland, where she is an associate professor. For Waterbury Irish she enlisted the help of John Wiehn to work with her in expanding her research with stories about local Waterbury residents into the modern era. Past state president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Wiehn has served in all elected offices and been involved with the AOH for more than 20 years. He reached out to his AOH friends to share some living knowledge of Waterbury Irish individuals and shared some information gleaned from newspaper clippings he saved through the years. He also created the index for the book.

As the two Irish-interested friends grew up in different eras and different parts of Waterbury–one having remained all his life there, the other having left Connecticut at 25 years old–each had a different base of contacts and family to bring into this part of the project. Maher also “cold called” the current mayor and city clerk for their stories and continued to research the included families and their times, weaving all into her text that came to include politics, sports, the famous (and infamous), enlivened with myriad family memories.

Come to John Bale Book Company with your own stories and photographs to share with all in attendance. Waterbury Irish may be purchased at this event. Start your Christmas shopping for ancestral Irish friends and family here!

Waterbury Irish, and Maher’s first book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley, may also be purchased from her shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ConnecticutIrish/

Book Launches in Waterbury, Connecticut – Coming Soon!

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©2014 Janet Maher, Waterbury Civil War Monument

©2014 Janet Maher, Waterbury Civil War Monument

Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City will be officially launched on Thursday, October 15, 6 p.m. at the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut! I am currently preparing a Power Point of key images for the talk, and John Wiehn will join me in presenting some of the material included in the text.

Members of the Mattatuck will be admitted free. Otherwise there will be a charge of $7 at the door for adults, $6 for seniors. Many of the individuals whose family stories gave life to this work will be in attendance, and we all expect to have a “grand” time! After the event, we plan to visit The Shamrock Grill, where the owner has generously agreed to offer a 10% discount on food and drink to those who attended the talk and signing–and 20% for those who purchased the book at the Mattatuck!

On Saturday, the 17th, 10:30 a.m., the launch continues with a presentation and signing at the Silas Bronson Library. At 5 p.m. that day, the Waterbury Barnes & Noble will also host a signing. Looking forward to seeing everyone at whichever event is possible to attend, and to collectively celebrate a story that deserved to be told about this important place in history! Thank you, over and again, to all who helped to make this book a reality–and to all who will support the massive amount of work that went into producing it by purchasing a copy! Sláinte!

©2015 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

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Waterbury Irish, Available for Order!

Waterbury Irish Cover, History Press, 2015

Waterbury Irish Cover, History Press, 2015

Hooray! Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City may be purchased directly from me through Etsy! There you will also find the book that led up to this one (From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley), and will have the option of purchasing them together at a discount. Shipping prices will be determined during the Etsy check-out. Credit cards, debit cards and Etsy gift cards are accepted. In person, cash and checks are possible and there will be a way to pay with credit cards then without shipping added. Click “Custom” or email me if you would like the book signed for a particular person. For those who are near Connecticut, please note that book release events are scheduled in Waterbury for October and November. It would be wonderful to see you!

Thursday, October 15, Mattatuck Museum, 6 p.m. (PPT talk, signing)
Saturday, October 17, Silas Bronson Library, 10:30 a.m. (PPT talk, signing)
Saturday, October 17, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 5 p.m.-ish
Saturday, November 14, John Bale Book Company, (2-3 p.m. discussion following High Tea at noon)

As an Etsy listing, the term “hand-made” is necessary. Although this is a mass-market book, much hand-work went into its production, beginning with a great deal of photo restoration and preparation. The book was researched and written by me, with content assistance from John Wiehn and several additional contributors. It includes six of my original photographs, and many more that were not included may eventually find their way to the Etsy shop to be available as digital images, suitable for framing.

When I began seriously to do family history research in 2006 my goal was to find the wave migration link between the earliest Irish families who entered the Greater Waterbury area and their correct location in Ireland. Since physical records in the Waterbury and Naugatuck city halls do not go back to the decades that I needed, I began to study entire communities and search all available records sideways, with a deep focus upon surnames that applied to my extended lines. This, my second book, completes the project. I hope it will serve as a helpful foundation for others who have Irish ancestral connections to the Greater Waterbury and New Haven County regions of Connecticut.

The History Press explained, “The hard work of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants in Waterbury helped place the city on the map as the Brass Capital of the World. In the early years of immigration, Irish Catholics held Mass in secret, but eventually beautiful churches were built, attracting the most revered clergy in Connecticut. Soon Irish and Irish Americans established themselves as city leaders and professionals in the community. Dr. Charles A. Monagan was a founding member of St. Mary’s Hospital, while his son John later became mayor. Some achieved fame through their excellence in sports, such as Roger Connor, who held a long-standing record for career home runs until it was broken by Babe Ruth. Detailed research and oral histories from living descendants bring to light the remarkable Waterbury Irish legacy.”

Please spread the word! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ConnecticutIrish/

 

©2015 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

All Rights Reserved

Waterbury Irish, From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City

Waterbury Irish, by Janet Maher, with John Wiehn, 2015

Waterbury Irish, by Janet Maher, with John Wiehn, 2015

The new book is in the process of being published by the History Press! It will be available the first week of September and the grand launch and signing will be Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 6pm in Waterbury, Connecticut, at the Mattatuck Museum! Please see http://www.waterburyirish.com for updates and the book’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/waterburyirish/. Hooray!

©2015 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

All Rights Reserved

Ó Meachair, The Story of A Clan

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I immediately gifted my first copy of Gabrielle Ní Mheachair’s at-long-last book, Ó Meachair, The Story of a Clan, but have just received two more copies–one of them also about to become a gift. Now, my belated but hearty cheer to Gabrielle, whom I have had the pleasure to converse with a few times over the years as we were both doing research and I asked her advice. For a while I subscribed to the newspaper, Midwest Irish Focus, published by Pete Maher, of Missouri, especially to read her installments of “Tipperary Tales.” As a native Irish woman she knows of what she speaks and has captured the history of our clan perfectly. Those interested in things Maher will find this book to be a “must own.” Congratulations to Gabrielle Ní Mheachair Woeltje on this fine book, available from Amazon.com!

P.S. (August 7) – Having finished reading her book, I’ve sent a review to Amazon, now waiting approval. I would add here that it is an excellent, easy to read, book about very complex events that affected all the ancient clans. The Ó Meachairs (O’Meagher, Maher, etc.) served as perfect examples for her in-depth history, since, “it was one of the few clans in Ireland that had the good fortune to live under the ancient Celtic system until the middle of the seventeenth century.” Their history spanned, remarkably, to 1922 when those who had remained in the old barony of Ikerrin (the original seat of the Mahers in the northeast area of Tipperary) “were among the last to regain proprietorship of their ancient lands.”

©2015 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

All Rights Reserved

Waterbury Irish!

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©2015 Janet Maher, Home Ec, photograph from personal collection

©2015 Janet Maher, Home Ec, photograph from personal collection

Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City is scheduled to be published by the History Press in the first week of September! More details will appear, as well as a link to a Facebook page, in upcoming weeks. For those who are within driving distance to New Haven, Connecticut, please come to my talk-with-images on Tuesday night, June 16 for the Irish History Round Table at 7:30 p.m., Knights of Saint Patrick Hall, 1533 State Street, New Haven.

©2015 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

All Rights Reserved

A. Michael Maher, Jr. (1929-2014)

Cemetery Angel #6 ©2013 Janet Maher

Cemetery Angel #6 ©2013 Janet Maher

It is with sadness for his passing and in gratitude for having been privileged to get to know him over a few years that I share a tribute to the life of Michael Maher. A largely attended and beautiful thanksgiving of his life was celebrated today in Annapolis, Maryland.

“Mike Maher, 85, was born in Houston, Texas to Alvin M. and Lucille Guillaume Maher. A graduate of Saint Thomas High School, he received a B.S. degree from Tulane University in physics and did graduate work at the University of Maryland. During the Korean War, he flew F-86s and F-94Cs in the 84th Fighter Squadron, Air Defense Command, United States Air Force.

He had an accomplished career applying science to real world problems. As a government contractor, he developed the phased radar system found in naval warships today. He played a major role in the design and manufacture of the Pegasus satellites which gathered crucial data for NASA’s moon missions. He later established a major environmental testing laboratory and in 1970 became its President and CEO. at the U.S. Department of Commerce he led the design of the Industrial Energy Conservation Program which assisted the manufacturing sector in improving its energy efficiency, reducing the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. At Potomac Electric Power Company, he designed and implemented a load control program for residential and commercial customers which contributed to the cancellation of a major new generating plant. In retirement, he consulted with the Electric Power Research Institute on the introduction of electric cars.

He lived life fully, enjoying good wine, Navy and Redskins football, ice cream, sailing, Dixieland jazz and the Big Band music of the 1940s, cherry pie, the newspaper comics, and lively political discussions. He was a skilled photographer. He read widely and was particularly interested in American and military history.

He was a past president of the Lindamoor Improvement Association, a member of the International Club of Annapolis, and an associate member of the Class of 1953, U.S.N.A.

He was a loving husband and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were his greatest pride and joy…”

May God hold him in the hollow of His hand.

 

©2014 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

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Happy Thanksgiving, and a New Blog

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Love Letter ©2014 Janet Maher

Woolen Mill# 10: Love Letter ©2014 Janet Maher

It’s hard to believe that I have not written here since June of this year, and for that I apologize. I do still intend to complete the series of essays about my magical pilgrimage to Ireland, however, the rest of my life intervened and I had to shift gears.  For now, those who wish to continue to read my posts, please check out a new blog that I have just begun. It’s called “Trusting the Process: Getting There From Here,” and I hope it will be a means through which I can address more topics. Ireland is still at the top of my list and, especially so as I try to complete a new book by the end of the year. This one, to be titled, Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City,” is in collaboration with a friend I made years back while researching “From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley.” John Wiehn is the current president of Connecticut’s Ancient Order of Hibernians and is the director of the Prospect Library. With Mark Heiss, he produced the postcard series book, Waterbury, 1890-1930. He has been very helpful in finding some great old photographs and in gathering info on some of the topics that will be contained in Waterbury Irish, which should be published next May by the History Press. This book will not only condense and complete the work of “From the Old Sod,” but it will resurrect a history of Waterbury, Connecticut that has long been eclipsed and relatively few people recall or perhaps even know about. In my recent art exhibition I included the above image which is the last of a series from my earlier Naugatuck focus. This one evolved into what I felt to be a love letter to the ending of a project and an emotional nod to my hometown and my past.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thank you for all the attention you have paid this blog since it began in 2011!

©2014 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

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