I am writing somewhat early of a holiday weekend morning, and if a certain fuzziness or haze extends into this essay, that must be the cause. I wish to write about our collective family, in the extended sense.
By result of English predations, we have a family with what seems to be an identifiable common root. Not only are we identifiably one family by virtue of our surname, but the genealogy suggests that we extend from an identifiable ancestor, or few ancestors. By virtue of a sustained familial oral tradition, we have maintained a certain sense of identity with that common ancestor, and this has been a continuous thread, through generations. Thanks to the care of ancestors whose memories held the nature of inter-relationships and thanks to Padraig Feirtear who gathered these memories and put them on paper we have a fabric of information to serve as a map for understanding our past, and how were are connected. And most recently, we have the dedication and tenacity of individual family members who have taken advantage of modern research tools, willingness to travel, and an ability to focus on details such that the extensions of the family tree both in Ireland and in the immigrant destinations are being clarified, delineated, and documented.
I am not suggesting that the genealogical work is complete, nor are certain issues dating back to the diaspora all resolved. I am stating that enough is understood such that our common familial sense is validated. I am willing to wager that each of us were reared with an understanding that were were personally connected to the earliest Ferriters, and certainly to Pierce Ferriter. While the certainty of this connection may have varied from family group to family group, the sense of connection has existed in every Ferriter/Farritor/Feirtear that I have met.
So, we have what must be a rare opportunity - that of establishing and strengthening familial relationships that may have not consiously existed, or that may have been remote and tenuous.We have a basis for recounting the individual stories and sagas of our experience, for the benfit of all. We can do this via this blog, or other communication means, and by meeting one another face to face. To that latter end, I am working to organize an "All Ferriter Family Gathering", to take place August 13 - 16, 2009. As plans develop and become better defined, I will keep all interested family members informed.
Meanwhile, I will comb the internet and other sources for Ferriters yet to be located and contacted.