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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, January 4, 2010

Digging up roots...

I've been trying to research my dad's side of the family who lived mostly in the Ottawa valley of southern Ontario. By a fluke I found an extensive family tree which goes as far back as his Great Great Grandparents who were from a small village in County Limerick called Mohernagh, Ballyhahill. There are some family graves located in Kilcolinan, though not the great greats, as they came to Canada sometime during the famine years. The ones still lying there are of a few brothers who remained.
I found this out by Googling my own name. How incredible to finally have some thread of  long ago. Its too bad we didn't find this out before we made our way to Ireland last spring...it would have meant a lot to my dad to go and visit these graves.
Anyway, through the process of looking into the records I also found some great pictures of another not so distant relative. His name was John Quilty(everyone called him Johnny) and he was my dads second cousin. I had known for a long time that he was a great hockey player and that he is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but I had never seen any pictures of him. For those who aren't aware of it, hockey is a BIG deal to Canadians and to have blood in the royal palace of hockey is pretty monumental. I had to take pictures of the computer to get these so the quality isn't the best but you get the idea...

Here he is in his prime in his Montreal Canadiens sweater, hopefully happy after winning a game!
He was also the winner of the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the year.
With the lads...I beleive he is top left hand corner...
...hmmm , maybe they lost this night...they don't look too cheerful.
This one looks like a card you would get in a pack with a stick of bubble gum.

The interesting thing about these pictures, is that when I look into them I see such a strong resemblence between my dad, his brother John, my Grandpa Jack and strangely enough, my older brother Danny....Oh how the DNA wanders and swims around in our bones...
Johnny even won the Calder Cup once for MVP
Post Script....Unfortunately  Johnny's career ended after being traded to the Boston Bruins.On January 12th, 1948, in his 6th game, he violently collided with Chicago player Bob Goldham and badly broke his leg which left him unable to play as well as he had in the past. He later rejoined the Air Force and played with their teams before dying suddenly at the young age of 48, on September 12 1969, Ottawa.