In honor of St. Pat’s, here is a view of the resort town and Galway suburb of Salthill in Co. Galway and the edge of Galway Bay taken during a study abroad trip in 1997. It was a beautiful day and an all around lovely trip… but I have no family from there that I’m aware of.

Salthill and Galway Bay from a Ferris Wheel, Summer 1997.

My known Irish ancestors include the Massy family from Rathronan in County Limerick, and the Byrne, Cunningham and Dowdall families who reported themselves from Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. I haven’t yet figured out where my Shea line originally hailed from in Ireland.

Ideally, I’d love to take a trip to research these lines.

Happy hunting & Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


There’s a great deal of raw artistic talent among the Shea descendants and I often wonder how much of that is a trait passed on or whether it is other influences on the line. This is a drawing said to be by Ellen Cunningham Shea of her son, my great grandfather, Robert James Shea.

The original drawing is on something like cardborad but not canvas. It resides in the collection of my Great Aunt.

Happy Hunting,



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