Battle of Jutland Map
Today is a special and emotional day for my family and the City of Belfast. My Grandfather, Jonathan Kendal who served as a gunner on HMS Tiger, survived the 1916 Battle of Jutland. The Tiger took several hits. Unfortunately 8,648 sailors from the British and German fleets died. 358 of those who died were Irish.
HMS Caroline, the second-oldest ship in Royal Navy service and the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland has been docked in Belfast for many, many years. I have gazed on her and watched her decay. However, today (1 June) and following major restoration works costing £14.2 million she will be open to the public at Belfast‘s Titanic Quarter. The restoration work looks very impressive and I look forward to visiting her again.
Belfast’s Nuala with the Hula, New York’s Lady Liberty and now Dublin’s Molly Malone. Honestly, although I come from a seafaring family, I don’t have a girl in every port.
Molly’s statue which dates from 1988 originally stood in Dublin’s Grafton Street before being relocated to Suffolk Street in 2014. She is an attraction for many tourists visiting Dublin, including those tracing their Irish ancestry and family history. Her buxom nature is purely incidental! As with many Dublin statues, she has a nickname: The Tart with the Cart.
The Molly Malone song tells a tale of a 17th century fishmonger and hawker who traded from a cart on the streets of Dublin. One story suggests she plied a different trade by night!! Poor Molly caught the fever and died prematurely. She is immortalised in the song of her name, sometimes referred to as “Cockles and Mussels” or In “In Dublin’s Fair City”.
Nuala with the Hula is not alone
Sometime ago I posted Belfast’s Nuala with the Hula playing hoopla. Nuala has now found a kindred spirit: a moving Lady Liberty.
Like Nuala, New York’s Statue of Liberty has a long standing connection with genealogy. The statue is an icon of the United States and was a welcoming sight to many Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh and other European immigrants arriving from abroad. She is located on Ellis Island and was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States.
The Ellis Island Foundation projects include a museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor and the American Family Immigration History Center. The Centre is a valuable resource when researching family history
To find out more, click on the following link:
Met this girl by the river last night.
Isn’t she beautiful?
A number of people have asked me about my logo. It represents the Thanksgiving Statue which stands on the banks of the River Lagan in Belfast. It was constructed in 2007 and is almost 20 metres high.
As with other public works of art in Ireland the sculpture has been given several nicknames. These include:
Nuala with the Hula
The Belle on the Ball
The Thing with the Ring
She represents various themes associated with hope, aspiration, peace and reconciliation and is derived from images of Classical and Celtic mythology. Her position on the globe signifies a unified approach to life on this earth. It encompasses oneness, while celebrating the diversity of culture. The globe at her feet indicates the universal philosophy of peace, harmony and thanksgiving, and has marked on its surface the cities where the people and industries of Belfast migrated and exported to.
The aim of the sculpture is to bring people together, change hearts and minds and to make bridges across the divides in our community.
As a genealogist I believe researching your ancestry, discovering your family history and developing your family tree gives you an insight into your own social history and provides an opportunity to understand others.
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