My mother was born in County Limerick, Ireland. All her paperwork says she was born the 16th of March, 1934, but she would tell us she was born on St Patrick’s day. Mother was one of 11 children born to my grandparents. Tonight I look at some of her paperwork, and wanted to share some bits of history.
She came to this country in November 1955 aboard the Queen Mary, (a trip she would tell us took 2 weeks). Her Declaration of Intention issued by the United States Dept. of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service was issued in the State of New Jersey, County of Ocean, and dated the 5th of April, 1957. This is the declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States.
Mother initially was a nanny in New Jersey when she arrived in this country and eventually, joined the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) and served as an LPN. While serving, she met a young man on a blind date on the 14th of January, 1958. In her little pages from what I call her “Harry Diary”…she writes…”I went out on a blind date tonight, was I surprised! My date turned out to be real nice”….Then on the 5th of April, 1958 she writes “Wonderful day. I am so very happy.” That man turned out to be my dad. My folks married on the one year anniversary of the signing of her declaration of intention.
Her installation clearance record is dated the 22nd of July, 1958 and her efficiency rating was excellent. She received her honorable discharge on the 28th of July, 1958. Her highest civilian education level was 8 yrs elementary. You see, back when she was a child in Ireland, the kids got pulled out of school to go to work. She passed her GED test for High School equivalency in 1957. Her rank in the WAC was PFC (E-3) (T) and her specialty was 910.00 Med Corpsman.
My mother became a United States citizen on the 25th of June, 1971. That was a big day at our house.
My parents had 9 children. I am the oldest, and was born on Mother’s Day, the 10th of May, 1959.
My mother passed away on the 17th of July, 2001, which was my youngest daughter’s 9th birthday. My granddaughter was born on St Patrick’s day 2006, which would have been my mother’s 72nd birthday, and 7 plus 2 equals 9. (You do the math.)