In May 2001 we had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, the excuse being to visit our son who was an exchange student at Queens University in Belfast.
We did all the touristy things, including taking the ferry across to Glasgow and the train from there to Edinburgh.
Weeks before we set out for our travels, I did some genealogical snooping around because I had a strong sense that there were probably Irish roots somewhere in the family tree.
From my mother’s maiden name, Dillon, I was able to trace her father’s roots back to Henri de Leon. The man had moved from France to Ireland. I just thought to search for the name (some 14 years after my first) and find the man mentioned in Wikipedia:
Dillon is a family name of Irish origin but with Breton-Norman roots. It is first recorded in Ireland with the arrival of Sir Henry de Leon (c.1176 – 1244), of a cadet branch of Viscounty of Léon, Brittany. He arrived in Ireland accompanying Prince John (later King John) of England. The name evolved into the Irish language “Diolun” / English language “Dillon”
And so when we first moved to Floyd in 1997 and my PT clinic was in the heart of town, I’d often wander through the cemetery across from the Floyd Country Store.
Here buried in tiny Floyd VA lies Henry Dillon, from Ireland, probably connected remotely to my mother’s father’s family from Murphreesboro, TN.
And our first grandson, born to our son, is Henry Dillon First. Some of you will remember the immensely difficult situation of his birth in 2009. Beyond all reasonable expectations, he lives on, loved and cared for at home by his remarkable parents.