Aunt Tessie & Uncle Tom

On their Farm in Maghera

Above is my father’s sister Teresa and her husband Tom Kenneally.  My aunt, whom everyone in Maghera called “Tessie,” was one of my father’s two sisters who remained in Ireland.  She and her husband purchased the land where her mother’s family, the Nestors, had lived for generations.  It looks like one of their pigs wandered along to pose with them for this photograph.


This is a studio portrait of my Aunt Tessie and Uncle Tom.

For the photographs on this page I am indebted to Tom O’Halloran, a businessman and farmer in County Clare who is, like me, a nephew of Aunt Tessie (Tom’s mother was Tom Kenneally’s sister).

I truly enjoyed talking with Tom, who told me wonderful stories about my aunt.  He saw her practically everyday as a child, as he attended the schoolhouse across the road from my aunt and uncle’s farmhouse.

I never met Aunt Tessie, but I always knew about her because she and my mother would exchange letters when I was a boy.  When a letter from my aunt in Ireland arrived at our house in New Jersey it was a big event.  I also recall that my aunt and uncle would send shamrocks to our family every year before St. Patrick's Day.


In this photo my Aunt Tessie is posing beside a donkey cart, which at one time was a common vehicle in Maghera.  The geese look like they’re wondering why my aunt is posing instead of giving them feed.


My uncle, Tom Kenneally, posing with his bicycle.  At the time this picture was taken, bicycles were a very popular way of getting around in the Irish countryside.  Note the border collie, a typical working dog on an Irish farm.  Border collies would be used to herd sheep.


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