Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eustaces Come Home!

We met up with an informal gathering of the Eustace clan on Tuesday September 22nd. We had arranged for it on the 20th as that is the feast of St.Eustace but it didn’t quite work out. When I heard initially that the Eustace clan were gathering in Ballymore, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to get a good price for all the houses and land in the village. The “Fear Ceann” Ronald Eustice, however, whilst initially disposed towards the idea felt that, even in these days of the mortally wounded Celtic tiger, that they were quite happy to continue with that status quo.
Ron has been working on the genealogy of the Eustace/Eustice or Eustis clan since the early 1970’s. He travelled a lot with his work in the area of International Agriculture, he is a reputed expert in livestock, and made contact with a gentleman in England who was anxious to trace his roots. So in the days before the internet Ron started to gather information and make contact by mail and telephone with other Eustaces from around the world.
He started a publication called the Eustace Family Post which kepps any Eustace who is so inclined, in touch with the wide population of Eustace branches from various parts of the globe. I’m not going to go into great detail on the history as Ron has agreed to send us regular articles in the coming months, and hopefully years. Just to give you some idea though, that night I met Ron & Margaret Eustice from Minnesota, Ray and Eli Eustice from Norway, Philip & Audrey Eustace from St.John’s Newfoundland, and Mina Grant from Michigan. They told me of the Irish Eustaces, some already familiar in Brittas and Manor Kilbride, but also from Clare, Longford, Louth, Carlow and Highfield Hospital in Dublin.
But it was the DNA profiling that most fascinated me. You see Ron was able to get some testing done on the derivative families of Eustace and found clean matches for most of the the Irsih/American and Canadian branches. I have asked him to outline the results in laymans terms in the coming months and it is the way forward in family tree tracing. Indeed Philip from Newfoundland ,or Talamh an Easc as we would know it, had a perfect match with a Eustace in Co. Louth.
As part of their eight day tour, they had a tour and Mass in Castlemartyr, toured Tipperkevin, Glendalough,Glenmalure and parts of Dublin. Thursday found them in St.John’s Ballymore Eustace for a get together and talk by Gerald McCarthy who has done a thesis on the Eustace family. It was attended by all the visiting branches of the family as well a number of Irish representatives as well as a lot of local people.


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