Thanks to Ancestry.com, I found out that my fifth great-grandparents were John Mac Hale and Cecilia O’Toole – and their story is enchanting.
It seems that Cecilia O’Toole was a great beauty from the island of Inishturk in County Mayo, Ireland, back in the 1700’s. She caught the eye of John Mac Hale. Her family approved of the match to the point they gave John some land on another Irish island, this one called Caher. It’s described as a “mystical” island, so I want to see it. It must have been a pirate hideout at one point because what happened next is the stuff that dreams of people all over the world have long been made of: the O’Tooles found buried treasure on the land! And not just any buried treasure, either. Bars of gold!
There was more loot, too, but the gold bars are the detail that’s still recalled in stories all these centuries later. I can understand why. Wow! Can you imagine, there you are, digging around on your land, probably to plant something, and kaboom! The shovel hits an honest-to-goodness treasure.
Well, the O’Tooles liked John so much that they shared the hoard with him. He went to Dublin to cash them in, came back to Cecilia, and had the money to stock their farm in style. Their daughter Sarah is my fourth great-grandmother on the Quinn side of my family.
Happy New Year, Everybody! May you have a year like my ancestors once did, where when you least expect it, maybe even when you’re digging through the mud, voila! You find your greatest treasure.
Meanwhile, I think I’m going to visit Caher – and bring a rake. You never know. Maybe there was a gold bar that they missed!