St Patrick’s Day 1909

Today in countries around the world people will celebrate St Patrick’s Day. There’ll be processions, hats that defy good taste, lots of green, a fair amount of Guinness sunk.
Back in 1909, in Ireland, my grandmother evidently also celebrated St Patrick’s Day, but rather more quietly. Friends signed her autograph book.


It is very difficult to photograph, at least for me. I don’t want to crack the spine and it is fragile. She and her sister had the same autograph books. I saw my great aunt’s afew years ago. What a contrast with my grandmother’s! Scruffy, scrawled upon, a ragbag collection iof entries. My grandmather died in 1927. This is the most personal connection I have with her. All the same, we are thinking of donating it to the Ulster Museum as it feels like an important part of Ulster history, greater than just our family.

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4 thoughts on “St Patrick’s Day 1909

    • Ideally we would keep a facsimile, but it would mean it was preserved. It is very special, a window into a time when there was no television or radio, when cars were rare, and people spent time carefully writing poems and drawing pictures in each others autograph books.

    • My grandmother knew she was dying. She made sure each of her children had a memento, something that was important to her. My mother, then seven, was given her psalter. I am not sure how she also managed to have the autograph book. Maybe it was left in the house and she kept it.

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