Monday, August 16, 2010

In A Just World I Would Be Able To Buy And Sell All Of You

I got some interesting information about my paternal great grandfather today. His name was Joseph Brophy, and I already knew that he was the son of an Irish immigrant and served as the mayor of Elizabeth, NJ in the early 1900s. Today, however, I read an email from my aunt that included a blurb about great grandpa Joe from a book called Prominent Families of New Jersey (hurry up and get to Amazon before it's sold out). In this blurb, I found out that on top of his duties as mayor, Joe served as the Secretary of State for New Jersey, fought in France during the first World War, and he also took over the family coal business.

If you look at the 3rd man from the left in the second row, you'll find that my great grandfather is nowhere to be found in the picture I found on Google.

This information, while incredibly interesting, pains me on two levels. Firstly, it seems that I'm going to have to live to be about 300 years old it I'm going to achieve half of what my ancestor pulled off. I mean, I'm pretty happy with what I've accomplished in my first quarter of a century, but someone with much of the same DNA as me managed to achieve positions of heroism, prestige, and wealth during an era of American history when being an Irish immigrant was about as pleasant as having potatoes and shamrocks shoved up your ass.

And, speaking of positions of wealth, why the hell do I not own most of the state of New Jersey? My great granddad was a politically connected coal monger for Christ's sake. I should be living in Tony Soprano's house, hanging out with John Gotti's kids and getting hit on by Snookie. OK, in reality none of that sounds any good at all. But I should be rich right? If things were as they should be then I would

Okay, this is Ms.Grump interjecting here with my own ancestor story which is much more engaging than this whole "coal miner" thing. I'll keep it short and sweet. Grandfather on mom's side: IRA member. Yup. Great grandparents on my dad's side had to flee Mexico in the early 1900's. From what exactly changes every time you ask my Nana about it but still MUCH more interesting right?

Hey, screw you lady get your own blog. And he wasn't just a coal miner. He owned a frigging coal company. His dad's name was the name of the company! And it's true, not the just the ramblings of a crazy old lady!

Right. They're "true". Like those stories your Dad tells you about his adventures in Florida back in the 70's?

What does my dad have to do with anything? And yes, the stories are true. Why would he make up a story about jumping a pool on his motorcycle?

Or the one where he may have run drugs on a fishing boat. Or the one where he ate a plastic plant. OR the one where he showed up at his old house after your grandma had moved like months ago? Oh, and by the way Snookie? Really? I am not one of your 3 readers, I know when you're trying to boost your hits. I'll help you out: Justin Beiber, Brittany Spears, Glee, boobies.



  1. Well, sir, I'd be available but you'd probably have to come to Philly. Is that doable?

  2. I like Ms Grump... she is funny!

  3. Do you know where in Ireland your ancestors are from?

    I'm always fascinated by the story of Irish immigrants - For the most part, all of my ancestors are traceable to here in the South of Ireland - They generally seemed to stay and work in live in the rural parts of County Cork. Much of our history was retained through word of mouth over the decades.

    It's amazing to here about those who ended up in various locations around the world and how their family history spans not only different areas, but different countries!

  4. look drew there goes the point...