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Old 05-12-2012, 09:06 PM
 
10,707 posts, read 8,626,919 times
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Default What exactly is Black Irish?

On another thread, I mentioned my MIL who always promoted her Irish heritage over any other.

She claimed to be 'black Irish and indeed she was darker than the Irish stereotype, with dark brown - almost black hair and eyes.

Her skin was fair, and she was rather diminutive. Only 5'1' and 110 lbs.

I am also part Irish. My parents have told me that we are part black Irish, and part regular Irish.

Both sides are Protestant, as was my MIL.

So what gives? Was it Spanish invaders? Africans? Or what?

 
Old 05-12-2012, 09:20 PM
 
Location: West Coast USA
1,577 posts, read 967,219 times
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I was curious about this, too, because Mother wouold say that of our heritage. I Googled it...Google Maps Most of what is mentioned there is called myth, theory, and legend. Some say, "It is thought that...." Doesn't leave much that seems solid, does it.

Is this helpful? http://archive.suite101.com/article....enealogy/49127
 
Old 05-12-2012, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,697 posts, read 14,071,965 times
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How about a little Irish history?
Who were the Black Irish? | Irish Genealogy and Roots | IrishCentral
 
Old 05-12-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: West Coast USA
1,577 posts, read 967,219 times
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Great article!
 
Old 05-13-2012, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Europe
5,975 posts, read 4,974,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
I have studied Irish history for probably half a century at this point, and for an article in pop media it presented a very, very good summary in a short article.

I did a project in college mapping the physical types of the Irish based on a study done in the late 20's as I remember by American anthropologists from Harvard. They had gotten a lot of cooperation from the RC church, so they were able to recruit particpants at the church doors on Sundays in many cases.

I compared the physical types with the traditrional mythological cycles of invasion, and, came up with little that would match with modern Irish physical types. Not surprising.

However, there was in the study a higher concentration of very dark haired, hazel-eyed or brown-eyed, and slightly darker people in large pockets throughout the western sea board counties.

My father was called "black Irish," by other people of Irish descent, and in a town with many Sicilian immigrants, many of them thought he was a Sicilian or Italian. He had black hair, hazel eyes with a striking amount of yellow streaks in them, and was dark-skinned. However, he did outdoor work all year round, and the darkness was highly exaggerated by his exposure to the weather, undressed the normally clothed parts of his body were quite fair.
 
Old 05-13-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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I believe that the article touches on it somewhat. In the U.S., "Black Irish" refers to the Irish that arrived during or just after the Potato Famine. The Irish already here were called "Lace Curtain Irish".
 
Old 05-13-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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Mom always said we are part "Black Dutch" and now I read this. I googled "Black Dutch" once and more than one website suggested that it is a type of "German." I'm not convinced and still curious about what it really is, if indeed it does exist.
 
Old 05-14-2012, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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"Making Irish crocheted lace became a popular means for the poor to extend their income when the potato crop failed. Young girls imitated needle-stitched Venetian lace to produce fine crocheted Irish lace which found its way into high society, including the court of Queen Victoria . Certain areas in Ireland became famous for their lace production." ~ Guide4Home, Remodeling, Interior Decorating, Appliances and more
 
Old 05-14-2012, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 15,311,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsTommy View Post
I believe that the article touches on it somewhat. In the U.S., "Black Irish" refers to the Irish that arrived during or just after the Potato Famine. The Irish already here were called "Lace Curtain Irish".
I don't think many if any came over before then. The term "lace curtain Irish" is a pejorative referring to people who put on pretenses despite being of humble means. The Irish would supposedly put lace curtains on the front windows of their shacks.

"Black Irish" just refers to those with dark hair and brown eyes versus the more Celtic looking green eyed redheads.
 
Old 05-14-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,740 posts, read 4,907,591 times
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The Black Irish are descended from mystical, nature spirits that could morph into seals. I like that story best.
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