Biography of a historical Wicklow resident

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Rising from Obscurity: Harriet Susannah Ellis

By Kim Burkhardt

BOOK SYNOPSIS: Rising from Obscurity: Harriet Susannah Ellis chronicles a rural Irish woman’s life from 1863 - 1939.  Details about Irish life and genealogical research are woven into the narrative.  

LIFE OVERVIEW:  Harriet was born in Co. Sligo the day the U.S. Union Army reorganized during the U.S. Civil War – meaning she was born in Yeats Country two years ahead of William Butler Yeats. Ireland’s emerging railroad system allowed her family to move all over Ireland as her Schoolmaster father moved from job to job.  She married in Dublin the year James Joyce was born in that city. Harriet spent the longest period of her life in Co. Wicklow. Stories survive of her reading turn-of-the-century news about the Boer War to an illiterate neighbour.  Harriet spent forty years raising children with a blind spouse.  She emigrated the year after the Titanic sank (three years before the 1916 uprising).  She died the day the Soviets invaded Poland.  Two grandsons participated in D-Day, while another participated in the invasion of Japan.

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This page was added by Kim Burkhardt on 28/09/2016.