US visitor appeals for help to find cousins

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An American woman is seeking to reconnect with her Carrickfergus roots during a birthday visit to the borough this month.

Pat Welsh, from Ohio in the United States, travelled to Northern Ireland on Monday for a nine day stay.

The 66-year-old is attempting to re-establish contact with several cousins during her trip, most of whom she hasn’t seen since childhood.

Pat’s mother, Elizabeth Crooks, was born in Northern Ireland in 1920 and lived in Greenisland at the time of her marriage in 1944 to Pat’s father, who was in the US army. The couple then moved to Michigan, where Pat was born on September 1, 1948.

“Her grandmother, Sarah Crooks, visited when I was born, and in 1957 my family visited Ireland. I met uncles, aunts and cousins. Sarah and Susan Crooks were daughters of my mom’s brother, James Crooks, and his wife Jean,” Pat said.

Pat’s mother’s sister, also called Jean, had two daughters, Lynn and Kay. “I don’t know the last name and don’t know if they married,” Pat added. “There also was a male cousin named Yul who was the son of Sadie and raised by my grandmother.

“I understand he received a prestigious award for his work with children.

“I had Christmas cards from at least one of my cousins quite a few years back and I had hoped to find that and an address, but to no avail.”

Pat, whose travelling companions include her son Jeremy, his wife Lisa and their son Liam, will visit the borough as part of her itinerary.

“My plan is to visit Greenisland and the places I still remember from 1957. I remember the Knockagh Monument and plan on visiting there and paying my respects,” she said.

Other stops-offs include the Giant’s Causeway, Glens of Antrim, Belfast and Dublin.

“My daughter-in-law has scheduled a visit to Glenarm Castle and a bag pipe competition,” Pat added.

If you have any information that can help Pat in her search for her cousins, she can be contacted by email at