Thanks from US visitor after visit to cousins

Pat Welsh (right, holding the Times) with extended family members during her visit to Northern Ireland.  INCT 02-720-CON
Pat Welsh (right, holding the Times) with extended family members during her visit to Northern Ireland. INCT 02-720-CON

An American woman has thanked Times readers who helped her to get in contact with long-lost relatives while visiting the borough during the autumn.

Pat Welsh, from Ohio in the United States, travelled to Northern Ireland in September with hopes of re-establishing contact with several cousins, most of whom she hadn’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.

The 66-year-old made an appeal in advance of her visit for anyone with information on her relatives to come forward.

Pat, whose travelling companions included her son Jeremy, his wife Lisa and their son Liam, visited Carrick during her nine-day stay.

The itinerary included Greenisland and some of the places Pat remembered from her last visit in 1957, including the County Antrim War Memorial at Knockagh.

Other stops-offs were to include the Giant’s Causeway, Glens of Antrim, Belfast and Dublin. In a letter to the Times last week, Pat said: “The last day of our stay in Northern Ireland was spent with my cousins. We then got together at my second cousin Ewell’s home and had a fabulous meal prepared by his lovely wife, Debbie. In all there were 20 folks gathered at the table.

“It would not have been possible without you.”