Sunday, January 1, 2012

St. Patricks Cathedral

You might remember that in October we spent the weekend in Julian, CA. It was a great family weekend for the 4 of us, but we didn't just go to go. We were having a family reunion of sorts with cousins on my husband's side of the family.... Oh, I think I need to start from the beginning....

My husband lost his mother in 1979, and  lost touch with her side of the family over the next decade. It was not until my BIL (HD's brother) started using Ancestry.com last spring that they realized that they had so many relatives on that side of the family-many of whom are still here in California!

One of those cousins was coming from Florida to visit another cousin in Central California, and going to visit a third cousin in Julian. That's the reason for the Julian visit and we seriously got our money's worth in family history that weekend! These women are serious family tree investigators. We were able to see pictures that were thought to be lost forever, heard stories of family members that I, not actually being part of that family, never knew, and made new bonds for the future. It was really cool.

The best story of the weekend, though was that of HD's great, great, great grandfather William Joyce. Mr. Joyce owned a marble quarry in New Jersey and was co-owner of a construction company. He and his partner were awarded the contract to build the new St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. All of the marble in the building was from his quarry. He also donated one of the spectacular windows, The Window of St. John the Evangelist. We heard various tales about the contract with the Church, the quarry, the family. It was so amazing to listen to these women tell their tales about finding details of these lives, connected to ours, and their dedication to finding more and more and more.

The other story that I found interesting was that he had many Irish workers in the quarry, so many in fact that he built them a church right across the street from the quarry so that they could attend Mass but not lose too much of the work day. One of the chapels inside that church is still named for his wife, and they have a family crypt there.

The 2 books that HD got for Christmas were books on the Cathedral.


History Of St. Patrick's Cathedral

The Windows of St. Patrick's Cathedral

The best part about the books is that he had asked and asked for me to buy them and thought I was just blowing him off. Hee hee! I got the last laugh!

So now we have a really good reason to visit the New York/New Jersey area. Anyone got a money tree?
Headless Mom

9 comments:

Carmen said...

Every time I go to NYC, I visit St. Pat's. When I'm inside, I can't help but think of the millions of people throughout time that have worshipped there. It gives me the shivers.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a fun time in Julian! How wonderful to gather all that great historical information about HD's family.

Diana said...

That is so neat! Is HD Irish, too?

Rocks In The Wash said...

Isn't Ancestry.com amazing?! Genealogy can be so addictive. I love the picture of the stained glass; I'm sure the cathedral is absolutely beautiful.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

What a terrific legacy. St. Patrick's Cathedral is an awesome sight, for real.

Karen said...

How exciting to learn about the family roots. Keaton just asked the other day if he could get on ancestory.com......it is nice to know even the next generation is interested.

Michelle said...

Oh how awesome! I love finding out all the histories like that, especially when they are famous things like this :) You definitely need to get to NYC now. That or I'll send you some photos when I'm there at BlogHer in August....

Kelsey Joyce said...

Where those two women Betty and Carol? If so they really my aunts ;)

Kendra HeadlessMom said...

Yes Kelsey! You didn't leave an email but if you come back to see if I responded, please contact me at headlessfamily5@gmail.com