This is a photograph of my grandmother, Ellen Heaney, who immigrated to New York City in 1900 from Drumlish, County Longford. She was a maid and from her meager salary she saved up to purchase this dress from Macy’s.
She married Michael Kane from Esker, County Longford in 1908. They lived on the Westside in St. Bernard’s Parish where they raised six children, one of whom was my father, Bill, “Kano,” who had to go to work on the docks when he was 14 years old. Times were tough and education was a luxury they could not afford.
To show how far the Irish have come since then, their great-grandson Michael graduated from Harvard and is now studying to be a doctor.
– Patricia Kane Farrell, Elkridge, MD
Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Sheila Langan at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or e-mail the picture at 300 dpi resolution to firstname.lastname@example.org. No photocopies, please. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select.