In February 2006  my Dad and I made the trip to Ireland. One of our stops was Tuam where my G-Grandfather, Patrick Judge, was born. It was a very cold day when we arrived by bus. My Dad had forgotten his second jacket so we opted to go into the library to get warm and look up any info on the Judge family in relationship to the town. We were having no luck when the librarian asked us if we found what we were looking for. We told her that we had hoped to find info on the Judges and at that point she told us that a Michael Judge worked at the bank across the street and that maybe he would be able to help us.  

Off across the street we went and we were told by his secretary that he was out of the office at a meeting but that she would relay the message and could we come back later? So, my Dad and I walked the old area and by the small river I found a little spot which was landscaped beautifully with a memorial plaque dedicated to the memory of a woman who had lost her life on September 11th.  

We then toured the old churches and headed back to the bank. Michael was there and greeted us warmly but indicated that he was pretty sure that we weren't related as many people over the years had come thru looking for relations to the Judge name and as far as he knew none of his Judges had gone to America. I told him that my Grandfather, Vincent, had written down that his father was from this area. At this point, I guess I peaked Michael's interest as he told us his father's name was Vincent. I then told him where James Judge, my G-G-Grandfather was buried with his son John and now Michael was intrigued. His g-grandfather's name was John. I knew at this point that he was hooked and you wouldn't believe what happened next. Michael took the rest of the day off and drove us to his cousins house to find out more. After giving the cousin, Anna, my info, she informed us that we were, indeed, related. That Michael's G-G-Grandfather and my G-G-Grandfather were brothers! We were all so excited!  

Michael then drove us to the Donaghpatrick cemetery and then to his sister's home for a meeting. I can honestly tell you that I have never met kinder or warmer people. We visited for a couple of hours and then Michael drove us back to Galway to the bus. Many hugs later we promised to keep in touch.

  Just this last March, my son and I spent two weeks in Ireland and 5 days with my new found relatives. I met the rest of the Judges and their families and they treated us grandly. It was a sad day when we had to leave. They made us feel so welcomed and a part of the family. The Irish are a special people and I count myself lucky to have their blood in me.  

Well, that's my story. I just wanted to share it. Thanks.

  Patte Fera

 

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