15 April 2011

Family History Connections

John Nay, Jr taken near his death in 1892
In 2002 a dream came true for me and several of my cousins. We published a hardback book of histories about John Nay Jr and his family. The dream was born when my sister and I met one of our Nay cousins who works in a bookstore. She had information we were looking for and she also had an idea--to form a committee and write a book. The three of us gathered up histories and descendants from every branch of this early Utah pioneer family. After many meetings and much work the book was published.

John Herbert (Bert) Nay
Photo from article in The Nevadan
March 13, 1977 by Georgia Lewis. His
ranch at Tule Springs is now
the Floyd Lamb Park in Las Vegas,
Two years later, we held a Nay family reunion for the extended family. It was John Nay's 200th birthday and we celebrated! I made contacts and friends that I still enjoy today. But yesterday another connection popped up for me in an unexpected place. We are fairly certain that John Nay, Jr's ancestors came from Ireland. His father was born in Dublin, New Hampshire. His great-grandfather was probably the immigrant ancestor, according to our family records, though we haven't found him in the "old country" yet. So for the last few years, I've celebrated my Irish roots a little more than previously.

I was especially excited when my granddaughter began to study Irish dance. She's very good at it and I love to watch her perform. This weekend she is attending a Celtic "feis" (pronounced "fesh") in Las Vegas as part of a large Celtic Society celebration. She and her dad were very interested in the place in which they are performing. It is a park made from an old ranch established by none other than Bert Nay, my great-uncle! It's wonderful to have those Irish roots come full circle back to the Nays again. I'm sure Bert and Becky Nay would be excited to have the Irish feis take place on their old ranch. And I believe Bert's triple great grandpa William McNee and wife Mary Brownley are proud of their little descendant dancing her Irish jigs tomorrow. We all wish you the best, sweet girl.


  1. Thanks for posting such interesting information! It's so important to preserve memories and share stories!! http://yourstorycoach.blogspot.com

  2. She did very well in the feis, in fact won in her age group, 13 and up. Congratulations princess.