The best Irish genealogical "find" I ever got, or could ever hope to get, was not a photo, not a document, not any single piece of information. The best asset to our Irish legacy was Uncle Jimmy.
We already had land documents, plats, birth, death and marriage certificates, baptisms, etc. We had plenty of facts about our Joyce clan of Hand county, South Dakota. What we were sorely lacking was a depth to their beings - personal stories about them and their day-to-day lives - which Uncle Jimmy was more than happy to supply in abundance whenever family gathered. Many of his childhood memories are grounded in the tight-knit Joyce clan on his mother's side of the family. His stories told of tough times, happy times, stories of he and his young cousins stealing liquor and drinking under the porch at Grandpa Pat Joyce's farm home, family gatherings, and the old folks telling stories of their own and the boisterous laughter drifting across the South Dakota plains. What he brought to our family legacy can't be duplicated in any courthouse or library. He brought life itself to these folks long gone.
Uncle Jimmy joined the ancestors last November. How blessed we were to have captured some of his stories. He was, indeed, our greatest Irish genealogy treasure.