It Figures

I’ve known for a while that my great-great-grandfather Plant was born in Cork, Ireland in the 1850s. The working theory—which we haven’t completely verified—is that his English father was involved in some sort of business there, got married there, then moved back with his young son to London in the 1860s.

What I hadn’t realized was that another member of the same genration of my ancestors, my maternal grandmother’s paternal grandfather, Thomas Armstrong, was also born on the Emerald Isle. Certainly, I would never have guessed from the name, because it’s about as un-Irish as Plant is, but apparently he came from a Methodist enclave in what is now Northern Ireland named Ballinamallard, which Wikipedia informs me is from the Irish Béal Átha na Mallacht, meaning “ford-mouth of the curse(s)”.