Do You Know Where The Boycott Came From? Ireland

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The Fox Family Farm In Offaly, Ireland

I was going some pictures the other day and came across this one.  It’s a photo of the Fox Family Farm.  My Fox Family!  My Great Grandmother Mary Fox, emigrated to the U.S. around 1880.  My generation and my parents generation knew very little about the Fox family.  Or about the Egan family(they’re a story for another day). 

I decided to start researching my family.  I looked into the Fox family.  Talked to my aunts and uncles.  They didn’t have much to tell me about them.  No family stories.  Weird.  My family had settled in Chicago.  I started researching obituaries on  I found a large Fox family.  There was a Peter, Thomas, Rose, Annie, Barnie, Paul.  No Mary(my g-grandmother).  Rats.  I would love to have had them be my family.  I became so frustrated.  I was ready to give up.

A few months later, I get an email from Angela Luby(no relation to the restaurant!), who turned out to be my cousin on the Fox side.  That big large family?  They were mine.  It turned out that they were in Chicago and my Great grandmother was back in Ireland with my grandpa!

And the interesting thing is that my Fox cousins are all over Chicago!  One of them was a doctor I had actually done some consulting for.  No, he would not have gotten a family discount from me.

Why I am posting this?  Because I ran across this article on the Irish Land Wars at the same time as I was looking at the picture of our family farm.  People about the “potato famine” causing people to leave Ireland.  What most people don’t know is that yes there was a potato crop failure for several years in Ireland.  However, there was enough food being grown there to feed the people.  However, they food was being exported to other countries for sale.  The Irish called those year “The Great Hunger.”

BoycottAnd with the Great Hunger, came evictions of people from their farms.  They couldn’t grow enough to feed themselves, much less pay rent.  That is when the term the “Boycott” came into use.  Captain Boycott was a estate manager that his tenants rebelled against.  And the did it in a non violent way.  Check out the link for the story.

I am amazed that my family still has our farm after the Irish Land Wars and boycotts.  Enjoy!



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