Around the turn of the last century, there were also several Jewish families who lived here. I can recall my Aunt Nell Winship telling me about one of her friends when she was a girl. Her friend’s name was Yetta Shabinski. My guess is that her family was either of Polish or Russian extraction. More recently our superintendent of schools prior to Dr. Williams was Dr. Edwin Lyskowinski. There’s no doubt about his Polish ancestry. Within the last few years there has been the emergence of a Latin-American community here since the opening of the popular El Reparo Restaurant and the equally popular Mescal Restaurant on the north side. There are also Asian families who opened a Chinese restaurant and who came here with the location of new industries in the industrial park along Conrad C. Harcourt Way. So, as one can readily see, there has been more cultural diversity here than one might first imagine.
Nevertheless, one of the largest groups who still celebrate their cultural heritage are those who trace their ancestry to Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day is obviously named for Patrick, a missionary who first brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. According to Wikipedia, not long after his death, which legend says was March 17th, various Christian churches declared that he was a Saint in Heaven and his name appears in the List of Saints.
Personally, I trace my Irish ancestry to my great-great grandmother on my mother’s side. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Ellen Casady – they don’t come more Irish than that! She married John Pearsey. One of their children was Margaret, who married Morris Winship – my great grandparents. Margaret and Morris Winship had three children, my two great aunts and my grandfather Will Winship. He married Florence Newkirk. They had two children, my mother, Margaret Winship, and my late uncle, Bill Winship. That’s probably more family history than anybody would want to know, but that’s how I claim to be part Irish and also prove I’m really a Rush Countian!