Our second morning in Ireland we packed up and drove to Bunratty to see the Rossmanagher Estate and the toll bridge built by Henry d'Esterre in 1784. I loved this place last year.
It's just such a nice solid family history spot.
I need to put this picture together with last year's pictures as well as the pictures from 20+ years ago with Ken's brothers. I'd be interested to see how quickly the stone marking the building of the bridge is deteriorating.
The pretty river.
But wait! The day got so much more amazing! We drove to Thurles to visit Raymond who is in possession of some family heirlooms. He was so friendly last year when he shared the original plaque of the de Herez Smyth Family Crest, and the documents of the Grant of Crest as well as the Grant of Arms. But at that time he didn't realize he had the family seal.
It was so cool. The seal was on an elaborate gold ring, along with another seal, carried a long thick gold chain (probably a watch chain). The yellow one is the family crest, the red one is a joke seal with a little devil in the middle, that when read says, "Who the (devil) can this be from".
Thanks to Ken's mom we came prepared with some wax, and I brought some parchment envelopes to make the impressions on. A couple for Grandma, and a few for us. The girls had their impressions made right into their travel journals. (They did both the family crest and the joke seal).
All the de Herez Smyth descendants had a picture done with the seals.
Afterwards, Raymond showed the kids around the old house and the ruins out back, and then had us follow him down the road (With his dog in our car, wait how did that happen?) for tea. We stayed and chatted with his family for an hour. They were so hospitable with scones and pie. We had a lovely time!