Category Archives: rural

Ready to kick 2011 out, start 2012 early

Dec. 20, 2011
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

I will remember 2011 as the year of losses, pain and tears. I’d like to say adios to 2011 early this year.

There might have been positive things that happened in 2011 in my life, but they will be overshadowed by the lose of my mother, Margaret I. Walsh in October. Add a dash of layoff and unemployment to the mix. I am ready for 2012 to start and kiss, or maybe it should be kick, this year goodbye.

If you are reading my blog, then you should be counting your blessings, especially if you are employed. Tis’ the season to be jolly, but I hope that Santa has not forgotten that I live in Murdock, and I’m still wanting a job for Christmas. Linkedin Profile

Christmas Tribute
A Christmas carol video is posted with my late mother Margaret I. Walsh of Litchfield, Minnesota, along with me, singing “Silent Night” last Christmas. It was recorded with my iPhone.
Click here to view video on CNN iReport and read the full story.


Jannet Walsh – I am looking for employment opportunites in the Willmar, Minnesota area. Please take a look at my professional profile.
Contact: Jannet Walsh at jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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Soup is on!

Dec. 10, 2011
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

I just made beef barely soup today. The perfect pairing for job searching on a cold winter day.

Oh, by the way, I did I say I am looking for a job? My professional profile is available on Linkedin.

Jannet Walsh – I am looking for employment opportunites in the Willmar, Minnesota area. Please take a look at my professional profile.
Contact: Jannet Walsh at jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo

Dec. 6, 2011
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo
See the latest video posted on CNN iReport, complete with writiten story on my adventures of finding my Irish Roots. Click here to view video at CNN iReport.

Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo
Missing photo gives hints to Irish history

I returned home to Knockanarroor, Ireland for the first time, but I have never been there before.

In April 2011, I traveled to Ireland, precisely where my Great-Great-Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley, born May 15, 1820 in Killarney, Ireland, and died in Stillwater, Minnesota, lived in Knockanarroor Townland, pronounced “Knock-on-a-roar” in Irish Gaelic, meaning the hill of corn in English.

On a cold January 2011 day, a photograph, along with a hand-written card with hints of Ellen’s life, including her husband’s name, William Foley, were found tucked away in a pillow of treasures of my late grandmother Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley Walsh, 1886 to 1985, of Murdock.

The unmarked country road my Irish roots were plucked from in the early 1840s, is located just east of the city of Killarney in County Kerry, in western Ireland. A milk lorry driver, a truck driver in the United States, Patrick “Pa” Brosnan of Muckross, in the Killarney area, pumping petro in the near by village of Barraduff agreed to guide me to the hidden location that is plain site.

Ellen’s parents, James Brennan and Mary Walsh, my great-great-great grandparents, from my grandmother’s family, called the townland home, as they worked the rented land consisting of what is referred to by residents as a “poorish land” of wetlands, surrounded by bogs. The peat or turf, decayed vegetation, is cut and dried for heating and cooking fuel today, just like my family did in the 1800s or earlier, with the smoke puffing out of cottages, producing a musty smell. My family most likely served as grooms, tending to the horses exchanged on the carriage route at the end of the road of Knockanarroor, on a major route to Killarney.

I traveled to Killarney in 1980, my late father, Martin J. Walsh Jr., in the 1950s, but it was not was not until 2011, I could say without a doubt Knockanarroor is home in Ireland for my family. My father and I traveled the same paths in the horse jaunting carts of what is called the old butter roads, the 1700s turnpike, but I might be the first to make the journey home to Knockanarroor.

I used hints from www.ancestry.com to stitch together my ancestral threads. Archivist Michael Lynch of Kerry Library, Ireland, along with free online Roman Catholic records from the Diocese of Kerry, www.irishgenealogy.ie, provided information that my family belonged to the Catholic Parish of Glenflesk, with Knockanarroor as their place of residence.

Although I did not find any living relatives in Ireland during my journey, learning about the people, their faith, village life and the beautiful Irish countryside, I was able to shine light on a period of obscurity in my family’s history.

My Great-Great Grandmother Ellen departed Knockanarroor, be it voluntary or forced, due to disease, food shortage or economic reasons. I returned Ireland to answer the questions of where my family roots were prematurely pulled from the Ireland.

See related video from Home to Knockanarroor Project

Home to Knockanarroor – An Introduction


More videos will be posted in December.

Jannet Walsh – I am looking for employment opportunites in the Willmar, Minnesota area. Please take a look at my professional profile.
Contact: Jannet Walsh at jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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Silos and church steeple landscape – One year back in Minnesota today!

Click to download high resolution of One Year Back in Minnesota poster!

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Murdock is not on the map.
Those were the words of moving van driver on the day of my big move on Aug. 13, 2010 from Ocala, Florida to Murdock, Minnesota.  How could it be it’s not on the map?  My great-grand parents were pioneers in the area, specifically Dublin Township, before Murdock was incorporated in 1881, located in Swift County.
Could it be that Murdock is located near the fictitious Lake Woebegon or even worse, Brigadoon, a village in Scotland that appears every few hundred years?  How would I make the move to Murdock?
The solution was very  simple.  I made a photocopy of a detailed map and with the help of Global Positioning System, the move was completed.

Here is the map I gave to the moving van driver after he told me he could not find Murdock, Minnesota on the map and it must be a fictitious place.

I invite you to follow my blog in the rural community of Murdock, Minnesota, population 303, according to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau.
The only skyscrapers I need are grain silos and church steeples.  I am a Minnesota Native Daughter.

Travel Facts from Ocala, Florida to Murdock, Minnesota
– Aug. 14, 2010 to Aug. 17, 2010
– Total distance 1,766 miles
– Four days travel by car
– Three overnight stops near Atlanta, St. Louis and Lincoln, Nebraska
– Number of rest stops – unknown

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jannetwalsh.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Bonnie Diederich remembered, benefit breakfast planned

July 20, 2011
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Murdock resident Bonnie Diederich honored
A Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Benefit for Bonnie Diederich of Murdock is planned for Sunday, July 24, 2011 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Murdock City Hall in Murdock, Minnesota. Bonnie died of cancer July 7, 2011. There is a free will donation for the breakfast, along with a silent auction. For more details, contact Carmen Froehlich, 320-875-2185, or Bonnie Wentzel, 320-875-4569.

Bonnie’s funeral procession included school buses and local Murdock First Responders on the way to Sacred Heart Cemetery in Murdock on July 12, 2011. (Photos by Jannet Walsh) Click here to download photos.

Click here to download high resolution poster.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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St. Patrick’s poster, video and more

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Trace your Irish roots!



Click here to view poster full size.

Irish scenery and thanks

Learn to Irish step dance or at least watch!

Irish Harp

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
Read other Area Voices.

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Genealgoy – Ancestral Valentines from Murdock, Minnesota

Read related genealogy blog posts. . .

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Have you ever thought about the stories of your ancestors courtships?

The stories might be hard to find, but you might be able to find traces in the way of wedding records or photos.

Click here to follow my blog as I try to find out details of my ancestors from the old countries and at home in the United States.

(Right click to save poster.)

Click to view tracing your Irish roots blog.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
Read other Area Voices.

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Genealgoy – Searching cemeteries for clues

Read related genealogy blog posts. . .

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota
You might consider a visit to the local cemetery for clues of family history.

A view of the celtic crosses at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Murdock, Minnesota.

The grave marker of my father, Martin J. Walsh Jr., lists the names of his children at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Murdock, Minnesota. Graves might give you clues in your genealogy jigsaw puzzle.

There is maybe too much snow for a search in Minnesota at the moment, but when you are ready, there is a link to help you find cemeteries listed by counties prepared by the Minnesota Genealogical Society.

Lists of cemeteries in the United States

Cemeteries around the world

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits

Click to view tracing your Irish roots blog.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
Read other Area Voices.

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Genealogy – Tracing Irish roots, free help!

Read related genealogy blog posts. . .

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota


My Great-Great Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley
Birth May 15, 1820 in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Death Jan. 18, 1883 in Stillwater, Washington, Minnesota, United States

I just found a great publication that is free from the National Tourism Development Authority in Ireland. It’s called Tracing your ancestors in Ireland. Please click here to download.

Even if you don’t have Irish ancestors, there are great tips for researching your roots.

Links you might also consider for your genealogy research:

Irish Genealogy


The National Archives, Ireland

The Record Search section of the Latter Day Saints Family Search site

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Genealogy – Grandpa Mart’s WW I draft card

Read related genealogy blog posts. . .

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

(Click on image to enlarge.)

I’m very thankful for my grandfather Martin J. Walsh Sr. of Murdock, Minnesota for filling out his World War I registration draft card asking for an exemption from being drafted in the war. I found the card on Ancestry.com.

My father, Martin J. Walsh Jr. might not have born and I certainly would not have a blog, let alone be alive. There were an estimated 37 million casualties in World War 1. (I have other family members that have military service, but that is for another blog posting.)

It was June 5, 1917 when my grandfather Martin J. Walsh Sr., about 30 years old.
A few facts from the draft card –
1. Natural born citizen
2. Traveling sales, listed as not employed
3. Supports a wife and child
4. Married
5. Requesting an exemption because of dependents
6. Tall, medium build, gray eyes, brown hair, not bald

Read more about my grandfather Martin J. Walsh Sr. in a story I wrote in 1987 that appeared in the West Central Tribune.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
Read other Area Voices.

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Links encouraged!