Nonfiction writing project – Irish Diaspora Family Stories from Minnesota and Canada

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Artist Growth Grant, McKnight Foundation, 2022-2024

Family from Canada and Ireland – This is a portrait of Catherine Summers Walsh (1833-1909), and her husband Michael J. Walsh Sr. (1812-1901), great great-grandparents of Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota. Undated photo, late 1890s to early 1900s. The couple married at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1857. They had eight children born in Ontario, and baptized on Wolfe Island, Ontario. Michael’s first wife died in Ireland, leaving one child, Patrick. Learn more about the Irish Canadian family at Walsh ‘s blog.

Subscribe to blog and Irish Diaspora Writing project of Jannet L. Walsh – If you haven’t already subscribed to this blog, you can simply enter email below to receive updates via email!

Jannet L. Walsh
October 3, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

Walsh Family – Jannet L. Walsh stands at the graves of her Irish born Great Great-Grandparents, De Graff, Minnesota, September 29, 2022. Her Walsh family lived at least 35 years in Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada, after departing Ireland, and before settling as pioneers in Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota. Other branches of her Irish family also lived in Canada before migrating to the United States.

About this page – This page hosts the online nonfiction quest narrative genre writing project Nonfiction Quest Narrative Genre Writing Project – Family Stories: Minnesota and Irish Diaspora by Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota. Walsh is a recipient of a Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, SMCA, Artist Growth Grant, 2022 – 2024. Funding for this program is provided by the McKnight Foundation. Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The McKnight Foundation supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities.

Dates of grant
Starting date, October 1, 2022
End date, June 30, 2024
Final reporting date, Aug. 29, 2024

Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock has been awarded $4,000 to write a creative nonfiction quest narrative genre writing project to produce a new collection of her family history stories in Minnesota and Canada, focusing on the “Irish Diaspora, ethnic Irish living outside the island of Ireland.” The collection of writing will be available on her website, offered to credible publications, and used to create her second book.” 

From Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, SMAC. View details at SMAC October 2022 Newsletter.

Project Hashtags



Blogs, stories, and online publications by Jannet L. Walsh

Listing of all blogs and stories at and other sources

October 2022

Interviews, publicity about Jannet L. Walsh

October 2022

About Jannet L. Walsh

Finding Irish family history – Jannet L. Walsh stands at the farm her family called home about 200 years ago in rural County Kerry, December 30, 2018.

Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. Walsh is recipient of a Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Growth Grant funded by the McKnight Foundation, 2022-2024. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.

Online Profile and Social Media

Media Room



Martin J. Walsh Sr. (1887-1988), Murdock, Minnesota, 1940s or 1950s – Martin, grandfather of Jannet L. Walsh, was part of the first generation of his family born in the United States. Martin Sr.’s father Michael J. Walsh Jr. was born in Kingston, Ontario, with his grandparents originated from Ireland. Photograph by Martin J. Walsh Jr. , son of Martin Sr. View more photographs and read story about Martin’s 1953 Kodachromes from Ireland.

Genealogy, family history resources

Artist Grant – Learn more about supporting agencies of this project

This activity is made possible by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council with funds from The McKnight Foundation.

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and encouraging the development of the arts in the eighteen counties of southwestern Minnesota by serving as a source of funds and technical services which enable local organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to sponsor and/or create and promote the arts in their communities.

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality
of life for present and future generations. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, education equity, youth engagement, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation has assets of approximately $2.2 billion and grants about $90 million a year. 

Minnesota Residents – Search for similar arts grants at regional arts councils at the Minnesota State Arts Board website.

Subscribe – Get updates on latest blogs and news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.