Terry Smith in St Michael’s Cemetery Toronto at the grave of her ancestor Bridget Ann Treacy who sailed from Limerick to Canada on the Jane Black in 1847.
Exterior shot. Close up of grave marker with “Bridget Ann Treacy” legible at top. Camera pans back to reveal woman with short red hair, dark open sweatshirt and white shirt, dark trousers, standing beside grave, facing camera. Several more graves and red bricked building visible in background.
Hello. My name is Terry Smith. We are here in St Michael’s Cemetery, a cemetery associated with St Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. This cemetery is now closed to the public. However, it is open on only a few days of the year, and we very fortunate to be here.
Terry Smith touches tombstone.
I am standing beside my great grandmother’s tombstone.
Fade in of black and white portrait of young woman who stares into camera. She is wearing a dark dress with a white collar and sleeves, as well as a headdress. Caption: “Bridget Ann Treacy, ‘The Belle of Whitby’” at bottom screen left.
Her name is Bridget Ann Treacy, and Bridget Ann came to Canada on a Famine ship sailing from Limerick. The Famine ship’s name was the Jane Black. She sailed with her aunt, her sister, and her brother.
Bridget Ann was only around eight, so her brother would have been perhaps four years old.
Fade in of black and white document in middle of screen that reads: “17. John of Martin Trasy Birdhill and Nory Ryan…”. Caption: “John Treacy Baptismal Certificate March 17 1842. This record provides the only documentary trace of his existence, though he lives on in family memory” at bottom of screen.
His name was John, and he got lost in the crush getting on board the ships. Fortunately, Bridget Ann, her sister, and her aunt survived the trip. They landed in Toronto, and ended up living in Whitby [where she] became a nurse, and married and had several children, one of whom I am descended from – my grandmother, Nora. And we have several cousins and relatives throughout Toronto, Canada, and North America.
Bridget Ann is a symbol of our family, and our strength and devotion to love and family. And, to me, she represents everything that a woman could possibly be.
I think of her often when I come across hardship or difficulties in my life. I think about what it might have been like for her. So she has a very special place in my heart, and in the hearts of all of our family, and we are very lucky to be able to see her tombstone and be here today.
Final image of water with onscreen Ireland Park Foundation logo. Celtic style music playing.