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The Irish Girls’ Weddings

(reading time approx. 4 minutes)

It was Irish “they were”, the Manion sisters from County Mayo, in the green country of Ireland,  “don’t you know.” They came to the states in 1910 to find themselves husbands, then live in America and make it their new home, “they did, indeed”.

After arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the sisters found themselves two handsome, over six foot high, blue eyed, German twin brothers.  The twins were unmarried and just right size and ages to take care of the pretty, almost five foot high, little Irish lasses, who were looking “don’t you know” for handsome “big guy” husbands.  All four fell in love and after a respectable courtship of a couple of weeks, agreed to marry. (Now wasn’t that convenient!) However, there was one condition; the weddings had to be back in County Mayo Ireland, so the Manion girls could show off the “big guys” (as they called them), whom they found in America.

Their family, neighbors and relatives would be delighted to see their girls get married.  The two grand specimens of men, that measured over 6 feet 4 in their socks, and could tuck the Manion girls safely under their arms, “I’ll have you know”. The two German brothers agreed to the Irish wedding, and off they went.  Now engaged and on a steamer to County Mayo, Ireland, the sisters shared a room, and so too the brothers, just to be wed as proper Irish lasses would do, (so they said).

In Ireland, they would have a horse drawn wagon for their wedding, in typical Irish tradition. At the wedding, everyone had pint after pint of Guinness, with all the trimmings. There was singing, dancing and drinking, as any self respecting Irishmen would expect.  Of course, with new men to take care of their daughters for life, mother and father were as proud as Patty’s pig rollin’ in mud.  They had two 6 foot 4 German “big guys” as their new sons-in-law.

It was planned that the couples would honeymoon on their way back to the United States, in a new giant four-stacker ocean liner. Now they would share their staterooms as husband and wife, dep

arting from Belfast.  There was much celebration for their maiden voyage and the maiden voyage for the ship to America.  They would set sail on April 2, 1912, with many notables on the same cruise.  This would be a honeymoon to remember and brag about for life.  Who wouldn’t be proud to tell children and grandchildren of such an exciting journey?

After all of the goodbyes and family tears that were shed in County Mayo, the two couples raced away to catch their honeymoon ship waiting at the docks in Belfast. After setting port in Southampton, the ship would cross the Atlantic to New York for the first time. They boarded a small launch to ferry them to the docks in Belfast, but half way there, the launch broke down and the boat lay still in the water for a whole day until they could get help and a tow.

Meanwhile the big new liner did not wait and departed for America.  The four newlyweds watched the ship sail away from the harbor, leaving them behind.  The sisters cried out, “Our ship is sailing away without us.  There goes our voyage! There goes our luggage! There goes our honeymoon! THERE GOES THE TITANIC!”

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Who were they? They were the lady and gentleman destined to be my mother and father-in-law, Sabina and Charlie Koenig, late of Philadelphia, PA.  If this event had not happened, I never would have married their daughter, who never would have been the mother of my children. It’s called the trickle down consequence, “don’t ya know”.

 

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