Time to stir up a batch of Irish soda bread and hunt up a green shirt for St. Patrick’s Day. You don’t need an Irish ancestor to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is lucky for the tens of thousands of Bavarians celebrating in Munich, the marchers in Long Beach, California’s Irish-for-a-day parade, and all the Minnesotans eager for any excuse to get out and celebrate after a long winter.
My Irish ancestors, like my other great-grandparents from Germany and Luxembourg, came to Minnesota without documents. Most Minnesotans have undocumented ancestors, descending from immigrants who came before quotas were set in 1921, and before immigrants needed documents. Continue reading