So what have I been up to lately? A little reading. Watching a few baseball games. Riding my bike a bit here and there. And procrastinating.
I am eligible for Irish citizenship. In order to get it I have to provide a certified paper trail of my Irish lineage back to my grandmother’s birth on the 25th of May in 1882 in Balla, County Mayo, Ireland. Using this information I will be placed on the Registry of Foreign Births.
I contacted my brother Joe who successfully went through this process 30 years ago. He had copies of several documents, which included a certified copy of my grandmother’s civil marriage certificate. Joe also provided several non-certified copies of other documents. My brother Bill had a certified copy of my grandmother’s birth certificate from Ireland.
So I was expecting to make short work of the process.
Alas, I learned today that the rules of the game have changed. I need certified copies of civil certificates. Church certificates, even from Catholic churches, are no good. Mary, mother of God, what’s the world coming to?!
The list of papers is long:
- Grandmother’s birth certificate (have it)
- Grandmother’s marriage license (have it)
- My father’s birth certificate
- Grandmother’s death certificate
- My father’s marriage license
- My birth certificate
- My father’s death certificate
- My marriage license
My birth certificate actually says that I was legitimate so this means my parents were married. Yet I still need their marriage license.
My grandmother would be 136 years old. If she were still alive, she’d be world news. Yet I still need a death certificate. My father would be 100. Either way, what difference does it make whether they are alive?
Why would Ireland care if I were married anyway? I don’t think my wife’s eligible for citizenship unless they have a cross border agreement with the Cherokee Nation or the State of Illinois.
So I have my work cut out for me. I sent away for a copy of my birth certificate. Then I went to get my parents’ civil marriage certificate. The town where they were married in 1950 keeps records for 50 years. Derp.
I thought being in DC would be helpful. I could go to the Irish Embassy. Then I looked at the website for the Registry of Foreign Births. It says d0 not go to the Embassy. Only the Dublin office deals with this process.
Well, that’s the last time I buy a U2 album.
My friend Lauren just went through this process in Luxemborg. I am pretty sure that she can get free lift tickets and apres ski drinks with her new Lux passport. I might be able to get a seat at the bar at the Dubliner and a free Guinness for my
Don’t tell the office in Dublin but Guinness makes me gag.