One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”.
The post below is the story for June 27, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
First cousins are a great part of any family dynamic. In some ways our first cousins become our first set of real friends depending on the family. As I grew up as a child staying connected to my cousins on my mom’s side of the family was very strong. I am very lucky that I have great first cousins that all have connections to Lynch name.
Cousin relationships can be confusing. If your first cousin has a child that child is a first cousin once removed. If you have a child and your first cousin has a child those two are second cousins.
My mom’s maiden name was Lynch and she was the baby in a family of six siblings. Five of those six siblings went on to have children of their own and those children became my first cousins. The last names of my cousins were Patrias, Bourke, Kiely, and of course Lynch. Since my mom was the youngest a lot of my cousins were older than me but in a lot of cases not by much.
As a child I didn’t realize what a neat bond we had but now many years older and 600 miles away I realize what a gift my first cousins were. Ground zero for my cousins on the Lynch side of the family was Far Hills, NJ. My grandmother and grandfather Lynch raised their children in Peapack, NJ which was just down the road from Far Hills.
Far Hills is actually a borough not a town. The population cannot be more than a 1,000 and it is home to some pretty impressive estates and mansions. At one time the borough had a ten-acre zoning ordinance to prevent multi use housing from taking place. This 10 acre ordinance created some pretty impressive homes. For the record none of my aunts, uncles or cousins lived in one of those homes.
Far Hills is connected to some lofty people including Malcolm Forbes, Steve Forbes, J. Geils the lead singer from the band of the same name, and former NJ governor Christy Whitman who attended Far Hills Country Day School.
Each fall more than 35,000 spectators converge on the rolling hills of Moorland Farm in Far Hills, New Jersey to attend the area’s biggest social event of the fall season, Far Hills Race Meeting. October 17, 2015 will mark the 95th running of this timeless tradition, featuring the finest steeplechase thoroughbreds in the world running against a backdrop of autumn splendor.
Far Hills Race -show below
Far Hills Train Station
Ironically Far Hills is a dry community where alcohol cannot be sold. I can guarantee you when descendants of the Lynch family tree are gathered alcohol is consumed.
As a child I can recall so many Sunday’s when my dad would load the entire Kenney family up in the station wagon and we would be off to Far Hills. It might be to the Kiely’s, the Bourke’s, or my mom’s sister Dorothy D’Epagnier affectionately called “Aunt Dot” by all of her many nephews and nieces. On my mom’s side of the family three of her four sisters lived in Far Hills, NJ. Her other sister Bobbie Lynch Patrias lived in Minnesota but there was a short period of time I remember they to were in Far Hills. My uncle Pat Patrias was a retired marine and moved to Minnesota taking all seven of my Patrias cousin away. My mom’s brother William Lynch who we called Uncle Sonny lived in Plainfield, NJ and we didn’t see as much of them as we did the Bourke’s and Kiely’s.
Today my first cousins are scattered across the country calling Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, New Jersey, and many other states home. My first cousins once removed have gone on to have children of their own and the Lynch Family tree has grown.
Susan Bourke Small
(l-r) Bridget Kenney Murphy and Tim Lynch
(l-r) Mike and Kathy Bourke
The friend of the friends-FIRST COUSINS ONCE REMOVED
A trip to Far Hills would always involve all the first cousins in attendance playing some type of game outside before a Sunday dinner. A trip was great fun for the Kenney’s because Far Hills was like a gigantic playground for my brothers and sisters. In Morristown we had a tiny backyard but when we got to the Bourke’s a short walk down the street had us at the Far Hills Fairgrounds. Once there we would find a way to get soaking wet in the north branch of the Raritan River which was behind the grandstands at the fairgrounds.
If we had to stay inside we could explore the dark and mysterious basement at Aunt Dot’s. When we were at the Kiely’s we could sneak through the cedar tree forest out their backyard and be on the property of the USGA headquarters. I can remember picking up many a golf ball that had been hit by “Iron Mike” on the USGA range and using them for my backyard games of golf.
USGA Headquarters in Far Hills, NJ
My best memories of all were the stories that my uncle and aunts would tell to us. I had some of the most interesting story tellers as relatives most notably my Uncle Jack Bourke who was married to Elizabeth “Betty” Lynch and Uncle Dick Kiely who was married to Katherine “Kate” Lynch.
Uncle Jack could spin a yarn like no other Irishman I had ever met. My Uncle Dick loved the hapless NY Mets and loved to tell me about their ineptness.
My two uncles when they were together was pure gold and 100% Irish. Uncle Jack was master of repairing all things leather. He had all kind of things in his shop that people brought him to repair and never returned for. I can remember him giving my brothers and I hickory shaft golf clubs that had leather grips. We also had some wooden skis with leather bindings that we would put on during the New Jersey winters and attempt to navigate our driveway located on Lake Road in Morristown NJ.
This blog post is for each of my first cousins and first cousins removed to tell their story about the Lynch Family Tree.
I am proud of my roots and when I look at my cousins I realize I come from good stock.
So if you are a descendant of the Lynch Family tree feel free to share your story or picture. Post in the comments section and I will keep updating.