Born in Oregon, USA, Eva Doherty Gremmert has strong Donegal connections with her grandmother Rose ‘Rosie Newman Doherty born 27th August 1890 in Ballyloskey, Carndonagh and her grandfather 'William Thomas Doherty' born 20th May 1881 in Ballygorman, Malin Head. Emigrating separately the couple then met and married in America. In 1985, when she travelled to Carndonagh for the first time with family, Eva fell in love with her ancestral land.
Innumerable trips have now come and gone. Professionally Eva is a genealogist specializing in Irish research - indeed her own family tree is filled with stories of the olden times, the famine times, the incredible ways and means by which her family endured and prospered. Eva has collected books, periodicals, letters, photos, and keepsakes that create a tapestry of Irish life in the lands of the ancestors she holds so dear. With four grown children and her own expanding posterity (currently seven grandchildren), she is deeply engaged in her family life of today. Eva and her husband, Arden, spend their time at their homes in Carnation, Washington and Carndonagh, Ireland.
When she leaves Donegal to return to Washington, Eva states that she misses her relations most, while her children talk about the great food that Donegal has to offer! In particular she notes the welcome that she receives when she returns to Donegal and the warmth of the people she meets everywhere, from the supermarkets to the pubs. Back in Washington, Eva also runs a number of businesses as a tax accountant, business manager and consultant. She enjoys the escape to Donegal and socialising with friends and family. In particular she comments on the musical talent that comes from Donegal: ‘the musical talent that you find in the pubs here, people who just get up and sing, that are not professional, it’s astounding’.
Eva has recently published a historical fiction ‘A Cottage in Donegal, Mary Doherty’s Story’, based around the events of her great grandmother’s life. For the book, Eva spent four years researching the local history and customs of 19th century rural Ireland. She made several trips, travelling on location, interviewing historians and members of the older generation still living in Inishowen who remember the stories their grannies told them.
She also helps organise the O’ Dochartaigh clan reunion which has been hosted in Ireland every five years since 1985, by the Ó Dochartaigh Irish Reunion Committee (an amalgamation of the reunion committees from Inishowen and Derry). A special reunion was held in July 2008, commemorating the 1608 death of Cahir Ó Doherty. The most recent quinquennial reunion took place in July 2010. As well this Eva has also set up a non-profit Irish genealogical and history website which is currently fundraising for the restoration of the O’ Doherty castle at Carrickabraghy, one of the iconic sites of the historic Inishowen peninsula.
To find out more about Eva and her work see websites below.