Last October at TNN, Jonathan Movroydis posted a link to a program on Irish radio commemorating the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to that green isle from whose soil his ancestors sailed to America. Yesterday at the site irishcentral.com, John Fay, who writes a column under the modest pseudonym “A Yank” describing his adventures in Ireland, wrote of his visit to the village of Timahoe, in County Kildare, where RN’s maternal ancestors Thomas and Sarah Milhous lived before emigrating to Pennsylvania in 1729. Fay describes his difficulty in finding anyone in the town who could point him to anything that marked RN’s visit. But it was in Timahoe that RN undertook the most personal aspect of his visit, and finally, Fay found the town’s old, half-forgotten Quaker cemetery. At its entrance, he writes,
There was still no mention of Nixon, but I knew he was a Quaker and thought I’d take a look. Just inside the gate, stood one stone in a small field. The inscription on the stone read: “In Memory of the Irish Quakers of Timahoe, dedicated on October 5, 1970 by Richard Milhous Nixon, President of the United States of America whose maternal ancestors are resting here.”
Sure Nixon resigned and all that, but he was President of the United States and the fact that he found his way to Timahoe to dedicate this stone in a field demonstrates that Timahoe meant something to him. He also named his Irish setter King Timahoe. A little reciprocation is in order.
The article is illustrated with a photo of that headstone, in that quiet part of the Emerald Isle.