Due to circumstances beyond their control, some of the O?Kelleher cousins landed in Boston, while the other cousins ended up in New Orleans. With the promise of a better life, and seeking the many opportunities that America offered its immigrants, the O?Kelleher family fought the prejudices of the entrenched Protestant majority in the north, and through their own devices, sacrifice, and hard work, they became successful Irish-Americans. The Irish-Catholic cousins who landed in Louisiana by mistake encountered no such prejudices, as the citizens of Louisiana were largely Catholic, as their French and Spanish ancestors had been. A cruel fate, however, would bring some of them together as enemies in a national conflict, where family members would find themselves on opposite sides of the great Civil War. Unimaginable horrors, plus the utter savagery of this conflict between the Blue and the Gray, would pit cousin against cousin. All were related by blood, but separated by a way of life. Time would heal these wounds, and peace would find the O?Kelleher's seeking a better way of life in the vast and dangerous New Mexican frontier.
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April 15, 2005
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