On a more practical level, I learned a lot about tracing family. I followed Megan Smolenyak's advice. She says that when we hit a brick wall following the male line to move over to the female line. In my research, I discovered that Uncle John's wife, Hannah Courtney came from Castlegregory, on the road between Tralee and Dingle. I asked my cousins if they knew anyone in the family. I was given a name. After gathering my courage, I rang the phone number. I explained who I was and that I was looking for uncle John's family. Three phone calls later I was given an address. Now I am in contact with my mother's first cousin. I was also given this photo of Jack and Hannah on their wedding day in Chicago in 1937. I have been told that Hannah was a lovely gentle woman. How apt it is then that I should name one of my daughters' Hannah without even knowing this at the time of her birth.
So thank you Megan and thank you to my lovely cousins through marriage without whom none of this would have been possible.
PS Respecting family privacy I cannot disclose the names of living cousins.