My husband and I have a running joke about titles. British titles, to be exact.
Once upon a time, in Merry Olde England, the name of Halstead had a title before it. Now, my husband comes from the line of a 3rd or 4th son, so that withered branch of the family moved to The Colonies long; ago any pretense that may have come with the title was left behind.
The joke started nearly 10 years ago when our eldest daughter was small. A princess, she was (like all little girls). Which of course made her parents a Duke and Duchess (we weren't so far reaching as to be King and Queen). Somehow the joke never quite died, and as our girls aged their history-buff parents explained Royal titles and lineage, and how they could be princesses though their parents weren't King and Queen.
So, that's the back story. Long story longer…
Doug is difficult to purchase gifts for. He never wants anything, and always guesses what an item is before he opens it.
But last Christmas I found something he would never guess.
Own a Bit of Ireland and Become a Squire
I had seen ads pop up online from Emerald Heritage, a conservation group that offered not only ownership of a bit of land in the gorgeous Glens of Antrim, but also the title that goes with it.
How fun is that??? Now, of course I couldn't let my husband outrank me, so I bought the adjacent plot for myself, which is why you may now refer to me as Squiress Jody.
Giving the Gift of Emerald Heritage
I had placed my order at the beginning to December, and knowing that mail from Ireland can take a while – and the holiday rush wouldn't help – I was thrilled that I could print any files I might need from the website if my package didn't make it. It arrived much more quickly than I anticipated, and beautifully, but simply, wrapped in brown paper and green raffia. I placed it on the tree, giddy with anticipation.
As I handed Doug the thin package on Christmas day I could see the querying look in his eyes. He opened it, still not sure what to think when he saw the presentation folder. When he saw the paperwork, clipped with the personalized note, ” You may now be properly addressed as Squire Doug,” he may have chuckled a bit. And then he dug in to those papers to see just what the note meant.
There is quite a bit to look through…
Beyond the welcome letter are a personal letter, a map to your plot of land, a memorandum of sale, an official deed to change your name and title, a photo of Glens Wood, and information about the area. It's a lovely package, well presented, and Doug pronounced it a “perfect gift.”
While we haven't officially changed our bank account information -yet- it's incredibly fun to introduce ourselves as Squire and Squiress Halsted.
We hope to visit our land in Northern Ireland this fall. While we can't build on it, it is our land and can be passed down to our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, keeping our Irish roots alive for generations.
Own Your Own Bit of Ireland and Become a Squire or Squiress
You can purchase your own plot – or plots- of land at Emerald Heritage. During your purchase enter Friend Code FRAF623 at check out. This code earns me a tiny bit of credit toward the Emerald Heritage Irish Gathering event in the fall. It does not add any charges to your bill.
Just so you know – I am not being compensated by Emerald Heritage for this post. I paid for our land as a Christmas gift and all thoughts on this item are my own. I have recently partnered with Irish Heritage to assist travelers to the Irish Gathering. I am not being compensated for my assistance.