Mago Bill is a nickname I have given my Irish paternal great grandfather. I have used the name Mago Bill for recent blogs because I believe that it inspires me to give you some some unusual and interesting backstories and histories in a variety of posts and essays.
My sister, the genealogist of our family, introduced me to the existence of documentation of the life of M. William Sheehan. His existence had been unknown to us. We had not known his name or that he had been our paternal great grandfather. As I remember, my sister showed me that he had probably been born in the far south of Ireland and that he had immigrated to America at a very young age.We soon discovered that the initial “M” in his name may have stood for Mago. To me he promptly became Mago Bill, my inspiration.
Spanish speaking friends of mine tell me that word “mago” means magician in Spanish. Some of these same friends tell me that the three kings or three wise men who brought gifts to the Infant Jesus were called”magos.” However, I know Mago was an important surname among the Carthaginian Phoenicians before Rome came of age and that later some of that family knew Hannibal.
Carthaginian traders and navigators came to Ireland to trade for tin, other precious metals and, perhaps, butter. They brought so much knowledge of the name Mago with them that it impressed some of the people there. Impressed me. I tend to romanticize.
About me: I am an old U.S. citizen living in Colombia.
You may expect future posts here to deal with: citizenship, the USA, Ireland, Colombia, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Spain, Mago Bill and more of that which I like to call culture.
by Richard Sheehan
for Mago Bill II