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Finding Your Link To Ireland

There’s just something about Ireland. Maybe it’s the glee with which we all don green every March 17th. Maybe it’s the beautiful music, amazing scenery, or delightful accent associated with Ireland.

Whatever the source of the Emerald Isle’s mystique, it’s undeniable. It feeds the imagination of countless people all over the world, who just want to capture a little of the island nation’s magic.

For those who long to have a meaningful connection to Ireland, there’s no better way to establish that link than to trace your lineage there. In today’s world of genealogy, it’s easier than ever to find out where your ancestors were born.

If it’s your heart’s desire to follow your family tree back to Ireland, here are some tips on how to do it.

Find The Character In Your Family

Most of the online tools today are dry–dates, names, places. It’s functional but not all that gratifying. For people who want to know who their relatives truly are, it’s necessary to take on some other strategies.

Many people are successful tracing irish genealogy through newspapers. The records themselves are far more meaningful to view; a yellowed clipping, even on microfilm, still carries more character than a computer screen.

But newspapers do much more with your story than simply providing it on pretty paper. They also give the side stories, the things that really bring your history to life. The obituaries provide more information than just the basics. They talk about occupations, military service, and previous places of residence. From something like that, you can fork off into other sources that give you even more depth.

Visit The Places In Your Family

Place names like towns and counties are great in building detail for your genealogy, but you have to make them real. Visiting those places is the perfect way to do that.

There’s nothing quite like following in the footsteps of those who went before you. If your research can nail down specific towns, there’s no better excuse to plan a visit to Ireland. You aren’t just there seeing the sights, after all. You’re revisiting family history.

And what else might you find? There could be businesses that bear your family name, or you may be able to identify relatives still living in Ireland. On top of that, you can let the trip extend your family research instead of serving as its capstone. Some time in Irish libraries, cemeteries, and churches will provide a wealth of information as you keep moving back through the generations.

Whatever treasures you may find, you’ll have amazing memories on your voyage of self-discovery.

Rock of Cashel – the ruins of a tower, chapel, cathedral, castle and hall built on a limestone outcrop during the 12th, 13th & 15th centuries.

Make Connections

One of the most amazing things we can do with the internet and social media is to connect with people who share even the most esoteric interests with us. Thirty years ago, it would have been very difficult to make any sort of connections with others who were, for example, researching their family in County Kildare. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the right search terms and doing some simple clicking.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Getting in touch with people who are tracing related lines will not only open the possibility of connecting with relatives, it could also keep you from reinventing the wheel by giving you access to all the legwork they’ve already done.

As you progress through different surnames, occupations, and geographical locations, don’t miss the chance to use social media to expand your impact.

Genealogy is an amazing pursuit. It’s equal parts history, science, art, and detective work. When you tie in an idyllic country of origin like Ireland, it’s even more exciting.


Lonely Planet Ireland

Ireland Book Guide

Rick Steves Ireland Travel Guide

Ireland Book Guide

101 Coolest Things to Do in Ireland

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: The Cliffs of Moher by Giuseppe Milo. Rock of Cashel by Pat O’Malley.

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