About Us and A Letter from Ireland.
Welcome to A Letter from Ireland.
Let me guess - you’ve been interested in tracing your Irish Heritage and Family History for some time now.
Maybe you've already travelled to Ireland? Perhaps you wonder if you will ever get here?
What you DO know is that your ancestors left Ireland for a better life - bringing with them their values and beliefs, many of which were passed to you and your own family.
Since 2013, we've shared our weekly "Letter from Ireland" and it has attracted over Two Million people of Irish descent around the world. They find that our Letters, Blog posts, Videos, books and Podcasts help them to understand what life was like for their Irish Ancestors.
For some, this information provides a rich backdrop to help with research on Ancestry Record sites. For others, the Letter connects them with their Irish roots in a very real and visceral way.
Here are just some reasons why some of our readers keep coming back to "A Letter from Ireland" for more:
“Trace your surname, discover where your ancestors may have lived and step into this fascinating and beautiful land that we love”. Sandy Laferriere.
“If you have Irish blood running through your veins, or even if you are just interested in Ireland, this site is essential.” Patty McCoy.
“You and Carina are melding a very important aspect of Irish history and heritage to our personal genealogical endeavors. Thanks for bringing it all to life for us!” Jack Healy.
Now, I think it’s time to introduce ourselves! We are Mike and Carina Collins - a husband and wife team based in County Cork, Ireland.
Our Irish Heritage adventure started when we noticed many people asking questions on Facebook about Irish surnames and the homelands of their Irish Ancestors.
We started to answer with our local knowledge - and those answers took the form of a weekly email called “A Letter from Ireland”.
In each Letter, we share stories of counties, surnames and heroic Irish individuals who made new lives for themselves across the world - often in the harshest of circumstances. Sound like any of your Irish ancestors?
Today, we travel around Ireland - gathering stories and sharing them with you through our weekly letters, blog posts, videos and podcasts.
Would you like to see the Letter and Podcast survive and thrive for the future - and receive some personal benefits along the way?
We got back late last night from a great road trip during which we covered 16 counties across Ireland (see our route below). We traveled from south to north and back down again. And that’s what I’d like us to talk about today – the Counties of Ireland. Which county in Ireland are your families…Read More
I often get asked – “did my family own Irish Castles?” It’s the ultimate fairy tale – Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses all living in beautiful old castles.Read More
For hundreds of years to up the arrival of the Normans in the late 12th century – Ireland was divided into many autonomous kingdoms – ruled over by a “Ri” or King. These Kings won their lands through military and political might – the boundaries of their kingdoms were constantly changing with the ebb and…Read More
Today we’re looking at Viking, Norman, Galloglass and Planter (English and Scottish) names. Let’s take a few examples using the ancestral family of one of our Readers – Patricia Clarke (thanks, Patricia J ). Patricia gave me six of her family names: Byrnes, Clarke, Halpin, Leonard, Martin and Rafferty. While I may be COMPLETELY incorrect…Read More
Would you like to run an Irish Castle for a day? Sound exciting? But we’re not talking about just a castle – also the large family estate of lands that surround it. A few weeks back, Carina and myself went to County Galway and visited Aughnanure castle in Oughterard. Ever been there? Aughnanure was the…Read More