Letter Archive

Welcome to the letter archive page for the weekly "Letter from Ireland". We started to write these letters in 2013 covering Irish Genealogy & Family History, Irish Surnames, Irish Culture & Customs and Ireland Travel, here you'll find a link to all of them. You can browse through the letters listed on this page and jump to one that takes your fancy, or enter a surname or placename in the search box to see which letters mention them. Enjoy.

All of our weekly letters to date

Did Many of Your Ancestors STAY in Ireland?

Carina here – a bit of a change from Mike. I came downstairs earlier and pulled Mike off the keyboard to sent him back to bed – still stressing about…

Emigration from Ireland

The Irish Ancestry Trail

Don’t you just love that word – “Diaspora”? Apparently, it comes from the Greek word for “scattering”. The reason I bring this up today is because Ireland appointed it’s first…

Irish Placenames – An Overview

Just this week, I received a request from Helen Wyse (always listen to someone with Wyse as a surname!). Helen said: I am very curious about the naming conventions used…

The Evolution of Irish Surnames – Where your Irish Surname fits

When we look at Irish surnames today, it’s easy to get confused when we see names that appear to have several different spellings, some look very English or Scottish –…

Using the Irish Tithe Applotment Books

Have you ever looked at census records as part of researching your Irish ancestors? If you have, then you realise just how valuable they can be when locating your ancestral families…

Stuck In Your Irish Ancestry Research? Here’s What to Do Next.

This week’s letter is one for all the Irish Family History enthusiasts out there. We tackle the question: “What do I do when I am stuck in my family history research?”…

Celebrating Samhain – What This Time Of Year Means to Me.

For me, this is a special time as we transition into the winter here in Ireland – a time when I am aware of our connections to the past and those who have…

The Irish President and The Irish Poet.

One of the things we are most proud of here in Ireland are the work of our writers and poets. These wonderful characters manage to capture the mood and thoughts of a whole…

An Irish Bog Story for You.

Many of our Irish ancestors would spend days on the “bog” in their parish – digging peat (we call it turf in Ireland) with a special shovel called a “slean”…

Irish American Genealogy – Tips from a US Genealogist

In 2018, we travelled to the north-east of the US where we were invited to speak at a combined NEHGS/TIARA conference in Boston. Our host was Pam Holland, a US-based…