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.

 

Browse the letters listed on this page and jump to one that interests you, or enter a placename, surname or other item in the search box below to see related letters.

All of our weekly letters to date

Imbolc

A Celtic Festival to Celebrate

This coming week sees the  “official” start of spring in Ireland – kicking off with the old Celtic festival of Imbolc which has developed into Saint Brigid’s day since Christian times. And that is the subject of our letter today! A Celtic Festival To Celebrate. The old Irish word “Imbolc” refers to the “belly of…

The Man Behind the Atlas of the Irish Revolution.

Today, we’re going to meet a man whose organisation is at the forefront of sharing Irish history and heritage among so many people of Irish descent around the world. The organisation is Cork University Press – a prolific publisher of books like “The Atlas of the Irish Famine“ and “The Atlas of the Irish Revolution“ and their…

When Laurel & Hardy came to Ireland.

Let’s start by chatting about one of the most-visited landmarks in Ireland – Saint Colman’s Cathedral in the pretty port town of Cobh in County Cork. Maybe one of your ancestors departed from this port (also known as Queenstown) as they left Ireland to start a new life in a new world? The construction of…

Do You Have a Rare Irish Surname in your family Tree?

Do you have a rare Irish name in your family tree? In today’s letter, we are going to chat with a Green Room member who has one of those names – and have a deeper look at the specific location in Ireland where that Irish surname flourished and explore likely leads on discovering a little…

Find the places of your Irish Ancestors – An Irish Historical Map.

Three years ago, the great Irish playwright – Brian Friel – was laid to rest in his ancestral homeland of Glenties in County Donegal. Do you know Brian or any of his plays? They included: “Philadelphia Here I Come”, “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Translations” to name but a few. His plays were always based on the Irish family…

Is This The Best Irish Memorial Ever?

Most our ancestors were honoured with a gravestone following their death. However, for a select few they also received a song composed in their honour – and in this case, a song that has lasted for many decades after one mans death. “There’s no sign of him – but come over here, I’ve something interesting…

The Origins of the Irish

Where Did The Irish Come From? The Origins of the Irish.

Carina and myself are later heading off for a week-long holiday in Spain – getting a good dose of sunshine to last us all the way through until Christmas. We enjoy a visit to Spain – and have always noticed common ground between the people of Spain (especially to the north) and the people of…

Is That Jerry with a J? Is This Biblical Name Irish?

Do you have any biblical names in your Irish family tree? Of course, there are plenty of Davids, Marys, Michaels and Theresas spread across our shared families – but how about some of the more “biblical-sounding” names? Names like Moses or Cornelius? Or maybe Isaiah or Jeremiah? While many of these names have been prominent…

Where Did Kavanaugh Come From?

One Irish name has been in the news a lot over the past 2 weeks – not just in the USA but all over the world. That surname is “Kavanaugh” – or “Kavanagh” as it more commonly spelt here in Ireland. So, I thought I would give us all a little welcome distraction as we…

Do You have an Irish Family History Puzzle Like This One?

Last week, I shared a letter from one of our Green Room members – Annie Keleher. She was feeling frustrated as she tried to track down one of her elusive Irish ancestors. So, we will use her letter today to tease out a typical puzzle that many of us face on our Irish family history…