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

Red Hair

Beautiful Maureen O’Hara and 3 Irish Surnames

I was working on an Irish surname last week – and was reminded by a reader just how important it is to understand Irish history and the origin of Irish surnames just a little bit so that you can start making more educated guesses as to where your Irish ancestors came from in Ireland (if…

Have you Visited the Irish Famine Museum?

A couple of weeks ago, we were on an Irish road-trip around the north-west counties of the island. One of the most striking locations was a place called Strokestown Park House in County Roscommon. And that is the focus of our letter today. The Strokestown Park estate sits in the middle of 11,000 acres in…

Magdalene Laundry

Modern Slave Labour and The Magdalene Laundries

How important is your name to you? That may seem like a ridiculous question given the fact that a name is so fundamental to our identity and how we interact with all the people around us. In this week’s letter, we meet just one of the many Irish women who had her name “removed” as…

Our Top 5 Letters from Ireland Over 5 Years

The 3rd of June this year is the fifth anniversary of your “Letter from Ireland”! From that very first letter back in 2013, we’ve sent a letter out each week, compiled three books of letters, started a podcast based around these letters and set up a youtube channels for videos. Phew! Thank you so much…

The Delightful Butter Roads of Old Ireland

Isn’t it amazing how butter has been “rehabilitated” in our medical literature. Apparently, it contains good fats that can help ward off all manner of neurological diseases – what good news! You see, Ireland has always had a reputation for its dairy products and I think we are all fond here of that dark, yellow…

Do You Like this Irish Folklore collection?

Have you ever wondered what life was like in Ireland at the time your ancestors lived here? Well, this week’s letter is based around just one reader’s recent letter – but towards the end I direct her towards a very unique source that tells us a lot about Irish life in the olden days through…

Welcome to Jack’s World – An Irish Obituary

There was a significant event in our own family earlier this week – but before I tell more, I’d like to share the story of one man. As we tell the story of his journey through life, you may even recognise the story of one or two of your own Irish ancestors. See what you…

A Journey into Irish DNA

Did you know that “DNA Day” was celebrated earlier this week? I wonder who made that one up! To celebrate , we recorded a podcast that will come out next week – so do watch out for it. In the meantime, we thought it would be good to lay out the facts (and best guesses)…

From the High King of Ireland to South Australia

If we go back in time in Ireland – all the way back to about 1,000 years ago – we come to a period when the island of Ireland was occupied by a number of Gaelic “tribes”. These tribes occupied specific areas and their boundaries shifted backwards and forwards as the power of one tribe…

The Irish Language and a Terrible Story of Injustice

Have you ever been to the west of Ireland? This would be the region occupied by counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork. These counties contain many places of outstanding natural beauty and today they draw tourists by the thousand – but just a few decades ago, people were leaving their…