Irish Genealogy & Family History Resources

Are you interested in discovering more on your Irish family history? In this section, I have included letters (and podcasts) that include stories, explanations and approaches to help you investigate your own Irish family history. You may even receive a little inspiration to break down one or two family history brick walls!


Browse the features 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 and podcasts.

Irish Genealogy & Family History Letters

irishfirstnameslider jpg - What Are the "Approved" Irish Names in Your Family?

What Are the “Approved” Irish Names in Your Family?

Many Irish families seem to feature multiple instances of the same forenames e.g you might find dozens of Johns, Marys or Richards – but very few Joans, Timothys or Michaels. This cumulative effect is often down to “Irish naming patterns” – but sometimes families have a special place for some given names. Last week, I…

Irish ruin on hill looking out over the bay

A Letter to my Irish Ancestor

Todays letter is a little different – it features an imagined ancestral letter written by one of our readers as well as their imagined response. We start with a letter received in Ireland back in the mid 1800s from Nova Scotia in what was to become Canada: “Hello, My name is Lawrence Cavanagh and I…

slider image jpg - My Irish Ancestry Wishlist

My Irish Ancestry Wishlist

A few weeks back, I sent a Letter from Ireland out to all of our subscribers around the word and asked “Which of these do you want more than anything?” I then gave a list of hopes, wishes and dreams that our readers have been sending to me over the last two years. As I said in…

Belfast City Hall - I Was Born in Belfast.

I Was Born in Belfast.

Belfast, which is known the world over for The Troubles, tragedies like the Titanic, and hard times… yet such a place raised a resilient woman who overcame adversity and brought joy and a different picture of Belfast to a small community a world away. The poor daughter of John Johnston and – her children never…

Two Irish Women

Much is spoken of in Australian History of the hardship and cruelty suffered by the convicts during their time of punishment in Australia.  In my family our convict ancestor is spoken of as a hero and the foundation of a very large group of families now spreading out over three states. However I cannot help…

Irish Genealogy & Family History Podcasts

Irish Ancestral Homeland

Finding Your Irish Ancestral Homeland in Ireland (#838)

In this special Irish family history episode we take two letters from our Green Room members. We chat about the approach they should take to uncover more about their respective Irish ancestral homelands.

Irish genealogy trip- Cathy and Mike in County Cork

An Irish Genealogy Trip Back to County Cork (#837)

On our latest episode, join us on an Irish genealogy trip as we embark with Boston-native Cathy Abraham back to County Cork. Unraveling the romantic tale of her great-grandparents’ elopement to America, we uncover hidden truths and visit ancestral lands connected to the O’Callaghan and Richardson families. Prepare for some fascinating discoveries!

The Great Hunger - An old Irish ruin.

Living Conditions at the time of The Great Hunger (#836)

In this episode, we look at a very difficult time in Ireland – one that triggered a time of death across the population of the island as well as emigration for many generations afterwards.

Cup of tea stories - What Happens when an Irish Bard Reads Your Family History (#821)

What Happens when an Irish Bard Reads Your Family History (#821)

In this episode we look at two different styles of story-telling. First, Carina reads out “Which County did your Irish Ancestor Come from?”. In the second feature we ask an Irish Poet/Bard to look at the family history of one of our Green Room members and then to put the entire saga into verse.

blogcobh2 - 7 Irish Characters - 7 Tales of Emigration (#812)

7 Irish Characters – 7 Tales of Emigration (#812)

In a follow-up to our recent episode about traveling from Cobh to Ellis Island – we head back to the Cobh Heritage Centre in County Cork and hear 7 stories of emigration from this very spot to many places around the world. Many thanks to Jack Walsh and all the team at the Cobh Heritage…