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

Irish Townland

Clearing the Confusion – The Origins of the Irish term “Townland”!

Explore the concept of the Irish townland, a key to unlocking personal ancestry. Each townland is not just a part of the landscape but a vital link to familial histories.

Pint of Guinness

The First Pint of Guinness is Poured

In this letter, we explore the rich history of a renowned Irish beverage—Guinness Extra Stout Porter, commonly known as ‘Guinness’. Learn how this pint of Guinness evolved into a symbol of Ireland celebrated worldwide

The origins of an Irish royal family

The Journey of an Irish Royal Family.

In this letter – we look at the journey of an ancient Irish Royal family around the north half of Ireland over many centuries. This “journey” was typical of many Irish families following the arrival of the Normans and the later plantations.

Surname that grew from an ancient irish fairy mound

A Surname that grew from an ancient Irish fairy Mound

In the heart of Ireland lies Rathcroghan, an ancient site steeped in myth and legend and an Irish fairy mound.

Do you know your Irish county of origin

Do you know your Irish county of origin?

Which county did your Irish ancestors come from? When we think of Ireland, we often think of places like County Kerry, County Galway, County Louth and so on – all the way through the 32 historical counties on the island of Ireland. In fact, if your ancestor was asked their county of origin – they would probably include the county name as well as “Ireland” in their answer.

Irish Genealogy & Family History Podcasts

St Patricks Day Parade New York jpg - Join Us on a St. Patrick's Day Parade of Story and Song (#811)

Join Us on a St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Story and Song (#811)

Join us on a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade of Story and Song. In this episode we share two stories – one all about the places in Ireland where Saint Patrick is said to have walked and the next looks at the Shamrock and the gorse, two plants associated with this time of year in Ireland.…

Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty jpg - Join Us on This Trip from Cobh to Ellis Island (#810)

Join Us on This Trip from Cobh to Ellis Island (#810)

In this special episode of the Letter from Ireland show we start our journey in Cobh (Queenstown) in County Cork. We chat with the manager of the Cobh Heritage Centre who has his own immigration stories to tell. We then take the route across the Atlantic that our ancestors would have followed (just slightly upgraded!)…

Irish celtic knot

Look Through This Window into a Celtic World (#809)

In this week’s episode we go back in time. First we go back to a time when the first Celtic peoples arrived in Ireland – we then go back even further to look at the period when the Celts appeared on the continent of Europe for the first time. Much of this “history” is relayed…

View of Little Skellig from Skellig Michael across the water.

Do You Have These Saintly Names in Your Irish Family Tree? (#806)

In this week’s episode we look at the life times and legacy of three ancient Celtic saints – with lots of fine music in between. We start with a letter all about the Irish Saint Gobnait – but you may be surprised at how her name was anglicised into different versions that you may have…

saint brigid cross

The Irish Goddess and the Irish Saint (#805)

We look at the connections between the Irish name “Brigid/Bridget”, Saint Bridget of Kildare and the Irish Celtic Goddess Brigid. This is all very appropriate as we come up to the celtic festival of “Imbolc” – celebrating the start of a celtic spring as well as Saint Brigid’s day. We hope you enjoy! You can…