Which Irish County Holds Your Irish Roots?

Do you know which county in Ireland your Irish ancestors came from?

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Which Irish County Holds Your Irish Roots?

Which County in Ireland holds your Irish Roots? Everytime someone joins our “Letter from Ireland”, we ask the question: “Which County in Ireland did your Ancestors come from?”

So far, we have had thousands of replies – and have built a list of 6470 entries. In the map above I have shown the distribution of these names across all the Counties of Ireland.

Here are some of my own observations and comments on this latest view of our reader surname/county database:

  1. The number shown inside the boundary of each county is the number of reader ancestors who came from that county.
  2. Almost one-third (2040)of the people asked “Don’t Know” which county their Irish ancestor came from. I believe that with a little detective work, and help from sites like this one, it is easy enough to narrow down your root counties to two or three. What about you – would you like some help on figuring out which County your Irish Ancestor came from?
  3. The largest emigration pattern (96% of our readers live outside Ireland) is from the west coast of Ireland – the counties of Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal specially. These counties held some of the largest and poorest populations at the time of the Irish Famine in the mid-1800s and that is reflected in the numbers in this map.
  4. There is also quite a large number from the north-east of the country – especially County Antrim. We have a large number of Ulster Scots readers – whose ancestors left Ulster in the 1700s for the North American colonies of the time.
  5. County Cork accounts for over 15% (688) of the people who know which county their family came from. This is probably a little high as Queenstown (modern-day Cobh) was the major point of departure for many of Ireland’s emigrants. My guess is that many of our readers heard mention of Cork as a departure point and assumed this was the county that their ancestor also lived in – but I may be wrong!

What else do you notice?

So, that’s where we stand at the moment. If you have any questions – please feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

Also, if you would like to join in the fun – and add your Irish surname to our list, all you need to do is join (for free) our weekly Letter from Ireland. Details are below.

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