Celebrate Your Irish Heritage

Hi, we're Mike and Carina. We travel Ireland and the Irish ancestral trails of the world, connect with people of Irish descent and share the resulting stories, photos, videos and podcasts with you.

Recent Articles

Did your Family Live in an Irish Castle?

I often get asked – “did my family own Irish Castles?” It’s the ultimate fairy tale – Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses all living in beautiful old castles.

Irish Royalty

Royal Families of Ireland – Does your Irish surname make the list?

For hundreds of years to up the arrival of the Normans in the late 12th century – Ireland was divided into many autonomous kingdoms – ruled over by a “Ri” or King. These Kings won their lands through military and political might – the boundaries of their kingdoms were constantly changing with the ebb and…

If you took all the Gaelic Surnames out of Ireland – what would be left?

Today we’re looking at Viking, Norman, Galloglass and Planter (English and Scottish) names. Let’s take a few examples using the ancestral family of one of our Readers – Patricia Clarke (thanks, Patricia J ). Patricia gave me six of her family names: Byrnes, Clarke, Halpin, Leonard, Martin and Rafferty. While I may be COMPLETELY incorrect…

Like to run an Irish Castle for a Day?

Would you like to run an Irish Castle for a day? Sound exciting? But we’re not talking about just a castle – also the large family estate of lands that surround it. A few weeks back, Carina and myself went to County Galway and visited Aughnanure castle in Oughterard. Ever been there? Aughnanure was the…

Irish surnames

A Tale of Nine Irish Surnames

Here on the Letter from Ireland – we focus on your Irish surnames and where in Ireland they come from – why? Simply because this matters to people! The 3 most common questions I get asked are: My name is “O’whatishisname” – is it Irish? Where in Ireland does the name come from? My great…