A Letter from Ireland:
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The Yew Tree of Ireland

Do you have a favourite tree? Maybe the majestic oak, or graceful willow? In Ireland, the most ancient and revered is the mighty Yew tree, used to guard entrances to homes and cemeteries.  In this letter we talk about how a tree came to name both the sons and townlands of Ireland. Céad Míle Fáilte […]

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The Hedge School Teachers of Ireland

Do you have any school teachers in your family tree?  Perhaps they have fond memories of the hallowed halls in which they taught, the ordered classrooms, fully stocked with the supplies of a good education. In this letter, we will visit a humbler school setting, that was the only option for many Irish schoolteachers during […]

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The Fighting Irish – Is Your Irish Surname Mentioned Here?

Irish countryside

We’ve often heard the phrase “The Fighting Irish”. Here we have a letter all about how many of the “faction fights” in 1800s Ireland, went on to be subsumed into the modern Irish game of Hurling. Perhaps you can see some of your Irish surnames mentioned as part of this particular faction fight? Céad Míle Fáilte […]

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Did Your Irish Australian Ancestor Follow the Black Velvet Band?

Céad Míle Fáilte – and welcome to your Letter from Ireland. The weather is behaving quite well here in Cork at the moment. It’s dark by 7.30pm at this time of year but we are having some nice bright days. I hope the weather is staying nice and clement wherever you are today. I’m settling […]

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Have you Unpacked Your Irish Family Tree?

Irish road signs

Céad Míle Fáilte – and welcome to your Letter from Ireland for this very fine Autumn week (at least here in County Cork!). We’re seeing our first mentions of “Halloween” – a sure sign that the summer is in the rear-view mirror. I hope you are doing well wherever this letter finds you in the world […]

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