Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Finding My Irish Roots
One thing nice about being an American mutt is we have so much variety in our backgrounds to be proud of. I have been blessed to have had some interested aunts/uncles who did the genealogical legwork for the major family names, but in the last few years I have broadened the searches. Seems the easiest research is of the male names and I was interested in following the female linage. Good grief, who would have thought I had a little Irish in me! Well, that’s reason enough for a trip to Ireland isn’t it?
I just returned early this week from one of the best trips I have ever taken and I can assure you I am I love with Ireland. The Emerald Isle is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. I loved the simplicity, the beauty, the weather, and the people – well, alright, perhaps I should go back and get another sample during winter.
Aside from the beauty of the land, the history of the people captured my imagination. I worked through the stories of the potato famine that brought so many of our ancestors to America and found that to be one of the saddest stories ever. I visited Derry (Londonderry) and for the first time thought I understood the history of conflict in Northern Ireland. My admiration increased daily as I gained in understanding.
Today Ireland continues to struggle with economic problems and people continue to leave the island for work. It must be difficult to leave the Irish culture behind and I suspect sad to live in a less caring world. There is something about being in Ireland that just made me aware of God looking over us.
I am not sure how Ireland captured my heart - perhaps it is that unforgettable sweet music, the touch of a friendly hand and that ever so clever wit followed by a quick smile that made me feel right at home – even though I didn’t have a fancy Irish surname I was researching.
There are some individuals who have the ability to tell the most marvelous stories – I heard some of the best while in Ireland. I am convinced it must be my Irish genes that make me want to write.
I’ll go back again someday and collect some more stories and make more memories. If the reader would like to be Irish inspired, I would recommend “This Blessing is for you” by Roma Downey and Phil Coulter. You can find an introduction at
You’ll see some of the country I visited, listen to some sweet Irish music and the message is indeed a blessing.