My grandparents grew up in a Scotch-Irish enclave in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. They always knew they were descended from Irish immigrants. How can you not know that when your family names are McCarty and Kilgore and Roark and Patrick? In the 1970’s when everyone began tracing their genealogy, their hometown, Salyersville, KY, began hosting an annual Founder’s Day and publishing books cataloging the descendants and ancestors of the first settlers.My grandma especially became intrigued because she didn’t know a lot about her mother’s side of the family. She remembered her red-haired, blue-eyed twin aunts Fair and Faith, but as the youngest of her siblings, my grandma didn’t even know she was named after both her grandmas, Nancy Poe and Nancy Patrick, or that Nancy is a family name that goes back generations. Along this voyage of discovery, she found that many of her ancestors came from County Cork, Ireland.
My grandpa had a similar discovery. While his ancestors had departed Ireland at a different time from his wife’s ancestors, they too had lived in County Cork at least for a time before leaving Ireland. My grandparents dreamed about taking a trip to Ireland someday and seeing the places their ancestors lived. Unfortunately, they died before ever realizing that dream. My mother and I have talked about going to Ireland for years and taking the trip they never got to take, but for many reasons that trip has never become a reality. My mother is now 82 years old, and her passion is genealogy. Although she spends most of her days researching her family history online, she has never been able to gather any information about her McCarty ancestors prior to the ancestor who left Ireland. She would love to be able to know the names and the stories of her McCarty ancestors, find out why they left Ireland, and visit the places they lived. I would love to be able to share this kind of a trip with her while she is still able to travel and enjoy exploring her Irish heritage.
I, too, have long been fascinated with Ireland. I love Irish histories and stories, but I’m especially fond of Irish music because of the rhythm and gaiety. After watching a concert by one of my favorite groups filmed at Newgrange, I became fascinated with the history of that site as well.
My dream Irish vacation would include touring Newgrange and spending an evening in a pub listening to a local group perform live music. I love the idea of spending the night in a castle! What could be more fun? Of, course, I would want to stop by the National Museum of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Cathedral while in Dublin and drive along the Ring of Kerry and see the Cliffs of Moher as we traveled through the beautiful Irish countryside, and a little genealogy research would be a must! Hopefully, we could visit some of the places our ancestors lived, worked, and worshiped. My favorite part of the trip, however, would be seeing my mother enjoying herself. Ireland means a lot to me! It’s my heritage which I would dearly love to explore, but the best part of the trip would be giving such a special experience to my mother who has done so much for me including letting my three sons and me move in with her after my husband left. I will never be able to repay her, and I certainly would never be able to give her this dream trip on my salary as a church employee, but I would love to make this dream come true for her, and in making her dream come true, it would be a dream come true for both of us!
Do you know some of the places that your ancestors lived, and have an itching urge to visit Ireland to see these places? Our experienced and knowledgeable travel specialists can be sure to customize a trip to Ireland to see any city you’d like. Better yet, they’ll even give you suggested sightseeing along the routes!