So, you’re sure your ancestors came from the Emerald Isle? If you can relate to the majority of our fun list below, there can be no doubt about it!
Editor’s Note: This October, IrishCentral will be publishing a series of articles celebrating Irish family heritage, from genealogy and personal tales to interesting Irish names. With up to 80 million people around the world claiming Irish ancestry, IrishCentral's Irish Family Heritage Month has a lot to celebrate! Keep up-to-date with all genealogy stories on IrishCentral here.
1. If most people struggle to pronounce your name correctly when you meet them, there’s usually some Gaelic in your family. Aoife, Oisín, Caoimhe!?!?
2. You know you had early Irish ancestors but you just can’t find any records of them. The curse of the Public Records Office fire in 1922!
3. Parish records go back really early and contain great detail on your family. Now if only you could pinpoint the correct parish on Griffith’s Valuation!?
4. If your ancestors emigrated in the mid-nineteenth century, chances are they were Irish!
5. Just your luck - your ancestor was born in 1863, right before civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in Ireland.
6. In the 1901 Census of Ireland, your ancestor is aged 10. The same guy is somehow 25 in the 1911 Census. Sure, what’s a few years between family eh?!
7. You’ve found your family name spelled several different ways in different records – Connor, O’Connor, McNeill, MacNeill, etc. Arggggghhh!!!!
8. You’ve discovered a male forefather fighting for the British Army. This might not sit too well with you now, but it would have been pretty standard back in the day.
9. You came all the way to Ireland to visit your ancestors’ homestead only to find it’s been replaced by a multi-story parking lot!
10. You’ve found building your Irish family tree challenging, to say the least. But hey, that just makes the discoveries all the more rewarding!
* Originally published in 2014. Updated October 2022.