I recently visited Ireland to find my roots. Ireland Reaching Out had arranged for me to meet four different volunteeers for four branches of my Family Tree that resulted in a fabulous experience for my wife and I.
In Loughrea, County Galway, I was able to connect with a distant cousin who showed us around the farm where he still lives and has been in the family for 300+ years. He showed us the site and remains of the old farm house where our ancestors lived and visited the church yard where ancestors are buried. An Ireland Reaching Out volunteer, Sue Coen, and her husband, Martin, took us a tour of Loughrea and joined us for dinner giving us more insight to this town that was home for this branch of my family.
In Drumcliffe, County Clare, we met with a volunteer, Jane Halloran Ryan, who took us on a most interesting tour of the cemetery.
In Abbeyfeale we met up with Jennifer "Jenny" Jean McDonough who had researched our ancestors from Duagh and took us on an extended tour of County Kerry including the towns of Causeway, Listowel and Tralee, introducing us to people who may be of help in discovering more about this branch of my family tree, in addition to providing valuable insight to this part of Ireland.
Next we met up with the volunteer Tim O'Connell who had conducted extensive research into my ancestors. Tim took us to the church in Glenroe, County Limerick, where my ancestors were baptized and buried. He then showed us the house where he lived as a child that was built with stones that actually came from the house where my ancestors lived, just down the road. Of course he showed us where that house was and then he showed us sites where the homes of other ancestors were. Then he took us to the cemetery where ancestors were buried and where he had arranged for us to meet with a distant cousin of that branch of the family tree, a surreal experience. Tim is an amazing individual.
Ireland Reaching Out, and the volunteers, allowed us to have an unbelievable experience taking our visit to Ireland to another level, way more than mere tourism. They provided a true connection with my past and my roots. From the bottom of our hearts we thank Ireland Reaching Out and the volunteers I mentioned, and Denise O'Leary, who arranged for us to connect with these volunteers, and for everything they did to make this happen.
Waretown, New Jersey USA
Gilchrist, Gilchreest, Keighry, Dawson, Reeves, Benson, Graney, Sullivan, OBrien, FoleyThursday 23rd Jun 2022, 09:56PM
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Thanks Ken, delighted we were able to help & thanks to all our wonderful volunteers who devote their time to connect people all over the world with the Irish roots.
IrelandXO Moderator DC