Saint Patrick’s Day is an Irish cultural and religious celebration. Originally a feast day in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, March 17th has evolved to become a worldwide celebration of Irish culture. With Saint Patrick’s Day approaching, we thought it would be interesting to examine the man behind today’s high-spirited festivities. For without Saint Patrick, March 17th would be like any other day!
When most people think of Ireland, they think of rolling green vistas, cozy Irish pubs and of course castles! Today, thousands of these formidable structures dot the landscape, offering us a magnificent window into Ireland’s past. Since the turn of the last century, many of these beautiful buildings have been converted into hotels or bed and breakfasts. Offering a range of accommodation options, Irish Castle Stays are wonderful way to immerse oneself in Ireland’s history. With a variety of options that range from luxury vacations to quiet country retreats, who wouldn’t want to spend a night in a castle?
Newspapers are an excellent and, in many cases, overlooked resource that can offer a wealth of genealogical information. From in-depth, cited family histories to local histories, business directories, biographies and more, periodicals can add new levels of detail to your family history research.
In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to examine some of our family Christmas traditions and explore which ones our Irish ancestors would recognize. Family Christmas traditions are practices and customs that evolve over the years, they adapt with changing family, cultural and historical dynamics, and they adapt as families find themselves in new corners of the world and with new members. These traditions are ones that we have grown up with – Meaghan in Cape Breton and Peggy in Alberta. We also believe that these are Christmas traditions at the core of many holiday celebrations for families of Irish decent.
Although Irish migration began in the 1700’s and has maintained a steady flow throughout the centuries, it was Great Irish Famine of the nineteenth century that triggered one of the greatest population displacements of modern times. From the years 1845-1855, approximately 2.5 million people fled or succumbed to the human tragedy that was the Great Famine. The majority sought refuge across the Atlantic, landing on North American shores, forever linking the two sides of the Atlantic. This is the first of a new series, that we hope will provide a better understanding of the lives of your ancestors and will inform your future heritage travel.
Like us, more and more travellers are focusing their holidays on exploring family history and embarking on what’s called ‘heritage travel’. It is all about combining the challenges, excitement and fun of a vacation with a history lesson. As you may be expecting planning your own heritage vacation takes a little bit of research to get the most out of your travels. Here are our tips to get started!