Old Glory Flies Over Dublin during a Parade
Would your guess be Ireland? If you’re talking about people who are 100% Irish, you’re right. But the United States has more folks with Irish ancestors than any other place in the world.
Even people with non-Irish sounding last names may have an ancestor who hailed from this country. Oftentimes, the family name was changed when the person or family arrived at Ellis Island. The recorder simply couldn’t understand the accent or their Irish language. Others immigrants changed their name to Americanize, to fit more easily into the giant melting pot called the U.S.
The potato famine caused a large number of crops in Ireland to die, leaving many people without food in the 1830s. These citizens had the option of leaving or staying and facing certain death. (More people died during those years than at any other point in Ireland’s history.) Some moved to other parts of Europe, but a large number of people headed west to America. Others came due to political unrest at home and looked to homestead in the U.S. after the famine. And, some Irish people were the first settlers in the States, particularly in the Southern part of the country where their music still has great influence.
Curious about your own roots? For Irish Genealogical Resources, go to this link for a fairly complete list of organizations and websites to help you track down your Irish family.
After you’ve found them? Visit them in Ireland, of course!
Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers: Meredith and Win Blevins