bloganuary

Irish all the way

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is:

How far back in your family tree can you go?

My interest in genealogy is as great as my skill at climbing trees, which is to say none at all.

My mother knew a lot about both sides of my family, and the different parts of Ireland they came from. I regret not paying more attention now that she’s gone.

Both sets of my grandparents were born almost 150 years ago (could be more, I don’t know the exact dates), so it doesn’t take many generations to go back hundreds of years.

The Irish trace their lineage back to Magog, son of Japheth, grandson of Noah, whose family settled Ireland from Scythia (modern day Iran) after the deluge.

There’s a lovely tale in The Book of the Taking of Ireland (written in the 11th century but allegedly drawn from older sources) of Bith, Noah’s fourth son, who refused to go on the Ark because he couldn’t take his daughter with him. Bith, his daughter Cessair, and fifty or so of their friends built their own boats and went looking for a land without sin that would survive the flood. They settled in Ireland and lived happily for a few decades before they drowned.

This is such a classic Irish myth. Extolling the virtues of the land, praising Bith for his love of family and his quest to survive, then ending in tragedy.


Are you interested in your family tree? How far back can you trace the branches?

17 thoughts on “Irish all the way”

  1. Great post. My family is a mixture. I’m half Irish (mum’s Irish) as are her sister and brother. My Grandfather , her father, was Irish and I have family in Ireland, England Australia and the US.

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  2. Once your ancestors die you have to dig for information! I have two great grandmothers (one on each side) who introduced Irish blood and Catholicism to a sea of Anglo-Saxon paganism! One came to New Zealand (from Ballymena Antrim) as a teenager and farmed all her life. The other fell in love with a British soldier stationed in Mullingar where she lived – and they moved to NZ.

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  3. We’ve traced some of our family back to Central Europe, particularly modern day Czech Republic/Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. In fact, my last name means “Hungarian” or “the Hungarian.” However, supposedly my family goes all the way back to the Kingdom of Israel, as my family is part of a special lineage called kohanim. This means we’re descended from the priesthood that ran the Temple in Jerusalem way back in the day. My 23andMe profile says I’ve got the tiniest bit of Middle Eastern blood in me, so I’ll believe it. Amazing what you can turn up in your family tree, right?

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    1. That’s amazing, Rami. That is so wonderful you’re descended from the priesthood that ran the Temple! So special. Of course Ungar makes sense now as the Hungarian! Don’t know how I didn’t pick up on that before.

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  4. I never heard of the legend of Noah’s fourth son and his journey to Ireland before! I understand why people are fascinated by their family tree, and I would happily read a book about my ancestors, but doing the research isn’t high on my to do list currently!

    Liked by 1 person

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