146 episodes

The Letter from Ireland Podcast. Join us as we travel in the footsteps of your Irish Ancestors around Ireland - visiting their homelands and telling their stories and with lots of great Irish music along the way.

The Letter from Ireland Podcast Mike Collins

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 46 Ratings

The Letter from Ireland Podcast. Join us as we travel in the footsteps of your Irish Ancestors around Ireland - visiting their homelands and telling their stories and with lots of great Irish music along the way.

    Finding your Irish Ancestral Homeland (#838)

    Finding your Irish Ancestral Homeland (#838)

    In this special Irish family history episode we take two letters from our Green Room members. We chat about the approach they should take to uncover more about their respective Irish ancestral homelands.
    The first letter comes from one of our members in Australia and shares the story of her Irish Irish ancestors. She wonders how to go about discovering the actual origin for these ancestors in Ireland. Mike shares his approach - and comes up with a target destination!
    In the second letter we chat about how people often jump back to the Irish records too soon - and often jump to incorrect conclusions. Mike takes a letter from a member from the USA. They are sure that their ancestor originated in County Cork - but Mike points out that some of the evidence just does not stack up. He shows how it is worthwhile going back to basics to find the real origin for your Irish ancestry.
    We also have Irish songs of emigration to provide some (additional) entertainment along the way.
    Music featured in this episode:"Shores of Botany Bay" performed by The Irish Rovers."Thousands are Sailing" performed by The Pogues."Galway Bay" performed by Bing Crosby.
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 42 min
    A Genealogical Trip Back to County Cork (#837)

    A Genealogical Trip Back to County Cork (#837)

    In this special episode we choose one of our Green Room members (see more about the Green Room here) and accompany them on a genealogical trip back to County Cork.
    Cathy Abraham lives in Boston, USA and her great-grandparents arrived there in the 1870s from County Cork. They were Timothy O'Callaghan and Ellen Richardson. The story went that Timothy was a poor farm-hand on Ellen's parents farm just outside Cork City. They eloped to America as Ellen's parents did not approve of a match between them.
    Cathy was keen to dig a little more in this story as well as finding and visiting the places associated with the Richardson and O'Callaghan families back in Ireland.
    So, we decided to get involved! We commissioned Pam Holland (one of our Green Room genealogists) to research the couple and their families - and then produce a report.
    And she found out some really interesting facts!
    So, join us as we accompany Cathy to some of the places mentioned in that report in County Cork - we think you'll enjoy coming along for the ride!
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 49 min
    Did Your Irish Ancestor Live Through This Terrible Time? (#836)

    Did Your Irish Ancestor Live Through This Terrible Time? (#836)

    In this episode we look at a very difficult time in Ireland - one that triggered a time of death across the population of the island as well as emigration for many generations afterwards. I'm talking, of course, about "An Gorta Mór" - also known as "The Great Hunger" or "The Great Famine" of the mid 1800s.
    The first letter looks at a particular landless class in Ireland - who formed a sizeable percentage of our population - but who were, more or less, wiped out during the Famine.
    I wrote the second letter when I came across an account from 1847 which profiled particular families in a townland in West Cork. That account was all about my own O'Regan ancestors of that townland. It certainly stopped me in my tracks!
    We also have Irish songs of emigration (and one on optimism for the future) to help us focus on this time.
    Music featured in this episode:"Spancil Hill" performed by The Wolfe Tones."The Emigrants Farewell" performed by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh."The West's Awake" performed by Lumiere and Damien Dempsey.
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 34 min
    Two Royal Families of Ireland - O'Neill and O'Connor (#835)

    Two Royal Families of Ireland - O'Neill and O'Connor (#835)

    In this episode we look at two of the major family surnames of Ireland - O'Neill and O'Connor.
    The first story asks if you have Niall of the Nine Hostages DNA?. This Niall was the patriarch of the O'Neills of Meath and Ulster and there are a surprising number of people on the planet today who have a direct link back to this one individual.
    We then move on to the O'Connors - who provided us with the last two High Kings of Ireland. Using the first and second name of the late, great, singer - Sinéad O'Connor - we look at the origins of his Irish girls name and surname.
    We also have lots of wonderful Irish songs and music to help us along the way - so do enjoy!
    Music featured in this episode:"O'Neill's Cavalry March" performed by Seán Ó Riada."The Flight of The Earls" performed by Carlos Nuñez."The Foggy Dew" performed by Sinéad O'Connor.
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 28 min
    The 8 Most Unique Male Irish Singing Voices (#834)

    The 8 Most Unique Male Irish Singing Voices (#834)

    In this musical episode we look at a very personal choice of the eight most unique Irish MALE singing voices.
    I wonder will you agree? Maybe it will introduce you to a new talent that you have not heard before - or maybe you feel I have left out one or two of your own favourites! Either way, I hope you enjoy this selection of beautiful Irish songs and voices.
    Music featured in this episode:"Samhradh, Samhradh" performed by Iarla Ó Lionáird and The Gloaming."Bodenstown Churchyard" performed by Frank Harte."Rare Aul Times" performed by Luke Kelly."Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" performed by The 3 Irish Tenors."Nothing but the same Old Story" performed by Paul Brady."Sally McLennane" performed by Shane McGowan and The Pogues."Continental Céilí" performed by Christy Moore."Red is The Rose" performed by Liam Clancy.
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 50 min
    From County Cork to the Bright Lights of Broadway and Chicago (#833)

    From County Cork to the Bright Lights of Broadway and Chicago (#833)

    In this episode we tell the story of not one, but two, Irish families that came out of the area surrounding the town of Bantry in West Cork, Ireland.
    The first story shares the story of Francis O'Neill who emigrated to the USA and Chicago - eventually becoming a chief of police. More importantly, he became an avid collector and preserver of traditional Irish music. The healthy state of Irish traditional music today owes a lot to the efforts of this one man.
    We then follow the Keohane family who left the area in the early 1800s. On arrival in the USA, their name changed to "Cohan" and their grandson is the broadway composer we know today as "George M. Cohan".
    We also have lots of wonderful Irish songs and music to help us along the way - so do enjoy!
    Music featured in this episode:"Chief O'Neill's Favourite Hornpipe" performed by Willie Clancy."City of Chicago" performed by Christy Moore."Yankee Doodle Dandy" performed by Jimmy Cagney and Bob Hope.
    Support the Letter from Ireland Show:Thank you for listening to the Letter from Ireland show. To support the podcast, get lots of member-only features and follow Mike and Carina behind the scenes as they travel around Ireland go to ALetterfromIreland.com/plus .

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

the real hunter lol ,

Kenney of County Cork

Mike and Carina provide so many interesting tales and insights into Irish history, origins of family names along with beautiful Irish music. I have learned so much from these podcasts and have enjoyed every minute. Some day I will find my Kenney family, but until then I am enjoying the journey.

Sinnotts if Kilkenny ,

The Letter From Ireland

Thanks for this wonderful podcast which educates me on the history of Ireland, and the terrific music. I have been to Ireland once and do hope to go back, but I fear I may need a year to visit many of the places you both have highlighted on your podcast.
Thanks again Mike Sinnott, great grandson of Michael Sinnott and Johanna Power, New Market, Kilkenny.

Connemarras ,

Thank you Mike & Carina☕️🍰

This is the BEST podcast and I am thrilled to be here while I sit with a cup of tea. Your sacrifice of time to make your work available to all, is evident. I appreciate you both sharing your passion of Irish heritage on paper as well as electronically. It is truly inspiring, and defines my thoughts as I enjoy each topic. ~Felicity

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