Featured

Featured story at IrishCentral, June 27, 2022

Featured photo, Galway 1953, above – Photograph by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.  Information written on slide – A small village near Galway, May 14, 1953. Google Map details to photo above at Bohermore, Galway, Ireland are provided below.


1953 vintage Kodachrome slides from Ireland featured at IrishCentral

Jannet L. Walsh
June 27, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

I’m excited to announce my story Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images published June 27, 2022 at IrishCentral.

My story about my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, originally published on my blog on Father’s Day 2022. I shared his vintage 1953 Kodachrome images from his trip to Ireland. My story was featured on the Home, Roots, Irish American, and History pages of IrishCentral, June 27, 2022.


Screenshot from IrishCentral – View story Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images.

Bohermore, Galway, Ireland

Update, June 28, 2022 – Since my story appeared on my blog and at Irish Central, I received messages from Luke Gerard Lanigan of Galway City, Ireland, Qualified Irish National Tour Guide with Destination Ireland Tours, specializing in tours related movie “The Quiet Man.”  Lanigan wrote me noting he thought he knew the location of my father’s 1953 photo of the tour bus, main feature photo of story Seeing Ireland through my fathers vintage Kodachrome images.

Google Maps – Nearby location of Martin J. Walsh Jr.’s 1953 street and tour bus photographs in Ireland. Location is approximately 144 Bohermore, Galway, Ireland. View at Google Maps.

Today I have an exact, if not very good address where my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr. stood in 1953 to take the Kodachrome image with his 35mm camera.  Lanigan suggests the nearby location is approximately 144 Bohermore, Galway, in County Galway, Ireland, the present-day location of Tonery’s Bar. Bohermore is an area of Galway, and it was the main road into the city from the east in medieval times.

As a side note, US President John F. Kennedy visited Galway, Ireland, June 29, 1963, ten years after my father. Learn more about Kennedy’s visit to Galway at Ireland Reaching Out website.


View Google Earth Map presentation, 3DView Ireland and Galway, including Bohermore, Galway with Google Earth Maps.

Screenshot of home page of IrishCentral, June 28, 2022

Read story at IrishCentral

Screenshot from IrishCentral


Vintage 1953 Kodachrome from Ireland – Photography by Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock Minnesota, Information written on slide: Cong, Ireland, on Ashford Castle Grounds. Ruins of an old Abbey, May 14, 1953.

Best wishes, Jannet L. Walsh

Jannet L. Walsh


About the writerJannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. She has compiled Irish Genealogy Toolkit, a list of resources for researching your Irish roots. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and her other social media channels.



Subscribe – Get updates on latest news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Featured

Top 10 pointers to launch Irish genealogy search

Vintage 1953 Ireland Kodachrome slide: The featured photograph above was taken in 1953 by the late Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota. Details of the original Kodachrome slide include:  Information written on slide: Friday May 15, 1953, tour of Liffey Valley and Blessington Lakes. Photo was taken near Curragh. The people are looking for shamrocks, County Kildare.  Learn more about the vintage 1953 Kodachrome slides at Father’s Day 2022 blog post at JannetWalsh.com.

Discover shamrocks, Irish family history

By Jannet L. Walsh
June 22, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota USA

Collection of photos from the family of Jannet L. Walsh.

If you are searching for family Irish roots, it’s likely you’ll become part historian, storyteller, and mostly a detective of family antiquities.

My late father late Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota, captured images with his 35mm camera and Kodachrome slide film of a group of tourists searching for shamrocks in County Kildare, Ireland in 1953, photo posted above. This collection of images is now part of my family’s heritage, and a way to connect to Irish culture. He was searching for hints of our family’s origins. There are incredible resources available today my father could never imagined available from the comfort of home and a computer in his hometown in rural Minnesota.


View story at IrishCentral

It doesn’t matter if have been searching for years for origins of your family, or just starting, there’s always room for a few new pointers.  There were many resources I was not aware of when I really put my genealogy search into full swing about 2010.  I curated a free listing of about 100 resources to help search called Irish Genealogy Toolkit found at my website as a result of my genealogy search. 

Since the start of my quest to find Irish roots, many church documents from Ireland are now available for searching from your home free, along with a multitude of other resources.  Below are ten pointers and resources to help launch a family history project today.


Galway 1953 – Photo by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.  Information written on slide: A small village near Galway. May 14, 1953.

1. Getting started with genealogy, church documents

It’s an overwhelming task to get started discovering family roots as you will become, without knowing, historian, storyteller, but most important, a detective searching for any artifacts ancestors left behind decades and hundreds of years ago.

  • Home and family, starting point  – The best place to start is to inquire and gather any genealogy work that’s been done previously at home and with your family.  You might be amazed, or disappointed, significant work has already been done.  If you can’t find any previous work, you might be just the person your family needs, and is calling to become the storyteller for your clan.
  • Personal family search – Read an overview about how I launched my family Irish research at my website or at IrishCentral.
  • Video, National Archives, Ireland – Watch informative video at YouTube about Irish genealogy and documents from professional genealogist Nicola Morris at the National Archives, Dublin, Ireland. Hear it from a professional on starting an Irish genealogy search. If interested, view more videos YouTube channel of National Archives, Ireland.
  • Guide, workbook – The National Archives of Ireland created a website and workbook in 2016 geared towards school children to learn about family history.  After reviewing the resources, I found many of the items apply to just about anyone with little to no knowledge of Ireland and genealogy, meaning most people starting a search for Irish roots. View the 2016 Family History website, and download a free workbook.
Video from National Archives IrelandResearching your Roman Catholic ancestors by professional genealogist Joan Sharkey, Jan 21, 2022.
  • Irish Civil and  Church documents: Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian – Irish church and civil records from Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland, official Irish website, are available to search at no cost.  As of March 1, 2022, more historic births, marriages, and deaths were added to the collection by the General Register Office, Ireland. There is no cost to use website resources. Read more on the additional records at IrishGenealogy.ie. Search for church documents at IrishGenealogy.ie.
  • Understand Irish Emigration, an overview – Read Irish Emigration History by Irial Glynn, 2012, posted at the University College Cork, Ireland, website.

2. Patience, and a lot of it

Trying to find pieces of history of your family might not happen overnight. Starting a genealogy search can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. I would find bits and pieces that would connect to other bits and pieces, and sometime not a connection at all.  It’s a great task to undertake, but the results can be overwhelming. 

I was propelled to find the origins of my family in Ireland the best I could, and achieved my goal, taking about 10 years.  My real search started decades before when I was in college in the 1980s, typing term papers on an electric typewriter.  Today you can sit at home and search for family records.  We are living in an incredible time to connect the past with the present due to technology and the internet.

3. Start research at home, not Ireland

If you are thinking of flying to Ireland to start your family search, please think again.  There are incredible resources to start searching now before going to the island of Ireland.  Think of ways of putting together your story the best you can with names and dates of ancestors, cities, townlands, counties, and any details you can find before even packing your luggage, and selecting sturdy walking shoes. 

If you need help with research, hiring a professional genealogist is always an option.  There are many resources for genealogists, but look at qualifications with professional agencies, but there’s no guarantees. I’ve included several organizations to review for hiring a generalist, see heading of Professional genealogists, resources, code of ethics, at Irish Genealogy Toolkit.

A word to the wise, make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for before hiring a genealogist. Susan Riley, Ph.D., genealogist from Minnesota, notes it’s import to determine the genealogist’s credentials and experience; ask for work samples; insist on a written contract establishing goals, price of research, timetable; meet using video conferencing, such as Zoom, to clarify everything; and start a small, inexpensive project to see if the geologist is reliable.

4. Keep a notebook at hand

It’s important to keep a notebook dedicated to your search. Yes, a notebook!  Write with a pen that’s archival quality and a notebook that sturdy and can be easily transported in your pocket, purse or backpack.  Take notes of the people you meet, details of what you find.  When your computer crashes, you will have notes to look at in the future, and will be something your descendants can use to uncover future details.  I have several notebooks from search and travel, and access to family documents, such as letters, diaries, notebooks and more.  Check to see what’s available within your family.

5. Genealogy guides, tools

There are numerous genealogy guides to search for online, but look for credible sources.  If you must pay to read, move one. The National Archives in Washington, DC, has countless resources devoted to genealogy, including articles, finding aids, webinars, and other information.  View Genealogy Resources and Reference Reports for Genealogy online at the National Archives.

6. Military, vital statistics, obituaries, graves, and cemeteries

Your dearly departed relatives, and their details, will point towards your goal of putting together a family history. It’s your task to find out what’s available. I’ve spent a lot of time visiting cemeteries looking for graves of my family in the United States and Ireland.  I’ve accidentally found living relatives at cemeteries walking rows of graves searching for details on our family I didn’t know existed. Don’t be shy to spend hours walking in cemeteries, and visit with other people visiting cemeteries as you might be related, or learn something important.

7. Newspapers, state, and local archives

Old newspapers are a great source to search for anything written about your family in the past.  I found my family mentioned in numerous old newspapers stories when searching at my local historical society in Benson, Minnesota, Swift County Historical Society and Museum.

  • Newspapers at Ancestry, paid subscription, but very helpful resource
  • Listing of state archives at National Archives
  • Go local – Consider inquiring at local city and county libraries and museums about available resources for genealogy, including old newspapers.

8. Subscription, non-subscription genealogy related search websites, social media
Please check with local libraries, historical societies, and museums if they offer free access to Ancestry and other paid subscriptions for searching for genealogy. You might already have access in your city, county or state as part of public services and resources.

  • Ancestry, paid subscription, with free resources to read online
  • FamilySearch, paid subscription, with free resources
  • Non-Subscription Databases, National Archives
  • Search Facebook groups and other social media related to specific areas or counties in Ireland and topics. If your people are from County Kerry, a general themed Facebook group is Kerry is the best county in Ireland. There is an official Facebook page Ireland Family History, hosted by Tourism of Ireland, sharing tips and trivia to help find Irish family history.

9. Travel to Ireland

If you are ready to travel to Ireland, consider Ireland’s official tourism website, Ireland.com, with free resources related to maps, brochures, trip planning and more.

10.  Nonprofit, Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO)
There is a nonprofit organization helping welcome home Irish living in the Irish diaspora, people with ancestral roots to Ireland.  I’ve not used this agency, but find their resources intriguing.  Consider learning about Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO), a volunteer-based, non-profit initiative which builds vibrant, lasting links between the global Irish Diaspora and parishes of origin in Ireland. View a YouTube video about Ireland Reaching Out.

Video from Ireland Reaching Out – A Irish volunteer-based, non-profit initiative which builds vibrant, lasting links between the global Irish Diaspora and parishes of origin in Ireland.  View video at YouTube.

Crosstown Cottage, Killarney Ireland – Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, poses in front of Crosstown Cottage, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, June 1, 2018, before heading to the railway station in Killarney. Walsh spent most of May 2018 living in the historic cottage researching and writing about her family’s Irish roots, connecting with local Irish culture and people. Photo by Olive Horgan.

Last bit of departing advice – Make time to get your genealogy detective work afoot. Best wishes in your searching to reconnect with your family roots!
Jannet L. Walsh

Useful Link:  A full listing can be genealogy resources can be found Irish Genealogy Toolkit found at JannetWalsh.com.  


About the author – Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication is 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing.  Follow Walsh on Facebook,  Twitter, and her website



Subscribe – Get updates on latest blogs and news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Featured

Father’s Day 2022, vintage 1953 Irish Kodachromes

1953 trip to Ireland by my father Martin J. Walsh Jr.

1953 Ireland Kodachrome slide: The featured photograph above was taken in 1953 by the late Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota. Details of the original Kodachrome slide include: Tour bus from Galway to Cong and return, at a small town stop, May 14, 1953. A photo gallery is included at the bottom of this post, along with notes from slides. See additional details also at bottom of story to the 1953 tour bus, along with Google maps.

View story at Irish Central

Update: This story is featured at IrishCentral, June 27, 2022. View Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images at IrishCentral.


By Jannet L. Walsh
June 19, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota USA

Greetings and happy Father’s Day!

1940s, Minnesota: Martin J. Walsh Jr.,(1924-2008), stands next to a Great Northern Railway caboose, circa 1940s.

Father’s Day is a time to honor our fathers, living and those no longer with us.

I wanted to share a little about my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr., (1924-2008), from Murdock, Minnesota, to honor him today on Father’s Day. My father spent his entire career working as a telegrapher and station manager for the Great Northern and Burlington Northern Railroad, 1943 to December 31, 1984. It was actually the same railroad, but the name was changed.

US Passport of Martin J. Walsh Jr., 1953.

When I was a little girl growing up in my hometown of Litchfield, Minnesota, my mother would drop me off at the train station when my father was working to make it easier for her to go grocery shopping and run other errands around town. I’d have a seat near the large window used by the station’s staff to watch the trains and other activity at the passenger station. In this late 1960s setting railroad and babysitting venue, I was drawing and making doodles on discarded train forms to keep me busy while my father was managing the railroad station, and me.


Glacier Park 1948
– My father posed for a photo in front of Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park Village, Montana, as a young man in 1948.   In 2016, tried to recreate a portrait similar to my father’s photos taken on Kodachrome slide film, mine with an iPhone. There is sunlight streaming down from the sky in my photo, but it’s nothing in comparison to my father’s photo in his dapper 1948 traveling clothing. Patricia McWilliams, a fellow Glacier Park Lodge guest from Texas, was very kind to take the photo of me with my iPhone.  View photo posted at Instagram.

Glacier Park Lodge – Martin J. Walsh Jr. in at 1948, left, and daughter Jannet L. Walsh, 2016, standing near Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park Village, Montana.
Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: Marty Walsh, Seaside, south of Belfast, May 1953. See more photos at online gallery.

First in family back to Ireland, 1953
Our family was part of a mainly Irish immigrant settlement in De Graff, located in rural Swift County, Minnesota, late 1800s. This was the first in a series of ten villages in five counties in western Minnesota established by the late Saint Paul Archbishop John Ireland, helping Irish Catholic families like mine escape from urban slums, and resettling in farmlands in rural Minnesota.

Archbishop John Ireland, -1918, full-length portrait, seated, facing left. , ca. 1908. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2005685760/.

First home to Ireland – My father, Martin, nicknamed Marty to avoid confusion with his father, Martin J. Walsh Sr., made our family’s first known return trip home to Ireland in 1953, recording his adventures with Kodachrome color slides and his Clarus 35mm camera, leaving behind traces for me to follow in Ireland, England, and France.

My father would say when I was a child, and was telling stories of our family’s history and connection to the island of Ireland, “We are Archbishop John Ireland’s people.” It just happened to be the Archbishop’s last name was the same as the country my people left behind in the mid 1800s.

My family is one of the four thousand Catholic families Archbishop Ireland help resettle in west central and southwest Minnesota during the years of 1875-1885. Archbishop Ireland’s goals were to alleviate the perceived problems of nativist prejudice (anti immigrant), poverty, and loss of religion faced by urban Catholics (particularly Irish) on the east coast and poor Catholics still in Ireland by relocating them to low cost farmland in western Minnesota. Today I live just three miles from De Graff, in Murdock, Minnesota, in the same house my father was born in 1924. Learn more about the De Graff and the historic Church of St. Bridget at the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service website. The Library of Congress in Washington, DC has a detailed presentation on Irish-Catholic Immigration to America to explore more details on immigration.

Dublin 1953 – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.  Information written on slide: Dublin, Ireland. near Trinity College.
Note the left hand drive. May 1953. Photo provided by Paul M. Walsh, see more at online gallery.

I imagine my father as a very proud young man with the incredible opportunity to see the homeland of his family in Ireland in 1953. He didn’t have a chance to locate the dirt farm roads I discovered in Townland Dromkerry, looking out at the Gap of Dunloe, the Lakes of Killarney, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain ranges, some of the most beautiful views in all of Ireland.


Photos by Martin J. Walsh Jr., trip to Ireland, 1953

View more photos of Martin J. Walsh Jr., 1953online gallery, Flickr.


It has been an honor to have had the opportunity to walk where my family walked and lived in Ireland, to catch any whispers of their voices from the difficult time in Ireland’s history, when people just survived day-by-day.

My father was one of the first to inspire me to learn of my family’s origins in Ireland, and our resettlement as immigrants to in rural Minnesota, first spending time in Canada. My curiosity eventually became a quest — to put together the pieces of my family’s history in Minnesota and Ireland. The result is my nonfiction book, Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota. It is scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Father’s Day in 2022!

Best wishes, Jannet L. Walsh


UPDATES

Bohermore, Galway, Ireland

Screenshot from IrishCentral – View story Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images.

Update, June 28, 2022 – Since this story appeared on my blog and Irish Central, I received messages from Luke Gerard Lanigan of Galway City, Ireland, Qualified Irish National Tour Guide with Destination Ireland Tours, specializing in tours related movie “The Quiet Man.”   Lanigan, originally from Dublin, wrote me noting he thought he knew the location of my father’s 1953 photo of the tour bus, main feature photo of story Seeing Ireland through my fathers vintage Kodachrome images.

Google Maps – Nearby location of Martin J. Walsh Jr.’s 1953 street and tour bus photographs in Ireland. Location is approximately 144 Bohermore, Galway, Ireland. View at Google Maps.

Today I have an exact, if not very good address where my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr. stood in 1953 to take the Kodachrome images with his 35mm camera.  Lanigan suggests the nearby location is approximately 144 Bohermore, Galway, in County Galway, Ireland, the present-day location of Tonery’s Bar. Bohermore is an area of Galway, and it was the main road into the city from the east in medieval times. View map below, or view at Google Maps in 360 degree views.

As a side note, US President John F. Kennedy visited Galway, Ireland, June 29, 1963, ten years after my father. Learn more about Kennedy’s visit to Galway at Ireland Reaching Out website.


About the writerJannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication is 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing.  Follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter.



Subscribe – Get updates on latest blogs and news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, McKnight Foundation funded grant awarded for Irish Diaspora writing project!

Featured photograph: Walsh Family from Canada and Ireland – This is a portrait of Catherine Summers Walsh (1833-1909), and her husband Michael J. Walsh Sr. (1812-1901), great great-grandparents of Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota. Undated photo, late 1890s to early 1900s. The couple married at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1857. They had eight children born in Ontario, and baptized on Wolfe Island, Ontario. Michael’s first wife died in Ireland, leaving one child, Patrick. Featured above is an authentic Irish Shillelagh, a traditional hand weapon made of Blackthorn wood, and hand-knitted Aran sweater, both from Ireland. Learn more about the Irish Canadian family at Walsh ‘s blog.

Nonfiction writing project – Irish Diaspora Family Stories from Minnesota and Canada

Jannet L. Walsh
October 4, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

I am excited to announce I’m a recipient of a Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, SMAC, Artist Growth Grant, 2022–2024. Funding for this program is provided by the McKnight Foundation

Walsh Family – Jannet L. Walsh stands at the graves of her Irish born Great Great-Grandparents, De Graff, Minnesota, September 29, 2022. Her Walsh family lived at least 35 years in Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada, after departing Ireland, and before settling as pioneers in Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota. Other branches of her Irish family also lived in Canada before migrating to the United States.

This will be an online nonfiction quest narrative genre writing project entitled Nonfiction Quest Narrative Genre Writing Project – Family Stories: Minnesota and Irish Diaspora. The McKnight Foundation supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The grant starts October 1, 2022, ends June 20, 2024, with a final reporting date of Aug. 29, 2024.

Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock has been awarded $4,000 to write a creative nonfiction quest narrative genre writing project to produce a new collection of her family history stories in Minnesota and Canada, focusing on the “Irish Diaspora, ethnic Irish living outside the island of Ireland.” The collection of writing will be available on her website, offered to credible publications, and used to create her second book.” 

From Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, SMAC. View details at SMAC October 2022 Newsletter.

How to follow project

Subscribe to blog – If you haven’t already subscribed to this blog, you can simply enter email below to receive updates via email!

Irish Diaspora writing project
A special webpage has been created to host all blogs, stories, online publications for this writing project, and can be view at Irish Diaspora Project located in the menu or navigation of this website.

Writing details
Quest narrative involves someone searching, often traveling to a particular place, as in “Odyssey” by Homer, one of the oldest known quest narratives.  I will use nonfiction creative writing (literature based on fact), prose poetry, and my wit as part of this writing project. The journey to and from Canada and Minnesota is as part of writing project.  

I want to be the storyteller of my family living in rural Minnesota part of the Irish Diaspora; share experience of stepping foot on Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada since 1877, 145 years since my family departed; and understand the long emigration of 35 years from Ireland, Canada, and finally to rural United States. 

Handwritten record book – Marriage record of Michael Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario. V document at original Source FamilySearch. View enlarged image at blog on Irish Canadian roots.

This nonfiction project will concentrate on my Irish Canadian roots in Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada, although other branches of my Irish family passed through Canada on their way to the United States.  In August 2022, I posted a blog with marriage and baptism records related to my Walsh family in Canada, view blog Uncovering Irish Canadian family genealogy

I will be exploring more family stories related to my family’s Irish roots in rural Minnesota, especially Dublin Township in Swift County. You can read about my forthcoming book with publisher Shanti Arts, Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota.

Detail view of inscription of memorial of Catherine Summers Walsh and Michael J. Walsh Sr., September 29, 2022.

Artistic vision for writing project
I will continue in my established nonfiction writing practice to tell stories of my rural Minnesota Irish family, expanding to family’s forgotten Canada. When possible, I will write in first person and present tense, engage readers in Irish family history detective work as it happens, writing in notebooks to capture thoughts and events. Readers imagine they are walking with me in rural Minnesota and Canada. My Great Great-Grandfather Michael J. Walsh Sr. (1812, Ireland -1901, Murdock), lived 35 years in Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada before homesteading in Swift County, Minnesota. Wolfe Island is an island in St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, about four miles from the port of Kingston, accessible by ferry, and part of archipelago of Thousand Islands.

Here’s a few items I’ll be researching and doing in Ontario: 

  • Researching at Queen’s University Library in Kingston, Rare Books and Special Collections department and Archives, Wolfe Island Historical society and more
  • Visiting St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kingston where Great Great-Grandparents Walsh married
  • Riding the Wolfe Islander IV – Wolfe Island to Kingston ferry, Kingston to Wolfe Island, see new ferry at YouTube. View daily ferry schedule.
  • Searching of Irish settlements of Great Famine refugees, Wolfe Island
  • Visiting the Catholic church on Wolfe Island where eight babies in my family were baptized
  • Meeting residents and historians
  • Learning about geography, location, history, a place of refuge for numerous peoples, including Underground Railroad
  • Writing to capture my thoughts, combine with historical facts

History and writing mentors

I’ll be working with two mentors as part of this grant, seeking feedback and guidance along the way.

  • Rev. Gary E. Mills, Th. D., Director Swift County Historical Society, Benson, Minnesota, with 50 years of work related to genealogy and family histories,
  •  Ms. Tracy Ross, MFA in writing, published poet, nonfiction author, and educator
    RossPoet.org

Project Hashtags

  • #IrishDiasporaSMACMcKnight 
  • #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective  

Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. Walsh is recipient of a Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Growth Grant funded by the McKnight Foundation, 2022-2024. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.


This activity is made possible by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council with funds from The McKnight Foundation.

Subscribe – Get updates on latest blogs and news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

My dad’s 1953 travels bypass England due to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation

PHOTO DETAILS, above – This is a part of a letter written at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland by the late Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota, to his family at home in Minnesota, 1953.

Letters home to Minnesota from Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, and Paris

Jannet L. Walsh
September 14, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: Marty Walsh, Seaside, south of Belfast, May 1953.

It’s May 13, 1953, and my dad is staying at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, room 414, according to the hotel register. He’s having trouble booking a hotel room in England before traveling to France, and heading back to the United States. The big snag for his travel is in London, with Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation just a few weeks away, June 2, 1958.

My late father Martin J. Walsh Jr., age 28, (1924-2008), from Murdock, Minnesota, was on a trip of a lifetime in 1953. His nickname was Marty to avoid confusion with his Martin J. Walsh Sr., (1886-1985), with the nickname of Mart. My father spent his entire career working as a telegrapher and station manager for the Great Northern and Burlington Northern Railroad, 1943 to December 31, 1984. He was working for the same railroad, but the name changed. Learn more about my dad’s vintage Kodachrome images from Ireland at my website, and featured at IrishCentral, Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images.

1950s Murdock, Minnesota – Jennie and Martin Walsh Sr., Murdock, Minnesota, parents of Martin J. Walsh Jr.

During my father’s trip in 1953, his mother, Mary Jannet “Jennie” Walsh, was writing him at American Express offices in Belfast, Dublin, and Paris, about news from home, Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota.  The family was living in the village of Murdock, the same location I live today. The 1950 US Census lists my father living at home with his parents and was likely saving his money from the railroad to finance his travels.  I only have a handful of remaining letters and postcards, all with postage stamps have been removed from the envelopes as he was a stamp collector.

Today 69 years have passed since my father’s trip to Europe. It’s now September 12, 2022, about 9:30 am, CST, and I’m at home in Murdock, watching BBC.com coverage of the late Queen Elizabeth II as her coffin is carried on the shoulders of the Royal Regiment of Scotland into St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland for a service of reflection. I find myself crying as the coffin draped with the Royal Standard enters the ancient cathedral dating to 1124.

I’ve walked the street known as the Royal Mile, past St. Giles’ in the late 1990s, visiting the Camera Obscura, the Esplanade, St. Margaret’s Chapel, and Edinburgh Castle. The world watches as Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, the 16th Duke of Hamilton, places the Crown of Scotland on the coffin of the Queen. During my trip to Edinburgh, I heard the 105mm field gun fire at 1 pm, and visited the Crown Room where the Crown of Scotland is kept, the very same crown resting on the Queen’s coffin at St. Giles’. See video from St. Giles’ at the DailyMail.com

Why am I am I crying? Did my father  travel to England in 1953? On the way to Belfast, Northern Ireland, my father stopped at Gander International Airport, located in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, one of the busiest airports in the world in the 1950s, helping refuel airplanes for transoceanic travel, according to history at Gander International Airport.

Martin J. Walsh Jr., US Passport, 1953

Edinburgh and my family
My great grandmother Mary McGinty Walsh (1859-1952) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to an Irish family. In the mid-nineteenth century in Ireland the majority of McGinty households were located in County Donegal, 114, and more were dispersed around Ireland, according to John Grenham’s Irish surname website. Mary married Michael John Walsh Jr., (1858-1929) born in Ontario, Canada, my great grandfather. The couple lived next door to my Martin and Jennie Walsh Sr., my grandparents, in Murdock, the house that’s next door to me today. Folklore about my great grandmother Mary includes her being born on a ship in the harbor of Edinburgh when the family was arriving from Ireland or departing Scotland, but the facts are unknown. Learn more about my Canadian Irish family at my website.

My family severed ties to Great Britain, 1888
It was September 18, 1888, 124 years ago this week, my great great-grandfather Michael J. Walsh Sr., (born County Kilkenny, Ireland) and great grandfather Michael J. Walsh Jr.,(born Kingston, Ontario, Canada), appeared in the Swift County District Court, Benson, Minnesota, to solemnly swear to support the Constitution of the United States, and renounce specifically Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, reigning from 1837-1901. They were joined by J. C. Collins and M. J. Comerford as witnesses sworn to give personal knowledge of five years knowing my family to become citizens of the United States. When my family left Ireland under British Rule in the mid 1800s, moving to Ontario and New Brunswick, Canada, they did not escape from Britain governance.  Canada today is still part of the British Commonwealth. King Charles III, as of Aug. 8, 2022, is now King of Canada after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, according to CBC Canada news.

1973 Canadian postage stamp with Queen Elizabeth II

Emotional reaction
I never met Queen Elizabeth in person and have no allegiance to the United Kingdom, yet my thoughts on why I cried while watching the late Queen Elizabeth’s coffin rest in St. Giles’ in Edinburgh is simple to explain. I’m human, and many people around the world are mourning the loss of this royal woman, spending 70 years in the public spotlight. Photographs and videos were shown around the world of the Queen and her new prime minister Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle in Scotland taken by Jane Barlow, photographer with PA Media, Sept. 6, 2022, two days before the death of the Queen.  The last public photo session shows the Queen wearing a cardigan, blouse, plaid skirt, and her classic black handbag draped over her left arm. It was apparent the Queen was frail as she holds in her left hand a cane. The cane had my attention thinking of my own family members no longer living.  Royal or not, we are human, entering and departing all with uncertainty.


Daily Mail, video: Queen was ‘frail’ says photographer who took last picture of her | Queen Elizabeth death reaction


The late Queen’s life differs in one certain area from most of the world as she inherited a troubled history of British colonization she did not start.  This topic is of great interest in countries wanting to cut ties with the United Kingdom. “Some critics of the royal family see last week’s death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch as an opportunity to re-envision the monarchy’s role and to finally acknowledge the struggles of all those who were affected by British imperialism around the world and in Britain itself,” writes Anisha Kohli of Time, Queen Elizabeth II’s Death Is a Chance to Examine the Present-Day Effects of Britain’s Colonial Past, Sept. 13, 2022.

Digging deeper, letter home to Minnesota from Dublin and Paris, 1953
My thoughts returned to my father about this 1953 trip to Europe as I remember him writing his folks back home in Minnesota about wanting to travel to England. I needed to find out if my father travelled to England.

Letter, May 13, 1953, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
Pulling out a letter from Wednesday, May 13, 1953, written on Shelbourne Hotel stationary, I start searching for answers to my father’s travel plans. This Dublin hotel is located next to St. Stephen’s Green, dating back to 1824, and is the location the Constitution of the Irish Free State was drafted with Michael Collins a chairman, February to May 1922, according to the Shelbourne. I was able to search in the Shelbourne’s Museum for my father’s hotel registration in May 1953 with I visited in June 2018.

Shelbourne Hotel register, 1953

He writes his mother, known by her nickname Jennie, and notes he was receiving her letters just fine at American Express offices in Belfast and Dublin.

Shelbourne Hotel register, 1953

I took the train from Belfast to Dublin yesterday and I am at Dublin at present.  It is a very nice place, and I am taking a tour today. It goes to Glendalough and Avoca, and I am writing this on the bus while waiting for it to go out.  They have the most wonderful flowers in Dublin that I have never seen, peonies and tulips. I went to Mass today.

Martin J. Walsh Jr., May 13, 1953, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

Getting to the point about travel to England, he writes, “I plan to stay here [Dublin] about a week and then go to England and France.  In England I may not stay hardly at all because the people are starting to come in for the coronation and it makes rooms etc. hard to get.  I am planning on going to Lourdes while in France.”

Galway, Ireland – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: A small village near Galway, Ireland. May 14, 1953.

My father writes about preparations for the coronation he saw in Northern Ireland before traveling to Dublin, and a list of gifts for the family back in Minnesota.  “The people over here are very friendly, and the weather has been quite good.  Northern Ireland is making ready for the coronation, and they have flags up with bunting etc.  I have a pair of gloves for you, two pipes for Dad, a sweater for Agnes and Margaret. The train was very nice from Belfast to Dublin.” Agnes and Margaret are my father’s sisters, my aunts.

The Customs House, Dublin – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: O’ Connell Bridge Dublin. Customs House, May 1953.

On the third page of this letter, my father makes a comment about British Rule and touring, “The south of Ireland is very nice as they don’t have the British Rule. . . . The bus driver on the tour is very interesting, and I know you would have liked him.  I hope you are fine.  Cordially, Martin.”

View from Shelbourne, Dublin – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: Dublin, Ireland. View from Hotel window. Hotel Shelbourne, overlooking St. Stephens Green. May 1953.

Letter, May 15, 1953, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
The next letter my father talks about spotting royalty and a film star during his travels, and puts clarity to his travel plans.

“Dear Mother, . . . I have been in Dublin five days and it is a very beautiful city. . . . I saw Prince Aly Khan and Gene Tierney riding horseback in County Kildare during a bus trip I took on Friday. They have some very beautiful horses down there and all of Ireland is very beautiful. I was to Galway Bay, and I plan on taking the Killarney tour on Tuesday as it goes out only once a week.”

MEXICO: ALI KHAN AND GENE TIERNEY: (1954)

He mentions in his letter about taking some pictures, Kodachromes, and having them developed in Dublin, and they turned out good. I didn’t find any photos of the Khan and Tierney in my father’s photographs, but he did write about the famous couple to his mother, so it must be as he wrote as fact. View my father’s 1953 Kodachromes online from Ireland.

Prince Aly Khan was a socialite, diplomat from Pakistan, racehorse owner and jockey, and son of Aga Khan, a prominent religious leader to more than 15 million Ismaili Muslims, according to Anne Edwards, of Vanity Fair. Gene Tierney was a film star and actress dating Prince Khan in 1953.  The couple attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in London with a location offering a bird’s-eye view of the Queen’s coronation route, according to Glamour of the Silver Screen.

My father’s Kodachromes give two possible locations in County Kildare where he viewed the prince and actress in Ireland.  One of the photos from May 1953, no date given, was taken at the Curragh Race Track, located in County Kildare.  The slide is labeled, “Curragh Race Track, note sheep.  May 1953, between towns of Newbridge and Kildare.”  The sheep were busy eating and trimming the grass at the same time.

Curragh Race Track, County Kildare – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: Curragh Race Track, note sheep. May 1953. Note: Between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare.

The other likely location my father spotted Khan and Tierney was at the farms of the Irish National Stud and Gardens, County Kildare. He captured a photo of a mare and foal grazing in a green paddock.  The slide is labeled, “View taken from the Japanese Gardens. This was taken on a cloudy day.  The National Stud is kept in this farm field.  May 15, 1953.”

Irish National Stud and Gardens – Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome, removed from mount for scanning: Information written on slide: View taken from the Japanese Gardens. This was taken on a cloudy day. The National Stud is kept in this farm field. May 15, 1953.

Letter, May 23, 1953, Le Grand Hotel Du Louvre, Paris
In Paris, France, my father stayed at Le Grand Hotel Du Louvre according to his letter home to his mother.  On May 23, 1953, he writes he’s been in the Paris for three days, and already toured the Palace of Versailles where the peace treaty was signed after World War I, 1919, and also mentions people getting suntans along the river Seine.

I flew down from Dublin on Wednesday as I wanted to bypass England as the coronation would make this too crowded.  I could see England from the air, and it looks very nice.”

Martin J. Walsh Jr., May 23, 1953, Le Grand Hotel Du Lourve, Paris

My father took a short trip to Lourdes, France, and bought a panoramic print of the city that still is displayed above the upright piano today at my home. He departed Le Harve, France, May 28, 1953, for New York City on the S. S. United States.

S. S. United States – Photo taken in the 1950s held in public domain, digitized by the State Library of Queensland. Learn more about the S. S. United States Conservancy.

My father had one chance in his life to visit England, but changed his travels due to preparations for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. I was delighted to read in his letters he viewed England, the island of Great Britain, from the air, flying from Dublin to Paris. He received an unexpected gift and memory he carried for a lifetime back home to Minnesota. I might call this the Queen’s coronation gift to my father for a journey disturbed.



Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.


Book draft submitted, Irish Canadian genealogy search underway

PHOTO DETAILS, above – Jannet L. Walsh captures an image with her iPhone reflected on car door windows during a recent visit to Sacred Heart Cemetery, Murdock, Minnesota, Aug. 26, 2022. This was one of many visits for checking dates and details of family member’s graves. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh © 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Global readership, highlights of Summer 2022

Jannet L. Walsh
September 1, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

Greetings from Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota USA!

Summer is almost over, and fall is fast approaching approaching, arriving September 22, 2022, here in the Northern Hemisphere. This blog post is short, with a few highlights from this summer. I’ve included links to blogs and stories at the bottom of page from this summer. A full list of blogs can be found at the blog page.


Readers, visitors to website, thank you!

JannetWalsh.com

Global Readership, thank you! – Thank you to all the readers from around the world viewing this blog! I really appreciate your continued support and interest in topics related to searching for Irish family history, travel, and the Irish Diaspora.

The majority of the readers of my blog are from United States and Canada, followed next by Ireland and United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and numerous countries in Europe. There’s readers from about 50 countries around the world reading monthly. Readers are from the following continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. No readers yet from Antarctica. It’s amazing to see more readers of my blog than the small city I live in Murdock, Minnesota, population 306, according to 2020 US Census. If you find my blogs helpful, please let me know by using the Contact page. If there’s a topic you are interested in learning more about related to Irish family history or travel to Ireland, let me know.


Book Draft – I submitted the draft of my book to my publisher on August 28, 2022. There’s more stages to come before it’s published, and I’ll be happy to share. As this is my first book, there’s a lot to learn about the publishing process of a nonfiction book.  See more details about my book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota.

Follow on social media!
I invite you, if you haven’t already, to subscribe to my social media and website to receive notices when new blog posts are published. Learn more at my Online profile page.

Best wishes,
Jannet L. Walsh
Irish Family History Detective
#IrishFamilyHistoryDetective


Summer 2022 Highlights

Hunting for Irish Canadian family?

Read about searching for details about Jannet L. Walsh’s Irish family, spending 35 years in Ontario Canada before settling as pioneers in rural Dublin Township, Swift County Minnesota. Numerous genealogy resources included, see blog.

Father’s Day 2022, vintage 1953 Irish Kodachromes

Read story about Martin J. Walsh’s 1953 trip to Ireland and his vintage Kodachrome images, see blog. Story featured at IrishCentral, see shorter version.

Irish travel – Story featured at IrishCentral

Read story featured at IrishCentral by Jannet L. Walsh about travel essential for travel to Ireland, see blog.

Top 10 tips for beginning your Irish genealogy search

Read story featured at IrishCentral by Jannet L. Walsh about tips for searching for Irish genealogy, see blog.

Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota

Learn about forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, see book page.

Featured story at Kerkhoven, Minnesota newspaper

Read story featured at Kerkhoven newspaper about Jannet L. Walsh, see blog.

Audio posted from Swift County Historical Society, Minnesota

Listen to audio recoding of Jannet L. Walsh about her Irish American family living in rural Minnesota, see blog.

Bohermore – Finding exact location of family photograph in Galway, Ireland

Read story about finding location in Galway of Martin J. Walsh’s photos from 1953, see blog.

Recent Irish Diaspora stories, 2022-2022

Read recent stories by Jannet L. Walsh related to Irish family history and Irish Diaspora, see page.


Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.


Subscribe to blog – Get blog and website updates on latest news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Travel essentials to keep your Irish eyes smiling feature at IrishCentral, Aug. 19, 2022

Gap of Dunloe, above – Last view looking back at the Gap of Dunloe located near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo taken by Jannet L. Walsh, Jan. 2, 2019, about 10:30 am, before heading to the Kerry Airport. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh


Plan, pack and travel – What you need to travel smart, safe to Ireland

Jannet L. Walsh
Aug. 19, 2022
Murdock, Minnesota

I’m excited to announce my latest travel story just published at IrishCentral, Travel essentials to keep your Irish eyes smiling. See also longer version of this story at my blog.

Enjoy!

Read story on travel essentials for Ireland at IrishCentral.

View of pages at IrishCentral – Travel and Home, Aug. 20, 2022

Travel page feature Read story on travel essentials for Ireland at IrishCentral.
Home page feature Read story on travel essentials for Ireland at IrishCentral.

Facebook, Twitter at IrishCentral



Shamrock Cottage – Side view of Shamrock Cottage located in Black Valley near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, December 2018.

Busy afternoon traffic in Dublin – Driving from Dublin Airport by taxi over the O’Connell Bridge and River Liffey, cars, double decker buses, bicyclists, cars and pedestrians merge near the D’Olier Street and O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin, about 4 pm, January 2, 2019. The large building on the left with the Heineken advertisement on the facade is called the O’Connell Bridge House. Learn more about the architecture of the large 1965 building, and what the locals think of the structure. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.


Subscribe to blog – Get blog and website updates on latest news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Uncovering Irish Canadian family genealogy from archipelago Thousand Islands – Wolfe Island and Kingston, Ontario Canada

1915 Wedding, Murdock, Minnesota

Wedding 1915 – Irish, Canadian and American – A formal wedding photograph of Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley Walsh, left seated, with husband Martin J. Walsh Sr., Murdock, Minnesota, standing left. They are joined by Mary Ann “Maime” Foley Walsh, sister of the bride, and Henry L. Walsh, brother of the bride. The wedding was Nov, 4, 1915, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Murdock, Minnesota. Mary Ann and Henry married Jan. 8, 1919. The children of the two couples became double first cousins, meaning the cousins share two sets of grandparents, Foley and Walsh, instead of one set of grandparents.


Missing details appear 163 years after wedding at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, baptisms at Wolfe Island Parish Church

Jannet L. Walsh
August 16, 2022
Dublin Township, Swift County
Murdock, Minnesota

The game is afoot to uncover my Irish and Canadian family’s unknown and lost 35 years of history on the largest island part of the Thousand Islands in Canada. I’m digging up documents my ancestors left from their lives in Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada, before homesteading in rural Minnesota. Perseverance and Irish wit were certainly perfected en route to the United States. It’s a gift that’s certainly been passed to me, and other family members.

1950s in Murdock, Minnesota – Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley Walsh with husband Martin J. Walsh Sr., Murdock, Minnesota, both are from Irish backgrounds. Their Irish families emigrated to New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada, before homesteading in rural Minnesota. Photo was taken in the 1950s by their son Martin J. Walsh Jr., an amateur photographer. Read more about Martin’s vintage Kodachromes and trip to Ireland, 1953.

One of my Irish ancestors made his journey as a widower from Ireland before the Great Famine, 1845-1852, stopping off first with his oldest son in Canada for an extended stay of 35 years, long enough to get married a second time, work as a farmer, raise a generation of eight Canadian born children with his second wife. That’s exactly what my Great Great-Grandfather Michael J. Walsh Sr. did (1812, County Kilkenny, Ireland -1901, Murdock, Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota).

1901 Obituary – This is the obituary of Michael John Walsh Sr., published in the Murdock Voice, December 12, 1901, Murdock, Minnesota. Sourced is the Swift County Historical Society, Benson, Minnesota.

Obituaries and church documents
With a copy of my Great Great-Grandfather Michael John Walsh Sr.’s obituary from the Murdock Voice, December 12, 1901, Murdock, Minnesota, and help from the Swift County Historical Society in Benson, Minnesota, I’m understanding more about my Canadian and Irish family. Michael Sr. was 89 years when he died in Murdock, and was a world and continent away from his native County Kilkenny in Ireland. It was in 1842 he travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean by ship, likely a timber ship as Canada was exporting lumber to Europe, and brought back passengers as human ballast. Weight helped to give stability to ocean going vessels, keeping ships trimmed, and riding lower in water. Ship owners also needed to make a profit when they returned with their ships to Canada from Europe, and took immigrants as their new trade and cargo, according to the Library and Archives of Canada education series, A Scattering of Seed, The Creation of Canada.

Lured to Canada from Ireland
Exactly why did my ancestors travel from Ireland to Canada? There’s several reasons, but it’s possible they read advertisements or posters pasted just about anywhere in County Kilkenny about ships departing for Canada. Online publication with Library and Archives Canada, cites from Flight from Famine, The coming of the Irish to Canada by Donald MacKay, a few very interesting reasons on how many of the Irish decided to head to Canada.

Emigrants were lured by agents, sent into the countryside to recruit as many emigrants as possible to fill space. These agents were paid by the number of passengers they could attract. They often gave exaggerated descriptions of shipboard facilities, with assurances that the voyage would be short and provisions abundant.”
Library and Archives Canada, Flight from Famine, The coming of the Irish to Canada by Donald MacKay

Many Irish people, including my family, were seeking new lives beyond the island of Ireland related to food shortages, religious discrimination, political and economic unrest, and wanted brighter futures for themselves, their children, and future generations. The Irish traveled to Canada, then called British North American until 1867 when it became a country, the Dominion of Canada, 1867, according to the Parliament of Canada.

Great Great-Grandfather Michael married his first wife Mary Moran in 1829 in Ireland, and she died in 1831, leaving one son named Patrick Walsh, according to the Murdock Voice obituary. It could be his first wife’s name was actually Bridget Moran as recorded in the marriage record, November 2, 1857, to second wife Catherine Summers, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario Canada. View marriage record at FamilySearch, or see document posted below, or view document as PDF. [Note: You need to register a free account to view documents at FamilySearch.]

It look me 10 years to find the graves in Minnesota of my Great Great- Grandparents Michael John Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers Walsh, enlisting help, always coming up short, although the cemetery is three miles from my home.  The very same day I found their digital records online at FamilySearch, at no cost.

Marriage record of Michael Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario Canada, November 2, 1857

On this second day of November one thousand eight hundred and fifty seven, after one publication of marriage bans at the Parochial Mass the second and third having been dispensed with, the undersigned Administrator have married Michael Walsh, widower of deceased Bridget Moran of Long Island to Catherine Summers, daughter of Martin Summers and of Teresa Keough of this City. Witnesses were John Hawkins and Jane Rathwell. Patrick Dollard, Administrator [Roman Catholic Priest]”

Marriage record of Michael Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, ONtario, Canada, VIew document at original Source FamilySearch.
Record of marriage 1857 – Marriage record of Michael Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario. View document at original Source FamilySearch.
Handwritten record book – Marriage record of Michael Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario. V document at original Source FamilySearch.

There were 26 years between the death of his first wife Mary or Bridget. Michael Sr., about age 46, was likely informing the Catholic priest, Rev. Dollard of his marriage history personally. Of course details are only as good as they are recorded and delivered for recording.


In the case of the obituary stating Mary Moran as Michael Sr.’s first wife, this was information supplied by the family for the newspaper to the best of their memory, and information might not have been written, or simply forgotten. In any case, Mary or Bridget, or even Mary Bridget or Bridget Mary was my Great Great-Grandfather first wife, and they had one son named Patrick. It’s also very likely Patrick was born the same day his dear mother died related to giving birth, maternal death. These are details that are just lost.


I can remember my father’s surprise on his face when he learned of the previous marriage of Michael Sr., and of the first son named Patrick. If Patrick was born the same year his mother died, 1831, or even as early as 1829, he was likely age 8 to 10 when he arrived with his father in Canada. At the time of his father’s second marriage, Patrick was a young man, 24 to 26. He is mentioned twice in his father’s obituary with the statement, “Patrick is now residing in Philadelphia.” He is also listed first in the series of nine children mourning for his father. It’s unknown if Patrick traveled to Minnesota with his family, or when he went to Philadelphia.

Typical Irish naming order steps back a generation
At this time, the details stop on Patrick, except for details related to traditional naming of Irish boys. During the 1700s and 1800s the Irish liked to use a precise way of naming their children giving a suggestions to their previous generations, according to Irish Reaching Out. The naming tradition for the first born Irish son of a family is to be named after the paternal grandfather, his father’s father.

There is no name known of the father of my Great Great-Grandfather Michael. His first born son is Patrick. If the naming pattern was used, Michael’s father was named Patrick Walsh. Learn more about the full details for Irish boys and girls at Irish Reaching Out and FamilySearch.


Long Island
The location of Long Island is mentioned as the place of residence of my Great Great-Grandfather Michael in the marriage record of 1857. Long Island is a name given to many islands, including the famous Long Island in New York state. The book title Ganounkouesnot, The Long Island Standing Up! by the late author Renie Marshall certainly gives a hint to uncover the location of Long Island. Wolfe Island has gone by many names through history, including Long Island. It’s most likely the Long Island mentioned in his marriage record with Catherine Summers in 1857 is Wolfe Island.

Authentic First Nation nameKawehnóhkwes tsi kawè, Long Island Standing
Ganounkouesnot is often the given native name for Wolfe island, but has no meaning in the Tyendinaga Mohawk language, view related details.

Wolfe Island is part of the traditional hunting lands of the Tyendinaga Mohawk people and the original name in Mohawk is Kawehnóhkwes tsi kawè, meaning Long Island Standing. In 2021, the Township of Frontenac Islands voted officially to accept the name of Kawehnóhkwes tsi kawè, and added it to the signs welcoming visitors to Wolfe Island, according to Wolfe Island Network Facebook page, with translations below.

Mohawk Spelling – te’kwanonwerá:ton tsi (Welcome to)
Phonetically spoken – watt-wa-noon-wear-adon ge

Mohawk Spelling – kawehnóhkwes tsi kawè:note (Long Island Standing)
Phonetically spoken – ga-way-no-gwess ge ga-way-no-day


French and English Rule names, Wolfe Island
Grand Island was the name given during French regime. Wolfe Island is named in honor of General James Wolfe under British Rule, according to History of Wolfe Island by Mrs. James Hawkins, 1967, published at the Wolfe Island Community website. General Wolfe was the commander of the British during the capture of Quebec from the French, 1759, starting British authority in Canada, according to Britannia.

Long Island

The French referred to the island as Grande Ile, however

the name Long Island was used until relatively recent

times.

Wolf Island: Frontenac County, Early History, The Islands: Wolfe Islands

Other possible Long Islands
I have included three islands named Long Island, 41 to 122 miles away from Kingston below. The Long Island located near Ottawa is 122 miles from Kingston, but there was a canal being built and a village on the island, and might have been a place of employment before getting married.


Grosse Isle, Immigration
Ireland at the time of my family’s emigration from Ireland in the 1800s was ruled by the British, and continued until 1922. Canada was also ruled by the British, and the Irish needed a place of refuge to escape oppression and poverty. Many of the new immigrants arriving in Canada went to Grosse Isle, or La Grosse-Île in French, an island located in the St. Lawrence River, down river from Quebec City, according to CBC Learning. Grosse Isle is where tens of thousands of immigrants landed, serving as a quarantine station for the Port of Quebec, 1832 to 1937, states Parks Canada. It’s likely my family passed through this island, but it’s something to research. Kingston to Quebec City is about 340 miles away on the St. Lawrence River.

Research difficulties, Walsh family
My Foley and Brennan family lines through my late grandmother, my namesake, Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley Walsh (1886 -1985) is associated with St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, location her grandparents Ellen Brennan Foley and William Foley married, both from County Kerry, Ireland. My grandmother’s father Stephen Foley was born in Calais, Maine, just the other side of St. Stephen on the Canadian and US borders, separated by the St. Croix River. Her family ties directly back to a point of origin at Dromkerry Townland in rural County Kerry, Ireland.

My research on my Walsh family line related to my late grandfather Martin J. Walsh Sr., (1887 -1988), husband of Jennie, has missing details to a specific location in Ireland, only the entire County Kilkenny. Grandfather Martin was of the first generation of his family born in the United States, with his father Michael John Walsh Jr. born in Kingston, Ontario, and his grandfather Michael John Walsh Sr. born in Ireland.

A townland, a small geographic division of land in Ireland, is vital for pinpointing the exact origins of my Walsh ancestors. Not knowing a townland of origin, combined with the last name of Walsh, a very common name in County Kilkenny with about 1,420 Walsh households between 1849-50, according to John Grenham’s website . I’ve tried in the past, more than one to enlist help of professional generalists, but no person would help because of the common name of Walsh and no specific location or townland. It’s likely I will never pinpoint a place of origin in County Kilkenny, but I have other ideas about my Walsh family in Canada.

I am now slowly starting to uncover documents of my Irish and Canadian ancestors on Wolfe Island, Ontario, the largest island part of Thousand Islands archipelago between Canada and the US border along the St. Lawrence River where Lake Ontario meets. Wolfe Island is known for farming, an important location for shipping in the Great Lakes, and has been home to many groups of refugees, including the Irish. This island was part of the Underground Railroad for black fleeing slavery from the United States finding freedom for the first time, according to Wolfe Island, A Legacy in Stone by Barbara Wall La Rocque.

Included in the new discovery is the city of Kingston, Ontario, located a few miles by ferry boat from Wolfe Island, and the city my Great Great-Grandparents Michael John Walsh Sr. and Catherine Summers married in 1857.

I’ve known since childhood about my father’s family and connections to Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada. I recall my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota, telling stories in the living room at the home of grandparents in the 1970s, the same place I call home today. I’m sure my father wanted to visit Wolfe Island, but never did.
Journey from Kingston, Ontario to Swift County, Minnesota
My family left Wolfe Island in 1877, 145 years ago as of 2022. One of my second cousins heard the story of our Walsh ancestors traveling from Kingston, then setting out west across Canada, and then south, down to Minnesota. It’s likely they traveled with an oxen team and cart as did my Foley family from Maine to Minnesota, but details are lost for now.

Baptism Record of Michael John Walsh Jr., 1858
I know of no family member that has returned to Wolfe Island as this would be an event to share, and stories to be told, and told again. Wolfe Island is a very specific location, and I have Roman Catholic church documents dating back to 1857 in Kingston, Ontario, and now the baptism record of my Great Grandfather Michael John Walsh Jr. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Wolfe Island, to 1858. Baptism records of this period area similar to day’s birth certificates, often revealing unknown or forgotten details. I found an index for baptisms at Sacred Heart Church on Wolfe Island, 1833 to 1910, at The Island: Sacred Heart baptisms, Wolfe Island website, listing eight children baptized of my Great Great-Grandparents. There is also an online catalogues for searching for records found at FamilySearch specific to Wolfe Island and Kingston, with digitized record books revealing handwritten documents.

Searching Canadian Provinces
You can also search Canadian Provinces or locations at FamilySearch to find records across Canada. I’ve found it’s good to know a city, county and province for locating church related documents, especially in the 1800s Canada. It is also vital to know the date or year, and names of ancestors you are searching for as many documents need to be viewed page by page, reading handwritten documents can take some time, with upwards of 100 or more pages in each digitized record book.


First generation born in United States – The late Martin J. Walsh Sr. reads his newspapers in the 1940s or early 1950s at home in Murdock, Minnesota. He is from the first generation of his family to be born in the United States. His father was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and his grandfather originated from County Kilkenny, Ireland. This black and white slide image was taken by his son Martin J. Walsh Jr., an amateur photographer. Read more about Martin’s vintage Kodachromes and trip to Ireland, 1953.

Listed below is what I’ve been able to make out of the handwritten baptism record of my Great-Grandfather Michael Walsh Jr., born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His baptism record lists him as being born on October 14, 1858, while his obituary list October 15, 1858, according to the Murdock Leader, March 14, 1929. He died March 11, 1929, age 70, at home at in Murdock. His home was next door to where I live today. Here is a direct link to his baptism record at FamilySearch, can be viewed below, or download as PDF.

It’s my hope, and quest, to one day board the ferry from Kingston, Ontario and head out to Wolfe Island, Canada, connecting 143 years, since 1877, when my family departed for yet another new life as pioneering settlers in Minnesota.

Baptism Record of Michael John Walsh Jr., Oct. 18, 1858
Scared Heart Catholic Church, Wolfe Island, Ontario Canada

Michael Walsh – On this 18th day of Oct 1858 this undersigned priest baptized Michael born on the 14th Inst and of the lawful marriage of Michael Walsh “farmer” & Catherine Summers of this Parrish Sponsors Daniel Baker & Mary Walsh.

John Foley Priest

VIew document at original Source FamilySearch.
Baptism Record of Michael John Walsh Sr., Oct. 18, 1858 – View at original source at FamilySearch, can be viewed below, or download as PDF.
Baptism Record of Michael John Walsh Sr., Oct. 18, 1858 – View at original source at FamilySearch, can be viewed below, or download as PDF.

Resources to search for Irish and Canadian ancestors

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada – Author Jannet L. Walsh, in front of the Empress Hotel, near Victoria Harbour, Aug. 11, 2019.

* Irish Immigration to Canada, learn more at The Canadian Encyclopedia online

* Google Search – Simply do a Google search, or use another search engine, to locate Canadian genealogy documents, and see what you find. Try to be specific, with names, dates, location and other details. Here is the search for the Wolfe Island documents I found using key terms of Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada, and Baptism Records.

* FamilySearch – Start searching at FamilySearch.org for genealogy records. This is the site I found marriage records to my Great Great-Grandparents in at the Cathedral in Kingston dating back to 1857, and baptism records on Wolfe Island, Ontario. You might be able to search, but will need a free account to view and download documents.

* Free resources – You will find numerous non-subscription databases at the National Archives, Washington, DC. Look at listing for state archives offering free access to paid resources. You might already have access in your city, county or state as part of public services and resources.

* Irish Genealogy Toolkit by Clair Santry, has impressive and comprehensive resources of Canadian immigration resources, view her website.

* Ancestry is a very helpful resource for searching for genealogy, and requires a paid membership. Check with your local libraries, historical societies and museums offering free access in your local area.

Archives, Canadian immigration


Canadian Wilderness, Francis King Regional Park – Western Red Cedars at the Francis King Regional Park near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. This park features old growth Douglas Firs, 650 years old. John Fraser, a nature enthusiast, gives guided nature hikes in the forest.

Canadian Provinces, search by locations – See FamilySearch, select Places within Canada, and see listing by topics. Searching by location is to find detail to a specific location, see search at FamilySearch website, sign in to search.

Library and Archives Canada – Learn how to begin genealogy search, research by topic and place, research tools, links, and how to get help. Read details at Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

National Archives Ireland – Genealogy services free in person in Dublin and online, census records, resources, glossary, digitized collections and more. Read details at website of National Archives Ireland.

Ontario, Canada Roman Catholic Records – Search records by counties at FamilySearch for church records from 1760 to 1923, view search.

Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec, Canada, 1832-1837, search records at Library and Archives Canada.

The New Brunswick Irish Portal, listing of databases from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Canada, search website

Victoria Harbour – Author Jannet L. Walsh, standing on upper level of city parking building with Victoria Harbour in background, Victoria, BC, Canada, Aug. 17, 2019. | Photo by Bethany Schmidt, used with permission.

Census Records, Canadian

Canadian Census records at FamilySearch, 1881 to 1901, search collection.

Canadian Census records, 1825 to 1926, search records at Library and Archives Canada.

Canadian Births and Baptism, 1661-1959, search at FamilySearch

Canadian Marriages 1661-1949, search at FamilySearch

Canadian Deaths and Burials, 1664-1955, search at FamilySearch

Passenger Lists

The Ships List, Irish passenger lists from Ireland to Canada, 1823 – 1825, see Peter Robinson Setters from Cork to Canada.

Passenger lists for Port Quebec City and other Canadian Ports, 1865-1922, search records at Library and Archies Canada.

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1881-1922, search at FamilySearch

Immigrant Ships Transcriber Guild, listing of ships dating be the 1700s, search listing

Wolfe Island and Kingston

History of Wolfe Island, Wolfe Island’s roots date back to 1675 by Floyd Patterson, The Kingston Whig Standard.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Wolfe Island, Ontario Canada – Index to baptisms, 1833 to 1910, see The Island: Sacred Heart baptisms, Wolfe Island website.

Wolfe Island, Frontenac County, Ontario index cemeteries, census records, church records, genealogy, history, land and property, see FamilySearch Catalog, keywords Canada, Ontario, Frontenac.

Church records, Ontario and including Kingston, see Frontenac County, at FamilySearch


About the writer – Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and her other social media channels, with hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.

Canadian Wilderness – Jannet L. Walsh stands next to a 650 year old Douglas Fir at the Francis King Regional Park near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, a regional park, and a hidden gem. | Photo by John Fraser, Aug. 9, 2019. John Fraser, a nature enthusiast, gives guided nature hikes in the forest.


Subscribe to blog – Get blog and website updates on latest news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Travel to Ireland essentials, keep Irish eyes smiling

Crosstown Cottage, Killarney – The featured photograph above is a view of Crosstown Cottage located in near Killarney town, County Kerry, Ireland. Learn more about this cottage at Airbnb. Find out more about the forthcoming nonfiction book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota.



Pack, plan for adventure smarter

Tour Ireland with an Irish jaunting carSee video at YouTube.

Jannet L. Walsh
July 27, 2022
Dublin Township, Swift County
Murdock, Minnesota

Do as I say about packing and planning trips to Ireland, and not what I do.

Luggage at Kerry Airport – Bags packed and ready for air travel on January 2, 2019, travel from Kerry to Dublin. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Packing and planning for international travel is especially difficult with news headlines include lost luggage, delayed, or cancelled flights, stranded passengers, all adding stress to international travel, including travel to the island of Ireland.

Now with five trips during my life to Ireland, and about four years living and working in Europe, I wish I could say I learned to minimize my luggage, but it’s challenging.

I’ve put together a list from official tourism travel websites from both countries in Ireland, Ireland.com, and other resources to lessen the stress of air travel. Northern Ireland has an official tourism website, Discover Northern Ireland. View and download a map of Ireland from Tourism Ireland, and more publications for inspiration and trip planning.



Busy afternoon traffic in Dublin – Driving from Dublin Airport by taxi over the O’Connell Bridge and River Liffey, cars, double decker buses, bicyclists, cars and pedestrians merge near the D’Olier Street and O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin, about 4 pm, January 2, 2019. The large building on the left with the Heineken advertisement on the facade is called the O’Connell Bridge House. Learn more about the architecture of the large 1965 building, and what the locals think of the structure. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Geography of Ireland, political borders

Island of Ireland, two countries:  Ireland and Northern Ireland
There are two countries on the island of Ireland. The country of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom (UK), is in the northeast corner of the island. The country of Ireland, independent from British rule since 1922, occupies most of the island of Ireland, with a shared border with Northern Island. It would be wise to avoid referencing the country of Ireland as Southern Ireland as there is no country by that name, and might not sit well with local Irish folks. The European Union lists Ireland as part of the 27 member countries. Northern Ireland, part of UK, is no longer part of the European Union, after departure on January 31, 2020, according to official Northern Ireland website.

Ireland – Download Map of Ireland as PDF from Irelandcom. More free publications and maps are available at Ireland’s official tourism website.

Constitutional name is Éire, Ireland
Take a glimpse at the Constitution of Ireland, Article 4, enacted by the Irish people, 1937, stating, “The name of the State is Éire, sound like EH-R-ah, or, in the English language, Ireland.” National Geographic for Kids, also great for adults, offers quick profiles of Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK), including, facts, history, culture, maps and more. Read more about Irish Constitution at Citizens Information.

Article 5 of the Irish Constitution states, “Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state.” If you are wondering if you should say Republic of Ireland, or Ireland, the official website of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, head of state, says on the home page, President of Ireland. Additionally, passports from Ireland read Éire and Ireland, on their cover, with no mention of Republic of Ireland. If you are ever asked to name the counties of Ireland, you can now reply: Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Official Travel Advisories
Citizens of the United States should check with official sources if you have any travel concerns, see U.S. Department of State for the latest Ireland Travel Advisory for updates, long with quick facts about vaccinations and more.  Northern Ireland is listed as United Kingdom.

How to say Taoiseach, languages of Ireland
The government of Ireland, a constitutional democracy, with the head of government, Taoiseach Michéal Martin. Taoiseach, sounds like tay-shuh, the Prime Minister of Ireland. Your ability to pronounce Taoiseach with ease will certainly gain brownie points with local Irish folks as it’s apparently a difficult word to say for people outside of Ireland. 

The Belfast Telegraph shares how United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Liz Truss missed the pronunciation of Taoiseach, instead saying tea sock. A tea sock is a filter used to strain tea leaves while serving and pouring tea. Learn about how the Irish speak, and their languages, ranging from English and Irish (Gaeilge) in Ireland, Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland, and the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas on the west coast. 

Irish government, Gardaí and Leinster House
While walking on Kildare Street in Dublin in early January 2019, I asked a smiling Irish police officer, Garda Síochána, the national police force of Ireland, or Gardaí, what was the name of the large house behind him. He replied, “It’s the Irish White House.”  The answer might be better stated it’s the Irish capitol building, but he was close enough as I didn’t know it was Leinster House, home to the Irish parliament.  Garda Síochána means guardians of the peace in English, pronounced Gar-dah Shee-oh-Cahn-nah.

Oireachtas, sounds like ee-ruhk- tuhz, is the national parliament of Ireland which consists of the President (Head of Irish State), Dáil Éireann (Lower House of Oireachtas, Dáil for short), and Seanad Éireann (Upper House of The Oireachtas), or simply the Senate.  Learn more about the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas, including a virtual tour of the Oireachtas online. Leinster House is located on Kildare Street in Dublin, near the National Museum of Archaeology, with limited visits by the public on official business.

St. Colman’s Cathedral – A view looking up at St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, County Cork, December 27, 2018. The harbor in Cobh is where many Irish emigrated from Ireland, and the last view of home. Learn about this historic Cathedral. Cobh was the last port of call to the Titanic, learn more. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Regions of travel, Ireland

Where to go, island of Ireland: Six regions defined by Ireland.com

Dublin Bay – This is a view from passenger aircraft looking at Dublin Bay about 2:49 pm, on January 2, 2019. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Getting to Ireland, getting around

Kerry Airport – Aer Lingus flight prepare for departure Kerry Airport to Dublin Airport, January 2, 2019, about 2 pm. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Ireland open all year
Start thinking about when you plan to travel to travel to Ireland.  Travel to Ireland is not limited to summer months, and you might consider travel in fall, winter, or spring.

Getting to Ireland: Flights and ferries
You can travel direct by plane or ferry to Ireland, depending on where you originate your travels. Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport are the two main airports.  Explore options for travel to regional airports in Ireland.

Lusitania Pier, Cobh – This pier is named in honor of the Cunard Liner Lusitania en route from New York to Liverpool, sunk by a German torpedo. Cobh was the center of rescue efforts, saving 761 people. Learn more about the Lusitania. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Getting around Ireland
After arriving in Ireland, there’s many options for getting around.  Car, bus, train, taxi, ferry, cycle, and airplane are a few ways to get around Ireland after you arrive. Learn more about options for transportation in Ireland.

You might consider renting a car, or as called in Ireland, hire a car. Cars travel on the left side of the road, with driver seated in the right front seat nearest the center of the road if the road is divided.  If you travel in rural area, you might be on a one lane or one-track road and will need to negotiate the road with oncoming traffic, or sheep, like in the Black Valley, County Kerry, or other locations.  Traveling in Northern Ireland, speed limits are posted in miles, and kilometers in Ireland. Seat belts are required for the entire island of Ireland.  Learn more about driving laws in Ireland, and what’s possible at Ireland.com. Learn about bus, train, taxi, ferry, and more options for transportation during your visit to Ireland.

Hire Car at Shamrock Cottage – This the car rented by Jannet L. Walsh during her last visit to Ireland in December 2018 and January 2019, parked next to Shamrock Cottage in the Black Valley, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Remote Ireland: mountains and lakes in Killarney
Spending Christmas in Killarney, or another location in Ireland, with all the folks at home is one of my most memorial trips to Ireland. I spent Christmas in rural Killarney December 2018 at Shamrock Cottage, located on the walking path of the Kerry Way. This area is in the remote Black Valley, home to the Gap of Dunloe and the famous horse and traps, while discovering for my Irish roots in County Kerry. Here is a detailed Google map of the Kerry Way with locations for accommodations.


Serpents Lake, Killarney– This is view of the Serpents Lake found in the Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, December 26, 2018. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.
Christmas Day 2018 – Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church is located in remote Black Valley, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh

I enlisted the help of local Kerry residents to help me find my family roots, acting as detective and tourist. You can start learning the words to Christmas in Killarney made famous by singer Bing Crosby, the Irish Rovers and more. View a modern version of the song along with lyrics at YouTube. The best time to travel depends on your schedule, and your plans.

Walking around Ireland
Getting around by foot in Ireland is an incredible way to meet nature in Ireland and travel along the Dingle Way, Kerry Way, Wicklow Way, Burren Way, and other established walking paths. Ireland.com lists walks, maps, along with hiking shoes and other gear. There are resources, travel agencies, tour books and more you can explore.  Tripadvisor lists both city walks and grand nature walks. Consider getting your own books and maps for planning your walks in Ireland.

Here is a list of walking guides in Ireland, The Ireland Walking Guide.  I’ve walked parts of the Kerry Way, and highly recommend day walks. The Ordnance Survey Maps for Ireland are excellent and are very detailed. Ordnance maps are also very helpful if you are driving back country roads seeking farms and townlands of your ancestors or remote locations as many rural roads do not have names posted. Your smartphone GPS might not be as helpful as having a map in your hands when you are lost. Consider bringing a small pocket compass for orientation.

Black Valley -This is one of ponies that takes passengers through the Gap of Dunloe on a trap or cart in an area called Black Valley, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo taken Christmas day, Dec. 25, 2018 near an old stone barn. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Travel documents, emergencies

Travel documents:  Make copies of important travel papers
Tour guide Luke of Galway City, Ireland, Qualified Irish National Tour Guide with Destination Ireland Tours, specializes in tours related movie The Quiet Man, along with other tours, is headquartered in Galway, Ireland. He sent me an email in late June 2022, stating he knew the location of a 1953 Kodachrome image taken by my late father, Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota. My dad’s vintage tour bus photo is the main feature photo of my story Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images.


Vintage Ireland – Historic photo in Galway, Ireland, by Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, 1953. Read related story at IrishCentral by Jannet L. Walsh.

Sure enough, Luke suggests the location of my dad’s 1953 photos is approximately 144 Bohermore, Galway, in County Galway, Ireland, the present-day location of Tonery’s Bar. Bohermore is an area of Galway, and it was the main road into the city from the east in medieval times. View map below, or view at Google Maps.

He mentions travelers need to be prepared for the unexpected, as emergencies are sure to happen. He shared on social media recently, “It’s a good idea to take photocopies of important documents and bring a copy with you, and maybe leave a copy at home with someone you trust.”

Important travel documents include:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Bank and credit cards
  • Travel insurance policy
  • Travel documents

“This means if your luggage goes missing or a bag is stolen containing these important documents, you will have a copy with you, including information on what to do if something goes wrong, for example contact details for your bank or travel insurance company,” said Luke.

How to carry passport, smartphone
Here’s what I do: Carry your passport, cash, credit cards, travel documents in a secure hidden travel pouch always attached to you. It’s best if hidden under coat or other garments. Consider wearing a coat or outerwear that’s a size larger than usual to accommodate for hiding your values. Secure your smartphone in a zippered, closed pocket, not an open pocket.  If your important items are hidden and secured, then you have a better change of surviving the actions of thieves when your valuable documents are in your backpack or other bags. Learn more tricks to outsmart pickpockets and thieves by travel professional Rick Steve.

Customs, visas and passports, documents, duty and tax-free allowances, sales tax (VAT) and more

Emergencies, health, and money


Packing for Ireland

Luggage packed and ready for travel to Ireland, 2018. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

One bag travel, if possible
The less you must manage or haul around in your luggage, the less there is to go missing.  Check directly with your airlines about carry-on luggage and other baggage limits and requirements.

Wear your bulkiest items day of travel, if possible
What I try to do: One packing hack is to wear your bulkiest items, sweaters and boots, on the day of travel allowing for more space in your luggage.  This also means you will be prepared if there’s delayed flights, airline strikes, or other emergencies. Your wardrobe might need to cover four seasons in one day in Ireland. Prepare to have a small packable umbrella, rain coat, waterproof boots, sweater, hat, gloves and more. 

Dublin Museum – This is the entrance toe the National Museum of Ireland, Archeology, located at Kildare Street, Dublin. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Four-step packing list for travel clothing

This is what I try to do, but does not always work.

Wear:  Plan one outfit to wear for day of travel to Ireland with bulkiest items, like hiking boots, and outerwear (jackets or coats).

Spare:  Pack one spare outfit in your bags.

Double duty:  Pack one outfit for sleeping that can double for daytime outfit, such as comfortable workout outfit or other.

Ireland sells clothing:  Buy what you need in Ireland if necessary.

Historic Bandstand – The band stand in Cobh, located at the harbor is on the Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, and next door to the former White Star Line offices of the SS Titanic. Read more about the bandstand in Cobh. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Where to sleep in Ireland

Where to stay in Ireland:  hotels, hostels, cottages, self-catering
There’s many options to stay in Ireland ranging from self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotels, hostels and more.  Here’s an overview of places to call home in Ireland found at Ireland.com.

  • Ask friends and family where they stayed in Ireland
  • Before booking a room, understand what happens if you need to change or cancel reservation.
  • Look beyond hotels, consider self-catering locations like cottages.
  • My favorite places to stay are Irish cottages as it’s wonderful to meet local Irish families, and have an inside connection to Ireland.

A few places I’ve stayed in Ireland, not a complete list as I can recommend all places I’ve stayed! I’ve not included the Dublin hotel that failed to mention the night located directly under my room.

Killarney tours, horse and carts

Day trips out of Killarney, County Kerry – I on several tours by bus out of Killarney and was able to see more than if I was driving. I booked trips a few days before, but you can also book in advance. I’ve had great experiences with Deros Tours located in Killarney. A few of the their tours include: Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Ring of Kerry and Dingle, private tours, Gap of Dunloe, trail tours and more.

Horse and cart tours in Killarney – You can just show up at the Killarney jarvey stand to take a horse and cart tour around Killarney or the Killarney National Park located near St. Mary’s Church of Ireland on Kenmare Place and Muckross Road. See map below for the jarvey stand, with reference as the Haha, an enclosure for horse can cart drivers. If you see a driver with with a cowboy hat by the name of Martin McCarthy featured in my video, you are sure to have a great ride and storyteller.


Traditional Irish Music, Buckely’s Bar in Killarney, Ireland

Gadgets, electricity, postage and tipping

Gadgets, cameras, and more
Electrical plugs in Ireland are three-pronged, and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz. Bring an adapter so you can keep your devices charged up. Check with what’s possible with requirements for your device and the manufacturer of your gadgets or laptops. Consider a portable power bank to avoid the dreaded dead battery for cameras and smartphones. Learn more about gadgets and requirements for power in Ireland.

The Black Valley and the Kerry Way – Using an iPhone with a free app called PeakFinder, the mountains in The Black Valley can be easily identified with technology carried in your hands. The Kerry Way walking path passes through the Gap of Dunloe. The Black Valley is situated beneath Ireland’s highest mountain range, the Macgillycuddy Reek, with the Killarney National Park reaching on one side, and Glencar on the far side. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.
Irish post cards with cancelled Irish stamps from Ireland, 2019. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Postcards and Irish postage stamp
You can’t use US postage stamps to send mail from Ireland. I can still remember my late aunt Agnes tell me this fact when I visited Ireland for the first time in the 1980s. There are several locations to buy postage stamps in Ireland for postcards to send back home.  Ask local Irish folks to direct you to a post office about buying stamps. If you are in Dublin, consider visiting the historic General Post Office, GPO, located on O’Connell Street, headquarters to the An Post, the Irish Postal Service.  You can buy postage stamps and visit the GPO Museum Witness History, and see the location know as a strong hold for Irish independence during the 1916 Rising against British rule.

General Post Office, GPO – You can buy postage stamps and visit the GPO Museum Witness History, Dublin. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh, January 3, 2019.
The Kerry Way – Au Post, Irish postal service, located near Our Lady of the Valley Church, Black Valley, rural Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo by Janet L. Walsh.

Shipping souvenirs, send through post, carry in luggage
My last trip in Ireland in January 2019, I shipped a box of personal items home to avoid carrying them in my luggage.  The hotel I stayed at in Dublin had An Post shipping boxes ready, and help me send off my box.  You can inquire at any Irish post office when you are in Ireland or enlist help.  When you are buying souvenirs, especially bulky wool items like Aran sweater, ask before your buy if the store will ship your purchase.  If you want to avoid carrying luggage to Ireland, an option is to send your luggage from US to Ireland. I almost did this during my last trip, instead reduced the contents of my luggage.

Irish Knitwear shop– Ireland is famous for the Aran sweater and knitwear, but not all are made by hand. Located just off of St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, is CLEO, featuring handmade traditional Irish clothing and crafts, but knitwear can be found all over Ireland. Ask when you are shopping how the knitwear was were, along with origins of content, such as wool if you are searching for hand made items. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Tipping in Ireland
If want to know what is appropriate for tipping in Ireland, learn about suggestions specific to restaurants, pubs, taxi drivers, tour guides and more with guidelines by  Vagabond Tours of Ireland.

Pot of Irish coffee – Here’s a hot pot of coffee on a winter afternoon, about 3 pm, at the No. 27, The Shelbourne  Bar, attached to the Shelbourne  Hotel, located at St. Stephens Green, Dublin. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.

Relax
Plan wisely for your trip to Ireland, and enjoy your adventures!

Jannet L. Walsh

View additional details for Irish travel online at, Travel to Ireland Guide complied by Jannet L. Walsh.


Finding Irish family history – Jannet L. Walsh stands at the farm her family called home about 200 years ago in rural County Kerry, December 30, 2018.

About the writer – Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and her other social media channels, with hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.

Black Face Mountain ram at Shamrock Cottage keeping warm in the barn at Shamrock Cottage, Black Valley, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, December 31, 2018. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.


Subscribe to blog – Get blog and website updates on latest news from Jannet L. Walsh and her forthcoming book Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota, scheduled publication 2022, Shanti Arts Publishing.

Irish Family History Detective, Dublin Diaries, July 23, 2022

New video posted!

Jannet L. Walsh
July 23, 2022
Dublin Township, Swift County
Murdock, Minnesota

Greetings!
I’ve just released another video for the Dublin Diaries series, July 23, 2022. This is a short one minute video to welcome you to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. If you have already subscribed, thank you! I included photos in the video of the rural farm near Killarney where my family lived dating back to about 1820, or earlier.

A view of making of Dublin Diaries.

Newsletter subscribers receive a curated list of resources to help jumpstart their Irish family history. Subscribers receive first updates to my forthcoming book on my American and Irish family, and related news. Please see below for more information about the newsletter, or view at Social Media page.

Irish Family History Detective
In this video you will hear references to Irish Family History Detective. Working on genealogy you become a detective trying to put together lost years of family history with little to no details. When I was working in rural County Kerry near Killarney driving back country roads on the left side of the road to find the farm my people were associated with, I was a detective. Drivers in Ireland travel down the road on the left side, while the driver is seated on the right front seat. I was doing the work of a detective for years before I arrived in Ireland splicing together about 200 years of forgotten history the best way possible. If you are working on a family history, you are a genealogy detective also.


Take a survey related to Irish Family History – I am interested in what my readers want to learn in future blogs related to Irish Family History. You are invented to take a brief survey. Link to survey. Thank you! Jannet L. Walsh


Irish Family History Detective – Hashtag, #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective
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