John Ducie our founder, as well as being an Irish Tourist Authority Approved National Tour Guide and university qualified Genealogist and Family Historian. John is also joined as required by other experts recruited through his contacts built up over many years of his working within The National Trust movement.
How Can Irish John’s Tours of Ireland Help with a Family Heritage or Ancestry Themed Tour of Ireland?
John’s Tours of Ireland acknowledges the needs of clients who wish to visit Ireland, undertake research and seek out authentic, genuine family records and/or actual authentic experiences of where their ancestors lived or worked. We also understand that researching family history may only be part of the reason for visiting Ireland and that you will want to take in all the sites and experience that make a visit to Ireland so special. There may also be a need for repeat visits to follow up leads and because of strong emotional connection. Guests may have need to:
Recognising that many people may have some research done on their family history already and come to Ireland with the intention of connecting to their Irish heritage. We can provide three one day trips to enhance your knowledge of what being Irish is all about.
or you can ask us about our tailor made options;
We work with you to produce expert Genealogical Research for your Irish family and devise an itinerary for your holiday that will bring you walking in footsteps of your ancestry. Tours are very personal and focus on understanding the meaning of being Irish as well as exploring your own family history. We also understand that researching family history may only be part of the reason for visiting Ireland and that you will want to take in all the sites and experiences that make a visit to Ireland so special. We are well qualified to guide to all of these as well.
Or when individual family research is completed and an itinerary agreed we can assist by providing.
When research is completed we can produce for you a detailed report on your Irish Ancestors accompanied by a family tree. We can also search for your relatives that remained resident in Ireland.
Background information on Ireland and its people:
The Irish people today are essentially a mixture of three great core populations:
The Gaelic Irish, these are thought to be the original inhabitants that settled on the island from in the Stone Age (c4000 bc onwards). The Irish or Gaelic language belongs to this group and it is thought to be one of the ten oldest continuously spoken languages on earth. They largely did not participate in the protestant reformation of the 16th century and overwhelmingly remained adherents of the old Roman Catholic faith. The majority of the Irish people today are descendants of this group with 90% of the population of the Republic of Ireland and 48% of Northern Ireland descended from them. Surnames often have Mac, Mc or O” in front of them. They are frequently referred to, as “Celtic” like the Welsh and the Scots but included in this group are also the later Viking peoples who became assimilated into them.
The Anglo Irish: These are the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from the 12th century Norman Conquest of Ireland onwards. Among them the English language was born in the 14th century at the same time as in England and this is the language of the majority of the people of Ireland today.
They further divide into two great groups:
The Old English who largely remained Roman Catholic but loyal to the kings of England in the 16th century. They frequently lost power and lands due to their refusal to become protestant to a new wave of English settlers in the 17th century and also often threw their lot in with the Gaelic Irish becoming assimilated into Gaelic Ireland and rebelling with them. Names are often of Norman origin with prefixes like “Fitz” or “De” e.g. Fitzgerald, DeBurgo (Burke) etc.
The Anglo Irish Protestant Ascendancy: These families came to Ireland from the 17th century onwards and the final defeat of the Gaelic Irish. Numerically they are the smallest group but they have had a huge effect on Irish heritage. They ruled Ireland in the days of the British Empire and were frequently rebelled against by the other groups. Most of the great aristocratic families have bloodlines from these settlers as well as many professional and urban dwellers today as well as some farmers. They are majority protestant, mostly Anglican (Episcopalian) with various other protestant faiths also represented.
The Ulster Scots Irish:
Ulster, the northern most Gaelic kingdom was the last to be defeated in the early 17th century just as the crowns of England and Scotland became united. As a result it was settlers from Scotland particularly Lowland Scots who came to colonise this part of Ireland with names like Alexander, Armstrong, Hamilton, Paisley etc. a significant group were also Scottish Gaelic who also used the Mac or Mc prefix as in MacDonald. They are overwhelmingly Presbyterian by religion like the mainland Scots and loyal to the British Crown. It is they that give Northern Ireland its distinctive history with approximately 52% of the population descended from them with the remaining 48% being Gaelic Irish and Roman Catholic.
In addition to the three major groups there are also many other Irish ancestries to be told such as that of the Jewish, Quaker, Huguenot, German Palatines etc.
Whatever your Irish ancestry we can assist you in tracing their records and finding their homes.
Tracing Irish Family History
There are many and varied information sources, including:
How Can John’s Tours of Ireland Help with a Family Heritage or Ancestry Themed Tour of Ireland?
Sample Full Family History Report available (Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the client)