So of course when I tell other people that I am Irish, I mean that I have Irish heritage. This is not a rare claim for someone in the United States. There are over 36 million Americans in the United States that claim Irish ancestry. This is quite the staggering amount considering that the population of the Republic of Ireland is only around 4.5 million.
Until recently, I was really unsure how ‘Irish’ I actually was. I began to research more and was able to get a copy of our family tree from a cousin. I was amazed to see the list of family members stretching back to Ireland. I am the fourth generation born here in the United States (which I know is quite a long way removed from Ireland). It was very interesting to see the family names and where my name comes from. It was also very interesting to attend a family reunion last summer and meet so many of the people who I only knew by name.
My Irish heritage comes from my father’s side of the family. There are a few towns in Ireland where my heritage comes from. The first being Glandore, a small town in the southwest of County Cork. The second is Tralee, a town in County Kerry. Both of these counties are in the province of Munster. There is even some evidence I have found linking some of the family to Galway City as well, in County Galway. My mother’s side of the family is much more of a European mix. Half of her heritage comes from Italy(Sicily to be specific) while the other half is mostly Scottish with a splash of central Europe(France and Switzerland).
Having lived in Ireland I usually speak of my Irish heritage more than the other components. That being said, I am very proud of everything that makes me who I am and I very much enjoy the culture and history of all of the nations that are my heritage.