With up to 80 million people around the world estimated to have Irish roots, it no surprise that some travellers to the Emerald Isle want to combine their holiday with learning more about their ancestry.
But how does one begin looking for where they fit into Irish history?
One of Ireland’s top hotels has the answer. The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin has it’s very own genealogy butler.
What a unique concept, it’s certainly the only dedicated genealogy butler service we’ve ever heard of.
Professional Genealogist Helen Kelly is totally passionate about helping guests find their own connections to the country.
“I get a great buzz from talking to descendants of Irish diaspora,” she said.
“It is amazing when you focus in on another person’s family history to such a degree because you realise how personal and special a person’s name is to them.”
Genealogist Butler Helen Kelly
Before arriving for their stay, guests just need to complete a form with some basic family history.
She then looks over the form and spends some time exploring online sources and Irish records before the guests arrive.
During their stay, guests will then receive a one-hour advisory with her and be given a “goose-bump trail” of walking in their ancestors’ footsteps. How cool is that?
Helen said she admired the hotel for “enhancing hospitality in this way”.
“We’re the products of our parents and grandparents, but we’re also the products of our landscape,” she said.
“So I encourage visitors to travel to the exact townland their ancestor is from to see how the locals talk, what they look like, and how they live.