The Ginger Man
Being an avid genealogist, and believing it important to “see” where our ancestors emigrated from and where they lived was very important to both Mike and I while we were visiting Ireland. We extended our trip for one such event. I had researched online and made inquiries to “My Ireland Heritage Tours” approximately a year prior to our visit. Over the course of planning, we spoke to Sean over the phone and corresponded numerous times to Aisling and Sean regarding our expectations. We opted for the “Ancestral Townland Experience” and what an experience it turned out to be. Sean and Ian picked us up in Dublin and drove us to County Longford where we were given an extensive visit to the church, cemeteries, and our ancestral homes. We were given daffodil bulbs to plant at one of our common ancestor’s grave. We then were permitted to walk around a very old cemetery by ourselves to see what we could discover. Being someone who takes lots of photos,it was never an issue for Sean to stop or turn around so I could snap a few photos. We hit the jackpot when Sean stopped at one of the ancestral homes and we were able to walk into the field to get a view. Mike who was very determined to get up close to his family home asked if we could walk up the path alongside the field, and that is what we did! We hiked through brush, vines and climbed fences to get up close and personal. It was amazing! During Sean’s reconnaissance of the area, he was able to track down the only living relative in the town and he agreed to meet with us while we were there. We were very lucky, Sean was able to show us four areas where family had lived. Prior to leaving, Sean also stopped at the railroad station located in the area. This really gave us a picture of what our ancestors had to endure prior to leaving Ireland for America. Just to get to the station would have taken days.The day was everything plus more. Our heads were spinning by the time we were driven back to our hotel in Dublin with all of the sights and historical information. Sean was also very good at pointing out other historical sights while driving through the city of Dublin, he and Ian drove out of the way to show us the Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship. We have been back in the states now for several days and we continue to discuss what a wonderful life experience “My Ireland Heritage Tours” provided. This was a visit that will stay in our hearts forever.
What a fantastic Tour Mike and Diane did not know in fact that their family connections were also linked in Longford to the Author JP Dunleavy who wrote the Famous book “ The Ginger man” in 1955. They met with the last Dunleavy member of Family in the Townland who filled them in on all the old stories including JP Dunleavy. This was a special find in fact the video shows the house from the early 1800s which was close but in a different Townland to the Family home of 1850s to 1950s.