I love ancestry info. I love Irish history. Ninety percent of the books I read are Irish history books. I just found this interactive map and I'm blogging about it mostly for my own reference. You can type in a surname and see all the counties where people with that name were living in 1890. My Irish relatives emigrated to the United States out of Northern Ireland; I've distant relatives living there. This map doesn't have any of our clan in the North during 1890. Our last name changed through time. My Grandmother's maiden name was Toal (Her dad and mom moved to the United States from Ireland). Through research I've seen that it was most likely O'Toole originally from the Irish O'Tuathail. The O' was likely dropped at some point and it became Toole. It would have later evolved to Toal. I half wonder in they became Toal's when they migrated to the north. These are all guesses.
I've been able to trace my English ancestry pretty far back (I'm mostly all Irish, Scottish, English blood (Maybe some Spanish too, right Sluggy)) but I can't get very far with my Irish or Scottish ancestry. I know my Scottish Grandpa's family came over through Canada. My English Grandfather's family appears to have come over at the very beginning with the colonials. I image there are probably some ancestral surprises in his line. My English Grandmother came over when she was just a baby. I really need to get my hands on the family Bible from her (it's no where near me at present). It's sad how she lived next door to me for years and I never knew what wealth of knowledge was at my finger tips with that Bible.
Family history honestly amazes me. Knowing that all these people long gone were directly responsible for me being alive, for my son being alive... if anything had happened to a single one of them before they gave birth to the child who'd join my family tree then I wouldn't be here. History is crazy that way. It's a giant web of intricate events where if a single tiny strand of spider silk snapped thousands of people would have never lived out their lives. I love reading Irish history and imagining that my relatives were likely apart of the events I'm now reading about in books. I'm sitting here cheering them on. As they're escaping a viking raid in a currach, I'm like, "Way to go Great x1000 Grandpa! Get out of there!" I'm in awe of the past, absolutely in awe!
Here's the map for anyone that's interested in checking it out.