Ancestry & Family

The Irish Heroes in Your Family Tree

This is a true story from two of the folks who work for you at Authentic Vacations. The hero in this story is the grandfather of our Authentic Storyteller, and the photograph is the grandfather of our senior Destination Expert, Michaela Cox. It is our joy to share it and to inspire you to discover your own family roots in Ireland.

Heroes are often the quiet people who take care of us in hundreds of ways. All might be considered as ordinary—they’re not astronauts or movie stars. Have you looked at your own family tree? We are certain it’s filled with surprising heroes who rose up to help out or went forward, changing the course of your family’s life. You came from that exceptional group of anything-but-ordinary people. Here is one such tale…

Twin brothers stood on a dock in Ireland. The year was 1888. They’d moved from the countryside, the youngest two of twelve children, and went to Belfast to earn money for a fresh start. One became a boxer. The other brother brought the people in and took their bets. After one year, they’d saved enough to make new dreams.

Twin ships were harbored, one bound for New Zealand and the other to Ellis Island. The brothers flipped a coin. Heads, and one boy’s destiny was in the southern hemisphere; tails and the other was headed for America. They laughed into the sky from the sheer joy of being alive, and they hugged each other tight.

At first glance, they grew into ordinary men. Digging deeper, one brother founded an orphanage in New Zealand, and the other struggled for worker’s rights on the docks in San Francisco. They worked hard, kept dreaming, and raised strong children. Their family tree, with its roots in Ireland, is filled with ordinary heroes—the best kind.

This is the perfect time to discover and nurture your own family roots. Its energy will enliven you and bond your relations.

When you’re ready to visit the home of your ancestors, Authentic Vacations will help you every step of the way.