Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Showing my Irish Roots

Several of my family lines trace their beginnings to Ireland. I have always noticed a peculiar phenomenon. I have a lifelong interest in music and very eclectic tastes. Some music speaks to my very soul and some leaves me cold. The interesting thing about this is that the music that speaks to my soul comes from the traditions of my ancestors. It has a familiar ring and resonates with my inner feelings. For that reason, I love Irish, Scottish and English folk music.

When I recently found the website containing recordings of Irish speech, that got me started listing to Irish folk music. I found the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann and these amazing harmonica players. That took me to another very interesting site, British Library Sounds. If you want to hear how your ancestors in England likely sounded, you can go to the Survey of English Dialects where each county is represented by a traditional speaker. I warn you, you might have to have a translation to understand this "English."

Now, if you don't understand what this has to do with genealogy, you need to think about it for a while. It will come.

That just got me started. opens this concept of local and historic audio recordings to the entire continent of Europe. Just search for "dialects." Of course, in the United States, we have our own reservoir of folk music and audio recordings, try the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress for a start. If you want a way to involve children and make genealogy come alive, you have the tools to do so with audio recordings.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for remining me about 'Survey of English Dialects' James. I played the Nottinghamshire recordings and felt very home sick. There are people there today who still sound exactly like them. Great stuff!