Program 263a: Looking Up Ancestors in Europe; Irish Roots; Highlights of the Low Countries

Release Date: 09-28-2013


Rick checks in with European tour guides on researching family history in Ireland, and listeners tell us of their own discoveries meeting relatives in Sweden and Lithuania. We'll get highlights of the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands where a cozy medieval city or a bike ride to the sea is just a short ride from the major cities.


  • Tour guides Stephen McPhilemy (based in Derry, Northern Ireland) and Barry Moloney (based in Kinsale, Republic of Ireland)
  • Belgium-born tour guides Ferdi Menghi and Nina Dierckx

Related Links

  • Stephen mentions Irish Genealogy for searching family records in Ireland.
  • Barry notes that the Ellis Island Foundation in New York is the best place to start tracing your family ancestry back from your immigrant ancestors who landed in America.
  • Stephen recommends the Disney movie "The Fighting Prince of Donegal" (released in 1966) to caller George, for a depiction of his O’Donnell family history. 
  • The music excerpt "It’s Great to be a Belgian" was written and performed in 1998 by a British singer named Mister John, who lived in Belgium until he died in 2011.
  • Rick recommends the Open Air Folk Museum in Arnham in the Netherlands as an easy daytrip from Amsterdam. Ferdi notes that the Zaanse Schans Museum is one of the top tourist sites in the Netherlands for viewing working windmills and other Dutch traditions. The Aalsmeer flower auction is also easily accessible from Amsterdam. 
  • Wikipedia has an entry about the engineering sites in the Delta Works coastal region of the Netherlands. 
  • Caller Matt enjoyed visiting the university city of Ghent, Belgium as a more-active alternative to the tourist-popular historical city of Bruges.  Rick also recommends the Dutch city of Haarlem as an easy day trip from Amsterdam.