Fáilte go Silver Branch Heritage
connecting Ireland’s cultural heritage to your family tree’s roots.
Silver Branch Heritage connects Ireland’s cultural heritage to the roots of your family tree. To make connections between people and places. The landscape, the customs, the place-names, the folklore, the myths and legends, the songs — all shape the people of any place. Some things are island-wide, but others are peculiar to a county, barony, civil parish, or even townland. (did you know that the townland is the smallest territorial division in use in Ireland?) Finding out more about the local holy well, round tower, bog, or ford can create a sense of place. Or are you “new to the parish” and looking to connect to your new place and foster that sense of roots and belonging? Even if you just enjoy learning quirky little facts, you will find those here, too.
Profiles of Place: Telling family stories by telling the stories your ancestors told
Every family has its own stories and family tree but this page is not about your genealogy. It’s about the stories and landscape that shaped the people, the land where the family tree has its roots. Armed with information such as the townland, parish, or county your family is from, I can tell you more about the place(s) your family came from or have come to. Learn more of your family’s stories by finding the stories that surrounded them. and connected them to each other and their place.
Unlock your Irish history and heritage with your own Silver Branch.
What’s in a name?
Why Silver Branch? The Silver Branch is a symbol found in Irish mythology and literature. It represents entry into the Celtic Otherworld, Tír na nÓg, Land of the Ever-young. To enter the Otherworld, a passport is necessary, usually a silver branch of the sacred apple-tree, bearing blossoms. The branch is also associated with Manannán mac Lir, god of the sea and guardian of the Otherworld, who also has strong ties with Emhain Abhlach (Isle of Apple Trees), where the magical silver branch is found.
In many ancient Irish legends, a Silver Branch is given to selected mortals by the Queen of the Sidhe. Often, the apple-branch produces music so magical and soothing that mortals who hear it forget all troubles and even cease to grieve for those whom the fairy women take. In the ancient epics these apple-tree talismans contain a certain key which unlocks the secret of that world from which such talismans are brought.