Frequently Asked Questions

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Q.  What is the tartan for my Irish family ?

There are no tartans historically connected to Irish Families.  Tartans are a proud Scottish tradition.  

See my video on the right (and my blog) for more details.      


Q. How do I order your books online ?

Order my books online on our secure order pages here .

Click on book title, then add to shopping cart on next page.


Q.  Do You Have a Mobile web page ?

Yes !     m.irishroots.com




Q.  Can I join the Irish Roots Cafe & Hedge School ?

Yes !  Sign up on here our secure membership page.

You can join up or order books online, or mail to:

Mike O’Laughlin, Box 7575, Kansas City, MO 64116  USA


Q.  I heard that ‘Mc’ is Scottish and ‘Mac’ is Irish ?

They are both the same !  Mc is an abbreviation for Mac. ( It means ‘son of’ or ‘descendant of’). You will find both used in Ireland and Scotland.



Q.  Is My Family Name in Your Book ?

Our free master index shows all of the books your name is in.  Just type in your family name, but leave off the O or Mac  Here is the page to do the free search:  Free Master Index


Q.  How do I Trace My Ancestors to Ireland ?

The first step is to find your Irish county of origin. See my genealogy blog, and podcasts for detailed info.

I also have a beginners book to help (free to members).



Q.  What is your ‘enhanced’ genealogy podcast ?

First we make the free Irish Family History  ‘radio’ show.  Then we make an enhanced version, adding pictures and links that you can click on if listening with iTunes !


Q.  What is the right way to spell my surname ?

An Irishman, or a census taker, could spell a name anyway he liked.  Brothers could spell their name differently.

We have a guide to the many spellings of Irish names..



Q.  What is the apostrophe after the O in names ?

Anciently there was an accent mark (fada), over the O in Irish names.  It went from Ó in Irish to O’ today.  Learn more about Mac and O on the Hello Fada podcast.


Q.  What does ‘Sean Nós’ Irish Song mean ?

Sean Nós simply means ‘Old Style’. It is very distinctive.  The 3rd season of our Irish Song podcast features Sean Nós songs and singers here: My Sean Nós Song page.



Q.  Who are you ?

Mike O’Laughlin. I’ve written, or published most books, DVDs, blogs, videos and podcasts on Irishroots.com (since 1978). more here & my genealogy here.


Q.  Why did hedge schools start in Ireland ?

Irish schools and teachers were once outlawed, so they held class outdoors, in barns, etc... Our ‘History of  Ireland’ podcast has episodes explaining more  here.



Q.  How can I use DNA to find my Irish Ancestor ?

A male in the family swabs his cheek with a cotton swab, and sends it to the DNA company. They record your DNA to see who matches up ! (More DNA Here)


Q. What is the Irish Families Project ?

It took 30 years! I’ve written 34 books, one for every County in Ireland on Irish family history.  I have a description of each one at: Books We Publish Page.

Call to apply for

future shows!

(816) 256-3360


Leave Your Note or song on my recorder !


Write me at:

Mike O’Laughlin

Box 7575

K.C., MO 64116


     - or -

Click here to send me email

My  video short on arms and tartans.

One of my first video shorts on Irish names.

Good DVD about Irish DNA

We’ve done 14 yrs in the genealogy tent at Dublin, Ohio Irish Festival !

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