Scenes from my ancestral home: Ireland calls to me

English: Swan at Killough Bridge, near Killoug...

English: Swan at Killough Bridge, near Killough, County Down, Northern Ireland, October 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A scene at Killough Bay in County Down, Northern Ireland. My maiden name is “Killough,” and we know an ancestor named David Killough journeyed to the American colonies in the mid-18th century from Killough, later serving in the Revolutionary War.

Long before that, it appears there were the McCellaughs and before them, the MacKellochs, who lived in Scotland and eventually emigrated to the Emerald Isle. The name “Kellogg” as is Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, is said to be a derivative of Killough.

There was once a manuscript my father had some genealogist compile detailing a good deal of family history (including an Indian massacre of a group traveling by wagon train to Texas), but it has long since disappeared, I am sorry to say. I have always enjoyed history and hearing family stories. And as I get older, I find myself more intrigued than ever to know the story of those who came before me.

I would love to go to Ireland one day and visit Killough. I felt so at home when I visited England more than a decade ago; I wonder, would that feeling be even deeper and more profound if I found myself walking the same earth my ancestors had once walked?

Killough_Bay_County_Down_Ireland_Photo06The lighthouse at Killough Bay.


The ruins of St. John’s Church near Killough.



A shot of Killough Harbor.


Love the drama of the sky and sea here.



Yes, one day I would like to be able to shoot my own photos in Killough. It’s on my bucket list. 😀 Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

17 responses »

  1. Yes, go, but pack your boots and your wool as well as your computer, camera cables, spare batteries, and a couple of thumb drives. It looks damp and cold.

    • Yep, I can almost feel it in my bones. I’d just love to go to Ireland, Scotland and Wales and back to England. Would want to pick a time of year when better weather more likely (oh, I know in that part of world it can be damp and chilly, even in summer!).

  2. Angie, these are absolutely gorgeous–I’ve been to England, but have always wanted to go back for longer and also go to Ireland. Meanwhile, I love great photos of Ireland.

  3. I’ve walked in my ancestors’ footsteps in both Ireland and England, and I struggle to find the words to describe the feeling, something echoes deep in your heart. Beautiful pictures, Angie.

    • Very many of the settlers of Australia were Irish. On a visit to Sydney ten years ago, I was deeply touched by the quotations displayed on the Immigrant Wall of the museum at Darling Harbor. Such a variety of emotions expressed by those newcomers of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances! Lots of fear and trepidation, but also determination to make a go of it.

      I’m sure the immigrants to the US (among whom were my grandparents) felt the same way. I am very thankful that they had the strength and courage to leave a society that, because of political, economic, and social conditions, would not provide for its people, especially its poor. We have done very well in the US.

      The Irish diaspora has prospered outside of Ireland. They are into everything and at high levels. Even President Obama is part Irish. I myself am not, but I adore celtic music of all types, have a huge collection which I enjoy daily. I spent this afternoon at a local restaurant and pub where every Irish song and dance school in the area had their students dressed up and performing. The place was packed and hoppin’. Irish culture is alive and well here. The big parade took place downtown, but it was too cold for me.

      • Love celtic music, too, and watching traditional Irish dance. Yes, the Irish, often despised and dismissed, have done just fine for themselves here in the US and elsewhere. I am proud of my Irish heritage!

    • I feel certain it would be the same for me. Just visiting places important in our nation’s history–Independence Hall in Philadelphia, seeing where our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, walking the cobblestones where George and Martha Washington stepped out to attend church–really touched me. And I had no direct personal connection.

  4. Happy St Patrick’s Day to all. Killough looks very beautiful. My Mum and myself hope to visit our family in Ireland again soon.

  5. How lovely! Thank you for sharing these pictures with us. My ancestors come from Spain and Italy, but I have always been fascinated by Ireland and all that green beauty. My friends who have been there warn me that the winds blow hard and cold, but I am determined to visit one day. Hope you had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂

    • My sister and I both shared photos of the homeland this year, S. on Facebook and I here at the blog. 😀 The green, rolling hills of Ireland remind me of where I grew up in many ways–not as many trees, though. A nice, quiet day, got some things accomplished and took a good nap, too.

      • Well, Puerto Rico is very green and luscious, with many small streams and rivers. When I moved here to Dallas after having lived on the island all my life, I longed for the ocean breezes. I have been landlocked for eight years now. As much as I love this city, it’s a terrible thing to be away from the sea! 😉

        • I’ve been to San Juan three times, but mostly time in airport or cruise terminal. Did get to do some walking around in the city on one occasion. However, my BIL is from Ponce. His family emigrated there from Spain. My sister has been there to visit his family. When I lived in SD, I really missed all the trees here, having grown up on a farm and lived near trees, lots of them, all my life. And here we are only a few hours from the beach and the Gulf, too. I like being within driving distance of ocean and mountains. 😀 I can understand missing the lsland. I’ve been to Dallas, too, spent a week there. All the humidity but without the beauty of the water! 😉

  6. A day late with my Paddy’s Day wishes, but from Ireland no less. I find it very interesting that many American people I have met over the years feel such a strong attachment to the places their ancestors came from. In Ireland’s case (which is my adopted country), I certainly understand why. It is a magical, beautiful place, its people warm and welcoming, and no doubt shaped by a history of oppression, poverty and emigration. The latter is in full swing again, after a ten-year gap during the so called “Tiger Years”. Young people are leaving Ireland in their thousands. Looks as if the Irish gene pool will continue to be spread… As for a visit to Ireland: Definitely worth while. May and September are the best months, weatherwise. Plus, it is off-season and therefore less tourists about. Hope you get to visit this lovely country!

  7. Angie I really like this post. It makes me want to find out more about my past, but there is so little to go on. The Irish side that I know of is that a Grandma not sure how many greats came from Co. Cork Ireland, but not sure when. I know that a Granddad come from England and that his wife came from Scotland and I think that they where married in the US some time in the 1800’s. I don’t have names or even the means of getting them now (my dad has very limited talking and most the time we can’t understand him anymore). I was also blessed with a way to common maiden name to try to look starting back at me, then my dad and his parents, going back from them. 14 years ago I took a trip to England and really had a great time, hardly saw anything in the short 2 weeks I was there, so much to see and do.Someday I will go back and hopefully many times.

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