We heard from a woman who shares the same Irish ancestors about research she’d done. She told us our ancestor, Henry Baylee, had lived in Kilkishen, County Clare.
Lisa and I decided to go visit.
Ireland is beautiful. When we flew into Dublin, it felt like I was coming home. It’s very green, just like the Seattle area where I live. The weather is similar – lots of rain.
We liked Dublin. It’s doing a good job preserving its historic buildings. We loved the art museums and learning about Irish history in some of the museums. I’m allergic to beer, but Lisa enjoys drinking Guinness in the pubs. We both have fun going on a tour of the Guinness Store House in Dublin.
County Clare is phenomenal. Picturesque small farms line the countryside. We enjoyed visiting historic towns and cities with castles, cathedrals, and good food.
Here are photos that show the highlights of our trip:
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, has a population of 1.3 million. We stay in the historic Temple Bar area, the center of the city with lots of bars and places for tourists to visit. Highlights include visits to the Dublin City Gallery, which had a Renoir, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol, National Museum of Ireland, Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin Spire, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Dublin Unitarian Church.
The first place we stayed in the country is Sixmilebridge. This is our first great country dinner.
We head to Kilkishan. The GPS gets us on this little-used, rutty country road. It’s scary when you meet someone.
We reach Kilkishin, with the community center in the background.
The former Anglican Church in Kilkishan has been remodeled and is now a community center. That’s how we learned about our ancestors in the area. The Kilkishen Development Association reached out to descendants living abroad in their fundraising efforts.
We are fortunate to meet modern-day members of the Baylee family, now spelled Bailey.
These two Bailey women resemble my Aunt Mable Baylee Kenyon, the sister of my grandmother pictured above.
We drink tea. My Aunt Mable used a tea cosy like this.
Peat, dried vegetable material from bogs, is being used as fuel again in Ireland.
We visit the farm where Henry Baylee farmed.
We visit the cemetery where Baileys are buried.
We enjoy Bunratty Castle in County Clare, which was restored in 1954. Its Folk Park has village streets with a school, post office, doctor’s house, hardware shop, print shop, church, farm, and pub.
We head to the coast and see the Cliffs of Moher, well, we almost see them. It’s raining and blustery. The bad weather parts for a moment, and I get this photo.
The doleman, a single-chamber tomb, is another Clare County highlight. It’s in the Burren, a huge area of cracked limestone rocks.
On the way back to Dublin, we stop at the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall. Like Lisa and I, Obama has Irish ancestors. He and First Lady Michelle Obama came to visit Moneygall on May 23, 2011. The plaza was opened in June 2014.
Our trip to Ireland is fabulous. I hope to visit again someday.