genealogy travel

Genealogy Travel: McCool homestead in Northern Ireland

Genealogy Travel

Genealogy travel (trip to learn about or research family history) is one of my favorite purposes of travel. While I have taken many genealogy road trips, none was more memorable than being shown the home built by and lived in by McCools in Northern Ireland from 1670s.

The following was originally published in November 2008 at:

My family was extremely fortunate to be guided to the McCool ancestral home by a distant cousin living in the area. Tommy McCoole shared much history and great times. The home (first picture below) was occupied by John and Olivia McCool in the 1670s. A second building (second picture below) on the property dates back almost as far; it was probably built for one of the sons.

The above link goes to a Google Map showing a bird’s eye view of the area. Note McCoole’s Road (McCool’s Road) on the left side of the map. The road going to the right of the farm is closed to traffic. We had to hop a fence (escorted) and walk to the McCool houses. Follow the top whiteish, grayish line. The two buildings are near the end of the road(s). The first (lower) building is the son’s home. The upper building is the original house. Note the river to the right of the houses; you can scroll the map (and pan out) to follow the River Moyola to Lough Neagh.

genealogy travel

McCool Ancestral Home, Toberhead, Northern Ireland


genealogy travel

McCool Ancestral Home (#2), Toberhead, Northern Ireland


Note: At the time of the visit, my connection to the known house owners was supposed but not completely documented. DNA testing has since proven that my direct ancestor was another person (Archibald McCool) living in the same area at that time (late 1600s-early 1700s). While a connection to John McCool (the house owner) is all but certain (his brother, I suspect) that relation is unproven.

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14 Responses to “Genealogy Travel: McCool homestead in Northern Ireland”

  1. Michele Peterson (A Taste for Travel) March 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Really interesting that you can trace your ancestry back so far and to such a lovely country as Ireland. My family is from Ukraine originally and virtually every record of where they lived has all but vanished. The DNA test you took seemed to reveal quite a bit of info

    • McCool Travel March 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

      It is neat that my surname is known that far back. I do have other family lines that I cannot research before 1900. The DNA stuff I do not totally understand but a serious researcher cousin has determined the connections. Thank you for the note.

      • Jim mccool June 24, 2017 at 8:47 am #

        I’m set to see the home this fall. I did the DNA through AncestryDNA.. wonder if we match.

      • McCoolTravel (@CharlesMcCool) June 26, 2017 at 8:04 am #

        Outstanding. I might also be around there in October.

      • Jim mccool June 26, 2017 at 10:47 am #

        We will miss you by weeks…

  2. contentedtraveller March 14, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    I hope we we of to Ireland, to County Clare that we find our McInerney information. You must have rapt

  3. Carole Terwilliger Meyers March 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    How very cool! that you found a McCool ancestral home in Toberhead on your trip to Northern Ireland. Travel with a purpose like this is always exciting.

    • McCool Travel March 15, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      Indeed, wonderful. Lots of advance research including connecting with a local who guided us and provided so much history. That sort of thing makes it all more special.


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