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.
My family was extremely fortunate to be guided to the McCool ancestral home by a distant cousin living in Northern Ireland. 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.
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.
Am I related to Finn McCool? Hmmmm. good question.
This article was originally published in November 2008 at: http://mccoolstuff.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/mccool-homestead-in-northern-ireland/.