What measures 11 inches wide by 14 inches high, is issued by the Government of Ireland and provides recognition to you of your direct ancestral connection to Ireland? Answer: The Certificate of Irish Heritage
That’s right folks! For those of you with an Irish ancestor (and I know there are tens of millions of you!) you can now honor them, and show your pride in your Irish ancestry, with one of the beautifully designed Certificates of Irish Heritage. The certificates are available in multiple designs representing images of Ireland, they are presented in your choice of English, Irish or Spanish, and you can have yours shipped to your home, direct from Ireland. You can even have it framed in a choice of one of 3 frame options (of course you’ll have to open your wallet a little wider for that option).
Interview with certificate holder
As an Irish citizen I don’t personally own one of the certificates, but I do know a few people that do. It’s clear from the success that the Heritage Certificate program has had that it is a popular item with the Irish Diaspora, but I wanted to find out for myself a little more about what it means to have one. So…I interviewed popular blogger Paddy Patrick, a New Zealander who claims Irish heritage through her great grandmother Lizzie Emerson. Lizzie left Ireland at a young age, never to return. Here’s what Paddy had to say…
Q. Paddy, can you tell us a little bit about the person you’ve honored in your certificate of Irish heritage?
“On March 14th 1885 an 18 year old girl from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, left her homeland, her parents, five younger siblings & all that was familiar to her to embark on a long voyage across treacherous seas to New Zealand. That young girl was my great grandmother Lizzie Emerson.
Sadly, Lizzie never returned to Ireland. She lived the rest of her life as a farmer’s wife & mother of 3 children in rural NZ. There is nothing to suggest she was ever unhappy but there must have been days when she yearned to see her family back in Ireland again.”
Q. Where, in your home, have you chosen to display your Certificate? I’m sure it must be a great conversation piece, bringing back memories from your trip…
“My certificate hangs in the hallway just inside the front door of my home for all my visitors to see & it has certainly been the catalyst for many conversations about Irish ancestry & Ireland. I catch a glimpse of it every day which brings back memories of the day I was presented with it outside Ross Castle in Killarney, Co. Kerry by the Minister of Arts, Culture & Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan. It also reminds me of the wonderful visit I had to Lizzie’s place of birth, a farm near Enniskillen, in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, still owned by her great nephew & meeting all my distant cousins there for the first time.”
Q. There are multiple certificate designs and frame options to choose from. Which design/frame do you have?
“My certificate has the ‘Emigrant Ship‘ design on it which is fitting & a constant reminder of that long voyage across rough seas that Lizzie so bravely embarked on.”
Q. I know you had your trip to Ireland, but does the certificate act as a reminder to visit again, or even delve deeper into your past to try to discover more lines of ancestry.
“My certificate is a constant reminder of my trip to Ireland & the yearning I have to go back there. Just 2 weeks after I returned from my month long trip to Ireland, a distant cousin of mine here in NZ sent me details of great great great grandparents she had found during her family research, who I was thrilled to see were both from Bantry, Co. Cork! I only wish I’d known this before I got my certificate, but that’ll be something I’ll be doing when I’m next in Ireland – searching out more information of my O’Brien & Haggerty ancestors from Co. Cork & purchasing a certificate in their honour too.”
Q. Do you recommend the certificate to others of Irish ancestry, or have you given any as gifts?
“While I’ve not purchased a certificate for a gift yet, I think it’s a grand idea & would recommend it especially to anyone with a love of Ireland as I have & who like me, has spent many many years researching family history.
I’m very proud of my Irish ancestry & very proud of my great grandmother for making that brave journey to New Zealand back in 1885. These certificates honour our Irish ancestors who dared to explore something new & those who were brave enough to leave behind all that was familiar to them in the hope that they would have a good life & greater opportunities for themselves & their families.”
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
“The Certificate of Irish Heritage initiative is a fabulous way for those living outside of Ireland to acknowledge their ancestors. It’s Ireland’s way of saying ‘Welcome to our Family’.”
Thank you, Paddy! Your experience in Ireland sounds truly memorable. Along with your Heritage Certificate it’s clear that you took home many happy memories from Ireland.
Who else has a Certificate of Irish Heritage?
People from all over the world have chosen to make the certificate a centerpiece in their homes. As you might expect the certificate is popular with Irish descendants in the United States, but Argentineans, Canadians, Australians, and British among other nationalities are all well represented. Movie stars, ex-Presidents and other celebs have also received certificates to honor their connection to Ireland. Barack Obama, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day Lewis, Bill Clinton are just a few of the well known recipients.
How to get yours or purchase one as a gift?
It’s quite simple to purchase the Certificate of Irish Heritage. You just have to hop on over to the website and choose which option you’d like, either a certificate or a gift card. If you’re purchasing a gift card you only need to know the details of the person you’re buying it for, not their Irish ancestor. After you choose your option you will be guided through the purchase process, including entering the details to be printed on the certificate, choosing from the available designs/frames etc. It’s really very easy.
Irish Heritage Certificate Giveaway
**Giveaway now ended**
Compliments of the kind folks who manage the Irish Heritage Certificate program, I do have one complimentary gift card to give away. The gift card entitles the holder to one certificate. You can order it for yourself, or as a gift for a loved one. You can find out more information and enter the drawing here.
Disclosure: GotIreland.com is proud to be part of the Irish Heritage Certificate partners program. A small commission is paid to GotIreland.com for any certificate sales generated through the links above. Of course the price to you is no different than it would normally otherwise be. Any commissions received go directly to the growth of this website and help to continue to bring you more great content and prizes.