Irish Family History Foundation

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Posted 10.12.12

Emigrant Trail Tour

Like many other Irish counties, County Sligo has suffered greatly from emigration over the last two centuries.  According to the Census returns, a staggering 75,660 emigrated from Sligo in the half-century from 1851-1901 and went in search of a better life in many countries around the world including America, Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and many others.


To retrace these emigrants’ steps, County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Society, is offering a guided tour as part of The Gathering 2013 Ireland, a community-driven national tourism initiative to welcome the country’s diaspora back “home.”


Our series of five day Emigrant Trail Tours will be held monthly from May through September 2013 and is being facilitated by our partner Wild West Irish Tours,, who specialise in small, personalised heritage explorations of authentic “off the beaten track” locations in the North West of Ireland.


Each tour will begin with a visit to County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Centre, where through a presentation participants will gain insight into the Famine years and the background to the mass emigration of the 19th century.  Advice on carrying out ancestral research will also be provided.


The tour will journey through the stunning west Sligo countryside,  where participants will discover an island with a famous name, visit a once thriving but now deserted fishing village and enjoy a lunch in the authentic old world setting of a thatched pub by the sea.


There will also be an opportunity to experience a family’s unique tribute to the emigration era, view the ruins of a famine workhouse and see a castle by the sea.


The Tour will also visit beautiful North Sligo with highlights including visits to the enchanting Glencar Valley, a famous Spanish Armada shipwreck site, the grave of W.B. Yeats world famous poet and a viewing of a private collection of ship passenger lists.


While visiting the scenic seaside village of Mullaghmore, the tour group will learn of a programme of “assisted emigration”, operated by a landlord in that area and will also come to know the story of several diaspora families who left Sligo Port on ships, many of which sank, but whose survivors settled and thrived in Canada despite the odds.


The climax of the tour will be a memorable trip by boat through Sligo Harbour out towards the Atlantic Ocean. On this boat trip, tour participants will experience some of the sights and sounds encountered by their ancestors as they left their homeland many years ago. 



2013 Tour Dates


May 19 – 23


June 5 -- 13*

*Part of a regular 9-day Wild West Irish Tour


July 14 -- 19


August 11 -- 15


September 8 -- 13



Accommodation will be provided by the elegant Radisson Blu Hotel-Sligo near beautiful Rosses Point.


For more information or to book, contact Wild West Irish Tours at or phone (USA) 571-236-9650 or (Ireland) 085-134-9300.


County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Society

Aras Reddan

Temple Street


071 914 3728



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