"Russ Rollins' Journey to Discovering His Irish Heritage much later in life”
By: Russ Rollins
WTKS Orlando- Real Radio 104.1
March 13, 2023 4:29PM
I never knew much about my family history until four years ago when I took a trip to Ireland. My name is Russ Rollins, and I host the Monsters in the Morning on Real Radio 104.1. I had always been curious about my heritage, but it wasn't until I found myself walking down the streets of O'Halloran, Ireland that everything changed.
My mother's maiden name is Halloran, and all I ever knew was my parents were from West Virginia. I never knew I had Irish roots until I took that trip. As I wandered through the town, something clicked inside me, and I felt like I had come home. The people were friendly, the scenery was beautiful, and there was a sense of history and tradition that I had never experienced before.
I decided to do a DNA test to learn more about my ancestry. To my surprise, the results showed that I was 67% Irish. I was shocked to learn that I had such a strong connection to this beautiful country.
The genealogy center in the Irish town also revealed that my family's original name was O'Halloran, which had been changed when my great-great-grandfather arrived in America. Learning this history was like finding a missing piece of myself. I felt a sense of pride and belonging that I had never experienced before.
Since that trip, I've made a conscious effort to embrace my Irish heritage. I've visited other parts of Ireland, learned more about Irish culture, and even started listening to traditional Irish music . It's been an incredible journey of self-discovery, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn more about my roots.
Discovering my Irish heritage has given me a sense of pride and belonging that I never knew was missing. It's amazing how a single trip to a small town in Ireland could change my life in such a profound way. I feel like I've discovered a part of myself that was always there, just waiting to be uncovered.
Here are a few photos we took when I was in Ireland.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!