Family history research in Ireland can be difficult, but it also can be rewarding in unexpected ways. For a country so bedevilled by historic unresolved arguments, the worm's-eye-view of history that genealogy provides regularly throws up rich contradictions defying the logic of tribes and statistics: Protestant natives and Catholic settlers, marriages across cultures, Gaelic families with English surnames, immigration, social mobility, ... If you manage to get back far enough, we all came from somewhere different, and someone different. Genealogy teaches that there are no pure races or tribes. Its only incontrovertible truths are we are all mongrels and all cousins.