Michael's Family Tree

How to use the StoryMap: Above, scroll on the left side to travel through Michael’s StoryMap about his family. Click on a point to jump to that chapter. Click on ‘Go to top’ to return to the beginning of the StoryMap.

(Fullscreen version available here.)

My name is Michael Collins and as you can see, this is my family tree. The StoryMap allows you to digitally travel through my family tree along one strand from my great grandfather Michael Puck Collins somewhere in Sligo to me, Michael Collins, in Coolock, Dublin. This journey took many  years.

This was a really interesting part of the project as we worked with a genealogist Tony Hennessy as well as endless hours researching with extended family to make sure we had the correct information. The intergenerational aspect here was for me, really important. I was amazed at the amount of information the older Travellers had stored in their heads, I was fascinated listening to them and I think they enjoyed telling us our history through storytelling.

Working with Tony meant we were able to confirm stories and facts and also fill in a lot of gaps, which the older Travellers were delighted about. I’m not sure who had more questions for each other… Tony or all the Travellers who we spoke to!!

We found out some interesting facts like my grandfather was in the Connaught Rangers and fought for his country. This is important because a lot of people don’t know that Travellers fought for their country and are very proud to be Irish and to be Travellers.

As we know Travellers are not spoken about much when we look at Irish history so we were delighted to donate three family trees completed on Pavee Roads Home to The National Library of Ireland so we can ensure our stories are told and can be accessed, shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible.

-Michael Collins