• Screenshot of the “Mapping the Emerald Isle: a geo-genealogy of Irish surnames” map by ESRI

I have a confession to make. Despite my red hair and very Irish last name, I am not Irish by birth. But I can see where my adoptive father’s ancestors likely emigrated from, thanks to this map. (Turns out, the majority of them hailed from the coastal county of Wexford.)

Using data from the 1890 census, two cartographers mapped out what they call the "Geo-Geneology" of Irish surnames. The point, says co-creator Ken Fields, was “to evoke feelings of longing, recollection, and familiarity.” To read more about map's design, go here.

So whether you're Irish by birth, adoption, or spirit, you can explore the map by simply typing in a common Irish surname, and seeing where they came from.