Faeries in your family tree

Bodium CastleDo you have fae ancestry? I mean really fae ancestry, the kind that can be written on your family tree?

If you have Irish ancestry, the answer is probably yes! Most people with Irish roots also have faerie ancestors.

Here’s a short version of the history.

The Irish fae world includes the Tuatha De Danann, who were the “gods and not-gods” (in Irish: de agus ande) of early Ireland.

The Tuatha De Danann were–and are–real people, or perhaps “beings” is a better word.

And, they married the (very human) Milesians and had children, when the Milesians conquered Ireland.

(This history is documented in many ancient sources, including The Annals of the Four Masters, one of Ireland’s earliest written histories, transcribed by monks.

The Milesians were the people who populated modern Ireland. Their surnames are the ones that start with O’ and Mac.

However, in recent times, those O’ and Mac prefixes were often dropped. For example, O’Baoighill became O’Boyle and then simply Boyle.

(Murphy was O’Murchadha and Sullivan was O’Suileabhain, and the list goes on…)

So, if you have Irish ancestry (and over 50% of people in the United States do), then you probably have Milesian blood in your veins.

That means you probably have faerie ancestors, too.

If you could trace your heritage back far enough, you’d get to the Irish ancestor who married one of the Tuatha De Danann, and you’d actually have the name of your faerie ancestor.

(If you’re a FitzGerald from the Limerick area, the process may be a lot easier, since Lord Desmond, the third Earl of Desmond, married the Tuatha De Danann goddess, Aine. Their son, Gerald, fourth Earl of Desmond, is still seen riding from Lough Gur every seven years when the lake is dry.)

My emphasis is on Irish faeries, because that’s my own ancestry.

However, many cultures have similar traditions, from Scandinavian to Indian to Arab to African.

Research your family tree and learn your faerie connections.

You may find some wonderful surprises!

213 thoughts on “Faeries in your family tree”

  1. Hello, I have had very strange things happening to me over the past few years. Currently I am 28 yet as soon as I turned 22, I started noticing my eyesight and hearing started to become heightened. Around 24 my palms would randomly become extremely warm in a perfect circular shape. It wasn’t until 26 years old that I happened to be walking in the Willamette forest with my wife, and she looked at me with a concerned face and expressed in shock that my palms were extremely red. I had noticed them getting a little warm but dismissed it as a normal odd occurance. That’s when I tripped and grabbed a tree to catch myself and this tree..idk I feel crazy saying this, but I swear I felt something hug me and catch me from falling. That was the strangest most comforting “at home” feeling I have ever felt in my life. It was as if you stumble upon the greenest wood with a trickling brook and bubbling Springs all around, complete serenity. Anyways, I opened my eyes to see my wife walking up to me asking me where I went. I only had one answer of I don’t know looking around I was lying on a fallen tree that was easily 100 ft from the tree I stumbled onto. Since then (2 years ago now) I always have the same reoccurring dream specifically twice a month of that day in the forest except when I stumble I fall into a hole and I can never make out her face but she has a bow on her back with a quiver, long brownish golden hair and her voice is completely unmistakable. She always whispers, “welcome, you made it” and then I open my eyes in the dream to my wife walking up and etc. Please tell me I’m not crazy or I ask for some clarity to all of this, my wife of course does not believe that I have this same dream twice a month, every month, for the past 2 years. I also do not know how or where to look up my family tree I’ve tried Google and ancestry.com and it all just says no results.

    Thankyou

  2. Hello.
    I`m not exactly sure what I am. But I wouldn`t say I`m exactly `normal`. I`m 16 years old and I was born in Ireland.
    I have what some would call an `unusual` connection with animals and I adore Autumn whether that has anything to do with what I am I have no Idea but I just thought I`d say that.
    I stumbled on this site by chance or maybe fate?
    But either way, knowledge of what I could be would be much appreciated.
    And then maybe it will stop.
    Much Thanks,
    Chloe.

    1. Chloe, thanks for your comment.

      I believe that faeries are connected with the land, by choice. And, I believe the stories of the Tuatha De Danann are more literal than many people admit.

      So, with your background, I think it’s entirely possible — and perhaps likely — that you have a strong connection to the faerie world.

      I’m not sure if “maybe it will stop.” Personally, I think a fae connection can be a tremendous asset.

      But, it may be that — at least in your case — acknowledging the possible connection could be enough to put your mind at rest.

      Sincerely,
      Fiona

  3. Recently found out that my mom’s family (Irish & Scottish) carry the Fey bloodline. It seems to skip generations. Odd, though, that my mom & I are the only ones in her family who have “those”dreams, the ones that come true. Also discovered at 15 a terrible “curse” — the power of the word. It wasn’t until after decades of research & learning that I finally realized I am a natural witch (your powers come from within). Plus the “gift” of clairvoyance, mainly through dreams, passed down from generation to generation. I am also a “sensitive.” And, yes, since I was a wee tike I have adored nature, especially trees!

    1. Your part German nix like me . We have the gift of prophecy.
      Oh and male nixies sometimes mate with humann females and then have kids called urchins like me.

  4. Hey Fiona,
    I really love the idea of faeries and once had a very realistic dream (twice over the span of two years) in a little forest, then a few months after the first dream, we moved into a house and across the road was the exact same forest. It kinda spooked me a little but it’s also always intrigued me. I have always had very vivid dreams but this one is still the most vivid. I have irish ancestory, my last name coming from the gelic, O hEalaighthe – now however it’s just Healey. Does this mean I could have faerie ancestory cause that’d be pretty cool. I haven’t seen any in real life sadly, just in that one dream but their folklaore has always interested me,
    Cheers,
    Madi

  5. Hello! I’ve been told I have a fairy soul, I have read a lot about it and a lot of the caracteristics fits with me, my question is what should I do with it?

    1. Satur, I recommend learning more about faerie legends and folklore, to fully understand the benefits and risks of your fairy connections. Then, find ways to bring the best features into your life, every day, in small ways.

    2. You can’t have a fairy soul sorry . Fearies are entitys totally different from us and you can’t be human with a fairy soul sorry .

      1. Rachael, please link to your references for this.

        Since some of our readers have faerie ancestry – and are human – I’m not sure why someone couldn’t have a faerie soul.

        Faeries may be different from humans in many ways, but I believe the history of the Tuatha De Danann suggests that the Tuatha De and humans “interacted.” Some speculate that those interactions included marriage and children.

        I look forward to seeing your supporting evidence. Until then, I think it’s cruel to say that Satur “can’t have a fairy soul.” In my opinion, Satur’s soul could be fae.

        In fact, I think it’s a lovely concept, and it gives Satur a wonderful sense of identity, and strengths to explore.

        Sincerely,
        Fiona

  6. My brother came across an ancestor from Ireland that her race in the annex was listed as Fairy and her title was fairy queen. However he discounted it and didn’t save the results of his research. I, having no experience in geneology on an in depth level like my skeptical family has, am trying to learn how I can find this ancestors listing again. Any helpful guidance you can provide would be wonderful.

    1. Marcella,

      Thanks for asking this.

      I’m not sure what you’re describing as an “annex.” Ireland was annexed by England in 1800, and I suppose there were some records. However, the first full Irish census was in 1821. It’s one of several censuses that were at least partially lost in the Four Courts fire in 1922.

      This is one reason why, once I know where an Irish ancestor lived, I usually go to church records. They aren’t entirely reliable or complete, but they may be the best we have, short of a family Bible with all the names and dates.

      Since your family has done some genealogical research, they should be able to tell you which townland/parish to look in, for the records you need.

      However, the idea that anyone would be listed as Fairy (race) and title as fairy queen… that sounds like someone was attempting humor. So far, I’ve never seen an early (19th century or before) Irish record that had a column for the person’s race.

      But, I haven’t used every possible Irish record, so I may have overlooked something.

      The second problem with that story is Irish tradition. You’re unlikely to find anyone who would use the word “fairy,” seriously. In the past, most Irish who believed in faeries also believed it was bad luck — or even inviting trouble — to make any direct mention of the faeries.

      That’s why they’re referred to as “the Little People,” when most faeries are actually as large as humans or much bigger. (In “Harry Potter,” Hagrid would probably be a faerie or have fae ancestry.) Traditionally, the Irish called faeries by other names as well, such as “the Gentry.” The idea was to use a phrase that definitely did not describe faeries.

      So, if someone were actually described as a “fairy” in an Irish record, it might be a joke.

      It might also be that the described person was a bit mad and thought she was a fairy queen. So, someone might have put that into the records, because that’s what she wanted. Or, because the registrar (or census-taker) decided it was appropriate, given the circumstances.

      The third possibility was that she had some physical or mental issues so she was very different from others in the community. In that case, but only in very early records, she might have been considered a Changeling; that would be a baby-like child was left in the cradle, as a replacement, when the faeries took the human child back to their own world. Though I’ve never seen a clear, documented reference that would make a Changeling a faerie, it seems a logical connection.

      You’ll need more information from your brother. An era and surname would help. The part of Ireland he was researching is also useful, as you search for the records.

      But remember: when you’re researching your ancestry, start with the present day and work back. Many people make the mistake of leaping into a story from the 19th century or earlier.

      To be confident that you’re on the right track — especially in a search that may lead nowhere or turn out to be an attempt at humor — it’s essential to have a well-documented path from yourself through known ancestors’ records, back to the 19th century and earlier.

      The best list of Irish genealogical records may be this: https://www.findmypast.com/articles/world-records/full-list-of-the-irish-family-history-records

      However, Ancestry.com may be the easiest and fastest way to trace your roots. Once you’ve entered the ancestors you’re sure about, Ancestry.com will start sharing links to others’ research. When you find someone who’s done serious research (not all have been careful or thorough), it can save you weeks, months, or even years.

      If you do find the record your brother mentioned, I’d be very interested in knowing more about it. It would be very unusual and newsworthy.

      Sincerely,
      Fiona

  7. I’m adopted and know nothing about my heritage. I sometimes feel things – feelings and notions from others. Joy is infectious, pain – mostly anger and sadness – can be crippling. I often need to be alone to recharge, and am the most at peace when surrounded by nature (the sun through the leaves, glinting off the snow, or shimmering off the water is best, but the feel of grass and soil beneath my feet and the smell of the soil and cold in my nose is also grounding). What am I?

    1. Becky, any DNA service (Ancestry.com may be one of the best for this) can tell you your heritage. Once you know that, I recommend looking into various faeries related to your ancestral countries. See which of them resonate with you. They may help you understand your strengths & sensitivities, so you can make the most of them.

    2. You sound like me . For the longest time I asked the same question over and over again and it turns out I was the great granddaughter of a fearie so honestly the only way to really know if you are part fea and not just some crazy fan is to meet a fearie in the first place.

  8. Hey so i only recently started looking into the different types of witches and i was really drawn to the fae witches. i started researching the fae more and more and i think i might be a reincarnated fae or at least have some fae blood? also, again, i only just started researching things, so I’m really sorry if i said something that offended anyone. my surname is bralick, but my grandmas is o’neil. I’m really not sure where to start researching about that. and any other advice you can give would be super awesome.

    1. ryleagh, with O’Neil in your ancestry, you definitely have fae ancestry. The O’Neils are one of the Milesian families, which means they married the Tuatha De Danann… the original faeries of Ireland. (This also means we’re distantly related, as I have O’Neils in my ancestry, as well. (Lots of Irish do. It’s one of the largest families in Ireland.)

  9. hi.
    so i am fae, i know it, i know its only heritage. my nana ravd about it being in our blood, i project emotions, and music and the occasional thought. i have ahuge affinity to water and trees, (especcially willow, lilac and white birch) i feel stronger around fire, and the earth is the best way to ground myself. i have a constant need to create. sadly my nana passed before she could teach me much, we have irish, scottish, scandinavian, and english on her side. she said it was being born with purple eyes. i used to dream of a fairy who gave me advice and told me of each of my children, but since i had my eldest daughter (also born with the purple eyes) she has been gone. how do i figure out what type of fae liniage i have……i can literally feel vibrations from crystals. and have a really hard time seeing the bad in people

  10. I was always curious about my lineage because my father’s side is a complete mystery to me. Well, AncestryDNA had a special so rushed to see what I was made of. You see, I am a good friend of the Faeries, and they told me that I am of Faery Blood. Sure enough, I found out that I am 100% European and 28% is Irish, Scottish, and Wales, 28% Italian/Greek, 17% Scandinavian, 17% British ( My last name is Kent so I expected this), 5% European West. The best part is that I was always attracted to Ireland, from the fiery red headed women to the island itself. I have never been to Ireland, but I am in hope of visiting there someday!

  11. In our family we have an oral history of being half fairy. The Robinsons according to this oral history come from a group called “Sons of Robin” basically what we now call Robin Goodfellow. Back in the day when fertility rituals were common on Beltane (May 1st) many young woman who wanted a child, but not a husband, would celebrate with the May pole and “May Queens” ritual. The woman would run through the forest after the May pole was complete, and young men dressed like the God “Robin” or “Old Hob” would chase them. If they caught a May Queen…they took her on the forest floor. The woman would consider the God the father to these children and each year a crop of children known as “Robin’s sons” would be born. Later the surname Robinson and Hobson immerged from this in England.

    1. What an extraordinary history! I don’t think I’ve ever read or heard this, before. I recall some related traditions represented in Arthurian-related books, but the Robinson-Hobson connection was never part of it. Thanks for this comment!

  12. This excites me to no end!!!!
    My surname is Brennan…
    How do I find out more???
    All my father’s side are Brennan’s from Ireland!!!
    Is there a link to find out?!!!
    Please and Thank you!!! Xxx

    1. The original spelling was probably O’Braonain. That surname traces back to four different parts of Ireland, but the important thing is: it’s a name with likely Milesian roots… which confirms the likelihood of a faerie connection.

      See if you can find where your Irish ancestors came from, exactly. Someone in your family may have researched the family tree. If not, Ancestry.com isn’t free, but it’s probably the best resource. A short membership will probably give you the answers you’re looking for… unless a close relative already has this info. Ask your family members, to see if they know.

  13. Hi Fiona! Thanks so much for writing this. My gramma, although never having stepped foot in Ireland and knowing very little about her ancestry, absolutely adored Ireland with such tenderness. A DNA test my mom took shows a significant percentage of Irish blood. In reading Daniel Foor’s “Ancestral Medicine” book (which addresses ancestral trauma and how to heal it), I’ve practiced some of his simple exercises that allow one to access each primary lineage, and it was really fascinating to discover and sense what I believe to be actual faerie blood running through my mother’s mother’s line. In a Dagara divination years ago and readings from others, I’ve been told repeatedly I am faerie royalty, which I found silly, but when I reflect on my experiences and all the magical and astounding bouts of serendipity and physical manifestations of special tokens and hidden treasure in my life, I’ve come to embrace this. On the flip side, I have dealt with continual, intense, and agonizing chronic misfortune touching all areas of my life, including health and home issues. My quest to heal this has led me to understand that there was a curse somehow related to my pixie soul and blood. I recently met with a person trained in unraveling curses, so fingers crossed I will finally resolve the trauma and begin to live my life and enjoy the blessings that have been hidden. I have a few questions:

    1) What would you say the difference is or connections are between those with faerie soul origins vs. faerie past lives vs. faerie blood?

    2) For those with faerie ancestry, what are the typical blessings and burdens?

    3) Could you share more about other world cultures that have similar traditions? I tried searching but haven’t found anything.

    Many thanks! xx

    1. Hi Mary!

      Thanks for mentioning Foor’s book. I’ll look at that.

      Your question about faerie souls, past lives, and faerie blood… that’s something I’ve never considered. I’ll think about it, and I’ll also be interested in others’ responses to your questions.

      I think the biggest blessing – and burden – for anyone with faerie ancestry is simply accepting that it’s real… and understanding what your gifts (and vulnerabilities) might be.

      The best cross-reference I know of is Carol Rose’s book, Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia. One of the best features in the book is a section where you can look up the faerie name/category, and find the closest kinds of faeries in other national/cultural traditions. I’ve owned a copy of that book for years, and use it regularly in my research.

      Thanks for asking!

      Cheerfully, Fiona

  14. I have Fitzgerald, Fitz Walter, De Windsor names in my family tree on my father’s side going quite a long way back . I’ve been told I’ve had many lives in faery realm. I feel a connection.

  15. Lol not alone finaly. Ok so I know who my ancestor was , my great great grandfather is a nix of German origin and my guardian fearie who i don’t know the name of has saved my life more times than I can remember . I call him wren like you know … the bird. But he’s so funny . I can’t see him but !y best friends can because they are ghosts along with fea . But my freind Athena is also part fea and her guardian is actually named rin . My guardian is 700 years old and adorable . I’m thankful but also the name for a half human half nixie is called an urchin. Oh and when half fea die they turn immortal and live with the fairies . I asked.

  16. Hi everyone, I live on long island in the U.S. and recently found through a 23 and me test that I am partly of Irish and British descent. I’m 25 now but have always felt like I was connected to magic and I love nature and animals. I love the sea more than anything in this world. I keep finding 4, 5, and even 6 leaf clovers where others find none, and sometimes my brother in law tells me he sees something strange in my eyes when he looks at me indirectly. I learned from my grandma, who adopted my mother, that her birth name was Mahannah but I can’t find much information about them. Any advice will greatly help, thank you.

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