Pollen/Pollan Beach, Ireland

My last post from Ireland left us in the northwest corner of the Republic of Ireland and the discovery of Pollan (also spelled Pollen) Beach, which we are certain is named after us!  It is near Ballyliffin, site of the Famine Village where one can learn about the struggles of the Irish during the potato famine.  Interesting and very sad.  Pollen/Pollan beach looks out toward Malin Head, the northern most point of Ireland and is another spectacular golden sandy beach with blue-turquoise water and islands right off-shore.  We wouldn’t expect anything less than a breathtaking beach for the Pollen family, right?

Next we headed to the Northern Ireland town of Limavady and found the old Drumachose Chapel where some of our Pollen (Boyle side) ancestors are buried and there are stained glass windows honoring them in the church! Yes, We really have our own church windows😀 . That is the family crest in the middle photo below.  and the windows on the left have a memorial to Alexander Boyle written across the bottom of the glass! Amazing….

But the best discovery by far was a living relative right next door to the B & B we were staying in! I had taken a Pollen-Boyle family tree chart with me and mentioned to our B & B host we were researching our Irish ancestors; incredibly she said her neighbor was a Boyle and promptly called him up and told him about us. A few hours later Audrianna and I were sitting in the dining room of a 300 year old gorgeous house looking at the original Pollen-Boyle family ancestor chart which was exactly the same as my copy! What are the odds of that happening? It truly is a small world and finding family in Ireland added to our already magical trip!

After spending sometime with our new cousin and hearing some fascinating stories about our shared relatives we explored a bit more of Limavady and found Boyle’s Woods in a local park so we really hit the geneaology jackpot when we came here.

Finding Boyle’s Woods in Limavady, Northern Ireland 

As we continued our ramblings in Ireland we crossed the Lough Foyle on a ferry heading back to the Republic of Ireland and up to Moville and Greencastle where we spent a week working on a small farm through WWOOFING (World-wide Organization of Organic Farmers).  But that’s a story for another post on our amazing Ireland adventure!

Crossing Lough Foyle on the ferry heading to Greencastle, Ireland
Greencastle Harbor, County Donegal


  1. What an amazing experience! Especially to find living relations and being face to face to your actual research. My father traced our history back to Northern Ireland. How amazing to actually experience it in person!


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