6    Apr 20090 comments

The MyHeritage Interview Series: Irish American storyteller Brian Reynolds

Brian Reynolds Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics or businesswomen...they all know the value of family and the joys of staying in touch with them. But what is on their family photos? How often do they call their mother and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!

The Irish are known as great storytellers and Brian Reynolds is one of them. He runs the Irish American Story Project; a website set up to capture stories of Irish culture and emigration to the US. The site carries stories of luck, love, family and other tales. Find below the answers to the questions we asked Brian.

How did you get involved with this project?

I lived in New York for three years, and being there I met many people whose family has emigrated from Ireland. They set up a new life in the US, and I just thought it would be great to have a website to record some of their stories.

There are some really beautiful stories on the website like 'The old Irishman from Louisiana' and the three part story written by Chris Brennan about his Irish American Family History.

The amount of research Chris conducted on his family history and piecing the dates together is amazing. It gives us some really good insights into the challenges of living 100 years ago.

What is your favorite family photo?

It would have to be a family photograph from the 70's we took when on holidays in Baltimore in West Cork. I've yet to transfer any of those photos to digital, but it's on my to do list.

What is your favorite holiday and how does your family celebrate it?

Christmas: Love it, Love it, Love it. We sit around giving presents to each other after having been to mass. Then we go for a swim in the sea, and yes, it's freezing.

How international is your family?

All of our family have lived abroad at some stage, but most of us are our back in Ireland now. I have one brother living in South Africa.

Are you interested in genealogy?

Yes I am, it's something I will spend more time looking at in the future. I love hearing
the stories behind peoples' family. I once asked my mum why my grandfather came from Cork, given that most of the Reynolds are from the Midlands. She said that they moved down there for the Battle of Kinsale and didn't move back. The Battle of Kinsale was in 1798!

How do you think technology impacts family?

Technology is making the world a smaller place and it's helping families keep closer together. I use Skype to keep in contact with my brother, it's so simple to use and it's free.

How does your family use the internet and what do they use it for?

We all use the internet, from research on cooking or travel to keeping in touch on social networking sites.

What MyHeritage feature do you like most?

I am not a member, but would love to join.

What famous person would you like to have in your family and why?

The founder of the Guinness Brewery, Arthur Guinness. No matter what Irish pub you went to in the world, you always see your family name!

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