Posted by Ancestry Team on March 6, 2015 in AncestryDNA

To get you ready for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, we wanted to share the story behind that famous phrase and discuss how the luck of the Irish might be in your DNA. And, this St. Patrick’s day might just be the right time for you to try AncestryDNA, if you haven’t already.

Kissing someone who is Irish is pretty much the next best thing to kissing the stone in Blarney Castle, which is likely where this famous saying comes from. According to legend, kissing the stone will give you the power of eloquent and persuasive speech. Two different stories relate kissing the stone with luck.

One dates back to 1440s when the builder of the castle, Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, was in a lawsuit and needed some extra luck. He sought out Clíodhna (goddess of love and beauty) and she told him to kiss a stone on his way to court. He did, and he won his case. Later he took that same stone and installed it into the castle.

Another legend suggests that Queen Elizabeth I wanted the land rights from Cormac Teige McCarthy. Cormac set off to try and convince the queen to change her mind, but was worried since he wasn’t a strong speaker. While traveling he ran into an older woman who suggested that if he kissed a particular stone in Blarney Castle it would give him the gift of eloquent speech. Cormac did just that and went on to persuade the queen to allow him to keep his land.

Nowadays, the stone gets millions of visitors at Blarney Castle, outside Cork, Ireland, with the hope the stone has the same impact on their own lives.


Does the Irish luck run deep within you? Find out how Irish you are — or somebody else is — with an AncestryDNA test. So far two out of three test takers have come back with at least five percent Irish in their ethnicity results.

How’s that for lucky?

Buy AncestryDNA for you or your lucky family member and find out how Irish you are. And make sure you share your Irish results by downloading our “Kiss Me” badges below to use on your social media profiles. Enjoy!


  1. KPalmer

    What a marvelous marketing opportunity for you all with the new release of Ancestry DNA in Ireland. So many wonderful things you could do to promote these tests in Ireland…..and all you come up with is silly buttons

  2. Edward Rogan

    Hello. Will some please answer the question: when will Ancestry DNA be available in Canada? Thank you.

  3. Cindy Garofalo

    I would also like to know when DNA testing will be available in Canada. Sooner the better.

  4. Thomas murphy

    Is Ancestry’s DNA program more specific than National Geographic’s GENO 2 DNA results?

  5. I hope Anna Swayne can help me. Can DNA prove a paternal line when a male to male 2nd tester is unavailable? The line is in question due to an 1880 census record. The direct ascendant did not leave a male subject to test or it seems that way after years of research. What do you suggest?

  6. terry poole

    I live in Mexico with my wife whose ancestors probably came from Spain. Can my wife get any results from a Ancestry saliva test?

  7. Neta Baldwin

    I have 3 people in my ancestors with prominent history. Daniel Boone on my fathers side and Rebecca Bryan Boone, and William Jennings Bryan on my mothers side. You would think with these people it would be easy to connect all of them. Some info isn’t available. I would love to connect them in black and white. Do you have any help available to me for this conquest? Thank you.

  8. Colleen McCloskey

    Please – your buttons show CLOVERS (four leaves) rather than SHAMROCKS (three leaves).

    I’m guessing Swayne isn’t an Irish name…

  9. Awilda

    I had a great-grandmother in Puerto Rico with the last name Solivan/Solevan…..Sullivan’s were apparently one of the first Irish to immigrate to Puerto Rico. Where can I find info about those early settlers and where they originated from in Ireland?

  10. Anna

    @Edward and Cindy-We hope to make it available in Canada in the future although we do not have a date for this yet.
    @Thomas-yes, AncestryDNA results include an ethnicity estimate dating back 500-1000 years and cousin matching within 10 generations.
    @S Watkins-I would suggest testing yourself first and then testing a direct descendant from the paternal line in question to find a possible relationship. Because this is an autosomal test- you may need to test additional people in both families to provide more evidence to this specific question. Read more about DNA inheritance here:

    @terry-we don’t offer AncestryDNA tests in Mexico at this time. We hope in the near future but we do not have a date for this yet.
    @Neta-taking a DNA test could be the tool you need to sort out this kind of connection. I know for me, the DNA cousin matching has helped my family verify a few lines we weren’t completely confident on.

  11. Justine


    I have two inquiries. I’m interested in finding out information about my great-great-great grandfather. I discovered information about him and his wife (Who happened to be Welsh)… that they both emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to Nova Scotia. However, I can’t find that information online anymore (I found this info through the Catholic organization that I went to in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2007.) I can’t recall the name of the county that he was buried at in Nova Scotia — and I can’t find records online anywhere… I have his name and his wife’s name (including birth/maiden name)… He was also a teacher. However, I don’t know how to find this info since I can’t recall the process that the representative used eight years ago. What can I do to move forward with this search? I’ve already tried multiple avenues with – and nothing has been pulled up (I have the membership where I can search internationally.)

    Final question re DNA: my grandfather/grand aunt used to tell family members that we had Micmac blood in us. Would the DNA test share this information?

    Thank you for your feedback regarding this issue.
    Warm regards.

  12. Theresa

    My AncestryDNA says I’m Irish, but how would I know if this is from my father’s X chromosome or my mother’s? My oldest brother has passed, I’m estranged from my middle brother, and my last brother will not take the test. My oldest brother who passed has a son…could he give me the information regarding the Y Chromosone? I will be asking my sister to take the test to see if she gets the same results as I did. Thank you for all you do.

  13. Jackie

    When will they have the ability to distinguish Native American DNA to specific tribes? I have seen something on the PBS show Finding your Roots that was able to pinpoint a tribe in Mexico for Aaron Sanchez. Will AncestryDNA offer that soon?

  14. Sharyn Eischen

    Ouch! I’m cringing! The shamrock emblem of Ireland has three (3) leaves for the Holy Trinity NOT the four leaves of the so-called lucky clover. A bit worrisome to this 37% Irish woman that your research is not more thorough. Can you correct this?

  15. Kathleen

    My little Irish grandfather was John McCormick and his mother was a Richardson. How in the world can I tell which McCormicks and Richardsons were ancestors? John McCormick is like John Smith in Ireland. I can trace a great grandfather John McCormick to Queens County but there is no Queens county now in Ireland. What now?

  16. Jill Nakashima

    Thomas Murphy, DNA test from ancestry is more specific than Geno Test, offered by Nat’l Geo. This one gives you specific regions, along with potential cousins.

  17. Celeste baldwin

    After a frustrating year of membership to ancestry I stopped my membership and traveled in person to states and areas of origin in the USA, going back to colonial America. I found more specifics and additional information as well as correcting inaccuracies in I at this point ran into a dead end after finding the 6x great grandparent having landed near colonial Williamsburg with s land parent from the King in the 1600’s. I can not find from where he came or how he came to get the patent in England. With the last name of Johnson I can only wonder if he was Scotish or Irish. Most important in this comment is the inaccuracy of’s information.

  18. Brenda Lippert

    My father is certain there is Cherokee in the family ancestry along with the English and Irish, but neither his DNA or mine, came back with even a trace. My brother thinks your bank may not have enough Cherokee to compare with. What do you say?

  19. Nancy Forbush

    I’m new. My maternal grandmother was born Elizabeth Palmer, in England, April 23, 1875. This is in my tree with you. I’ve found handwritten lists with her and her siblings (9 or 0 altogether!) and their birthdates. And a similar list with dates of death. Is this something I can photograph and email to you? Could it help on my search or some other you would have?

  20. Marilyn Rogers

    Could it be I am actually related to Grace Kelley (Kelly), the star and princess all in one. My great grandmother’s name was Grace Kelly whose father was Thomas Kelly from Ireland and mother Grace Gibson Kelly and that name goes back even further and further. How could I be sure?

  21. Crystal Schroeder

    Seriously? A 4-leaf clover instead of a Shamrock on your “Irish” buttons? Maybe it works for the people who think they’re “lucky” for being “0% Irish.” But as for me and my 47% Irish AncedstryDNA, I’ll stick with a Shamrock please. (:->

  22. Crystal Schroeder

    Looks like a little Irish magic changed the 4-leaf clovers to Shamrocks on your buttons. Many thanks!

  23. My Grandfather was JF Casey of Boston My mother was Mary Feeney of Vermont my father James was born in Boston in 1883 – Where can I go for information? Thank you!

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