Teva J Scheer

Writing what I'd like to read myself

The Harp and the Hand




“The Harp and the Hand” does for Irish genealogists what “Our Daily Bread” did for German genealogists.

Using two fictitious families, one in the north and one in the south, Teva presents an easy-to-read summary of Irish history, from the Celtic period to the end of the Nineteenth Century—the period when so many of her readers’ ancestors left their native Ireland for new homes in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Teva explores their daily lives through the century—their houses, their work, their marriages and families, and finally, their journeys to their new homes overseas.

 Although the two families are fictitious, the text includes over 500 endnotes from the scholarly works used to write this book. Any reader who want to know more will find the notes and the bibliography invaluable.


“Ní fiú scéal gan údar. (There’s no worth to a story without an author)
Teva has crafted an epic tale of Ireland’s past in the tradition of the storyteller (seanchaí). Like the seanchaí of old who enraptured audiences with stories in the long winter evenings there will be an honoured place kept beside the fire for her! This book is a must for anyone who wants an insight into the life of their Irish ancestors or with an interest in the past. ”

Paula Lydon , Dan O’ Hara’s Cottage, Connemara Heritage & History Centre

“As a 5th-generation Australian, I loved learning so much about my Irish roots! I knew my earliest Irish ancestor came to Australia as a convict laborer, but now that I have read your book, I have a much better sense of the poverty he faced in Ireland that led to his conviction. I loved the family you invented to convey the centuries of Irish history; your description made me feel I’d like to be related to them! I’m most impressed, and would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand their Irish ancestors.”

Annette Kelly Hillman, Queensland, Australia

“In her absorbing tale, Teva Scheer effectively weaves 1000 years of Irish history with historical characters and fictional players who could have lived in those times. If you have Irish ancestors, you’ll want to read this book to find out how historic events shaped their lives and what their everyday experience was like.”

Gigi Hickey, Blog Editor, Irish Genealogical Society International