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Another presenter at the August 2018 Pathways to our Past Celtic Connections Conference (CCC) will be Donna Moughty, a professional genealogist who lectures, consults, leads research trips, and writes a blog.

Her April 2 blog posting, “Cluster for Success,” is a must-read. Moughty explains how and why we should be tracking surnames by locality. Her last several postings emphasize use of John Grenham’s website, which was also the focus of her mini lecture at this year’s RootsTech conference. Great tips and clear examples – don’t miss these postings at Moughty’s website.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, wouldn’t you like to be in the audience for presentations by renowned genealogists? You’ll have four opportunities to hear Donna Moughty if you attend the August 10-11 conference at the Boston (MA) Marriott Newton. Her presentations will be:

  • Seeking your Scots-Irish ancestry
  • The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, online and off
  • Strategies for finding the origins of your Irish ancestors
  • Irish civil registration and church records – it’s a new world!

Take a look at the CCC website to read about presenters and their offerings as well as everything else going on at the conference.

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Irish-Americans served on both sides of the American Civil War. To commemorate the 1861 beginning of the war, Fold3 is offering free access (with registration) to its Civil War Collection through April 15.

The Collection includes 50 titles and 91 million records. Some popular titles are:

  • Civil War “Widows’ Pensions” Files
  • US Federal Census 1860
  • Civil War Service Records
  • Civil War Pensions Index
  • Pension Numerical Index

Here are some Confederate Records:

  • Confederate Amnesty Papers
  • Confederate Casualty Reports
  • Confederate Citizens File
  • Confederate Navy Subject File
  • Confederate Service Records
  • Southern Claims Commission

Start researching Fold3 here.

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The weekend weather outlook here in Minnesota is rated “PG, for pretty grim,” according to local meteorologist Paul Douglas.

Douglas goes on, “I’m predicting a cruel meteorological April Fool’s joke with Easter morning temperatures in the teens, a few degrees away from records. March goes out like a lion tomorrow, a mountain lion, with blustery winds and swirling snow Up North.”

What a good weekend to stay inside and do some family history research!

Just in time, Ancestry has announced free Easter weekend access to its Commonwealth Collection. Records included are from Ireland, U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more: AncestryCommonwealth.

The records will be free through Monday, April 2, at 5:59 CDT. All you need is a registered account (no credit card information).

 

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A treat for our readers today! Here’s a guest posting by Randi Mary:

A few years ago during a two week trip to Ireland in September I was thrilled to learn that Ireland has FOUR Nobel laureates of literature!  W.B. Yeats in 1923, George Bernard Shaw in 1925, Samuel Beckett in 1969, and Seamus Heaney in 1995.

But hold on!  What about James Joyce?  Sadly, no Nobel prize for James Joyce.

The tiny island of Ireland is the only country on Planet Earth with four Nobel Prizes in literature; despite centuries of foreign invaders, laws forbidding the education of Catholics, multiple famines, the not-so-distant “Troubles” and economic ups & downs.  Wow!

When I returned home from Ireland in late September, winter was not far ahead. I really enjoy winter, especially January, because I can stay indoors reading ALL DAY LONG.  I can spend hours in the libraries of Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Dakota counties – hunting. That winter as I browsed book titles and authors I was amazed by the number of authors with Irish names. That winter I discovered Colm Tóibín, Nuala O’Faolain, Peter Sheridan, and Frank Delaney.  Delaney’s “Ireland” is one of my all time favorite books!

As a lifelong Minnesotan who loves winter, even I get a little tired of gray sky by late March. Early and mid March teases with a few sunny days and mild temps, then along comes more snow and howling winds.  In March I am truly thankful for great authors and great books.

I have to mention the other Irish Nobel laureates:  Ernest Walton 1951 Physics;  Seán MacBride 1974 Peace;  John Hume 1998 Peace;  William C. Campbell 2015 Physiology or Medicine.

In my humble opinion, Ireland is truly a “Celtic Tiger”.

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“Irish genealogy research is famous for being difficult, if not impossible,” says one of my favorite bloggers, Claire Santry. Her IrishGenealogyNews blog and toolkit should not be missed if you’re researching Irish family history.

However some of the confusing difficulty related to Irish research seems to have shifted from the lack of records to the overlap of record sources. What’s available where? What are the best sources for my particular situation? What’s free? What requires a subscription?

Another of my favorite bloggers, John Grenham, sheds light on this very subject–the “great mosaic of online transcripts”–in his March 26th posting. Grenham’s explanations, along with his link to Santry’s recent posting about flaws in the latest indexes, are really helpful. If I could just remember what they say when I’m researching…

Reading their advice is one thing. Seeing and hearing genealogy giants speak in person and being able to ask questions, that’s bliss!

Wouldn’t you like to be in the audience when John Grenham speaks on the mysteries of the “Valuation Office” or shares “Things You Didn’t Know About Irish Genealogy”? Or how about seeing Fiona Fitzsimons (who’s also referenced in the last line of Grenham’s latest blog)? You could hear her tips on “Irish Church Records” and “Education and Occupational Records,” with more insights on Findmypast.

Grenham, Fitzsimons and more than a dozen other renowned genealogists will be presenters at “Pathways to Our Past,” the 2018 Celtic Connections Conference (CCC) in Boston on August 10-11. Registration opened last week at the CCC website.

More information about the other presenters and their topics is available on the CCC website, and we’ll highlight them in future postings here.

 

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Yesterday’s quiz was a piece of cake compared to this one, which definitely separates the Irish research novices from the pros.

See if you can correctly answer these ten questions from Findmypast and Niall Cullin:  FMPquiz

 

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The Nutfield blog carries the name of a New Hampshire land grant given to Scots-Irish settlers in 1719, now the communities of Derry, Londonderry and Windham.

It’s a blog to follow if your ancestors spent time in New England, but this week a posting lets us assess how genea-literate we are: NutsfieldQuiz.

Add up your points, based on categories giving one, two, five, ten and twenty points for specified activities.

I scored 136, mostly because of my DAR ancestor/membership and not because of well-disciplined research methods.

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Registration officially opened today for Pathways to Our Past, the Celtic Connections Conference which will occur August 10-11, 2018, in Boston.

TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) and IGSI (Irish Genealogical Society International) are co-sponsoring a third Celtic Connections Conference, this time in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts.

An impressive slate of speakers from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and the U.S. will present lectures about Irish, Scots-Irish, Scottish and Welsh genealogy, DNA, and culture. You’ll learn about exciting new ways to discover and interpret your ancestral roots.

Each day conference participants will be able to choose from four tracks of lectures. Luncheons on Friday and Saturday, included in the registration price, feature music and storytellers. See the full listing of programs/speakers — and fun activities outside the classroom — at the CCC18 website.

The 2014 and 2016 conferences drew attendees from across the U.S. and Canada and received rave reviews. No other conference offers this focus on Celtic ancestry and heritage, or such a stellar list of international presenters.  Early registration is advised.

Pathways to Our Past will take place August 10 & 11, 2018, at the Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Auburndale, MA. Specially priced lodging for conference-goers is available at the conference site. Discounted registration fee for the full conference is $225 for TIARA/IGSI members and $250 for non-members. Single-day registration for either Friday or Saturday is $120 for TIARA/IGSI members and $145 for non-members. The Early-bird discounts are available until June 4. Tickets can be purchased separately for the Thursday bus tour, Friday banquet, or Saturday trivia night.

Conference details including the conference brochure and online registration are available at the CCC18 website.

Contact:        Celtic Connections Conference

                         P.O. Box 66010

                        Auburndale, MA  02466                                                      

                        info@celtic-connections.org

 

P.S.  Now that registration is officially open, we’ll soon be posting additional exciting details about the extra offerings as well as opportunities to support the conference. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a reminder about a class this Saturday, March 24, on the topic “Finding Ship Records for Irish Ancestors.”

The presenter will be Mary Wickersham, an Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI) volunteer/board member and long-time Irish researcher.

Our March 24 class will be held at the new alternative location for classes, The Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N, St Paul, from 10:30 am to 12 noon.

Cost for IGSI members is $15 and $20 for non-members. You can pre-register or just show up on Saturday morning.

If you aren’t able to attend, you can purchase class notes for just $5. Register or order class notes at the IGSI website.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day! You can celebrate through Monday with free access to Irish records on Ancestry.com.

Search 80 million Irish records including Ancestry’s new Boston Irish Catholic Collection.

If you don’t already have an Ancestry account, the only requirement is your name and email address.

The Irish Heritage Collection will be free until 11:59 ET,Monday, March 19.

Not sure where to start? Download Ancestry’s guide to 10 places to start your search in the U.S.

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