About 45 enthusiastic Irish genealogists joined us for a fun-filled, information packed Irish Research Workshop last week. Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation gave four talks about researching family history in Ireland. They presented many resources useful to any Irish researcher, whether your ancestor was from Derry or Kerry.
Some key points they made included:
- The importance of “place” in Irish research - and how to identify the various (and confusing) geographical divisions of Ireland.
- They emphasized the need to complete U.S. research before trying to “cross the water.” You must know where in Ireland your family came from, as records are stored geographically.
- Although many records were lost in the destruction of the Public Record Office, Dublin, in 1922, many records did survive (just like in the Chicago Fire). There are many ways to use other records to help get around this loss. For example, the registers from some 600 Church of Ireland parishes as well as church records for all the other denominations survived, as did official records of births, deaths and marriages.
We are happy to have had the opportunity to host this event and look forward to future visits from the Foundation.