Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free Irish Genealogy Seminar March 15

Irish Americans looking for their roots will have an opportunity to learn how to trace their family trees back to Europe at a genealogy lecture scheduled to take place in Bridgeport on Saturday, March 15, 2008. The presentations by three noted researchers will take place at Housatonic Community College 900 Lafayette Blvd in Bridgeport starting at noon.

Prof. Jonathan Shea, a foreign language professor at HCC, will lead off the sessions speaking about American sources needed to find information about the family on this side of the ocean, some of which will take the researcher back to the family's place of origin in Ireland. Among the sources to be discussed are local birth, marriage and death records, probate files, church registers and similar documentation generated on a local level as well as information laden records of the federal government such as decennial census returns, WWI draft registrations and ships passenger lists from Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Shea, a New Britain native, traces his paternal roots to the counties of Offaly and Mayo in Ireland and has done on site research in the National Archives in Dublin, local county records offices and Catholic parish archives in his counties of origin. Stated Shea" My family not only emigrated to the US but to the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand so tracking down all the various branches of the family has taken me on a documentary journey to four continents"

Resources in Ireland will be discussed by Janet Pestey of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. Major records sources such as the nineteenth century Griffiths Valuation Lists and the surviving Irish census returns will be covered as well as information on national vital records indexes many of which are available at the Family History Center in Woodbridge and the resources to be found at Irish National Archives. Also included will be Civil Registration records which began in 1864, church records, tithe records estate records. Local sources and computer sites will also be discussed. The speaker is a retired educator and a frequent lecturer on the topic.

The third in the trio of experts is Daniel Lynch of Trumbull. Lynch will concentrate on internet sources researchers can use from the comfort of their own home to hunt for ancestors. As more and more records are digitized and becoming available on home computers, this facet of genealogical research is among the fastest growing aspects of genealogy. a pastime of millions Americans. Lynch is a 22 year veteran of the computer industry and served as a consultant to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and was featured on ABC News Good Morning America as part of their genealogy series. The author of numerous genealogy articles, Lynch is a frequent lecturer on genealogy and technology.

The seminar is the result of a collaboration between Housatonic, The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, headquartered in East Hartford and the Connecticut Ancestry Society headquartered in Stamford.


Location: Housatonic Community College
Directions: Bridgeport, exit 27 from I-95, plenty of free parking.

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