I would really like for all of you Irish researchers out there to learn how to begin your Irish research, but first things first. If you don’t know where in Ireland your ancestor came from, you must do a very thorough search of records in the place or places where your ancestor immigrated. You are looking for any evidence of where he or she came from—marriage records, church records, tombstones, obituaries, etc.
There are leprechauns on the loose in Edgerton! Wear your green and join us for Family Storytime on Wednesday, March 14th at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate all things Irish. We will read St. Patrick’s Day stories, dance to Irish music, and make a craft. A hunt for Leprechauns in the Library will follow, and if we are lucky, we may find their gold.
What can you find at the Midwest Genealogy Center when searching for your Irish? Look at books located in the library in call numbers 941.5 through 941.96, or 929.1072. These books will give you information on specific subjects like Irish church records, jurisdictions, specific counties, the history of Ireland, estate records, beginner guides, planning a research trip, and finding census records. You will also find information on research tools, where to find the records, what records are available, etc...
It is almost time for the annual Kansas City Irish Fest! If you enjoy Irish music, mark your calendar for August 31-September 2 at Crown Center. Were your Irish ancestors here in Kansas City? They may have been among the recruits of Father Bernard Donnelly (from County Cavan) in the 1850s. With a background in civil engineering, Father Donnelly saw the possibilities for jobs leveling the bluffs in the old river market area.
Have you looked at census records for Ireland? If so, have you noticed that only 1901 and 1911 are available? That’s right. The 1821-1851 records were largely destroyed in the fire in the Public Records Office in 1922. There are only a few surviving fragments. Those for 1861-1891 were completely destroyed by the government.
The next available census will not be released until 2027 but don’t panic. There are census substitutes; that is, other types of records that exist:
God Help the Irish: The History of the Irish Brigade- A Book Review
God Help the Irish, by Phillip Thomas Tucker, is a chronicle of the storied Irish Brigade of the Union Army during the Civil War. Although the North recruited new Irish immigrants at the major entry ports and even in Ireland itself, the Irish as a group actually had a low participation in the War itself. Many saw the North as reminiscent of Protestant Britain forcing it’s will upon the smaller Catholic Ireland.
Did your ancestors come from Ireland? Do you want to see if you can find out where in Ireland he or she came from? Do you want to know what their lives were like in Ireland? Or maybe, you are just stuck? If you are just starting out, find as much as you can about your ancestor using United States records/place of arrival records. Finding a clue that will give you at least a country of origin in Ireland is a must.