Tell Us About Your Ancestors!

Do you have an interesting tale to tell about one of your Irish ancestors? 

Ireland has a long-cherished reputation as being a nation of storytellers, so to celebrate the IGRS’s 80th anniversary we are calling for stories about your favourite Irish-born ancestor.

Perhaps you have a wayward great-uncle whose Australian adventures were the talk of the family; or perhaps a great great grandmother whose struggles to bring up a large family have touched you deeply and you feel moved to make sure her story is told and preserved for posterity? Maybe you have a grandfather who fought in the Great War or an uncle who was involved the the 1916 Rising or the Irish Civil War? Maybe your forbear was a Ulster-Scot pioneer seeking to start a new life in colonial America or a starving widow forced to leave Ireland during An Gorta Mor, the Great Famine of the 1840s?clipper-ship-812699_960_720

We are interested in hearing about one special ancestor in no more than 2,500 words. We are not asking you to deposit whole family trees, although you are welcome to include a short branch at the end, perhaps to place your ancestor in context. Equally, please keep any notes, references or bibliographies to a minimum and consign them to the end of your document if you want to include them. This especially applies to any transcribed material you have as evidence – try to tell the story as you see it rather than document everything you have found. If you have gaps, use them in the story; it’s fine to imagine what might have happened to them based upon what you may have found out about the social history of their times.

Smyrl#3All good stories have a beginning, a middle and, of course, an end, so it would be great if you could introduce your chosen ancestor with a few words explaining why they are important to you; and perhaps you might want to end with some personal reflections on their life to make the story yours, too. One or two illustrations will always bring the story to life, but please make sure that you either own the copyright to them or have secured permission from the copyright owner to use them in your story. Remember we just want to hear about one special ancestor per submission, but you are welcome to make multiple submissions. Here is an example of the sort of thing we are looking for: the tale of Dennis Manning from Kilbride, Co. Roscommon (1798-1859).

Smyrl#5All stories received will be deposited for posterity in our 80th Anniversary Archive in the IGRS Library and we will publish a selection of them as an e-book. So, although the stories written in your own words are of course your own copyright, by submitting them to the IGRS for inclusion in this special archive, you are giving us permission to consider them for possible publication in one or more formats in order to highlight the great work of the Society and its members. As they will form part of our unique archives, they will also be available for current and future members to consult in their quests to further their family stories.

If you would like to submit a monograph, please send it to the project co-coordinator, Ruth Mathewson by email [], including your full name, address, and email address. Before putting pen to paper, please read the Rules of Submission carefully.

The deadline to make a submission is 31 December 2016. 

Page last updated 15 July 2016


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