The Ireland Branch met on Saturday at our usual venue: Dublin City Library & Archive on Pearse St for a full day of talks.
The morning started with Dr Patrick Fitzgerald, a consummate professional, from the Ulster American Folk Park, giving his insight on the much neglected area of internal migration on the island of Ireland. DNA tests are beginning to show proof of ancestors from all over the country, but without paper records, it’s difficult to uncover the details. His presentation covered the entire history of Irish migration – an impressive feat in just 50 minutes!
Author Marita Conlon McKenna gave the second talk of the morning on her latest book, Rebel Sisters, about the Gifford sisters and how they were caught up in the Easter Rising. Her immense passion for the subject matter made for an engaging talk.
After lunch, we heard from Mike Maguire, of Limerick Library’s local studies department, who showed us around the behemoth that is their website. His casual approach to disseminating knowledge, a librarian’s raison d’etre, was highly entertaining as well as informative.
Our final slot of the day was a new approach, which seemed to go down well. New Ireland Branch Chairperson, Claire Bradley, gave a lightening talk on her tips for searching the census. This was followed by new IB Honorary Secretary, Aileen Wynne, who talked about the myriad options in the world of genealogy software. Finally, IB committee member, Joanna Fennell, gave her whistle-stop tips for researching emigration in all major Irish diaspora countries.
We rounded the day off with a question and answer session and our now traditional silent raffle, which included books and an Ancestry DNA test amongst the prizes.