Welcome (Céad Míle Fáilte!) to Small-leaved Shamrock

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

They say there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow...

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, with an emphasis on Irish research.

So you've got roots in Ireland? Don't know where to start? Started, but not making any progress? Follow these colorful links to find gold at the end of your Irish family history research. May the road back to Ireland rise to meet you, and may the luck of the Irish guide your way!

It seems like many a descendant of Irish ancestors is proud of their heritage, but clueless as to how to begin to learn more about those ancestors and the places in Ireland where they originated. Here at Small-leaved Shamrock I've posted a series of articles that might help you to get started. Getting to the roots of your Irish family tree: Part 1 lists some ideas on how to use the paper trails that your ancestor left behind as an immigrant in their new country in order for you to find their county of origin in Ireland. Remembering the thrill of discovering my great-great-grandfather's roots in County Tipperary, I share some ideas that might help you to make a similar discovery for your family. Getting to the roots of your Irish family tree: Part 2 offers suggestions on how to take your research further and find the more specific location of your family's ancestral home.

Apple of Apple's Tree is aware of the work she has to do on the western side of the Atlantic before her search can set foot in Ireland. With ancestors coming from Ireland as far back as 1720, and with some coming to the United States by way of Canada, she has a trail to follow before she can begin actual Irish research. In Looking for Irish Records Apple suggests a nice assortment of online sources that she plans to use to get herself started. The best of luck to ya', Apple!

Barbara remembers with joy the day that she discovered her family's roots in Kilkenny. She tells the story over at her blog: Our Carroll Family Genealogy. Barbara was thrilled to find and receive a precious gift of family genealogy notes from newfound cousins, but as she states, "...it was one mention in the notes caused me to jump. For the first time in my life , I knew exactly where in Ireland our ancestral village was located." Check out Kilkenny City, here we come to read more of Barbara's story along with her recommendation of two online resources that have helped her the most in her search for knowledge about her newly discovered ancestral home.

Ireland is a small country but because of various different administrative divisions used over the centuries it can be a complicated place to understand. Know the area of Ireland where your family hails from but can't make sense of townlands, baronies, parishes, etc.? Take Irish Geography 101 over at A Light That Shines Again. In order to do successful family history research in Ireland you've got to know the basics of Irish place names, not only modern ones but historical ones as well. I've listed some resources that can help you find out where your family might have fit in and how the various political divisions of Ireland impacted the place where they lived.

Miriam Midkiff at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors also offers a good suggestion to help understand the various geographical locations of Ireland, along with a nice listing of other books and helpful online resources for Irish research. Her ancestors, however, were not "true Irish" but Scots who spent a time in Ireland before the family later emigrated. Her post, Resources for Irish Genealogical Research from a Beginner's Perspective, details her plan of action once she begins to search for ancestors that spent time in Ireland.

Janice Brown at Cow Hampshire mentions how once they had emigrated from Ireland, many Irish "wanted to fit in, not stick out, and so they rarely passed their traditions down to succeeding American generations." Janice's post describes the beautiful tradition of placing a candle in the window of Irish homes on Christmas Eve and the conundrum as to who should blow the candle out. She also gives us a few words that originated with Irish Gaelic and hung on throughout the generations (like conundrum) and points us to several websites that can offer help for those searching for roots in Ireland. Don't be a ginniker - this is no list to sneer at! Read more at A New Hampshire Christmas Carnival.

Jessica Oswalt throws in her two cents on Irish Research with her post at Jessica's Genejournal, specifically with regard to Family Search indexes. Jessica hopes to work on her Irish roots in the upcoming year.

With ancestors that "did everything at the wrong time" and came through Canada before arriving in the United States, Tim Agazio of Genealogy Reviews Online has found his search for Irish roots more challenging than he had hoped. He offers some good suggestions for Irish resources online and also some interesting reading on the history of Ireland, including a gem published in 1949 that gives a creative picture of the Irish as a people. Read Tim's post entitled Irish Genealogy Resources for details.

Lori Thornton at Smoky Mountain Family Historian doesn't think she has Irish ancestry. But that didn't stop her from joining us for this carnival or from writing an article for the Irish Genealogical Society's quarterly journal. Read more about the journal, a good resource for Irish family history, at Lori's post If I Had Irish Ancestry...

The next post will be interesting to many of us with Irish roots - at least 3 million of us, that is. That's the number of men living today who are believed to have descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the High King in Ireland who ruled from 379 to 405 A.D. Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, has offered a detailed explanation of the recent Trinity College (Dublin) study that focused on the Y-chromosome signature of Irish men. The post, entitled Famous DNA Review, Part III - Niall of the Nine Hostages, mentions that even 2% of European-American New Yorkers may be able to trace their genetic ancestry back to the famous High King Niall. Click the link above to read more.

Looking ahead to more recent generations... Are you finding yourself in the same position as Thomas MacEntee - sure you have lots of Irish heritage and "itching" to learn more about your family? At Destination: Austin Family Thomas posts My Irish Ancestry: The Proof is in the.... With fond memories of his great-grandmother's Irish brogue, and a little knowledge about previous generations, he's hoping to add finding roots in Ireland to his list of New Year's Resolutions for 2008.

I hope you'll add your own search for Irish roots to your New Year's resolutions this year and also continue to join us for the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Our first edition, entitled Everyone Loves a Good Irish Story, came out in November 2007. Hopefully this 2nd edition will help you with your Irish research.

Please plan to join us for the upcoming 3rd edition. The topic is Irish Places. Here are some suggestions:
If you know it, tell us about the county, city or village in Ireland where your family originated. If not, tell us about a place that figured prominently in an Irish history book that you enjoyed, or a place that you visited (or hope to visit) that is steeped in Irish history. The Irish place that you describe need not be in Ireland itself. Your entry can include a place where the Irish settled once they emigrated, or a place that has seen Irish culture grow within its boundaries.
Entries are due on January 29, 2008. The carnival will be published on February 1, the feast day of St. Brigid, who is as well-known and loved by the Irish as St. Patrick. Hope you'll join us! Click this link to send in your submissions.

In the meantime, I hope that you'll find some genealogical gold at the end of your rainbow. With a little bit of Irish luck, anything is possible!

Enjoyed this edition of the carnival? You might enjoy the March 17, 2008 edition: A St. Patrick's Day parade of posts!


Thomas MacEntee said...

A great job on this carnival! Now I have some places to go visit to get started.

Janice said...


Congratulations on the simply lovely job you did with this carnival. Thank you for providing a group medium to blog about our Irish Heritage.

Happy New Year too!


Tim Agazio said...

Lisa, Thanks for including my entry even though it was late. This is a great group of posts that I enjoyed reading very much.

Tim Agazio

Barbara said...

Hi Lisa,
Happy New Year !
Best wishes for a fullfilling year.
I enjoyed my first participation in this blog carnival. I'am discovering some great websites and links.
It is a grand idea of you to do this carnival. Congatulations.

See you again soon.

Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

So glad to be able to include your posts, Thomas, Janice, Tim and Barbara (along with our other participants!)...

It is great to be able to pool resources and inspire eachother's research.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your Irish family history discoveries in the coming year.


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