Irish Genealogy News - 2012 Developments

Hi Folks! Hope you had a great holiday. Looking forward to a happy 2012, there are several encouraging signs for those of us interested in Irish genealogy.

There is a growing feeling in Ireland that making it easier for its Diaspora to find their Irish roots will encourage tourism. The thinking is that if more people can identify their ancestors, they will visit their ancestral homes. With the financial trials in Ireland the last few years, enhancing tourism is an important issue. Here’s some examples of initiatives that are under way:

• Ireland Reaching Out Project
(http://www.irelandxo.com)
o “The Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) project is based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, we go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a townland, village and parish level here in Ireland, we identify who left, and trace them and their descendants worldwide, proactively engaging with them and inviting them to become part of an extended “virtual” community with their place of origin.”
o “The national pilot project of Ireland XO was developed in South-East Galway from October 2010 through to July 2011 culminating in a hugely successful inaugural Week of Welcomes event held in the area in late June. The project is now expanding out of South-East Galway to a number of pilot project areas from Donegal to Kerry in preparation for a full national roll-out in 2012/2013.”

• 1926 Irish Census
o The 1901 & 1911 Irish censuses are available (free) at the National Archives site, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie. These are wonderful resources and many born in the 1830s can be found in the 1901 Census.
o The next census in Ireland after 1911 was taken in 1926, which was the first census for the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland).
o An Irish law declares a 100 year waiting period before a census can be made public. There is effort towards passing legislation to allow the 1926 Census to be made available as soon as possible instead of waiting until 2026. The new Irish government that took over last year was backing this move, but I haven’t heard where this stands.
o Northern Ireland also did a census in 1926, but I don’t know of any initiative to move up its availability.

• Irish Army Archives (www.militaryarchives.ie)
o Historical documents from 1913-1921 will be available soon (~March 2012). This period includes the 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence.

• The Gathering 2013 (http://www.gatheringireland.com/ - not much at this site yet)
o “The main focus of The Gathering will be a series of flagship festivals throughout the year, both existing and new, along with special interest spin-off events, designed to showcase Irish arts, food, sports, genealogy, family heritage, learning, science and hospitality. The initiative will be officially launched with The main focus of The Gathering will be a series of flagship festivals throughout the year, both existing and new, along with special interest spin-off events, designed to showcase Irish arts, food, sports, genealogy, family heritage, learning, science and hospitality. The initiative will be officially launched with a number of special events on St. Patrick’s Day.” - http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Ireland-announces-a-global-Irish-homecoming-for-2013-131382033.html

Take Care,
Dennis

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