Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

FamilySearch Indexing Project is waiting for you!


Are you ready? 
FamilySearch would like to have 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a 24-hour period! Do more if you would like, but one batch is all that is required to be counted in the record!
The record-setting begins at 00:00 coordinated universal time (UTC) on July 21, which is 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (MDT or Utah time) on Sunday, July 20. It ends 24 hours later, at 23:59 UTC (or 5:59 p.m. MDT) on Monday, July 21. 
Check the FamilySearch Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/722157871184202/ for your local start time and status updates.
Here are the statistics on indexing Canadian projects - 
  • There are 67,802 current volunteers 
  • There are 15 current projects
  • There are 7,832 Images awaiting arbitration 
  •  There have been 787,408 Canada records contributed 

Some of the project that still need indexing are –
  • British Columbia Marriages 1937
  • Newfoundland Vital Records 1840-1949
  • Prince Edward Island 1721-1905
Plan now to get involved and add your name to the record-setting event!

The Canadian projects are at https://familysearch.org/indexing/projects/country/ca  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ireland Canada Monument Project


Every so often, I hear from the Ireland Canada Monument Project in Vancouver, British Columbia by receiving their newsletter.

The Monument project is an historic endeavour to give recognition to those of Irish birth or descent who have given or continue to give to Canada, its provinces and the City of Vancouver.

They say that “The core work for the project is basically complete and general agreement has been reached between the Monument Society and Vancouver Parks Board on site details. Once a new site is agreed upon, the Monument Society looks forward to finalizing the site layout with Parks Board staff.”

They have a blog at http://irelandmonumentvancouver.com and you can be placed on the newsletter distribution list by writing to irelandmonumentcanada@gmail.com 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Join the Worldwide Indexing Event


FamilySearch is looking for new indexers to meet a specific goal that they have set for this month -  

"Join volunteers from around the world on July 20 and 21 for an international history-making event! The goal? For 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch in a 24-hour period! Do more if you would like, but one batch is all that is required to be counted in the record!

This remarkable goal will require help from every current indexer and arbitrator out there, plus many new volunteers,* but it can be achieved if generous volunteers like you commit to participate. So mark your calendar and spread the word! Invite friends and family to join you. Organize an indexing party; create a fun family challenge or a society or church service project. Everyone is needed. Everyone can make a difference!

The record-setting begins at 00:00 coordinated universal time (UTC) on July 21, which is 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (MDT or Utah time) on Sunday, July 20. It ends 24 hours later, at 23:59 UTC (or 5:59 p.m. MDT) on Monday, July 21."

Example of some of the records that are waiting to be indexed are -
  • Canada, British Columbia—Marriages, 1937
  • Canada, Newfoundland—Vital Records, 1840–1949
  • Canada, Newfoundland—Vital Statistics Collection, 1753–1893 
Check the FamilySearch Indexing Page at https://familysearch.org/indexing.
Check the FamilySearch Facebook Events page at https://www.facebook.com/events/722157871184202 for your local start time and status updates.

Postscript: The Canada Day Contest is on until July 15th. To enter the contest, go to http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2014/07/happy-canada-day.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

British Home Children deaths database

Barnardo boy ploughing C 1900 Credit: Unknown 

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) is always adding to their databases, and this time, I see where BIFHSGO has put on another database - the names of 2,284 British Home Children who died after they had immigrated to Canada. 

They give the name, date of death, the name of the society (eg Barnardo's) and (this is important) they also give the reference source with each record. 

By going through the list, I see where some of the young men died of injuries during the First World War. 

The database is accessible at http://bifhsgo.ca/cstm_homeChildrenDeaths.php 

They also have the Fegan Index, and the Middlemore Homes Index on the Home Children Site at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=4 

Postscript: There will be a panel discussion on the Home Children at the conference of BIFHSGO held Friday September 19 to Sunday September 21st. 

As part of the panel, there will be three experts on the subject – Patricia Roberts-Pichette, Marjorie Kohli, and Gloria Tubman.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Print Your Family History Book at the Toronto Public Library

This is a press release from the Toronto Public Library -

“Toronto Public Library’s newest offering is Asquith Press, a book printing service that enables customers to design and print bookstore-quality paperback books. The library is offering information sessions and classes open to all: from authors and aspiring writers to anyone who would like to create a book for their own personal interest.

Located on the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library in the recently opened Digital Innovation Hub, Asquith Press is available to people of all ages and skill levels.

With the help of workshops, print and online resources, knowledgeable library staff and guest mentors, customers will be able to develop, design and publish books."

There are two upcoming classes. The first class will be Tuesday June 17, 2014 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, and the second class will be Mon Jul 14, 2014| 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

The Toronto Public Library website is at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The United Empire Loyalists – Finding their Records

The statue of UEL in Hamilton, Ontario

The Library and Archives of Canada has prepared the following material on the United Empire Loyalists records which the LAC holds - 

The term “United Empire Loyalists” (often referred to as UEL) refers to the American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, and many of which fought for Britain during that conflict. They fled the United States and settled in what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario. All the archives in these provinces hold records relating to Loyalists, some of which are searchable online.

Here are the records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) - 

Loyalists in the Maritimes – Ward Chipman Muster Master’s Office 1777-1785 
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/loyalists/loyalists-ward-chipman/Pages/loyalist-maritimes-ward-chipman.aspx
These references include business records and papers relating to the Loyalists and to boundary commissions.

Land Records
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/Pages/land-records.aspx
Many Loyalists and their descendants submitted petitions for land for their service in the war or as compensation for lands lost during the American Revolution. Databases on this subject:

· Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865

· Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804

Sir Frederick Haldimand Fonds
http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1475/1?r=0&s=1
The collection contains some provision lists and muster rolls relating mostly to Loyalists, disbanded soldiers and their families in the province of Quebec. It includes a nominal index.

Black Loyalist Refugees, 1782-1807 - Port Roseway Associates
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/loyalists/loyalist-port-roseway/Pages/port-roseway-associates-loyalists.aspx
Many black Loyalists served and were affected by the evacuation of New York which led to their resettlement in the Port Roseway, now Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

British Headquarters papers
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=105117
The records known as the Carleton Papers or the American Manuscripts contain lists of refugees in New York, lists of persons who were evacuated from New York, lists of refugees from Massachusetts and Rhode Island who were evacuated through the port of New York and numerous references to Port Roseway in Nova Scotia.

British military and naval series
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=105012
These records cover the period from the American Revolution to the mid-1800s. Thenominal/subject card index (provide a brief description of the document, date, C Series volume number and a page number)

Also discover-

· Fort Howe (Flickr Album)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Royal Tour of Canada this month

Personal Flag of the Prince of Wales for use in Canada

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will tour Canada from May 18 to May 21, 2014. They will make four official stops in three provinces – Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba. 

In Nova Scotia, they will visit 

Halifax, Nova Scotia (May 18 and 19) 

Pictou, Nova Scotia (May 19) 

In Prince Edward Island, they will visit 

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, (May 19 and 20) 

Official Welcome to Canada and Nova Scotia at the Grand Parade in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Victoria Day on May 19

Tour of Hector Heritage Quay—A Celebration of Celtic Appreciation Month in Pictou, Nova Scotia, on May 19 

Fireworks, music, and performances to celebrate Victoria Day and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way to Confederation in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on May 19 

Visit to Cornwall United Church in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, on May 20 

In Manitoba, they will visit 

The children at the Stevenson Hangar as they learn about the principles of flight, rockets, satellites and more in Winnipeg Manitoba on May 21 

Visit to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at the new “Journey to Churchill” exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg on May 21 

Taking part in the Order of Manitoba Investiture at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on May 21 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

GANS office in open this afternoon

Here is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon -

Genealogy is a great past time on a rainy day. Drop into the office this afternoon and work on your family tree.
Sunday, April 27
GANS Office Open
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm - 3258 Isleville Street, Halifax, NS

The Office is open to everyone. Stop by to chat, do some internet research, check out our library or buy a publication or membership. Bring a friend!

Web: http://www.NovaScotiaAncestors.ca

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaAncestors

Twitter: @NSAncestors

Saturday, April 26, 2014

University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Toronto’s is offering a 6-week course


The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies is offering the six week course called Toronto’s Past, Your City, Your House, Your Family starting May 6th. 

The press release says "Are you interested in discovering the history of your house or neighbourhood, the history of your family once in Toronto, or a Toronto business or institution? Are you exploring another aspect of Toronto history? Or are you a writer or researcher? 

This course introduces established principles of local and family history research as taught worldwide, and suggests how to apply them in the Toronto context. We work our way through a variety of research projects, representative of the expressed interests of participants. In support of these practical case studies we review, in an integrated way, remarkable resources which we can draw upon, including some little-known ones. Watch yourself start to become a local history sleuth! "

For more information and to register for this course, please visit the course website at http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1701461

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Call for Speakers - The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library

                                                                                                                                                         
 Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, has sent me the following notice -

“The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on the above theme of Industrial England. The time period we are particularly interested in is 1750 to 1870 although later times could also be relevant. 

We are looking for speakers who would like to be part of this workshop. We want to receive proposals from professional genealogists, historians, family historians, librarians and archivists. 

You are invited to submit proposals for lectures on topics such as migration to the cities, changes in occupations, effects of industrialization on rural communities, and changes in social organizations, cultural life, religion and education. Lectures can be about a family, an industry or about a place in England (e.g., Manchester), a county (e.g., Cornwall), a region (e.g., the Midlands) or relevant to the whole country. 

Workshop attendees will be most interested in lectures emphasizing sources and research techniques that might be useful in their own family history research. We need lectures suitable for all levels of experience. 

Each lecture session will be an hour or half-hour long, including 10 or 5 minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated; we will provide a computer projector or an overhead projector. Speakers will be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages), which we will photocopy for all registrants. 

Speakers will be paid an honorarium of $100 per lecture hour ($50 for a half-hour lecture). Speakers living in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Toronto will receive an allowance of $35 for travel and incidental expenses. For speakers living further away, modest travel expenses, accommodation and incidental expenses will be reimbursed on an individual basis. 

Please submit your lecture proposals by e-mail. Please keep them brief and informal at this time. Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number and a brief biography”. 

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014. 

The workshop will be held NOVEMBER 1, 2014 at the NORTH YORK CENTRAL LIBRARY AUDITORIUM, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

Proposals must be sent to: courses@torontofamilyhistory.org 

For more information about the Toronto Branch of the OGS, please go tohttp://torontofamilyhistory.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ancestry.ca releases Lower Canada and Canada East Census Records

  

Ancestry.ca has announced the release of more than 120,000 Canadian Census records from Lower Canada (now Quebec). These records document the lives of Canadians living in Lower Canada in 1825 and 1842 – before Canada was officially a country. 

As they say in their press release “The first national Canadian census was taken in 1871; however, many local and colonial censuses were taken before this date. The 1825 Census of Lower Canada and the 1842 Census of Canada East highlight the names of heads of the family, occupation, the number of people living in the house and other information that can help people discover more about their Canadian roots. 

Lower Canada and Canada East were vibrant and rapidly growing areas during the mid-1800s. Wheat and timber had replaced the fur trade as the main industries for export, creating a booming local economy and leading to a population that expanded by approximately 300,000 between 1784 and 1825. 

“These records shed new light on the lives of people who helped build Quebec and can help countless Canadians discover more stories about their ancestors living in Pre-Confederation Canada,” says Lesley Anderson, genealogist and Content Specialist for Ancestry.ca. “We’re excited to be offering Canadians the chance to explore these new records and adding to what is the largest online collection of historical Canadian records available anywhere in the world.””

The website for the 1825 Census of Lower Canada is at http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=9807

The website for the 1842 Census of Canada East is at
http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=9808

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parish registers: Manitoba

Heritage Canada has put more digital records online, and one of the records that you may find helpful are the parish records for Manitoba. 

Government registration of vital statistics (baptism, marriage and death) for Manitoba did not begin until the late 1800s. In this collection can be found parish registers and other church records from various churches in the province of Manitoba. 

There are three microfilm rolls - 

H- 1344

H-1812

H - 1813
 
Make sure that you read the first few pages before you start you search. It looks like they in alphabetical order, but in case you do not find the person you are looking for, you will have to go page by page to see if the person is there. Many of the records include the people of the Red River Settlement. 

To go to the records click on the website http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_115731

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guy Berthiaume appointed as Librarian and Archivist of Canada

The LAC has finally filled the position of the Head of Library and Archives Canada -

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover announced yesterday that the appointment of Guy Berthiaume as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada will be for a term of five years, effective June 23, 2014. 

Dr. Berthiaume has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec since 2009. Before this, he spent thirty years as a senior university administrator. 

Dr. Berthiaume holds a doctorate in history from the École pratique des hautes études and the Université de Paris VIII, a Master of Arts degree from the Université Laval in Québec City and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has published a number of articles and has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations.

Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages say that “Having a person of Dr. Berthiaume’s calibre leading Library and Archives Canada will be a solid asset to the organization. His extensive experience in the management of large cultural organizations and his strong leadership are important qualifications for this position.” 

Please go to the LAC website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

From Aberdeen to Albany: How Our Scott Family Ancestors Became United Empire Loyalists in Canada

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) will be holding its monthly meeting next Saturday at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. 

The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. with the Before BIFHSGO Education Talk which will be given by Ken McKinlay and he will talk about Using Evernote for Genealogy Research. He will provide an overview of the online tool and how it can help with genealogy tasks.

From 9:30 until 10:00 a.m. you will be able to browse the Discovery Tables and talk to Ken McKinlay about the online tool Evernote. (Since I am a recent covert to Evernote, I will be interested to hear what Ken thinks about this newer research tool for genealogy.)

At 10:00 a.m.. Ken Harley will give a talk in which he will build on an earlier presentation he made to BIFHSGO in December 2009 during which he established how his wife Maxine's family arrived in Manitoba as original homesteaders. The first presentation traced the Scott family roots back to UEL settlers in Prince Edward County. Ontario. 

This talk will track Maxine's GGGG-grandfather's emigration from Inverurie, in Aberdeenshire Scotland through Ireland and on to the American Colonies in the early 1700s. In addition to how William Scott followed his dream, Ken tries to establish why our ancestors would emigrate to what was essentially an unsettled wilderness. 

Dave Cross’s interview with Ken Harley has been added to the BIFHSGO Podcast page. Through this interview, Ken provides you with the structure of his upcoming presentation, a bit about the research he has done with the Scott family and some of the interesting stories which might yet be uncovered.

The podcast is available at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=106 

All monthly meetings are open to the general public, and they are free of charge.

The website is at http://www.bifhsgo.ca 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Free Exhibit - Kids! – Children of the Eastern Townships between 1890 -1930

The Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ETRC) cordially invites you to attend its first photo exhibition Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, Lennoxville.

For the first time, the ETRC is opening its archives to share the treasures of several fonds and collections with the broader public. The exhibition showcases a small selection of the thousands of remarkable photographs in the ETRC’s collection. 

Kids! – Children of the Eastern Townships between 1890 -1930 is a photograph exhibition that displays the life of children in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and takes you on a journey back in time. 

The ETRC is thankful for the cooperation with the Lennoxville-Ascot Historical and Museum Society (LAHMS) for giving us the opportunity to display our photographs in this beautiful building. 

The exhibit will be open until June 30, 2014, and it will be held at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid St., Lennoxville.

The event is free to everyone. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LAC to outsource national catalogue

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen by Don Butler comes the news that the Library and Archives Canada is going to outsource its library catalogue called AMICUS to an American company – Computer Library Centre Inc. (OCLC). This also involves 1,300 other libraries across Canada. 


So what do you think? Is this a good or bad move for the LAC? Does it change your opinion of the future of the LAC, or are you not surprised by this move?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Family History/Genealogy at The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (CJHN)

If you have Jewish ancestors, have you checked the latest addition to the genealogical database at http://www.cjhn.ca/en/family-history.aspx

You can search in the following databases -

· Jewish Colonization Association individual farm settler reports from Western Canada and Quebec (1906-1951) This includes a scanned form describing each individual farming family at various points in time.

· Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler (1908-1932) This Montreal-based daily newspaper has been translated and indexed.

· Hebrew Sick Benefit Association of Montreal membership listings from 1897-1945. These records have been transcribed from the membership books, translated from Yiddish.

· Canadian Jewish Casualties in the Canadian Armed Forces These listings include servicemen who died while serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. These records often include additional details such as war stories and photographs. 

· Saint John, New Brunswick Jewish Residents, Businesses, Burials & Obituaries These records contain burial information dating back to 1873, hundreds of full text obituaries, detailed photographs of tombstones, and business and residential directory details about all the known Jewish residents of Saint John from 1863-1999.

· Jewish Immigrant Aid Services client name lists from 1922-1952 The CJHN) say that “The JIAS listings are the only records in this database which do not present all the available data online. Access to this information is restricted to the persons named in the file or, if deceased, their direct descendants. The archival records associated with these listings can contain a single index card to more than a dozen pages. Fees for copying and delivery apply; payment can be made to the CJCCC National Archives via Paypal or Canadian funds cheque”. 

White you are at the site, do not miss their extensive archival materials, digital images, and education material at http://www.cjhn.ca/en 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hommage à Lac-Mégantic exhibit

There will be an exhibit called Hommage à Lac-Mégantic from March 30th to May 25th, 2014 at the  Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid Street, Sherbrooke.

“Following the tragic events in the town of Lac-Mégantic last summer, the Uplands exhibition committee has decided to honour Mégantic artists by mounting an exhibit which will bring together eleven artists of this region. 

The public is cordially invited to come and meet the participants at a vernissage to take place Sunday, March 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. 

In addition, two “slam” poets, Marie-Pier Landry and Kyra Shaughnessy, will be present at the vernissage to share their poems inspired by the disaster.

Throughout the course of the exhibit, there will be an opportunity to make donations, which will be given to a cultural organization of the Lac-Mégantic region, selected by the participating artists”.

Remember, the Hommage à Lac-Mégantic exhibit will continue until May 25, 2014.

The website of the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre is http://uplands.ca

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wellington County OGS Region III Meeting - Ask the Experts

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, there will be a full-day meeting from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Harriston Community Centre, 111 George Street South, Harriston, ON, and the title of it is Ask the Experts

The morning portion will feature three different genealogical professionals who will give presentations on their area of expertise. In the afternoon, the experts will sit on a panel and answer your research questions. 

To get your questions answered, please submit them ahead of time through the branch website, or in person. 

The Experts will be  

  • Cindy Preece 

o Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections

  •  Karen Wagner

o Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives

  • Expert Panel

o A special presentation on “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

The cost will be $20.00 per person for pre-registration or $25 per person at the door, and there will be a $10.00 charge for lunch. 

The territory covered by Wellington Branch encompasses Guelph and Wellington County and its historical townships - Minto, Arthur, West Luther, Maryborough, Peel, Pilkington, Nichol, West Garafraxa, Eramosa, Erin, Guelph and Puslinch.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preserving Ireland's Genealogy

This was just sent out from FamilySearch.org on St. Partick’s Day.

Website Gathers St. Patrick's Day and Other Irish Family Stories and Photos by Glen Greener

“St. Patrick died on March 17, 481, but St. Patrick's Day lives on all over the world demonstrating how prolific Irish roots have permeated cultures globally over the years. A sampling of the many areas St. Patrick's day is celebrated in includes: Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Montserrat, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. 

FamilySearch.org is celebrating St. Patrick's day by encouraging descendants of Irish immigrants to preserve and share their Irish family memories online through photos and stories. Family historians can also freely search over 30 million historic Irish records online or begin building their Irish family trees.

Ireland provides one of the most interesting and challenging genealogies for family researchers, and there are a lot of them. Over 100 million people worldwide claim some Irish heritage. 

A loss of records by fire and problems recording Irish emigrants who boarded ships after the original departure can seem like barriers to genealogists trying to "get back across the pond." The family histories are often available in the emigrant's new country, but finding the lines back in Ireland can be difficult.

Chris Paton, a former BBC television producer, author, and a professional genealogist, says, "Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of the British Isles. Many of the nation's primary records were lost during the civil war in 1922 and through other equally tragic means." 

There is good news, says David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch. "The government of Ireland now considers genealogy an economic resource. It is one of the main reasons for tourism. In the past five years, more resources have been made available than were in the previous 15 years."

Rencher comes by his love of Irish ancestry naturally. Both sides of his family hail from the Emerald Isle. And he's always fascinated by the traditions of celebrating St. Patrick's Day all over the world.

There are good resources online: FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ancestry.com, the public records office of Northern Ireland, and the national archives of Ireland. Counties are coming forward with quality publications of local histories, and the Irish government wants to help those with Irish roots to plan their search. 

Rencher says, "People need to find out specifically where their Irish ancestors hail from. County records are important. Parish records are becoming more available." 

Finding the home town and county of your ancestors is helped by surnames which are often good indicators of where in Ireland someone is from. Employment records in America can contain a birthplace in Ireland. Cemeteries in Ireland are valuable because it was not uncommon for relatives to have a tombstone erected in Ireland although the deceased was buried in another country.

The names of neighbors and friends in a possible village of origin could open up help and hospitality. "The Irish are very generous with their time when people are searching for their Irish roots. Most towns have someone who people regard as the local historian who wants to help. Local libraries are also valuable resources. In any case, people on a pilgrimage to find their family's history in Ireland are welcomed with open arms," Rencher said.

According to Rencher, the best method is to, "Start with what you know and branch out to what you don't know. What artifacts do you have in your home? A Presbyterian Church token has a mark that can tell what congregation in Ireland it's from. Other members of a family might have naturalization certificates or church records. Irish families are so large that artifacts could be with any number of cousins."

It's also important to document the ancestors you find along with any stories or pictures. With 100 million Irish descendants around the world, it's a strong possibility someone you don't know can add details to your history if they can find your photos and stories on free preservation sites likeFamilySearch.org. DNA results can also help identify where others in your family line are located. 

Because of death and emigration to other countries, the population of Ireland was the same in 1900 as in 1800. Irish emigrants went all over the world for many reasons—mostly looking for new opportunity and a new life. Many had to leave when their landlords moved a tenant off the property so a new tenant could pay higher rents. Others went into military service or worked as indentured servants, working for seven years to pay off their costs of emigrating. Many moved to England, Canada, and America to work as miners and laborers. 

Some got a new start in a developing country. If you had to guess the name of a founder and first president of a newly independent nation in South America, would you guess O'Higgins? If you did, you'd be right. Bernardo O'Higgins became the Supreme Director of Chile in 1817.

On St. Patrick's Day, the saying is, "Everybody is Irish for one day," and that might be literally true. Irish is the second most common ancestry in the United States. It's the fourth largest in Canada. Mexico has 600,000 Irish descendants. And this just names a few. 

Whether you're marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade, helping turn the Chicago River green, wearing garish green socks, or just having some corned beef and cabbage at home, take the time to share your favorite Irish family photos and stories online at FamilySearch.org. So even if you don't think you have any Irish in you, it's now a lot easier to double check”.