Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Celts Are Coming! Tracing Irish & Scots Irish Ancestors

This is an update to the 7 February 2013 post, "Tracing Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors!"

You may register now at  

The Celts Are Coming!

Join us! If you want to know more about researching your Irish and Scot-Irish ancestors attend at our exciting one-day seminar on Sunday, 24 March 2013 with Dr. Brian Tainor and Mr. Fintan Mullan of the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See their website at

In addition to seven informative talks from 1:00 to 8:00pm, books & Ordnance Survey maps will be for sale. A limited number of 15 minute consults are available. A Preliminary Research Assessment may be ordered directly from UHF.

$35.00 if registered by 3 March (includes a box supper)
$40.00 if registered on 4 March and after (includes a box supper)
$45.00 if registering as a 'walk-in' on 24 March (supper not guaranteed for walk-ins)
Consultations: $25.00
There are a few opportunities for one-to-one discussions with speakers.
Preliminary Research Assessments: $25.00 (Must be ordered ahead of time, directly from UHF). 

Date and Time: Sunday, 24 March 2013
  • Noon-1:00 pm - registration
  • 1:00 - 8:00 pm - lectures
  • 5:20 - 6:00 pm - supper break
  • Vinson Hall, 4th Floor
  • 6521 Old Dominion Drive
  • McLean, Virginia
Note: Construction is ongoing in the area and parking is limited. Car pooling is encouraged. Valet parking is available. We regret the inconvenience.

You may register now at 

1:00-1:40 and 1:50-2:30 pm -- Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish Family History Research. A 2-part overview of Scots-Irish and Irish research, benefiting beginners and seasoned genealogists alike; it is practical, wide ranging, factual and informative. It will explore issues such as land divisions, and the major collections of records and how to access them. Mr. Mullan.
2:50-3:30 pm-- Emigration from Ulster to North America in the 18th Century. The story of the Scots-Irish and their experiences in Ireland and the New World. Using a range of documentary evidence, it reviews the causes for migration, the patterns of migration, estimated size of the exodus, and its impact on early American society. Dr. Trainor.
3:40-4:20 pm -- The Great Famine in Ireland and Emigration to North America, 1845-1856.
This lecture concentrates on the “Famine Irish”, that time during which Ireland’s population was reduced by 50% due to death and emigration. Dr. Trainor.
4:40-5:20 pm -- Understanding Irish Townlands:
the importance of place, identity and administrative divisions in Irish research. This is the key to successful Irish research. It is perhaps the most baffling aspect of Irish research. Dr. Trainor.
5:20-6:00 pm –Late Lunch/Early Supper Break
6:10-6:50 pm --The Ulster Plantation: Sources for 17th Century Families.
Records of Landowners in Ireland coming from Scotland and England. Original Irish owners of land; Land Grants; settler families. Mr. Mullan
7:00-8:00 pm -- Solving your ‘brick-walls’ –
An extended Q&A and practical Internet tutorial. A practical Internet tutorial for trying to resolve research queries. It is an extended Q&A session, where the speakers use online resources and their local knowledge to offer participants practical tips about Irish and Scots-Irish research. Mr. Mullan and Dr. Trainor.

Books: There will be large selection of books and Ordnance Survey Maps for sale. They may provide the detail you need in locating your ancestors' homestead.

You may register now at

Consultations: There are a limited number of 15 minute, one-to-one consultations with one of the speakers available during the day for $25.00. Please note the consultation is not actual research, it is a chance to get advice on specific research queries or research interests. This fee should be included when you register. You may wish to bring a short statement of the issue and summary information on what research you have done and the results.

Preliminary Research Assessments: (Must be ordered ahead of time. directly from UHF, $25.00). This is very specific advice on research possibilities based on the information you provide, it is not actual research. The information must be received by the UHF by 8 March 2013 for them to prepare the assessment by them.  They will email or mail the results prior to the conference. Generally, the UHF will not need to speak to the person at the venue, as the information will be provided before-hand. However, there may be a need to clarify or explain something. In those situations, a short portion of time can be allocated to at the venue.

You may register now at

About the Ulster Historical Foundation and Our Speakers. The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) offers extensive knowledge on the sources available for tracing Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors.  They specialize in research not only for those from Northern Ireland, but also Scots-Irish ("Ulster-Scots") and Irish as well.  Services include online databases of over 2 million records, genealogy and history books, and personal ancestral research.  See their website at

Dr. Brian Trainor became an archivist in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in 1956.  He was Director of the Public Record Office from 1970 to 1987, when he became Director and then Research Director of UHF. 
Mr. Fintan Mullan has been Executive Director of UHF since 2001.  He has spoken widely in the USA about Irish family history research, as well as in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

You may register now at

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

International Tracing Service - Feb 28 Speaker Change

Due to a back injury, this month’s speaker, Irwin Gordon, regrettably had to cancel. Graciously, Tom Sadauskas has agreed to give his presentation on International Tracing Service.
The International Tracing Service - The Closed Archive That's Been Finally Opened After MoreThan 60 Years
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:30 PM (EST)
Kilmer Middle School
8100 Wolftrap Road
Vienna, VA 22182
Event Description
The International Tracing Service (ITS) was created in the closing days of WW II and collected more than 50 million German and Allied records containing information on over 17.5 million persons.  These persons included Holocaust victims and survivors, forced laborers, and more than 8 million displaced persons (DPs).  For more than 60 years, the ITS archives were closed to outside researchers and only accessible to ITS staff members.  Not until late 2007, because of outside pressure by numerous groups, was the decision made to open these records to outside researchers.  The first organized group of outside researchers to access these records was in May 2008.  The presenter was part of this first group.  He will explain how best to access these records, as well as what records are NOT in the ITS archives.

Tom Sadauskas

Tom has been conducting genealogy research since 2000, with a special focus on Eastern Europe.   All four of his grandparents and his father were born in Lithuania.  He has made several trips to Lithuania and Germany to do genealogy research and has been successful in reestablishing contact with relatives in Lithuania as well as making contact with newly uncovered ones.  Tom was privileged to be a member of the first group of genealogist to visit  the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany in May 2008 following the opening of the ITS archives to public access.    He is a 2009 graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR).  Tom has made numerous presentations at various genealogy conferences including those organized by the Polish Genealogy Society of Connecticut & the Northeast Inc. (PGSCTNE), the Washington D.C. Family History Center and the Baltimore Family History Center.  He is also a frequent contributor to the monthly Polish genealogy ezine Gen Dobry!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tracing Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors!

Do you know the background of your ancestors?
Were they Irish or Scots-Irish?
Want to know more?  
… Than attend:

Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors

Sunday, March 24  from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Vinson Hall
6251 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22101

Sponsored by the Fairfax Genealogical Society of Northern Virginia
Fee, registration process and additional details will be announced shortly. 
Check back Soon!

We are pleased to announce that Staff from the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) in Belfast, Northern Ireland – Dr. Brian Trainor and Fintan Mullan will return to Fairfax for another intensive seminar on Irish and Scots-Irish genealogy for beginners and active family historians. UHF staff presented a similar program in 2008. 

The UHF is one of Ireland’s foremost genealogy research organisations and publishing houses and they will give advice on what to do and where to go next. These sessions will help the beginner and the seasoned genealogist alike. 

Tentatively, the program will include 

  • Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish family history research (in 2 parts)
  • Emigration from the North of Ireland to North America in the Eighteenth Century (the story of the Scots-Irish)
  • Using Irish Church Records: records relating to the different Churches in Ireland
  • Using Landed Estate Records:  Researching Farming Families in 18th & 19th Century
  • The Ulster Plantation: Sources for 17th Century Families
  • The Great Famine in Ireland and emigration to North America, 1845–1856
  • Understanding Irish Townlands: the importance of place, identity and administrative divisions in Irish research
  • Solving your ‘brick-walls’ – An extended Q&A and practical internet tutorial
The UHF is an educational, nonprofit organization which specializes in historical research and publications. Dr. Trainor is a retired UHF Research Director and was formerly the Chief Executive of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Mr. Mullan is the UHF Executive Director.

Program subject to change.  
Fee, registration and other details will be announced shortly.
Check back soon!