Irish Roots

January 25th, 2010

John Grenham


Globalization is happening as much in genealogy as elsewhere. On the slightly scary side, ancestry.com is trying to use its marketing power to become an intermediary in the market for professional research, for Ireland as for everywhere else in the world. Over the years, there have been many attempts to commodify commissioned research and all have been defeated by the uniqueness (by which I mean the sheer bloody awkwardness) of each individual research project. Genealogy of its nature is a craft, not an industrial process. On the other hand Ancestry does have real market power.

A more unequivocal benefit of globalization is the growing access to overseas sources that relate to Irish migrants. The most recent example I’ve come across (thanks to Dick Eastman’s genealogy blog, at www.eogn.com) is a service provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. For $20, the USCIS will search all of their Historic Records series for a particular individual. These records include Naturalization Certificates, Alien Registration Forms, Visa records and Immigrant files. See www.uscis.gov, and search for “genealogy”.

The period covered is later than one would like, dating from 1906, but many Irish families have members who migrated to the US in the first decades the 20th century, so there are many potential uses for the service, from uncovering a precise place of origin in Ireland via a migrant grand-aunt or uncle, to tracking down living second or third cousins for a reunion.

While on the topic, the other major sources for tracking Irish migrants in the US remain free to search online. The Ellis Island site (www.ellisisland.org) holds all 25 million arrival records for New York between 1892 and 1924, and the Social Security Death Index (ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com) includes information on more than 75 million people who died from 1962.


Comments and suggestions are welcome, to irishrootsatirishtimes.com.


Current column

2014

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
6
3
3
7
5
2
7
4
1
6
13
10
10
14
12
9
14
11
8
13
20
17
17
21
19
16
21
18
15
20
27
24
24
28
26
23
28
25
22
27
 
 
31
 
 
30
 
 
29


2013

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
7
4
4
1
6
3
1
5
2
7
4
2
14
11
11
8
13
10
8
12
9
14
11
9
21
18
18
15
20
17
15
19
16
21
18
16
28
25
25
22
27
 
22
26
23
28
25
23
 
 
 
29
 
 
29
 
30

 
30


2012

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2
6
5
2
7
4
2
6
3
1
5
3
9
13
12
9
14
11
9
13
10
8
12
10
16
20
19
16
21
18
16
20
17
15
19
17
23
27
26
23
28
25
23
27
24
22
26
24
30
 
 
30
 
 
30
 
 
29
 
31


2011

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
3
7
7
4
2
6
4
1
5
3
7
5
10
14
14
11
9
13
11
8
12
10
14
12
17
21
21
18
16
20
18
15
19
17
21
19
24
28
28
25
23
27
25
22
26
24
28
26
31
 
 
 
30
 
 
29
 
31
 
 


2010

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
4
1
1
5
3
7
5
2
6
4
1
6
11
8
8
12
10
14
12
9
13
11
8
13
18
15
15
19
17
21
19
16
20
18
15
20
25
22
22
26
25
28
26
23
27
25
22
27
 
 
 
 
31
 
 
30
 
 
29
 


2009

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
6
2
2
6
4
1
6
3
7
5
2
7
13
9
9
13
11
8
13
10
14
12
9
14
20
16
16
20
18
15
20
17
21
19
16
21
27
23
23
27
25
22
27
24
28
26
23
28
 
 
 
 
 
29
 
31
 
 
30