Irish Roots


July 22nd 2013

The Kerry Genealogy Roadshow

John Grenham

Are you off to Kerry for your holidays any time over the next few months? Don't get a fright if you come around a bend on the Ring and see your ancestors hurtling towards you. The Kerry Genealogy Roadshow is on the move.

The Roadshow is a completely refitted and remodelled bus that will be travelling all over the Kingdom between now and the start of October. Every single tourist event in the calendar can expect a visit, from the Brosnan Clan gathering in Castleisland to Puck Fair in Killorglin to the Kenmare Lace Festival. A full timetable can be found at the Kerry Roadshow Facebook page and it is extraordinary to behold.

The bus is equipped with computers and WiFi access, free subscriptions to the major family history websites, a small research library, free documentation on how to go about research and, best of all, actual genealogists whose brains you can pick. The aim is first of all to provide guidance and an initial research leg-up to tourists who might have some Irish connections but have never delved into them - an incentive to keep them coming back. But of course it's also open to one and all: locals, Irish tourists, Germans curious about Irish research, back-packers looking for a bit of shade and little children with big ice-cream cones.

Supported by Kerry County Council, South Kerry Development and East Kerry Development under the EU Leader Rural Development Fund, the venture is the brainchild of John Hamrock, whose Ancestry Network is staffing the bus. Full marks for ingenuity to them and their funders. I just hope they don't think this is their summer holiday.

And if you are going to Kerry, did you really think you could get away from family history on the beach? There's no escape. We're everywhere.


Comments and suggestions are welcome, to irishroots(at)irishtimes.com.

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