Thursday 12 January 2012

North American Connections

A small collection of US and Canadian news items has come my way over the last couple of weeks.

New York Drop In: Joe Buggy, a professional genealogist from Kilkenny now working in New York, will be providing free guidance to family historians at a new Drop-in service at the New York Irish Center. The service will run on Wednesday afternooons, from 1-4pm, starting on 1st February. Details.

The Irish American Museum of Washington, D.C.Irish American Museum for Washington DC: There are Irish American centres, museums and clubs all over the US but the creation of a NATIONAL museum in the nation's capital is of a rather more ambitious design.The intention is to create a major cultural institution with a library, performance and workshop facilities, a cinema, a national wall of honour, exhibition space, oral history centre, restaurants and (of course) a gift shop. More.

1940 US Census release in April: The US federal census taken on 1 April 1940, which contains the details of 132million people, is due for release on 2 April 2012. It's going to be released to the public in digital image format on the US National Archives website first but you'll need to know the names and likely addresses of ancestors before you can do much with it in this format (there's some advance advice here about identifying the correct Electoral Districts). However, it probably won't take much time for the big-name genealogy databases (Ancestry, Family Search, FindMyPast etc) to get the returns indexed and transcribed ready for online searching.

Irish ancestry in the USA: Recently released statistics gleaned from the 2010 US Census show that the Irish are the 4th largest ethnic group in the United States. They represent 12.26% of the total population, behind Hispanic/Latino (16.4%), German (15.48%) and African (13.47%). Massuchusetts, where 1.52million people claim Irish or Irish-Scots ancestry, is the state with the highest percentage (23.96%), followed by New Hampshire (21.47%). But California has the highest Irish-American population in pure numerical terms, with 2.8million. More.

The Irish in Newfoundland: Here's an interesting film (on YouTube) about the Irish in Newfoundland, most of whom set sail from Passage East in Waterford on the long journey to St Johns. While the work was originally seasonal, permanent settlers from Ireland began arriving from the middle of the 18th century, and have left a distinct legacy on the area.