Monday 29 October 2012

The Genealogy Event - The Review

Joe Buggy reports.

This past Friday and Saturday saw the return of a genealogy exhibition to New York City for the first time in a number of years. The Genealogy Event was organized by Bridget Bray, who has been a keen genealogy enthusiast for the last number of years and has traced her Irish ancestors to Castleconnell, Co. Limerick.

The event was held at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan and saw a range of exhibitors providing information, services, products and advice to patrons.

There was a heavy Irish presence in the form of the Irish Ancestry Research Centre from University of Limerick, Ireland Reaching Out, the New York Irish Center and the Long Island based Irish Family History Forum. All four organizations had their tables in the same area and that section of the exhibition hall was heavily traversed on both days, as people wanted to know more about their Irish ancestry.

Many of the main players in American genealogy were there including Ancestry, Family Tree Magazine, Find My Past US, the National Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

The exhibition also saw a range of regionally- and nationally-known speakers participate in 30-minute 'power speaking sessions' covering topics from The ABCs of DNA to Don’t Forget the Ladies: An Introduction to Researching Female Ancestors. The Irish Ancestry Research Centre gave two talks: Planning a Genealogy Trip to Ireland and An Introduction to Irish Based Resources. Both talks were attended by over 100 people. Attendees could also avail of a free 15-minute help session with a professional genealogist.

New York City has seen countless immigrants come to the United States and as a result millions of Americans have ancestors who live in or came through the city. A major genealogy exhibition has been greatly needed and hopefully this was the first of many annual events to come.

Joe Buggy, originally from Kilkenny, is a professional genealogist based in New York City. He also works as a research associate with the Irish Ancestry Research Centre (IARC), located at University of Limerick. You can find more information about Joe on his website Townland of Origin and follow him on Twitter at @townlandorigin. You can learn about the work of the IARC at