I spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week at Bolingbrook’s, Fountaindale Public Library. They hosted the Ulster Historical Foundation for two days of Irish Lectures. As I sit back and think about all the information that I gather over the past two days, one thing sticks with me. I come from strong Irish stock! My family survived the famine which started in 1841. Dennis and Ellen (Fehine) Connell were married in 1840, just a short year before the start of the famine. They had their first four children during the famine in the years 1841, 1843, 1845, and 1849. As well as the children they had after the famine in 1854 and 1857. I am not certain how many of the children survived the famine at this point in my research, but the parents did and continued to have children after. The birth in 1857 is that of John Connell, my 2x great-grandfather and because of him our family continues.
The lectures I attended on Wednesday were:
- Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish Research
- Irish Education and School Records
- Gravestone Inscriptions and Newspapers as Sources for Irish Research
- Sources Available for Irish Research by County
- Introduction to Archives in Ireland
- Using the Registry of Deeds, with a Short Introduction to Irish Wills
The lectures I attended on Thursday were:
- The Great Famine in Ireland, 1845-51: A Brief Historical Overview
- Emigration from Ireland to North America: An Overview
- The Great Famine in Ireland: Sources for Research Part 1
- The Great Famine in Ireland: Sources for Research Part 2
- Emigrations from Ireland to North America: Strategies for Researching
If you are interested in seeing any of these lectures I highly recommend visiting the Fountaindale Genealogy website, they are only available for 90 days (starting with the day of filming on March 15th). Also, please consider donating to the Ulster Historical Foundation. They travel to the USA and spend a month traveling and presenting their lectures to us. If you really enjoyed the lectures I highly recommend becoming a guild member, which will give you access to some of their online records.