The Irish Family History Centre is always happy to receive group visits. And so it was that on 14 February 2017, the Irish Family History Centre hosted the Countrywide Hillwalkers’ Association, who had organised this ‘field trip’ as part of their normally more windswept programme. Gerard Leen, the centre’s Visitor Service Assistant, started the morning by giving the group some background to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, which is also in the CHQ Building (Dublin). This was followed by a talk from expert genealogist Declan Brady who gave a concise outline of Irish records and some social history background that would be particularly relevant to understanding the context for living conditions for anyone’s 19th century relatives.
The group continued with a tour of the 20 galleries of the EPIC museum itself, which feature the themes of Irish migration, motivation, the influence of the Irish abroad and the celebration of Irishness. After a break for lunch, the hillwalkers returned to the Irish Family History Centre for some much-anticipated personal consultations. Genealogists Declan, Patrick and Maura worked hard to dig out records from Findmypast.ie and other web sites to the guests and to give individual tips on how to continue researching. One lady arrived with only a snippet of information and was amazed at how much Patrick found for her. Another lady was quite taken aback at how fast I managed to find records: she was over the moon at the number of records she eventually went home with.
Group visits are easily arranged and warmly welcomed. The hillwalkers left in a happy and buoyant mood, delighted at what we, the centre’s staff, were able to find out for them. And some wanted to return for another visit, this time with their families.
By Maura Flood
Expert Researcher at IFHC.