Heritage Week: Exploring Genealogy and more.

National Heritage Week is growing in popularity every year and after dipping our toes in the water last year, the Irish Family History Centre took its 2017 theme ‘It’s In Your Nature’,  and formulated a plan.

We celebrated the week with our ‘GENEius Project’, a programme that encourages children and young people to get actively engaged in their genealogy, family history, and local heritage. 

The first event was GENEius Junior, where talented children aged 4 – 7 years spent time making their own family trees, under the expert guidance of our Education and Outreach Officer, and all round creative guru,  Claire Murray.

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A second event for children, GENEius 1.0, was also held where budding family historians aged 7 – 10 years designed and created their own family crest. The results of their efforts were spectacular we finished the workshop on a fun note, with the kids dressing up in period costumes.

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Not forgetting the adults, we hosted a lecture by our very own genealogy wizard Dr. Patrick Roycroft, who enlightened us on the fascinating connection between genealogy and geology. As family historians and genealogists, it is certainly in our nature to look for evidence and it was simply fascinating to hear how genealogy has helped Irish geologists and curators build up a more complete who’s who for Ireland’s natural history.

We were then delighted to welcome Professor Dan Bradley from the Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin. He provided a fascinating insight into how the analysis of ancient DNA within archaeological bones is shining new light on where our ancestors came to Ireland from and when, thousands of years ago, with some surprising results.

It was a pleasure and a joy to be a part of Heritage Week this year and we are already eagerly awaiting the theme for 2018!

By Fiona O’Mahony