We get many people from overseas visiting the Irish Family History Centre (CHQ Building, Dublin). Some will arrive with information to undertake genealogy research and some have no plans to do research but decide to use our facilities while they are in Ireland.
In April 2017, I visited the US and decided to include some genealogy research on my own travels. With the help of one of my cousins in New York, as well as from online records, I had a lot of information about my emigrants to the US. It’s important to remember that there are still many records that are not online and, therefore, it’s necessary to do some legwork.
I would only have limited time for genealogy research [This was a family holiday, after all!], so before I left, I made a list of what I would like to achieve. I contacted the archivist of the New York County Archives about one month beforehand to let them know I was coming and I made a search of this archive’s online catalogue to see what is available (see http://www.archives.nysed.gov/ ). Good general advice is to check archive websites for info and any pertinent rules before you leave, so you know whether you can take photographs, whether you need photo ID, what are the opening times, and where exactly it is. Some of my ancestors married and died in New York city and some lived in New York State, so it was also necessary to visit the Records Office in Chambers St, New York City. For your information, I was able to scan the records in Westchester Archives with my iPad but had to request copies from the Records Office.
I had a very successful trip to Westchester Archives and would like to thank them for all the help they gave me. My cousins were also invaluable for driving me to the archives and to the cemetery where members of my emigrant family are buried.
By Maura Flood