17    Mar 20141 comment

Ireland: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Ethnic holidays, such as St. Patrick's Day for those of Irish ancestry, often spur an interest in family history.

According to the New York Times, the Irish diaspora in the United States alone numbers more than 36 million people, more than eight times Ireland's population. And this isn't even counting the descendants of Irish immigrants in countries around the world.

In large cities with many Irish descendants, such as New York and Boston to name just two, the day is celebrated by great parades. Traffic lane lines are painted green and green beer is served in bars. Parade-goers and others celebrating often wear green hats, ties or other items indicating their ancestry, such as pins or T-shirts reading "Kiss me. I'm Irish."

Many bars and restaurants will feature corned beef and cabbage or other Irish delicacies, along with that once-a-year green beer.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to its Irish collection of some 600,000 Irish immigration records to the Port of New York, covering the years 1846-1851, which includes the Irish Potato Famine period. Immigration records and passenger manifests offer a wealth of family information. Read more here.

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14    Mar 20142 comments

St. Patrick’s Day: Free access to Irish record collection

A map of Ireland, c1790

St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the life and work of Ireland's patron saint, is a day full of wonderful and joyous celebrations. This year it is celebrated on Monday, March 17.

In honor of the day, we are happy to give you free access - through March 17 - to a special collection of passengers arriving in New York from Ireland from 1846-1851.

Search now

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24    Jun 20138 comments

Guest Post: Ty’s World Trek

We're delighted to introduce a new guest contributor to our blog - Tyrell "Ty" Rettke. After battling ulcerative colitis and a series of corrective surgeries, Ty is on a round-the-world adventure and will help people he meets in various countries to trace their family histories.

From a small town (Ketchikan) in Alaska, Ty, 28, is interested in history and in tracing his own family heritage. In the first of his monthly posts, he heads to Ireland to see his roots.

Ty, 28, from Ketchikan, Alaska, is on a trip around the world

There are many reasons people travel. One trend is people visiting their ancestral homes. For me, this includes Ireland. So when I made my way across the Atlantic on my mission to circumnavigate the globe, I decided that Ireland was a must for my journey around the world.

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29    Mar 20133 comments

Surname of the week: MURPHY

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.

Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).

Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.

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15    Aug 20121 comment

MyHeritage: Michael O’Toole’s genea-journey

Michael O'Toole

Michael O'Toole

Our genealogical journeys begin in varied ways.

MyHeritage member Michael O’Toole’s interest began with a box of family photos and pages torn from a family Bible.

Michael, 59, was born in New Zealand and lives today in Sydney, Australia, with his partner Dianne and daughter Grace; his mother, Enid, and sister, Susan, live in Queensland, Australia.

Active in the apparel and textile industry for most of his life, including Levi Strauss New Zealand, he’s had his own product development and importing businesses.

In addition to family history, his wide-ranging interests include rugby, motorcycle racing, cricket and big game fishing. He enjoys international travel and is looking forward to a UK trip to visit his ancestors’ towns and villages in Nottingham and Leistershire.

Michael wanted to trace the history of his New Zealand O’Tooles.

I had very little knowledge of them. My step-grandmother- just before she died about 10 years ago - sent me a box of photos and family pages torn from a bible, so I had something to start from.

He began by Googling “O’Toole, Invercargill New Zealand.”

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17    Jan 20124 comments

‘The Greatest’ – Muhammad Ali’s family history

Muhammad Ali

Today, the world celebrates the 70th birthday of the first and only three-time consecutive World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.).

In celebration of Muhammad Ali's extraordinary journey, MyHeritage decided to build his family tree and share his family and personal history.

Muhammad is a descendant of pre-Civil War era American slaves in the American South, and is predominantly of African-American descent, with some Irish and English ancestry.

His Irish ancestry was uncovered through research revealing his descent from a man who lived in the town of Ennis, in County Clare, Ireland.

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23    Oct 20110 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 23 October 2011

This edition offers news on how genealogy societies plan to provide programming for long-distance members, nominations for the National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame, a book on today's obsession with genealogy, an Irish DNA project and new online database, as well as a new conference focusing on story telling, blogging and family history.

Technology includes podcasts and webinars, much in use these days and offering benefits for researchers around the world.

One Canadian society - the Ontario Genealogy Society's Niagara Peninsula branch - will now reach far-away members by streaming guest speakers on the Internet.

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3    Jun 20100 comments

Irish 1901 Census Published Online

For those who haven't heard the news already, the 1901 Irish Census was set live today. It's hosted on the National Archives of Ireland website, which you can access for free here.
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