The following announcement was written by Eneclann Ltd.:
26 December – 1 January
Christmas is traditionally the time when families gather together to celebrate – in fact research reveals that 96% of Irish people plan to meet up with family this Christmas*.
- Ireland’s first ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ launches
- ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ runs from 26th December – 1st January
- 69% don’t know the names of all their great-grandparents
- 94% would like to find out more about their family history
- Michael Collins, Oscar Wilde and Grace O’Malley are the people that we’d most like to discover we’re related to
But how much do we really know about our families?
In a recent poll, Eneclann, Ireland’s leading Irish historical researcher and publisher, revealed that while 89% of Irish people are able to name all of their first cousins and grandparents, only 31% are able to name all of their great-grandparents*.
This Stephen’s Day sees the launch of Ireland’s first ‘Start your Family Tree Week’, an opportunity to find out more about your Irish family history. The initiative, which is supported by Eneclann, the Genealogical Society of Ireland, the Irish Genealogical Research Society and the Irish Family History Society, aims to encourage people to find out more about their family history, and to hand down the stories and memories to the next generation.
‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ aims to encourage people to find out more about their families in a fun and interactive way. People can sign up for a series of seven daily emails from 26th December – 1st January. Each email is designed to help you develop your family tree further and includes advice and features from experts, links to useful websites and competitions (see below for details of prizes). People can participate by visiting www.startyourfamilytree.ie and signing up for the newsletter.
Research reveals that the top ten famous Irish individuals that people would like to discover they are related to are:
Rachel Murphy of Eneclann said ‘Christmas is the perfect time to start exploring your family history; with many of your relatives all gathered together in the same place, it’s a perfect opportunity to share family stories, and ask questions about what life was like in the past. As a people with a strong oral tradition, you’d expect we would still be passing the stories down the generations but our survey shows that an overwhelming 92% of people regret not having asked relatives more about their lives*.’
- Michael Collins
- Oscar Wilde
- Grace O'Malley
- Brian Boru
- Daniel O'Connell
- 5.Mary Robinson
- Arthur Guinness
- James Joyce
- William Butler Yeats
- Charles Stewart Parnell**
John Grenham, one of Ireland’s leading genealogists and the author of Tracing your Irish Ancestors, said:
‘For whatever reason, the week after Christmas always sees a big surge of interest in family history. ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ is a great way of giving people the tools to turn that interest into real research, and produce their very own Who Do You Think You Are? It deserves every success.’
Steven Smyrl, a professional genealogist and chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) said:
‘We used to think it was only the Americans who were interested in genealogy and their family’s past, but in the past decade the Irish have become just as interested, if not more so. The proliferation of online sources for Irish genealogy now means that research has never been easier. Certainly, for the IGRS the internet is providing us with new opportunities to encourage genealogical research. Events such as ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ can only boost this interest further.’
John Heueston, of the Irish Family History Society said:
‘The Irish Family History Society commend the initiative of Eneclann in launching ‘Start your Family Tree Week’ which is a great idea in getting people started on researching their ancestors. We wish them every success with this project.’
Michael Merrigan, General Secretary of the Genealogical Society of Ireland said:
‘An awareness, appreciation and knowledge of our genealogical heritage opens up a world of exciting possibilities, not least, discovering who our ancestors were and learning about their lives and times, but also introducing ourselves to the localities in which our ancestors lived and raised their families.
Family history is essentially about connectivity - both with the past and, what is wonderfully exciting, also with newly discovered relatives throughout the world. To say that family history is a voyage of discovery is very true, but it is also an extremely enjoyable educational leisure pursuit that is available to all irrespective of prior learning, age or socio-economic circumstances. It's your journey - it's up to you to take the first step.’