Welcome to the Irish Special Interest Group, the first WAGS' Special Interest Group to be formed, probably because at the time, most members seemed to have at least some Irish connection. The first meeting was held on 10th October 1981 under the guidance of Alan Campbell. Sometime later George Cargeeg took over the reins but in 1991 when ill health caught up with him, he handed them over to Mike Logan who remained convenor for almost ten years, Ray Hartnett followed. Mark Donald has also convened the group in recent years. And most recently Betty Vanderlande who resigned recently as she focuses her energies in a more southerly direction. Thanks to all the past convenors who have kept the group going since 1981.
In the early years the group had very few resources and books they did have were often on loan from private members. WAGS has expanded rapidly and Irish research material is becoming more and more readily available. It was exciting when microfiches of the Griffith's Valuation were purchased; now it's available free online, as is the Tithe Applotments. These are two of the main census substitutes. Over the years the Irish SIG has purchased a number of Irish resources for the WAGS library using funds members have raised. We are always on the look out for any new resources that will help people researching Irish ancestors. Contact us with your suggestions. The WAGS resource centre holds subscriptions to Find My Past (Ireland) and Ancestry both of which have many thousands of Irish records.
For the latest see What's New in Irish Research? in the March 2016 edition of Western Ancestor, the journal of the WA Genealogical Society, available to members to read on-line.
Current Irish SIG projects
Organising an exciting seminar on whole of Ireland family history featuring two presenters from the Ulster Historical Foundation
County Research Guides - guides to family history research in each of the 32 traditional counties of Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic), plus one more for when the birthplace county is unknown
Producing an online index of relevant biographical and historical articles from 18 years of Perth's Irish Scene magazine.
Working in partnership with researchers in Ireland to discover what happened to the young women who came to Western Australia on the Palestine in 1853 from the Mountbellew Workhouse in Co. Galway
Post Your Interests
Do post details of your Irish ancestors (names, places and dates, as much as you know) under the Members Interests Directory of the WAGS website. This will increase your chances of being found by a distant cousin - or at least someone researching in the same area. Go to Home > Members Area > Members Interests Directory.
Links Check out the Links page of the WAGS website. There are over 100 links to websites related to Irish family history.
Our Motto Irish research: challenging - not impossible!
Irish County Research Guides
A current group project is to develop research guides for each of the 32 Irish counties and one for those whose ancestor came from "Ireland, county unknown". If you'd like to help please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the first six guides launched on 15 January 2017. The template or model guide is here too. See section below for more general research guides.