Kerry Genealogy Road Show

emigrant-ship-goldThe Kerry Genealogy Road Show was officially launched by the Minister of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Kerry Gathering Program, in  Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland, on Friday, 12 July 2013

A unique project and the first of its kind in Ireland, the Kerry Genealogy Road Show was officially launched as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. Officiating at the launch was Minister of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan. Genealogy falls within Minister Deenihan’s brief. In attendance were local events organisers, tourism groups, local historians and genealogists, and visitors from the Irish Diaspora. The Road Show will be active in selected venues throughout Kerry from 6 October 2013 as part of the Kerry Gathering Programme 2013.

The Road Show is a free-standing mobile genealogy unit which will exhibit at 25 selected events around County Kerry. Professional genealogists will assist visitors with their genealogy queries and help them to trace their family trees. The mobile unit will also have free ‘live’ online search facilities which will provide access to genealogical sources including Census Returns, Tithe Applotment Books, Griffiths Valuation, Civil Birth, Death and Marriage Records, Church Baptism and Marriage Records and others.

The genealogists will provide general information about the principal Kerry families/family names, and their origins and distribution, including famous family members. There will also be an exhibition on ‘finding your Kerry /Irish ancestors’. Leaflets on ‘Finding Your Kerry Roots’ and other guides will also be freely distributed. Visitors to the unit will be encouraged to leave their names and contact details to enrol as ‘Friends of Kerry/Cáirde Chiarráí.

Noel Spillane, CEO of South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd (SKDP) noted that this project is the most significant genealogy advisory and tourism event in the country and saw it as an excellent opportunity to advise thousands of visitors to Kerry. It will bring a significant boost to Kerry’s economy during the summer and autumn months positioning the County to attract genealogical tourists in 2013 and in the years to follow.

John Griffin of Kerry County Council claimed that

‘the Kerry Genealogy Road Show is designed for individuals and groups with County Kerry ancestry living overseas who are back to visit the Kingdom. The project will not only help visitors to trace the origins of their families, it will give a boost to the local economy. As it’s the only service of its kind in Ireland, visitors are likely to travel long distances to visit it. They will need accommodation, places to eat and socialise, entertainment, transport and more than anything else, a warm welcome. Local businesses can help meet these needs and add opportunities to enhance the experience for visitors. We have also invited public representatives and members of the community who might know people living abroad who would be interested in coming to Kerry this summer through October.’

John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, the genealogy advisory company selected after a thorough public tender selection process, provided details on the services and genealogical information that will be made available in the mobile genealogy unit which include access to Irish and international genealogical source information from sites such as Irish GenealogyNational Archives;  Ancestry; Find My Past; My Heritage, Roots Ireland, Family Search; and other leading genealogy websites.

The Certificate of Irish Heritage, based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, is delighted to be part of the Road Show and will offer an exclusive 20% discount to visitors to the unit, Heritage Certificate  All these factors will make the Kerry Genealogy Road Show a great success in 2013 and hopefully in the years beyond.

The Gathering Ireland 2013 is an ambitious community and tourism led initiative which aims to provide a platform for Ireland to connect with its diaspora around the world. The objective of The Gathering is to attract an additional 325,000 overseas visitors and to help attract overseas and domestic tourism revenue. Central to achieving the aims of The Gathering will be the part played by local communities, organising special gatherings to engage the interest of family, friends and connections around the world. There are over 250 planned Gathering events in County Kerry, which is one of the highest in Ireland. The Gathering Ireland 2013 presents a unique opportunity for rural communities to attract visitors to their areas.

Vital to the success of this project is the co-operation and support from South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP), North and East Kerry Development (NEKD), and Kerry County Council. The project will be delivered by Ancestor Network Ltd, a leading Irish professional genealogy services company with wide experience in delivering genealogy advisory services to the Diaspora.

Substantial funding from the above organisations for the project has resulted in an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for overseas visitors to come to County Kerry to trace their roots, experience the warmth of a Kerry welcome and explore its rich culture and history.

If you are a native of Kerry or if you know someone who might be interested in visiting the Kerry Genealogy Road Show events, detailed information can be obtained from info@ancestor.ie, Tel: +353 87 050 5296.