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Irish Genealogical Society International
Fog sceen
Fáilte!  (Welcome!)

Minnesota Genealogy Center hours may change

Check the Minnesota Genealogical Society website before your visit:


July 16 Webinar is free to members!

Graphic for IGSI WebinarAn Overview of Irish History
July 16, 10:30 AM - Noon  CDT (UTC-5)
Instructor: Paul MacCotter
Historians estimate that Ireland was first settled by humans about 10,000 years ago. To our knowledge no one has traced their ancestors back that far but…wouldn’t you like to know what was happening in Ireland when your ancestors did live there? Join us as Dr. MacCotter takes us on an overview journey through Irish history. He touches briefly on all the key issues, challenging the many myths and legends and replacing them with the true picture of who are the Irish and what is their history.
Members:  check your email from May 27 (Subject:  "As green growth surrounds us, it's time to study and celebrate Irish history and culture with IGSI") for the discount code.

Celtic Connections Conference Registration Open

The 2022 Celtic Connections Conference, Journey Home,
July 9 - September. 
From our friends at The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA).
Visit the Conference website at

Visiting the Minnesota Irish Fair?

The Minnesota Irish Fair is back August 12 - 14 at Harriet Island in St. Paul.
We’re looking for friendly IGSI members who live in the Twin Cities area to share the word about IGSI programs and services at the Irish Fair.  Sign on to help for 4-hour shifts:
Friday 3 - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm 
Three volunteers per shift -- helpers will be needed to set up on Friday and take down on Sunday at closing.
  • Visit with IGSI members and the Twin Cities Irish community
  • Share information about IGSI
  • Enjoy food, music and everything Irish before or after your shift
  • And maybe even connect with cousins and add to your family tree!
This year there is a $15/day entry fee to the Irish Fair.  Volunteers who register to work 4 hours at the IGSI table at the Fair will be eligible for an entry pass for that day.  Sign up to volunteer early!
Email if you want to help!

Visit our Library

Photo of library exterior
The 3000+ items of the IGSI research collection are housed in the Hoffman Research Library along with the collections of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, its branches and other affiliates in Mendota Heights, MN near the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Member or not, you can visit our library where you will find one of the finest collections of Irish genealogy and history books in North America. Everyone is welcome.
The Hoffman Research Library is normally open as listed below.  Prior to travel, check the Minnesota Genealogical Society website to confirm the library will be open -
Library Hours -Photo of shelving in the library
Masks are recommended for everyone, but optional for the fully vaccinated.

Wed 10 – 4 PM
Thurs 10 – 8 PM
Sat 10 AM – 4 PM

It may be time to start planning a visit to the library for some genealogy research!  The second Saturday of each  month is Irish Saturday.

Making Connections

Chart wtih Surname Interests, showing growth to over 700 entriesMaking connections– finding an elusive ancestor or family connection – discovering that special link to another family member … these are the dreams of every family genealogist.  The surname database is a tool to help locate other IGSI members who are researching the same family name as you.
Have you entered the surnames of your Irish ancestors into IGSI’s surname database?  There is always a hope that collaborating with a distant cousin will help you break through your “brick wall,” so please give it a try!
Procedures are on the Surname Interests page.

IGSI and Celtic Journeys: Tour to Ireland

IGSI 2022 Trip to Ireland
IGSI members are invited to join other members traveling with Celtic Journeys to Ireland.  We will tour ‘not so familiar Irish gems’ that are off the path of the tourist trail.  We will be traveling counterclockwise around the island, ending up in Dublin 10 days later.  Built into the itinerary are opportunities to spend time researching your Irish ancestors at various libraries and records offices in Belfast and Dublin.  See the Ireland Trip page for a brochure with details and registration form.
Registration for the trip is now open to non-members!  We have a few openings remaining.

Learn! A new space on the IGSI website

By Donna Jones and Eileen Kelly
Learning about Irish history and about the records of our ancestors can help us learn about the context of their lives.  The Irish Genealogical Society International is excited to roll out a new section in our website called “Learn.”  Learn provides a roadmap for learning about our Irish heritage and family history.graphic with "visit out new Learn pages"
Start with the video; it provides an overview of this new section.  Each of the four parts introduces methodology in a logical step-by-step approach so we can benefit wherever we are in our research. 
Start Here gets us started and organized; the Introduction to Genealogy article introduces the methodology of genealogy.
New Home provides key sources for the country where our ancestors settled after leaving Ireland.  We need to know this to research and identify the Irish place our ancestors originated.
Search in Ireland provides in-depth information and resources specific to Ireland or Scotland.
More Help provides specialized information to expand our knowledge, such as DNA, maps, newspapers, etc. 
The design and implementation of the Learn section has been a collaboration spearheaded by Donna Jones, with contributions from the technical and education committees, Kathleen Foley, Mike Flynn, Mary Wickersham, Dave Miller, Jane Kennedy, Lois Mackin, and Eileen Kelly.
We invite you to check out the new section on the website and learn more about the skills of family research!  Click here to connect to Learn.

Announcing our 2022 webinars!

Get ready to be inspired by our full slate of fabulous programming with some of  the most outstanding genealogy experts from across the world!!!
the words "Be Inspired"Going to Ireland? Need help getting focused and not dragged down into the genealogy rabbit hole? Maybe you would like to learn more about how DNA can help you break down some of those Irish stone walls. What new resources are out there for Irish research? Names driving you crazy? What was happening in Ireland when my ancestors lived there? My ancestors were farmers who didn’t even own their land. How can I find out anything about them? Speaking of land…how can I find out where my ancestors lived and what’s with all the places having the same name? Need inspiration for writing your family history? Finally, how did your ancestors get to where they went?
Questions, questions, questions…in 2022 IGSI will have the experts help you to find the answers!
See the Activities link on the left for the full slate of programming. Registration is now open for July and August. Approximately 90 days before the next webinar, registration will open. IGSI members receive discounted pricing using a Discount Code sent to them regularly via member email and published in the bi-monthly Ginealas newsletter.
Are you a computer novice? Not experienced with webinars? Check out What Is A Webinar? and try watching The Connemaras: Despair in the Heartland.
IGSI members have exclusive access to recordings of past webinars. New to genealogy? Check out Tom Rice’s FamilySearch: In-Depth to learn valuable tips for navigating the largest free genealogy database in the world. Or perhaps you are wondering where your ancestors came from in Ireland. Lois Mackin’s Finding Your Overseas Irish Ancestors: An Irish Case Study will provide tried-and-true steps you can use. For more information, log in as an IGSI member and click on the Past Webinars link.
Take the time, make the time to learn more about the craft of genealogy so that you can learn more about the people who helped make you who you are today.

Minnesota Genealogy Center
1385 Mendota Heights Rd, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, Minnesota 55120
Questions?  Contact us at

July 9
Irish Saturday
Stop by the library for Irish research help. Check on the day you plan to visit, to make sure the library is open.  Short-notice ...
July 16
An Overview of Irish History
10:30 AM - Noon  CDT (UTC-5) Instructor: Paul MacCotter A free event for IGSI members (with Discount Code sent in member email); $20 for non-members ...
August 6
An Irish Farm History
10:30 AM - Noon CDT (UTC-5) Instructor: Chris Paton $15 for IGSI members (with Discount Code sent in member email); $20 for non-members   Genealogist ...
August 12
Irish Fair of Minnesota
IGSI will be at the Irish Fair! Stop by to visit - or send an email to if you'd like to help!  ...
September 10
Irish Saturday
Stop by the library for Irish research help. Check on the day you plan to visit, to make sure the library is open.  Short-notice ...