If your immigrant ancestors were from Ireland, you will want to attend the Ulster Irish Lecture Tour as it makes it way around America in March. The day long workshop was worth every minute. Ireland was one of the most prolific immigrant groups to America, especially into Philadelphia in the 1700’s. We often think of the Irish immigrants coming in after the Potato Famine in 1840, but the Irish came in way earlier than that into Pennsylvania.
Many Irish came as indentured servants to people already living in the Philadelphia area. Quite a few did not serve out the length of their contracts and freed themselves, moving into the less settled areas of PA. The Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper ran notices for these rogue Irishmen. So, if you had a single adult who came to the US in your family tree who suddenly moved into extremely rural areas, they might have been escaping their servitude!
To make the best use of the information presented for the day, it is best to research your Irish ancestors as much as possible in American records first. Often on death certificates or gravestones of the Irish, they would list the county they came from Ireland. Just like researching in early Pennsylvania, knowing the county is key to going back into records of the 1800’s and 1700’s. If you don’t know the county, you will still get a lot out of the day knowing all the types of records the Ireland has and where to find them.
The Ulster Historical Foundation also has an excellent selection of books for sale at the conference, and the handouts given are very thorough too. Their only other date in PA is March 18th in Pittsburgh so check that out on their website to register. They are also stopping in New York City for two dates. The full calendar is here and their website ancestryireland.com has access to millions of records and information on Ireland research trips and more. Wonderful organization and wonderful people!