The Irish Ancestral Research Association

Next Meeting

Friday February 10, 2017 at 7:30pm

Meeting at Brandeis University, Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G3. (doors open at 7:00pm... a short business meeting at 7:30pm
will be followed by our speaker)

The Overseers of the Poor was the welfare office for the City of Lowell from its creation in 1820s until the state assumed responsibility for welfare in the 1960s.  The largest collection of these records encompassed the years from 1887 to 1907.  These records were stored at City Hall and remained hidden until 2012 when several volunteers from the Greater Lowell Genealogy Club indexed the collection for the Lowell Historic Board.  This collection contains over 7,000 records of men, women and children, immigrant and native born, and their individual family histories.  Originally intended to validate claims, they are a goldmine of information for family historians.

About the speakers:
Diane Laferriere is the Treasurer of the Merrimack Valley chapter of Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG).   She is a past President of the Greater Lowell Genealogy Club.

Kim Zunino served as Assistant Administrator of the Lowell Historic Board from 2007 to 2013.   In 2011 Kim was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Middlesex Community College.   She serves as President of the Lowell Historical Society and a past President of the Tewksbury Historical Society.

Upcoming Speakers

NEHGS/TIARA Irish Genealogy Seminar
Saturday March 11, 2017 at 9:30am - 12:30pm

TIARA and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will once again hold a joint seminar at the NEHGS Library at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston.   This event is always a sell-out, therefore we recommend that you register early! (see below)


9:30am - Registration and Refreshments

10:00am - Jean Maguire, Library Director (NEHGS) will present 'From Paper to Pixels: Digitizing Catholic Records from the Archdiocese of Boston'.

10:30am - Eileen Pironti, Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press (NEHGS) will present 'Think Outside the Box: Examples of Underutilized U.S. Records for Irish Research'.

11:30am - Deborah Sullivan Gellerson and Margaret Feeney LaCombe will present The Maine Gaeltacht DNA Project - a project which started in 2011, is sponsored by the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland and overseen by several volunteers, including Deb Gellerson and Margaret LaCombe.   Collectively, they have spent thousands of hours developing what is essentially a massive family tree of Irish immigrants who came to Maine in the wake of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Famine of 1845-1852.

After the seminar, participants are welcome to conduct research in the NEHGS library for the remainder of the day.

Note that registration is required for this event and the cost per attendee is $20.
Click here to register on-line at the NEHGS website or or call NEHGS at 617-226-1226.

About the Speakers:

Deborah Sullivan Gellerson is a Board Member of the Maine Irish Heritage Center, a genealogist from Portland, Maine, an Irish citizen via her mom, and an organizer and volunteer for many local organizations.

Margaret Feeney LaCombe is a genealogist who has been researching her own family roots and the Irish of Maine for over 15 years, and started the Center's DNA project along with Maureen Coyne Norris, and created and maintains the Center's genealogy database with help from the Center's other genealogists like Deb Gellerson, author Matthew Barker, Krista Heatley Ozyazgan, Maureen Coyne Norris and Patricia McBride Flood.

Jean Maguire is Library Director of New England Historic Genealogical Society Library and Archives.   She is responsible for overseeing the Society's library and special collections, including patron services; collection development, access, and preservation; and the Society's volunteer program.  Jean joined the NEHGS staff in 1999 after receiving her Master's in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

Eileen Pironti, Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press, graduated with a B.A. from Saint Anselm College, and received an M.S. from American University.  She wrote about her ancestors' participation in the colonization of Nobles County, Minnesota in "'An Invitation to the Land': Reconstructing James and Eliza Conlon's Migration to Minnesota" which was published in the Summer 2011 issue of American Ancestors magazine. Eileen's areas of expertise include Irish, Scottish, and 19th century New England research.

Future meeting programs will be announced as soon as arrangements are completed.

Except July and August, TIARA usually meets either the second Friday evening of every month, or on the following Saturday morning at various locations.

On Friday nights, the meetings will be held at - Room G3 in the Mandel Center for Humanities, on the campus of Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham, Massachusetts. ( See the Brandeis University campus map for directions. )

Note that parking is free and handicap parking is available directly in front of the building.   Public Transportation is available via the Brandeis/Roberts "T" stop however the station is approx. 1/2 mile from the meeting facility.   The meetings are free and open to the public, but membership is encouraged.

The programs presented at the meetings vary, but may include general topics such as: how to do genealogical research; Irish history; resources for Irish research in the New England, Dublin, and Belfast area; and how to locate ancestors in Maritime Canada, Northern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland.  Note that each meeting will begin with a brief TIARA business meeting and announcements of upcoming events that may be of interest to the members.

For information about upcoming programs, write to:
The Irish Ancestral Research Association
84 South St.
Waltham, Massachusetts

To receive meeting announcements by email, send a request to

Meeting Cancellation Notices

Meeting cancellations will appear on Boston's Channel 7 or 56 by 1:00 PM in case of severe weather.   
Cancellation Notices will also appear on Channel 7's website WHDH.   

If you would like Channel 7 to send the Cancellation Notice directly to your mobile device,
you can learn more and register at WHDH Weather Alert.

Also, if classes are cancelled at Brandeis due to weather, the meeting will be cancelled.

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