The Irish Ancestral Research Association


Next Meeting

Saturday April 12, 2014 at 1:30pm.

TIARA and the South Shore Genealogical Society will hold a joint meeting in the Whiton Room at the Hingham Public Library, Hingham, MA.

Noted historian and author Anthony Sammarco will present a fascinating account of 'Howard Johnson' and the creation of the legendary Howard Johnson restaurant and hotel business. Howard Johnson created an orange-roofed empire of ice cream stands and restaurants that stretched from Maine to Florida and all the way to the West Coast. Popularly known as the "Father of the Fran-chise Industry," Johnson delivered good food and prices that brought appreciative customers back for more. The attractive white Colonial Revival restaurants, with eye-catching porcelain tile roofs, illumi-nated cupolas and sea blue shutters, were described in Reader's Digest in 1949 as the epitome of "eat-ing places that look like New England town meeting houses dressed up for Sunday." Boston historian and author Anthony M. Sammarco recounts how Howard Johnson introduced twenty-eight flavors of ice cream, the "Tendersweet" clam strips, grilled frankforts and a menu of delicious and traditional foods that families eagerly enjoyed when they traveled.

About the speaker: Anthony Michael Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over sixty books on Boston, its neigh-borhoods and surrounding cities and towns. He lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995 and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Com-pany: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston's Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorches-ter: Volume II, Dorchester: Then & Now, Boston's North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his most popular books with both native Bostonians as well as tourists. He is currently writing Lost Boston for Anova Books in London.

Since 1997, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year and where he serves on the Leadership Council. His multicultural and diverse stu-dent base, and his book Boston's Immigrants was written to highlight the diversity of the city and is used in his course. Among the many awards for his historical work, he has received the Bulfinch Award from the Doric Dames of the Massachusetts State House and the Washington Medal from Free-dom Foundation, and was named Dorchester town historian by Raymond L. Flynn, mayor of Boston, for his work in history. He was elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is a member of the Boston Author's Club and is a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum. In his volunteer work, he is treasurer of the Victorian Society, New England Chapter, and a trustee of the Forest Hills Cemetery Educational Trust and he is past president of the Bay State Historical League. He lives in Boston and in Osterville, on Cape Cod.

Upcoming Speakers

May 9, 2014 at 7:30pm at Brandeis University, Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G3.

Michael Dwyer will present "Hands across the Sea: Links in the Family Chain of Irish Emigration". Using the examples of his father’s Irish-born grandparents and their extended kinship network, Michael F. Dwyer will illustrate how each one of these ancestors migrating to New England in the 1880s joined other family members who first came in aftermath of the Famine three decades before them. In turn, these new-arrivals continued to assist and sponsor other family members from Ireland to join them. All told, links in this chain of migration unfold a family saga that connects several generations over the course a century.

About the speaker: A long-time TIARA member, newsletter contributor, and past speaker, Michael F. Dwyer chairs the English Department of Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon, Vermont where he also teaches American Studies and European history. In 2003, the Vermont Department of Education named him Teacher of the Year. He is Assistant Editor of Rhode Island Roots and a Consulting Editor of The Maine Genealogist. His articles on Irish-American research have been published in The New England Historic and Genealogical Register and American Ancestors.

The June 2014 program 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 a new location - 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.

For information about upcoming programs, write to:
The Irish Ancestral Research Association
2120 Commonwealth Ave.
Auburndale, Massachusetts

To receive meeting announcements by email, send a request to

Meeting Cancellation Notices

Meeting cancellations are given to Boston's Channel 7 or 56 by 1:00 PM in case of severe weather. Although they do not broadcast the cancellation on the television, you can sign up at Channel 7's website WHDH to receive an email with cancellation information. They also have a cellphone text messaging service for which you can sign up to be notified if there is a cancellation. See their website for more information.

And of course, check TIARA's own web site!

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