Irish Family History Symposium, April 16

March 31, 2011

Drew University’s Caspersen school of Graduate Studies, The Irish in New Jersey, and The Genealogical Society of New Jersey invite you to:
Emigrants and Exiles: An Irish Family History Symposium
Mead Hall
Drew University
Madison, NJ 07940 


Saturday, 16 April 2011  Lectures 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Light breakfast and Registration from 8:30 am

Lectures followed by a reception sponsored by the Genealogical Society of New Jersey ‘The Famine is only part of the Story. Why our ancestors emigrated’ 

Professor Christine Kinealy, Drew University, has written and lectured extensively on the Irish Famine. She is the author of Tracing Your Irish Roots and A Death Dealing Famine. The Great Hunger in Ireland.

‘Right Annie. Wrong Annie.’

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak is a popular writer, speaker and TV guest. Megan Smolenyak² does all she can to get the g-word out there and inspire others in their quest for roots. In addition to consulting on shows ranging from Who Do You Think You Are? To Top Chef, Megan is the author of five books.

‘Immigrant Imprints: American and Irish records that tell the story’

Dr. Anne Rodda, Certified Genealogist. Dr. Rodda earned the Doctor of Letters degree from Drew University, concentration in Irish Studies. She has been specializing in Irish genealogy for twenty years, doing research in the New York/New Jersey area and in Ireland.

“Looking For Katie: The McCormack Family in America’

Dr. Thomas Callahan, Professor at Rider University, earned a PhD. in History from the University of Connecticut. He is currently completing a study on “Ireland or America: A Family’s Choices” – A study of the McCormack Family of County Roscommon in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.

‘Family History From A Religious Perspective’

Alan Delozier is the Director of Special Collections and University Archivist, Seton Hall University. He earned Master’s Degrees from Villanova University and Rutgers University. He is working on his dissertation in pursuit of a Doctor of Letters degree from Drew with a concentration in Irish Studies. His book The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark will be published in Fall 2011.

‘Imagining the Past: Using Historical Resources to Find Stories from the Past’

Julie Wilson Sakellariadis is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Business School, currently Vice Chair of the Board of Managers of the New York Botanical Garden. She has done extensive research on her Anglo-Irish ancestors from Counties Tipperary and Wexford and their emigration to America.

‘Offbeat Records in Irish-American Research’

Claire Keenan Agthe is a professional genealogist, specializing in Irish, Philadelphia, New York and Trenton research. She is a member of many Irish, English, and US genealogical societies, is a Vice President of GSNJ, and is the author of the NGS guide, Research in the States: New Jersey.

‘Family History Search Catches a Tammany Tiger’

Judith E. Campbell received her Masters from Drew and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Letters program. After more than 30 years in the financial services industry, Ms.Campbell began her educational journey in 2008, specializing in Irish and Irish American History. Her concentrations thus far have centered on the Irish in New York City and the impact of Irish America on the establishment of  an independent Ireland.

DEADLINE: 1 April 2011





Registration Fee: $45.00

Registration includes a light breakfast, lunch, and post-conference reception.

Indicate: Check: _____ Cash: _____

Sorry, we cannot accept debit or credit cards for this event.

Make check payable to Drew University

Please indicate membership:
] GSNJ [ ] Non-Member

Register by April 1 to ensure seating and meals. (Late registrations welcome but printed syllabus and lunch cannot be assured.)

Mail this form and payment

Emigrants and Exiles
c/o Nicole Anderson
37 Belton St
Stanhope, NJ 07874

Send one form for each person. Copies are acceptable.
Questions? Contact Nicole Anderson at: <> or call Joan Lowry at 201-306-0598



The Highbridge Irish – A lecture by Kate Feighery

March 23, 2011

Saturday, March 26th 2011 at 2pm

Columbia University Law School,
Jerome Greene Auditorium, room 101
435 West 116th Street, NYC

The New York Irish History Roundtable is pleased to host a talk by Kate Feighery on the Irish community in the Highbridge section of the Bronx.

Highbridge, the neighborhood in the southwestern section of the Bronx, took its name from the massive stone bridge (spanning the Harlem River) constructed there in the 1840s to carry water to the island of Manhattan. The history of the Irish in Highbridge can be traced from the mid-nineteenth century, when homes of Irish immigrant workers building the Croton Reservoir first began to replace earlier farmlands and sprawling estates.

It wasn’t until a century later, however, that the true strength of Irish connections to the neighborhood reached its peak, a time when the neighborhood has been described by its former residents as made up of anywhere from seventy-five to ninety-nine percent Irish and Irish Americans. While the ethnic makeup of Highbridge has changed drastically since the late 1960s, remnants of the once-pervasive Irish community can still be found today; both in the physical sense, through the buildings and churches that stand as testaments and, more powerfully, in the memories of those individuals whose families were once a piece of this Irish community.

Utilizing archival, census, and church records, as well as oral histories and memoirs of former residents of the neighborhood, Feighery’s talk will focus mainly on the twentieth century Irish experience in Highbridge, and its connections to the larger Irish communities of the Bronx and other parts of New York City.

Kate Feighery holds a Master’s Degree in Irish and Irish American Studies from Glucksman Ireland House NYU. She currently works as a Project Editor in the College Department at W. W. Norton & Company, while continuing to pursue her interest in the history of the Irish in New York.

Suggested Donation for refreshments: $3

Saturday, March 19, More Irish Books and Music

March 16, 2011

Playwright Celtic Pub on Saturday, March 19 from 3 – 5pm 

732 8th Avenue, New York, NY   (212) 354-8404

Two Irish Born authors will read from their novels on Saturday afternoon:

Dublin-born author Honor Molloy will read from her new novel, Smarty Girl, a darkly comic portrait of Dublin in the 1960s.

 Laois-born author Gemma Whelan will read from her new novel, Fiona: Stolen Child, set in rural Ireland in the 1960’s, and in New York and Los Angeles.

Live music. Cash bar plus appetizers.

St. Patrick’s Day Events

March 6, 2011

 Drop off books  by Irish and Irish American authors  for distribution to New Yorkers for the inaugural Irish Arts Center Book Day,  by March 15. . Patrick’s Day.  If you have not had a chance to drop off your books we will continue to welcome your generous contributions until March 15. Click here for a list of drop off locations.

For information,  go to



ST. AGNES CHURCH,  143 East 43rd Street,  between Third and Lexington Avenues

The Annual Mass in Irish at St. Agnes Church will be celebrated by Fr. Aidan O’ Driscoll of County Cork, Ireland.

 Fr. Richard Adams pastor of St. Agnes will deliver the homily in English. 

Readings in Irish: Marge Grennan, Maura Mulligan and Eileen Zurell.  

Singing in Irish:  Jim Crowley accompanied by Heather Bixler on the fiddle.  

 Bagpipe music before & after Mass: Tom Downs 



March 6, 2011

IRELAND AMERICA The Ties That Bind March 14 through August 13, 2011

Here are some excerpts from the NYPL press release about its new exhibition:

Irish culture and heritage will be celebrated throughout The New York Public Library in March, with over 100 events connected to Imagine Ireland, an initiative by Culture Ireland to promote Irish arts across the United States in 2011.

NYPL locations in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island will offer 115 free programs for visitors of all ages, such as film screenings; staged performances of Irish folk tales and legends for children; cooking demonstrations; Irish language lessons; and a talk on how the Irish landscape influences teen fantasy fiction.  For adults, there are dramatic readings of plays by Oscar Wilde and live Irish traditional music with Don Meade.

In addition to the array of programs, the Library will also offer several education initiatives connected to Imagine Ireland, including professional development for teachers and a collaboration between students from New York City and Dublin. The Irish organization “Fighting Words” – which promotes writing – is working with kids from a Lower East Side school and from an NYPL literacy program for kids aged 16 to 21. The kids will work with Irish authors and artist – and then swap their writing with kids in Dublin. All of the work will eventually be published. 

The programming is being done in conjunction with the March 14 opening of the 4,000 sq. ft. exhibition Ireland America: The Ties That Bind at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which explores key aspects of Irish American performance history since 1800, and Hidden Ireland, a documentary film series drawn from the archives of the Irish Film Institute, starting on March 17. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House; the Film Series is in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute.

Ireland America: The Ties That Bind is curated by Professor Marion R. Casey, who teaches in New York University’s Masters of Irish and Irish American Studies program.  Hidden Ireland is curated by Sunniva O’Flynn of the Irish Film Institute and David Callahan of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Both exhibition and film series are part of Imagine Ireland, a year long season of Irish arts sponsored by Culture Ireland and taking place across the United States in 2011.  

 The exhibition includes rare scores, prompt books, posters, banners, costumes, photographs, original sound recordings, oral histories, as well as videotaped excerpts from Irish plays and other performances. Materials have been gathered from the various collections at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts as well as from the Archives of Irish America at Bobst Library, New York University.

Designed to be interactive, the exhibit – which contains material from both NYPL and NYU’s Archives of Irish America – will enable visitors to play music, dance a step, listen to songs and personal stories, as well as experience how records, radio and television made the home an incubator for Irish American creativity and cultural transmission in the Twentieth Century.

Ireland America: The Ties That Bind  will be on display from March 14, 2011, to August 13, 2011 in the Donald & Mary Oenslager Gallery at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Programming is free and open to the public.  Hours: Mon. & Thurs. 12pm-8pm, Tues.-Weds. & Fri.-Sat. 12pm-6pm.

The series starts with a very special Gala screening of the 1935 silent film The Seasons, an intimate portrayal of life in the small village of Kilkelly, Co Mayo, with live musical accompaniment by renowned Irish musicians from Kíla and harpist Cormac de Barra.

Screenings will take place on Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM. and on selected Saturdays at 6:30 PM beginning March 17 through May 19, 2011, many of them introduced by Glucksman Ireland House faculty.  Some screenings of note include The Emigrant Chaplain, introduced by the film’s lead subject, Father Colm Campbell of Holy Trinity R. C. Church in Manhattan on Thursday, April 28.  On Thursday, March 17, there will be a rare screening of The Ed Sullivan Show filmed in Ireland in 1959. And on Saturday, April 9, there will be a screening of the documentary From Shore to Shore: Irish Traditional Music in New York City that will feature an introduction by the filmmaker Patrick Mullins of the University of Texas, El Paso. To get the full schedule of films being shown please visit 

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will also present throughout the course of the exhibition several poetry readings, musical performances, staged readings and panel discussions. A series of case exhibitions on American avant-garde theater, dance and music inspired by James Joyce can be seen in the 3rd floor reading room. Rare artifacts from The Library’s archival collections include Zero Mostel’s annotated script for Ulysses in Nighttown (Off-Broadway, 1958) and John Cage scores. For more information about these programs please go to  

In conjunction with The Library’s exhibition and film festival, New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House presents a lecture by Professor Stephen Rohs of Michigan State University on March 24th at 7pm.  Rohs is the author of Eccentric Nation: Irish Performance in Nineteenth Century New York City.  For more information about this program please go to