Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Your Irish Heritage’s Green Room – A Place to Call Home?

The following is an invited guest post by Jim Purcell drawing attention to the Green Room website, one I'd not heard of previously.

A few years back, in an effort to research my Irish roots, I found myself floundering around in my family tree on Ancestry.com. Frustrated with the many hints leading to facts that may or may not have had any relationship to my ancestors, I was linking to any possible family relations, regardless of validity. Not a great way to do genealogy, but sometimes one hits on a fortuitous outcome.
On one of these outings along a branch of my family that wasn’t part of my family, I happened upon a very friendly cousin (who wasn’t a cousin). In our zeal, we linked each other through a “common ancestor”, Patrick Purcell. Alas, her Patrick and mine were two different people. Nevertheless, Colleen pointed me to a resource that has proved to be more satisfying that even finding that elusive 4th or 5th great grandparent – The Green Room on YourIrishHeritage.com!
About 5 years ago, Mike Collins, a Corkman, began sending (for free) a “Letter From Ireland” every Sunday to subscribers interested in their Irish heritage. The letters run the gamut from descriptions of Irish history, to Celtic culture, to investigations of the homelands from whence we came. Perhaps you have heard of him and the site www.youririshheritage.com? Anxiously awaiting his newsletter every Sunday are thousands of subscribers across the world, myself included.
An offshoot of that is The Green Room, available by paid subscription to those of us who want to dig more deeply into our roots. The Green Room exists to provide a home to we descendants of the Irish diaspora, as we share in the journey to discover not only the facts of our Irish roots, but the stories, the history, and culture that each of our ancestors experienced in their lifetimes. The forum brings our family trees to life and connects us with “family” from New Zealand and Australia, to the European and American continents, and, of course, Ireland itself.
While Mike is not technically a genealogist, he has provided hundreds of us with a forum to share our experiences, assist each other in research, link us to resources that we would be unlikely to find on our own, and provide us with historical and cultural perspectives that help us understand the lives of our ancestors. The Green Room membership includes free access to John Grenham’s excellent site, www.johngrenham.com, and Jayne McGarvey, a professional genealogist, is a member who provides we amateurs with significant guidance. Stories from members who have lived through The Troubles, from those who’ve stepped across the thresholds of their ancestors to meet distant cousins still living in the family homesteads, Mike and Carina traveling to the homelands of our ancestors to document the past and the present, and countless other opportunities to share, and laugh, and cry – that’s The Green Room.

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