08 April 2010


     Time was, I belonged to every genealogical association and society I could find. In the days before Al Gore invented the Internet, these organizations were a lifeline to information on genealogy, especially for sources in Ireland. That was also when the cost of genealogy as a hobby amounted to a roll of stamps and the occasional charges for shipping films from Salt Lake to my local Family History Center. Today, the amount of information available online to family historians is mind-boggling to us genealogical dinosaurs, but the monetary cost of access to that information has also risen geometrically. So, over the years, I cut back drastically on paying dues to organizations. I made one big mistake--I let my membership lapse in the Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI).
     Then one day, I was cleaning out my files and came across a box of issues of The Septs that I had saved over the years. The Septs is the the quarterly journal of the IGSI. I realized that I was missing an important resource and that I needed to rejoin the IGSI. I was pleased to discover that membership was still a bargain--$25 for US and "electronic," and $35 for international mail.
     The main benefit for me is to have access to a society and a publication that consolidates topics and news in Irish genealogy. I consider myself a decent web surfer, but the IGSI helps guide me to information I might miss otherwise. Each issue of The Septs features, among other things, a few articles around a theme, such as Canadian Records (see my archive of past posts for that topic and an IGSI link) or Siblings. I like such an in-depth exploration of a topic and usually find some angle of research that I missed.
     I contacted Diane Lovrencevic, Vice-President of the IGSI and Tom Rice, Managing Editor of The Septs, for their input on the resources their society offers. They responded:
     "IGSI is a full service, international genealogy organization that offers a high quality quarterly publication, an instructional website, an extensive Irish genealogy library, expert research service, an eNewsletter, quarterly meetings, and Irish repository trips. We are very welcoming to new members and are supportive of their Irish heritage and genealogy research efforts."
   Diane and Tom said that the special benefits to members include the quarterly journal, the IGSI website, research services for members, access to one of the best Irish genealogy libraries in the US, an online bookstore with many hard-to-find Irish genealogy resources, quarterly meetings with speakers who are leaders in Irish genealogy, monthly classes, and research help.
   In addition, the IGSI has sponsored trips to research sites. Past trips included Salt Lake City, the US National Archives, and Canadian repositories. This fall, the society is offering a trip to Dublin. These trips are open to non-members. They have been able to find roommates for those persons who traveling alone but would like to share expenses and company.
   Diane said, "We have heard from others about wanting to go somewhere for research but not wanting to go totally alone. We thought offering our trips would be a good way to provide this kind of service to people."
     I want to thank Diane and Tom for taking the time to "walk me through" the IGSI. For more information on the society or their upcoming trip to Ireland, please click on the link below.
IGSI Trip to Ireland