The 10th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture Is Posted

Lisa at Small-leaved Shamrock just posted the 10th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, whose topic was “For the Love of Ireland.” This first-year anniversary edition included eleven contributions ranging from the love of Irish linen to the love of crosses and claddaghs. It’s amazing how much one culture has infused itself into our modern American life!

The topic for the 11th Edition will be “My Key to Ireland”:

If you have found your ancestral county or village in Ireland, just how did you find your way there? What resources led you to learn the original county or townland or your ancestors? Tell us how you did it and what your feelings were when you made the exciting discovery.

If you have not yet found the area where your ancestors made their homes in Ireland, tell us about the resources that you hope to use to find out. What records and documents do you hope will lead you to that information? How do you plan to go about the search?

If you have always known the place or places where your family hailed from, tell us about them. What draws you there and what else have you learned throughout your search for family history?

Share with us your Irish genealogy success story or your plans to “get back to Ireland” within the upcoming 11th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture.

Deadline for submissions to the My key to Ireland edition is Sunday, January 18, 2009. This edition will be published at Small-leaved Shamrock on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

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Carnivals Galore!

It’s that time of year! The nights are cooling off, and the days are mild and pleasant. Leaves are beginning to turn, and mums are blooming in gardens. It’s the perfect time to take a break from raking leaves and pine cones or cleaning gutters and enjoy a favorite virtual magazine or two. In the past few days, three carnivals have been posted, providing us with a plethora of enjoyable and pleasant reading for the weekend!


poster courtesy of footnoteMaven

The 1st Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival was published on Wednesday at Kathryn Lake Hogan’s Looking4Ancestors. “My Ancestor Was Canadian, Eh!” was the topic, and nine ladies submitted eleven posts describing their Canadian ancestors. Mine was a mini-series, with two posts describing my own Canadian heritage, and one describing my husband’s. I know I’m repeating myself here, but I’m so excited to see the genesis of this carnival, because my focus this past year has been to learn more about and break down walls of my Canadian ancestors! This carnival will allow me to network with and learn from my fellow researchers from the land up north.

The topic for the next edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival is “My Famous Canadian Ancestor”. Was your ancestor a famous Canadian hockey player, actor or politician? Tell us about famous Canadians in your family. Don’t have a famous Canadian ancestor in your family tree? Not to worry; choose a famous Canadian you admire and share why you would like to have this person as your ancestor. Deadline for submissions is December 7, 2008. Submit your blog article using the carnival submission form.

Steve Danko hosted the 11th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy at his blog, Steve’s Genealogy Blog, also published on Wednesday. Eight participants wrote about the given names of their ancestors: naming patterns, nicknames, saint names, and name changes. I’ve always been fascinated by the way Eastern European names variate, with one name having the possibility of a dozen (or more) nicknames! Even if you’re like myself, without much or any heritage from this corner of Europe, you’ll enjoy the interesting articles submitted to this carnival.

Jessica Oswalt of Jessica’s Genejournal will host the 12th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern Genealogy, and has put out the call for submissions. The topic will be folklore, myths, legends and ghost stories, traditions or festivals of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The submissions do not necessarily have to be a part of your family tradition; it could be a submission on a historical event or it could just have been a part of the culture of your ancestor. The deadline for submissions is October 29. You can submit your articles here.

On Thursday, Lisa of Small-Leaved Shamrock posted the 8th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. It was the “Back to School” edition, with nine bloggers submitting their Irish genealogy research goals and cultural and heritage education plans for the coming school year. Three additional submissions on Irish heritage were also included. Celtic roots or not, you’ll be inspired by the ideas submitted here; perhaps you’ll read something that will help you in your own research goals.

The 9th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture will be hosted by Bill West of West in New England:

Halloween (or Samhain as it was known among the ancient Celts) is approaching and what better time to tell us about your family’s Irish superstitions? Perhaps you have stories about strange coincidences and events that might have been passed down by your Irish relatives, or even know of some favorite legend or haunted place in Ireland. Share them with us in the next edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture.

Deadline for submissions for the Irish Superstitions edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is October 25th.

Aren’t these great? I hope that you’ll take the time this weekend to browse through these virtual publications and consider submitting a post to at least one of these fascinating genealogical writing challenges! I’m sure that, like myself, you’ll discover a blog or two that’s new to you and add it to your favorites or your feed reader. Congratulations to submitters and hosts alike for providing a wealth of information, heritage, and quality writing for so many to enjoy!

September Is…

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)

September 1: Labor Day (United States)
Labour Day (Canada)
(“Labor Day and Ancestral Occupations” by Carolyn L. Barkley)

September 1: Ramadan begins

September 7: National Grandparents’ Day (U.S. and Canada)
Father’s Day (Australia and New Zealand)

September 11: Patriot Day (United States)

September 15: Independence Day
(Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua)

September 16: Independence Day (Mexico)

September 19: Independence Day (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

September 22: Autumnal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)
Vernal Equinox (Southern Hemisphere)

September 29, sunset: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

Do any of the above events feature in or affect your heritage, culture, or family history?

September Carnivals and Events:

September 1 – Data Backup Day

It’s Data Backup Day
by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family

Don’t Be Blogged Gone: Tips for Keeping Your Blog Backed Up and Secure
by Elizabeth O’Neal of Little Bytes of Life

Scanfest: Sunday, September 28th, 11 AM – 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

Go here to learn how to join Scanfest and our group of chatting, scanning family archivists, historians, and bloggers!

Go here to add the above deadlines and dates to your Google Calendar,
courtesy of Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family.

August Is…

…National Back to School Month (United States).

…Holiday Month (many European countries).

August 1: Anniversary of the 1st U.S. Federal Census
Swiss National Day

August 2 – 3: Twins Day in Twinsburg, Ohio
(Do twins run in your family?)

August 6: National Salvadoran-American Day (United States)

August 7: Purple Heart Day

August 8 – 24: 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing, China
(Any Olympians or athletic champions in your family tree?)

August 9: Singapore Independence Day

August 10: Ecuador Independence Day

August 14: Pakistan Independence Day

August 15: Korea Independence Day
India Independence Day

August 17: Indonesia Independence Day

August 21: Hawaii Statehood Day

August 25: Uruguay Independence Day

August 31: Malaysia Independence Day

Do any of the above events feature in or affect your heritage, culture, or family history?

Carnival Deadlines:

August 1 – 53rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy – Carousel Edition

August 4 – 10th Edition of the Carnival of Central and European Genealogy – Carousel Edition

August 10 – 4th Edition of the “I Smile for the Camera” Carnival – My Favorite Photograph

August 15 – 54th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy – topic to be announced

Submissions for the 8th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture are not due until September 22. Read more here.

The Cabinet of Curiosities is on summer holiday until September. Tim Abbott is looking for hosts for future editions.

August 1 – Data Backup Day

Julie Miller writes on how to create a genealogy disaster plan.

Scanfest: Sunday, August 24th, 11 AM – 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

Scanfest will be held one week early (usually held the last Sunday of the month), due to August 31st being a part of Labor Day weekend.

Go here to learn how to join Scanfest and our group of chatting, scanning family archivists, historians, and bloggers!

Go here to add the above deadlines and dates to your Google Calendar, courtesy of Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family.

The 7th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture Is Posted


“Looking into the Heart of Ireland” is the title of the 7th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Lisa of Small-leaved Shamrock presented us with a Summer Reading Challenge, and if my count is correct, eleven bloggers shared 14 posts on a variety of literature relating to Ireland: fiction, poetry, genealogy, memoirs, history and juvenile literature (my submission is “The Long March”). Lisa did a fabulous job (as always), and arranged the posts into different genres, each illustrated with lovely old-fashioned pen and ink drawings and Irish quotes. She also recommended other books and online articles to complete the theme.

For the 8th (“Back to School”) Edition, Lisa encourages us to do a little “homework”:

Have Irish heritage in your family history? Make a plan to further investigate the Irish side of your family tree and share your goals with us. Here are some ideas:

  • *Work back a few more generations on one branch of your Irish family tree
  • *Find naturalization papers that give the county of origin for an immigrant ancestor
  • *Find the townland in Ireland where your immigrant ancestor was born
  • *Get in touch with other relatives who share the same Irish genealogy
Instead of (or in addition to) focusing on genealogy, want to learn more about Irish heritage or culture in general? Choose a topic or task that interests you, and let us know how you plan to learn more about it this coming year. Give one of these a try:
  • *Take up Irish baking
  • *Learn more about and enjoy Celtic music
  • *Take up or set out to watch Irish dance
  • *Learn the Irish language
  • *Plan a trip to Ireland or a place where Irish culture resides

Set some goals for the new school year and share them with us, whether you’ve begun working on them or not. Hopefully we will all inspire each other in our quest for Irish family history and in our attempts to make the culture of Ireland more a part of our lives.

Deadlines for submissions are Monday, September 22nd, and can be entered here. Go enjoy reading the latest carnival, and get busy with your ideas for the next one!

The 7th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture Is Posted


“Looking into the Heart of Ireland” is the title of the 7th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Lisa of Small-leaved Shamrock presented us with a Summer Reading Challenge, and if my count is correct, eleven bloggers shared 14 posts on a variety of literature relating to Ireland: fiction, poetry, genealogy, memoirs, history and juvenile literature (my submission is “The Long March”). Lisa did a fabulous job (as always), and arranged the posts into different genres, each illustrated with lovely old-fashioned pen and ink drawings and Irish quotes. She also recommended other books and online articles to complete the theme.

For the 8th (“Back to School”) Edition, Lisa encourages us to do a little “homework”:

Have Irish heritage in your family history? Make a plan to further investigate the Irish side of your family tree and share your goals with us. Here are some ideas:

  • *Work back a few more generations on one branch of your Irish family tree
  • *Find naturalization papers that give the county of origin for an immigrant ancestor
  • *Find the townland in Ireland where your immigrant ancestor was born
  • *Get in touch with other relatives who share the same Irish genealogy
Instead of (or in addition to) focusing on genealogy, want to learn more about Irish heritage or culture in general? Choose a topic or task that interests you, and let us know how you plan to learn more about it this coming year. Give one of these a try:
  • *Take up Irish baking
  • *Learn more about and enjoy Celtic music
  • *Take up or set out to watch Irish dance
  • *Learn the Irish language
  • *Plan a trip to Ireland or a place where Irish culture resides

Set some goals for the new school year and share them with us, whether you’ve begun working on them or not. Hopefully we will all inspire each other in our quest for Irish family history and in our attempts to make the culture of Ireland more a part of our lives.

Deadlines for submissions are Monday, September 22nd, and can be entered here. Go enjoy reading the latest carnival, and get busy with your ideas for the next one!

The Long March


When Lisa put forth the Summer Reading Challenge as a topic for the 7th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture, I pondered what to submit. First I thought of my favorite Irish author, Maeve Binchy, whose novels make terrific summer reads (or good winter ones, wrapped up in an afghan with a hot drink nearby!). Trouble is, I’ve read all her books available in the U.S., and her latest won’t be published over here until 2009. Besides, I wanted something a little more pertinent to a genealogy topic. I remembered my favorite quote by Irish poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” (I can correlate that to the genealogy vs. family history issue.) But I’m not a big reader of Yeats, so that was no good, either.

Aha! My mind flew back to when I was a homeschooling mom, over nine years ago (was it really that long?!), and I had found some interesting recommended books while teaching a Social Studies unit on Native Americans to my then second-grade daughter. One in particular was given high praise no matter in what resource it was listed: The Long March: the Choctaw’s Gift to Irish Famine Relief by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Hillsboro, Oregon: Beyond Words Pub., 1998). It is a creative non-fiction work about a young Choctaw boy, Choona, who overhears his elders discuss taking up a collection to help the starving Irish during the potato famine. Choona knows, even though the adults do not speak of it, that his family endured hardship and suffering during the Trail of Tears and wonders how they can possibly want to aid white people, who live so far away.

This incredible true story was beautifully illustrated by the author using as models the family members of Gary Whitedeer, himself an award-winning artist and historic preservationist who has been featured on TBS’s The Native Americans and National Geographic’s When Ireland Starved. The impoverished Choctaw nation raised $170 (equivalent to $5,000 today) to aid the Irish cause. If you have children in your life–and even if you don’t–you will want to obtain this book. It is an emotional experience, and I dare you to read it without shedding a tear or two!

The book was named “A Smithsonian Notable Book for Children” in 1998 and won the Children’s Books of Ireland BISTO Book of the Year Merit Award, 1999. But there’s more to all this. In 1992, eight native Irish citizens retraced the steps of the 500-mile Trail of Tears as repayment for the Choctaw’s great gift, and to raise awareness of famine relief in Somalia. In 1995, the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, visited the Choctaw Nation to personally thank them. Two great nations, both knowing suffering and starvation, are bonded at a deeply emotional and spritual level. It is a heritage of which anyone would be proud.