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Tom Mooney Out on a Limb

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The Irish make up one of the largest ethnic groups ever to come to Northeastern Pennsylvania. Thousands of area people have ancestries traceable to that nation.

If you’re searching out your Irish roots, sign up for the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society’s Irish Research Roundtable. Joe Grandinetti will conduct the 1 p.m.-3 p.m. session on June 28 at the society’s research library, Main Road, Hanover Township.

Seating is limited to just 16 people, however, so make your reservation right away by calling 570-829-1765. The group says that it’s best to call on Thursday. But don’t delay, as these seminars tend to fill up quickly.

Irish immigration into the area began early on, reaching a peak in the middle and later 1800s. Irish contributions in nearly all forms of community life have been immeasurable, and there are numerous active Irish organizations and churches to this day.

Genealogy-wise, there’s lots of material available for anyone who wants to get started in Irish research. There’s “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors,” by John Grenham. Ireland Genweb (www.irelandgenweb.com) offers county-based message boards. Immigrants to America during the famine years are listed in the multi-volume “The Famine Immigrants,” available in many libraries. Genuki (www.genuki.org.uk) is a treasure trove of information.

The society’s library is in the caretaker house on the cemetery grounds. If you drive down the Sans Souci Parkway from the north, turn right at the traffic light at the Hanover Area School District complex. If you’re coming from the south, turn left there.

The society has yet another project planned – locating old memorials and collecting names from them. Down through the years, memorials of all kinds have been established, many for the military – wooden honor rolls, carved monuments, metal plaques. Often their dedications drew great crowds.

Sad to say, many of them are now gone. The project will target those that remain.

“We want to document their location and information contained on them and photograph them,” the group announced recently. “We will then add these documents to our growing digital files and cross reference the names contained on them. The information will then be available for all researchers.”

Want to help this worthy cause, one that will both honor sacrifice and benefit anyone interested in the history of his or her family? If you know of any memorials standing, you can email the society at nepgsmail@gmail.com.

Incidentally, the society is extending the hours of its research library through July. The library will be open 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesdays starting immediately. The library is in the caretaker building at the historic Hanover Green Cemetery, Main Road, Hanover Township.

The season is shaping up as a busy one for the area’s genealogists. This month, the Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania will offer a talk by Dale Keklok titled “Photo Journey Through Small Cemeteries.” It’s set for 7 p.m. June 18 at the society’s Research Center, 100 Main St., Peckville (corner of Brook and Main).

Reservations are required for this presentation. Call 570 383-7661.

Genealogy Class: Don’t forget my “Getting Started in Genealogy” at the West Pittston Library 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 21. The free program is designed to provide an introduction to genealogy for anyone who wants to get into this fascinating and informative pastime. The session, with handouts, focuses on the basic tools and procedures for tracing ancestors. There’s a question period afterward.

The library is at 200 Exeter Ave. Seating is limited, so call 570 654-9847.

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