The Wild Geese’s Latest Initiative: Relentlessly Uncovering Our Irish Ancestry

We in The Wild Geese social network, now 13 months old, are experiencing a swell of interest and passion in exploring Irish ancestry among our growing membership. No surprise, considering that we as a community have already produced thousands of pages of content -- articles, photographs, video and audio links, and events -- all with one overarching purpose -- to better understand, and celebrate the extraordinarily rich Irish experience.

Our newest initiative from The Wild Geese, ‘Uncovering Our Irish Ancestry,’ aims to encourage collaboration between our members and consulting experts as we plumb and share our collective experiences, to help us better chronicle our families’ colorful and distinct Irish histories.

In the days and weeks and months ahead, fellow Wild Geese members will generate and share articles, family trees, research, resources, discussions, tips, and input from genealogical professionals. With this, we fully expect many members to pursue, and overcome, the obstacles that keep us from identifying key individuals, and incidents, in our family histories.

The Wild Geese community, and its nearly 2,000 members, feels uniquely placed to achieve these goals. Each day within our thousands of pages, our members explore and promote the epic heritage of the Irish worldwide, providing an extraordinarily rich context, esprit and passion for the Irish story -- from the perspectives of family, village, nations and continents.

To further our mission, we have recruited two outstanding professional genealogists: Helen Kelly, right, of Helen Kelly Genealogy, and Nicola Morris, of Timeline Irish Genealogy. In the days, weeks and months ahead, both Nicola and Helen will be posting articles and other content aimed at providing fresh genealogical insights for fellow readers and members.

Nicola Morris (left), like Helen Kelly a mainstay in the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, has a degree in history from Trinity College Dublin. Nicola in 2007 set up Timeline Research Ltd. offering professional genealogical research services. She works closely with the production company for the BBC program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and has appeared on camera with Rosie O'Donnell, Jeremy Irons, Graham Norton and Chris Moyles. Nicola has researched the Irish family history of Martin Sheen, Rashida Jones and many others.

Helen Kelly holds an extra-mural certificate in genealogy from UCD and a Diploma in Local History from NUI Maynooth. In 2012 she completed a three-year term as APGI president. Helen also serves as genealogist-in-residence at Dublin’s historical Shelbourne Hotel. In her capacity as a genealogy advisory consultant, and through her research, Helen has been in the forefront of encouraging the descendants of Irish emigrants to reconnect with their Irish heritage.

Nicola and Helen will be authoring case studies submitted by members, selected for their applicability to the searches of many. Both Nicola and Helen, among the newest members of The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership, are available for private consulting, as well, designed to better provide members a desired breakthrough in unravelling an Irish family history.

With new technology coming online daily, we as a community will also explore the expanding means of exploring our pasts using DNA analysis. The goal here is to raise awareness of cutting-edge genealogical services, help identify quality, affordable providers of those services, as well as to generate invaluable information about Irish family history to our growing number of members and visitors. WG


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Tags: Ancestry, DNA, Dublin, Genealogy, Heritage, Ireland, Maynooth, Preservation, United States

Comment by Paddy Savage on April 23, 2014 at 8:42am


A belated Happy Easter to you and your family.  Our Loughnane Family Reunion is two weeks away and many of you have replied to lest us know that you are attending.  We want to make sure we have enough food for everyone so if you are planning to be in Feakle on May 5th, please reply to this e-mail this week.  As far as I can tell, this will be the first time that the great grandchildren of the 4 Loughnane Brothers/Sisters will be reunited in the same place at the same time!

You and your family are invited to a Loughnane Family Reunion to be held at the Loughnane Hostel on the Main Road in Feakle, County Clare, Ireland on the Bank Holiday Afternoon - Monday - May 5th, 2014.  
Here are the details:
What:                Loughnane Family Reunion & Gathering 
Where:              Loughnane's Hostel in Feakle, County Clare, Ireland
When:                Bank Holiday - Monday - May 5th, 2014
Schedule:          12:01 Onwards - Arrive at the Hostel to sign you and your family in and to receive name tags.

                            12:30 - Mass at the Hostel to remember the deceased of the Loughnane & Savage Families
                             Following Mass:
                              - Walk or drive on the Old Feakle Road to the original Loughnane home built around 1833
                                -- We will be having a "Tree Planting" organized by William Purcell and Jim Loughnane & their
                                    families to commemorate William Loughnane & his wife Mary nee Hartney building their home.
                              - Walk or drive on the Main Road to the cemetery to view the Loughnane headstones.
                              3:00 - Food served in the patio weather permitting - otherwise inside.
                                         Sandwiches (Burgers), Salads, & Baked Potatoes followed by Desserts from Noel Loughnane.
More Details:      You can bring your own beverages as well as "Adult" beverages.  Or, you can walk over to
                               Moloney's Pub for a take-out beverage.  We may also be able to set up a delivery system but not
                               sure yet.
                               You can make a reservation for overnight accommodations at the great rate of 25 euros per person
                               which will include a light breakfast by calling Liz Loughnane at 086-601-1112 or e-mailing the Hostel
                              There will be a photo show.  If you have family photos, especially old ones, can you e-mail them to
                              me for the  photo presentation which will run most of the afternoon.
                              I will need to plan for the food so I would appreciate knowing from you how many adults and kids 
                             will be attending.  You can e-mail me at at least before April 27th. 

                             A number of cousins including my wife Melissa are running the Limerick Races on Sunday May 4th.
                             Let me know if you will be in Limerick on that Sunday.
Melissa and myself will be arriving in Swords, Dublin late in the afternoon of April 29th. We will arrive in Limerick on Friday afternoon, May 2nd.
Please pass this e-mail on to our cousins who are not on my e-mailing list.
Sending love and good wishes from Chicago, USA,    Paddy
Comment by Gerry Regan on May 8, 2014 at 4:09pm
Paddy, how about an after-action report on the event in your profile on The Wild Geese?
Comment by Paddy Savage on May 9, 2014 at 1:11am

Hi Gerry,  I knew I could get 60 to 75 Loughnane cousins to show up and was hoping to get 100.  The weather last Monday was cold and sometimes raining.  You could not imagine my surprise when over 200 Loughnane cousins showed up in Feakle.  It was a powerful convergence of energy and goodwill. I only started to organize this event in early February from Chicago.  Cousins came from England, the USA, and all over Ireland.  It was the first time that the descendants of Patrick, John, Ellen, and Annie were all together in one place at the same time.  We dedicated and planted a tree in front of the original Loughnane Family Home in Bauroe, Feakle that William Loughnane and his wife Mary Harney built around 1830.  The original house is still standing and now owned by Jim Loughnane who is the great, great grandson of William and Mary.  The main event was held at the Loughnane Hostel (now owned by Billy and Liz Loughnane) in Feakle, County Clare which is where my grandmother Katherine Mary nee Loughnane Kearney was born in the 1880's.  We had an American Style BBQ with the food being prepared by Mike Loughnane.  Potatoes were baked by Joe Loughnane and deserts were prepared by Noel Loughnane.  William Purcell and Jim Loughnane organized the tree planting with the help of their families.  Each Loughnane cousins was invited to throw some dirt in the hole to help plant the tree.  It was a wonderful day that ended all too soon.  However, many new friendships were made and people met who did not even know they were cousins! Billy and Liz Loughnane were busy all day welcoming the cousins to their home/hostel.  If you ever see a butcher shop with the name Loughnane, they are related to me.  Ger Loughnane, the hurling coach, was also there to welcome cousins. I will add photos to this when I get back home to Chicago.  On another note, my wife Melissa Savage ran 1:40:08 to win her age division of the Limerick 1/2 Marathon on Sunday May 4th.

I am now back in Swords with my Savage and McGrane cousins and getting a rest before heading into Dublin Town tonight!

All the best,  Paddy

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on May 9, 2014 at 2:31am

That's tremendous, Paddy.  Well done on organising that.


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