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August Ballykilcline Reunion at Maynooth, Strokestown

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: August Ballykilcline Reunion at Maynooth, Strokestown Reply with quote

(Excerpted from the current newsletter of the Ballykilcline Society)

Reilly, Farrell, Lennon, Furey to Highlight
August Ballykilcline Reunion at Maynooth, Strokestown

Plans are moving forward for a three-day Ballykilcline Reunion 2012 with a day at Maynooth in Kildare and two days in Roscommon. Richard Farrell, Roscommon County librarian, has agreed to discuss the library’s reference holdings and a speaker has been invited from the Famine Museum; both will speak on August 15. Poet Kieran Furey will read from his works. Other speakers, previously announced, are Dr. Ciaran Reilly of the history program at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth on August 14 and Michael Lennon, local historian of Strokestown and Kilglass Parish, dinner speaker on August 15. See the full schedule below.
The event also will feature a tour and viewings of Mahon estate records at a new Irish estate archive at Castletown House in Maynooth on August 14. Dr. Reilly has been analyzing those records and has delivered talks about them at the Famine Museum. On the second day, dinner speaker Mike Lennon plans to talk about several Kilglass family lines that he has researched.
On Aug. 16, Mary Lee Dunn will answer any questions and speak briefly to update the re-search since 2008 when her book Ballykilcline Rising / From Famine Ireland to Immigrant America was published and attendees may ask for research advice, share surnames of interest, or describe their “brick wall.” That night, prize-winning poet Kieran Furey, a Roscommon native, will be the guest speaker for the final dinner. His poetry captures much of the famine-era events around Strokestown and the memory of the famine.
Organizers also will make available for consultation three hand-drawn family trees that begin in the 1700s in Kilglass, intersect with some Ballykilcline lines, and follow multiple generations of descendants to Rutland, Vermont, and elsewhere in the U.S. They were donated to the Society in 2008 by Peter D’Amico of California. Another resource the Society will display is the transcript of an 1840s rent roll from the Mahon estate which member Anne Marie Bell compiled after the Famine Museum gave the Society access to the information on 750 tenants.
The base for the Roscommon portion of the program will be the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown. Its rooms run 35 euros for a single with breakfast and 60 for a double. From the hotel, one can walk to the museum or county heritage center.
The registration period for the Reunion is now open and will run until April 1; at least 25 registrants are required to proceed with the Reunion so an announcement will be made shortly thereafter on the Ballykilcline list-serv and the Leitrim-Roscommon message board whether the Reunion will go forward as planned.
Attendees make their own travel and lodging arrangements. The Reunion fee will be $100 a person; it covers two dinners, speakers, mailings, print materials, and so forth.
The time and location for the opening day sessions in Maynooth will be announced after the registration period closes. Reunion-goers will re-convene in Strokestown on August 15 at the Percy French Hotel at 1 p.m., allowing participants to drive there from Maynooth that morning if they choose. Some may wish to go after the opening-day sessions end. The distance between the two places is not great.
Free time for participants to pursue their own research goals in Roscommon is built into the program there so that they may meet with their own contacts, visit particular cemeteries, stroll the gardens or tour Stroketown Park House, or stop at the county library in Roscommon town or the Roscommon County heritage center in Strokestown. Veterans of past Reunions may be able to share directions or suggest research sources for newcomers from their past experiences or shared family lines. In the past, attendees sometimes have allowed themselves several days to visit research centers in Dublin – maybe the National Archives, National Library, or Valuation office – en route to or just after the Reunion. So, think Ireland!

Contact Mary Lee Dunn at maryldunn@aol.com for the Reunion registration form. Put Reunion form in the subject field, please.

Ballykilcline Reunion 2012 Program

August 14 – Opening Day in Maynooth, Kildare

Morning Session – Famine history program at National University at Maynooth
Dr. Ciaran Reilly will describe his findings from analyzing the Mahon estate records copied for Castletown House, a new archive for Irish estate records.
[Other faculty from the Maynooth History program also may present.]

Afternoon Session – Castletown House
A brief tour and explanation of the work of the archive and a viewing of
records of the Mahon estate.

Reunion attendees may go on to Roscommon when the day’s sessions end or stay in the Maynooth area and drive to Roscommon the next morning.

August 15 – Day 2 in Strokestown, Roscommon

1:00 pm -- Register and Welcome at the Percy French Hotel

1:30 pm -- Speaker from the Famine Museum invited.

2:30 pm -- Richard Farrell, Roscommon County Librarian, will discuss the local history and genealogical resources at the library.

3:30 pm -- “Open mic” session in which attendees identify their research lines, discuss research problems, share what’s worked.

4:30 pm -- Break before dinner

6:00 pm -- Reconvene at the Percy French Hotel for a Reunion banquet.
Dinner speaker: Michael Lennon, local historian of Kilglass and Strokestown area and an editor of Roscommon Life annual, discusses Kilglass family lines he has traced.

August 16 – Day 3 in Strokestown, Roscommon

9:00 am -- Mary Lee Dunn will describe research updates since her book, Ballykilcline Rising / From Famine Ireland to Immigrant America, was published in 2008. With Lynne Sisk, she co-chairs the Society’s research committee. Questions welcome.

10:00 am -- On your own to pursue your lines. Suggestions for you: visit
 the Roscommon County Heritage Center in Strokestown
 the Famine Museum in Strokestown
 the gardens, shop, and Strokestown Park House
 local cemeteries ( maps to some provided)
 your own research contacts on your family lines.

4:30 pm -- Kilglass-Strokestown residents invited to join us for an “open
6:30 pm conversation” at the Percy French Hotel to informally share family information and local history.

6:30 pm Farewell banquet, Percy French Hotel. Poet and Roscommon
native Kieran Furey will read from and discuss his work which
includes local history. Open discussion of what your research
found, problems encountered, the Reunion program.
Lynne Sisk
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