There was no North American lecture tour in March 2021. With the world still upended by Covid 19, UK and Ireland in the throes of the winter lock down and travel either disrupted or nigh impossible, any plans to return to the USA and Canada had to be shelved. However, a virtual genealogy programme was arranged with the Foundation’s stalwart friends in Pittsburgh PA: Sierra Green of the Senator John Heinz History Center, and Joanna Moyar and Pam Curtin of the Westmoreland County Historical Society.

13 Irish Genealogy Workshop Participants

The live event was held on 30 March 2021 with approximately 400 registrants drawn from a wide catchment area in the greater Pittsburgh area and far beyond: California, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Washington, to name a few; and outside of the US, participants tuned in from Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and even Australia. The presentations explored the following topics: Irish genealogical essentials – the best websites for getting started with your family research; census substitutes for the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century; sources for finding seventeenth century families in Ireland; plus a Q&A session completed the programme.

Given the very large audience, and the fact that not everyone was able to attend that day, or for the whole live programme, the presentations were recorded and made available to registrants for a period of two weeks following the live event. A second live Q&A was held on 13 April 2021, which participants greatly appreciated, given that it allowed them time to (re)watch the presentations, digest the materials, and have the opportunity to ask some follow up questions. Although not quite the same as being there in person, the online platforms such as GotoWebinar and Zoom do an excellent job in bringing like-minded communities together to enjoy their favourite pastimes. The hosts, presenters and participants thoroughly enjoyed the event.