Thursday, 21 July 2016

Commemorating the Irish in World War I

The Battle of the Somme started this month 100 years ago and lasted for 5 months. 

Over 1 million soldiers lost their lives and many of them were never recovered from the battlefield. Every year the remains of about 30 to 60 soldiers are recovered from the fields of northern France during routine farming and road widening works. In all probability, some of these men are Irish.

Over 200,000 Irish men fought in the British Army and over 3500 lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme. Nearly 2000 were from the 36th Ulster Division and 1200 from the 16th Irish Division.  

In total, it is estimated that at least 35,000 Irish soldiers were killed in World War One (a figure that is likely to increase as research continues). That represents almost 20% of the total number of Irish men who joined up.

Identifying our war dead will be one of the topics at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2016.

Irish soldier fatalities by county in WWI

Maurice Gleeson
July 2016

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Speakers announced for GGI2016

Once again, this year's Genetic Genealogy Ireland boasts a host of fabulous speakers on a diverse range of topics.  These DNA Lectures at Back to Our Past have grown in popularity since they first started in 2013.

The event has proved so popular that this year we have quite a few people coming from overseas to speak at the conference, as well as our own more local academics and genetic genealogists from the Hibernian Peninsula!  We are truly blessed to have such top quality speakers.

This year we commemorate the centenary of 1916 and what a tumultuous year it was, for both Ireland and Europe. The Easter Rising in Dublin was followed by the Battle of the Somme. Thousands of people lost their lives and the course of history was changed forever. Both these events, which had such a huge impact on the Irish people, are reflected in the topics for this year's DNA Lecture schedule.

The lineup of speaker's at GGI2016 include the following:

  • Prof Dan Bradley, Trinity College Dublin (IRL)
  • Dr Jens Carlsson, University College Dublin (IRL)
  • Ed Gilbert, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (IRL)
  • Dr RenĂ© Gapert, Human Remains Services Ireland (IRL)
  • Debbie Kennett, University College London (ISOGG, UK)
  • Michelle Leonard, University of Strathclyde (ISOGG, Scotland)
  • Jim Barry, The Barrymore Project (ISOGG, USA)
  • Dennis O'Brien, O'Brien Surname DNA Project (ISOGG, Australia) 
  • Dennis Wright, Irish Type III R-L226 Project (ISOGG, Australia)
  • Robert Casey, Casey Surname Project (ISOGG, USA)
  • Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide (ISOGG, USA)
  • Jennifer Zinck, Zinck DNA Project, (ISOGG, USA)
  • Peter Sjoland, Swedish DNA Project (ISOGG, Sweden)
  • Maurice Gleeson, Gleason/Gleeson DNA Project (ISOGG, UK & IRL)
  • Katherine Borges, Ireland mtDNA Project (Director, ISOGG, USA)
  • Linda Magellan, Magellan DNA Project, (ISOGG, USA)
  • Gerard Corcoran, ISOGG Ireland representative (IRL)
  • Paddy Waldron, Clare Roots Society (ISOGG, IRL)
  • John Cleary, Camp & Kemp Project (ISOGG, Scotland)
  • Maggie Lyttle, NIFHS Ballymena (ISOGG, N.IRL)
  • Ann Marie Coghlan, Cork Genealogical Society (ISOGG, IRL)

Topics include ancient Irish DNA, the Irish DNA Atlas project, linking DNA to the Ancient Irish Annals, identifying our war dead, Scandinavian DNA, introducing DNA to your Family History Society, DNA & adoptees, and a range of practical presentations on how to interpret your DNA results and get the most out of your DNA test.

I am really looking forward to what will be another excellent set of lectures at Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

Maurice Gleeson
July 2016

GGI2016 is sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG.