Irish Migration Memorial
The Foundation would like to develop an Irish Migration Memorial where interested parties could commemorate a specific ancestor, or family line that they have been researching, and in doing so help us create our Genealogy Hub.
The Migration Memorial would be in the form of a tree on which members of the public can sponsor a leaf in memory of their ancestors. A tree and leaves we believe are particularly appropriate motifs in relation to immigration and family history. There are two main donations – the leaves will be available in two sizes, the difference reflecting the level of sponsorship.
The cost of sponsoring a smaller leaf starts at £125. With this level of sponsorship the donor could provide the surname and location of where the family came from in Ireland and where they settled overseas, plus the donor's name (if you so choose).
The cost to sponsor a larger leaf will start at £250. This will enable the sponsor to submit more detailed information on an ancestor.
The third option, for those who wish to contribute, but who may be unable to name a direct emigrant ancestor, or may not feel in a position to sponsor £125 or more, is to be named on a plaque which will accompany the donor tree. Donations of over £25 will entitle the sponsor to be named on the Migration Memorial panel.
Immigrant Ancestor Database
In addition, for all three levels of sponsorship it will be possible to submit information on the donor's migrant ancestor/s for inclusion in a searchable database which will be free for anyone to browse.
We believe the migration Memorial can be another way of connecting with the Diaspora and commemorating the links between the island of Ireland and the rest of the world – a celebration of those links, perhaps with the potential for the Memorial and the database to become a useful resource for future genealogists.
Creating a Genealogy Hub
The first floor in the premises at Kiltonga is ideally suited to becoming our Genealogy Hub and family history research centre. By commemorating your ancestors on the Migration Memorial your sponsorship can help the Foundation to fit out the Genealogy Hub. Our project target is £20,000.
The Foundation has a small but hugely valuable research library. Recent major donations by supporters have significantly added to our holdings and made it a major resource for those searching Ulster Ancestors. In particular, the generous donation of more than 1,100 books by our long-time Trustee and former Chairman, Professor Richard Clarke, adds a priceless collection of volumes to our library; nearly all of which would be of interest to researchers.
Given the extent of donations we need to invest in producing an up to date and accurate catalogue which is accessible from our website, install additional shelving to accommodate the recent and future donations, re-shelve the current stock, repair broken bindings, provide suitable protective storage for rare and valuable holdings, and fit out the research suite for public and member use.
In looking to the future, we believe that further investment in our digital infrastructure is essential. We aim to build a new website which will provide our members with even greater access to the Foundation's resources. Our online databases will be redeveloped to allow a higher degree of interrogation. The Members' Area will be expanded with new content.
And given the research value of some rare items in our research library (all now out of copyright) digitising aspects of the collection for a global audience as part of the Genealogy Hub will give much broader access to these rich historical resources.
By commemorating your ancestor on our Migration Memorial, you help to mark their existence and contribution in life as part of the Diaspora, and researchers have another medium to share their research work with a globally-connected genealogy audience.
In turn, your support enables us to furnish the Genealogy Hub with materials and develop more resources that will benefit family historians. In so doing, you are helping us to help you.