A unique Monaghan-focused family history initiative is being organized as part of The Gathering 2013. It will provide two four-day training courses within the county for tourists tracing their Monaghan ancestors.
The project is entitled ‘County Monaghan Genealogy – home to the little hills.’ It will give participants information on the genealogical sources available, the cultural history of County Monaghan and the diversity of origin of its people. The courses will take place in North Monaghan from Monday to Thursday, 14-17 October, and in Carrickmacross from Monday to Thursday, 21-24 October. The courses are designed for individuals and groups with Monaghan ancestry living overseas and members of Irish societies and social clubs abroad.
This project is organized by Clogher Historical Society/Cumann Seanchais Chlochair, Monaghan County Library and the County Monaghan Heritage Gathering Committee. The project is also being supported by the County Monaghan Fund and Monaghan Genealogy. The project will be delivered by Ancestor Network Ltd, a professional genealogy company.
Substantial funding for the project has resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for overseas visitors to come to Monaghan to trace their roots, experience the warmth of a Monaghan welcome and explore its rich culture and history.
If you are a native of Monaghan or know someone who might be interested, contact: John Hamrock, info@ancestor.ie, Tel: +353 87 0505296, Twitter: @ancestornetwork, or on Facebook.
About the Training Courses

Courses will take place in October or November 2013 (Monday-Thursday and will run from 9am to 4pm each day with two evening sessions each week from 7pm to 9pm).  Training packs for participants will include a surname-map of County Monaghan.
Training is aimed at roots tourists coming to County Monaghan to trace their roots, especially those staying overnight in the county, who will be prioritized in the allocation of places.
Training modules will include:

· A broad view of the history of the County Monaghan taking in key periods and subjects such as: the Plantation, famine, occupations, emigration, partition, the Troubles, estates, language, folklore, built & natural heritage, families, religion. This module will set County Monaghan in a national and international context.

· A close inspection of sources for Monaghan genealogy such as:  church & civil records, estate records, valuation records, shipping records, census, convict records, school records, military records, wills, election records, printed records, DNA genealogy and online sources.
Site visits and cultural events will form an integral part of the training and might include: ancestral homes, workhouses, graveyards, library, museum, archaeological sites, estates, music, dance, language events, storytelling or walks. There will be an emphasis on active participation in events, rather than merely watching.
Training outputs for participants will include:

· The ability to identify, locate and reference genealogical sources for the county.
· Ability to assess and organize genealogical information and construct a basic family tree.
· Basic knowledge of the history of the county.
· Basic knowledge of the geography of the county including land divisions.
· Familiarity with emigration patterns and the reasons for emigration.
· An appreciation of the cultural history of County Monaghan and the diversity of origins of County Monaghan people.
Clogher Historical Society/Cumann Seanchais Chlochair (CHS) is a local historical society founded in 1952. It aims to promote the study of local history in the diocese of Clogher and to promote the area’s historical links with the Irish counties of Cavan, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal with other places. As the diocese straddles the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border, CHS has a strong a cross-border and cross-community ethos. It is a non-profit organization and a registered charity. CHS frequently works with other organizations towards achieving its aims.


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