The New York Irish History Roundtable

Announcements


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http://www.facebook.com/pages/new-york-irish-history-roundtable/157590916176


Save the Date!

"THE IRISH DOCTOR"
A Lecture by Dr. John H. Fahey

Saturday, March 22, 2014,  2-3:30 p.m.
McCloskey Room/Parish House
The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

The unique life and career of Dr. Bernard J.D. Irwin will be discussed by John H. Fahey for members and guests of the New York Irish History Roundtable on May 17.   
   
The first U.S. Medal of Honor was awarded to this remarkable Irishman (born in Roscommon and characterized as “hot tempered and red-headed”) who came of age in New York City in the 1840s. Bernard J.D. Irwin went on to join the 7th Regiment of the N.Y. National Guard, participate in the Astor Place Riot, become an Army surgeon, collect natural-history specimens for the Smithsonian, provide medical services along the Butterfield Trail,  help soldiers trapped by Cochise at Apache Pass, and establish (during the Civil War) the first-ever full-service field hospital.

Our presenter, John H. Fahey, is also a physician. A New Yorker who grew up on Governors Island,  he is retired from the U.S. Navy where he was a flight surgeon, emergency physician, and commanding officer of the Naval Operational Medicine Institute in Pensacola and the Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Illinois. He is now engaged in private practice in Ilinois.

A coffee/tea Reception will follow the lecture
$5 donation for Reception



Recent Roundtable Events

Mass at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in
the Gaelic (Irish) Language
 
Saturday, March 15, 2012, at 12 noon

at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
on Mott Street between Prince and Houston Streets


Mass will be celebrated in The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in association with the New York Irish History Roundtable and Glucksman Ireland House NYU.

For the seventh consecutive year, the New York Irish History Roundtable, Glucksman Ireland House NYU, and The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral will celebrate an Irish-language Mass.

The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Andrew O’Connor of St. Mary's Church in downtown Manhattan, and concelebrated by Monsignor Donald Sakano, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s. There will be Irish liturgical music by Cantor Paddy Connolly with accompaniment by Jared Lamenzo on the Cathedral’s historic 1868 Erben organ.

Following the Mass, the Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra will entertain the crowd with live ceili music inside at the newly-renovated St. Patrick's Youth Center on Mulberry Street. We will have Irish Step Dancers from the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance, food and Irish soda bread. There also will be beverages available.

So, we will enjoy the Mass, followed by ceili (great music), craic (great conversation), dancing, food, and beverages. Come and join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick!

There is no charge to attend. Free-will contributions will be gratefully accepted.



Typhoid Mary: Fact vs. Fiction


Saturday, March 22, 2014,  2-3:30 p.m.
McCloskey Room/Parish House
The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan


On Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m., award-winning author Mary Beth Keane will discuss issues in writing about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary” – the subject of her recent novel, Fever. This unique program will be in the McCloskey Meeting Room, Old St. Patrick’s Parish House, 263 Mulberry Street in Manhattan. Reception to follow.

Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland in 1884, and after years of work became a head cook for wealthy New York families. But she became in infamous as Typhoid Mary, and spent her last 30 years confined by the state to an East River island. Identified as an asymptomatic disease carrier, she was stigmatized by the press and public. But who really was Mary Mallon? And why did she rebel against authority? How can we know about this strong-willed woman from Co. Tyrone – who left no records of her own as she fought to make her way in the metropolis?

Fever provides answers as it fictionalizes the life of Mary Mallon. But what is the appropriate balance between fact and fiction? Is the fiction writer’s primary responsibility to history or to the art of fiction? And when history and fiction writing are at cross purposes, how does the writer decide what to compress, what to spotlight, and what to discard?  If “truth” is malleable – colored by experience and context – then is it just as possible to arrive at truth through imagination as through the historical record?

Mary Mallon left no diaries, no personal letters, and no glimpses into her interior world. So Mary Beth Keane invented all the above, while keeping in mind that the world in which Typhoid Mary lived must be vivid and accurate, or else the purpose of writing her story is defeated.

In her presentation, Ms. Keane will address how a writer decides it’s within her rights to assign thoughts, desires – things that make us human – in order to bring the past into the present, and move a figure from the sepia-washed pages of history to full color and personhood.

Mary Beth Keane received her MFA from the University of Virginia, and in 2011 was given one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” Awards.  Earlier this year she was featured on CUNY TV’s “Irish Writers in America” series. NPR Books has selected Fever as one of the best novels of 2013


Reception to follow
Suggested donation Members: $3
Suggested donation Non-members: $5



Saturday, December 7, at 2 p.m., at Glucksman Ireland House  
1 Washington Mews (near 5th Avenue & 8th Street, Manhattan)

TAMMANY & THE NEW YORK IRISH 

On Saturday, December 7, at 2 p.m., historian and author Terry Golway will present a talk on the nineteenth and early twentieth century New York political machine, Tammany Hall. In this exciting presentation Dr. Golway will present a new view of Tammany that reveals it as more than just a deal-ridden corrupt organization stuffing dollars into  pockets of bosses and their minions. His perspective will show multiple facets of Tammany and how these affected – in unrecognized ways – the lives and history of the Irish in New York for nearly a century and a half. “Tammany & the New York Irish” will take place in Glucksman Ireland House, 1 Washington Mews (near 5th Avenue and 8th Street) in Manhattan. A reception will follow. This program is co-sponsored by Glucksman Ireland House.

The infamous political machine known as Tammany Hall was founded in 1786 and over the next 150 years became an increasingly powerful force in the politics and government operations of New York City, New York State, and the United States. Through manipulation of political nominations, patronage, influence, and loyalties won (especially among immigrant constituencies) Tammany and its leaders acquired great strength and, among many, a lurid reputation. Today Tammany is remembered as symbolizing bad government and gross corruption. But is this too simple a conclusion?

In a compelling new analysis about the organization’s impact on the Irish and other immigrants, historian Terry Golway illuminates Tammany as more than a self-serving machine. Tammany became, in fact, an effective advocate of immigrants in a nativist culture that was suspicious and intolerant of newcomers, especially the Irish. In his talk he will demonstrate how, for example, 19th-century Irish New Yorkers achieved political clout through the Tammany organization and how Tammany helped immigrants through its role in creating basic social reforms early in the 20th century – including child labor laws, workers’ compensation and minimum wage regulations. He will also discuss how dynamics inside Tammany successfully recognized and utilized the Irish immigrant experience on both sides of the Atlantic.

Terry Golway is well known among the Irish in the New York metropolitan area. He is the author of many articles and books including Irish Rebel: John Devoy & America’s Fight for Irish Freedom and For the Cause of Liberty: A Thousand Years of Ireland’s Heroes. In Spring, 2014 W.W. Norton will publish his latest book,  Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics. Dr. Golway is currently director of the Center for History, Politics and Policy at Kean University.

A Coffee/tea Reception will follow the lecture
Suggested donation: $3.00



Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m
*Please note special mass transit directions below
For driving directions, please see:
http://calvarycemeteryqueens.com/location-and-directions.asp
Walking Old Calvary


On Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m., the NYIHR will conduct a walking tour around Old Calvary Cemetery in Sunnyside, Queens. This enriching walk will visit some of the historically most important interment sites in the history of Irish New Yorkers, while also taking note of the many graves of more “ordinary” Irish. This informative experience will be expertly guided by Roundtable president John Ridge, vice president for family history Jim Garrity, and Treasurer Clare Curtin. It will last for approximately two hours.

Calvary is the largest cemetery in New York, with more than three million interments. Our walk will visit the oldest section, Old or First Calvary, which dates to 1848 and was once called the “City of the Celtic Dead.” The hilly terrain overlooks the city and East River. In early days, Old Calvary was reached by ferry from the East Side, making it a frequent destination for Sunday family visits to the graves of relatives. Many early New York Irish figures – and ordinary Irish New Yorkers – are buried here.

We will visit many historically important burial sites, including those for some founders of the Emigrant Savings Bank, clothing merchant Daniel Devlin, bandmaster Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, Mayor Hugh Grant, Governor Al Smith, and Daniel Cohalan, the Irish American nationalist. Many graves to see are resting places of war veterans, including more than a dozen recipients of the Medal of Honor. Civil War officers buried here include Gen. Michael Corcoran, Col. James Haggerty, Brig. General James Rowan O'Beirne, Capt. James McKay Rorty, and Col. F.X. Huston. Other graves of interest include those of pioneer American novelists Anna and Mary Anne Sadlier, and Margaret Brennan, the revered head nurse of the Woman's Hospital. Here also are  Brooklyn Bridge jumper Steve Brodie, Mary Louise "Texas" Guinan, silent film star and night club owner, O'Bryan of Bryant's Minstrels, Daniel Murphy (whose tombstone was erected "to outlast the British Empire"), and Martin Sheridan, the champion Olympic athlete. The graveyard of the Alsop Family – a graveyard within a graveyard – and the Irish nationalist "patriots' plot" will also be visited.

*IMPORTANT

Revised Directions for Public Transportation to “Walking Old Calvary” Program   

After printing the Roundtable's fall newsletter was completed, The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced it will suspend 7-train service on October 26th, the day when our program “Walking Old Calvary” is scheduled.  Consequently, please disregard public-transportation directions given in the note on page 1 of the newsletter, and use the directions provided below.

Roundtable vice president Jim Garrity has provided the following revised directions for two alternate public-transportation routes to the entrance of Old (“First”) Calvary Cemetery. These routes will accommodate members from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens traveling by subway and bus. Choose the route most convenient for you.

Route 1
Take the E-train to the 23rd Street/Ely Avenue stop (at Court Square) in Long Island City. Exit the station and walk approximately 200 feet to the corner of 44th Drive & 23rd Street. By 1:14pm, board the Q67 bus, bound for Middle Village/Fresh Pond Road. The Q67 bus only runs once an hour on weekends, so it is IMPERATIVE to board by 1:14pm in order to arrive at Calvary Cemetery on time for the beginning of our program. Tell the bus driver you want to stop at Greenpoint and Borden Avenues. Old Calvary's entrance gates are approximately 500 feet southwest of the bus stop.

Route 2
Take the G-train to the Greenpoint Avenue/Manhattan Avenue stop in Brooklyn. By 1:30pm, board the B24 bus bound for Williamsburg Bridge Plaza. The B24 only runs two buses an hour on weekends, so it is IMPERATIVE to board by 1:30pm (or earlier) in order to arrive at Calvary Cemetery on time for the beginning of our program. Tell the bus driver you want to stop at the Calvary Cemetery entrance on Greenpoint Avenue. The bus stops directly in front of Old Calvary's gates.

Directions for return trips will be provided at the Cemetery.




Sunday, 14 April 2013 at 1pm
Court's in Session: America's First Test of Religious Freedom
Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY
500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232


Presented in partnership with NYU's Glucksman Ireland House, the Green-Wood Historic Trust and the New York Irish History Roundtable.

Please Note: ALL members of the New York Irish History Roundtable are admitted FREE to this event - no tickets are needed to attend!

Green-Wood Cemetery is the final resting place of lawyer William Sampson and Judge DeWitt Clinton — the two major players in an 1813 court case that first tested religious freedom in America. In partnership with NYU's Glucksman Ireland House and the New York Irish History Roundtable, Green-Wood will honor this event and its major players on its 200th anniversary, with an encore performance of Steve DiUbaldo's play The Catholic Question and a wreath-laying ceremony.

Ticket information, directions, and event details are available at www.green-wood.com



Saturday, May 4, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m.
McCloskey Room
Parish House, The Basilica of
St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

Songs of the Irish Working Class
    A Lecture by Dan Milner


A unique program presented by singer and cultural geographer Dan Milner will combine presentations of songs sung by the New York Irish 150 years ago with an analysis of their social contexts and artistic values of these songs. This is a rare opportunity to hear a widely recognized and talented expert sing and discuss the tunes and lyrics popular among Irish New Yorkers in the middle of the 1800s. “Songs of the Irish Working Class” will take place in the McCloskey Meeting Room, Parish House for Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street.  A reception will follow.

In the mid-nineteenth century, well before the age of recorded sound, the secular songs of New York’s Irish working-class circulated through the population by various means.  Little evidence remains of songs spread by word-of-mouth inside Irish enclaves. But many early popular songs were printed in inexpensive publications with short life expectancies.  Fortunately, some of these survive in city archives and elsewhere.

These survivors include text-only “broadsides,” or song sheets, once hawked by ballad singers at busy locations around town – just as they were in Ireland.  Broadsides generally carried the words of only one song. But also surviving are inexpensive booklets called “songsters,” which contained several songs often linked to the personae of popular performers.  Songsters were sold at concert saloons and musical theatres in New York’s entertainment districts.
 
Broadsides and songsters were the “singles” and “albums” of their day.  While they had similarities (like evolution from earlier Irish and British publications) and considerable overlap in content, they also had degrees of difference.  On balance, broadsides were frequently journalistic, while songsters were often escapist, seeking to remove hard-pressed listeners from daily drudgeries and difficult surroundings.
 
With a focus on historical significance and artistic content – illustrated with sound and images – this unique program will look at (and listen to) Irish working-class songs preserved in broadsides and songsters, and sung in the city a hundred and fifty years ago.

Dan Milner is a cultural geographer and an instructor in New York Studies at St. John’s University.  He is also a well-known singer of traditional Irish and other song who has recorded two compact discs for the Smithsonian Institution, guest lectured at Harvard, Berkeley and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, performed at Lincoln Center’s Roots of American Music Festival, and was featured prominently in the award-winning RTÉ Lyric FM documentary, “The Sea in Song.”   His article on the first Irishman in Manhattan appeared in volume 25 of New York Irish History.             

   

A Coffee/tea Reception will follow the Presentation
Suggested donation: $3.00





Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 2 pm

McCloskey Room
Parish House, The Basilica of St.Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan


An Irishwoman in
New York: A Migration Memoir
A Lecture by Maura Mulligan   

Maura Mulligan will take us back to 1958 when she left rural County Mayo and sailed to New York. Sharing her first impressions of New York City with its huge population and cultural diversity, she will describe the experiences of a young Irish woman landing on these shores with little formal education. Her perspective on New York life of that period will reveal the challenges of adapting to a complex new culture – including what happens as she takes her first subway rides to work as a long-distance operator for New York Telephone.

Ms. Mulligan will also discuss her emerging religious vocation and will describe a high-spirited young woman’s desire to embrace religious life in America while memories of her Mayo childhood danced in her head. She will lead us behind convent walls of the 1960s as she becomes a novice in a Franciscan novitiate in Peekskill, New York.

This program promises a vivid immigration history of an Irish woman’s experiences in New York. Ms. Mulligan’s talk will contrast the old world with the new, and will describe sacrifices made and challenges met. Irish Echo columnist, Larry Kirwan describes her story as “an essential, revealing chapter in the Irish-American story.”

Maura Mulligan has taught English to speakers of other languages in New York City public schools. She currently teaches Irish language and dance in the New York area. Her writing has appeared in the Irish Times, Irish America, The Irish Echo, Irish Examiner, Set Dancing News, and the literary websites Ducts.org and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. She has appeared as a featured reader at various literary venues, including the Thalia Café at Symphony Space and Molloy College.  Commenting on her recently published memoir, The Call of the Lark, author Peter Quinn observed that “Hers is a memoir to savor and remember.”

A Coffee/tea Reception will follow the lecture
Suggested donation: $3.00


  
Mass at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in

the Irish Language

Saturday, March 9, 2012, at 12 noon
at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
on Mott Street between Prince and Houston Streets

Mass will be celebrated in The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in association with the New York Irish History Roundtable and Glucksman Ireland House NYU.

For the sixth consecutive year, the New York Irish History Roundtable, Glucksman Ireland House NYU, Sir Patrick Charities, and The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral will celebrate an Irish-language Mass.

The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Andrew O’Connor of Holy Family Parish in the Bronx, and concelebrated by Monsignor Donald Sakano, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s. There will be Irish liturgical music by Cantor Paddy Connolly with accompaniment by Jared Lamenzo on the Cathedral’s historic 1868 Erben organ.

Following the Mass, the Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra will entertain the crowd with live ceili music. We will have Irish Step Dancers, and, last but not least—with many thanks to Patrick Allen, KHS—we will have corned beef and cabbage, other Irish-American foods and Irish soda bread. There also will be beverages available.

So, we will enjoy the Mass, followed by ceili (great music), craic (great conversation), dancing, food, and beverages. Come and join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick!

There is no charge to attend. Free-will contributions will be gratefully accepted.




Sunday, October 28, 2012, at 1 pm
at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
on Mott Street between Prince and Houston Streets

Ancestry.com Visits the Roundtable!

On Sunday, October 28, at 1:00 pm, Loretto (Lou) Szucs and Juliana (Szucs) Smith of Ancestry.com, the largest online genealogical research website and database repository in the world, will join us to describe Ancestry’s online holdings. Their presentation will emphasize content concerning Irish and Irish-American genealogical research – with a focus on the New York City area. Of particular interest will be the recently-released U.S. Federal Census of 1940, which has caused a great excitement in the genealogical research community. There will be time for questions and answers in this presentation, and there will be demonstrations of online sources of information. Please note: this is a Sunday program that begins at 1:00 p.m. It will take place in the McCloskey Room, Parish House for St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street.

Loretto (Lou) Szucs, FUGA, holds a degree in history and has been a leader in genealogical research, teaching, lecturing, and publishing for more than thirty years. Previously employed by the National Archives, she is executive editor and vice president of community relations for Ancestry.com, Inc.. She has served on many archival and genealogical boards, and was founding secretary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She has edited newsletters and quarterly journals for several genealogical societies, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Forum. She is the author (or co-author) of many books including The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy (with Sandra Luebking); They Became Americans; and Ellis Island: Tracing Your Family History Through America’s Gateway. Since 1980, Lou has lectured at numerous genealogy workshops and national conferences. She has presented at the American Library Association conference and has been interviewed for the Ancestors series, ABC News, CNN news, and most recently on ABC television show, “The View.”

Juliana (Szucs) Smith has been the editor of Ancestry.com newsletters for more than twelve years and has compiled The Ancestry Family Historian's Address Book. She has written for Ancestry Magazine and wrote the “Computers and Technology” chapter of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. Juliana also regularly hosts free online classes in the Ancestry.com Learning Center.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments.






Mass at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in
the Irish Language

Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 12 noon
at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
on Mott Street between Prince and Houston Streets

Mass will be celebrated in The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in association with the New York Irish History Roundtable and Glucksman Ireland House NYU.

For the fifth consecutive year, the New York Irish History Roundtable, Glucksman Ireland House NYU, and The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral will celebrate an Irish-language Mass.

The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Andrew O’Connor of Holy Family Parish in the Bronx, and concelebrated by Fr. Aidan O’Driscoll of County Cork, and Monsignor Donald Sakano, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s. There will be Irish liturgical music by Cantor Paddy Connolly with accompaniment by Jared Lamenzo on the Cathedral’s historic 1868 Erben organ.

Following the Mass, the Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra will entertain the crowd with live ceili music. We will have Irish Step Dancers, and, last but not least—with many thanks to Patrick Allen, KHS—we will have corned beef and cabbage, Italian food and Irish soda bread. There also will be beverages available.

So, we will enjoy the Mass, followed by ceili (great music), craic (great conversation), dancing, food, and beverages. Come and join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick!

There is no charge to attend. Free-will contributions will be gratefully accepted.





The Irish in The Bronx and Brooklyn

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 2-3:30p pm
McNally Auditorium, Fordham law School
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan

On Saturday December 3, 2011 at 2:00-3:30 pm, the experiences of Irish men and women in the Bronx and in Brooklyn will be discussed by Hugh E. O’Rourke, Ph.D., and John Ridge.

During the 19th century – and for much of the 20th century – the Irish pursued better lives by moving to the “outer boroughs.” The rich history they created is the subject of our special program. This lively discussion will be moderated by Linda Dowling Almeida, Ph.D., from NYU’s Ireland House and author of Irish Immigrants in New York 1945-1995.  The program will take place at 2 p.m. in the McNally Auditorium, Fordham Law School, 140 East 62nd Street in Manhattan.

The history of the Irish in 19th-century New York has focused on their lives and activities in Manhattan. However, by the early twentieth century, the desire for better circumstances and competition from other newly arrived immigrants (including Jews and  Italians) encouraged the Irish to leave established neighborhoods.  And new subway lines, housing construction, and employment opportunities in the outer boroughs facilitated migration out of Manhattan to the Bronx and Brooklyn – where the Irish built vibrant communities including parishes, schools, businesses, hospitals, and other enduring institutions. Most Irish Americans now living in the greater metropolitan area were born in these “outer boroughs,” including (of course) the Bronx and Brooklyn!

The rich experiences and accomplishments of the Irish in these two boroughs is the subject of this presentation by two recognized experts in New York Irish history.  John Ridge is a vice president for local history of the Roundtable, author of many works on Irish New York, and a life-long resident of Brooklyn. Hugh O’Rourke is president of the Roundtable and an authority of nineteenth century crime in New York. He was raised in the Bronx.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments.




The Man in the Fire

Sat. Oct. 22 at 2 pm
McCloskey Room
Parish House, St.Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan


On Saturday, October 22, at 2:00-3:30 pm, Kathleen Hill will present a special talk focusing on her grandfather, William Giblin,  a man looking to make his way in early twentieth-century New York, and one of the central characters in her recent novel, Who Occupies This House? The program will be held in the Cardinal McCloskey Room in the Parish House for St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral at 263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan. A coffee/tea receptIon will follow.

Flames engulfed the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway on January 9th, 1912, in a fire that was among the city’s most dramatic events of the early twentieth century. And in an effort to save important documents, William Giblin, president of the Mercantile Safe Deposit Company, dashed into the conflagration and found himself facing death inside his own vaults.

At a time when being Irish in New York meant confronting disabling stereotypes, Giblin, the descendant of 1840s immigrants from Roscommon and the youngest of twelve children, struggled with the conflicts involved in pursuing success in a world of finance and securities that was essentially “Wasp.” Did these conflicts inspire Giblin’s rush into the flames – an action ending in a rescue as dramatic as the fire itself? Did they feed the sources of Giblin’s drive and discipline? Were they unique to him? Or did some of these conflicts emerge from his family of Famine immigrants who struggled to survive in a new country? Were they connected to enduring influences from the bleak days of the Great Hunger in Ireland? And are these conflicts and contradictions with us even today?

Kathleen Hill, the grand-daughter of William Giblin, will present a talk on the man and his background for the Roundtable. She is the author of the recently published Who Occupies This House?, a novel bringing alive the people and forces that contributed to the rise of William Giblin. Her writing has received wide acclaim from sources including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and has been nominated for awards including the Dublin IMPAC and the Prix Femina Etranger. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments.



On Saturday, May 14, at 2:00-3:30 pm, Roundtable member Brendan Dolan will present a unique multi-media program of Irish music based on the Mick Moloney Collection at New York University. This program will take place at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church Hall, 7 State Street (between Pearl & Whitehall Streets) in Manhattan. The Hall is opposite Battery Park in lower Manhattan.

Irish Music in New York :
Gems from the Moloney Collection


The Mick Moloney Irish-American Music and Popular Culture Collection at NYU is a treasure of interviews, field recordings, commercial recordings, memorabilia, sheet music, and photographs of individuals who maintained the tradition of Irish music in America for over a century. This Roundtable program will use resources from the Collection to present a multimedia history of Irish music in New York...and America... from the mid-nineteenth century to the turn of the twenty-first century.
 

The rise of Irish-American entertainers from the age of minstrelsy through years of Tin Pan Alley will be illustrated through a look at sheet music and songsters from the Collection that date from the 1840s through the 1940s. 78RPM recordings of some of the great stars of the day will supplement these visuals. Nora Bayes, Chauncey Olcott, Billy Murray, and Morton Downey – once superstars of the early recording industry – will be sampled.

Recordings of such top Irish-American artists as the Flanagan Brothers and Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band will be supplemented by excerpts from the over one-thousand hours of interviews and field recordings that Moloney amassed over the course of four decades. (The tapes include interviews with Mike Flanagan himself and other venerable players from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston such as Louis Quinn, Ed Reavy, Frank Thornton, Pat Roche and artists from a later era such as Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey, Martin Mulvihill, Sean McGlynn, Tommy Makem, and Joe Heaney.)  These are artists who kept Irish music alive in America through the leaner years of the twentieth century when decreased interest in Irish culture accompanied the general trend of Irish-American assimilation. All in all, the presentation will be a first-hand account of the Irish-American musical experience in New York (and elsewhere).

Brendan Dolan, one of the foremost pianists in traditional Irish music holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies from New York University, where he works as curator of Mick Moloney's Collection in the Archives of Irish America.  Brendan's playing can be heard on Pride of New York, Live at Mona's, Billy McComiskey's Outside the Box, Brian Conway's Consider the Source, The Green Field of America and Mick Moloney's Far From the Shamrock Shore, McNally's Row of Flats and If It Wasn't For the Irish and the Jews.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments.




 
Saturday, March 26, 2011,  at 2:00 p.m.
Columbia University Law School, Jerome Greene Auditorium (room 101) at 435 West 116th Street in Manhattan.

THE HIGHBRIDGE IRISH
A lecture by
Kate Feighery


On Saturday, March 26, from 2-3:30 p.m., the Roundtable will host a talk by Kate Feighery on the Irish community in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. The program will be held in the Columbia University Law School, Jerome Greene Auditorium (room 101) at 435 West 116th Street in Manhattan. A reception will follow. The nearest subway station is for the Number 1 train at 116th Street and Broadway (Columbia University). The Law School is west, across the campus.
              
Highbridge, the neighborhood in the southwestern section of the Bronx, took its name from the massive stone bridge (spanning the Harlem River) constructed there in the 1840s to carry water to the island of Manhattan. The history of the Irish in Highbridge can be traced from the mid-nineteenth century, when homes of Irish immigrant workers building the Croton Reservoir first began to replace earlier farmlands and sprawling estates. 

It wasn't until a century later, however, that the true strength of Irish connections to the neighborhood reached its peak, a time when the neighborhood has been described by its former residents as made up of anywhere from seventy-five to ninety-nine percent Irish and Irish Americans .  While the ethnic makeup of Highbridge has changed drastically since the late 1960s, remnants of the once-pervasive Irish community can still be found today; both in the physical sense, through the buildings and churches that stand as testaments and, more powerfully, in the memories of those individuals whose families were once a piece of this Irish community.

 Utilizing archival, census, and church records, as well as oral histories and memoirs of former residents of the neighborhood, Kate Feighery’s talk will focus mainly on the twentieth century Irish experience in Highbridge, and its connections to the larger Irish communities of the Bronx and other parts of New York City.

Kate Feighery holds a Master's Degree in Irish and Irish American Studies from NYU's Glucksman Ireland House.  She currently works as a Project Editor in the College Department at W. W. Norton & Company, while continuing to pursue her interest in the history of the Irish in New York.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments.
Saturday, March 12, 2011, 12:00 p.m.
The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral

Mott Street between Prince and Houston streets, Manhattan

IRISH LANGUAGE MASS AT THE BASILICA OF SAINT PATRICK’S OLD CATHEDRAL

For the fourth consecutive year, the New York Irish History Roundtable, NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, and the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral will co-sponsor the celebration of an Irish language Mass.

Arrangements have not yet been finalized, but, as in previous years, we will present readings and liturgy in the Irish language. Last year, the Mass was celebrated by Fr. Aidan O’Driscoll of County Cork. In previous years, Fr. Andrew O’Connor celebrated this Mass with us, and we hope to have him back in 2011. There will be Irish liturgical music by Cantor Paddy Connolly, with accompaniment by Jared Lamenzo on the Cathedral’s historic 1868 Erben organ.

Following the Mass, the Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra will entertain the crowd with live ceili music. We expect to have the Ridgewood (New Jersey) Irish Dance Troupe, directed by Susan-Daly Stanek, with us again this year. And, last but not least—with thanks to Patrick Allen, KHS—Da Nico Ristorante of Little Italy provided a buffet at last year’s celebration, and we hope to have them with us again this year.

Come and join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick! 

There is no charge to attend, but donations will be gratefully accepted.





Tuesday, October 19, 2010, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, The New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street


New York Public Library Genealogy and History Databases
by
Maira Liriano, Manager
Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy

Enhance your genealogical and historical research by participating in a hands-on demonstration of genealogical and historical databases accessible in New York Public Library's Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy. Some of the databases are available only within NYPL’s four research libraries or only in the Schwarzman Building.

Among the databases are full-text newspapers—including New York City titles that NYPL has digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Project—and microfilm resources formerly in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s library. Maira’s presentation and question-and-answer session will be followed by hands-on research on the databases, including genealogy databases useful for Irish research, and a walking tour of the Milstein Reading Room (http://www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman/milstein-division-us-history-local-history-genealogy).



Saturday, December 4, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
McNally Amphitheatre at Fordham Law School,

140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan

The New York Irish and the Gaelic Revival in America and in Ireland

with special guest speakers

Dr. Seamus Blake
and
the Roundtable’s own John T. Ridge

Dr. Seamus Blake and John T. Ridge will discuss the major historical role that the New York Irish community took in stimulating the Gaelic Revival here in the United States and also back in Ireland.

From the WFUV website:

Seamus Blake sees a direct link between the efforts of the local Irish community and the fate of the language in Ireland. "Since so many Irish live in New York, attitudes here affect the attitudes in Ireland. New York has a major role, and the program Míle Fáilte has a major role." The growing number of course offerings in the Gaelic language at American universities and colleges reflects, as Blake puts it, "the roots phenomenon -- Irish people trying to learn their language."

Dr. Seamus Blake is the host of  Míle Fáilte, the only bilingual radio program in North America devoted to fostering the Irish language. The show has recently celebrated its nineteenth anniversary of broadcasting over the airwaves of WFUV, the radio station of Fordham University, at 90.7 mHz. FM.

John T. Ridge is the Roundtable’s Vice-President of Local History, and like Dr. Blake, is New York born of Irish Immigrant parents who taught him to speak the language of their ancestors. John is a founding member of the New York Irish History Roundtable, and he has written many books and articles on the Irish in New York and in Brooklyn.

Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 to cover the cost of refreshments, which will be served during intermission.




Saturday, March 13th, 2010, at 12 p.m., at Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mott and Prince streets in Manhattan.

IRISH LANGUAGE MASS AT SAINT PATRICK’S
OLD CATHEDRAL

This Mass is co-sponsored by The New York Irish History Roundtable, NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, and Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, on the corner of Mott and Prince streets in Manhattan.

As in previous years, we will have readings and liturgy in the Irish language. The mass will be celebrated by Fr. Aidan O’Driscoll of County Cork. There will be Irish liturgical music by Cantor Paddy Connolly and accompaniment by Jared Lamenzo on the Cathedral’s historic 1868 Erben organ.

After the mass, the Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra will entertain the crowd with live ceili music, Ridgewood (New Jersey) Irish Dance, directed by Susan-Daly Stanek, will also perform, and refreshments will be provided.

Come and join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick! 

There is no charge to attend.




Saturday, April 3, 2010, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

National Archives and Records Administration,

201 Varick Street, 12th Floor, Manhattan.

(Please note that this program begins one hour earlier than our usual Saturday events.)

IRISH GENEALOGICAL PROGRAM AT NARA-NYC

On Saturday afternoon, April 3, 2010, at one p.m. (please note the earlier starting time), National Archives Staff member Patrick Connelly and longtime Roundtable member Clare Curtin will present programs dealing with Irish and Irish-American genealogical research.

Patrick’s program will focus on the resources of the National Archives at New York, documenting the Irish-American experience from 1845-1880.  The discussion will focus on immigration, census, and military records.  Close attention will be paid to records regarding Civil War service and draft records, some of which have never been available in NARA’s New York Office before.

Clare will be showing us a documented genealogical Powerpoint presentation of her search for an Irish-born native starting with nothing except his name and approximate date of birth.   After finding his New York death certificate, she traced his life back to Ireland, found his home-place, and was able to reconstruct his entire family, found tombstones of his grandparents and brother, land records, census records and current living relations.

Admission to this program is limited to 40 guests, and reservations are required to attend this event. Roundtable members who wish to reserve a seat should send an e-mail before March 22 to roundtable@irishnyhistory.org OR call 718-871-9041 and leave a message with your name and telephone number. We will then confirm your reservation.

A short reception will follow the lectures. 

Admission to this lecture is free. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 for refreshments. All are Welcome!



Saturday, May 8, 2010, from 1-3:30 p.m., the Roundtable in cooperation with Green-Wood Cemetery will conduct a tour of the Cemetery focusing on burial sites of individuals – famous and infamous – in the history of the New York Irish. The program will be escorted, with commentaries by experts. Transportation for Roundtable members will be provided by a tour-dedicated trolley. Tour participants may choose to walk at individual sites.
Members will meet no later than 12:50 p.m. at Green-Wood’s main gate on 5th Avenue and 25th Street in Brooklyn.  The nearest subway is the R train at 25th Street station.

IRISH NOTABLES IN GREEN-WOOD

A special reduced fee of $10 to cover tour expenses is available for Roundtable members only. Note: space for the tour is limited, so priority will be given to members who reserve. To do so, before April 15 members should email the Roundtable (roundtable@irishnyhistory.org ) or telephone 718- 871-9041 leaving your name and phone number. 

The Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, covers nearly five hundred scenic acres in Brooklyn. Established in 1838 it was a leader in the rural-cemetery movement to replace antiquated churchyards with more pleasing resting places.

Over the years some New Yorkers have come to think of Green-Wood as a burial place for individuals from prestigious “old immigrant” families. However, many Irish and Irish-American notables are buried in Green-Wood. For example, among the graves of Civil War soldiers is that of General Thomas Sweeney, who lost his right arm in the 1845 Mexican War – but served throughout the Civil War. (“Fightin’ Tom” retired from the U.S. military but went on to lead the Fenian invasion of Canada.) Also among the Green-Wood Irish is Charles Higgins, who fled poverty in Ireland and founded the Higgins Ink Company, the world’s pre-eminent manufacturer of India Inks. Higgins donated to Green-Wood the magnificent statue of Minerva which stands on the highest elevation in Brooklyn, facing over New York harbor. Perhaps the most prominent Irish born persons buried in Green-Wood are Irish patriot Wolfe Tone’s widow, Matilda Tone, their son Theobold Wolfe Tone, and Tone’s famous father-in-law, attorney William Sampson.

There are Irish notables from the entertainment world including writer Fitz-James O’Brien, actress Lola Montez (Eliza Gilbert), and movie star William S. Hart. In 2006, Green-Wood Cemetery was the site of a unique dedication of a stone erected to honor the Irish killed in the Korean War.




The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in
Domestic Service 1840-1930


Saturday, October 17, from 2-3:30 p.m.
Columbia University Law School,
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101,
 435 West 116th Street in Manhattan.

The nearest subway stop is for the Number 1 train at 116th Street
and Broadway (Columbia University).


Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan will present a program on Irish women in domestic service in the Northeast during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Despite the lack of attention by labor historians, domestic service was the chief waged occupation for women in nineteenth-century America, and in the second half of that century Irish immigrant women dominated this occupation in the urban Northeast.  Bridget or Biddy was the stereotypical young Irish immigrant who worked in private homes between 1840 and 1930.  Popular American literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century was rife with stories about the Irish Bridget and the havoc she allegedly wrought in middle-class American homes.  But who were the actual human beings behind the stereotype? In this program, using unpublished correspondence and photographs of Irish domestics, Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan will discuss both the women and the reality behind the stereotype, focusing on their work life, their social life and the impact they had on Irish-American life.  This presentation will be based on her new book entitled The Irish Bridget:  Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930, published by Syracuse University Press.

Margaret Lynch-Brennan began her career as a classroom teacher, and over time has taught at the middle school, high school, and graduate level.  For many years she worked as an administrator for the New York State Education Department. She holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University at Albany (SUNY) and has presented at conferences in Australia, Germany, and Ireland, and across the United States.

A reception will follow.
There is no fee to attend, but a $3 donation is suggested for refreshments.
All are Welcome!



Irish Immigrants & County Associations in NYC
 1946-61

Saturday, December 5, at 2-3:30 p.m.
Mother Seton National Shrine (Our Lady of the Rosary Hall),
7 State Street (between Pearl & Whitehall Streets)
opposite Battery Park, Manhattan


Dr. Miriam Nyhan will discuss the unique presence and important roles of Irish county associations in New York City during the years following World War II. The discussion will be based on her extensive research using oral interviews and archival research, and on her analyses of these special associations, their yearly activities, and their enthusiastic participants.

The post World War II era saw a massive exodus of migrants from the island of Ireland. In fact, between 1946 and 1961 approximately 500,000 emigrated: the equivalent of approximately 17% of the population. In New York, county associations played an important role in the Irish communities that greeted the new migrants. These societies provided a means by which immigrants from particular counties could reunite, socialize, and provide contacts or assistance. For many newly arrived migrants, a county association meeting or event was the first port-of-call in the search for permanent housing, jobs, or a familiar accent. Each county, through these organizations, became a guardian to those it represented, and provided invaluable safety valves to the needs of its county-people. The annual calendar of the associations was structured around key events which punctuated the year, with St. Patrick’s Day representing the highlight. As a general rule, larger counties had larger and more vibrant associations – but demographics were not the only indicator of the association strength.

 Dr. Miriam Nyhan will discuss the significance that county associations had for post-war immigrants from Ireland. Starting from a premise that we can only understand that wave of immigrants by looking at the Ireland people left and the New York they arrived in, she will clarify the many roles counties associations fulfilled. To widen the focus, experiences of Irish immigrants and county associations in post-war London will also be discussed.

Miriam Nyhan is Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University. She received her M.Phil. from University College, Cork and her Ph.D. from the the European University Institute. Dr. Nyhan is the author of ‘Are You Still Below?’ The Ford Marina Plant, Cork 1917-1984. She has served as a historian for Henry Ford & Son Limited, (Ford Ireland) and is currently Glucksman Ireland House’s oral historian.

Reception to follow.
There is no fee to attend, but

A $3 donation for refreshments in suggested.
All are Welcome!


 
Google Your Family Tree
Unlock the Hidden Power of Google!
A Lecture by Daniel Lynch

Saturday, March 21, at 2:00 p.m.
Fordham Law School Auditorium
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan

Learn how to unlock the hidden power of Google, the most robust tool available for online genealogical and historical research. With more than twenty billion pages included in Google’s index of the World Wide Web, an understanding of specialized commands, filtering, and additional techniques is necessary to maximize the full value of this free service.

You can dramatically improve your search skills by mastering commands perfectly suited for tracking down people, places, and events and providing them with a historical context.


Find published works, documents, photographs, historical newspapers, and translation tools and even instruct Google to search while you sleep.

Professional genealogist and technology expert Dan Lynch’s power-point presentation will include examples from his own Irish research and provide tips for use in genealogy,
history, and additional fields. He is a former vice president of business development for Ancestry, Inc. Dan Lynch now runs Mattatuck Consulting, a firm specializing in Internet marketing solutions. He is a frequent lecturer at local and national genealogy conferences. He is also the author of the newly-published 352 page guidebook, Google Your Family Tree.

Copies of this book, highly-praised by reviewers, will be available for purchase.
Details about it are at:  www.googleyourfamilytree.com/index.html

There is no fee to attend, but a $3 donation is suggested for refreshments.
All are Welcome!



Music in the Mountains:
The Catskills & Traditional Irish Music
A Lecture by Brendan Dolan

Saturday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m.
Presented at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church Hall, 7 State Street in Manhattan,
(between Pearl & Whitehall Streets) opposite Battery Park.
(Our Lady of the Rosary Church is part of the Mother Seton House)

On Saturday, May 9 at 1–2:30 p.m. master teacher Brendan Dolan will present a unique talk on the Irish and their traditional music in the Catskill Mountains—a summer refuge for many New York Irish since early in the last century. The talk will be illustrated and will present samples of music played in the mountains. This Roundtable program will be part of a larger free symposium (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) on the Mother Seton House and on the reception of Irish immigrants in New York. The symposium will include exhibits by students from Pace University on the Irish Immigrant Girls Home, which was located within Seton House. Roundtable members are welcome to attend the entire symposium, if they wish.

Leeds, South Cairo, and East Durham form the spine of the Irish Catskills, the choice vacation destination of New York’s Irish and Irish-Americans for generations in the twentieth century.
    
This talk will examine the development of this area as a distinctively Irish destination, and some of the factors that have led to its relative decline. In addition, it will examine the role of traditional music in the region as a marker of the tastes of the Irish and Irish Americans who created the phenomenon of the Irish Catskills.

Particular attention will be paid to the effects of Irish immigration on this resort area, and the gradual inclusion of successive waves of Irish into the American vacation experience. The fortunes of the Irish Catskills have always been directly linked to the economic status of New York’s urban Irish. This talk will address the relationship between the successful assimilation of Irish into American society and its adverse effects on a once thriving ethnic vacationland.

Musical examples will be included to illustrate the changing tastes of the Irish at leisure, and the talk will be accompanied by a large array of photos and memorabilia that will trace the changing face of the Irish Catskills.

Brendan Dolan holds a masters degree in Irish and Irish-American Studies from New York University and has taught on Irish traditional music at the University’s Osher Lifetime Learning Institute. He served for many years as a master teacher for the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham and for the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia. In 2008, he won the Roundtable’s John O’Connor Graduate Scholarship for his research article on Irish traditional music in the Catskills.

Free refreshments will be provided at the symposium.
All are Welcome!



The Irish and the NYPD
A Lecture by Hugh O'Rourke

Saturday, November 8, at 2:00 p.m.
The Police Museum, 100 Old Slip, Manhattan

On Saturday, November 8, at 2:00 p.m., the new Roundtable president, Hugh O’Rourke, will speak on the Irish and the Police Department at the New York City Police Museum. The program will include segments from Patrick Mullins’s recent documentary, Sleuthing Mary Shanley. Dr. O’Rourke retired as a captain from the NYPD after a 24-year career.  He earned his doctorate in criminal justice from the John Jay program of the City University of New York and taught for fourteen years.

The Police Museum is located below South Street Seaport at 100 Old Slip, between Water Street and South Street in Manhattan. Please note that there is NO Museum admission charge for this event.




Researching Genealogical Resources in Ireland Long-Distance

SUNDAY, September 28, 2008, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Fordham Law School Auditorium
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan

In their only New York City area appearance, two internationally-acclaimed experts on genealogical research in Ireland—Dr. William Roulston, Research Director of Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast, and Dr. Brian Trainor, the Foundation’s retired Research Director and the former Director of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland—will present an information-packed afternoon on researching genealogical resources in Ireland long-distance. The seminar is open to members of the New York Irish History Roundtable and the public.


Ulster Historical Foundation, established in 1956, is one of the principal genealogical research agencies in Ireland and a leading publisher of quality historical, educational, and genealogical books.



New York Irish & the Fight for Free Speech
A Lecture by Christopher Finan

Saturday, May 3, 2008, at 2:00 p.m.
    The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
    122 East 58th Street,  Manhattan


Irish Americans have played prominent roles in the fight for free speech in the United States, and many of the most important and controversial battles for free speech in the United States were fought in New York City.

For example, Irish nationalist Jeremiah O’Leary, a New York attorney and ardent supporter of Irish independence, was one of the Americans prosecuted for criticizing United States’ participation in World War I.  O’Leary was publicly excoriated by President Woodrow Wilson for his pro-Irish and anti-War statements. O’Leary’s pro-Irish publication, the Bull, was suppressed by Postmaster General Burelson, and O’Leary himself was arrested and indicted for his characterizations of the military draft as part of an effort supporting the British colonial empire.  Similarly, Margaret Higgins Sanger, the daughter of an Irish immigrant stonecutter and a New Yorker, was prosecuted by special agent Anthony Comstock, acting on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service, for mailing copies of her avant-garde women’s rights magazine, The Woman Rebel. Another Irish New Yorker, Governor Alfred E. Smith, helped bring an end to the Red Scare that followed the war and vetoed legislation that would have restricted the rights of Socialists and other critics of the status quo.  And State Senator James J. Walker, later Mayor of New York City, led the forces that defeated a book censorship bill.  “No woman was ever ruined by a book,” Jimmy Walker said during the debate. (Of course, some of the most vigorous Irish American defenders of American free speech were Irish and were appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court – Frank Murphy, William Brennan and Anthony Kennedy – but they lacked the good fortune of a New York background.)

Too little attention has been paid to the Irish American contribution to the fight for free speech, an issue in which the New York Irish can take pride in the achievements of their forebears. This unique program will focus on these achievements.

Christopher Finan is a longtime supporter of the Roundtable and president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. He is currently chair of the National Coalition against Censorship and a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He is the author of Alfred Smith: The Happy Warrior, and lives in Brooklyn.




"43 Years and Still Looking"
The Online Revolution in Genealogical and Historical Research

A Lecture by Tom Kemp

Saturday, April 5,
2008, at 1 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
National Archives and Records Administration,
201 Varick Street, 12th Floor, Manhattan

Tom Kemp has been tracing his family history for the past 43 years. When he started, he only knew that William Kemp and Frances Stark were born in "Ireland."

Now he has tracked down thousands of Kemp and Stark cousins who migrated from County Cavan and County Limerick to countries all over the world. Tom will share his research tips and discuss some online tools like the Family History Library's New FamilySearch (which is currently undergoing internal testing) and GenealogyBank. (www.GenealogyBank.com)

Come see how the online revolution is again transforming how we research our family history. Tom will also announce a special offer for Roundtable members and our friends.

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at NewsBank, the parent company of GenealogyBank.com. He has been a librarian for over 40 years and previously served as the director of two major genealogy libraries in New England.



"That Musical McNulty Family"
A Lecture by Ted McGraw

Saturday, October 20, 2007, at 2 p.m.
Glucksman Ireland House,
One Washington Mews, Greenwich Village
(on Fifth Avenue between 8th Street and Washington Square Park)

Rochester resident Ted McGraw will give a illustrated lecture on "That Musical McNulty Family," the famous New York Irish family that was a cornerstone of Irish entertainment in the city from the 1920s to the 1950s.

McGraw has spent many years researching the McNultys, whose senior members were born in Counties Roscommon and Leitrim, and has collected a vast number of their recordings, most of which originally appeared on 78 rpm records. He recently gave his presentation in Ireland before the Roscommon Historical Society to rave reviews by local history buffs. The October 20th lecture to the Irish History Roundtable will be the debut of McGraw's lecture in New York City and will commence at 2 p.m.

The McNultys combined traditional Irish music with elements of vaudeville topped off with their own inimitable style of wit and whimsey. Widowed early in her life, "Ma" McNulty carried on with her two young children, Peter and Eileen, who were immersed in New York's then vibrant Irish musical scene at an early age. While "Ma" played the button accordion, the kids danced and sang, but every show included a few step dances by "Ma" as well.

Their entertainment was packaged into shows like the "Irish Showboat" which toured the Irish neighborhoods in the city and included a variety of other Irish acts. Many Irish New Yorkers will remember their appearances at the New York Irish dance halls or at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, although most people will recall their nightly appearances in Rockaway Beach night spots in the summertime.
 



City Hall Area Walking Tour

A tour of historic sites within walking distance of City Hall on Saturday, December 1, presented by the Roundtable, will be led principally by John Ridge, our Vice President for Local History. Occasional contributions will be offered by Charles Laverty, President. 

Among the places to be visited are 165 William Street, where John Devoy published the weekly Gaelic American from 1903 until his death in 1928 and where he led the nationwide Irish Republican Brotherhood/Clan na Gael conspiracy and funding that culminated in the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916. Directly across the street at 164 William Street is the William H. Sadlier, Inc. publishing house, famous for its early novels, general books, and textbooks for Catholic readers. The firm is still in business after 170 years. It became known in its early years for bestsellers by the immigrant from Cavan, Mary Anne Madden Sadlier, who produced a phenomenal sixty titles addressing issues of domestic servants, immigration, famine, historical romances, Western pioneers, and grammar-school catechisms.

Other historic places to be visited are St. Peter’s at Church and Barclay streets, New York’s oldest Catholic church, and the nearby St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel on Vesey Street and Broadway. Here we’ll view the Gaelic inscription on the William J. MacNeven monument executed by a member of the Gaelic-speaking Draddy family of sculptors from Kerry.

Also here on Broadway was Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s first New York business, a travel agency on Broadway at Murray Street. On Chambers Street, on the same block as the Emigrant Savings Bank, was the Draft Office commanded briefly by County Down-born Colonel Robert Nugent of the Irish Brigade before the outbreak of the 1863 Draft Riots. Nugent’s home was pillaged and burned by the mob during the riots.

Also on Chambers Street was the office of the Irish-language weekly newspaper The Gael and the office of the lawyer-historian Michael Doheny from Tipperary, an escapee from the failed
1848 rising. By 1851, Doheny would organize a New York militia unit, the 69th Infantry, and later, on St. Patrick’s Day, 1858, the Fenian Brotherhood at his office just north of Foley Square at 6 Centre Street.




Assisted Emigration and
the Story of Brigid Egan
A Lecture by Clare Curtin

Saturday, March 24, 2007, at 2 p.m.
Glucksman Ireland House,

One Washington Mews, Greenwich Village
(on Fifth Avenue between 8th Street and Washington Square Park)

Clare Curtin will present an illustrated lecture that examines the finer details of an emigration process not widely known to the general public.

The British ship Scythia arrived in New York Harbor on May 18, 1888, carrying over 1,000 passengers who disembarked on the docks of lower Manhattan. Among them were 100 teenage girls and young women who were listed alphabetically at the end of the ship’s manifest.

Among those passengers was seventeen year-old Brigid Egan, the future grandmother of Clare Curtin, a long-time member of the Roundtable. The girls were part of some prearranged assisted-emigration scheme but the exact origins were unknown....Who were the sponsors and what were their motives?

Seeking answers to these questions led our presenter on a quest spanning ten years. Family history was explored, historians interviewed, and archives researched in New York, County Clare, Dublin and Belfast.

While telling us more about assisted emigration in the context of the historical period, Clare Curtin will follow the path of teenager Brigid Egan, through photographs and documentation, beginning at her tenant farmhouse in Cahermurphy, Kilmihil, County Clare and ending with her ownership of a brownstone residence in Greenwich Village -- just a short walk from Ireland House.



69th Regiment Armory Tour
Conducted by NYIHR President Charles Laverty
 
Saturday, April 28, 2007, from 2-4 PM, at 26th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Use the 28th Street exit on the IRT Lexington Avenue Local (#6).

As a first-time visitor enters the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, the challenge leaps out:  Whether to scan the history of the regiment, its troops and its impressive array of historic flags, or or to examine the building itself which for a century  has made New York and American history in its own right. Roundtable members are invited to sort out this quandary for themselves on Saturday, April 28, 2-4 PM, in the vastness of the armory at 26th Street and Lexington Ave -- Use the 28th Street exit on the IRT Lexington Avenue Local (#6).

Generally unknown to the public are the "three 69th regiments" of the civil war period. That, and other mysteries of the military-political scene will be explained on the tour. Moreover, in World War I the 69th was strangely designated the 165th New York as part of the larger  "all-American" 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division, consisting of other regiments, from Alabama, Iowa and elsewhere. By sheer coincidence, the Alabama regiment had fought the 69th in Virginia during the civil war. The division prepared for movement to France at Camp Mills, Garden City, Long Island in the Fall of 1917. After a flurry of personal fisticuffs between some men of the New York regiment and the Alabamians ("just for old-times sake"?) the division shipped out of New York Harbor to its first foreign war. "Over there," the men of "Garryowen and Glory" fame were to return by marching through the arch at Washington Square and up Fifth Avenue to a spectacular welcome home bearing three Medals of Honor -- still on display, with others, at the armory. But the price of victory was staggering: The 69th alone suffered 758 killed in action in a span of only nine months of combat. One of the notable heroes was Sergeant Joyce Kilmer. But another who survived to march through the Washington Arch was Chaplain Francis Duffy wearing his Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor.





James Kelly: Sculptor of America
A Lecture by William B. Styple

Saturday, December 2, 2006, at 2 p.m.
Fordham Law School Auditorium,
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan



New York born James Edward Kelly (1855-1933) met great Americans during his life! He interviewed them, recorded their experiences, and – through his graphic skill – preserved their images. Kelly was the son of Patrick Kelly and Leitrim-born Julia Golden. A diligent man who was a daily communicant at St. Paul the Apostle on West 57 Street (and who sought priestly blessings for his work) he became an accomplished artist by his mid-twenties.
                              
To describe the man and his work our presenter is his biographer, William B. Styple, the author of several books on the American Civil War and official historian for Kearny, New Jersey. Bill Styple is editor of the recently published Generals in Bronze (Belle Grove Publishing, 2005), the definitive collection of the invaluable information gleaned through Kelly’s interviews conducted during a period of more than forty years.



New York Public Library Computer Lab
by
Ruth Carr, Chief of the
Division of United States
History,
Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, November 1, 2006, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, Manhattan


A hands-on demonstration of genealogical and historical databases accessible in New York Public Library's Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy will be given to the first twenty-five Roundtable members to sign up. Some of these databases are available only within NYPL’s four research libraries or solely in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.




Tour of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral

Saturday, May 6, 2006, 1:00 p.m.
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

The Roundtable's free tour of historic St. Patrick's Old Cathedral on Mott Street will be held exclusively for Roundtable members and their guests.

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, opened in 1815, was the first Catholic cathedral and second Catholic church in the City of New York. During the tour, we will visit the rectory, Records Room, churchyard burial ground, underground mortuary vaults, museum, and the cathedral's 1868 Henry Erben pipe organ.

The New York City Landmarks Commission declared St. Patrick's Old Cathedral a landmark in 1966.



A Fresh Look at the Civil War Draft Riots

 Presented by Barnet Schecter and Kevin Baker

Saturday, April 1, 2006, 2:00 p.m.
Fordham Law School Auditorium,
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan


Barnet Schecter and Kevin Baker, noted New York historians and authors, will discuss fresh ideas about the Irish in New York City that emerged from Mr. Schecter's research for his latest book, The Devil's Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America, published in January of this year. The talk will focus on the struggle of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans against prejudice and poverty - and their sacrifices on the battlefield for the Union - as important contexts for the draft riots of 1863.
 This event is open to the public.

Tea and coffee reception to follow discussion. The suggested donation is $3.00.



Coming to New York, Part  II
A Panel Discussion with Irish Immigrants in New York City

Saturday, November 5, 2005, 2 p.m.
Glucksman Ireland House,

One Washington Mews, Greenwich Village

The Roundtable will host its second panel discussion featuring 20th-century Irish immigrants to New York City. The panelists include: Aine Grealy, Bill McGimpsey, Hugh O'Lunney, Eileen Reilly, and Mike Ward. Discussion will be moderated by Linda Dowling Almeida, adjunct professor at New York University and long time Roundtable member.

The story of the Irish experience in New York lies with the people who live that experience. As part of our effort to capture the history of the Irish and share it with our members, we will sit down with five immigrants who arrived from Ireland in the 20th century and built their adult lives in New York.

Mayo-born Aine Grealy came to the USA in 1965 and has worked in a variety of social service, political, and educational capacities, including advising the young immigrants of the 1980s and 1990s.


Bill McGimpsey is a civil engineer from Northern Ireland who migrated first to Canada in 1965 and then on to the United States in 1968.


Hugh O'Lunney of Cavan is probably best known to New Yorkers as the proprietor of the successful O'Lunney restaurants. After several decades as host to the famous and not-so-famous, he can reflect on a life that has brought him into contact with personalities as diverse as Crystal Gale and Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.
 

Eileen Reilly, Associate Director of Glucksman Ireland House, an adjunct professor in the Irish Studies program at NYU, was born in Philadelphia to Cavan immigrants. In 1974, at age five, she returned with her parents to a farm in County Longford and migrated back to the U.S. in 1996.

Mike Ward of County Leitrim works in the building services industry and is an accomplished accordion player who has lent his musical talents to a variety of benefits, including fundraisers for charities in Northern Ireland.

With a panel of such different perspectives, the afternoon promises to be enlightening and the discussion lively. Please join us.


Tea and coffee reception to follow discussion. Suggested donation is $3.00.



The Trials of the Brooklyn Five (IRA)
and
Major Jeremiah O'Leary


Presented by Frank Durkan

Saturday, October 8, 2005, 2 p.m.
  Fordham Law School Auditorium,
140 West 62nd Street, Manhattan



During the 1982 trial of five supporters of the IRA, including George Harrison and Michael Flannery, the defense showed the direct involvement of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in funneling weapons to the IRA support network in the New York area. The jury in Brooklyn Federal Court acquitted the men on all charges. The other three defendants were Thomas Falvey, Patrick Mullin, and Daniel Gormley.

Over 60 years earlier, Major Jeremiah O'Leary of the 69th NY Infantry (National Guard) had been conducting a widely-publicized and national campaign against American entry into World War I, claiming that our foreign interests did not lie in taking sides in any European war. The 69th, as part of the 42nd Infantry Division (both are serving again overseas, this time in Iraq), lost 900 men killed in action, including the poet Sergeant Joyce Kilmer. Under intense pressure and believing he couldn't get a fair trial in the face of prevailing pro-war sentiments, O'Leary, an attorney, fled New York and later was arrested in the Pacific Northwest. In the federal court on Foley Square, he was acquitted by the jury which heard perjured evidence and unsubstantiated statements by the federal prosecutor. In New York it didn't help the prosecutor's case when it was acknowledged that while numbers of O'Leary's New York ancestors had served honorably in the Union Army during the Civil War (where the 69th won many laurels for its gallantry) and O'Leary himself had been a member of the 69th until the outbreak of the war in Europe, several ancestors of the prosecutor had fought against the U.S. by serving in the the Confederate Army.

Tea and coffee reception to follow discussion. A donation of $3.00 is requested from attendees.
All are welcome!


New York Irish History Roundtable
2005 Genealogy Workshop

Saturday, May 7, 2005, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
National Archives and Records Administration,
201 Varick Street, 12th Floor, Manhattan

The New York Irish History Roundtable will present the eighth in its series of all-day genealogy
workshops. This year’s workshop will be held on Saturday, May 7th,  9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the National Archives and Records Administration in Manhattan. The workshop is open to NYIHR members and everyone else interested in learning how to research their Irish ancestors.

 Lecture topics:

  •   “Getting Started in Irish Research.” The focus will be on those records and resources crucial to New York City research and where to find them. Techniques and terminology will spotlight the Irish in New York City. Speaker: Trish Little Taylor, professional librarian and genealogist with extensive experience in Irish-American research in both the USA and Ireland.
  • “Onsite and Online Resources of the National Archives.” NARA’s experienced, knowledgeable staff will provide strategies and tips for using federal records, including paper, microfilm, and online resources. NARA’s public programs and projects will also be described. Speaker: John Celardo, archivist at NARA.
  •  “Online Research.” Genealogists are presented with many avenues for spending their time and money on online research. This lecture will highlight ways to spend your time wisely and with an eye on cost. Speaker: Thomas J. Kemp, Director of the Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, Connecticut.
  • “Using Irish Records.” What has been done to make researching Irish records easier and more affordable? What are the main repositories and what types of records do they hold? What are the Irish Heritage Centres? Speaker: Trish Little Taylor.



BUILDING NEW YORK'S SUBWAY:
 HARDLY 'THE WEST CLARE RAILWAY'


A Lecture Presented by
Dr. Brian J. Cudahy


Saturday, March 12,
2005



Irish Farmers in Brooklyn

A Lecture Presented by Joseph McCarthy

Saturday, November 6, 2004



Tour of Saint Paul's Chapel, Trinity Church,
and John Street Methodist Church

By Charles Laverty

Saturday, October 9, 2004



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