Joe Buggy’s “Townland of Origin” is a blog every Irish family history researcher should read regularly.
His October 28th entry reports on a Back to Our Past session he attended, “Finding Your American Cousins – A New Source for Massachusetts Mortuary Records, 1880-1943.” Presenters were Mary Choppa of The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) in Boston and Joanne Riley, archivist at the U of Mass Healey Library. Their talk was about records of the Catholic Order of Foresters (COF), a fraternal life insurance organization founded in Boston in 1879 by a group of Irish immigrants.
“Practically every Irish American family in Massachusetts today has at least one ancestor who can be found in these records,” according to Choppa and Riley.
If you have any Massachusetts Irish connections in your family line, you’ll want to get up-to-speed on what can be found in COF records. Buggy’s blog is an excellent place to start: www.townlandoforigin.com/