Irish Genealogical Society International’s collection of Irish genealogy/history resource materials is among the largest in North America. It’s housed within the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s William J. Hoffman Library and Research Center.
IGSI has been collecting materials since about 1985, starting with only three books. Generous members have donated books and money over the years to grow the collection. Utilizing the resources of used-book vendors, as well as acquiring newly-published volumes and re-issued/updated versions of existing books, the Irish collection has expanded to 3000+ titles, including over 700 histories alone.
The major collections are:
- 101 rolls of microfilm of the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis with baptisms, marriages and burials;
- 347 Maps;
- All 40 volumes of the Ordinance Survey maps, including 168 total showing the townlands in the Republic of Ireland, plus index;
- 14 Maps from Northern Ireland;
- Over 150 volumes of cemetery records for Ireland, also U.S. and Canada;
- Various books and CDs about Irish and Scotch-Irish immigrants;
- Indexes of the contents of Estate Records gathered by the National Library and National Archives of Ireland in print;
- Books of Survey and Distribution 1636-1703, Vols. 1-4 covering Counties Clare, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon;
- The Civil Survey of 1654-1656, Volumes 1-10;
- The Irish Fiants of the Tudors, 1521-1603, four volumes plus index;
- Royal Irish Constabulary employment records;
- The Emigrant Savings Bank records from New York 1850-1880, on microfilm including three rolls of Indices, plus Test Books and other records;
- findmypast.com website is available on all computers in the library.
The William J. Hoffman Library and Research Center is located at 1185 Concord St N, South St Paul, MN. The library was closed for the holidays but re-opens today, January 6. More information about the library including hours and fees can be found here: http://mngs.org/cpage.php?pt=30.
If you aren’t able to visit the library in person, you may want to take advantage of IGSI research help. Read about the types of Irish research available here: www.irishgenealogical.org/page/requesting-research-help.
Paying for just one hour of assistance ($15 for IGSI members, $30 for non-members) could be the best investment you’ve ever made! An experienced IGSI researcher can quickly survey the Irish collection to see what pertains to your surname or townland. You can get an estimate of how many additional hours might be required for in-depth research. Or for a small photocopy/mailing fee, get copies of any documents that are immediately identified. Research can be customized to your needs and pocketbook.
Last year IrishCentral rated IGSI’s collection as one of the top five “must-see” Irish-American research facilities (www.irishcentral.com/roots/Top-5-irish-american-research-centers.html). See what’s there with a personal visit or by paying for a survey by an IGSI researcher.
(Thanks to Audrey Leonard for providing information about the Irish Collection.)