Monday, April 20, 2015

Irish Genealogical Society International

Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) is a Minnesota-based genealogy group. Along with the Irish Family History Forum (IFHF) and The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), it is one of the three largest Irish genealogy societies in the U.S. I have previously profiled the IFHF (here and here) and TIARA (here and here) and now it's the turn of IGSI.

IGSI is based in the twin city area (Minneapolis-St. Paul) of Minnesota. "Founded over 30 years ago by a small group of people interested in sharing their knowledge, IGSI has since developed into a well-respected Irish genealogical society with over 650 members in six countries, and an extensive library and research facility."[1] This is an apt description of the organization as they are one of the premier Irish genealogy organizations to be a member of regardless of genealogical experience, where you live, or where your Irish ancestors settled in in the U.S.

Members receive a generous return for their $30 (general)/$25 (electronic) membership dues. Each quarter, there is a newsletter, Ginealas (Irish for genealogy), for members to consult which contains articles, announcements and general information for researchers. They also receive a copy of The Septs, a quarterly journal dedicated to: information about Irish genealogical research methods and examples of successful searches, information about IGSI and other goings-on in the world of Irish genealogy, articles about various aspects of Irish history and the Irish diaspora, and pointers to more information in other locations.[2]

For those who can get to St. Paul, MN, their library is a substantial facility, as it is housed at the Minnesota Genealogical Society building at 1185 Concord Street North, Suite 218, South St. Paul, MN, 55075. There is a large holding of Irish genealogy material, along with Minnesota-specific sources, and records related to other ethnicities. Among the services on offer, the research staff will:
  • work directly with you on research and teach Irish research classes on Irish Days at the library, the 2nd Saturday of most months
  • respond to email queries at
  • help out-of-town researchers at the library outside of open hours, if unable to come during usual hours
  • help IGSI members, as described in the Members' Research Help section.[3]

Other useful services available to members and non-members alike include a genealogy bookstore, a genealogy research service, and a regularly updated blog.

[1] About Us. Year Unknown. accessed 16 April 2015.
[2] The Septs. Year Unknown. accessed 16 April 2015.
[3] Library. Year Unknown. accessed 16 April 2015.

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