Irish Fest

36th Milwaukee Irish Fest is August 18-21, 2016

Countdown to Irish Fest...

Next Meeting

October 2015

October 5, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

Genetic Genealogy Ireland

Following its successful launch event in Dublin in 2013, Genetic Genealogy Ireland returns for a third year of DNA Lectures at the Back to Our Past event in Dublin, once again kindly sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG.

Date: 9-11 October 2015 (Friday to Sunday)

The Genealogy Event

August 21 & 22, 2015, Adare, Co. Limerick
For more information and tickets click on the headline above.
Sponsored by

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2015

From GenealogyInTime Magazine. Click on above headline.

Genealogical Resources at the Milwaukee Public Library

PowerPoint presentation from the IGSW Program of May 4, 2015

Click on the arrows at the bottom of the screen to change the slides.

Presentation courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library. Written permission to publish any images in this presentation must be obtained from copyright or literary rights owner and from the library for any publication or commercial use of copies.

The Return of Genetic Genealogy Ireland

Following its successful launch event in Dublin last year, Genetic Genealogy Ireland returns for a second year of DNA Lectures at the Back to Our Past event in Dublin, once again kindly sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG.

Date: 17-19 October 2014 (Friday to Sunday)

Global Family Reunion

One World. One Family.
One Extraordinary Event.

You are invited to
the global family reunion
- Coming in June 2015 -

Five Minute Find: Finding Irish Origins

Learn how to find your story on

Irish Genealogy

Explore your family history.

Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2014

From GenealogyInTime Magazine. Click on above headline.

Irish Roots

Six tactics of the successful researcher:
by John Grenham

Click Here

Tracing your roots at the Irish Emigration Library

Jane Maher

Sponsored by the Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin, the Irish Emigration Library is free and open to the public. It houses a unique collection of genealogical information not found anywhere else in Wisconsin. Books, periodicals, maps, microfilm and city directories are just a few of the resources found at the library to assist you in tracking your family history. Perhaps the most important resource at the Library is Jane Maher, Director of the Irish Emigration Library and founder of the Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin. Founded in 1999, Jane and a small group of volunteers will help you trace your family history.

Radio interview with Jane and more at: 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

The Gathering

Parishes are inviting descendants in 2013:

Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2013

From GenealogyInTime Magazine is their annual review and ranking of the top 100 genealogy websites from around the world. (PDF here)

Brian Murphy - Irishman of the Year

Lt. Brian Murphy

Congratulations to Lt. Brian Murphy of the Oak Creek Police Department and hero of the Sikh Temple Shootings who will be named the Emerald Society's Irishman of the Year.

Michelle Obama’s Irish Ancestry

Turtle Bunbury: "For many of us, our main understanding of the American South, slavery and the Civil War derives from countless viewings of 'Gone with the Wind.' New research has revealed that Michelle Obama's forefathers include Charles Shields, a slave-owner of Irish descent, who lived in the very same county in Georgia State where the fictional Scarlet O'Hara's family lived. This is the remarkable story of how Charles Shields and a slave girl called Melvina became ancestors of the first African-American to become First Lady of the United States."

more at: click here for article

Edie Falco Finds Roots in Milwaukee

Watch Edie Falco travel to Milwaukee to find her roots on "Who Do You Think You Are?"

1940 Census Records Are Online!

(AP) April 2, 2012

The 1940 census records were released this morning, and the National Archives website buckled under the load.

About 1.9 million users hit the archives servers in the first four hours the data went public, but many of those users got no further than a screen that said "Preparing Image."

20 Years Ago the IGSW Was Formed

Click here to read the original article written by our founder Jane Mahar Maher.

Irish genealogical site unearths
Walt Disney's Irish roots

Walt DisneyAn Irish family history website have discovered records which reveal that Walt Disney's ancestors rented 33 acres of land in County Kilkenny.

Dublin based website have uncovered documents clearly showing the family's links to the small parish of Rathbeagh.

The cartoonist has long been rumoured to have ancestry in Ireland, but the newly discovered records show, in detail, Disney's family history.


Click here:

to watch the Ken Burns Prohibition Documentary on PBS.

Milwaukee Irish Fest: Wild Mountain Thyme

In 2010 Milwaukee Irish Fest celebrated its 30th anniversary. In doing so the festival brought in many great musical friends that have graced the Irish Fest stages through these years. The Ward Irish Music Archives put together a film to document this occasion. Using the iconic song Wild Mountain Thyme as our theme, this film highlights one of the great gatherings of Irish musicians in one moment in time, always the third weekend in August.

Byron Kilbourn

Byron Kilbourn At our September meeting, Frank Matusinec gave a presentation on how the body of Byron Kilbourn was exhumed in Jacksonville, Florida and returned and buried with his family in Milwaukee back in 1998.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Rosie O'Donnell travels from Jersey City to Ireland on an emotional ride to discover her mother's roots.

John McCabe at Irish Fest

We were honored to have John McCabe with us at the genealogy tent for the 2010 Irish Fest. He was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Before the Plantation (1612) Enniskillen Island was the Headquarters of the Maguire Clan. Today the original Enniskillen Castle complex where the Maguire's resided, incorporates the local Museum.

In the early 1960's he established a genealogical research service the basis of which was to assist overseas residents to trace their ancestors in Ulster Province. This Province includes the six Counties which today form Northern Ireland viz - Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry/Londonderry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

In addition to his work, he enjoys identifying 'hidden' records relating to Irish emigrants, migrants, transportees from Ireland and military personnel. The most successful outcome was the finding of some seven hundred families, mostly Irish, residing in Bytown (Ottawa) in 1829. In 1988 he delivered the Houston Memorial Lecture at Seminar 88 in Ottawa which included photocopies of the above mentioned 1829 list. This source was published by the Ontario Genealogical Society as the McCABE LIST - EARLY IRISH IN THE OTTAWA VALLEY. Editor Bruce S. Elliott.

Irish center faces loss of building

The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin, is a local and national historic landmark. The center finds itself in a financial situation where the board may have to put the building up for sale.

Jane Maher (left), director of the library, and Mary Kay Kuhfittig, a volunteer librarian, study a map of Ireland. "The very idea to be losing the home for this library is unbelievable," Maher said.