The Irish Genealogy Special Interest Group is one of the dozen or more SIGs operating under the umbrella of The Villages Genealogical Society, The Villages, Florida, the largest genealogical society in the state. We meet once monthly from October through May. SIG membership is open to residents of The Villages who are members of The Villages Genealogical Society.
Our SIG leader is Tom Voyles, who has been actively involved in Irish Genealogical research since the 1980s.
While vacationing in Ireland in 1988, Tom and his wife discovered descendents of his mother’s Irish Finan family. Unravelling the mystery of their familial connections set in motion a genealogical adventure which has lasted 25 years.
While living in the D.C. suburbs in the 1990s, Tom spent many Saturdays in the microfilm room at the U.S. National Archives looking at records. Those records can now be accessed online at home. He also researched at the Library of Congress and at the D.C. Stake LDS Family History Center in Kensington, MD.
Over the years Tom gained knowledge of the Irish records that exist, and how to access and use them. Subsequent visits to the family in Ireland enabled him to discuss the family story with family elders. Many of these conversations were preserved in video recordings. He has taken the lessons he has learned, and continues to learn, and shares them with the members of the Irish SIG.
The members of the Irish SIG come from a wide variety of backgrounds and trace their ancestry to many places in Ireland. Some like Tom, have been to Ireland and found ancestral homes and present day cousins. Others are still hoping to go to the auld sod and seek assistance about how to trace their family history. This Website represents a giant step forward in making a great deal of Irish information available in one corner of Cyberspace. We hope you enjoy it!