Founded and incorporated in 1988, the Connecticut Irish-American Historical Society has more than 300 members. Through a varied program of activities, we seek to collect, share and pass along to others the rich, 350 year history and heritage of the Irish people of Connecticut.
The website was made possible by support from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office.
We publish a quarterly newsletter, The Shanachie, for members. The Shanachie, which means "storyteller" in Irish, contains articles about the history of Connecticut's Irish, genealogical ideas and tips, and notices of our activities.
Our genealogy group is designed to give members who are interested in family history opportunities to exchange ideas, to learn from experts in the field and to make field trips. We sponsor family history workshops focusing on such topics as using census records, vital statistics, church records, military records, research here and in Ireland, computer programs and Internet information.
We maintain archival collections and a library of books about Irish history, culture and genealogy at the Ethnic Heritage Center at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. The library contains many aids for historical and genealogical research, such as a set of old New Haven city directories, New Haven school records, personal interest collections and family histories that have been donated to us by Irish people throughout Connecticut.
We present programs on Irish history, culture and music for schools, nursing homes, civic organizations, etc.,and annually place displays about Ireland and Irish-Americans in New Haven area libraries during March.
We participate in Irish Festivals throughout the State of Connecticut with programs and exhibits.
We interview and record on tape the recollections of senior citizens in the state's Irish community.
We have begun a program to microfilm the records of some of Connecticut's earliest Irish Catholic parishes.
We obtain Proclamations from the Connecticut State Governor and from area mayors declaring March as "Irish-American Heritage Month".
We collaborate with other Irish orgnizations to sponsor the raising of the Irish Tricolor on the New Haven Green each April in commemoration of the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in Dublin.
Each November we sponsor a wreath-laying at the monument in New Haven to honor Connecticut's Irish regiment in the Civil War, the Ninth Volunteers. The regiment served in the capture of New Orleans, in the 1862 campaign at Vicksburg and in the Shenandoah Valley under General Philip Sheridan in 1864.
The Irish experience has had a profound impact on Connecticut's past, and its narrative spans all periods of the state's history and touches every one of its eight counties and 169 towns.