After an Irish Roots Genealogy Class in March, 1999, Mark Malone and Thomas Karins planted the seed for the Irish Special Interest Group. It was obvious from this class that more discussion was a high priority. Thirteen from the class signed up as interested in participating in a discussion group.

Initially the Irish Discussion Group met at Forest Park Community College. People came interested in Irish culture but with little knowledge of genealogy. Sandy BrunsmannHughes, Mark Malone, and Tom Karins met after the discussion class and came up with the idea of starting a continuing Irish genealogy discussion group, called the Irish Interest Group. This name was adapted from the name of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois (BIGWILL).

In July, 1999, the St. Louis Genealogical Society Board heard a proposal from Sandy BrunsmannHughes, for an Irish Discussion Group to meet four times a year. They agreed to the sponsorship and recommended the name Irish Special Interest Group (I-SIG).

At present I-SIG sponsors quarterly programs attended by thirty to forty participants. Speakers present such topics as Irish names, clans, heritage centres, and counties; Griffith’s Valuation Tax; naturalization records at St. Louis County Library; and Irish websites. From the beginning, I-SIG has maintained an Irish surname database of the members, for the members. The group also keeps a database of ports of entry, shares success stories, and frequently breaks into counties of interest for smaller discussion group

 For information about the Irish Special Interest Group of the St. Louis Genealogical Society,
  contact Kay Weber at

Last modified: 22-Jun-2016 11:57