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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Quarter Million Signatures Provides New Clues on Pre-Great Hunger Ireland

Deb and I went to the Victorian Stroll in Troy this past Sunday.  We went to the Greens Show at the Rensselaer County Historical Society which is put on by the Van Rensselaer Garden Club. At the entrance, the Troy Irish Genealogy Society had a table.

That got me thinking about this article I saw on Irish Central News about a petition in the form of a scroll which was signed by thousands of Irish in approximately 1841.

Over 250,000 signatures cover 652 sheets of paper that were glued to a linen cloth.

Those signing were in support of English Lord Morpeth, George Howard, the chief secretary of Ireland, in 1841. He belonged to the Whig party and he opposed religious discrimination.

Morpeth's family kept the scroll for almost 170 years in the basement of Castle Howard, Yorkshire, England.

Many of the signatures seem to be grouped by region, so researchers of particular families might be given clues of where to look once some of the more well known names are used to orient which regions tend to be signed where.

Reportedly, the scroll itself will start a tour from National University of Ireland at Maynooth beginning in February through Farmleigh house in Dublin, Derrynane in Kerry, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Belfast.

Ancestry.com is digitizing it.

Maybe someday I'll find a relative signed the scroll.

Will you?

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