Thursday, July 24, 2014

Genealogy group looks back at Irish roots

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 3/12/2014

Tracing a family’s genealogy is a never-ending process, June Butler said.

Butler, vice president of the Franklin County Genealogical Society, said she’s been tracking down her roots since the 1960s, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Tracing a family’s genealogy is a never-ending process, June Butler said.

Butler, vice president of the Franklin County Genealogical Society, said she’s been tracking down her roots since the 1960s, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“I’ve been coast to coast looking for ancestors,” she said.

The genealogical society started sometime in the 1990s, Butler said, and has been meeting ever since. The group meets every other month on the third Sunday. This Sunday’s meeting has a special theme.

Since it’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day, Butler and other members are bringing in Shea Magrath Crowley to speak.

“I though it was appropriate to have an Irish speaker the day before St. Patrick’s Day,” she said. “[Crowley] married local. Her husband is a local boy and they’re members of the St. Patrick’s Church in Emerald, Kan. And I think she’s third-generation Irish.”

Crowley’s great-grandfather came to Kansas from Ireland, Butler said, likely during the potato famine.

“We’re hoping a few other people are interested and come to the meeting and listen to her talk about how the Irish chose this area to settle in and why and when,” Butler said.

The genealogical society doesn’t always have guest speakers during its meetings, she said, but tries to bring someone when it can to get more people interested in their own family history.

“We’re looking for things that would interest genealogists and people searching their family history in this area or anywhere for that matter,” Butler said. “Some of them are not from this area so we try to have things that would interest anybody.”

The meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Franklin County Visitor Information Center, 2011 E. Logan St., and is open to the public.

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