It is time to knock down a widely-circulated misconception that the number of Irish Americans in the United States is going down.

This has become a prominent canard, usually peddled by those who have little time for Irish America, to begin with.

This thesis that Irish America is fading is relatively simple to disprove.

Below is a bar graph showing the results from the US Census Bureau from 2000 and 2014.

In September 2015, over 2.5 million images of Irish births, deaths and marriage records from the General Register Office (GRO), were released online for the first time.

The images, available on www.irishgenealogy.ie, date back as far as 1864. Among the records are the birth, marriage and death register for Tom Crean, the Antarctic explorer. Crean’s grandson Brendan O’Brien joined the Irish Government Ministers Heather Humphreys and Leo Varadkar at the release launech event the National Library.

A collection of autograph books owned by prisoners during the 1916 Rising has been published online for the very first time.

The Office of Public Works says the books are among the popularly requested items when people visit Kilmainham Museum Gaol in Dublin.

Niall Bergin, who works at the museum, told RTÉ, "People always have stories along the lines of 'my great-great-grandfather was involved in 1916.

Today, January 1, 125 years ago, Ellis Island immigration station in New York Harbor opened its doors and welcomed its first immigrant, Annie Moore, who had traveled from Queenstown, County Cork.

In the shadow of the iconic Statue of Liberty the Ellis Island facility was a gateway for over 12 million immigrants arriving at New York City to start their new life in America.

Today (Dec 23) is Roots Day, a day devoted to encouraging folks to look in their heritage, family history and ancestry. The fact that it comes just before Christmas aptly illustrates the importance of the meaning of family around Christmas.

Ever wondered about the history behind your Irish last name? Where did your earliest ancestors come from? What was their profession? How did their name change overt the centuries? 

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