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.

“Start Here,” by Sunny Jane Morton in Family Tree Magazine’s January-February issue, starts off the new year with the 25 websites that she says are a must to use.

I will mention here first the ones I was not familiar with. About.com contains a lot of how-to articles, many for beginners. The Genealogical Learning Center at genealogy.com is recommended and contains research materials.

The relatively unknown site, which presents itself as a free genealogy resource, seemed to know an awful lot.

The information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and for free.

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.

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