Halloween is nearly here! And with October 31 comes Samhain, the Celtic feast day from which Halloween as we know it was born.

The ancient Celts believed the year was divided into two parts, the lighter half in the summer and the darker half in the winter. Samhain was the division between these halves – the end of the Harvest, and the time when the veil between our world of the living and the world of the dead was at its thinnest.

Cobh Heritage Centre in Cobh, County Cork is opening its doors for free, on November 5 to 6 2016 to anyone whose ancestors departed from Cobh in the past.

Cobh was once the biggest port of emigration from Ireland, with more than 1.5 million people alone departing between 1845 and 1851, a story dramatically recalled at Cobh Heritage Centre’s Queenstown Story Exhibition, which takes you on an emigration and maritime journey from the 1600s right through to the 1950s.

A woman who was taken and put up for adoption by Irish nuns spent 44 years trying to track down her birth mother.

She was born in the notorious Bessborough home in County Cork where protests have been held and calls made to remember all the unmarried mothers and children who passed through there.

Catherine Deasy was separated from her mother by the nuns of the Bessborough Sacred Heart Convent in Cork as soon as she was born.

After 149 years, an Irish immigrant is finally found not guilty of murder.

August 30 marked the 149th anniversary of an unfortunate day for justice in New Jersey.

Bridget Deignan (sometimes misspelled Durgan) was hanged in New Brunswick in 1867.

Bridget was a twenty-two-year-old illiterate, indigent immigrant from Sligo who was essentially exported from Ireland by wealthy, British landowners who saw the poor and uneducated as an economic burden.

When you work for an Irish American publication, there are a few figures you have committed to memory: The global Irish diaspora is 70 million worldwide; the population of Ireland is 4.5 million; there are 36.9 million Americans of Irish descent.

Those were the numbers to know when I first started writing for IrishCentral’s sister publication Irish America magazine back in 2010. Since then, the global Irish diaspora (which is, granted, a more abstract approximation) has stayed the same, and the population of Ireland has increased to 4.76 million.

Names in the popular database of Irish census records dating from 1901 and 1911 were mistranscribed by a Canadian archival and library institute, claims the London Times.

The Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) was contacted by the National Archives of Ireland in 2006 and asked to undertake the mammoth task of digitizing the information and data from the first two Irish censuses to be taken at the start of the 20th century, a massive genealogy resource for interested parties worldwide who wish to explore their family’s roots in Ireland.

Names in the popular database of Irish census records dating from 1901 and 1911 were mistranscribed by a Canadian archival and library institute, claims the London Times.

The Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) was contacted by the National Archives of Ireland in 2006 and asked to undertake the mammoth task of digitizing the information and data from the first two Irish censuses to be taken at the start of the 20th century, a massive genealogy resource for interested parties worldwide who wish to explore their family’s roots in Ireland.

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