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21 September 2011

THE BUZZ THIS WEEK: IRISH HERITAGE CERTIFICATES

     The news this week is the launch of the Certificate of Irish Heritage. This certificate will be an official recognition by the Irish State of the Irish ancestry and heritage of those persons, not born in Ireland, who can document their connection to an ancestor born in Ireland. Note that this certificate does not confer citizenship. The certificate seems to have many aims for the Irish government, such as promoting tourism and maintaining ties to descendants of the Irish diaspora around the world.

If my great grandmother Theresa Bowe
wants to be listed on my Certificate of Heritage,
 she had better lead me to her birth records real quick!
 Come on, Theresa, where are you??
      The criteria for obtaining the certificate are rather loosely stated. From early press releases, it seems that a wide variety of records, from birth and baptism records to census records and ship manifests, will be accepted as proof of ancestry. The cost will be 40 Euro, and the process can be completed online with a credit card.
     Although I am somewhat sceptical about the value of this certificate and the point of getting one, I am guessing that, one day soon, I will be visiting the site with my credit card because I just can't resist having one. I just love my family history records and certificates and can't help pursuing one more! A note to early Christmas shoppers: you will be able to purchase Heritage Certificate gift cards for others. They must supply their own documentation, however.

LINKS
Official web site for the Certificate of Irish Heritage : Note that this site will not be up and running until late September www.heritagecertificate.ie/
Irish Independent article announcing first certificate given to 9/11 hero:  http://www.independent.ie/national-news/first-heritage-certificate-goes-to-firefighter-who-died-in-911-2882515.html
Irish Central article detailing steps to getting your Certificate of Irish Heritage: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/How-to-apply-for-your-Certificate-of-Irish-Heritage-130222958.html