Epic Journeys Ellis Island is a research project undertaken by Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO), with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which looks at people who left Ireland at the turn of the 19th Century and passed through the Immigration Station at Ellis Island before scattering to all parts of North America to begin a new life.
The community of Tulla was chosen as the pilot Parish for this project and the findings of the study were launched in Tulla Courthouse on Friday 28th August at the Epic Journeys exhibition. The exhibition was hosted as part of the Tulla Reaching Out Weekend of Welcomes, an annual festival which celebrates local heritage and welcomes Diaspora back into the Parish as a central part of that celebration.
The Epic Journeys Ellis Island exhibition is now available to visit online in our exhibitions section. Focusing on Tulla, the exhibition highlights 71 personal stories of people and families who emigrated from Ireland and travelled to North America through Ellis Island. Most were never to return to Ireland again. Where possible, the study traces the descendants of these people, now living as Irish Diaspora on the other side of the world. All of the stories can be commented on directly through the online exhibition and the aim is to gather more information regarding these journeys, creating a valuable resource for both the parish of origin and the descendants of those who left the community so many years ago.
Epic Journeys is a collaborative project involving many people on both sides of the Atlantic and meticulous research of genealogical and local history resources. Ireland Reaching Out thanks Liberty Ellis Island Organisation, Kansas City Irish Center, Tulla Reaching Out and Irish Traditional Music Association for their assistance in bringing the stories to life.
In the coming months, Ireland Reaching Out aims to develop this study across the Island of Ireland, enabling local parishes to start their own Epic Journeys project and publishing the findings online as part of their Ireland XO parish page.
Also on the night the local Tulla Reaching Out Committee launched the IPB parish survey of Knockjames and Glendree areas . This survey was completed with a grant from IPB and takes an in-depth look at the two northern areas of Tulla parish and documenting the families who lived within this townlands but also the local field names and place names which continue to commemorate those families and the unique features of the landscape.
Local regional newspaper, The Clare Champion picked up this story and featured the Exhibition both in the print copy and in its online edition. Read the full article here.