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TIGS Monthly Meeting Notes
April, 2006

Troy, New York

The regular monthly meeting of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society was held on Thursday, April 20, 2006 at the Holmes & Watson Restaurant in Troy, New York. The following individuals were in attendance:

Kris Ayotte
Kay Brearton
George Butler, guest
Jeanne Keefe
Cathy McGrath
Bill McGrath
Sheila McVeigh
Eileen Shea
Rick Shea
Lizette Strait
Donna Vaughn

The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m. by Donna Vaughn, President.

A motion was made by Rick Shea and seconded by Jeanne Keefe to approve the minutes of the March meeting. The motion passed; the minutes have been posted to the TIGS website.


There were no reports from the President. Donna welcomed back the McGraths and Sheas. She also thanked Jeanne Keefe for the gavel she has donated for use by the President at the meetings. There were no reports from the Vice President or Secretary.

The members discussed the feasibility of distributing membership cards to paying members of TIGS. The consensus was that it was a good idea. Lizette Strait agreed to print the cards when a design was decided upon and Kris Ayotte would laminate them. The logo/design would be in conformity with the logo/design chosen for the T-Shirts/sweatshirts. A motion was made by Rick Shea and seconded by Jeanne Keefe to approve issuing membership cards. The motion passed.

Rick Shea, Treasurer, reported that there are 42 paid members and $215 in the treasury. Donna turned over dues received at the March meeting from Ann White and Sheila McVeigh. After some discussion it was agreed that Rick and Donna will meet at a branch of Citizens Bank to sign signature cards creating an either/or signature for the checking account. In accordance with the TIGS Charter, dues are payable June 1; Rick will post a reminder to members regarding the annual dues.

Jeanne Keefe, Webmaster, noted that a new photo has been put up on the site and she would like to change the photo every two weeks. Members were encouraged to submit photos to Jeanne. She has sent the marriage index information to Bill McGrath.

Lizette Strait, List Administrator, reported that there are 145 list members. As new people subscribe to the list, Lizette will invite them to become members of TIGS. The members discussed how to encourage more list members to become dues paying members of TIGS. Sheila McVeigh felt that $5.00 was too low for the dues, but the majority of the members feel that in these beginning years, the amount of dues was reasonable and could be raised in the future, if necessary. Jeanne Keefe will add a note to the projects page explaining to users that by paying the $5.00 dues they are providing any necessary financial help for current and future projects.


Bill McGrath, Project Chairperson, explained the next steps to be taken with the marriage index information. He has found many inconsistencies in the data and will be going to the Rensselaer County Clerk’s Office to reconcile the data. The Young Irish Americans of Troy computer file is extensive and Jeanne Keefe is not sure the website can support it, especially the photographs which take up a lot of space. Bill McGrath will resend the file with the information to Jeanne and she will check on the space situation.

The proposed Saturday tour of the NYS Library was tabled until a future meeting.

The Albany Duck Tour company will be conducting tours in Troy this year and Donna Vaughn will check with them to get further information on dates and times for the tours.

Bill McGrath told the members that he recently attended a very interesting speech at the Troy Public Library regarding local cemeteries and customs surrounding death. It was sponsored by the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

Jeanne Keefe explained that she will be conducting a tour of Troy for RPI students and there is the possibility that TIGS members could join the tour or she could arrange a separate one. The title of the tour is “Hidden Spaces” and the tour group will visit gardens within the city.

Mike McAlonie, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, was unable to attend the meeting and submitted the results of his work to Donna Vaughn. The following individuals were nominated for offices: President – Donna Vaughn; Vice President – Kris Ayotte; Treasurer – Rick Shea and Cathy McGrath; Secretary – Kay Brearton; Webmaster – Jeanne Keefe; List Administrator – Lizette Strait and Kris Ayotte. Rick Shea declined the office of Treasurer and Kris Ayotte declined the position of List Administrator. Mike McAlonie will facilitate the election procedure.

Members were reminded that Jeanne Keefe will be the speaker at a brunch for the Ballykilcline Reunion on June 26 at 9:00 a.m. Donna Vaughn believes that there is still time to make reservations for this event and information regarding the brunch will be posted on the website.

The “brick wall” project was discussed. Kris Ayotte asked that it be tabled to allow her additional time to set the guidelines for the project.


The members discussed possible designs for the proposed T-shirts/sweatshirts for TIGS. A design that would include Uncle Sam’s hat placed upside down with shamrocks coming out of it was one of the more popular suggestions. Mike McAlonie has an acquaintance who majors in graphic design and offered to assist in designing the logo.

Jeanne Keefe will create a surname list to enable people to connect with the Oakwood Cemetery database donated by Brad Miter. It is an interactive file and anyone who has information about ancestors buried in Oakwood Cemetery was encouraged to send the information to Jeanne Keefe so that she can add to the records that he has compiled

Donna Vaughn read some questions that were sent to her from a list member regarding issues such as the current controversial illegal immigration problems and the impact of sperm bank donors on genealogy.

Possible reasons for low attendance at monthly meetings were discussed. Kris Ayotte will research old meeting minutes and attempt to contact people who have attended meetings in the past but have not returned.

Lizette is waiting for Rootsweb to act on the archiving request.


Donna shared the name of a website – – that has excellent family trees. She shared the one she had purchased for her family.

In the course of introducing themselves, Donna Vaughn and George Butler discovered that they are related. It was an amazing breakthrough for Donna who had been researching the Butler side of her family.


A motion was made by Jeanne Keefe and seconded by Rick Shea to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved and the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Brearton, Secretary


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