Meath Roots, organised by Meath Heritage Centre to celebrate The Gathering 2013, was a special event for those with Meath ancestors, held last week in Trim. Searching for your roots is an exciting and rewarding pastime but there is nothing like walking the roads or streets your ancestor walked or visiting the church in which they were baptised, married or buried.People with Meath ancestry came from the U.S., Australia, Britain and Argentina to attend the event last week in Trim. Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council Councillor Niamh McGowan, Cathoirleach of Trim Town Council, Councillor James O’Shea and Deputy Ray Butler attended the conference and welcomed the group to Trim and Meath.
One participant was the great great great grandchild of Ann Moran who was convicted at Trim of political offences in 1797 and transported to New south Wales for life. Another participant’s ancestor was forced to leave the Montague Chapman estate in Clonmellon as part of a mass emigration from the area. Another person’s ancestor had worked as a servant in Headfort house, Kells. Others had ancestors in Athboy, Kells, Tara, Slane, Mornington, Trim and Nobber. One participant found their ancestor’s gravestone on the Hill of Slane.
Thursday morning focused on the history of Meath with an afternoon visit to Tara, Navan, Kells and Trim town. Evening entertainment was provided by Comhaltas and the Trim Castle Singers. On Friday morning there was a visit to Bru na Boinne and in the afternoon the myths and legends of the area was explored.
There was a special conference dinner on Saturday 15th with a grant of a heritage certificate to those with Meath ancestry. On Sunday participants explored the town with the new Trim Living History Group which was followed by an outing to the Hay Making Festival.
The programme was adapted to suit the participants and was led by Noel French, director of the Meath Heritage Centre for the past 25 years and a noted local genealogist and historian.