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Join our W.I.S.E Family
History Group on Facebook.
W.I.S.E. Family History Society
Ireland, Scotland, England
If you or any of your ancestors came from the
British Isles, you'll find many others with the same
our membership. We love the genealogy as well as the culture of those
small but significant countries that have made a mighty contribution to
Our W.I.S.E. Family History Society Logo
Message From Our President
Welcome to the
W.I.S.E. Family History
Society Website. We are dedicated to understanding the history and
culture of the British Isles – Wales, Ireland (including Northern
Ireland), Scotland and England – combined with a heavy
dollop of genealogy. We value the significant contributions those
countries have made to America, and take special pleasure in seeing how
ancestors were involved in the relentless tide of history in both the
British Isles and America.
We are based in
Denver, Colorado, and our membership extends
several states as well as to the British Isles. We conduct at least
program meetings each year, mixing education with presentations about
our ancestral customs. Our other major events are our annual seminar on
some phase of British Isles genealogy and a research trip each year to
History Library in Salt Lake City. Many more activities are
listed on these pages.
We are friendly and high-spirited, and welcome
everyone with an interest in family history and ancestry in the British Isles.
The mission of the W.I.S.E. Family History Society is to
interest and education in genealogy and family history as they pertain
to the British Isles.
This section provides information
on important changes and/or additions to the website or its content.
Please ensure that you check it each time you visit.
- Our WISE Words Newsletter for the second quarter of 2015 is now posted on our Membership page. To download the PDF version just click on the image of the cover. The WISE Words Newsletter for the third quarter, which is displayed on the page as a cover image, will be available for download in early October.
- Photographs taken at our Welsh Seminar, which was
held on July 25, 2015, and featuring our guest speaker, Burt Rawlins,
are posted on our Photo Album page.
- We have added an MS Excel version of the surname submittal form on the Membership page. This is the preferred method
of submitting surnames for inclusion in the master MSI
spreadsheet. It will simplify the data entry process by allowing our
MSI Chair to transfer data from one spreadsheet to the other.
- An updated PDF version Members' Surnames of Interest (MSI) spreadsheet is posted on the Membership page. The
MSI Contact List, which you will need to contact members who have
submitted surnames for inclusion in the spreadsheet, is posted on the Members Only page.
- Handouts for the "Understanding the Anglican Church" program on Saturday, March 28, 2015, are available for download on our Meetings page.
- Information concerning our 2015 Annual Research Trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is now posted on our Activities page. Register early and don't miss out on this exciting research opportunity.
- A news item has been added to our News 'n Things page
concerning an interment list, that was previously believed
destroyed, of Irish immigrants buried at St. John's Cemetery, Albany,
New York. A link to the interment list's introductory page on the Troy
Irish Genealogy Society's website has also been added to our Research page for
- The most recent version of our Membership Roster,
updated on 04/21/2014, is posted on the Members Only page and is available
in both PDF and MS Excel format.
W.I.S.E. was established in 1983 to motivate
assist family history researchers with ancestors who came from the
British Isles, and to illuminate their culture and history.
is a not-for-profit society. Its members are interested in genealogy
and family history and benefit from a social environment that
encourages an atmosphere of shared knowledge. Among its scheduled
activities, it sponsors research seminars and trips, culturally based
social events and outings, as well as providing volunteers to support
activities at annual festivals.
Our membership includes many knowledgeable
who are enthusiastic about British and Irish research and history. They
to offer guidance to others in their pursuit of locating ancestors. We
maintain a Members
Interest database, where members can connect with others working on the
same surnames. You might meet a cousin, or other relative.
W.I.S.E. does not maintain a store to sell
merchandise, nor does it have office space. And, it does not
offer professional genealogy lookup or research services.
W.I.S.E. officers and board members are all
volunteers, whose compensation and motivation is derived from the
knowledge that their efforts are contributing to the preservation of
our family histories and heritage.
Denver Public Library (DPL) Western History and Genealogy
supported W.I.S.E. since our founding. DPL provides our meeting space,
specialized research materials and some professional research guidance.
In turn, W.I.S.E. maintains a DPL resource fund to purchase books and
periodicals for the library's genealogical collection.
The W.I.S.E. Family History Society Bylaws can be
selecting the following download link:
Our Heritage and Identity
person's family, both past and present, provides
the foundation on which that person's identity is built. Without
foundation, it's conceivable that a person's entire identity will never
be truly revealed. In a modern family, one's identity is defined more
by individual achievement, than by the genetic and societal influence
of his or her ancestors.
In the 19th century family history research, of which
genealogy is a
component, was almost exclusively of interest to persons who had
obtained their wealth or high social status by inheritance. Whereas,
the less fortunate were more likely to suppress their family history
as a result of embarrassment or shame.
Modern families, through changes in social values
and beliefs, and economic necessity, bear little resemblance to
families in the early to mid-19th century. No longer, do we maintain
the strong family ties of old. No longer, do we enter every birth,
marriage or death in the family Bible. We are so busy being
consumed by the pace of our daily lives that we rarely take a moment to
look into the shadows of our past. Take the time to ask yourself,
“Who are those people in the faded brown photographs in that dusty old
box in the attic, and how are they related to me?”
This is your opportunity to take a step towards
capturing your family
history before it fades into oblivion. You're invited to join us at one
of our scheduled meetings or activities, to see what we have to offer
as a family research society. Together, we can help you discover
your heritage and to recognize the contribution your ancestors made
towards your identity and to the identity of our nation as a whole. (Posted: 01/27/2012)
Flags of the British Isles and Ireland
The primary flags of the British Isles are represented in
the left sidebar, with the exception of Northern Ireland. The
fact is, Northern Ireland has not had its own unique flag since
1973. That flag had stirred up a lot of controversy, because it
contained an image of the
"Red Hand of
Ulster." Thus, it was abolished when the government of Northern
Ireland was suspended under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act of
The flag of the United Kingdom, the Union Jack, is currently the only
official flag representing Northern Ireland. It is made from an
amalgamation of the crosses of St. George (England), St. Andrew
(Scotland) and St. Patrick (Ireland).
Link to Wikipedia's "List of