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Taking a unique approach to New Year’s Resolutions, I have decided to pursue something I might actually take pleasure fulfilling.

My Irish heritage has been instilled in me from the moment I was born. Carrying the name “Ryan Casey McShane” is just about as subtle as having the Irish tricolor tattooed to my forehead.

I always took interest in studying Irish history and culture to feel better-connected to my roots. I even toured the country for 35 days in 2005, backpacking across most of the island, but the funny thing is I do not know much about my ancestors. This year, I plan to change that.

I took my first leap last week, establishing contact with a McShane network dedicated to historical and genealogical research. I also registered on a family ancestry site, where I am able to visually connect the dots as my research develops.

Something that once took half a lifetime to piece together is now achievable through a few clicks. It continues to amaze me how much social networking and other online resources have evolved and become integral aspects of our lives.

Here’s to keeping our resolutions. Sláinte.