Thursday, 27 July 2017

25% discount on DNA kits from Ancestry IE/UK - pay in euros
Ancestry UK is offering a 25% discount on the cost of its DNA testing kits for customers in the UK and Ireland.

This reduces the basic price as follows:

Pay in Euros: Price reduces from €95 to €70. Postage and packing costs are additional.

Pay in Sterling
: Price reduces from £79 to £59. Postage and packing costs are additional.

The discount will be available until Thursday 3 August

I'm not sure if similar savings apply in Ancestry's other geographical territories. I shall endeavour to find out. Ancestry make this difficult, thanks to their wretched geo locator.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

New user-guides from Registry of Deeds Index Project

The Registry of Deeds Index Project has been updated with the latest entries submitted by its growing volunteer team. It now holds 247,262 entries from 27,664 memorials of deeds. They're all free to search.

Starting page for the Townland Index for townlands
starting with the letter C in County Cork, 1810-1819.
Additionally, Index Project manager Nick Reddan FIGRS and one of the stalwart volunteers, Roz McCutcheon, have added more guides to finding townlands in the Townland Index.

Follow this Find Townland Letter link and use the drop down menu to select the county and time period you are researching.

The next page allows you to search for a townland using the first letter of its name. Your selection will take you to either the first page or the end page of the appropriate imaged films now available free of charge at

Similar Guides to the Grantor Index Films are also available on the site.

FamilySearch's ongoing upload of images of the Registry of Deeds Indexes has brought renewed vitality to this important volunteer project, and there are now several guides to help researchers become better acquainted with the huge record collection in Dublin, the online Index Project, and the FamilySearch images. The selection can be found here.

The Church of Ireland and the Irish Convention, 1917

On this day, 100 years ago, the Irish Convention opened in Trinity College Dublin. Taking place just over a year since the Easter Rising, the Convention was an attempt by the British Government to keep nationalist and unionist Ireland together as a single political entity; the objective was to bring Irishmen together to resolve the problem of Home Rule and to draft a political settlement satisfactory to a broad spectrum of interests.

The Church of Ireland Gazette's
“The Week” column, 27th July 1917.
It was a vain hope and ended in failure, and it was the last time that all of Ireland participated in political negotiations to find a solution to the Irish question before Partitition in 1921.

The Government invited the two Church of Ireland archbishops of Armagh and Dublin to attend and engage in the discussions. Additionally the Roman Catholic hierarchy was represented by the Archbishop of Cashel and the bishops of Down, Raphoe and Ross, and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland by its Moderator.

Previously hidden aspects of the Church of Ireland’s input and influence on the Irish Convention have been brought to light in a new online exhibition (link below) from the RCB Library – the Church’s record repository and reference library.

The exhibition draws on the rich resources of the weekly Church of Ireland Gazette for insight to what could be considered as the moderate and middle-ground opinion of the period. Editions of the Gazette published between 1890 and 1923 are freely searchable online.

View the new online exhibition, “Good Wishes for the Great Adventure”: The Church of Ireland & the Irish Convention, 1917.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Irish genealogy, heritage & history, 24 July to 6 August

Tuesday 25 July: Researching your Church of Ireland ancestors with Sandra Doble MAGI. Host: National Archives of Ireland's 2017 Lecture Programme. Venue: Reading Room, National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. All welcome. 6pm. No booking required.

Tuesday 25 July: Genealogical evening, with Dr Paul MacCotter. Host & venue: Franciscan Well Brewery pub, North Mall, Cork City. Introduction to Irish genealogy for beginners; family history and surname origins advice for the more advanced. 8:30pm. Free. No booking. Just turn up.

Wednesday 26 July: ‘Poet of the blackbirds’ — the life and death of Francis Ledwidge, a History Ireland Hedge School, with editor Tommy Graham, Michael O’Flanagan, Eunan O’Halpin, Miriam O’Flanagan, Robert Ballagh, Liam O’Meara. Venue: Richmond Barracks gymnasium, Inchicore, Dublin 8. Free. No booking required. 7pm.

Wednesday 26 July: Irish genealogy help session, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Host and venue: Paul O'Dwyer Library, Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, New York, USA. 11am to 2pm. Free. No booking required.

Wednesday 26 July: Genealogy for beginners, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Host and venue: Pember Library, 33 West Main Street, Granville, NY, USA. 6:30pm.

Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July: The Markievicz-Patridge Centenary Seminar. Host: Irish Labour History Society. Venues in Ballaghaderreen, Gurteen and Sligo. Full details.

Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July: West Cork History Festival. Venue: In the grounds of Rosebank, the former dower house of the Liss Ard estate, Russagh, Castletownshend Road, Skibbereen. Co Cork. Lectures, panel discussions, screening. Programme. Tickets required for individual events. Day and Weekend passes also available.

Thursday 3 August: An Introduction to Irish Genealogy Online, with PJ Smith, Kathy Robins and Lynne Puckett. Host and venue: Billings Public Library, 510 North 28th Street, Billings, Montana, USA. Free. All welcome. 6:30 pm. For more information, T: (406) 657-8258.

Friday 4 August: Thomas Ashe—martyr, musician, sportsman and Gaeilgóir, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: Lispole Community Hall, Garrynadur, Lispole, Co. Kerry. Panel includes Mary McAuliffe, Richard McElligott, Joe Higgins and Micheál Ó Moráin. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 5 August: Irish Names Through History,  with Jacquie Ziegler.  Host and venue: Billings Public Library, 510 North 28th Street, Billings, Montana, USA. Free. From 2:30 to 4 p.m. All welcome.  For more information, call the library on  (406) 657-8258.

Saturday 5 August: Militaria and Medal Fair. Host: Medal Society of Ireland. Venue: Knox Memorial Hall, Monkstown, Co. Dublin. 1pm-5pm. All welcome. Admission: €4/members €2.

Saturday 5 August: Roger Casement and the Irish in Islington, a historical walking tour. Hosts: Wolfe Tone Society London and London Easter 1916-1924 Centenary Committee. Meet at Tube Station, Caledonian Rd, London N7, then walking to HMP Pentonville prison and other areas of interest around South Islington associated with Irish History. Noon to 2pm, approx. Free. Details.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Free access to Ancestry UK's military collection

Ancestry UK has opened up its UK Military Collection this weekend. It's a BIG collection of records, giving researchers access to millions of records covering more than 300 years of military service and conflict. Included are several datasets from Ireland, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, and South Africa.

Among the 100 datasets included in this free access weekend are:

UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949
UK, Naval Officer and Rating Service Records, 1802-1919
Web: UK, WWII Medals Issued to Merchant Seamen, 1939-1945
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

You can view the full list of databases included in the free weekend here.

To take advantage of this four-day free access weekend, you'll need a free registered account with Ancestry UK. If you don't already have one, you'll find it's quick and easy to set up. Start searching for your ancestor on the free access search page and provide your name and email address when prompted. Ancestry will then send you a username and password; once signed in, you'll have access to all the records.

The free access period will end at 11:59pm (BST) on Monday 24 July.

National Library updates Online Order Form

The National Library of Ireland has introduced a new and improved Online Order Form for researchers wanting to order books and other materials in advance.

The old form has been withdrawn with immediate effect, so if you've bookmarked its url, you'll need to update it to the new one, which is

All terms and conditions related to the order and use of research materials remain unchanged.

If you get stuck, Reading Room staff will be able to help you, or you can contact

Limerick Chronicle joins British Newspaper Archive

Yet another Irish title has made its way into the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) this week (three in five days!). This time, it's the turn of the Limerick Chronicle, a paper with a long history that is still being published in the City. newspaper was launched in August 1768 by John Ferrar, a prominent printer based on Quay Lane, and also the man responsible for publishing the very first trade directory outside Dublin only a year later. He edited the twice-weekly paper until 1781 when he sold his business to Andrew Watson.

The British Newspaper Archive's digital holding won't be stretching back that far but will comprise a useful online collection of digitised editions published from 1825 to 1868.

So far, editions published in 1833–1868 are available to search.

The addition of this title means there are now 148 Irish newspapers in the British Newspaper Archive, which is also available on FindMyPast.

(See yesterday's blogpost for details of a 30% discount on a one-month sub to BNA.)

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book launch: The Civil War in Dublin - The fight for the Irish capital, 1922-1924

A new book - The Civil War in Dublin – The Fight for the Irish Capital 1922-1924 - has been published by Merrion Press, the history imprint of  Irish Academic Press. by John Dorney, historian and editor of The Irish Story website, the book reveals the complete, shocking story of Ireland's capital during and after the shelling of the Four Courts, the latter an event that will forever be lamented by Irish genealogists as it destroyed centuries of records about our ancestors.

As well as the gutting of the Four Courts, the book explores in detail the ten-month guerrilla war that followed – a ruthless and bitter cycle of execution, outrage and revenge.

In its 300 pages, The Civil War in Dublin provides an insight into how the city of Dublin operated under conditions of disorder and bloodshed and, through meticulous detail, brings the chaos of these years to life, revealing unsettling truths about the extreme actions taken by a burgeoning Irish Free State and its anti-Treaty opponents.

The book is available in hardback (€39.99) and paperback(€19.99).

To read a free adapted extract from the book on the author's website, see:
Today in Irish History, 28 June 1922, the First Day of the Irish Civil War

25% discount on subs to Irish Newspaper Archive

The Archive holds more than 6 million pages of newspaper
content from titles North and South of the Irish border
The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archive has added a first tranche of editions published by the Derry Journal.

This paper was first published in 1772 as the London Derry Journal and Donegal & Tyrone Advertiser, and is second only to the Belfast NewsLetter as the oldest Irish newspaper still in existence. It started out as a Conservative Protestant title but adopted the Nationalist Catholic cause from 1829. There's more about this paper's history here.

The editions now searchable in the INA database include all those published 1844–1852 and 1914–1924.

To mark the addition of this important title to the Irish Newspaper Archive, a 25% discount is available on all monthly and annual memberships taken out before 24 July. This reduces the cost of these subscriptions from (monthly) €30 to €22.50, and from (yearly) €178 to €133.50.

To take advantage of the discount, click the image or link above and use the promotion/coupon code Derry25 when prompted during the sign-up process.

BNA: another Irish newspaper addition and 30% off
Step forward the Mid-Ulster Mail as the third new Irish title to join the online British Newspaper Archive this month.

This paper, which is now owned by Johnston Press, was first published in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, in 1891 and the BNA's new holding starts from that date. The planned archive will run to 1962. Available so far are editions published in 1891-1892, 1894-1898, and 1900-1909.

This latest addition means there are now 147 Irish titles available to search in the BNA database (and FindMyPast's Irish newspaper collection), 39 of them published in Northern Ireland.

30% discount on BNA subscription British Newspaper Archive is running a discount promotion giving researchers a 30% discount on a one-month subscription. This sub provides access to 700+ British and Irish newspapers, so could be extremely useful to your family history research.

To take advantage of the offer, click the promo image to the right and sign up for the one-month sub. You'll find the discount has been applied, and the cost reduced to £9.07.

The discount will be available until Sunday 23 June, so be sure to sign up before it expires.

(The discount was originally set at 10%. It was updated during the course of the day, and the text and link above have been amended accordingly.)