Friday, 21 November 2014

Yet more transcriptions from Clare County Library

Clare County Library has had a busy month of website uploads. Having added five new sets of transcriptions just over a week ago (see blogpost), three more have been added in the last few days.

They are headstone inscriptions from the graveyards of Kilmaleery, Kilconry and Clonloghan, and the dates recorded range from 1765 to 1996. The main family names from Kilmaleery are McMahon, Frawley, Fahy and McInerney; in Kilconry they are Donohue/O’Donoghue, Burke, McMahon and McNamara; while the prominent surnames in Clonloghan are Hannan/Hannon, Hastings, Hickey, Moroney and Corbett.

The transcriptions have been taken from surveys carried out by Pat Carrig for OBAIR Newmarket-on-Fergus in the late 1990s. His original survey notebooks were lent to the library by Canon Reuben Butler.

FindMyPast delivers Griffith's Valuation maps & plans
This week's FindMyPast Friday brings a highly regarded set of maps and town-plans to the database's Griffith's Valuation (GV) collection.

Since 2003, this GV collection has been available only on Irish Origins, now a sister company of in the DC Thompson Family History stable.

It was developed by the National Library of Ireland, Eneclann and OMS Services and brought together 300 of the 301 GV publications dispersed across the National Library, the National Archives, the Valuation Office, the Genealogical Office, the Gilbert Library, the private collection of George Handran and other archives.

The information was then digitised and made fully searchable (by person and placename) to create what is widely accepted as the most comprehensive version of Griffith's Valuation online.

The Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and town plans used by the team working on Griffith's Primary Valuation during 1847-1864 still exist, marked up and annotated by those working on the Primary Valuation and subsequently by Valuation Office personnel. For many places there are multiple plans, usually created at different times, and these are easily accessible when viewing the images. The majority are undated, but the one you retrieve when searching the FindMyPast collection will usually be the earliest ie the one first used in Griffith's Valuation.

Unfortunately, the FindMyPast collection does not have maps, only transcripts, for the six counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, LondonDerry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone).

National Library's new exhibition explores Ireland's complex responses to WW1
The wartime experience of two of Ireland’s best-known families – the Leslies of Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan, and the Plunketts of Dublin – are among the stories highlighted in a new exhibition at the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

The exhibition, World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, was officially launched by the Minster for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, yesterday.

It features letters, diaries, newspapers, photographs, leaflets and posters from the NLI’s collections.

Nikki Ralston, exhibition curator for the NLI, said: “Irish people had very diverse and complex reactions to World War I. This exhibition captures those sentiments, and also recounts the tense domestic situation in the Ireland of 1914.

“We felt one of the best ways to illustrate how Ireland experienced the war was to explore a range of themes through real-life stories. We have chosen to focus on four people who had very different experiences, and we have featured their writings – including personal diaries and letters – in this exhibition. These primary sources are complemented by audio, video and touchscreen installations to create a multi-layered, multimedia experience for all visitors.”

The four real-life stories featured in the new exhibition focus on:
  • Norman Leslie, second son of the well-known Leslie family from Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan. He had become heir to the family estate when his elder brother, Shane, converted to Catholicism and became a supporter of Irish Home Rule. An experienced soldier when the war broke out, Norman was shot and killed in October 1914, while charging a German machine gun armed only with a sword (it was considered ungentlemanly for officers to carry guns).
  • Joseph Mary Plunkett, the poet, journalist and revolutionary, best known as a leader of the 1916 Rising and a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. In April 1915, he accompanied Roger Casement to Germany to seek German support for an uprising in Ireland. He subsequently fought alongside Pearse and Connolly in the GPO in 1916. Imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol, he married Grace Gifford just hours before his execution in May 1916.
  • Mary Martin, a widow and mother of 12 from Monkstown, Co. Dublin. Three of her children served overseas during the war, including her son, Charlie, who was reported wounded and missing in late 1915. Believing he had been taken prisoner, Mary began keeping a diary in the form of a letter to Charlie. She subsequently discovered he had died of his wounds soon after his capture. Her other children survived the war. Mary’s wartime diary is included in the NLI exhibition.
  • Michael O’Leary, a farmer’s son from Co. Cork, served with the Irish Guards on the Western Front. In February 1915, he single-handedly charged two German barricades in France, killing eight men and taking two prisoner. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, and became internationally famous, with journalists even thronging to the family farm in Cork. The story of his wartime exploits was put to very different uses, inspiring both a recruiting campaign and a satirical play by George Bernard Shaw. He retired from the army in 1921, but re-joined during World War Two. He died in 1961.
World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience will run at the NLI at 2/3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, for the next four years, as part of the NLI’s work for the Decade of Commemorations. The exhibition is open to the public every day, free of charge. See a taster of the exhibition on the NLI website at

Thursday, 20 November 2014

TIGS transcribes NY burial records with place of origin

A unique and valuable new resource has resulted from a project managed by Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS): transcriptions of 12,731 records from the recently rediscovered interment book for St John's Cemetery in Albany, NY.

Just under one third (3,895) of the records relate to Irish-born individuals and, remarkably, all but 500 entries identify the county from which they originate.

This collection, which contains records from 1841 to the late 1880s, could throw open the research doors to many Americans descended from Irish immigrants who fled the famine.

Here's a breakdown of the Irish identified in the interment records with their home county in Ireland:

County 500
IRISH 3,895

The records, along with further details of the cemetery and how the book was rediscovered, are freely searchable on the Troy Irish Genealogy Society website. Take a look, too, at their other transcription projects, while you're at it.

Hearty congratulations to the Society and its members for making these priceless records available.

(Thanks to the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) for letting me know about this brand-new collection.)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

RootsIreland adds more North Tipperary records

Baptism and marriage records for the Roman Catholic parish of Loughmore-Castleiney have been added to the database.

This parish's baptims registers range from 1798-1899, while the marriage register spans 1798-1897. There are no gaps across the timeline.

The records were computerised by the North Tipperary Genealogy Centre, The Governor's House, Kickham Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Ireland's 1st military history title – Reveille – launches
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A new magazine launches today to commemorate Ireland's military past.

Reveille magazine is a 64-page quarterly publication that intends to tell the story through the eyes of Ireland’s military veterans, Ireland’s military heritage, and living historians dedicated to preserving Ireland’s military past.

Each issue will showcase Ireland’s military heritage sites such as battlefields where Ireland’s men and women fought and died and museums where Ireland’s military story is preserved as far back as the Iron Age. Bringing alive Ireland’s military heritage are the various branches of the serving military and preservation groups who together magnificently restore and bring back to life the aircraft, weapons and vehicles that Ireland’s soldiers used or came up against over the centuries.

In the run up to today's launch, Reveille's team has been publishing samples of the first issue's articles. These can be found on the magazine's facebook page. Take a look. With a neat presentation, they seem to convey a lot of useful information that will help family historians to understand more of their ancestors' lives in the armed forces.

The official launch will be announced today at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin, at Noon, by Brigadier General Paul Pakenham (Retd) of the Military Heritage Ireland Trust Ltd.

Initially the magazine will be available only by subscription (to subscribe, click image) but it may become available via newsagents and booksellers in the future.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Irish News Archive cuts prices and adds Irish Examiner

http://www.irishnewspaperarchives.comThe Irish Newspaper Archive (INA) has, as expected (see last month's blogpost), dramatically reduced its monthly and annual subscription fees. It has also uploaded all editions of the Irish Examiner (previously the Cork Examiner) from 1841 to 1949.

The new subscription costs are confirmed as:

One Day : €10 (no change)
One Month : €30 (down from €60)
One Year : €178 (down from €350)

Weekly- and 48-hour-access options have been discontinued.

A subscription allows unlimited access to all the publications held in the database. You can see the full list of titles here. No doubt the Irish Examiner will be added to the list shortly.

The launch of 108 years' worth of Irish Examiner editions marks the completion of Stage One of the project to digitise the newspaper's entire archive. Stage Two will see the editions published since 1950 brought online and, on a rolling basis, all editions to be published in the future.