Thursday, 22 June 2017

PRONI workshops for local and family historians

PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has announced four two-hour workshops aimed at people who are intersted in local and family history and need to improve their IT skills. Each session will start with an orientation tour of PRONI, followed by a hands-on introduction to searching resources online.

The workshops run from 11am to 1pm and will be held on the following dates:

Thursday 29 June
Thursday 20 July
Thursday 17 August
Thursday 31 August

Admission is free, but advance booking is advised. You can register via eventbrite.

Free access to FindMyPast's Irish and British records

FindMyPast is offering a long weekend of free access to its Irish and British collections. While the free access provides access to very nearly all the records in these vast databases, there are a few exceptions; the following collections are not included in the free access:
  • Irish and British newspapers and periodicals
  • UK Electoral Registers (2002-2013)
  • UK Companies House Directors (2002-2013)
  • 1939 Register.
You'll need a free registered account with, or (There is no free access via

If you don't already have an account, you'll find it's quick and easy to set one up. Only your name and an email address are required and no financial details are requested. Just follow one of the links below, and click on the LOG IN button on the top right.

Enjoy yourselves!
Free access 9am BST, Thurs 22 June to 11:59pm BST Mon 26 June.
Free access from 4am EDT Friday 23 June to 6:59pm EDT Monday 26 June.
Free access from 6pm AEST Thursday 22 June to 8:59am AEST Tuesday 27 June.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest additions

A bit later than usual (my fault), here's the list of the records and photos added to the free Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives database in the first two weeks of this month:
From St Emer's Graveyard, Ballinalee,
Co Longford. Photo courtesy of Dave Hall
and IGPArchives. Click to enlarge.
DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mount Jerome, Dublin - Part 159-166 (1200 images)

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Emer's Graveyard, Ballinalee, Left Side

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Mary's (Right Side) Navan (M & Mc)

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Clones Parish Marriages 1812-1818 (Updated)
Clones Parish Baptisms, 1759-1763
Clones Parish, Marriages 1811-1816 (Updated)

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ferrybank Graveyard (R.C), Part 1 & Part 2
Waterford City, St. Otteran's - Pt 3 & Pt 4

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives -
Headstones – Ballyhack Cemetery - near River Barrow
Newspapers – Wexford Independent, Poorhouse Entries, 16 Nov 1859

Views of genealogists sought by postgrad researcher

Lyndsey Riddall is a postgraduate student at Dublin Business School who's looking for family historians to take part in a brief survey. dissertation aims to explore how the genealogy industry has become commercialised in recent years and to examine the ethical implications of charging money for access to such resources.

She says: "I am coming at this from a neutral perspective and not attempting to make an argument in regards to which approach is better, free or commerical. I have created a short survey and my objective is to simply question people who have researched their family history, or would like to do so in the future, in order to get an understanding of their thoughts on the whole debate."

The questions are not onerous to answer, and responses are collected anonymously.

The survey can be found here: Genealogy Survey .

FindMyPast partners with Ontario Genealogical Society

Findmypast has announced a partnership with the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) to publish millions of the Society's records.

The first instalment of releases will be delivered later this year with the online publication of some 6million Ontario records, including;
  • The Ontario Name Index (TONI): an index created with the aim of including every name found in any publication relating to Ontario, ranging from registers of birth, marriage & death to obituaries, memorial inscriptions, newspaper articles and more. It holds more than 3.7million names.
  • The Ontario Genealogical Society Provincial Index (OGSPI): a collection of more than 2.6million records gathered from censuses, birth, marriage and death registers, references in books, land records, passenger lists, military records etc.
  • Oddfellows Life Insurance Applications (1875-1929): a collection of more than 59,000 life insurance applications to the Odd-Fellows’ Relief Association of Canada. The applications contain answers to up to thirty-one questions about sex, age, occupation, height, weight, ethnic origins, marital status, family structure, and past and present health conditions.
  • Ontario Genealogical Society Bulletin/Families and NewsLeaf: a collection of images from official society publications and journals will join the Periodical Source Index (PERSI).

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

NAI to validate/correct 1901 & 1911 Irish Census data

Some excellent news today: the National Archives of Ireland is to start making wholesale corrections to its online 1901 and 1911 Irish census database.

A Request For Tenders has been published today on eTenders. It describes the contract as requiring 'validation and correction services' on these two specific collections.

Both Censuses were published on the National Archives' Genealogy website in instalments from December 2008 to August 2010. This marked a turning point for Irish genealogy, and the start of a gradual online release of many of the most important collections used by family historians. However, it was soon noted that there were some problems with missing data for several geographical areas, and especially with mis-transcriptions of names and other information, and the National Archives has not been able to deal with these issues in the interim due to a lack of resources.

The tender documents suggest the project will involve working through c20,000 user-submitted corrections over a period of about one year.

The project now out for tender is one of a number of specific short-term projects that have been identified for completion in line with the National Archives Strategic Plan 2015-2017.

New book: The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry

A new book – The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry, by Bryan MacMahon – has been published by Mercier Press.

The 384-page book focuses on human stories, rather than statistics, as MacMahon depicts the unprecedented events, upheavals and challenges of the famine years through the eyes of those who were there, and reveals information which has lain hidden and untapped for 170 years.

Through eyewitness accounts, this work brings to light the shocking realities of life in Tralee and North Kerry from 1845 to 1852, as the unprecedented catastrophe of the potato blight gripped the county.

These powerful testimonies, along with the author's analysis, provide a vivid sense of the crisis and the stark dilemmas faced by those who tried to alleviate the suffering, as well as the compassion and courage of those who spoke out on behalf of the destitute.

The book provides the names and inquest details of some of the dead, and poignant descriptions of life in the workhouses of Tralee and Listowel. Included are stories of scandals and possible sexual abuse in the workhouse, but also many examples of selfless humanitarian work. This work also offers insights into related issues of the time, such as emigration, “souperism” and civil unrest.

Mercier Press (€31.50), or Amazon (Hardback and Kindle formats). ISBN: 9781781174678

Monday, 19 June 2017

Catholic Standard debuts on British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has added The (Catholic) Standard to its online database. The initial upload sees all 53 weekly editions published in 1937 uploaded to the site.

Published in Dublin, The Standard launched in mid-1928 and ceased publication in the 1970s. It changed its name to the Catholic Standard in 1963.

The online collection won't span the full years, however. The BNA plans its online holding for this paper to span 1928 to 1959.

The addition of this paper means that 144 of the 770 titles in the British Newspaper Archive are from the island of Ireland (107 ROI / 37 NI). The entire BNA collection is also available on FindMyPast as part of a subscription package.

(A 20% discount is currently on offer from British Newspaper Archive. Be quick, it ends tomorrow.)

Irish genealogy & heritage events, 19 June to 2 July

Monday 19 June to Wednesday 21 June: The Country House Revived? The 15th Annual Historic Houses Conference. Hosts: The Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates, Maynooth University, and the Office of Public Works. Venue: Dublin Castle, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Programme and details (pdf).

Tuesday 20 June: Tracing your Irish Roots, with Lorna Moloney. Host: Clans and Surnames. Venue: Hotel Mayrick, Eyre Square, Galway City. Superbly located, overlooking Eyre Square, 9:30am to 4:30pm. Book by email to or telephone 085-8721184.

Tuesday 20 June: Galway Centenary Conversations: War and Revolution Roadshow. Host: Galway County Council, NUI Galway, The Moore Institute and others. Venue: Craughwell Hall, Craughwell, Co Galway. 8pm. Free. Details. All welcome.

Wednesday 21 June: Post-post conflict? The Contemporary Murals of Northern Ireland, with Tony Crowley. Host and venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, UK, M8 0AE. Free, but need to register. All welcome. 7:30 to 9pm.

Wednesday 21 June: Politics of 16th-Centure South Leitrim – the Muintir Eolais Declaration, 1552, with Noel McLougholin. Host: Carrick on Shannon & District Historical Society. Venue: Bush Hotel, Main St, Townparks, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. All welcome. Members Free. Non-members €5. 8:30pm.

Thursday 22 June: Book Launch: The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry, by Bryan MacMahon. Official launch by Jimmy Deenihan. Venue: O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Castle Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry. 5:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 22 June: The coastguard in Tramore, an evening fieldtrip/guided walk, with James Doherty. Host: Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Coastguard Cultural Centre, Tramore, Co Waterford. 7pm. All welcome. Members free; non-members €5.

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June: Oral Histories of Work and Leisure – conference, workshops, presentations and dinner. Host: Oral History Network Ireland. Venue: Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway City. Full programme. Registration closes on 16 July.

Saturday 24 June: Irish Genealogical Research Society at the Yorkshire Family History Show. Venue: York Racecourse, York, UK. The show includes more than 50 exhibitors (record offices, family history societies, retailers, online services, books etc) from across the geographical British Isles, plus expert talks. Admission £4.80. 10am to 4:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 24 June: 7th Galway Heritage Conference. Host: Galway City Council and the Heritage Council. Venue: Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway City. 9:15am–5:30pm. Refreshments and light lunch included. Free but booking essential. Details.

Sunday 25 June: Liverpool Easter Rising Memorial, public unveiling. Host: Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee. Venue: St Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool, UK. 1pm. Followed by reception. All welcome.

From Monday 26 June: Lisburn 1918–1923, exhibition launch. Venue: Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Market Square, Lisburn, BT28 1AG. Monday to Saturdays, 9:30am to 5pm. Free. Details.

Monday 26 June: Remembering the 'Forgotten Irish' - Unveiling of plaque commemorating hundreds of thousands of Irish who came to London after WW2 and helped to rebuild a city and country devastated by war and conflict. Host: London Irish Centre. Venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB. Official unveiling by Ambassador Dan Mulhall. 2pm to 3pm. Free. All welcome. No need to book.

Tuesday 27 June: My ancestors were sent to jail – Hurrah! with Tony Hennessey 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 27 June: The fisherfolk of Kilrush: A study of traditional fishing methods in Kilrush, with Caroline Wilson. Host: Kilrush & District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Kilrush, Co Clare. Lecture at 8pm, following AGM.

Tuesday 27 June: The Conscription Crisis, 1917-1918: anatomy of a psychological partition, with Dr Emmanuel Destenay. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Wednesday 28 June: Galway Centenary Conversations: War and Revolution Roadshow. Host: Galway County Council, NUI Galway, The Moore Institute and others. Venue: Station House, Clifden, Co Galway. 8pm. Free. Details. All welcome.

Wednesday 28 June: The opening battle of the Civil War, with Liz Gillis. Host and venue: Witness Gallery, GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. Lecture at 5.30pm. Tickets €10, and include optional self-guided of the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre at 4.45pm. Limited spaces need to be booked.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Historians in Residence – a new Dublin City project

Dublin City Council has put history and communities at the heart of an innovative new project which builds on last year’s commemoration of the 1916 Rising.

L-R: Back Row: Brian Hanley, Cormac Moore,
Donal Fallon; Front row: Maeve Casserly, 
Cathy Scuffil, Darragh Gannon (click to enlarge)
The centenary of the Rising saw unprecedented engagement with history in the city as hundreds of thousands of citizens, visitors and community groups remembered this pivotal moment in Ireland's history. Now Dublin City Council has recruited six Historians-in-Residence to build on this enormous public interest in history.

They are:
  • Darragh Gannon - Central Area
  • Donal Fallon - North West Area
  • Cormac Moore - North Central Area
  • Maeve Casserly - South East Area
  • Cathy Scuffil - South Central Area
  • Brian Hanley - Dublin City Library & Archive

They will give talks and tours, will lead walks and workshops, write blog posts and books and help communities to research their local area and showcase the findings. Decoding street names, photographing local monuments and memorials, meeting history groups, quizzes, debates and oral history projects are just some of the topics that have engaged them so far.

Getting the ball rolling, the historians are delivering a three-part lecture series on the Irish Revolution, 1917-1923 in 14 libraries across the city. (See yesterday's blogpost.)

The Historians-in-Residence project will be managed by Dublin City Public Libraries. Dublin City Librarian, Margaret Hayes said: “I am delighted to welcome these historians to Dublin City Council to continue the work under the Decade of Commemorations and to champion history in Dublin and its neighbourhoods where they will work with communities, schools and families on local history and stories. The City’s Library & Archives Service is custodian of amazing collections of documents, manuscripts and artefacts, all of which add to the memory of Dublin for its citizens, and the historians will be promoting these collections in the course of their work.”

One historian is based in each of the administrative areas of the city. Further details on the project and on the lecture series in June:

Historians can be followed on Twitter @DubHistorians | #HistoriansinResidence.