Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The 1641 Depositions: seminar and book launches

More details of the three new editions
PRONI and the Irish Manuscripts Commission are to host a seminar from leading academics regarding written records from a pivotal period of Irish history: the 1641 Depositions.

These witness testimonies from the 1641 Irish rebellion capture with vivid immediacy the contrasting experiences of rebellion throughout the northern counties.

The seminar talks are:

Launching the print edition of the 1641 Depositions, with Professor Raymond Gillespie
The context for the 1641 depositions, with Aidan Clarke
The 1641 depositions in a wider context, with Jane Ohlmeyer

A launch of the recently published editions of these documents – they cover the nine counties of Ulster, plus Louth – will follow the seminar.

The seminar will be held at the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Titanic Boulevard, Belfast on Tuesday 9 September from 1pm to 2pm. The event is free but booking is essential. Email or telephone 02890 534800 to reserve your place.

Book early for Dublin Festival of History, 26 Sep–8 Oct

The Dublin Festival of History will take place from 26 September and 8 October, with events being held in local libraries, Dublin Castle (Printworks), City Hall and Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane. A number of walking tours and film screenings are also part of the programme, which is organised by Dublin City Public Libraries on behalf of Dublin City Council.

Dublin’s involvement in the First World War will be one of the main themes of this year's programme, which is available in a printed booklet from all branch libraries in the City or can be downloaded here. The Festival's aim is to provide those with an interest in history and who enjoy reading history for pleasure, an opportunity to listen and discuss a variety of history topics with authors and historians of national and international renown.

This will be second outing for the Dublin Festival of History. It proved very popular last year and many of the events were quickly sold out, so I'd recommend you look through the programme without delay and book as soon as possible.

Autumn issue of Irish Roots magazine published
After a busy couple of weeks of family and work commitments, I finally settled down last night to enjoy the latest issue of Irish Roots magazine.

This edition includes features about tracing ancestors in County Kerry, finding online and offline sources for pre-1858 wills, and the surnames of Connacht. In addition, local historian Catherine Corless tells of how she unearthed the Tuam Mother and Baby Home story, a tale that has attracted much worldwide attention and prompted a Government investigation.

There is also my own review of recent Irish genealogy happenings, lots of news from family history societies, details of book launches, a Q&A column, and a thoughtful column of appreciation for the many unsung heroes and heroines who volunteer their time and expertise to help other researchers in all manner of ways.

For those whose ancestors emigrated, there are articles on Irish-Australian singers and their songs, Irish-American World War One records, and the unlikely but potentially rewarding United States Consular collection, which I'd never heard of before.

There is also a delightful story of Margaret Fanning née Clarke who is the fifth member of her family, originally from Loughrea, Co Galway, to celebrate their 100th birthday.

Irish Roots
is now on the shelves of local bookshops and news outlets (€4.50/£3.35). A digital version can be purchased for $3.99; click the cover image above.

Monday, 25 August 2014

NAI online catalogue: Name search for Wills 1923-1951

The online catalogue of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has been uploaded with a second tranche of indexed testamentary records.

Will Calendars for 1935 to 1949 were indexed in 2012. This second tranche means all Will Calendars from 1923 to 1951 are now available to search by name of the deceased.

Previously, researchers could search the Wills Calendars only by year. If, for example, you were searching for a John Doyle who died in 1924, you would have had to scroll through each calendar from that year to find an entry recording a grant of probate; not such a task if probate was granted quickly but quite a chore if winding up his affairs took ten or fifteen years.

The calendars as yet unkeyed are those for 1922 and 1952–1986. These calendars remain available to browse on the NAI's online catalogue.

The calendars of wills and administrations for 1858 to 1920 are searchable by name and other parameters on the NAI's Genealogy website.

Irish Genealogy News is on Twitter @Irish_Genealogy.

Irish genealogy and history events, 25–31 August

Search for Heritage Week events
With Heritage Week now in full swing, there's absolutely no excuse for not exercising the grey matter or learning more about our ancestors' lives. There are hundreds upon hundreds of excellent history, genealogy and heritage events taking place across Ireland. Just search for events in your area.

A goodly-sized number of genealogy events were specificially organised to coincide with Heritage Week and you can find details in my blogpost from a couple of weeks ago. I haven't repeated them all in the list below for no better reason than my weekly events list is collated on an on-going basis by direct notification or serendipitous discovery. In other words, some of the events below be repeated in the earlier blogpost. Others will not. 

Monday 25 August: Limerick and The Great War, with Dr Tadgh Moloney. First of the Limerick and the Great War Lecture Series. Venue: The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City. Free. 1pm. Phone: +353 61 312833 Email:

Monday 25 August: Census-related records on the National Archives website, with Catriona Crowe. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No booking. 1:05pm.

Monday 25 August: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland opens its historical home to the public during Heritage Week. Guided tours at 11.30am, 1.15pm, 3.00pm and 5.30pm. Tours will take approximately 40 minutes. Places are limited, so book online to guarantee your place. Venue: RCPI, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Monday 25 August: Dungarvan Historic Town Atlas, with John Martin. Hosts: Museum Society and County Heritage office. The town atlas is a project of the Royal Irish Academy, which was first launched in 1981. A number of towns and cities have already been published. John Martin has been commissioned to research Dungarvan. Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 26 August: World War One in County Wicklow, with John Goodman, looking at a number of Wicklow men and their frontline experiences, and how the war directly affected life in the county. Venue: Greystones Library, Mill Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow. 7pm. Free. Details: 01-2873548.

Tuesday 26 August: Doing Local History, with Ray Gillespie. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No booking. 1:05pm.

Tuesday 26 August: The Shamrock Fund of WW1, with Brian White. Host: Bray Cualann Historical Society. Venue: Bray Library, Eglinton Road, Bray, Co Wicklow. 7pm.

Tuesday 26 to Friday 28 August: Timeline – World War 1, an audiovisual perspective of the events leading up to, during and after the Great War. Also memorabilia, exhibitions, poetry readings. Not suitable for children. Free. Main Hall, City Hall, Terence McSwiney Quay, Cork City.

Tuesday 26 August: Medieval female monasticism in Co Tipperary, with Tracy Collins. Cashel Summer Lecture Series. Venue: Cashel Library, Friar St, Cashel, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free.

Wednesday 27 August: An Irish Family Goes to War, with Dr Deirdre McMahon. Second of the Limerick and the Great War Lecture Series. Venue: The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City. Free. 1pm. Phone: +353 61 312833 Email:

Wednesday 27 August: The map-making of the OS: challenges on every front, with Dr Jacinta Prunt. First of the Mapping City, Town and Country lecture series. Venue: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 1-2pm. Free. All welcome. No need to book.

Wednesday 27 August: Finding women in the records, with Mary McAuliffe. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No booking. 1:05pm.

Thursday 28 August: Niall of the Nine Hostages and the genetic architecture of Irish surnames, with Dan Bradley. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No booking. 1pm.

Thursday 28 August: Introduction to Genealogy Online. Venue and host: Portlaoise Library, Lyster Square, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. 2–3pm. Free but booking required by email to or telephone: 057 8622333.

Thursday 28 August: Genealogy seminar, with Sinead Holland. Host: Loais Libraries. Venue: Abbeyleix Library, Main Square, Abbeyleix, Co Laois. 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Free, but booking required. Tel: (0)57 873 0020.

Thursday 28 August: West Cork men and the Great War, with William Casey. Host: Skibbereen Heritage Centre. Venue: Skibbereen Credit Union Conference Room. 8pm. Free but booking essential due to limited space. Call the Heritage Centre on 028 40900.

Thursday 28 August: Workshop - Sources for military personnel in India. Venue: British Library, Euston Road, London, UK. Free. 2pm. Booking required by email.

Friday 29 August: The First World War, 1914-1918: Ireland within the wider European context, with Dr Jerome ann de Wiel. Third of the Limerick and the Great War Lecture Series. Venue: The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City. Free. 1pm. Phone: +353 61 312833 Email:

Friday 29 August: Tulla Weekend of the Welcomes/Ireland Reaching Out, with Sr deLourdes Fahy. Plus music and light refreshments. Venue: Tulla Courthouse, Tulla, Co Clare. 7:30pm. All welcome. Email for details to

Friday 29 August: Uncovering the Irish of the American Civil War, with Damien Shiels. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No booking. 1:05pm.

Friday 29 and Saturday 30 August: The fourth Tudor & Stuart Ireland conference. Venue: National University of Ireland, Maynooth, County Kildare. Details.

Friday 29 August & Saturday 30 August: WDYTYA?Live Scotland. Part of Homecoming Scotland. Exhibition and workshop programme. NIFHS and APGI will be attending. Venue: SEEC, Glasgow.

Saturday 30 August: WW1: a Great War of a good war? History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois. 3pm. Sold Out.

Saturday 30 August: Researching Your Family History, with Waterford Council Archivist Joanne Rothwell. Venue: Ballymacarbry Community Centre Ballymacarbry, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. 2:30pm. More info: & 052 6185483

Sunday 31 August: Guided tour of Old Cobh Cemetery, with Jack Gilmartin. Venue: Old Cobh Cemetery, Cobh, Co Cork. Free. No booking. Meet at the main gate of the cemetery at 2:30pm.

Sunday 31 August: The war to end all wars, 1914-1918, a day of lectures hosted by the Maritime Institute of Ireland and the Heritage Council. Venue: Dun Laoghaire Club, Eblana Lodge, Eblana Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 11:30am to 8pm. Donations requested; recommended €5 per lecture/€20 for the day. Details.

Sunday 31 August: The Great Irish Famine Commemoration. The 15th annual commemoration ceremony. Venue: The Great Irish Famine Monument, Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia. Formal address by former Irish Ambassador Richard O'Brian. Music and flower laying. $10 entry (includes admission to Hyde Park Barracks Museum). Starts 12:30pm. Details.

Symposium on Irish emigration in C19th: 28-29 August

Travelling Irishness in the Long Nineteenth Century is a two-day international, interdisciplinary symposium that will be held Thursday 28 to Friday 29 August at the University of Limerick.

Scholars from universities across Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and North America will be presenting their work on the ways in which travelling and the relocation of citizens across borders contributed to new perspectives on national identity, cultural production and historical events.

Registration is still open. See the organiser's website. You can download the final schedule here.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Researching WW1 – Sources & Resources, PRONI

PRONI - Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Details of PRONI's conference Researching the First World War – Sources and Resources have been confirmed. 

The event, which will be aimed at community groups and researchers, is designed to illustrate the sources in PRONI for First World War research and the other resources available to groups or individuals planning First World War projects.

The Keynote address will be given by Dr Timothy Bowman of University of Kent, on “Ireland In The First World War”. 

There will also be contributions from Jason Bourke on “East Belfast and the Great War”, and The Museums of the Royal Irish Regiment. 

Speakers from The Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland Screen, Community Relations Council and Heritage Lottery Fund will also be attending, and the event will see the official launch of PRONI's WWW1 Source Guide, which was released in July.

The free event will take place on Tuesday 5 September, from 10am to 4:30pm. Booking is essential; to reserve your place, email or telephone 028 90 534800.