Thursday, 21 May 2015

Monday 25 May: public holiday in Northern Ireland

Monday 25 May is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland so all public libraries (local and county) and main repositories will be closed.
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will close at 4:45pm on Friday 22 May, reopening on Tuesday 26 May at 9am.
  • The Linen Hall Library will be open normal hours on Saturday 23 May (9:30am to 4pm), closed on Monday. Reopening Tuesday 26 May at 9:30am.
  • The General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) will close at 4pm on Friday 22 May, reopening on Tuesday 26 May at 9:30am.
This bank holiday does not apply to the Republic of Ireland where the late Spring/early Summer public holiday is held a week later (1 June).

Kilmainham Gaol's autograph books to go online

Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol is one of Ireland's
top tourist attractions.
Kilmainham Gaol is to launch a new website to showcase its prisoner autograph book collection dating from the 1916–1923 period.

A Request For Tender (RFT) has been issued by the Office of Public Works, which manages the Gaol where many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed.

The project will involve the digitisation of some 2,500 pages from 14 autograph books dating from 1916 to 1918; textual and visual information about the signatory will accompany around 10% of these pages. Additional content on the site will explore the process of imprisonment and the origin of the books as well as providing historical context.

Website visitors will be able to enlarge the online book pages and explore them in greater detail, as well as search the site by prisoner name and prison.

The website will be launched at the end of March 2016 and will subsequently be expanded to include some 8,000 additional pages from autograph books and more information about Kilmainham Gaol Archives.

Access to the autograph books collection is currently restricted, partly on account of their physical condition but also because the Gaol does not have suitable research or exhibition facilities.

The RFT is available on eTenders.

RootsIreland adds more Co Monaghan parish records

RootsIreland has had a terrific update of Monaghan parish register records. Not only is it a good-sized update of 40,000 records, it has a great mix, with additions showing up for Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Presbyterian congregations.

The list below details all the new records. Bear in mind that RootsIreland already had some records for many of these parishes. For example, marriage records for the Roman Catholic parish of Muckno (Castleblaney) were already indexed in the database; the list below shows only the brand-new Baptisms for this parish.

Denomination Baptism Marriage Burial
Roman Catholic Kilmore Drumsnat
Roman Catholic Muckno (Castleblayney)
Roman Catholic Muckno (Oram)
Church of Ireland Aughnamullen (Crossduff)
Church of Ireland Ballybay
Church of Ireland Currin (Scotshouse)
Currin (Scotshouse)
Currin (Scotshouse)
Church of Ireland Donagh (St. Salvators)
1736-1736 & 1796-1897
Donagh (St. Salvators)
Donagh (St. Salvators)
Church of Ireland Drummully
Church of Ireland Drumsnat
Church of Ireland Ematris (St. John's & Kilcrow)
1753-1799 & 1811-1844
1845-1881 &1882-1914
Church of Ireland Errigal Shanco
Church of Ireland Errigal Truagh
1719-1729 & 1801-1913
Church of Ireland Killeevan (Newbliss)
Church of Ireland Magheracloone
Church of Ireland Monaghan
1845-1884 & 1884-1912
Church of Ireland Tehallan (Tyholland)
Tehallan (Tyholland)
Presbyterian Aughnamullen (Crieve)
Presbyterian Ballybay (Second Ballybay)
Presbyterian Clones (Smithborough)
Presbyterian Clontibret (Second Clontibret)
Presbyterian Emyvale
Presbyterian Monaghan (First Monaghan)
Presbyterian Tullycorbet (Cahans)

RootsIreland adds Antrim, Down & Belfast records

RootsIreland has added 27,000 Church of Ireland (CI) parish register records covering Counties Antrim and Down, most of them marriages and burials, plus just under 9,000 Roman Catholic (RC) baptismal records for three Belfast parishes.

Parish Location Type of record Years covered
Aghalee CI Antrim Marriages 1811 – 1844
Ardkeen CI Down Burials 1746 – 1875
Ballinderry CI Antrim Marriages 1840 – 1845
Ballyclug CI Antrim Marriages 1841 – 1844
Ballyculter CI Down Burials 1812 – 1871
Ballyhalbert CI Down Burials 1855 – 1922
Ballymacarrett CI Down Marriages 1827 – 1844
Ballymoney CI Antrim Marriages 1807 – 1844
Ballyphilip CI Down Burials 1831 – 1883
Bangor CI Down Burials 1814 – 1829
1841 – 1846
Blaris (Lisburn) CI Antrim Burials 1661 – 1720
Blaris (Lisburn) CI Antrim Marriages 1663 – 1735
Carrickfergus CI Antrim Burials 1740 – 1870
Comber CI Down Burials 1683 – 1881 (with gaps)
Comber CI Down Marriages 1683 – 1845
Donaghadee CI Down Burials 1771 – 1786
1817 & 1818
1820 – 1841
Down CI Down Burials 1752 – 1785
1795 – 1829
1837 – 1871
Dromore CI Down Marriages 1784 – 1845
Drumballyroney CI Down Burials 1839 – 1873
Finvoy CI Antrim Marriages 1812 – 1845
Glenavy CI Antrim Marriages 1708 – 1845 (with gaps)
Inver (Larne) CI Antrim Baptisms 1806 – 1826
1836 – 1864
Inver (Larne) CI Antrim Marriages 1817 – 1845
Kilkeel CI Down Burials 1816 – 1884
Kilmore CI Down Burials 1822 – 1856
Kirkinriola (Ballymena) CI Antrim Marriages 1807, 1809, 1819, 1822, 1823 – 1841
Magheralin CI Down Burials 1783 – 1865
Magheralin CI Down Marriages 1783 – 1845
Sacred Heart RC Belfast Baptisms 1890 - 1929
St Mary's RC Belfast Baptisms 1901 - 1930
St Vincent de Paul RC Belfast Baptisms 1896 - 1929

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New TV series explores the story of Irish women emigrants to Australia during the 19th century

Filmed in Australia and Ireland, the programmes
set the colonial project in context.
I've only just come across this: Mná Díbeartha (Banished Women), a four-part documentary series in Irish and English currently being broadcast on TG4.

Through a mixture of interviews, re-enactment, presentation of documentary evidence and narration, the 50-minute episodes fuse history, genealogy and drama to reveal the stories of Irish women and their experiences in the strange and harsh new world of Colonial Australia between 1787 to 1853.

The women include those transported as punishment for crimes, the Orphan Girls sent from workhouses under the Earl Grey Scheme between 1848 and 1850, as well as 'free' colonists.

The characters of the programme – single, widowed and married women of various ages – come from a variety of counties in Ireland including counties Down, Limerick, Carlow, Tyrone, Roscommon, Clare, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Tipperary, allowing us to understand the local, as well as the general, social, political and economic conditions and the situation of women at different points in the transportation era. The experience of women who were already economic migrants to England are also included.

Two episodes have already been shown. They will remain available for viewing on the TG4 Player for at least another three weeks so there's plenty of time to catch up.

The third episode will screen tonight at 9:30pm, the fourth and last will be broadcast next Wednesday at 9:30pm. Again, they will be on the Player for several weeks.

As far as I'm aware, this series is free to view internationally on the TG4player.

The Byrnes and the O'Byrnes: Volume 4 published

http://www.byrnehistory.comThe fourth and final volume of  The Byrnes and the O'Byrnes by Daniel Byrne-Rothwell has been published by House of Lochar.

The historical series examines the origins of persons bearing the surnames of Byrne/Burns/Beirne and other variants such as Byron, Bryan, Brien, Breen, Birn, etc...
It covers the histories of the Byrnes/Burns, their family memoirs, pedigrees, a DNA study of 400 Byrnes, and songs and poems about the Byrnes. All 32 Irish Counties are covered, as well as places from Scotland to Argentina where Byrnes/Burns are found.

If you are a Byrne/Burns and curious about your family surname origins, this series provide a comprehensive answer to all your questions.

All four volumes can be purchased from, where you can find more information about the series.

(The Byrne DNA Projectremains open to new participants.)

IGRS Early Irish Marriage Index update

The Irish Genealogical Research Society's Early Irish Marriage Index has been updated with an additional 5,000 entries. This latest update means there are now just over 70,000 marriages in the index, comprising about 155,000 names of brides and grooms and other relatives.

Roz McCutcheon, who created and manages the Marriage Index on behalf of the IGRS told Irish Genealogy News that this most recent update includes an unusually large number of references from the Registry of Deeds. "This is thanks not only to regular contributors to the Registry of Deeds Indexing Project database, but also to the happy three days of hunting I spent at Henrietta Street, Dublin, a couple of months ago.

"The newest additions also include licence bonds from various dioceses, including Elphin, Cork & Ross, Dublin, Cloyne & Meath, and I am also working steadily through the Chancery & Exchequer Bonds in the Swanzy Abstracts held by the Society."

You can find out more about the Swanzy Abstracts and their value to Irish genealogy research on the IGRS website,

The IGRS Early Irish Marriage Index contains details of pre-1864 marriages only and is a free-to-access resource.