Wednesday, 24 August 2016

FindMyPast offers one-third discount on IE & UK subs

Ireland and UK-based family historians take note!

FindMyPast (IE and UK only) have one of their 'flash sales' up and running.

It offers one-third off the cost of any new monthly or annual local subscription ie the Ireland or Britain package, taken up by 11:59pm on Saturday 27 August.

The offer reduces the price, as follows:

Ireland monthly subscription reduced from €9.95 to €6.67 per month
Ireland annual subscription reduced from €114.50 to €76.72 per year.

Britain monthly subscription reduced from £9.95 to £6.67 per month
Britain annual subscription reduced from £119.95 to £80.37 per year.

This offer does not apply to the World subscription package.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Ireland Police Gazette (Hue and Cry) joins Ancestry
Following the successful completion of one of its World Archives Projects, which sees record collections indexed by volunteers, Ancestry has added the Irish Police Gazettes, 1861-1893 to its database. This twice-weekly paper, better known as the 'Hue and Cry', was the official publication of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and was a means to communicate secretly between members of the police divisions.

The online collection comprises 150,000 indexed entries covering 28,353 reported crimes, 28,092 reports of breaking of License conditions, and 28,092 reports of theft. It is full of missing persons (including army deserters), wanted criminals, habitual criminals and details of those who had been apprehended.

In addition, all editions published during the stated 32 year period can be browsed.

Among the entries are reports of stolen heifers and the like, which might be of minor interest if the owner was an ancestor, but the level of detail in some of the reports of more serious crime can be outstanding.

Take this example from 9 July, 1878:

Sligo: The special attention of the Constabulary is directed to the following:
Description of Thomas Hunt (mother's surname Quigley), native of Knockgranagh, who stands charged with having, on the 29th November ult., in barony of Leyny, parish of Achonry, murdered John McGloin by fracturing his skill with a large stone: - Down-looking appearance, two upper front teeth large and prominent, high cheek bones, large heavy lips, sunken jaws, very broad shoulders; it is also stated that Hunt's left wrist is tattooed; glaring black eyes, slightly cocked nose, sallow complexion, oval face, stout make, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, about 27 or 28 years of age, black hair, small dark moustache; wore a dark cloth coat, trowsers, and vest. Was in America, and lately returned from England, where he worked as a labourer. Has a pair of English-made navvy boots with iron plates under toes, also a pair of light Wellington boots.
Tubbercurry, Dec 9, 1876.

Irish genealogy & history events, 22 Aug - 4 Sept
With Heritage Week now in full swing, there are a lot of genealogy events taking place in the week ahead. I haven't gone through the online programme (I reckon you're all capable of doing that for yourselves!) so the list below includes only those events I've been notified of, or have serendipitously discovered. There are also non-Heritage Week events in the list.

While it gives a good flavour of what's on, I'd recommend you check the official online listing for Heritage Week (click image, right) to be sure you don't miss a gem.

Monday 22 August to mid-October Reading Room of National Archives of Ireland in Dublin closed. Details.

Tuesday 23 August: Family history day. Talks, access to online resources and one-to-one consultations. Host and venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 11am to 4pm. Free. Booking recommended by T:(1) 674 4999 or

Tuesday 23 August: From Meath of the pastures to Smithfield: the story of Smithfield and a family who lived there, with Mary O’Connell. Host: Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138–144 Pearse St, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free.

Tuesday 23 August: A beginners guide to tracing your family tree, with County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Centre. Venue: Aras Reddan, Temple St, Sligo. This event will focus on online research and tracing 1916 ancestors. 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Booking: T - 071 91 43728 or E -

Tuesday 23 August: Irish American Identity - how do we sustain the people-to-people links between Ireland and the United States? with Kevin F O'Malley. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 24 August: Behind the scenes – Conservation at the NLI, with conservator Louise O’Connor describing how the conservation department cares for and treats a wide range of library items. Venue: National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 24 August: Grave matters: disease, death and Dublin from the Middle Ages, with Ciaran Wallace and Lisa Marie Griffith. Host and venue: Walkinstown Library, Percy French Road, Dublin 12. Free. 7pm. Reserve your place by email to

Thursday 25 August: Mapping and protecting the shipwrecks of the First World War in Irish waters, with Karl Brady & Charise McKeon. Host and venue: National Museum of Ireland, Kildare St. Dublin 2. All welcome. 1pm. Reservations: +353 (0)1 6486334,

Thursday 25 August: Irish genealogy, a presentation by Dr Paul McCotter MAGI, followed by free genealogical advice clinic. Venue: Franciscan Well brewpub, North Mall, Cork City. 8:30pm. All free. All welcome.

Thursday 25 August: The use of Catholic parish registers in genealogy, with Dolores O'Shea. Host: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co Galway. Free. 3:30pm. No need to book. All welcome.

Thursday 25 August: Sisters, Surgeons and Soldiers on the Somme: One Hundred and Forty-Four Days of Casualty Management on the Somme, with Dr Yvonne McEwen. Host and venue: Ballymena Central Library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena BT43 5AX. 6:30pm-7:30pm. Admission free. Booking recommended by T - 028 2563 3950 or E -

Thursday 25 August: Children's records in 19th-century Ireland, with Aoife O'Connor. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Thursday 25 August: The NLI as the ‘memory’ of Ireland, with Maeve Casserly. Host and venue: National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required. Details.

Friday 26 August to Sunday 28 August: Daniel O'Connell Summer School. Venue: Friday at The Library, Caherciveen, Co Kerry. Saturday at Derrynane House, Caherdaniel. Sunday at St Crohans and Caherdaniel Community Centre, Co Kerry. The Summer School will explore the links between Kerry and the 1916 Rising. Dr Mary MacAleese, former President of Ireland, will give this year’s Daniel O’Connell lecture. Programme.

Saturday 27 August: Irish Railway Records Society's Archive Open Day. Host and venue: Irish Railway Records Society. Behind Heuston Station, Dublin. 11am to 5pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Sunday 28 August: 17th Annual Commemortion at the Great Irish Famine Monument. Venue: Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 12:30pm to 3:30pm. Tickets.

Monday 29 August: Bank holiday in Northern Ireland. All libraries and archives closed. Back to normal timetables the following day.

Tuesday 30 August: Patrick Pearse: a revolutionary life, with Dr Brian Crowley. Host and venue: Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. €5, includes refreshments. 7:15pm. Booking required: T (0)1 628 8252 or E 8pm. Lecture held in the Hunting Room.

Tuesday 30 August: Stories from the parish registers, with Clodagh Tait. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Thursday 1 September: Ogham Stones: Our earliest genealogical sources, with Nora White. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Friday 2 to Sunday 3 September: The Genealogy Event, a weekend conference of genealogy and dna lectures, workshops, and one to one consultations. Venue: Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co Limerick. Booking required. See full programme and details.

Friday, 19 August 2016

New Belfast City Hall exhibition receives go-ahead

The green light has been given to the creation of a major new exhibition area in Belfast City Hall, to provide a significant educational and tourism attraction. It’s due to open to the public in May 2017.

The interactive exhibition on the east side of City Hall’s ground floor will highlight the history of the city through a range of themes including its industrial past, significant events, language and its famous citizens.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Brian Kingston, said: “Belfast City Hall has become one of the city's leading visitor attractions and this fascinating exhibition will further enhance the City Hall experience.

"We’re currently welcoming 70,000 visitors annually, and I’m looking forward to seeing footfall rise as a result of this development."

There will be some disruption during the construction phase. The Donegall Square East entrance will close from Monday 12 September and the popular Bobbin Coffee Shop will close from Sunday 2 October until early 2017.

For updates on the exhibition and access arrangements see