Friday, 27 November 2015

20% and 30% discount offers from Ancestry DNA

30% discount IE, UK & USA. Otherwise 20%
There's a lot of heavy discounting going on in family history circles, and here's another good one: Ancestry DNA is offering its dna testing kit with a discount of either 20% or 30%, depending on geography.

Whether you're completely new to genetic genealogy or you've already taken a test and want to narrow down your results by getting another family member tested, you should certainly consider taking advantage of these discounts. They don't come along often!

This weekend's discounts expire on Monday 30 November at 11:59pm (GMT / ET / AEDT).

If you're based in Ireland or the UK, the discounted price of the DNA kit is £69. Postage is £20 extra. To take advantage of the offer, follow this link to Ancestry UK to find out more and place your order.

If you're in the USA you should follow this link to to claim your discount and pay just $69 plus shipping and applicable taxes.

If you're in Canada, the discount offered is 20% (still a decent saving), and brings the price down to $119, plus postage and any applicable taxes. Click here for

If you're in Australia there's a 20% saving available, bringing the price down to $119. Postage and applicable taxes are extra. Click here for

Diary note: Early closing at National Library, 7 Dec

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin has advised that it'll be closing at 4pm (normal hours 7:45pm) on Monday 7 December.

The early closing is to facilitate a reception to launch the Library's 2016 programme of events.

All premises and services of the Library – the Photographic Archive in Temple Bar, the Genealogy Advisory Service, Cafe Joly, all exhibition spaces in Kildare Street, the Manuscript Room and the Main Reading Room – will be closing early, 

New at Dú County Monaghan, maps and more

Areas with Schools Collection material on Dú
Only one week on from adding the material for County Laois, it's County Monaghan that's the new kid in the Schools Collection at Dú Approximately 140 schools across County Monaghan took part in the scheme and 32 large volumes of material were compiled.

The Schools’ Collection is an important component of the National Folklore Collection, which is held at University College Dublin (UCD). It contains the folklore material – more than half a million pages – recorded by some 50,000 primary school pupils in the 26 counties between 1937 and 1939.

The entire collection of manuscripts, whether written in English or Irish, will be available on the free-to-view by the end of next year.

In the meantime, the upload of the Monaghan material marks the half-way point of the project, with 13 counties now searchable on the site: Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo, Tipperary, and Waterford.

In another new site development, stories from the Collection that included details of named locations/sites are now linked to a map and to, the Placename Database of Ireland, where additional information about the place may be available. As an example, see the story about a graveyard in Adare, Co Limerick.

Dú is the result of a partnership, established in 2012, between the National Folklore Collection (UCD), Fiontar (DCU) and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The site will be of interest to a great many Irish people and to the Irish diaspora. For specialist researchers in the fields of folkloristics, local history, archaeology, genealogy, linguistics, and a range of other disciplines, dú offers considerable research potential. The site can currently be searched by place or by person, and a search facility according to topic will be made available in the near future.

Limerick and Clare men in the Bombay Army

Brian Hodkinson, acting curator of Limerick Museum, has advised Irish Genealogy News of another research aid he's recently created and uploaded to the growing Local History Resources section of

It's a list of the Limerick and Clare soldiers who fought in the Bombay Army of the East India Company, 1739–1860. With information gleaned from the FIBIS database, The list comprises around 850 men and may include such details as residence in Ireland, prior occupation, date joined up, rank and regiment, types of injury, where and when of death, if pensioned off, and details of a family member beneficiary to the soldiern's will.

The alphabetically arranged list explains that different levels of information were recorded at different times, so while a town or townland of origin may be noted in later entries, only a county of residence was initially recorded. Similarly, former occupations were not recorded in the early days.

Brian stresses that the list is intended as a search aid and not every bit of information available at FIBIS is included. For example, in the case of soldiers who left a will, the name of the beneficiary is included in the list only if he/she was a family member.

You can download this list from the Research Aids page.

Irish Roots magazine unveils two great new series
Irish Roots magagazine has published its final issue of 2015, and it's a cracker, not just with its striking front cover image but also with the arrival of two brand-new series.

The sculpture on the cover is of Ériu, the sovereignty Goddess of Ireland from whom we get the Irish name for the island. It is found on County Westmeath's Hill of Uisneach, the mythological centre of Ireland, and the launch feature for the magazine's new 'Sacred Sites' series which aims to enlighten us on the history and folklore of such special places across Ireland.

The second new series comes from renowned genealogy tutor Sean J Murphy. He'll be exploring the family histories of the 1916 Easter Rising leaders and in this first feature, he examines the background of Patrick and Willie Pearse, James Connolly and Tom Clarke.

While two new feature series begin in this edition, one ends: the 'Back To Basics' series by Maggie Loughran. In this last outing, Maggie provides some strategies for researchers who don't know their ancestors' place of origin.

For those with family connections outside Ireland there are two helpful articles. One explores the resources available for researching ancestors who worked on the railroads of the United States, while the other looks to Australia's Earl Grey's convict 'exiles' and the Irish orphan girls.

Additionally there's a piece about sibling stonecutters from Ballynastockan in County Wicklow who settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a story about how a Wicklow soldier's lost WW1 medals were finally returned to his present-day descendents, a feature setting out a variety of sources available to those with ancestors from County Roscommon, and news of a highly unusual research project that's fusing genealogy with geology,

There's also news and views from a selection of Irish genealogy societies and organisations, my own What's New? Review of the last quarter's crop of recently launched resources and other developments, and details of next year's genealogy and celtic studies summer schools.

Add in 'Letters to the Editor', 'Genealogy Queries Answered', 'Events' and details of new Irish history books, and what you've got is a great edition.

Irish Roots magazine is available in both print and digital format, on subscription or by individual edition. See all the options at the publication's website:

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Half price offer on all FindMyPast IE, UK, Aus/NZ subs

Claim your discount by choosing a flag below
Black Friday, Discount Weekend, Sale Extravaganza... whatever you want to call it, there's a price cutting frenzy at FindMyPast and, if you're serious about your family history research and don't already have a sub, you'd be daft to miss it.

Until Monday 30 November you can take your pick from the full range of monthly and annual subscriptions available via FindMyPast Ireland, FindMyPast UK and FindMyPast Australia& NewZealand, and pay half the regular price.

The 50% discount is available whether you choose one of the 'local' packages or opt for the 'World' package.

The World package includes collections from all FindMyPast territories (ie IE, UK, Aus/Nz and USA).

To take up the offer, choose one of the flags below and click on the link beside it. On the landing page, click the Activate your Discount button. This will take you through to the Subscription page, where the 50% discount code will be automatically applied (you may have to wait a moment or two). Then you can select your preferred type of subscription at the discounted price.

50% off all subs at
FindMyPast Ireland
    50% off all subs at
FindMyPast UK
    50% off all subs at
FindMyPast Aus/NZ

Please note: This half-price offer is not available at where the Thanksgiving weekend is being celebrated with a whopping 75% discount. See yesterday's '75% discount' blogpost here. If you're looking at subscribing to an annual FindMyPast World package and you're prepared to pay in US dollars, do the maths to work out which route is most advantageous to your wallet.

Unbeatable book bargains – for one day only

To ease your Christmas shopping burden and also the pressure on your purse, the Ulster Historical Foundation is having a 24-hour sale on Friday 27 November right across its BooksIreland range, including those currently on special offer.

A 25% discount will be applied to all purchases made at using the code 'blackfriday25'.

The topics covered in the range of paperbacks, hardbacks, e-books and cd/dvds includes Irish history, biographies, genealogical guides, gravestone inscriptions and migration studies, so there's plenty to appeal to family historians.

Among the Special Offers are the following publications at knockdown prices:
  • Abercorn: The Hamiltons of Barons Court (£30), offer price: £15
  • Dissenting Voices (£14.99), offer price: £7.50
  • The Church of Ireland (£30), offer price: £10
  • Presbyterians and Irish Language (£9.99), offer price: £3.99
  • History of the Irish Parliament (£60), offer price: £10
  • A Directory of Ulster Doctors (2 vols.) (£50), offer price: £20
  • Springhill: The Old Ulster House (£24.99), offer price: £10
  • Linen Houses of the Bann Valley (£24.99), offer price: £10
  • Belmore: The Lowry-Cowry Families (£19.99), offer price: £10
In addition to these deals, BooksIreland will also be offering the Clergy of the Church of Ireland volumes for just £10 each.