Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Letters of 1916 project needs your help for next phase

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will know that I'm a great supporter of the Letters of 1916 project, Ireland's first public humanities initiative that's crowdsourced a new digital collection of letters, postcards and photos from around the time of the Easter Rising nearly 100 years ago.

Since it launched in 2013, the team has gathered more than 2,000 letters and uploaded nearly all of them to its public database at http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/. Many have also been transcribed (if you can help with a bit of transcription work, take a look at the Contribute section of the site).

The project is now approaching its next phase: the launch of the Letters of 1916 Digitial Edition website. This is scheduled for 3 November.

Before then, the project team needs to evaluate the functionality and usability of the new website.

Can you help? In return for an hour of your time one morning between 8 and 17 July, you will receive a sneak preview of the next stage of the project and the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to the final Letters of 1916 Digital Edition.  You will be asked to complete some tasks on the new website and let the project team know what you think of it.

See Letters of 1916 Usability Testing info for further details.

The evaluations will take place on the Maynooth University campus and will be carried out by Dr Judith Wusteman of UCD Dublin.

RCSI Roll of Licentiates now spans 1828–1950

Click for full image with accompanying names
Good news from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland: the final batches of the RCSI's Roll of Licentiates – the three decades from 1920 to 1950 – have been added to the college's website.

This means the entire collection, spanning 1828 to 1950, is now available to view, free, in a series of pdf files which can be downloaded from a dedicated RCSI Roll of Licentiates page here.

On receiving their licence to practice, the newly qualified graduates signed the Roll with their name and their current address. In some cases they recorded an address where they were living in Dublin, but the majority provided their permanent home address.

As you can see from the partial page example above, students came from all over Ireland. A significant number also came from overseas.

Trinity College Dublin's Great War Revisited exhibition launches on Google Cultural Institute

The Great War Revisited online exhibition: click image
Featuring rare and previously unpublished material, Trinity College Dublin's Great War Revisited exhibition is now online at the Google Cultural Institute.

It includes 60 exhibits from TCD Library's rich collection including Irish WW1 recruiting posters, photos of the Allied campaign in Iraq and Turkey, letters and diaries from soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palastine, and political pamphlets, artworks, songs and ballads.

The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 800 institutions giving a platform to over 170 thousand artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history.

TCD's Great War Revisited can now be easily accessed by anyone from their computer, tablet or phone. The Great War Revisited Exhibition is Trinity’s first collaboration with Google Cultural Institute, which partners with museums, art galleries and archives around the world, to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone.

The exhibition, which can be found here, is part of the Library’s contribution to the Trinity College Dublin Decade of Commemoration initiative which includes lectures and conferences and a rededication of the Hall of Honour later this year.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Volunteers transcribe 1915 Merchant Navy Crew Lists

A second entry (click image to view), for his next
voyage, provides the name of the home townland.
A brand new website launched last week that will be of interest to those whose ancestors were sailors and worked in the Merchant Navy.

The site – 1915CrewLists.rmg.co.uk – holds indexed transcriptions of crew lists and agreements from the British Merchant Navy for 1915, the year after WW1 had started. It's free to access, holds details of several thousand men born in Ireland, and has been placed online with the co-operation of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. The transription and indexing work was carried out by volunteers.

Crew Lists were written up by the ship's masters at the end of each trip. Only the voyages that ended in 1915 are included in this collection.

For sailors on voyages involving 'home' trade ie ships that were engaged in short crossings from one part of the British Isles to another, such as from England to Ireland, there may be several entries in a result list, each showing a different voyage completed.

This can be very handy, as I've just discovered. I was searching for a Michael Santry born near Clonakilty in 1895. The first result shows an M Santry, a Marconi Operator of the right age, born in County Cork (hmmm, nearly all Santrys come from County Cork!), sailing on a ship called Tonawanda from 10 December 1914 to 2 February 1915. This could be him. But a second crew list – same ship, same job title, includes the ever useful home townland: Castlefreke. From this I can identify exactly the branch of my extended tree to which he belongs. His parents were Michael Santry and Mary Driscoll, and I know already that he survived the war.

Researchers with maritime connections will also find useful info in the FAQs, including this brief resume of where to find more crew lists: "Not all crew lists have survived. A 10% sample of all Merchant Navy crew lists is kept at the National Archives (TNA) in Kew. The remaining 90% of crew Lists from 1861, 1862, 1865 and all later years ending with a five (1875, 1885, 1895 and so on up to 1995) are at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. From 1863 onwards, 90% of all other years are kept at the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland. Crew lists from the Second World War 1939-45 and from before 1861 (where they have survived) are at the National Archives."

(Thanks for Liverpool Col for letting me know about this new site.)

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 6–19 July

Tuesday 7 July: Wills & Their Whereabouts, with Steven Smyrl discussing testamentary records. First of the 'Your Ancestors and the Nation’s Archives' lecture series presented by Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) and the National Archives of Ireland. Venue: Reading room of the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. Free but need to book email bookings@nationalarchives.ie.

Tuesday 7 July: Nuns in medieval Ireland: the other monasticism, with Tracy Collins. Host: Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Venue: The Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 8 July: Family history and genealogy sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Donaghmede Library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Grange Road, Dublin 13. All are welcome and admission is free. 2:30pm to 4pm. Booking is essential, tel: 085 1444883.

Wednesday 8 July: Tara in the Bronze Age, with Dr Eoin Grogan. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Thursday 9 July:  The Life and Times of O'Donovan Rossa, with Philip O'Regan. Venue: GAA pavilion, Skibbereen, Co Cork. 8:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 11 July: Genealogy workshop, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. No need to book. 11am–1pm. Free. New members always welcome.

Saturday 11 July: Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa: his life and after-life, a HistoryIreland Hedge School with Leeann Lane, Judith Campbell, Conor McNamara and Shane Kenna. Venue: O'Driscoll's pub, Reenascreena, West Cork. 7pm. Part of the Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa Centenary Commemorations programme.

Tuesday 14 July: Motherhood in the 17th-century parish registers, with Clodagh Tait. Host: Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Venue: The Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 July: The Mound of the Hostages, with Prof Muiris O'Sullivan. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Thursday 16 July: c995: Dublin's first coinage: The money of the Hiberno-Scandinavians, with Andy Woods. Second of the Milestones of Medieval Dublin monthly lunchtime lectures series hosted by the Friends of Medieval Dublin. Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. 1:05pm. Admission free. NO booking is necessary.

Thursday 16 July:  Kerry & the American Civil War, with Damian Shiels. Host: Kerry Historical & Archaeological Society. Venue: Benner's Hotel, Main Street, Dingle, Co Kerry. 8pm. All welcome.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest updates

During the last two weeks of June, Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web) added the following records, photos and transcriptions to their ever-growing free online archive.

IRELAND* Genealogy Archives
Cemeteries:    Funerals By J. & C. Nichols, Ltd, Dublin 1919-23 (updated)
                      Funerals by Assorted Accounts, 1919-1928 (updated)
Newspapers:  Tipperary Vindicator 2nd May 1865 - Obits Various Locations

ARMAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Tynan Church of Ireland Cemetery (partial)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Deansgrange Cem. Headstones, North Section Part 7
Mt Jerome Cemetery Headstones - Part 105

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives
Headstones   : Carrick on Shannon, St. Mary's Graveyard (partial)
Cemeteries    : Diffreen (R.C.) Cemetery Extracts
                     :Glencar Church of Ireland Cem. Extracts

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Munis, Forgney (CoI) Headstones (partial)

MEATH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Mary's Graveyard, Galtrim Parish

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Drumlion Cemetery, Crohan, Part 1 & 2

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Church of St. Livinius, Killulagh (partial)

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Askanagap Graveyard Headstones (additional)

*IRELAND covers multiple counties and general files.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Questions, questions, questions

The Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI) prides itself on its campaigning spirit. You can see this on its website's home page, where 'Campaigning' heads up a list of other roles the Society cherishes.

But the campaign-veterans at the GSI may have become a bit too enthusiastic.

On page 2 of the June 2015 issue of the Genealogical Society of Ireland's Ireland's Genealogical Gazette (incorporating Genie Gazette), the newsletter writer asks that its 'friends at AGI' (meaning Accredited Genealogists Ireland) publicly clarify something it (AGI) has already clarified to the ever-inquisitive Genealogical Society of Ireland: namely that it (AGI) is not incorporated – ie it is not a limited company. In case anyone does not know, AGI is an association of (mainly) self-employed professional genealogists.

Now you have to ask (at least, I did), why is the Genealogical Society of Ireland asking this through its newsletter?

Whatever the reason, it seems to have cast some doubt on the legitimacy of AGI. I saw a forum post along those lines within days of the Gazette being published. It read: '...[Genealogical Society of Ireland] questions their [AGI’s] name... Is the AGI a good organisation to be associated with?’

I have been quietly asked by two other people in the past month whether or not AGI is legit?

Reluctantly, AGI has put a statement on its website: it is an unincorporated entity.

I'll spell this out: As Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) is an unincorporated entity, it is clearly not the incorporated (limited) company named elsewhere in the newsletter story.

The subject of corporate status is dull and I'm sorry to inflict it on readers of Irish Genealogy News but this story is here for a reason. It looks like another example of bullying.

The Genealogical Society of Ireland's newsletter has been published since 1996, so you can imagine it has a good sized readership. Its Facebook page has 5,488 followers/friends/likes and its Twitter account 1269 followers.

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI)’s Facebook page has 825 followers/friends and it has no Twitter account, no blog and no newsletter.

Given its much stronger voice, is this a fair way for the Genealogical Society of Ireland to pose questions?

Levelling up the balance somewhat, I'd like to ask the Genealogical Society of Ireland's Board why it is happy to send off letters and throw out questions to other parties but doesn't like to respond to them itself?

Sean J Murphy's Open Letter to the Genealogical Society of Ireland is still awaiting a reply after more than 12 months.

I am sure the Genealogical Society of Ireland's members would like an explanation for how the GSI Board came to reward its Board member John Hamrock with the position of Chairman after he had been censured by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) for plagiarism. How many of the Board knew about this? When were they told? How many were aware of the Open Letter's publication just one month after their new chairman took up his position? If not then, when did they become aware of it?

And having now become aware of it, when are they going to clarify their position on plagiarism publicly?