Friday, 24 February 2017

Ulster Historical Foundation's 9-state genealogy seminar tour starts next Friday, 3 March, in Arizona

The Ulster Historical Foundation's Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt will be taking off on their annual North American lecture tour next week.

They'll be starting off in Arizona and ending in Arkansas, visiting a total of nine states (AR, AZ, IL, IN, PA, TN, VA, WA, and WI) in the three-week programme of workshops, showing researchers how to get the most from Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may explain gaps in their research.

Here's the itinerary, below. Where the list doesn't mention that a seminar is fully booked, places are still available as of this morning, but don't delay to book as these seminars are always extremely popular. Some events are free, while others are not. Follow the details links for more information, or contact UHF via above link.

Friday 3 March and Saturday 4 March
Phoenix, Arizona
Tracing your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors
Host and venue: The McClelland Library, Irish Cultural Centre
Full-day seminars (9:00am–5:00pm); different programme on each day.

Sunday 5 March
Tacoma, WA
Discover Your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestry
Host and venue: Lakewood and South Hill Libraries, Pierce County Library. Administrative Center & Library, 3005 112th St E, Tacoma.
Afternoon seminar (1pm - 5pm). Fully booked. Waiting list available.

Tuesday 7 March
Nashville, TN
Exploring your Scots-Irish genealogy
Host and venue: Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, 4580 Rachel's Lane, Nashville.
Afternoon: individual consultations. Evening seminar (6pm - 9pm).

Thursday 9 March
Michigan City, IN
Discover your Irish roots
Host and venue: Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th St., Michigan City. Co host - La Porte County Genealogical Society.
Day seminar (9:30am - 4pm).

Saturday 11 March

Bentonville, AR
Researching your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors
Host: Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society. Venue: Bentonville Community Center, 1101 SW Citizen’s Circle, Bentonville.
Day seminar (9:00am–4:00pm).

Sunday 12 March
York County, PA
Irish and Scots-Irish family history research
Host: South Central Pennsylvania Genealogy Society. Venue: Historical Society Museum, 250 E. Market St, York.
Afternoon seminar (1:00pm–5:00pm)

Monday 13 March
Green Bay, WI
Researching your Irish ancestors

Host and venue: Brown County Library, 515 Pine Street, Green Bay.
Afternoon/evening seminar (3:15pm - 8:30pm). Bookable consultations on following morning.

Wednesday 15 March and Thursday 16 March
Fountaindale, IL
Irish Genealogy: Resources for success!
Host: Plainfield Public Libraries. Venue: Fountaindale Library, 300 W Briarcliff Rd, Bolingbrook.
Full day seminars (9:30am - 4:30pm) with different programme on each day. Day 2 fully booked (waiting list available).

Friday 17 March
Richmond, VA
Irish and Scots-Irish genealogy research
Host and venue: Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Half-day seminar (9am - 12:30), followed by immigration and migration workshops by library staff.

Saturday 18 March
Philadelphia, PA
Celebrating your Irish & Scots-Irish ancestors
Host: The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. Venue: Brookside Manor, 50 Bustleton Pike, Feasterville.
Full day seminar (9am - 4:30pm) plus individual consultations.

Sunday 19 March
Pittsburgh, PA
Irish genealogy workshop
Hosts: Heinz History Center (HHC) & Westmoreland County Historical Society. Venue: HHC, 1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh.
Full day seminar (9:00am-4:30pm)

Tuesday 21 March
Little Rock, AR
Irish and Scots-Irish genealogy workshop
Hosts: Arkansas Genealogical Society and Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Venue: Hillcrest Hall, 1501 Kavanaugh Boulevard, Little Rock.
Evening seminar (6:00pm–9:00pm).

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dublin City Libraries release free Digital Repository

Dublin City Libraries and Archive Digital Repository has been released today with some 43,000 historic photographs and documents freely available to search and download. The material includes photographs, postcards, letters, maps, and historical memorabilia.

Aran Children waiting for the "Dun Aengus" in
1952; from the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection
Highlights of the collection include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection with images dating from the 1930s onwards of people, places and tourist locations from across Ireland, and the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection. The latter captures Dublin's changing streetscapes and buildings, as well as significant sporting, cultural, social and political events, mostly dating from the 1980s and 1990s. It contains many photos of Council employees in the course of their work, from civic events to street cleaning and even clearing the Liffey of rubbish and debris.

Also included is the Birth of the Republic Collection, which comprises material from the foundation of the Irish State, and the archives of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, which relate to Irishmen in WW1.

More material relating to the 1912–1922 period will be added over the coming months and years, including the Jacobs Biscuit Factory Archives.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

GRONI relocates to Belfast suburb of Stranmillis

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI), along with its Public Search Room, has moved to leafy Stranmillis, about one and a half miles away from its former city centre home in Chichester Street, Belfast.,+Stranmillis+Ct,+Belfast+BT9+5BF/@54.577198,-5.9336536,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x486108e8f8387af5:0xa8f816079abe0bee!8m2!3d54.5769026!4d-5.9326075
GRONI's full database (to current date)
is available at GRONI and PRONI.

The well-organised move went according to plan, with the office closing as normal at 4pm on Tuesday 14 February and re-opening on Wednesday 15 February in the newly-built Colby House. It was business-as-usual from the word-go, with four researchers waiting for the doors to open at 9:30am eager to check out the new facilities in the bright, squeaky clean and thoroughly modern new offices. Regular visitors will be pleased to know that the new Search Room is not only more spacious, it is climate controlled, so no more freezing in Winter and roasting in Summer! Free parking is another improvement for researchers.

As previously, twelve computer terminals are available for researchers to search GRONI's database. Unlike the online (public) database (here), which restricts access to BMD records according to the 100-75-50 year rule, researchers to the Public Search Room can gain access to birth, marriage and death records right up to current registrations. (This same lack of restriction applies to the four GRONI terminals in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.)

You'll find full details of GRONI's research facilities, opening hours, booking arrangements, ID requirements and fees on GRONI's online pages, and scrolling down.

The new address is:

General Register Office Northern Ireland
Colby House
Stranmillis Court (off Stranmillis Road)
Belfast BT9 5RR

New book explores the transformation of southern Ireland's Protestant community since the early C20th
Buried Lives – The Protestants of Southern Ireland, by Robin Bury, has been published this month by The History Press Ireland.

The 250-page paperback examines what the author describes as an early-20th-century transformation of southern-based Irish protestants from a once-strong people into an isolated, pacified community. Their political influence, social status and numbers had all but disappeared by the end of the civil war in 1923, he says, largely as a result of exceptional emigration during the Civil War, and they were to form a quiescent minority up to modern times. (The shrinkage of the community is borne out by official statistics – 327,000 in 1911; 220,000 in 1926; 104,000 in 1961.)

The book tells the tale of this transformation and the group's forced adaptation, exploring the lasting effect that it had on both the Protestant community and the wider Irish society, and investigates how Protestants in southern Ireland view their place in the Republic today.

With a recommended price of €20, the book can be ordered from the publisher's website (click image), via good online booksellers, and through Amazon (where a Look Inside option allows you to read sections of the text without purchase).

ISBN: 9781845888800.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Images of Registry of Deeds books to 1805+ online

Following a small but promising initial upload in December* of images created from microfilmed copies of Registry of Deeds' Index Books, has added an even more substantial tranche of townland indexes, grantors indexes and memorial books to its online image collection called 'Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929'.

I estimate about two-thirds of the 2,686 microfilms held in this collection by the Family History Library can now be browsed by images.

They include the indexes and books of abstract up to 1805, and partial coverage past that date.

Such ready online access will be of huge help to those involved in the Registry of Deeds Index Project, and to Irish genealogists who know their way around this collection.

* See blogpost - item 7.

Irish genealogy and history events, 20 Feb - 5 Mar

Monday 20 February: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 087 6491605 or

Monday 20 February: Ordinary women in extraordinary times: Cork women in the revolutionary years, with Anne Twomey. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Rugby Club, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. All welcome. Members free. Non-members €3. 8pm.

Monday 20 February: Fermanagh and the Boer War, WW1 and the Dublin Rising, with Seamus MacAddaidh. Host: Old Lisnaskea Past & Present. Venue: Castle Park Leisure Centre, Lishnaskea, Co Fermanagh. 8pm to 9:30pm. All welcome. £4 on the door.

Monday 20 February: On the Brink, with Brian McKay. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 21 February: Last letters home: revealing Irish-American correspondence, culture & community in American Civil War pension files, with Damian Shiels. Part of the Modern Irish History - Culture, Place and Identity seminar series. Host: University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology. Venue: Room G13, Old Medical School, William Robertson Wing, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK. 6pm. No booking required. All welcome.

Tuesday 21 February: Medieval Cloyne, with Paul MacCotter MAGI; lecture marking the 40th Anniversary of Cloyne Literary & Historical Society. Venue: St Colman's Cathedral, Cloyne, Co. Cork. 7:30pm. After lecture at Harty's Restaurant for light buffet. Lecture free. Harty's €5 charge at the door.

Tuesday 21 February: Traditional hamlets in Ireland, with Dr Barry O’Reilly. Host: Tipperary Libraries. Venue: Tipperary Studies, The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Lecture starts 7:30pm. All welcome. Free. Tea, coffee and refreshments serves before lecture. Enquiries +353 (0)504 29278.

Wednesday 22 February: Francis Smyth & Sons, umbrella manufacturers, with Gregory Young. The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive Conference Room, 138–144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 22 February: Open Genealogy Consultation, with Lisa Dougherty. Host and venue: Paul O'Dwyer Library, Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207 USA. 11am-2pm. Free. Book a consultation.

Thursday 23 February: Cillíní (Children's Burial Grounds) in the West Cork Tradition, with William Casey. Host: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage. Vemue: The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Co Cork. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 23 February: The Hales brothers and the Irish Revolution, 1916-23, with Liz Gillis. Part of the 'Ireland and the World after the Rising’ Winter Lecture Series 2017. Host: Glasnevin Trust & Trinity College Dublin. Venue: Museum’s Milestone Gallery, Glasnevin Cemetery. Dublin 11. 7pm. Tickets €10. Details and booking.

Thursday 23 February: 'The past is another country': the boycott at Fethard-on-sea, 1957, with Eugene Broderick. Host: Dunhill History Lecture Series XI, 2017. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opp GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. €5. Lecture is followed by Q&A and light refreshments. All welcome.

Thursday 23 February: 1798 ‘Faithful to the Last’, with John Craig Lyttle. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena Branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ 7:15pm. All welcome.

Thursday 23 February:  An Gorta Beag, the famine of 1879-1880, in West of Ireland, with Leo Finnegan. Host: Old Tuam Society. Venue: Tuam Library, High Street, Tuam, County Galway.  8pm. All welcome.

Saturday 25 February: Family history book sale. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Surplus maps as well as books of interest to family and local historians will be available at reduced prices. Venue: NIFHS Library and Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, BT36 7LS. 11am to 2pm. Free parking. All welcome.

Saturday 25 February: Education in Ascendency Ireland, c1690-1745, with Rachel Wilson. Host: Education in the long C18th, Institute of Historical Research. Venue: IHR Seminar Room N304, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1, UK. 2-4pm. Contact: IHR Reception,, 020 7862 8740.

Tuesday 28 February: Family history for beginners online, a workshop. Host and venue: Carnegie Library, Hamilton Road, Bangor, Co Down BT20 4LH. 11am to 1pm. Some basic computer skills required. Free, but booking advised.

Tuesday 28 February: Sinn Féin courts in West Clare 1918-1925, with Michael Nolan. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Members free; non-members €5.

Tuesday 28 February: Death, ghosts & the afterlife in late Medieval Ireland, with Dr. Colman Ó Clabaigh. Host: Mallow Field Club. Venue: Social Services Centre, Mallow. Co. Cork. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €3.

Tuesday 28 February: Pre 1800 Records for researching ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 28 February: Researching your Castledermot family history, with Clem Roche. Host: Castledermot Local History Group. Venue: Teach Diarmada Community Centre, Castledermot, Co Kildare. 8pm. All welcome. Non-members €2.

Thursday 2 March: St James' Church, Stradbally and its environs, with Cian Flaherty. Host: Dunhill History Lecture Series XI, 2017. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opp GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. €5. Lecture is followed by Q&A and light refreshments. All welcome. Details of lecture series.

Thursday 2 March: Women of the Irish Revolution and India: Maud Gonne, Charlotte Despard Molly Woods, and the struggle for Indian independence in the 1930s, with Kate O'Malley. Last of the 'Ireland and the World after the Rising’ Winter Lecture Series 2017. Host: Glasnevin Trust & Trinity College Dublin. Venue: Museum’s Milestone Gallery, Glasnevin Cemetery. Dublin 11. 7pm. Tickets €10. Details and booking.

Thursday 2 March: Following the footsteps of the Cork Fenians – 150th Anniversary of the Fenian Rising, with John Mulcahy. Host: Blarney & District Historical Society. Venue: Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Blarney Secondary School), 1 Old Blarney Rd, Shean Lower, Blarney, Co. Cork. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 2 March: The Irish in London - Medieval/Tudor period, with Gearóid Ó Faoleán. First of The Irish in London lecture series. Host and venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB. 7pm. All welcome. £6 per lecture or £15 for the series. Booking.

Friday 3 March and Saturday 4 March:
Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors, a two-day Ulster Historical Foundation Seminar, with Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt. Host: The McClelland Library. Venue: Irish Cultuarl Centre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 9am to 5pm. Different topics each day. Register for one day or both. $40 per day for members; $45 per day for non-members; $10 for optional lunch per day. Advance registration required by 28 February (seating is limited).

Saturday 4 March: The fracturing of Christendom - The Reformation in Ireland 1530-1700, with Raymond Gillespie. Host & venue: Tipperary County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. 10:30am. €5. All welcome. Seats allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March: Genealogy Corner and talks at 50 Plus Expo. Host: Senior Times (S&L Promotions Ltd). Venue: City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork City. 11am to 5:30pm on each day. Details and free tickets.

Sunday 5 March: Discover Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestry, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host & venue: Lakewood and South Hill Libraries. Venue: Pierce County Library, Administrative Center Library, 3005 112th St E, Tacoma, WA, USA. 1pm–5pm. Programme is full but you can register for waiting list here.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest additions

The following files were added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the first two weeks of February:

Unusual inscription font for this headstone to the
Barry/Power family of Leperstown. In Killea graveyard,
Dunmore East, County Waterford.
Photo courtesy Valerie Ackroyd and IGPArchives.
Click image for enlarged view.
CARLOW Genealogy Archives - Land
Leases For Co. Carlow - "The History And Antiquities of County Carlow"

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Killybegs (RC) Graveyard
Kilmonaster Old Graveyard

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Deansgrange Cem., St. Mogue's Section, Pt. 2

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Killegar (CoI) Graveyard

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Granard, New (RC) Cemetery

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Old Kilmeena Graveyard  Pt 2, Westport

MONAGHAN Genealogy Archives - Church
Baptisms, Clones Parish Registers 1682-1688

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Patrick's Graveyard, Dunamanagh

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Cross (RC) Graveyard, Killea

FindMyPast: 10% discount on annual Britain sub is offering a 10% discount on 12-month Britain subscriptions.

The discount is available only for the Britain sub. This doesn't include specificially Irish collections, although many of the British military record-sets are crammed with Irish men, but it will still be of interest to the many family historians whose Irish ancestors settled in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Use this link – 10% off 12-month Britain Subscription – to take up the offer; the discount code will be automatically applied.

The offer expires at 23:59 (UK) on Thursday 23 February.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Ancestry's Irish & UK collection is free this weekend

Ancestry UK is offering free access to its Irish and UK collection this weekend, 17-20 February. (See Note below for
Just some of the one billion Irish & UK records free
this weekend. Click image to scroll through full list.
It's a very broad collection consisting of about one billion records. Click the image, right, to scroll through the various collections that are free of charge for the next few days.

To take advantage of the free access weekend you'll need a registered account. If you don't already have one, it's a quick process and you don't have to provide any personal details beyond name and email.

No financial details are requested.

Once you're set up with a free account, the collection of listed records will available free until 11:59pm on Monday 20 February.

NOTE: is also providing a weekend of free access to the same Irish and UK records, even if its landing page describes the collection as British! If you have a registered account through the .com site, the free access will expire at 11:59pm ET on Monday 20 February. Here's's free access landing page.

Free access now closed.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Irish Historic Town Atlases released online, free, for Early Modern, Gaelic and Plantation towns
The latest release in the online Irish Historic Town Atlas (IHTA) series is for towns founded as new Plantation towns or as redeveloped Gaelic/medieval towns. These early modern, Gaelic and Plantation towns include Bandon, Belfast, LondonDerry, Longford and Ennis (the Belfast book extendsd to 1840).

The IHTA research project is run by the Royal Irish Academy and aims to examine the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small during key periods in their history.

In each volume, clues to the town's past religious life, defence and security, local and national government, industry, trade, transport, education and leisure habits are explored within the accompanying maps. Dense and accurate, these atlases reveal fascinating details about the physical environment and communities our ancestors lived in.

Included with each online atlas are:
  • The cover, general abbreviations, introduction and select bibliography
  • Word searchable essay, text maps and topographical gazetteer
  • Map 1 (Cmid-19th, 1:50,000), Map 2 (Cmid-19th, 1:2500), Map 3 (modern C20th, 1:5000), growth maps, historical compilation maps and legend sheet.
With this latest release of titles is the chapter on Early modern, Gaelic and Plantation towns from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas (Dublin, 2011) to help the reader contextualise the town type, see different samples from different towns and case studies.

The library of online atlases now looks like this:

Towns of Early Modern, Gaelic & Plantation: Bandon, Belfast, LondonDerry, Longford and Ennis
Towns of Viking origin: Dublin, Limerick
Towns of Monastic Origins: Kildare, Kells, Downpatrick, Armagh and Tuam
Towns of Anglo-Norman origin: Athlone, Carlingford, Carrickfergus, Fethard, Kilkenny, Mullingar, Sligo and Trim

The IHTA volumes in this latest release are no. 3 Bandon by Patrick O'Flanagn (1988); no. 12 Belfast, part I, to 1840 by Raymond Gillespie and Stephen A. Royle (2003); no. 15 Derry~Londonderry by Avril Thomas (2005); no. 22 Longford by Sarah Gearty, Martin Morris and Fergus O'Ferrall (2010); and no. 25 Ennis by Brian Ó Dálaigh (2012).