Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Merged Waterford Archives upgrade online resources

As you may remember from my report in mid-June, Waterford City Archives and Waterford County Archives have been amalgamated. While there are still two venues, one in the City and one in Dungarvan, 45km away, and no immediate option of bringing the full collection under one roof, there is only one archivist: Joanne Rothwell.

Despite having to now split her time between the two existing venues, Joanne took time out to tell Irish Genealogy News about how more of the archives' materials will be making their way online.

"Instead of the two distinct websites we had before, details of both archives can now be found on the combined City & County Council's brand new site: waterfordcouncil.ie. From the Culture & Heritage section of the Home Page, visitors can quickly navigate to find details of the archives and the collections each holds.

"But the new site has also allowed us to introduce a dedicated section to Researching Family History. It has a much more prominent placement on the Home Page, and we are signposting some of our most popular collections there. Researchers can click through to the type of collection they want – Newspapers or Burial Records, for example –, or they can click the section title to explore a menu of other material."

The result of this is that some of the material previously somewhat 'hidden' on the old sites is easier to find. The Waterford Newspapers War Archive is a good example of this. The database holds an extensive collection of articles dating from 1914 to 1918 and from 1939 to 1947; it's easy to use and a mine of information, but was under-used because researchers didn't know of its existence or couldn't locate it on the old site.

Joanne tells me that some historical City maps will be added in the next week or so, and photo collections will be joining the line up, too. The Burial Registers of St Otteran's, which date from 1862 to 1916 (with a few gaps), will also be added in pdf format, and more newspapers will be added to the general newspaper collection within a couple of months.

It's worth stressing that everything that was available on the two old websitse has migrated to the new site. Nothing has been withdrawn. The intention is only to improve and add to the online offering, not reduce it, and Joanne is working on the new site on a daily basis. Sometimes this may mean a collection or database 'disappears' temporarily. Such events will be short-lived, however. It's usually a sign that fresh text or material is being uploaded to a collection.

The new site is still very much 'under-construction', but it is certainly starting to come together. "We're putting a lot of time into making the new site more user-friendly and making our resources more accessible," says Joanne.

Who Do You Think You Are? TV show returns, 7 August

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t575
The show is produced by Wall To Wall
The 11th series of the celebrity-led genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? will open with an Irish themed story at 9pm on 7 August on BBC1.

The show's researchers will dig into the roots of actress Julie Walters to uncover the trail of her great grandfather, Anthony Clarke. He was one of the early members of the Land League, a revolutionary organisation which fought for the right for tenant farmers to own the land they worked.

Walters and the genealogy team visit County Mayo and unearth a tale of poverty, tyranny and triumph, set in a tumultuous time in Irish history.

Three weeks later the show will return to Ireland with Brendan O'Carroll. This episode revolves around Ireland's War of Independence and tells the story of O'Carroll's paternal grandfather, Peter, who was shot by British troops in an execution-style killing in 1920. Brendan's father, a lad of just nine years old, was also deliberately shot, but survived.

Here's the running order of the new 10-part series: Julie Walters, Brian Blessed, Tamzin Outhwaite, Brendan O'Carroll, Sheridan Smith, Mary Berry, Martin Shaw, Reggie Yates, Twiggy, Billy Connolly (the 100th episode).

The night before the new series kicks off – on 6 August, 10.35pm, to be precise – the BBC will celebrate the programme's 10-year anniversary and its upcoming 100th episode.





The War To End All Wars: a day of lectures, 31 August

The Maritime Institute of Ireland in conjunction with the Heritage Council is to host a day of lectures, discussions, debates and music on Sunday 31 August.

The event – The War To End All Wars, 1914-1918 – will be held at the Dún Laoghaire Club (aka Eblana Club), Eblana Lodge, 3 Eblanda Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Here's the programme:

11:30am   Registration
Noon   Build up to war and those opposed, with Roger Cole, Peace & Neutrality Alliance
12:45pm   Living in Dublin 1913-1918 – social aspects, with Padraig Yeates, historian
1:30pm   The sinking of the mail boat Leinster, with Roy Stokes, author
2:15pm   The colonies and the freedom of small nations, with Padraig Mannion, researcher and editor
3:00pm   Uncle Sam's Navy, with Pat Sweeney, author
3:45pm   RMS Lusitania – arms and the ship, with David Snook, author
4:30pm   SS Kelp - Four flags in war, the story of a German ship captured and later used by Allied Forces, with Dr John Treacy, NUI Limerick
5:15pm   Winston Churchill: Worst Lord of the Admiralty? Speaker tbc
6:00pm   Lest we forgot or best we forget? Speaker: tbc
6:45pm   Music & songs of WWI, with William Byrne and guests
8:00pm   Approximate time of finish

Admission is by donation to cover costs. Suggested donation, €5 per lecture/€20 for the day.

More details at www.mariner.ie

Monday, 28 July 2014

Another small, useful & free source from Flyleaf Press

Jim Ryan of Flyleaf Press has published another of his very useful 'Small Sources', this time a list of more than 100 tenants of the Earl of Listowel in Kerry together with their rents due on 29 September 1755. Most of the tenants are recorded with their townland.

This is number 11 in the 'Small Sources' series, and it's free for all to access on the publisher's blog (click link above).

Although I've reported most of the earlier entries in the series, I seem to have missed number 10. This was a list of payments made in 1813, 1817 and 1820 to the poor in the neighbouring parishes of Killinick, Maglass/Mayglass, St Iberius and Kilmacree, all in Co Wexford. Although these are Church of Ireland parishes, some of the recipients may well have been Roman Catholic. See this Small Source here.

Irish genealogy – history events, 28 July to 9 August

With August just around the corner, we're about to enter a very busy events period, what with Heritage Week, the month-long Genealogy at Lunchtime talks at the National Library of Ireland and several lecture series commemorating the start of World War One. To help family historians plan and book ahead for what promises to be a stimulating few weeks, I'll be publishing a 14-day events listing every Monday.

Tuesday 29 July: World War One in County Wicklow, with John Goodman, looking at a number of Wicklow men and their frontline experiences, and how the war directly affected life in the county. Venue: Blessington Library, New Town Centre, Blessington, Co Wicklow. 7pm. Free. Details: 045-891740

Tuesday 29 July to Friday 1 August: Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, Cork. Maldron Hotel and Firkin Crane Centre, Shandon, Cork. Lectures, films, workshops, discussions, social events. Details.

Friday 1 August: Preserving Your Family Papers, with Ketina Taylor, Archivist. Host: The National Archives at Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Venue: Montgomery Plaza location, 2600 West 7th Street, Suite 162, Fort Worth, Texas 76107. From Noon to 1pm. Free but you need to book. Email: ftworth.education@nara.gov or tel: (817) 831-5620.

Friday 1 August: Digital sources, with Brian Donovan. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No need to book. 1pm.

Sunday 3 August: Mayo Peace Park Ceremony & WW1 Commemoration. Local day of remembrance to honour the Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. Memorial Peace Park, Castlebar. 2:30pm.

Monday 4 August: Rediscovering the Belfast Nationalists who fought in World War One. Launch of exhibition with Siobhan Brennan Deane of the 6th Connaught Ranger Exhibition research group. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast BT12 4PD. 1pm.

Monday 4 August: Remembering, forgetting and commemorating Ireland's Great War: Issues for Belfast, with Professor Richard S Grayson and PRONI. The lecture will draw closely on local stories of the war. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast, Co Antrim BT12 4PD. 7pm.

Tuesday 5 August: The Soul of the Nation: Irish republicans, war and rebellion, with Fearghal McGarry and PRONI. The lecture will explore republican responses to the First World War, particularly how that wider conflict shaped the Easter Rising of 1916. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast, Co Antrim BT12 4PD. 1pm.

Tuesday 5 August: Hatch Match and beyond…finding trails and tales in Parish records, with Rev. Patrick Comerford. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No need to book. 1pm.

Tuesday 5 August: Religion, Society and Piety: the churches and people of early medieval Tipperary, with Patrick Gleeson. Cashel Summer Lecture Series. Venue: Cashel Library, Friar St, Cashel, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free.

Wednesday 6 August: The Great War and Unionist Memory, with Philip Orr and PRONI, who will seek to assess why the war continues to feature so much in popular Unionist culture. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast BT12 4PD. 1pm.

Wednesday 6 August: Shipping records and their usefulness when searching for your ancestors, with Brian Mitchell MAPGI. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No need to book. 1pm.

Wednesday 6 August: A Kilkee Man in the First World War, with Michael Nolan. Host: Kilkee Civic Trust Summer Talks 2014. Venue: Kilkee Bay Hotel, Co Clare, at 8 pm. Admission free. www.kilkeecivictrust.org

Thursday 7 August: Belfast Women and the Great War. Margaret Ward and Lynda Walker will be presenting a visual account of the impact of war in Belfast, looking at how women mobilised to support the war effort; the impact of war on work and social life and also on women's political organisations. PRONI will also give a short presentation. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast, Co Antrim BT12 4PD. 1pm.

Thursday 7 August:
The Great War Roadshow – songs and stories from WW1. Venue: Town Hall, Cavan. 7:30pm. For details, phone Cavan Genealogy on (0)49 4361094.

Thursday 7 August: The Genealogy of Gaelic clans: sources records and evidence – 11th to 17th century, with Lorna Moloney. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No need to book. 1pm.

Thursday 7 August: The outbreak of the First World War, with Dr William Mulligan. Part of The Road to War Lecture Series. Hosted by PRONI and National Museums Northern Ireland. Venue: Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre, Botanic Gardens, Belfast. 7pm. Free but booking essential. Email proni@dcalni.gov.uk or phone 44+ 028 905 34800.

Friday 8 August: Mothers and Midwifes: The experience of Childbirth and Midwifery in Ireland, 1630–1800, with Phil O’Loughlin. Host: Dingle Historical Society. Venue: Dingle Library, Co Kerry. 7:30 pm

Friday 8 August: Yesterday’s Children: Discover your ancestor’s childhood, with Aoife O’Connor. Part of the Eneclann/Ancestor Network 20x20 lunchtime series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 20-min lecture plus Q&As. Free. No need to book. 1pm.

Friday 8 August: The formation and history of the three Irish Divisions, with Jimmy McDermott. The lecture will examine the politics that drove the formation of the three Irish Divisions. PRONI will also give a short presentation. Part of Féile an Phobail. All welcome. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast, Co Antrim BT12 4PD. 1pm.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ancestry's UK & Irish collection is free this weekend

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-5329468-10819001?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2FPlaces%2FUK%2FDefault.aspx
AncestryUK is offering free access to all its Irish and UK records from tonight at midnight (GMT) until Sunday 27 July at 23:59 (GMT). That's a cool 48 hours of access.

Those that don't currently have an account with Ancestry UK can register as a guest to obtain access; registered guests are sent a User Name and Password, and don't have to provide credit card details. Those who have a UK Essentials subscription will automatically be able to search Irish and UK collections that are not included in this subscription package.

The Irish record sets includes Civil Registration Indexes of birth, marriages and deaths, Griffith's Valuation, a collection of Roman Catholic parish registers and many more valuable resources. Find out more about the record sets included in Ancestry's Irish collection.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Latest on IrishGenealogy.ie bmd indexes fiasco

It's a week now since the brand-new 'enhanced' civil registration indexes were unceremoniously pulled from IrishGenealogy.ie at the insistence of the Data Protection Commissioner (see blogpost).

Although there was a lot of press coverage on the topic at the beginning of the week – most it being approached from the data protection and privacy angle – there's been no official word to reassure genealogists about what's going to happen next.

I'm pleased to say that after making a nuisance of myself all week, I've finally got something official. Not much, admittedly, but something. It's from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the government department responsible for the website. Here it is:

'The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is currently engaging with both the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Social Protection to ensure that the issues raised by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner are promptly resolved and to ensure that this very valuable genealogical information can be restored as soon as possible.'

My bold.

Much as I love the use of the word 'restored', I don't think we should anticipate a 'restoration' of the 1845/1864 to 2013 indexes in their launch format. Either information such as actual birth dates and maiden names will be redacted for the more recent records or the three government agencies will come to some agreement about a cut-off dates for records to be included.



UPDATE: 26 July 2014 - This from the DAHG was published in the Irish Times today.