Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Saving the Famine Irish: Quinnipiac University, USA

A new exhibition – Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger – opens today at Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute in Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. It tells the story of the religious orders in Montreal whose members gave selflessly to Irish immigrants during their time of greatest need.

Ireland's Famine immigrants to Montreal were not only among the poorest of the poor, but many of them also arrived sick with typhus fever. Despite this, a number of people in the English and French Canadian communities provided the ailing and the dying with shelter and support.

In the forefront of this compassionate movement were the Sisters of Charity, also known as the Grey Nuns.

Venue: The Lender Special Collection Room in Quinnipiac University’s Arnold Bernhard Library, Hamden, Connecticut, USA.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am–5pm; Sunday, 12pm–5pm.

Manchester United says 'No': PRONI Doc of the Month

Okay, it's got nothing to do with genealogy, but the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's Document of the Month for April is a good reminder of the wide range of topics and the sometimes esoteric nature of material being protected and preserved in our wonderful archives.

This month's document is a letter from Sir Matt Busby, manager of the Manchester United football club from 1945 to 1969, and a British soccer legend.

PRONI’s Gavin McMahon explains: “Manchester United had been invited by Glentoran FC to play a match at the Oval to promote the Ulster 71 festival. However, the result proved to be an own goal for Manchester United, as Busby was unable to confirm Manchester United’s participation. This led to Division One rivals, Leeds United, playing instead in a match which resulted in a famous 3-1 victory to Glentoran.

“In Sir Matt’s letter, he advises that no commitment was agreed to playing the match and that it would be subject to club commitments and agreement with manager, Wilf McGuiness.

“Little did Wilf McGuiness know that he would be sacked 10 days later on Boxing Day. It is all very reminiscent of the manner in which David Moyes was dismissed only a few months after succeeding Alex Ferguson."

Manchester United was to have been offered £3,500 to field a full team including its pin-up winger George Best, a native of Belfast. Leeds United would eventually be paid £4,000 for the match that took place on 5 May 1971.

Irish News Archive adds seven Kerry titles

Excellent news for those researching family from County Kerry: has added seven new titles to its database, as follows:
  • Chute’s Western Herald : 02/01/1828 – 04/05/1835
  • Kerry Examiner : 01/01/1841 – 11/03/1856
  • Kerry Sentinel : 26/04/1878 – 23/12/1916
  • Kerry Weekly Reporter : 03/02/1883 – 14/08/1920
  • Raymond’s Kerry Herald : 12/01/1856 – 16/02/1856
  • Tralee Chronicle & Killarney Echo : 18/03/1843 – 20/05/1881
  • Tralee Mercury : 14/02/1829 – 20/07/1839
The online archive now holds 54 titles from across the island.

Church of Ireland Gazette: 1915 editions now online

Search the 1913-1915 Church of Ireland Gazette
Search the 1913-1915 Church of Ireland Gazette
The Representative Church Body Library (RCB Library) has released online all editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette published in 1915.

In addition, highlights from those editions have been brought together to create a digital presentation now released as the April 2015 Archive of the Month.

The 1915 editions join those already available for the years 1913 and 1914, enabling further analysis of various aspects of the momentous changes that occurred in Ireland in this early decade of the 20th century. They also provide an invaluable resource for the opinions and attitudes of members of the Church of Ireland through changing times.

Written and read by lay and clerical members of the Church both north and south, the Gazette reflected how unfolding political events in Ireland and abroad were communicated to and received by members of this significant minority community in Ireland 100 years ago.

Last year the RCB Library (the principal repository for Church of Ireland records) launched a sponsorship appeal to continue the work of digitization of this important resource. These efforts came to the attention of the Irish government, and financial support from the National Commemorations Programme (managed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) has made possible the digitization of the 1915 editions. It is hoped that further support from other individuals will enable the work to continue over the next few years, and sponsorship details are available on the presentation page.

Further background about the history of the Gazette (including a full list of its editors) was published when the 1913 digital editions were released as the Archive of the Month, August 2013.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

1916 Commemorative Centre to be built in Moore Street

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that the Government is to acquire the National Monument at Nos. 14-17 Moore Street, Dublin.

The decision will allow for a 1916 Commemorative Centre to be developed at the site.

No. 16 Moore Street was the location of the final council of war of the Leaders of the 1916 Rising and is where the decision to surrender was made.  The house at No. 16, together with the surrounding buildings at Nos. 14, 15 and 17, were declared a national monument in 2007.

Making the announcement, Minister Heather Humphreys said: "[The decision] puts an end to the uncertainty surrounding the future of these buildings and ensures that they will be accessible to all who are interested in the history of the 1916 Rising. I hope that this project will be completed during the Centenary Year as a fitting tribute to the leaders of the Easter Rising.”

She advised that she will shortly bring further proposals to Government outlining plans to safeguard and fully restore the buildings, and to create a 1916 Commemorative Centre on the site. The requisite approval under the National Monuments Acts is already in place for the restoration project and the proposed Commemorative Centre.

Today’s decision means that:
  • the Moore Street national monument will now come into public ownership
  • the long-term future of this historical landmark is secured
  • the 1916 Commemorative Centre to be developed on the site will be run as a public facility with access for citizens and visitors alike
  • the new Commemorative Centre will enhance and complement the 1916 visitor facility currently being developed in the GPO.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Dublin Correspondent joins British Newspaper Archive
The Dublin Correspondent has joined the
British Newspaper Archive's line up. The paper – a moderate pro-British Government title that, for a short time had the largest circulation in Ireland – started publication in 1806 as The Correspondent, only adding the 'Dublin' to its name in 1823.

More than 150 editions of the paper have been uploaded, most dating from that year, with just a handful of issues for 1824 and 1825.

There are now 71 Irish titles in the BNA database. They can be accessed via a BNA subscription or as part of FindMyPast's Ireland and World subscription packages.

This latest addition means there are a total of 400 titles in the British Newspaper Archive offering 10,616,161 pages of historical material.

Irish genealogy & heritage events, 30 March to 12 April

Monday 30 March: Finding Irish and Scots-Irish Roots, a half-day seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Venue: Jackson County Genealogy Library, 3405 So. Pacific Highway, Medford, OR, 97501 USA. 8:30am to noon. Members £30; Non-members $35. Details. Fully booked.

Monday 30 March: Snippets from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ulster, with Johnny Dooher. Host: North of Ireland FHS, Foyle Branch. Venue: Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, LondonDerry BT48 6A. 7–9pm. All welcome.

Monday 30 March: Trim: Fairly typical medieval town, with Mary Hayes. Host: Clondalkin History Society. Venue: Arás Chronáin Irish Cultural Centre, Watery Lane, Clondalkin, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 31 March: The Police in Ireland & The First World War, with Dr Myles Dungan. Host: Garda Historical Society. Venue: The Palatine Room, Collins Museum, Dublin 7. Space limited, so need to reserve place. Email

Tuesday 31 March: Arthur Griffith: his life and times, a History Ireland Hedge School. Host and venue: Cavan County Museum, Virginia Road, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. The panel will include Dermot McMonagle, Brian Maye, Terence McKenna and Tony Jordan. 7:30pm. Enquiries: +353 49 854 4070.

Tuesday 31 March: An introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish family history research. A half-day seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Venue: Jackson County Genealogy Library, 3405 So. Pacific Highway, Medford, OR, 97501 USA. 8:30am to noon. Members £30; Non-members $35. Booking essential. Details.

Tuesday 31 March: Families associated with the lands west of the River Fergus in "An Leabhar Muimneach" or "The Munster Book", with Dr Cathy Swift. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Admission: KDHS members free/non-members €5. All welcome.

Tuesday 31 March: Sources for WWI Family History, with Chris Manson. Host: North of Ireland FHS, Coleraine Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine, LondonDerry. 8–10pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 1 April: World War One Ancestors, with Ian Montgomery. Part of the Your Family Tree lunchtime lecture series. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Starts at 1pm. Free but need to book at or (+44) 028 90 534800.

Wednesday 1 April to 30 May: The Irish at Gallipoli – an exhibition. Drawing on sources from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive, the exhibition will give an overview of the campaign and highlight the personal storiesof a number of Irish-born WW1 soldiers who fought in Gallipoli and other 'theatres of war'. Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Thursday 2 April: Understanding the Poor Law and the Workhouse System, with Olwen Purdue. Plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland FHS, Belfast Branch. Venue: Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. All welcome. 7:30pm – 9:30pm.

Friday 3 April: The geoarchaeology of County Down's High Crosses and Round Towers, with Ian Meighan. Host: Monuments and Building Record Public Lectures 2015. Venue: Pat Collins Reading Room, Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2LA. Free. No need to book early but limited space so arrive early to secure your seat.

Saturday 4 April: One Million Dubliners - film screening to mark the first anniversary of the death of historian, tour guide and good guy Shane MacThomáis. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Elbowroom, 32 Brunswick St N, Dublin 7. 4pm. Free, but there will be a collection of donations to Pieta House.

Monday 6 April: The Road to the Rising, a major bank holiday event in Dublin's O'Connell Street and nearby venues. Host: RTE, An Post and Dublin City Council. Full programme explores Ireland on the eve of Revolution, as well as the ideas, people and the socio-economic forces which would shape the events of Easter Week 1916. Re-enactments, memorabilia roadshow, talks, screenings and family fun. Need to book for some events. Programme.

Tuesday 7 April: Remembering 1916: The Urban Folklore Project, with Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh. First of the Dublin City & Irish Folklore series of lunchtime lectures at City Hall. Venue: Council Chamber, Dublin City Hall. 1:05 to 1:50pm. Free. No booking required.

Tuesday 7 April: An update and discussion on DNA, with George Gordon. Host: North of Ireland FHS, Omagh Branch. Venue: Omagh Branch: Omagh Library, Dublin Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone. 7:15pm – 9:15pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 7 April: Wicklow Hedge Schools, with Tommy O'Rourke. Host: Kilmacanogue History Society. Venue: The Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow. 8.30pm. Entry €3 (members €2). All welcome.

Wednesday 8 April: Education Records, with Valerie Adams. Part of the Your Family Tree lunchtime lecture series. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Starts at 1pm. Free but need to book at or (+44) 028 90 534800.

Wednesday 8 April: The Mass Rocks of County Cork, with Dr Hilary Bishop. Host: Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Crawford Art Gallery, Cork City. All welcome, no cover charge. 8pm.

Thursday 9 April: Gallipoli 1915 – The 100th annivesary, with John Malcahy. Host: Blarney & District Historical Society. Venue: Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney, Co Cork. 8pm. Everone welcome.

Thursday 9 April: Gallipoli, with Michael Lee. Host: Mount Merrion Historical Society. Venue: Community Centre, North Avenue, Mount Merrion, Dublin. 8pm. Members free; non-members €4 (students: €2). All welcome.

Friday 10 April and Saturday 11 April: Irish Women in the First World War era. Host: Women's History Association of Ireland 2015 Conference. Venue: Maynooth University, Co Kildare. Need to book. Details.

Friday 10 April: The command and staff structure of the IRA, 1918–21, with Tom Brace. Host: Military History Society of Ireland. Venue: Griffith College, South Circular Road, Dublin 8. Non-members welcome. 8pm.

Saturday 11 April: 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 April: The social world of the landed class in Tipperary, with Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam. Venue: Tipperary County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. 10am to Noon, with refreshments provided. €5 per session. Bookings: or 076 106 5564.

Saturday 11 April: Tracing your Irish family history on the Internet, with Chris Paton. (1pm-2:30pm) Part of Unlocking Your Past Family History Day 2015. Host: Cleveland Family History Society. Venue: Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner, Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK. (DL10 6NR, Junction A1M/A66) £15pp includes lunch and refreshments. Details.