Friday, 28 August 2015

Irish Newspaper Archive continues to grow

The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archive has been busy in August growing its holding of editions for four newspapers, as follows:

  • Irish (Cork) Examiner: editions covering 1841 - 1989 are now online
  • Leinster Express: editions for 1959, 1976, 1988 & 2000 have been added
  • Sligo Champion: you can now search this newspaper from 1950 to current
  • Strabane Chronicle: editions published 1908 to 1979 are now available

The company advises that it is currently working on adding the following titles/dates to its database:

  • Irish (Cork) Examiner will be extended from 1990 to 2003
  • Kerry Evening Post will be joining the database with coverage planned from 1813-1917
  • Strabane Chronicle will see coverage extended backwards in time from 1980 to current.
  • Munster Express will see coverage extended from 1860 to 1917.

Northern Ireland public holiday closures, 31 August

Northern Ireland enjoys its Late Summer Bank Holiday on Monday 31 August.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will be closed on Monday and will re-open on Tuesday, as will all public lending libraries. Those branch libraries that normally open on Saturdays will be open tomorrow; closed Monday.

The Linen Hall Library in Belfast will be open on Saturday (9:30am–4pm) but not on Monday.

This public holiday does not apply to the Republic of Ireland.

'Great Famine Voices' crowdsourcing project launched
A new crowdsourcing project has been launched called Great Famine Voices which seeks to build an online community of people willing to transcribe documents from the Strokestown Famine Archive, to research and share discoveries about some of those named in the documents, and to share their own family stories relating to the Famine and/or 19th-century emigration from Ireland.

The project website says: "Through your stories and records, we hope to elaborate upon the picture that the documents of the Great Famine Archive gives us.

"Together we can construct a clearer picture of this terrible yet fascinating time, while also raising awareness and bringing benefit to Strokestown."

Three documents have been uploaded to the website so far: the Cloonahee Petition, the 3rd Day Meal, and an 1842 Rental of the Strokestown Estate. The Cloonahee Petition has already been transcribed. The other two await transcription. They are full of names and will be a terrific resource for those with Roscommon ancestors once transcribed.

Find out more by exploring the new website:

Coleraine Chronicle joins British Newspaper Archive
Another newspaper making an August debut at the online British Newspaper Archive is the Coleraine Chronicle and Ballymena Weekly Advertiser.

All editions of the weekly paper from January 1845 to December 1851 have been uploaded to the database. The BNA notes that the archive will eventually hold editions from 1844 to 1871.

While taking a look at the 4 January 1845 edition of the paper, I came across the following sad story, billed as 'Infanticide':

Being as nosey as any other family historian, I had to find out what became of the unfortunate Margaret Holland, so I searched for a later occurrence of her name in the newspaper database and found a report of her trial, held three months later at LondonDerry Assizes.

By this time, a decision had been made not to charge Margaret with infanticide. Whether or not it was concluded that the baby had not been born alive isn't clear. Either way, Margaret was indicted for 'concealment of pregnancy and secretly disposing of the dead body of her female child.' She was sentenced to 'five months' imprisonment and to be kept to hard labour suited to her sex'.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Irish specialist Four Courts Press: 20% off books

Four Courts Press, the Dublin-based specialist publisher of Irish history, art and literature, is offering a 20% discount on all purchases made via its website until the end of September.

The company publishes around 50 books each year and currently has some 500 in print. All have gone through a rigorous peer-reviewed process; the Four Courts Press Editorial Panel consists of more than 20 academics of international standing.

To reflect the range of topics in the portfolio, I've made a short selection of some recent or reprinted titles that Irish family historians might like for their bookshelves (there are plenty more, believe me!):
  • Sending out Ireland's poor – Assisted emigration to North America in the nineteenth-century, by Gerard Moran
  • Medieval Ireland – Territorial, political and economic divisions, by Paul MacCotter
  • The Templars, the witch and the wild Irish – Vengeance and heresy in medieval Ireland, by Maeve Brigid Callan
  • The Irish Country House – Its past, present and future, edited by Terence Dooley & Christopher Ridgway (new in paperback)
  • Ireland and the Crimean War, by David Murphy
  • Philanthropy in nineteenth-century Ireland, edited by Laurence M. Geary & Oonagh Walsh
  • Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine, by CiarĂ¡n Reilly

To take advantage of the discount offer, enter the code SEPTSALE2015 in the "add coupon" box and click "apply" when checking out. Bingo, 20% off.

Don't miss this offer. Promos as good as this don't come around often.

Genetic Genealogy Ireland at BTOP: lecture line-up

Ireland's only major annual genealogy get-together, Back To Our Past, is now just six weeks away and the provisional line-up of DNA lectures has been revealed today.

The DNA lecture stream forms Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI), a conference as much for DNA enthusiasts as for beginners, that has come to form an integral part of BTOP. Twenty lectures will be presented on the half-hour over the three days of the show, and the line-up features several internationally recognised DNA experts. The theme for this year's GGI is 'Who are the Irish?'.

While BTOP has a daily admission price of €10 (€5 if booked by 1 September, see Advance Ticket offer), the lectures themselves are free to attend once you are inside the Hall.

A traditional genealogy lecture programme will also run during BTOP. Details have yet to be announced.

BTOP details:

Friday 9 October Noon to 6:30pm
Saturday 10 October 11am to 6:30pm
Sunday 11 October 11am to 6:30pm.
(GGI lectures start each day 30minutes after doors open; the last GGI lecture on each day starts at 5:30pm.)

Serpentine Hall, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Free access to Ancestry's Irish/UK records this weekend
To coincide with the Late Summer Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, Ancestry is to open up its entire collection of Irish and UK records this weekend.

In addition to free access to its one-billion-records collection, Ancestry will be giving family historians a first chance to try out its latest features called LifeStory, Facts View and Gallery.

You can see the list of record sets included in the collection by clicking the above link.

The free access will start on Friday 28 August and continue until 11:59pm GMT on Monday 31 August.

To view the records you will need to register on the site with your name and email address. Ancestry will then send you a username and password. On expiry of the free period you will need a paid membership to continue viewing the records.