Thursday, 27 November 2014

Nine new Irish titles join British Newspaper Archive
Since my mid-month update on Irish additions to the British Newspaper Archive (BNA), nine more titles have made their debut on the online database.

This brings to sixteen the number of newspaper to have joined the BNA during November.

The newest titles (with the number of editions in brackets) are:
  • The Advocate, or Irish Industrial Journal: 1856–Jan 1860 (406)
  • Athlone Sentinel: Nov & Dec1834 (6)
  • Dublin Medical Press: 1846, 1848, 1850–59; 1865 (676)
  • Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet: May 1813, 1824–38; 1840–41 (with gaps) (751)
  • Farmer's Gazette & Journal of Practical Horticulture: Nov 1845; 1846; 1857–58; 1866; 1869–70 (317)
  • Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier: Jan–Nov 1845; 1846; 1848–Nov 49 (122)
  • Tralee Chronicle: March 1843–47; Jan–Oct 1848; 1849 (588)
  • Ulster General Advertiser/Herald of Business and General Information: 1858 (52)
  • Wexford Independent: 1843–56 (1,171)
In addition, a good number of extra editions have been added to some of the holdings of individual titles. Among the most significant uploads are those to the Waterford Mail, Dublin Evening Mail, Limerick Reporter, The Northern Whig, Newry Examiner & Louth Advertiser, and Roscommon Messenger.

All the new titles and uploads have also joined the Irish newspaper collection in FindMyPast's Ireland and World packages.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Winter issue of Irish Roots published

The latest issue of Irish Roots Magazine has been published and is now available in good newsagents and bookshops, as well as downloadable in digital format here.
Irish Roots magazine is available by post
or downloadable in digital format
Beyond the pretty picture on the cover of this issue, beginners and, indeed, many intermediate level researchers, will benefit from the first of a new Back To Basics feature series designed to place Irish records in their historical context and point family historians in the direction of the main repositories and their online records, as well as the best guide books.

Another article takes an in-depth look at government gazettes, especially the Dublin Gazette, and their value to genealogists, while those with ancestors from Limerick will want to follow up the advice and recommended resources in a spotlight feature focussing on that county.

A very unusual case study follows George Mitchell from County Monaghan who was killed in action as a soldier in the Indian Army; it'll be of great value as a methodology to follow in tracing the story of a WW1 ancestor, as well as highlighting a lesser-known battlefield of WW1: the advance into Iraq in 1917. Fascinating.

Other features look at the surnames of Leinster (I was surprised to learn that there are no big Norman-origin names among the top-20 in this province), and the famous Christmas Truce on the Western Front 100 years ago.

Irish-Australian politicians are also explored; there's my own regular review of new resources, developments and happenings in Irish genealogy; and, for Irish-American researchers, there's a helpful article about using Special Collections to discover more information about immigrant ancestors. There's also a rather sad tale of a family that made the journey to Manhatten and subsequently returned to County Cork.

As if that weren't enough, Nicola Morris, MAPGI, of Timeline Research, answers readers queries and provides readers with some great tips for their own research, and there's news from around the Irish genealogical groups. I spotted in the Society Notes section that the North of Ireland Family History Society will be expanding its excellent Research Centre in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, after a neighbouring unit in the complex became vacant. This means the society, the island's busiest and biggest, will be able to host genealogy classes for local groups. I look forward to following up this development.

Irish Roots magazine costs €4.50/£3.35 in the shops, €7 by mail (anywhere), or $3.99 for a digital copy. A one-year subcription costs $12 (digital) or, for hard copy, €25/US$37/CAN$40/AUS$42/UK£25 (approximately) including postage.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Irish News Archive: reductions to hold to end of year

There's been a lot going on at the Irish Newspaper Archive in the last few weeks, what with the addition of the Leinster Express to the portfolio and then the launch of 108 years of the Irish (Cork) Examiner.

It seems, however, that recent talk of permanent price-cuts may have been a bit premature (see blogpost). Although prices have now been reduced – from €60 to €30 for the monthly sub, and €360 to €178 for the annual – these should be considered a 50% Christmas Special Offer only, rather than a fixed price for the longer term.

Once the festivities are over, if not before, the Irish Newspaper Archive will advise the New Year's pricing regime.

Diaries at the ready: PRONI dates until mid-January

From the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) comes a reminder that this time of year sees many changes to opening/closing hours as well as periods of limited service.

This Thursday (28 November) will be the last late-night at the Titanic Bouvlevard offices until the third week of the New Year, as PRONI will close at 4.45pm on the following Thursday evenings: 4, 11 & 18 December and 8 January 2015.

Over the festive period, PRONI will be closed on Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 December and on Thursday 1 January 2015.

Late-night Thursdays will recommence on 15 January 2015.

The week after next, 8–12 December, will be Preservation Week at the repository. This will result in some service restrictions. There will be no Document Production, but the Public Search Room, including Self-Service Microfilm area, will be operating as normal. (During that week, the PRONI team will be posting articles about preservation, reprographics, preventative conservation, digital preservation and emergency planning as well as publishing photos recording what they get up to behind the scenes.)

Irish genealogy and history events, 24 Nov – 6 Dec

Tuesday 25 November: Dublin at war, 1914-18, a History Ireland ‘Hedge School’ debate. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Chaired by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland. Panelists Padraig Yeates, Brian Hanley, Ann Mathews, and David Fitzpatrick. 7pm. Admission free. No need to book.

Tuesday 25 November: Family history resources at Coleraine Library, with Sarah Carson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Coleraine Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine, Co Derry-Londonderry. 8.00pm. Lecture followed by light refreshments. All welcome. €3 for non-members.

Tuesday 25 November: Recruitment in the First World War in Kilrush, Co Clare, with Paul O'Brien. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 8pm. €5 for non-members. All welcome.

Wednesday 26 November: Irish Volunteers and National Volunteers in Meath, October 1914-April 1916, a Decade of Centenaries lecture, with Ruth Illingworth. Hosts: Meath Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: St Mary's Church of Ireland Hall, Navan. 7.30pm.

Thursday 27 November: What really happened at the Battle of Clontarf, with Professor Se├ín Duffy. Host: The Friends of the Library – Trinity College Dublin. Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. 7:30pm. Admission €5/Members & Concessions €2.50. All welcome.

Thursday 27 November: Official opening of the Ulster-Scots Hub & Discover Ulster-Scots Centre at the Corn Exchange Building, 1-7 Victoria Street, Belfast. Formalities by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure. 6pm to 7:30pm. All welcome but you need to reserve your space by email to

Thursday 27 November: A street through time, featuring Market Street, with Johnnie Kennedy. Host: Strabane History Society. Venue: Room 5, Strabane Library, 1 Railway Street, Strabane, Co Tyrone BT82 8EF. 7:30pm

Thursday 27 November: From Mons to Gallipoli – Irish soldiers at war in the first 9 months of WW1, with Lar Joye. Host: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Venue: 63 Merrion Square South, Dublin 2. 7:30pm. Free.

Thursday 27 November: Graveyard research in North Antrim, with Dorothy Arthur. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena BT43 5EJ, Co Antrim. 7:15pm.

Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November:
A safe place for ships: Cork, Ireland, Europe and the Sea, a conference on the maritime history of Cork. Organised by the School of History, University College Cork. Venue: Main Campus, Electrical Building, L-1, UCC. Topics include the Vikings, piracy, the Spanish Armada, international trade, Emigration, the Napoleonic War at sea, island nations, port cities, WW1 submarine warfare, the Lusitania, and more. Admission is free and no registration is required. Details.

Saturday 29 November: Dublin in the rare auld rhymes, a night of song, story and recitations. Host: Stoneybatter and Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone pub, 77 King St North, Dublin 7. Donation to Capuchin Day Centre at the door.  8pm.

Tuesday 2 December: The heritage sites of County Kildare, with Ger McCarthy. Host: Naas Local History Group. Venue: Community Library, Harbour View, Naas, Co Kildare. 7:45pm.

Tuesday 2 December: Women in Waterford History, with Andy Kelly. Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Friary Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 8pm. €5. All welcome.

Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 December: Reading Room closed to public for annual media review. National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin. Details.

Wednesday 3 December: Ulster and the First World War, with Jonathan Bardon. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to reserve your place by email to or telephone 02890 534800.

Friday 5 December: Ireland, Australia and the First World War, with Dr Jeff Kildea. Host: Military History Society of Ireland. Venue: Griffith College, South Circular Road, Dublin 8. Non-members welcome. 8pm.

Saturday 6 December: Survival and revival – Ireland's historic gardens and demesne landscapes, with Finola Reid. Venue: Tipperary County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. 10am to Noon, with refreshments provided. €5 per session. Bookings: or 076 106 5564.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Yet more transcriptions from Clare County Library

Clare County Library has had a busy month of website uploads. Having added five new sets of transcriptions just over a week ago (see blogpost), three more have been added in the last few days.

They are headstone inscriptions from the graveyards of Kilmaleery, Kilconry and Clonloghan, and the dates recorded range from 1765 to 1996. The main family names from Kilmaleery are McMahon, Frawley, Fahy and McInerney; in Kilconry they are Donohue/O’Donoghue, Burke, McMahon and McNamara; while the prominent surnames in Clonloghan are Hannan/Hannon, Hastings, Hickey, Moroney and Corbett.

The transcriptions have been taken from surveys carried out by Pat Carrig for OBAIR Newmarket-on-Fergus in the late 1990s. His original survey notebooks were lent to the library by Canon Reuben Butler.

FindMyPast delivers Griffith's Valuation maps & plans
This week's FindMyPast Friday brings a highly regarded set of maps and town-plans to the database's Griffith's Valuation (GV) collection.

Since 2003, this GV collection has been available only on Irish Origins, now a sister company of in the DC Thompson Family History stable.

It was developed by the National Library of Ireland, Eneclann and OMS Services and brought together 300 of the 301 GV publications dispersed across the National Library, the National Archives, the Valuation Office, the Genealogical Office, the Gilbert Library, the private collection of George Handran and other archives.

The information was then digitised and made fully searchable (by person and placename) to create what is widely accepted as the most comprehensive version of Griffith's Valuation online.

The Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and town plans used by the team working on Griffith's Primary Valuation during 1847-1864 still exist, marked up and annotated by those working on the Primary Valuation and subsequently by Valuation Office personnel. For many places there are multiple plans, usually created at different times, and these are easily accessible when viewing the images. The majority are undated, but the one you retrieve when searching the FindMyPast collection will usually be the earliest ie the one first used in Griffith's Valuation.

Unfortunately, the FindMyPast collection does not have maps, only transcripts, for the six counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, LondonDerry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone).