Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Latest from Ireland Genealogy Archives Project

Headstone in Mt Jerome Cemetery.
Photo copyright Yvonne Russell
The following items have been added to the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives since the beginning of December. They've all been submitted by volunteers and they're free to view.

CORK Genealogy Archives – Photos
COLTHURST (nee AHERN?) and O'FLYNN photos

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives – Vital Records
Assorted deaths – 1869

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Mt Jerome Cemetery, Dublin – Part 93

Genealogy Archives - ChurchRecords
Muckross, St. John's (CoI) Marriages 1869-1899
Muckross, St. John's (CoI) Burials 1892-1899

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Photos
Toormour Abbey Plaque & Board

Genealogy Archives – Miscellaneous
Subsidy Rolls Parish of Termont M'Goork Parish, 1666

GENERAL IRELAND Archives – Newspapers
Freemans Journal, 19 Mar 1844 Repeal in America, Sydney, Cape Breton
Freemans Journal, 19 March 1844 Repeal in America, Charleston
Freemans Journal, 3 October 1843 Repeal in America, Niagara District
Freemans Journal, 19 March 1844 Repeal in America, Chicago, Halifax & Miramichi

Echoes of their Footsteps, I & II, launched in Dublin recent Dublin launch of two books by Kathleen Hegarty Thorne – Echoes of their footsteps: The Quest for Irish Freedom, 1913–1922, and Echoes of their footsteps: The Irish Civil War, 1922–1924 – may be of interest to Irish family historians.

With a strong emphasis on the individuals involved at the grass roots level, the books are based on some 22 years of research into the War of Independence and the Civil War which followed. Each has been extensively indexed and includes thousands of names of genealogical interest.

The indexes include names, townlands, details of photos and other information of interest to genealogists and can be viewed as a pdf file at no charge. Simply log onto the publisher's website at, pick a book and click the 'download index' link.

Echoes of their footsteps: The Quest for Irish Freedom, 1913–1922 is hardbound, 408 pages long and has 214 illustrations. It has a 27-page index that includes names of Volunteers mentioned, place names, county Brigade and Battalion information, and themes addressed in the book. $49.95.

Echoes of their footsteps: The Irish Civil War, 1922–1924 is also hardbound and has a 24-page index. The main crux of the book a running historical calendar of events about the IRA interspersed with various tidbits of notable Irish happenings and articles about the various hunger strikers. $49.95.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ulster Historical Foundation adds eight new databases

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has added a bumper crop of eight new databases to the members' section of its website at In total, this latest upload adds more than 36,300 names to its online collection.

The largest single new database holds more than 27,000 indexed records from the burial registers of Milltown Cemetery on Belfast's Falls Road, which is the main Catholic cemetery in the city. The register dates from 1869, when the cemetery opened, to 1895 and contains the name, age and address of the deceased as well as the date of burial. It's an invaluable resource for researching Belfast ancestors, many of whom, like most city dwellers, moved frequently.

In addition to the burial register, a separate database holds the names and addresses of more than 1,600 buyers of burial plots in Milltown Cemetery between 1924 and 1931.

The other new databases fall into two categories:

19th century records:
More than 5,400 names by townland and parish from the 1803 Agricultural Census for County Down, as well as the names of those subscribing to the publication of the ‘Historic Memorials of the First Presbyterian Church in Belfast’ in 1887 and the names of members of First Derry Presbyterian Church by pew number from the year 1883.

Earlier records: These have been transcribed by the UHF's volunteers and include a petition by residents of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O’Crilly in County Londonderry which declared the signatories to be opposed to the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland in 1745; a list of those who were restored to their estates in Ireland by King Charles II in 1660; and a list of those people who were issued with transplanters’ certificates in 1653 and 1654 to move to Connaught.

Together with an existing collection of 200+ databases holding more than 775,000 names, these eight databases are available free to members of the Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild. You can find full details of the benefits of membership (a year's subscription is currently £33) at AncestryIreland.

Monday, 15 December 2014

British Newspaper Archive adds 50th Irish title

Another week, another delivery from the British Newspaper Archive (BNA)! This latest bundle of six 'new' titles brings the total number of historical Irish newspapers available on the database to 50.

At least half of the publications already in the database have also received top-up editions, some of them in significant numbers. Among the biggest beneficiaries in the last few weeks have been the Tipperary Free Press, Limerick Reporter, Newry Examiner & Louth Advertiser, Tralee Chronicle and both Waterford papers.

Don't forget that online access to all these newspapers is also available via the BNA's sister company, FindMyPast, as part of its Ireland and World subscriptions.

As 50 is such a nice round number, I thought it was time for all the titles to step forward for a bow. Here's the full list, with the six most recently-added titles identified in grey.

Advocate, The or the Irish Industrial Journal
Allnut's Irish Land Schedule
Athlone Sentinel
Belfast Mercury
Belfast Mercantile Register and Weekly Advertiser
Belfast Morning News
Belfast News-Letter
Catholic Telegraph
Clonmel Herald
Connaught Watchman
Cork Examiner
Downshire Protestant, The
Drogheda Conservative Journal
Drogheda Journal, or Meath & Louth Advertiser
Drogheda News Letter
Dublin Builder, The
Dublin Evening Mail
Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent
Dublin Medical Press
Dublin Mercantile Advertiser and Weekly Price Current
Dublin Monitor
Dublin Morning Register
Dublin Weekly Register
Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet
Farmer’s Gazette & Journal of Practical Horticulture
Freeman's Journal
Galway Mercury and Connaught Weekly Advertiser
Galway Vindicator, and Connaught Advertiser
Hibernian Journal; or, Chronicle of Liberty
Irish Racing Book and Sheet Calendar, The
Journal of the Chemico-Agricultural Society of Ulster and Record of Agriculture and Industry
Kerry Examiner and Munster General Observer
Limerick and Clare Examiner
Limerick Evening Post
Limerick Reporter
Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser
Northern Whig
Pue's Occurrences
Roscommon Messenger
Sligo Champion
Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier
Statesman and Dublin Christian Record
Tipperary Free Press
Tralee Chronicle
Ulster General Advertiser/Herald of Business and General Information
Ulsterman, The
Waterford Chronicle
Waterford Mail
Westmeath Journal
Wexford Independent

Friday, 12 December 2014

Festive season at major Irish genealogy institutions

National Library of Ireland, Dublin: Reading Rooms will be closed from Wednesday 24 December until Thursday 1 January 2015 inclusive. Exhibitions will close from Wednesday 24 - Sunday 28 December (incl), reopening from 10am to 4.45pm from Monday 29 - Wednesday 31 December (incl), and then closed on Thursday 1 January 2015. Normal opening hours will resume Friday 2 January.

National Archives of Ireland, Dublin: The Reading Room of the National Archives will be closed from 12.30 on Wednesday 24 December until 9.15 on Monday 29 December. Note: there will be no Genealogy Advisory Service on Christmas Eve. The Reading Room will also be closed on Thursday 1 January, reopening on 2 January.

Representative Church Body Library: The RCB Library will close for Christmas on Tuesday 23 December at 5pm and reopen on Monday 5 January at 9:30am. Please note that it will also be closed on the morning of Wednesday 17 December (opening 2pm) and from 12:30pm on Friday 19 December.

General Register Office, Dublin: The GRO Research Room in Werburgh Street will be closed from 12:30pm on Christmas Eve, Wednesday 24 December, until 9:30am on Monday 29 December. Normal working hours on 30 and 31 December. Closed Thursday 1 January. Reopening with normal hours Friday 2 January 2015.

Dublin City Library & Archive: The Pearse Street Library will close at 8pm on Tuesday 23 December and reopen at 10am on Friday 2 January 2015.

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Belfast
PRONI will close at 4:45pm on Tuesday 23 December and remain closed until 9:00am on Monday 29 December. Regular hours will operate Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 December inclusive. Closed Thursday 1 January 2015. Reopening 9:00am Friday 2 January. (Note: There will be no late night Thursdays at PRONI until 15 January.)

General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI), Belfast
GRONI's Search Room will be closed on Wednesday 24 December to Friday 26 December inclusive, reopening for normal hours from Monday 29 December. Closed Thursday 1 January and returning to normal schedule from Friday 2 January.

Irish Genealogical Research Society Library, London
The Library, currently operating on Saturday afternoons only from the Society of Genealogists in London, will be closed on the Saturdays 27 December, 3 & 10 January. Normal pattern resumes 1:30pm Saturday 17 January 2015.

Society of Genealogists, London
The Society closes for Christmas at 2pm on Wednesday 24 December and reopens 10am on Tuesday 30 December. It will close at 2pm on Wednesday 31 December for the New Year holiday followed by stocktaking until 10am on Tuesday 13 January 2015.

The National Archives UK, London
TNA will close at 5pm on Tuesday 23 December, reopening Tuesday 30 December and Wednesday 31 December. It will then close on Thursday 1 January, returning to normal schedules on Friday 2 January.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

FindMyPast completes Irish Petty Sessions upload

FindMyPast has completed uploading the Irish Petty Session Registers to its database. The final tranche of 710,000 entries sees the records for the courts of Kilmainham in Dublin and Balla and Charlestown in County Mayo join the line-up. In addition, coverage has been extended for some courts already in the collection.

Launched in February 2012, the collection comprises more than 22 million order book entries dating from 1828 to 1912. These books include details of victims, witnesses and the accused, such as address, date in court, details of the offence, details of the verdict and the sentence.

More than 70 courts in the 26 counties of what is now the Republic of Ireland are covered; see the full list of courts, and their relevant years of coverage, here.

Legal go-ahead for online historical GRO registers

Just for the record, the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 completed its passage into law last week, five days ahead of schedule. You can download a pdf of the amendments here.

Much of the deliberation has been about registration issues relating to stillbirths, deaths abroad, forced marriages and civil partnerships; for genealogists, the important element of the Bill is the approval for online access to both the civil registration indexes and the civil registration registers, the latter providing images of birth, marriages and deaths that took place 100, 75 and 50 years ago respectively. You'll find these issues dealt with on page 35 of the pdf, in section 61(b) 2A.

It's good to have had the path cleared for these records to be placed online. However, as this year's debacle over the online civil registration indexes has proved, actually getting the records to a screen near you make take some time. Don't hold your breath, in other words.

Note also that the Bill refers to payment of fees. Let's hope this means the records will be professionally presented and indexed and not an in-house bodge job.