Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Kerry 1916: new book explores the county's role new book – Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record – comprehensively details the impact of key 1916 events in Co. Kerry and features biographical details of almost 150 Kerry men and women – most of whom were arrested for their involvement in the rebellion – drawn from first-hand archival accounts, the Bureau of Military History and the Military Service Pensions Collection, among other sources.

Featuring extensive newspaper reports, photographs from the period, first-hand testimonies, and with a foreword by Kerry native and eminent historian Professor JJ Lee, the book sets the pivotal role of Kerry and its people in its rightful context of the wider revolutionary period in Ireland and is a book for everyone with an interest in national and local history.

Compiled and edited by Bridget McAuliffe, Owen O’Shea and Dr Mary McAuliffe, the 320-page book is available in bookstores and online via a dedicated website – (Ireland-only). The paperback version costs €25.

The Dublin book launch, a presentation and a panel discussion about Kerry's pivotal role in the Easter Rising will take place this Friday, 27 May, at Boston College, 43 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 at 7pm. All welcome.

Summer issue of Irish Roots magazine published
Click image to visit the Irish Roots online shop.
The Summer edition of Irish Roots magazine has been published.

Once again, it has a good spread of features designed to help readers make progress with their family history research and to learn about their Irish heritage. Continuing the sacred sites series is an article focussing on the Hill of Tara, once home to the High Kings of Ireland and a site connected to many early myths and legends, while the series looking at the family histories of the leaders of the 1916 Rising concentrates on the backgrounds of Cornelius Colbert, Edward Daly, Seán Heuston and Thomas Kent.

A third series covering C19th Care of the Poor records in the United States turns its attention to the care of military veterans and orphanages, while the Australian records series casts its detailed eye over records of Irish-Australian sportsmen and women.

This issue's county of focus for genealogists is the beautiful Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow, with a round up of the best collections of local record sources, while an in-depth record collection feature makes sense of the many sources of church records now available online.

There is also an article exploring the value of the 1939 National Register of England and Wales.

This issue carried a lot of news, too, with reports of happenings among the major genealogical societies; my own What's New? Review of record releases and other developments over the last three months; information about researcher-led projects, this year's anniversaries and recent book launches; and details of up-coming heritage events, gatherings, courses, summer schools and conferences taking place this summer/autumn in Ireland.

Add in letters to the editor, suggestions of heritage and historical atrractions to visit, and the helpful Questions and Answers page, and you have plenty of interesting, unbiased and useful reading ahead of you!

Irish Roots magazine is available in print in shops or by post, or you can download a digital version for immediate download. Subscriptions are also available.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Irish Newspaper Archive celebrates additional 68 years of Munster Express with free download & 15% discount
It's a big pdf file: 26Mb
The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archives (INA) has completed a major update to its database with the addition of another 68 years of the Munster Express.

This publication is one of Ireland's leading regional newspapers, and the INA now holds editions spanning 1860 to 2016. Published (still) in Waterford City, it covers the county of Waterford, southern parts of counties Kilkenny and Tipperary, and into western Wexford.

If you have ancestors from these areas, this paper is an important source of information about the society in which they lived and even the parts they played in their local communities. The birth, marriage and death notices are also particularly useful.

To celebrate this extension of its archive, INA are providing the very first edition of the Munster Express – dated 7 July 1860 – as a free download (click image above).

In addition, INA has a special offer available: a 15% discount on monthly and annual subscriptions to the online archive. To take advantage of this discount, go to the subscription page and use the coupon code MEX15. The offer will expire on 3 June.

Update on plans for Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2016

Maurice Gleeson, organiser of the Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) conference, tells me that this year's lecture programme is almost finalised and should be announced fairly soon. As previously, it will be sponsored by Family Tree DNA.

The conference forms a distinctive feature of the annual Back To Our Past (BTOP) show in Dublin but its plans are typically confirmed some months in advance of BTOP's because the high-calibre of its DNA experts attracts a large and enthusiastic international audience, many of whom need to organise travel and accommodation arrangements.

While the full line-up can't yet be revealed, Maurice  told Irish Genealogy News that Dennis O'Brien has confirmed his attendance as a speaker. Dennis is the Administrator of the O'Brien Surname Project, which has been running for many years and has 485 members.

"Dennis will summarise the results of the project so far and what they tell us about this ancient Irish dynasty," says Maurice. "There will be some surprises when we look at the correlation between the DNA results and the genealogies described in the Ancient Annals. Not to be missed...!"

GGI2016 will be held over the three days (21–23 October) of BTOP in the Serpentine Hall at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 

While we wait for the final GGI2016 programme, the last of the recorded DNA lectures from April's Who Do You Think You Are Live in Birmingham (also co-ordinated by Maurice) have now been uploaded to the dedicated YouTube channel, where they can be freely viewed. (I've also updated my blogpost from earllier this month so that it, too, lists all the individual talks.) 

Lord Mayor's Certificates: Oral History & Local Studies

The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History will once again be offered at Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Classes will be held on Monday evenings from September 2016 until April 2017.

Course tutors are Dr Catherine O'Connor and Dr Mary McCarthy.

The course consists of 65 hours of class-based tuition and two visits to local archive services. It is designed to equip participants with the essential skills for the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews.

Full details and the topics covered can be found in the programme (download – 662kb pdf).

The closing date for course applications is 5pm on Friday 16 September 2016. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Two bursaries are offered by Dublin City Council for candidates taking this course. See the full details here.

The Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies will also be offered again at Dublin City Library & Archive. This course gives participants a formal and practical training in how to carry out research in local studies, with an emphasis on the history and heritage of local places, and how to write up their findings in the form of a dissertation.

The 85-hour course is taught by Dr Seamas O Maitiu and is held on Tuesday evenings. Three of these evening sessions will involve visits to archive services to explore source material first hand. Included in the 85-hours are also two full-day (Saturday) field trips will take place on dates to be arranged.

Full details and the topics covered can be found in the programme (download – 814kb pdf).

The closing date for receipt of course applications is 5pm on Friday 2 September 2016.

Two bursaries are offered by means of competition in respect of the course. Closing date for applications for a bursary is 5pm on Friday 26 August 2016. Details here (772kb).

Monday, 23 May 2016

National Library of Ireland: closures 26 & 27 May

Early warning for those planning to visit any of the National Library of Ireland's venues this week...

On Thursday 26 May, all NLI sites will close at 3:45pm, and the following day, Friday 27 May, they won't open until 2pm. The closures are complete ie all Reading Rooms, exhibitions, Café Joly, Genealogy Room, all library areas.

The changes to normal timetables are to facilitate staff training and development.

Electoral registers 1885–1886: Browse feature added

FindMyPast has added a browse feature to its Irish Electoral Registers 1885–1886 collection.

These registers have been available on FindMyPast since last October (see blogpost) as a fully indexed record set covering about half the island.

The counties featured are Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Tyrone, Roscommon, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.

You'll find a list of the precise constituency/polling districts here.

Choose how you want to explore this collection:
Electoral Registers Indexed, or
Electoral Registers Browse.