Wednesday, 28 September 2016

UCD history courses at National Library of Ireland

University College Dublin (UCD) and the National Library of Ireland will be offering a number of history courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme.

UCD Lifelong Learning courses are part-time specific interest courses that are participative, engaging and facilitated by experts in their field. The courses are open to all and provide a chance to explore a subject without concerns about assessment. The 2016/2017 courses are:

Starting October 2016:
  • The American West and the Irish who made it. Tutor: Myles Dungan. Eight weeks from Wednesday 5 October, 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • Ireland at War 1913-1924. Tutor: Eve Morrison. Eight weeks from Thursday 6 October, 2–4:30pm. €195. Details and booking.

Starting January/March 2017:
  • Sport and Society in Ireland. Tutor: Paul Rouse. Eight weeks from Wednesday 11 January. 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • Republicanism and Irish Life 1922-2005. Tutor: Eve Morrison. Eight weeks from Thursday 26 January, 2–4:30pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • The Great Irish Famine 1845-1852. Tutor: Brian Casey. Eight weeks from Wednesday 8 March. 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.

Each course is held at the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fifth Waterford title joins British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has added another Irish title: The Waterford Standard. This paper was published from 1863 to 1882 as The Standard and Waterford Conservative Gazette before changing its name.

More than 2,500 editions published between 1897 and 1950 are now available to search in the online database.

Waterford is particularly well represented in the BNA database. Five titles – Waterford Chronicle, Waterford Mail, Waterford Mirror and Tramore Visitor, Waterford News and now The Waterford Standard – provide excellent coverage for the county between 1824 and the 1950s.

This latest addition is one of 124 Irish publications in the British Newspaper Archive. These titles are also available via FindMyPast with an Ireland or World subscription.

AGI and ASGRA in historic first joint meeting

L-R: ASGRA Chairman Janet Bishop and
AGI President Máire Mac Conghail
Having formed an alliance earlier in the year, Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) and the Association of Scottish Genelaogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA) held their first joint meeting last week at a special two-day professional development event hosted in Belfast, where AGI (then APGI) was founded in 1986.

The two organisations have been providing accreditation for professional genealogists for three decades, and have joined forces to promote the benefits of such accreditation for both competent genealogists and those seeking to engage competent and trustworthy researchers.

At the beginning of the two-day event AGI President Máire Mac Conghail, and ASGRA Chairman Janet Bishop outlined the history and evolution of their respective organisations and welcomed the alliance.

In August, an internal newsletter for AGI and ASGRA members (compiled by Kirsteen Mulhern (ASGRA), Michael Walsh MAGI, and John Grenham MAGI) was launched, and AGI will attend the 28th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies, which ASGRA is hosting at North Queensferry, Fife, next April.

AGI and ASGRA have similarities. For example, both have programmes to help those in transition towards a career in genealogical research. However, there are differences of approach between the two organisations. The alliance recognises these differences and does not seek to impose uniformity. The organisations are equal and are supportive of one another.

Cork and Offaly folklore materials complete online Schools' Collection

Folklore and local history material from Counties Cork and Offaly has been uploaded to the National Folklore Collection's free website, and completes the online Schools' Collection.

In this latest and final instalment, the material was prepared by children attending more than 450 schools in County Cork and 90 schools in County Offaly.

The Collection as a whole consists of more than half a million pages of handwritten stories and reports gathered and written by some 50,000 primary school pupils across the 26 counties between 1937 and 1939.

The site can currently be searched by place, by person and by topic, and it has material from almost every parish in Ireland.

A special feature of the site is Meitheal Dú, a crowdsourced transcription initiative. At the beginning of 2015, the public was invited to help Dú by transcribing the text of the Irish-language stories in the Schools’ Collection. Since the start of this year, every story in the collection, both Irish and English, is available for transcription and a dedicated community of transcribers eagerly undertake this work. To date the voluntary transcribers of the Meitheal have transcribed over 35,000 pages, making Meitheal Dú one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects of its kind in the world.

Launching the final upload and marking the successful completion of the Schools' Collection project, Seán Kyne, TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, said: ‘I am delighted to launch the two final counties of the Schools’ Folklore Collection. This wonderful resource is now available to the public in its entirety. It is of great importance not only as a primary source for the academic researcher but also as a treasure trove for everyone around the world who has an interest in Ireland.’

IGRS celebrates 80th anniversary at the College of Arms

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) celebrated its 80th anniversary at the place where it was founded back in 1936: the College of Arms in London.

The reception, held in the Old Court of Chivalry, was well-attended by Society's members and high-profile supporters, and by several dignitories including Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador; Peter O'Donoghue, the York Herald; Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms; and Timothy Duke, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.

For more details of the event and the Society's successes over the 80 years, see the IGRS website

Monday, 26 September 2016

Irish genealogy and history events, 26 Sept–8 Oct

Monday 26 September: Temperance, with Valerie Adams. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking recommended: T: 028 9053 4800, E: Postponed.

Tuesday 27 September: The Ulster Covenant, 1912 and the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland, 1916, with Liam Kennedy. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Fre but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E:

Tuesday 27 September: 1916 & 1956. The Irish & Hungarian Revolutions - similarities and differences, with Brian Comerford. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members/€5 non-members. All welcome. Lecture will be preceded at 7:30pm by the Society's postponed 2016 AGM.

Wednesday 28 September: Mysteries of Life and Death: the work of the Armagh Coroner, 1888-1889, with Dr Desmond McCabe. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email to secure your place.

Friday 30 September: Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition. This year's theme is 1916. Venue: Millenium Hall, City Hall, Cork City. 10am to 6:30pm. Free. Details (pdf)

Saturday 1 October: Ireland and the Great War - a one-day conference. Host: Western Front Association, Cork Branch. Venue: Ambassador Hotel, Military Hill, St Luke's, Cork City. 9:30am to 5pm. All welcome. €15 on the door or in advance from Liam Ruiseal Book Shop, 49-50 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City.

Monday 3 October: The school and the home: boarding schools in Dublin 1800-1860, with Mary Hatfield. What was it like to be a student at boarding school in the early nineteenth-century. What did students study and why? Part of the Dublin Festival of History. Venue: Ballymun Library, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 11. Free. 6:30pm. Booking required. Details.

Monday 3 October: History, Memory & the Archives: sources for the Revolutionary period in Military Archives, with Commandant Stephen MacEoin. Part of the Dublin Festival of History 2016 programme. Venue: Auditorium, Guard Room, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6. 3pm. Free. Early booking recommended, to

Monday 3 October: History of Ballyarnett Racecourse, with Thomas Deeney. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 October: Visit to Heritage Services, Central Library. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: Heritage Services, 2nd Floor, Central Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1EA. 2:30pm. Email Branch:

Tuesday 4 October: The Irish soldier in 1916, with Lar Joye. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Free but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E:

Wednesday 5 October: Visit to the LDS Family History Centre, with Keith Wright. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Foyle Northern Ireland FHC, Racecourse Road, LondonDerry, BT48 7RA. 7pm. Email Branch:

Wednesday 5 October: Halloween in Ireland, history and traditions, with Dr Deirdre O'Byrne. Host: Birmingham Irish Heritage Group. Venue: Irish Centre Birmingham, 14-20 High Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, UK B12 0LN. 7–9pm. Details.

Wednesday 5 October: ‘From Jangling steeples to Hill-Rimmed Houses’: the Buildings of County Armagh, with Dr Kevin Mulligan. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email to secure your place

Wednesday 5 October: Launch of #IAMIRISH - Photography Exhibition. Formalities by Ambassador Dan Mulhall. Launch will also announce a series of workshops and debates linking those of mixed race heritage to their Irish family ancestry. Host and venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB. Exhibition marks Black History Month. 7pm. Free. Details. Exhibition to continue to 31 October.

Friday 7 October: A history of eating and drinking, with Kim Mawwhinney. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking recommended: T: 028 9053 4800, E:

Saturday 8 October: The National Library's History & Heritage, an introduction to the Library's rich architectural history and the Signatories exhibition, plus a guided tour of the Reading Room.  Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Admission free. All welcome. 1pm. No need to book.

Saturday 8 October: Irish Ancestry One-Day Conference, with lectures from Maggie Loughran and Chris Paton. Host: Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society. Venue: Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre, 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, UK, BB5 3HZ. Tickets £20, includes buffet Lunch. Details.

Saturday 8 October: 19th-century Irish genealogy research: What’s available and how to find it - an Intermediate level workshop with Miles Davenport. Host and venue: McClelland Irish Centre (Norton Room), 1106 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA. 10:30am to 12:30pm. Non-Members: $20/Members: $15. Need to register. Details.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Time for a break

The past week or so has been like Christmas for Irish genealogists, as a quick look through recent blogposts will testify.

While I'm as delighted as the next researcher to have all these shiny new resources at my disposal, keeping up with the steady stream of record releases and other developments has taken a toll. Since early summer, I've been trying to spin far too many work plates, and I've now reached a point where, if I don't re-focus on the day job and my other commitments, I'm going to end up surrounded by a lot of broken crockery.

As far as I'm aware, there's nothing else of any great significance in the Irish family history pipe, so, while everyone is happy, absorbed and playing nicely with their new genealogy toys, I'm going to take a 'Christmas' break from the blog and all-things-genealogy. A week or two will (I hope) allow me to clear at least the most pressing elements of the backlog.

Hasta la vista.