Friday, 16 February 2018

Doors open on first Back To Our Past (& GGI) in Belfast

The doors have opened on a bright sunny morning at the first-ever Back To Our Past (BTOP) Show in Belfast.

Held annually in Dublin since 2011, BTOP is a dedicated genealogy and family history exhibition and conference. It incorporates Genetic Genealogy Ireland, a distinct conference that attracts DNA specialists from around the world while offering a programme of lectures for researchers of all levels from beginners to experts. A traditional genealogy lecture programme is also part of the BTOP experience.

The debut Belfast show is being held at Titanic Belfast. There is an admission charge of £10, but once in, all lectures are free, and there is plenty of free advice on offer from many of the stall holders as well as products to purchase to help family historians learn and develop their research skills. Special show discounts are also likely to be much in evidence, and news of recent developments for some of the exhibitors.

For example, the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) will be launching the first three of a series of How-To videos offering expert research advice to its members*; FamilyTree DNA is offering big reductions on its Family Finder test, plus exclusive savings on mtDNA & Y-DNA test bundles to trace maternal and paternal ancestry; MyHeritage will be selling its DNA kit for £55 instead of normal price of £69; Irish Roots Magazine, Ireland's only independent genealogy magazine, has special bundle offers on back copies; and you should look out for some beautiful embroidered family trees by Niamh McCarthy, too.
Beautiful stitching from artist Niamh McCarthy.
Click for larger view.
According to BTOP's organisers, the following exhibitors will be at the show: Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI); The Association of Scottish Genealogists in Archives (ASGRA); Belfast Newsletter; Belfast Telegraph; Croke Park Museum; Dublin Coin, Stamp and Medal Auctions; FamilytreeDNA; Fermanagh Genealogy; Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI); Glasgow City Archives; Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; Hibernian Coins; Hidden Hearing; Imperial War Museum; Irish Genealogy Research Society (IGRS); Irish Genealogy Solutions; Irish Newspaper Archives; Irish Roots Magazine; Merriman Research; My Heritage; Naimh Designs; National Archives of Ireland; North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS); Percival Prints; Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI); Titanic Centre; Scottish Monumental Inscriptions; Senior Times magazine; Somme Museum; Tom Keane Antiques; Ulster Historical Foundation.

Both lecture programmes get underway at 10:30. View them here:
Genetic Genealogy Ireland lecture programme
Traditional and general genealogy lecture programme

Back To Our Past will be at Titanic Belfast today and tomorrow. Doors open each day at 10am and close at 5pm.

* For this launch weekend only, the videos are available for the public to view on the Society's Thereafter, they will be accessible only to members.

Ancestry adds 20m records from London directories

Various types of directories are included in the collection
A whopping 19,793,623 records from 190 London directories published from 1736 to 1943 have joined Ancestry. The title of the collection – London, England, City Directories, 1736-1943 – is slightly misleading because most of the areas included are not in the City, and for much of the period covered, were not even classed as London but were in Middlesex. Nowadays, the area is better known as Greater London, and takes in parts of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Surrey and Kent.

Apart from that cautionary grumble, I think this record set will be lapped up by researchers, whether their ancestors were born and raised in the wider capital area or, like so many over the years, migrated there from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the English countryside.

I've already had a profitable search in the collection, coming up with a new address for my paternal grandfather during one of his brief post-war sojourns in London (and even more exciting, Google Street shows the building to still be standing), and a bookbinder Santry living in Borough High Street in the 1830s and 1840s who needs further investigation.

There are several types of directory included in the collection:
Street: listing of residents, businesses, and tradesmen according to street address
Commercial: includes businesses, but may also include private residences; generally an alphabetical listing of traders
Trade: not just for businesses, but anyone with a recognized trade or profession; an alphabetical listing of trades and businesses
Court: lists wealthy residents and government officials
Post Office: listing of householder's names and addresses

Many of the later directories include private residents, and they're not all wealthy or prominent members of the communities, either.

The collection is indexed, but Ancestry's search page also allows you to browse the individual directories by name. If you have searching for ancestors in specific places at specific times, I'd suggest you check the names of the publications, and their dates of publication via this browse facility.

Two new Irish titles join online British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added The Social Review and The Armagh Standard to its online database of historical Irish newspapers.

The Armagh Standard is now known as the The Ulster Gazette, or the Ulster Gazette and Armagh Standard. It claims to have had the largest readership in the Armagh City and district area since 1844.

The BNA's planned holding for this paper will cover only 1884–1896.

The Social Review was published from Dublin's Nassau Street and was controversially edited and sub-edited by a woman (Annie Colles, previously Ross, nee Sweeney) from 1893 to 1895.

It carried reports of official events at the Castle; reviews of theatre, concert and upper-crust charity events; news of high society weddings and deaths; and announcements and accounts of 'at home' events, soirees and balls hosted by Ireland's well-heeled elite. It also published short stories, fashion and beauty advice, and advertisements for such products and services as fashionable corsets, investment specialists and medical cures. The title was absorbed into the Irish Society newspaper in 1901.

The full run of the paper from 1893 to 1901 is planned for the BNA's holding.

The online holding of both papers will automatically join FindMyPast's Irish Newspaper Collection.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest additions
Headstone to Beacon family, in St Tighernach
graveyard, Derryvullan South, Co Fermanagh.
Photo courtesy of Dave Hall and IGPArchives.
Ireland Genealogy Projects (IGP-web) Archives has added the following files to its database in the first two weeks of February.

As always, they have all been donated by generous volunteers and are free to view.

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Trinity Presbyterian Graveyard, Kildorough

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mt. Jerome Little Angels

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Derryvullen South, St. Tighernach (CoI) Graveyard (partial)

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Bekan Village, Bekan Cemetery (B-J)

MONAGHAN & FERMANAH, Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Clones Parish Registers - Baptisms & Burials (additional)

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Achonry Cathedral Graveyard (Updated)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous
Tipperary Vagabonds Ordered for Transportation - 1743

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Newspapers
Assorted Work House Entries

More free online material from Clare Library's Local Studies Centre

The Local Studies department of Clare County Library has added the following free material to its online Genealogy site:

RC Baptism Records for Clondagad/Kilchreest Parish, 1846-Jan 1881: The NLI's baptism register images for this parish have been transcribed by Kevin Murphy. See his note of caution regarding maiden names of mothers.

RC Baptism Records (Complete) for Carron Parish, 1853-1881. The NLI's baptism register for this parish has been transcribed by Sheila Duddy. See her notes for further information regarding entries from the first 15 years of the register.

RC Marriage Records (Complete) for Carron Parish, 1856-1882. The NLI's marriage register for this parish has also been transcribed by Sheila Duddy. The transcriptions have been indexed by date, by groom's surname and by bride's surname.

1808 Meeting of Ennis Catholics. This list of Ennis Catholics dates from twenty years before Catholic Emancipation. It relates to a meeting held in the old Ennis Courthouse and was originally published in the Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser newspaper on Saturday 20 February 1808. It was transcribed by staff in the Local Studies Centre and is presented in Excel Spreadsheet format.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Free access to MyHeritage's global marriage records
Feel the love! MyHeritage is celebrating Valentine's Day by opening up its collection of marriage records for free.

The collection includes records from across the globe, so wherever your Irish emigrant ancestors settled, you're likely to find an appropriate set of records to search.

You don't need to register or have a subscription to search or view these records during the free access period, which will expire at the end of Thursday, 15 February, so don't delay. Click the image to start your search.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Ancestry's ProGenealogist team in Dublin continues to expand

The ProGenealogists Dublin team is based at Ancestry's
modern offices on Sir John Rogerson's Quay
Ancestry is looking for another 'Associate Researcher - Genealogist' to join its ProGenealogists team in Dublin. This is a new position at Sir John Rogerson's Quay; it is in addition to those created last Autumn which resulted in two genealogists joining, and will see the team in Ireland expand to a total of 9.

The 'Associate Researcher - Genealogist' works with Research Managers to research, document, and prepare client sessions. They assist in gathering materials, clerical work, records dissemination and support to allow the Research Managers to focus on the research project and analysis.

This role will focus predominantly on genealogy research in Ireland and U.S. records concerning emigrants from Ireland.

If you think you may have what it takes, check out the full description and requirements for the role here.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Irish genealogy and history/heritage events, 12-25 Feb

Monday 12 February: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 12 February: Dr George Cumming: a United Irishman, with Eddy Lowe. Host: Carryduff Historical Society. Venue: Committee Room, Lough Moss Leisure Centre, Hillsborough Road, Carryduff, Co Down. 8pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members £2.

Irish Family History events this fortnight
Monday 12 February: Clifton House and Mary Ann McCracken, with Louise Cavanan. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 12 February: Research Workshop: Using the National Library. Host & Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 5:30pm. Free. To reserve a place, contact: or 01 6030 259/346. Details.

Tuesday 13 February: Pottery and trade connections in medieval Cork. Host and venue: St Peter's Cork, North Main Street, Cork City. 5pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 February: The photograph as a historical source, with John Lynch. North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: The Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 February: An update on the Irish DNA Atlas, with Ed Gilbert. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland St, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3.

Tuesday 13 February: The Brewer's Tale, with Christina Wade. Host: More Tales of Medieval Dublin lecture series. Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. 1:05–1:55pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 14 February: A life of crime: Stealing books in 18th- and 19th-century Ireland, with Dr James McElliott. Host: Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 1. Free admission. All welcome. 6pm.

Thursday 15 February: The impact of having Sighle Humphreys as a grandmother and The O'Rahilly as great grand uncle, with Manchan Magan. Host: Glasnevin Trust and Trinity College Dublin Winter Lecture Series 2018. Venue: Glasnevin Musum's Milestone Gallery, Finglas Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11. 7pm. All welcome. €10. Booking required.

Thursday 15 February: Ballyvorheen House: A History from Cromwell to Cosgrave, with John Hassett. Host: Murroe-Boher Historical Society. Venue: Muintir na Tíre Hall, Murroe, Co Limerick. Starts 8:30pm. All welcome. Members free. Admission €5 to non-members (including refreshments).

Friday 16 February: Dublin as a global city, 1600-2017, with Professor Kevin Whelan. Host: Princess Grace Irish Library. Venue: Princess Grace Irish Library, 9 rue Princesse Marie-de-Lorraine, Monaco. Reservations are essential due to the limited number of seats. Admission €10 payable on the door. Details.

Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February Back To Our Past and Genetic Genealogy Ireland. Exhibition and fair, and two conferences: traditional genealogy and genetic genealogy. Venue: Titanic Suite, Titanic Belfast. Belfast. 10am – 5pm each day, admission £10. See lecture schedules and further details on organiser's website.

Saturday 17 February: Not all Irish were Catholic, with Audrey Leonard. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. Venue: Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Avenue North, St Paul, Minnesota, USA. All welcome. 10:30am. $15 for IGSI members/$20 for non-members. Register or simply turn up on the day.

Saturday 17 February: Griffith’s Valuation and other Irish land and property records, a Level II, Intermediate seminar with Miles Davenport. Host: Irish Cultural Centre & McClelland Irish Library. Venue: McClelland Library's Norton Room, 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 10:30am to 1:00pm. Members $15/non-members $20. (The seminar will be held again on 14 April - registration is not yet open.) Details.

Sunday 18 February: Irish Historical Walking Tour of central London. Host: Wolfe Tone Society London. Meeting venue: German Gymnasium, 1 King's Blvd, N1C 4BU London. Noon – 2:30pm. Free. All welcome. No booking. Just turn up.

Monday 19 February: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 19 February: The History of the Kelly Family from 1820 (Kelly Coal Boats), with Kelly Wilson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne branch. Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. Visitors £3. Refreshments provided. 7:30pm.

Tuesday 20 February to Thursday 22 February: Trinity Secondhand Booksale. Host and venue: Trinity College Dublin, Examination Hall, Dublin 2. Starts Noon Tuesday. Ends lunchtime Thursday. Auction on Tuesday, 5:30pm.

Tuesday 20 February: Childhood and youth in Ireland from 1740, with Dr Sarah Anne Buckley. Host: Tipperary People & Places Lecture Series. Venue: Tipperary Studies, The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome. More details

Tuesday 20 February: The early industrial heritage of Cork City, with Colin Rynne. Part of the 'Cork: Origins of a City' public talks series. Host and venue: St Peter's Cork, North Main Street, Cork City. 5pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 21 February: The development of the Linen industry in the Upper Bann Valley, with Plunkett Campbell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. 7:30pm. All welcome. Free.

Wednesday 21 February: The Great War through the eyes of the poets, with Jim Shannon. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Leighlin Community Centre, St Lazerian's Street, Ballyknockan, Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow. 8pm.

Thursday 22 February: National Library of Ireland: Delayed opening. To facilitate a staff meeting, the NLI will not open until 11am. All NLI venues/services are affected, including Genealogy Advisory Service.

Thursday 22 February: Early Medieval Ireland, and book launch, with Matthew Stout. Host: Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co Offaly. 8pm. Refreshments after lecture. All welcome. €2 members/€5 non-members. No need to book.

Thursday 22 February: Catholic/Irish/Protestant: Religious history and religious identity in Ireland 1600–2000, with Professor Alan Ford. The Annual Bishop Francis Mac Kiernan Memorial Lecture. Host: Cavan County Council's Library Service. Venue: Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan. 7pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. No need to book.

Thursday 22 February: The Watchmen – Crime & Policing in Early-19th-century Monaghan, with Noel Campbell. Host and venue: Monaghan County Museum, 1-2 Hill Street, Monaghan. Free. 8pm. No booking.

Friday 23 February: Cartoon representations of John Redmond, 1906–1916, with Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil. A special lecture marking the centenary of the death of John Redmond, MP for Waterford, in March 1918. Host: Waterford Historical Society. Venue: St Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford City. 8pm. All welcome. Members free/non-members €5.

Sunday 25 February: Free genealogy help session. Host and venue: Library of the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630, USA. From 1pm to 4pm. Free. All welcome.

Friday, 9 February 2018

FindMyPast UK & Ireland: 10% off for new subscribers

FindMyPast is offering a 10% discount to new subscribers on a 12-month World package via FindMyPast Ireland or a 12-month Pro package via FindMyPast UK. Both packages give researchers full access to every record collection in the FindMyPast database, including the British and Irish newspapers.

The discount cannot be applied to subscription renewals.

To take advantage of the offer, which runs until 18 February, choose from the flags below. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions on the landing page.
10% discount on's 12-month World package – new subscribers only.
10% discount on FindMyPast UK's 12-month PRO package - new subscribers only.

Ancestry DNA Winter Sale: USA & Canada

Ancestry DNA has announced a Winter Sale for researchers residing in the USA and Canada. (There's no word yet of a sale in Ireland or the UK... I'll update this blogpost when/if a discount is announced.) Click the relevant flag below: residents can order Ancestry DNA kits for the discounted price of CAD$109 (normal price CAD$129), excluding shipping costs. Offer will expire on 25 February. USA residents, Ancestry DNA kits are reduced from $99 to $69, excluding taxes & shipping. The offer will expire on 25 February.