Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Playing Catch Up

With personal issues having dominated the final two weeks of the old year, I’m now playing catch up with recent Irish genealogy news. So, here’s one of my occasional ‘bits and bobs’ posts to help get both you and me back up to full speed.

I’ll launch in, in no particular order:

FindMyPast Ireland has added Thom’s Irish Who’s Who 1923 to its growing list of databases. The publishers, Alexander Thom & Co., were best known for their Dublin City and County Directories but they made this one side-step into a list of biographical notes of prominent Irish men and women.

Containing the names and life story of just 2,500 famous people (including WB Yeats, Eamonn De Valera and Micheal Collins), this addition will be of limited interest to the majority of family historians, but I’m never going to complain at additional resources being made available!

One teeny surprise I received when investigating this latest database was just how many directories (45) are now in the FMP Ireland stable. My own family name, which is quite rare and is historically found only in West Cork, makes 30 appearances in FMP Ireland’s directories between 1846 and 1899.

A new website – – was launched last month to deliver greater access to the state’s military archive. Unless you’re a great lover of maps and architectural drawings, the launch batch of online goodies about the construction of military barracks from 1830 to 1980 won’t have got your toes tingling but a radio interview on RTE’s News at One yesterday suggests this site is worth watching.

By March, the site intends to upload some 36,000 pages of witness statements relating to the key military events that took Ireland from 1913 to Independence in 1921.

I’ll delve into the site in greater detail when I’ve got full Internet access and see what else I can discover about what appears to be a tantalising new online collection.

You may also have heard about the Registered Papers of the Chief Secretary’s Office going online on a dedicated section of the National Archives website. At first glance I can’t see that there’s much the genealogist will get excited about (although the papers are obviously of fabulous historical value), but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve had a more leisurely browse. I’ll report later if it seems to warrant the interest of family historians.


has a Winter Sale on, offering almost everything in their online cd and book store at 50% off. I know many people wait for these kind of reductions to come around before they feel they can afford to buy, so it’s worth taking a browse.

A couple of examples: Brian J Cantwell’s Memorials of the Dead, Collected Works for €35.53 inc VAT, and WW1 Irish Soldiers – Their Final Testament at €15.20 inc VAT. The latter contains the service history of 9,000 wills of Irish soldiers who died during WW1, and the names and details of their beneficiaries.

The sale ends on Sunday 8 January.

This week sees the launch of Titanic 100 Cobh 2012, a year-long centenary commemoration and tribute to the Titanic, the people of her time, and the town (then called Queenstown) where the ship made her last port of call.


Find My is offering a month-long subscription discount of 10%. Just enter the promotion code NEWYEAR12 when you sign up.

Just as an aside, you might like to know that the requirement for the providers of online access to the 1911 Census for England and Wales to redact ‘sensitive information’ (such as details of infirmities or data about very young children being in prison) ended yesterday. The full returns, with all redactions reinstated, can now be viewed at, making that discount all the more attractive!