For me, the festive season is 'merely' a holiday, an enjoyable break from the normal routine, and a chance to spend more time with the people I love. The focus on eating and drinking scores rather highly, too!
It also usually brings a certain amount of downtime, and, if I'm really, really lucky, an opportunity to reacquaint myself with my genealogy research and take stock of where I'm at. Perhaps I'll have a lightbulb moment when I cast a fresh eye over one of those 'tricky' ancestors who don't want to reveal their secrets. Or maybe I'll actually make some progress with my one-name study and get it organised into some coherent shape.
But what I'm determined to achieve this year is a bit of learning from the experts! With that in mind, I've been saving up some videos, podcasts and online reading, and I thought I'd share them in case others find a wee bit of quiet time over the break. Here they are (and they're all free to access):
History Ireland Hedge School: Dublin at war, 1914-1918. Recorded at the National Library of Ireland on 25 November.
The Genealogy Radio Show: Since launching her weekly show on Raidió Corca Baiscin, Lorna Moloney has interviewed a good number of Irish genealogy's best-known names on a wide range of topics. I've listened to several of the recorded interviews but missed others that are of interest. See the full menu of recordings here.
Fin Dwyer's Irish History: Fin is a historian who runs tours, writes books and publishes a blog. He also creates podcasts. I'm planning on listening in to his two most recent ones: Grubs up – Food in Medieval ireland (which includes a look at 'the strange, lethal and somewhat scary world of takeaway food'), and Cannibalism, Famine & Fun – 4 Ferocious Medieval Winters. You'll find them easily enough on Fin's blog, IrishHistoryPodcast.ie.
Timeline Research: In the past, I've attended a couple of lectures presented by Timeline's MD Nicola Morris (a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) and I know that she's an excellent speaker who really knows how to grab and hold the attention of her audience, so I'm sure her two recent podcasts – one on tracing WW1 ancestors, the other on researching Dublin family – will be top drawer.
Online reading/Mixed media:
Preservation week at PRONI: Once a year, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland restricts some of its public services in order to focus on its important role of preservation. This year, the PRONI team published a series of articles and videos was published to inform researchers of what went on behind the scenes in early December.
Letters 1916: I haven't kept up as well I should have with this interesting crowdsourcing project, but I plan to correct this situation! The latest addition to the website is a series of ‘Featured Letters’ which have been contextualised by the team, allowing a great appreciation of the written words.
PRONI on YouTube: PRONI's YouTube channel is home to some terrific lectures. While I don't have any ancestors from the North, there's plenty to be learned from these presentations because many of the research methods and record sets consulted are the same on both sides of the border. I shall be checking out the recent Road to War lecture series and the Irish language and culture talks.
Genetic Genealogy Ireland on YouTube: All the presentations from this year and last year's Genealogy Genealogy Ireland Conference at the Back To Our Past show are now online. I wasn't able to attend more than a couple of sessions at each of the shows, so there's now a whole load of these lectures demanding my attention. They're free to view, and definitely worthy of time being set aside for watching.
I can't wait!