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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Of plagiarism and bullies: my Inbox overfloweth

What a few days! Not only was I involved in a three-day whirl of celebrations for my husband's 60th birthday (three parties and not a genealogist in sight – bliss!), my Inbox has delivered a stream of support for my blogposts of Friday last in which I focussed on lifting the lid on some very objectionable behaviour within the Irish genealogy industry.

I'm a bit up to my ears with work and volunteer (genealogy) duties today, but I'll be returning to the positive emails I've received and to some new stories now circulating that support my view that the industry is severely tainted by bullying and unprofessional behaviour.

My Inbox also brought two negative emails. Just two. The first came from someone who works in partnership with Eneclann*. She said she did not recognise the nasty world I related in my blogpost and she described me as 'an outsider' (not sure what that's about). I'll reply to her in due course, but I'll be exploring some of her themes on this blog over the next few days, in any case.

And then there was an email from Deirdre Breen who is the legal director of Ancestor Network and is named as the wife of John Hamrock in the dedication to his book Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors, published by Flyleaf Press. She advised that I could be joined in any defamation action the company takes against Sean J Murphy.

Now, I haven't mentioned Ancestor Network before but since the company's legal director has done so, I'd better join the dots. John Hamrock, who I referred to in my 'Plagiarism: the GSI should respond to the claim' blogpost, is not only the ex-chairman of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, he is a director of Ancestor Network, the company that, in partnership with Eneclann, provides the genealogy service to the National Library of Ireland.

Anyway, moving on from the contents of my Inbox....

You might like to take a return visit to Sean J Murphy's Open Letter to the Genealogical Society of Ireland which he updated yesterday. He has uploaded the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)'s Professional Review Committee's ruling in favour of his complaint against John Hamrock, which states that the latter's behaviour and activity was 'in violation of the Code of Ethics'.

UPDATE, June 2016: Eneclann has rebranded as the Irish Family History Centre and is still choosing to partner with Ancestor Network to provide genealogy services to the National Library.

Genealogy related courses at universities in Ireland

I'm returning briefly to Eneclann's so-called 'Polemical Corner' (see Friday's blogpost), in which the newsletter writer recommended just two courses of study that 'equip[s] graduating students with skills and qualifications in family history'.

It's not very well researched. Having carried out some very quick and easy research myself, I learned:

University College Dublin's three-year Genealogy/Family History Certificate is being discontinued (see my previous post). I rang the Admissions Office of UCD after reading of Eneclann's recommendation early last week and was told there would be no new intake of students. So this extremely popular course is no longer an option for those wanting top flight genealogy qualifications.

The University of Limerick's The History of the Family MA: To a written request about whether this course would be suited to a career in genealogy, course co-ordinator Ruan O'Donnell replied: 'The degree would benefit anyone in genealogy sector. However, it does not provide training in such methods being more akin to a social history masters than a training course in methods.'

University College Cork's two-year Genealogy Diploma (NFQ level 7), for some reason not mentioned by Eneclann, is open to students for 2015 intake. The course is led by Dr David Butler and 'combines practical skills with portfolio-based assessments'. Details.

University of Limerick's Certificate in History of Family & Genealogical Methods, also not mentioned by Eneclann, is another established course recruiting for September 2015. This course is for those looking to study the theory, methodology and practice of history of family and genealogical methods. The co-ordinator is Dr David Butler. Details.

UPDATE, June 2016: Eneclann has rebranded as Irish Family History Centre

University College Dublin Genealogy Cert discontinued

Sean J Murphy, the well-known and highly respected historian, genealogist and teacher, has advised Irish Genealogy News that University College Dublin's Genealogy/Family History Certificate is being discontinued.

Existing students of the three-year course will be able to finish their studies but there will be no new intake of students this Autumn.

Sean explains in more detail in his blog and talks about his plans for the future: http://homepage.eircom.net/~seanjmurphy/dir/blog.html.



Monday, 29 June 2015

FindMyPast adds Co. Clare Guardians' Minute Books

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5947&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.findmypast.ie%2Fsearch-world-Records%2Fclare-poor-law-unions-board-of-guardians-minute-booksFindMyPast Ireland has released a collection of more than 63,000 Board of Guardians' Minute Books from two of County Clare's eight Poor Law Unions.

They cover the Kilrush and Ennistymon unions.

The Board of Guardians oversaw the running of the poor law unions as well as the hiring of teachers, staff and contractors so there's quite a mix of people recorded in the Minute Books. You can find mention of inmates, guardians, staff members and suppliers. There are also weekly statistical reports on the number of inmates, new arrivals, births, deaths and discharges and details of expenditure such as food suppliers and salaries. The number of inmates receiving medical treatments was also reported.

Guardians were elected by those who paid the taxes that funded poor law relief.

Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original handwritten minutes. The transcripts don't necessarily include the full details of the corresponding entry.

Irish genealogy and heritage events, 29 June–12 July

Monday 29 June: Using Online Resources for local and family history research, first of a three-part course with genealogist Mary Jackson (second and third parts on 13 July and 14 September). Host: South Dublin County Libraries. Venue: Lucan Library, Supervalu Shopping Centre, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin. Some experience of computers and the Internet is essential. 6:30-8:00pm. Free. Need to book: T: 01 6216422. E: lucan@sdublincoco.ie.

Tuesday 30 June: Witchcraft, heresy, magic & gender in the 14th-century Anglo-Irish colony, with Maeve Callan. Host: Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Venue: The Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 30 June: Family History Open Day, at Lisburn Library. Taster sessions using Irish genealogy websites including Ancestry; screenings of short films of Lisburn 1930s-1950s from NI Screen Digital Film Archive; North of Ireland Family History Society's Lisburn Branch will be on hand to help with queries involving ancestors from the local area. Venue and host: Lisburn Library, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn. 10:30 to 15:30. All free. Phone library for more details: 028 9263 3350.

Tuesday 30 June: Four Courts Memorial Lunch, commemorating the loss of records in the 1922 explosion. Organised by Western Australia Genealogical Society, Irish Special Interest Group. Based Bayswater, WA, Australia. Venue: An inner suburban Irish pub. Noon to 2pm. Booking essential. Email.

Wednesday 1 July: Curious tales of heroes, kings and saints at Tara, with Dr Edel Bhreatnach. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Wednesday 1 July: The impact of losses in small towns during WW1, with Dr Clodagh Tait. Part of the Stand Up and Fight summer lecture series. Venue: Exhibition area, City Hall, Merchants' Quay, Limerick. 6:30pm. Free. Refreshments provided. All welcome. 

Thursday 2 July to Sunday 5 July: Dromana 800, a celebration of the Fitzgerald family taking in and around the Blackwater valley in County Waterford. Talks by some of Ireland’s leading historians, culinary delights at a Medieval Feast, music and concerts, a Georgian Fête and, on Sunday afternoon, bookable one-to-one genealogy consultations with IrishAncestree at nearby Villierstown.

Thursday 2 July: Genealogical sources for Carrigaholt parish, with Paddy Waldron. Part of the Carrigaholt Cultural and Hertiage Festival, Carrigaholt, County Clare. 7pm–8pm.

Friday 3 July: The aftermath of Magna Carta: King John's charter to Dungarvan, with Professor Seán Duffy. Part of Dungarvan 1215. Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 8pm. Followed by a performance of medieval music by Laoise O’Brien. No need to book. €5 at the door; includes refreshments. It's fully booked but the SOG are running a waiting list.

Saturday 4 July: Tracing Irish ancestry, with Rozalind McCutcheon and Jill Williams. A full-day course at the Society of Genealogists, London EC1, UK. Full details and costs.

Tuesday 7 July:
Wills & Their Whereabouts, with Steven Smyrl discussing testamentary records. First of the 'Your Ancestors and the Nation’s Archives' lecture series presented by Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) and the National Archives of Ireland. Venue: Reading room of the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. Free but need to book email bookings@nationalarchives.ie.

Tuesday 7 July: Nuns in medieval Ireland: the other monasticism, with Tracy Collins. Host: Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Venue: The Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 8 July: Tara in the Bronze Age, with Dr Eoin Grogan. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Saturday 11 July: Genealogy workshop, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. No need to book. 11am–1pm. Free. New members always welcome.

Saturday 11 July: Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa: his life and after-life, a HistoryIreland Hedge School with Leeann Lane, Judith Campbell, Conor McNamara and Shane Kenna. Venue: O'Driscoll's pub, Reenascreena, West Cork. 7pm. Part of the Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa Centenary Commemorations programme.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Of scoops and poops

Last weekend, Eneclann*, one of Ireland's largest genealogy research companies and partner to FindMyPastIreland (part of D H Thompson Family History), chose to follow up on an issue raised in the June issue of the Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI)'s Genie Gazette.

It concerned Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), the much respected collective of some of the country's top genealogists, some of whom have 30 or 40 years of professional experience. Many of them also have formal genealogical qualifications. The group recently changed its name from the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI).

Eneclann, in its newsletter's newly-created 'Polemical Corner' conveniently quoted GSI's Genie Gazette: ' Neither APGI nor the newly named AGI [have]… any State recognition as a professional accrediting body.'

Eneclann declared this a 'scoop'.

But it surely can't have been a scoop or a revelation to Eneclann because the company’s director, Fiona Fitzsimons, was a member of APGI for several years. She even served on its Council in 2000. Surely she can't have been unaware that her accreditation did not have state recognition? The association has never claimed it had state recognition.

Ms Fitzsimons resigned from APGI (now AGI) in December 2013. I've been told by more than one APGI member that there was a personal dispute between her and some of her APGI colleagues.

But back to Eneclann's 'Polemical Corner'....

In it, Eneclann advocates formal genealogy qualifications rather than accreditation as the way forward for Irish genealogy.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgUWZoYWhQN3BxbkE/view?usp=sharing
So I popped over to the company's website to 'Meet the Team' page (click the image, right, to view a copy of the page as I found it). Either the company has forgotten to acknowledge its staff's educational prowess or Eneclann has only one member of staff with a formal qualification in a family history related subject*.

Given its high profile in the industry and its partnership with FindMyPastIreland, this might be the real scoop.

*The Meet the Team page reports that one member of staff has a 'Masters in Family History from the University of Limerick'. There is no such course currently running and I can find no details of a past course of that name . The University of Limerick runs an MA in 'The History of the Family'. You can view a copy of the 2013-14 prospectus here (this was the most up to date I could readily find). The course looks fascinating and I'm sure it could be argued this is genealogy-related subject, but is it a genealogical qualification?

UPDATE, 30 June: See Genealogy courses at universities in Ireland blogpost.

UPDATE: June 2016: Eneclann has rebranded as Irish Family History Centre.

Plagiarism: the GSI should respond to the claim

Following on from my earlier blogpost, here's an example of how cowardly I've been.

Last Autumn, I don't recall exactly when, I was emailed a link to an Open Letter written by Sean J Murphy. Most people in the industry will know the name: Sean has been the Genealogy course tutor at University College Dublin since I don't know when. Yonks.

His letter is addressed to the Genealogical Society of Ireland* (GSI), the membership group based in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

It was not Sean who sent me the email but an ex-student of his who had come across it online. 

To my shame, I didn't report it. I should have done because the behaviour of one of Ireland's membership groups is always going to be relevant to the wider Irish family history community.

But I sat on it because I didn't want to create a rumpus; I also didn't particularly want to draw attention to John Hamrock, the GSI's chairman at the time, with whom I have always had courteous and professional dealings;  I also heeded the warnings of others that the bullies would start firing mud at me. Not only that, my mother was seriously ill in hospital at the time and I didn't want the extra hassle.

I'm ashamed to say it was easier to keep quiet than to give it air.

We can all learn from our mistakes.

Read Plagiarism: An Open Letter to the Genealogical Society of Ireland .


*For absolute clarity: the GSI is not in any way associated with the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS).



The Irish genealogy industry: it's time to speak out

Okay, I admit it. I've been a coward.

For too long I've heeded advice 'not to get involved' or been told 'they'll get bored eventually', and I've watched on, frequently incredulous at the spite and pettiness of supposedly professional adults, as empire-building bullies within the Irish genealogy industry have thrown insults and innuendo at those they dislike or bear a grudge against in the hope of ruining their reputations and livelihoods.

Sometimes I have had, and continue to have, absolutely no idea of the person or organisation's motivation, or where the grudge was born. Other times I know exactly what lies behind certain comments and statements (they're typically dressed up as rightful concern or a desire to stimulate debate, but that's not the real motivation) and it's usually personal.

It goes way, way beyond the normal competitiveness and political manoeuvring found in most industries.

Most of the aggression is confined to Dublin. I'm happy to say that Northern Ireland is an oasis of calm and, outside the island, grown-up behaviour still seems to rule.

In the capital, however, it's become so dirty I can no longer ignore it. I was brought up to be strong and to speak out against cruelty, unfairness and the mis-use of power, fame and wealth. Like many of my generation, the poem "First they came for the Communists" helped form my philosophy. So it's time for me to speak out against the bullies and hypocrites.

Inevitably there will be a backlash. Not only will some regular readers prefer my blog sticks to reporting news rather than my observations and opinions, others will be disappointed that I’ve aired the industry’s filthy laundry in public. And then there’s the certainly that I'm stepping out into the bullies' firing line.

What do I want? Call me an old hippy but I want peace. This is not what I signed up for when I started my website and blog. The industry, then principally formed of self-employed individuals, looked so pretty from a distance. It has grown mighty ugly close up. If enough people want it to be restored, it can be. Those that have kept quiet up to now could start challenging the protagonists, and those that have some influence or control over the mud-slingers could also contribute to the healing process.

I will do my bit here.

Those of a delicate disposition had better look away.


Links to subsequent blogposts: 

Plagiarism: the Genealogical Society of Ireland's stance

Of Scoops and Poops




FindMyPast releases Sligo Union Workhouse registers

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5947&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.findmypast.co.uk%2Fresults%2Fworld-records%2Fsligo-workhouse-admission-and-discharge-registers-1848-1859
FindMyPast Ireland has released a collection of admission and discharge registers for Sligo Union Workhouse.

Indexed and with images, the registers cover two time frames: the five months from 27 November 1848 to 17 April 1849, and from 28 March 1854 to 3 August 1859.

Although the earlier registers cover only a five-month period, they are significant because this is the Famine period; due to the paucity of other records from this time in Sligo, the admission record may hold the only documentary evidence of some people's lives.

There seem to be just over 9,000 records in the collection. They include a person’s name, age, whether single, married, widowed, deserted, bastard or orphan, condition upon entering the workhouse (typically 'wholly destitute), and the dates when they were discharged or died.

These records will be greatly welcomed by researchers with Sligo ancestors.



Lose yourself in Irish heritage this weekend

http://repository.dri.ie/
I just love websites like the Digital Repository of Ireland, which launched yesterday.

It's a site where you can lose yourself in Irish heritage, whether you're searching for something specific or just want to soak up some culture.

Among its gems are a collection of postcards, letters and hurriedly written notes from the excellent Letters 1916 project; cultural heritage objects – paintings, sculptures, crafts – from the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; paintings, film and installations exploring ideas of space, identity, language, communication, conflict, consciousness, and other aspects of life and modern art, from the Irish Museum of Modern Art; and a great collection of photos, manuscripts and drawings by Irish artists of the 19th and 20th century from the National Library of Ireland.

There's also a vast collection of historical material – documents, manuscripts, photographs, posters and maps – covering major events, political movements, policies, and personalities in Ireland from the 17th to the 20th century, from the National Archives of Ireland.

In its introduction, the Digital Repository of Ireland site explains: 'We have created this repository with two central purposes: to preserve Ireland’s digital heritage for the long term, and to provide you, the user, with access to that heritage.'

So pull up a chair over the weekend and start acquainting yourself with this terrific online treasure chest.

One-to-one consultations at Dromana 800 on 5 July

http://www.dromana800.comDromana 800, a celebration of the Fitzgerald family and the community in which they've lived for eight centuries, will be getting underway in County Waterford on Thursday 2 July. It has an interesting mix of social and cultural events lined up, but I particularly want to highlight the genealogy feature on the afternoon of Sunday 5 July.

From 12Noon until 5pm, one-to-one family history consultations with some of the regions best-known genealogists will be available at Villierstown.You can book online to be sure of your slot or take pot luck on the day.

You'll find more details (and booking) here.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Deceased Online releases 1m records for Nunhead

http://www.deceasedonline.com/Deceased Online has added some 300,000 burial records for Nunhead Cemetery in London's Southwark to its ever-growing database.

Nunhead opened in 1840 as All Saints Cemetery and is one of the so-called Magnificent Seven early Victorian burial grounds in London. Although it has fabulous examples of gothic architecture, its 'catchment area' covers some of south London's poorest areas, so you can guarantee there are plenty of Irish among its residents. (I've just found two John Santrys I knew nothing about!)

Nearly one million records are available for Nunhead. They span 1840 to 2011 and include:
  • digital scans of original registers
  • computerised records for more recent burials
  • grave details indicating all those burial within each grave
  • Maps indicating the square in the cemetery where the graves are located with the vital square number and grave number.

National Archives of Ireland: Summer lecture series

The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has announced a Summer series of lectures called 'Your Ancestors and the Nation’s Archives'. Each of the six lectures will be presented by a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland and will be delivered in the NAI's Reading Room, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

Here's the schedule:

July
Tuesday 7th  : Wills & Their Whereabouts, with Steven Smyrl MAGI. (Testamentary records)
Tuesday 21st : Indeed, They Are My Ancestors, with Paul Gorry MAGI. (Registry of Deeds)

August
Tuesday 11th : DNA Today, with Margaret Jordan MAGI. (DNA)
Tuesday 25th : Of Much Genealogical Value, with Aiden Feerick MAGI. (Valuation records)

September
Tuesday 8th  : Anglicans Aren’t All Anglo!, with Rosaleen Underwood MAGI. (C of I records)
Tuesday 22st : Maps, Rentals & Terriers, with Nicola Morris MAGI. (Irish Estate records)

Each lecture will begin at 5:15pm and will be of about an hour's duration. They are free to attend but you need to book in advance by emailing bookings@nationalarchives.ie. All researchers and interested members of the public are invited.

National Library of Ireland: late opening on 8 July

I can't imagine there are too many Irish family historians out there who haven't already got Wednesday 8 July in their diaries as a red-letter day, but here's another reason for noting it.

In order to prepare and host the formal launch of its new online RC parish registers database, the doors to the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin 2, will be closed to the public on that date until 3:30pm.

Public access will recommence at that time and continue until normal closing time: 7:45pm.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Certificate in Oral History course starts September

http://www.dublincity.ie/sites/default/files/content/RecreationandCulture/libraries/Heritage%20and%20History/Documents/Cert-in-Oral-History-2015-2016.pdf
Click image to download brochure (1Mb pdf)
Dublin City Library and Archive (DCM&A) will once again be offering the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History in the new academic year.

The course consists of 70 hours of part time study and will equip participants with skills in the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews.

It will be held at DCL&A in Pearse St, Dublin 2 on Monday evenings from September 2015 until April 2016.

Full details are in the brochure, which you can download by clicking on the image to the right.

The deadline for receipt of course applications is 5pm, Friday 4 September.

Dublin City Council offers two Bursaries for candidates taking the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History (application closing date 28 August). Details.

Offaly Heritage 8 to be launched by top young historian

The latest edition of Offaly Heritage has been published and will be officially launched tomorrow, Thursday 25 June.

Edited by Dr Ciaran Reilly, Offaly Heritage 8 is the 2015 publication of the Offaly History and Archaeological Society and it's packed with 300 pages of local history research. Genealogists with family from County Offaly (formally King's County) would discover much in these pages about the world in which their ancestors lived, as you can see from the Contents list. The book costs €15 (a limited number of hardbacks are also available at €20 each).

The new publication will be launched by a young Tullamore historian, Ciara Molloy, who came first in Ireland in history in the Leaving Certificate and has recently been awarded a Trinity College scholarship.

The launch will be held at the Offaly Heritage Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly at 8pm.

Tracing Irish Ancestry: one day course at SOG, London

Home of the Society of Genealogists:
14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1
Here's a rare opportunity to take a full-day course in Irish genealogy in England.

Based at the Society of Genealogists (SOG) offices just off Goswell Road, London EC1, the course will be presented on Saturday 4 July from 10:30am to 5pm.

It will start with an overview of Irish family history research basics and will then cover a number of topics in 30-minute sessions.

Topics will include:
  • an introduction to some lesser known sources
  • a brief overview of historical background and population movements
  • the treasure trove to be found at the Registry of Deeds
  • Irish Military Archives
  • Irish records found in England
Ample time will be included for Questions and Answers and all delegates will receive a comprehensive overview fact-sheet and list of websites.

The course will be presented by Rosalind McCutcheon and Jill Williams, both Fellows of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) and well-known to those who visit the IGRS's Library at the SOG on Saturdays.

Cost: £35 (£28 SOG members). Booking is essential, and you'll need to be quick as there are only four spaces left this morning.

-----------------------------------

UPDATE, 24 June, 5pm: And just like that, they were gone!


Monday, 22 June 2015

Irish genealogy and heritage events: 22 June to 5 July

Wednesday 24 June: Ulster Scots Literature, with Frank Ferguson and Kathryn White. Last of the Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice series. Hosts: PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulveard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Need to book by email: proni@dcalni.gov.uk.

Wednesday 24 June: Irish family history advice session, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Host and venue: Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, USA. 11am-2pm. Free. No appointment necessary. (Tel:(518)427-1916)

Friday 27 June to Sunday 29 June: Glorious Forever? Regional Perspectives on the 1916 Rising. Host: Byrne Perry Summer School. Venue: Gorey Library & Adult Learning Centre at the Civic Square, The Avenue, Gorey, Co Wexford. Lectures, panel discussions, field trip and a Hedge School. Costs: €130 includes all lectures, dinner, entertainment and field trip. Students and Seniors €80. Programme.

Saturday 27 June: Life and Death in 1915, a one-day conference at Trinity College Dublin. Host: Universities Ireland. Lectures: Death in Ireland 1915, with Prof Eunan O'Halpin, and Life in Ireland 1915, with Dr Caitriona Clear. Hedge School, discussion and presentations of current on-theme research. Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, TCD, Dublin 2. Need to book by 19 June. €5 to cover refreshments provided. 9am to 4:30pm.

Saturday 27 June: Irish Studies 'taster' lectures. Host: St Mary's University, Twickenham, London, and Luton Irish Fourm. Venue: Luton Irish Forum, 102 Hitchin Rd, Luton, UK. A public symposium to highlight the wide offer of Irish Studies topics available at St Mary's. 9:30am to 1:30pm. Free, but need to book.

Monday 29 June: Using Online Resources for local and family history research, first of a three-part course with genealogist Mary Jackson (second and third parts on 13 July and 14 September). Host: South Dublin County Libraries. Venue: Lucan Library, Supervalu Shopping Centre, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin. Some experience of computers and the Internet is essential. 6:30-8:00pm. Free. Need to book: T: 01 6216422. E: lucan@sdublincoco.ie.

Tuesday 30 June: Four Courts Memorial Lunch, commemorating the loss of records in the 1922 explosion. Organised by Western Australia Genealogical Society, Irish Special Interest Group. Based Bayswater, WA, Australia. Venue: An inner suburban Irish pub. Noon to 2pm. Booking essential. Email.

Wednesday 1 July: Curious tales of heroes, kings and saints at Tara, with Dr Edel Bhreatnach. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Thursday 2 July to Sunday 5 July: Dromana 800, a celebration of the Fitzgerald family taking in and around the Blackwater valley in County Waterford. Talks by some of Ireland’s leading historians, culinary delights at a Medieval Feast, music and concerts, a Georgian Fête and, on Sunday afternoon, bookable one-to-one genealogy consultations with IrishAncestree at nearby Villierstown.

Friday 3 July: The aftermath of Magna Carta: King John's charter to Dungarvan, with Professor Seán Duffy. Part of Dungarvan 1215. Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 8pm. Followed by a performance of medieval music by Laoise O’Brien. No need to book. €5 at the door; includes refreshments.

Saturday 4 July: Tracing Irish ancestry, with Rozalind McCutcheon and Jill Williams. A full-day course at the Society of Genealogists, London EC1, UK. Full details and costs.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Further Steps in Irish family history with Pharos

http://www.pharostutors.com/coursedescriptions.php#333Starting at the beginning of September, Pharos Tutors will be offering a three week course for intermediate level researchers called Ireland: Further Steps in Family History.

It concentrates on pre-1800 Irish research; course participants will undertake a review of the work they have already carried out and will focus on land records: estate records, deeds, encumbered estate papers etc.

The instructor will be Sherry Irvine and the course costs £34.99.
  • Lesson One: Review, Context and New Resources
  • Lesson Two: 18th-Century Records: Focus on Estates
  • Lesson Three: 17th-Century Records: Challenges for Research

Find out more at Pharos Tutors.



Glorious Madness: 23 June to 4 July, Dublin

Glorious Madness by ANU Productions
Photo by Patrick Redmond
A new immersive theatre production from ANU Productions will be opening next week in Dublin. This is the company that delivered the Dublin Tenement experience in Henrietta Street two years ago, and has since created and performed a number of equally successful site-specific theatre productions exploring historical events.

Glorious Madness is the new work. It provides an opportunity to see the Rising through the eyes of those whose actions and eye witness accounts provide invaluable testimony, and summons the glorious madness that burst through the city during Easter week 1916.

The cast takes the audience to the same streets that bore witness to the seismic events of almost 100 years ago and carries them to a time of terror, intrigue and infiltration that would shape a nation.

Starting next Tuesday 23 June, and continuing to Saturday 4 July, Glorious Madness will be performed at Noon, 1pm, 3pm and 4pm each day excluding Sunday. Some of the performances are already sold out, so don't delay to buy tickets if you want to be sure of seeing this latest production. The audience meets at the Dublin Discover Ireland Centre, 14 O’Connell Street, Dublin.

Glorious Madness
is presented by ANU Productions, Fáilte Ireland and Dublin City Council and coincides with the launch of Dublin Discovery Trails app.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Clare Library adds more Kilmurry Ibrickan baptisms

Last month I announced that transcriptions from the 1839 Roman Catholic baptism parish registers for Kilmurry Ibrickan had been added to the free-to-view genealogy pages of County Clare Library website (see May blogpost).

Well, Derry-based transcriber Marie Crowley has been hard at work! Transcriptions for an additional six years of baptisms – for 1840 to 1845 inclusive – have now been added to the site, making a total of 2,357 records of people born just prior to the Famine. You can access them here.

As far as I'm aware, these records are not available online anywhere else.

If you haven't already done so, you should read the May blogpost as it contains useful information about the way the priest(s) in this parish recorded baptisms.

UPDATE, 24 June
: And another year of register entries (1846) has been added today, recording another 379 baptisms.


New book and app tells Skibbereen's Famine story

Written by the two colleagues from Skibbereen Heritage Centre, Terri Kearney and Philip O’Regan’s book, Skibbereen – The Famine Story, will be launched in the Heritage Centre this Saturday, 20 June. So, too, will an audio trail app that's narrated by Terri and Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who lives nearby.

Horrific reports from the Skibbereen area featured in the media of the time as it became infamous for the suffering endured by local families. The book uses these shocking reports to follow the crisis as it developed, and shows the devastating effects it had on residents of the town and the neighbouring villages and islands.

The people who feature in The Famine Story – among them Tom Guerin, the boy who was buried alive, and the Widow Greaney, who was evicted to die on the side of the road – represent millions whose stories remain untold.

The true enormity of this national tragedy is revealed through the experiences of these individual people, and the places in the Skibbereen Union where the story unfolded.

Skibbereen Heritage Centre has confirmed to Irish Genealogy News that everyone is welcome to come along to the launch reception on Saturday evening. Mick Murphy of University College Cork will formally launch the app and book at 8pm.

The Centre, which is housed in the Old Gasworks Building on Upper Bridge Street, is located on the banks of the River Ilen and overlooks a popular spot for wildlife, so if the weather plays ball, it'll be a lovely evening event. The book will be available at the launch (price €11.99).

On Monday, both the book and the app will be available to purchase via the Centre's online shop. So, too, will an e-book version

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

British Newspaper Archive offers 20% discount

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe
The British Newspaper Archive, which can now boast of holding more than 11million pages of historical Irish and British newspapers in its database, is celebrating its latest milestone with a special discount.

Fancy a 20% subscription to the database? If so, click the image to the right to reach the subscription page and sign up to either a one month or a 12-month sub. Type in the promotion code – JUNE2015 – where indicated and you'll see the prices in the selection boxes quickly change.

This discount offer runs until Sunday 28 June.

Be aware that all subscriptions are offered on a continuous membership basis ie your subscription will renew automatically until you choose to cancel it. This is easy to do via the 'my account' area. See the Paying for Access section of the terms and conditions page.






June updates to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Below is the lists of additions so far this month to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web).

The funeral ledgers of J&C Nichols look fascinating; they hold 750 names, each with the age of the deceased, date of death, 'funeral from' address, place of burial, and the address to which the account was sent. They cover the end of 1919 to June 1921 (earlier ledgers can be found at the National Archives of Ireland) and create an exciting new resource.

IRELAND GENERAL Genealogy Archives – Cemetery Records
Funerals By J & C Nichols, Ltd, Dublin (circa 1920)

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Drumshanbo New Cem. Headstones – Left & Right Sides
Drumshanbo, St. John's CoI (Addional Headstones)

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Aghamore Cemetery
Caldragh Cem. Headstones

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Cemetery
Aughris Register Extracts
Ballinakill Cemetery Register Extracts
Ballygawley Register Extracts

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives – Miscellaneous
Malicious Injury & other Claims 1847–1867

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives – Church Records
Newcastle Baptisms (C.of I.) 1711-1851 – Assorted Names.



Monday, 15 June 2015

AncestryDNA offers 10% discount for Father's Day

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-5737308-12243361-1433808705000
To mark Father's Day, AncestryDNA is offering a useful 10% discount on the price of its DNA tests.

The discount is available in Ireland & the UK and the USA and brings the price down to £89/$89.

I'm not sure if it's being extended to Canada, one of the two new regions where AncestryDNA has recently landed (see blogpost) but it might be (see UPDATE below), so Canadian researchers should try clicking on the image to the right; Ancestry's geographic widget should take them to the relevant local page if the offer is available there.

It isn't available in Australia, the other new AncestryDNA region. Simple reason: Australia doesn't celebrate Father's Day until September.

Note that the offer does not include shipping costs or applicable taxes, which can bump the price significantly.

UPDATE 17 June: Ancestry has confirmed to me that the discount is not available in Canada.

British Newspaper Archives hits 11million pages

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2F
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) raced through the 11million pages milestone over the weekend and now has 423 publications in its database.

While there haven't been any new Irish titles added to the site for awhile (the last one was the (London)Derry Journal in early April, bringing the total number of Irish titles to 72), many more editions have been added.

The most significant recipients of additional editional coverage in the last two or three months are Saunder's News-Letter, which now has 21,411 editions online; Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier, which has 8,504; Tipperary Free Press, with 4,544; Waterford Mail, with 5,038; and Dublin Morning Register, now with 5,523 editions to search and browse through.

In total, the BNA database now holds 195,223 editions of Irish newspapers dating from 1719 to 1950. Some 52,286 editions are from Northern Ireland titles. The remainder – 142,937 editions – are from historical newspapers published either as national (all-island) titles or as regional publications in what became the Republic of Ireland.

A regular month's subscription to the British Newspaper Archives costs £9.95.

UPDATE, 16 June: To celebrate the milestone, the BNA has a special 20% discount, valid until 28 June.

Depending on where you are with your Irish family history research, you might find that a FindMyPast Ireland/World subscription is better value as it includes access to the BNA's Irish/British&Irish collection in addition to FindMyPast's genealogy records. Better still, if you act before the end of June you can take advantage of a special discount: a one month's subscription to FindMyPast for just €1/£1/$1.

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 15–27 June

Monday 15 June: Family history and genealogy sessions. Find out how to trace your family tree, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Venue: Raheny Library, Howth Road, Dublin 5. Free advice sessions. From 10:15am to Noon. Book your slot by telephone: 085 1444883 or contact the library by email: rahenylibrary@dublincity.ie.

Monday 15 June: Years of revolt, 1912-22, with Dr Dr Eamon Phoenix. Host: Adult Learners' Week. Venue: Belfast Central Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EA. 6:30pm - 7:30pm. Admission free. Booking esssential: 028 9050 9150.

Wednesday 17 June: Explore the Archives – Practical Workshop, aimed at those who have just started their Irish family history. Two segments. 2pm: Explore Archives Online; 3pm: Using the Documents (searching for, ordering and viewing original documents). Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free but booking essential. Reserve your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone 028 90534800.

Wednesday 17 June: The First World War in Derry and Donegal, with Richard Doherty. Host: Adult Learners Week. Venue: Limavady Library, 5 Connell Street, Limavady, Co Derry BT49 0EA 6:30pm. Admission is free but booking is advised: T: 028 7776 2540; E: limavady.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 17 June: Rhyming Weavers of Ulster, iwth Laura Spence. Part of the Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice series. Hosts: PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulveard, Belfast. 1pm. Free.

Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 June: Strokestown Irish Famine Summer School & Conference. Venue: Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon. Lectures, workshops, field trips, Hedge School, music and drama performances. Programme.

Thursday 18 June: The Battle of Waterloo: Ireland and Europe in 1815, a half-day conference. Host & Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. The conference will focus on the part played by Irishmen as soldiers and statesmen in the conflict and on the British army’s presence in Ireland during the 18th century. Lectures: The Army Barracks of Ireland, 1690-1822, with Dr Ivar McGrath; The British Army, Ireland and the Battle of Waterloo, with Dr Tim Bowman; Irish Gentry Officers at Waterloo: Embedding a Tradition, with Nicholas Perry; and ‘Entertaining to a degree and perhaps a little dangerous’: Lord Castlereagh, Lady Londonderry, Vienna and the Peace of Europe, with Brett Irwin. Starts 2pm. Free, but booking essential.

Thursday 18 June: Military Archives as a family history resource, with Capt. Claire Mortimer. Host: Clondalkin Genealogy and Family History Group. Venue: Clondalkin Library, Monastery Road, Clondalkin Dublin 22. All welcome. No booking required.

Thursday 18 June:  Convict prisons in Ireland, with Dr Ciara Breathnach. Host: Laois Heritage Society. Venue: Heritage Hotel, Jessop Street, Portlaoise. 8-9pm. No booking required. All welcome.

Saturday 20 June: Family History Help session, with Kathleen McGee at 10am, followed by New York City: State vital records and their substitutes, with Jane Wilcox at 11am. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Avenue, Bethpage, NY, 11714 USA. Details.

Saturday 20 June: The North Began? Ulster and the Irish Revolution, 1900-25, a Decade of Centenaries Symposium. Hosts: Trinity College Dublin and St Patrick’s College Drumcondra. Venue: J.M. Synge Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. €20 (Students/Unemployed €10). Programme (pdf). Need to book.

Sunday 21 June: The Irish at Waterloo, with Lt-Col Dan Harvey. Venue: National Museum of Ireland – Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. 3pm. Free. No need to book but arrive early to ensure you get a place.

Wednesday 24 June: Ulster Scots Literature, with Frank Ferguson and Kathryn White. Last of the Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice series. Hosts: PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulveard, Belfast. 1pm. Free.

Friday 27 June to Sunday 29 June: Glorious Forever? Regional Perspectives on the 1916 Rising. Host: Byrne Perry Summer School. Venue: Gorey Library & Adult Learning Centre at the Civic Square, The Avenue, Gorey, Co Wexford. Lectures, panel discussions, field trip and a Hedge School. Costs: €130 includes all lectures, dinner, entertainment and field trip. Students and Seniors €80. Programme.

Saturday 27 June: Life and Death in 1915, a one-day conference at Trinity College Dublin. Host: Universities Ireland. Lectures: Death in Ireland 1915, with Prof Eunan O'Halpin, and Life in Ireland 1915, with Dr Caitriona Clear. Hedge School, discussion and presentations of current on-theme research. Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, TCD, Dublin 2. Need to book by 19 June. €5 to cover refreshments provided. 9am to 4:30pm.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Life and Death in 1915: Conference, 27 June

http://www.universitiesireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/History-programme-2015.pdf
Universities Ireland is sponsoring the fourth in a series of conferences to commemorate the centenary of key events in the history of modern Ireland ranging from the Ulster Covenant, through the First World War and the 1916 Rising, to the foundation of the Irish and Northern Irish States.

The theme for this years conference is Reflecting on a decade of War and Revolution in Ireland 1912-1923: Life and Death in 1915.

The conference will take place in Thomas Davis Theatre, Trinity College Dublin from 9.00am to 4.30pm on Saturday 27 June. It includes lectures, panel discussions, a HistoryIreland Hedge School and the presentation of recent and current research relating to 1915. There's a €5 charge to cover refreshments provided.

Download the programme (pdf 266kb)


AncestryDNA launches in Canada and Australia

See links below for Canada & Australian orders
AncestryDNA has been officially launched in both Canada and Australia during the last week.

Not only is this good news for researchers in those countries, it's also good news for those who have already tested in the USA, Ireland and the UK because as the numbers of people being tested increases, so the number of potential matches increases for everyone in the database.

The official press release issued in Toronto yesterday says more than 850,000 people have had their dna tested. From this, my well-honed mathematical skills can calculate that some 150,000 have tested since the end of January when the AncestryDNA service arrived in Ireland/UK.

Announcing the news in Toronto, Christopher Labrecque, Country Manager for Ancestry Canada said: “Historical records on Ancestry.ca provide an insight into one’s recent past, but usually go around 200-300 years, so it’s incredibly exciting to be able to offer DNA testing that takes your family history experience back many hundreds and even thousands of years. AncestryDNA enables users to learn more than ever about where they came from and discover new family lines and relatives. It really is the ultimate family history experience.”

The AncestryDNA test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing to look at more than 700,000 locations across an individual’s entire genome through a simple saliva sample. The company says that its approach provides a much more detailed look at one’s family history than other existing Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests that only look at specific branches of a person’s family tree.

In a recent survey, more than three-quarters of Canadians stated they would consider having their DNA tested to discover more about where their ancestors came from. Many said they know very little about their own family history, with 42 per cent indicating that they do not know where their grandparents were born, and 30 per cent stating they do not know where their ancestors lived before coming to Canada.

AncestryDNA kits are now available for purchase from dna.ancestry.ca for CAD$149 plus shipping and from dna.ancestry.com.au for AUS$149 plus shipping.


NOTE, 14 June: AncestryDNA has a 10% discount for Father's Day, 21 June (not Australia). Click below.

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-5737308-12243359-1433808837000


Book launch: Beneath a Turkish Sky; The Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Assault on Gallipoli

A new book – Beneath a Turkish Sky; The Royal Dublin Fusiliers and The Assault On Gallipoli, by Philip Lecane – has been published by The History Press (formal launch details below).

The 336-page paperback tells the story of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who, having been recruited in Ireland, were ordered to spearhead the invasion of Gallipoli in Turkey. It was to be the First World War’s largest seaborne invasion and the British High Command, deadlocked in trench warfare on the Western Front, had high hopes the assault would force Germany’s ally out of the war.

Using letters and photographs, Philip Lecane's book recalls the ‘Dubs’ officers and men who had been recalled from an idyllic posting in India to be billeted on the civilian population in England. They then set off on what was presented as a great adventure to win glory and capture Constantinople.

Beneath a Turkish Sky also gives the story of the Turkish defenders and the locality being invaded. Accompanied by the Royal Munster Fusiliers and packed aboard the SS River Clyde, the ‘Dubs’ landed from ships boats on the fiercely defended beach at Sedd-el-Bahr. The song The Foggy Dew says “It were better to die beneath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sedd-el-Bahr.” This book tells the story of the forgotten Irishmen who died beneath a Turkish sky in what was Ireland’s D-Day.

ISBN: 9781845888657 - See more at: http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/index.php/beneath-a-turkish-sky-pb.html#sthash.Wqnr4p42.dpuf
Publisher's website.

The book's formal launch will be by Tom Burke Chairman of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association on Wednesday 17 June. If you wish to attend, the invitation instructions advise you to 'Assemble' at Hodges Figgis, 56 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

PRONI's Irish family history lectures now on YouTube

Between March and May, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland ran a ten-week lecture series entitled Your Family Tree. These lectures explored some of the key archival sources available to family historians and were presented by specialists from a number of Northern Ireland repositories including PRONI. If you weren't able to attend them in person, you'll be pleased to know they have now been uploaded to PRONI's You-Tube channel.

Just click on the link for each lecture. Most run for around 40–50minutes. The main exception is  Tracing WW1 Ancestors, which is 1hr 40mins long, and includes three lectures from a separate conference exploring the stories of Irish women during the First World War.

 Getting Started, with Janet Hancock

 Using Street Directories, with Des McCabe

 Using Church Records, with Valerie Adams

 Tracing World War One Ancestors, with Ian Montgomery

 Using Education Records, with Valerie Adams

 Using Workhouse Records, with Janet Hancock

 Using Valuation Records, with William MacAfee

 Using Landed Estate Records, with Stephen Scarth

 Using Court, Prison and Coroners Records, with Wesley Geddis

 Using the General Register Office, with Emma Elliott.


Last call for Ancestral Connections course in Cork

http://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-genealogy/
The week-long Irish genealogy Summer School Ancestral Connections: Names, Places and Spaces returns to University College Cork (UCC) at the tail-end of the month (28 June to 6 July) and promises another in-depth programme of presentations, hands-on workshops, field trips and excursions, and fun.

I know from my own Inbox and Twitter feed that past delegates have thoroughly enjoyed this course and felt they learned a heck of a lot. The venue has been widely praised, too.

Course co-ordinator Lorna Moloney told Irish Genealogy News that there's just a handful of places still available on the course. 'Excluding provisional bookings reserved in the last few days, there are six places still to be filled,' she says.

'As in the last two years, there will be a great mix of family historians arriving from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada and most of them will have already made at least some kind of start on their research. The programme is designed to help them develop a greater understanding and wider knowledge of genealogy sources and techniques as well as the historical and cultural context of their ancestors' lives.'

Campus accommodation packages can still be arranged.

If you fancy a week immersed in Irish genealogy in beautiful Cork City, check out the course details at the UCC site here. And if your diary won't let you away for a whole week, why not consider a one- or two-day dip into the course?

Lorna has kindly extended the 'Historical and Cultural Groups' concession rate to readers of this blog who book for the course. To take advantage of this very healthy 15% discount, just mention Irish Genealogy News on the booking form.

If you can't make it to this year's Ancestral Connections, you'll be pleased to hear that the course will run again in 2016. Both the programme and the name of the course (The Ancestral Connections: Roots to the Rising) will see a slight change of focus to commemorate the Easter Rising and the early years of the 20th century. Details will follow later in the summer.

Monday, 8 June 2015

FindMyPast offers the World for just €1, £1, $1

FindMyPast is offering new subscribers a one-month subscription to its World collection with a huge 90% discount.

A World subscription gives you access to a database of more than two billion records, including the largest collection of Irish family history records and more than 10million British and Irish newspaper pages dating from 1710. And all for just €1/£1/$1.

FindMyPast.ie
FindMyPast.co.uk
FindMyPast.com
FindMyPast.com.au

This offer will remain open until Tuesday 30 June (23:59pm). Full terms and conditions are displayed on the offer pages. Note that the subscription will convert to the standard monthly rate when your first month expires. If you don't want to continue your subscription beyond the offer month, be sure to change the auto-renew setting on the Personal Details/My Account page.

If you have an existing FindMyPast subscription, you will not be able to take advantage of this offer.

UPDATE: 1 July. This offer has now expired.


Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 8–21 June

Monday 8 June: James O’Connor, Fenian and MP, with Cormac Lowth. Host: Clontarf Historical Society. Venue: Resource Centre, St John the Baptist, Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3. 8:15pm. Non-members €5. All welcome.

Monday 8 June: Exhibition launch: The 6th Connaught Rangers. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Address by Sean O'Hare, Chairman of the 6th Connaught Rangers Research Group. Followed by a presentation by Stephen Sandford, author of 'Neither Unionist nor Nationalist: The 10th (Irish) Division in the Great War'. The free exhibition continues to 10 July.

Tuesday 9 June: Establishing the Free State in conflict, 1922 – 1924. Last of the Military Archives MSPC Lunchtime Lecture Series. Host and Venue: Rathmines Library, 157 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6. 1pm–2pm. Admission free. Booking essential at the library or online.

Tuesday 9 June: Start with yourself, with genealogist Bernie Walsh. First of a series of free genealogy lunchtime talks at Carlow County/Central Library, Tullow Street, Carlow. The 30-minute talks are aimed at those starting their family history and will guide and advise on where to begin and which resources to use. 1:10pm. No booking required.

Tuesday 9 June: The Black Death in medieval Kilkenny, with Fin Dwyer of irishhistorypodcast.ie. Host: Conahy Heritage Society. Venue: Conahy Parish Hall, Conahy, Co Kilkenny. 8pm.

Wednesday 10 June: Book launch: The Irish in New Orleans, by Laura D Kelly. Formalities with Jimmy Deenihan, Minister of the Diaspora. Venue: Irish Whiskey Museum, 37 College Green, Dublin 2. 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Free to attend, but need to book online.

Wednesday 10 June: Archaeology of Dunluce, with Andrew Gault. Part of the Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice series. Hosts: PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency. Venue: Discover Ulster Scots Centre, Belfast. 1pm. Free.

Thursday 11 June: c.790-800AD: The First Dublin Vikings? with Linzi Simpson. First of a new series of monthly lunchtime lectures hosted by the Friends of Medieval Dublin. Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. 1:05pm. Admission free. No need to book.

Friday 12 June and Saturday 13 June: Seán Mac Diarmada Summer School 2015 – The Relevance of the 1916 Proclamation in the Ireland of Today. Kiltyclogher, Co Leitrim. Details.

Saturday 13 June: Genealogy workshop, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. No need to book. 11am–1pm. Free. New members always welcome.

Saturday 13 June: RootsTech Family Discovery Day at the LDS Family History Centre, 403 Holywood Road, Belfast BT4 2GU. 10am to 3:30pm. Workshops, videos of RootsTech presentations, personal assistance.

Saturday 13 June: The FindMyPast website, with Mary Wickersham. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 Concord St. N, South St. Paul, MN 55075 USA. Members $10/Non-members $15.00. 10:30am–12noon. Need to register.

Monday 15 June: Family history and genealogy sessions. Find out how to trace your family tree, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Venue: Raheny Library, Howth Road, Dublin 5. Free advice sessions. From 10:15am to Noon. Book your slot by telephone: 085 1444883 or contact the library by email: rahenylibrary@dublincity.ie.

Monday 15 June: Years of revolt, 1912-22, with Dr Dr Eamon Phoenix. Host: Adult Learners' Week. Venue: Belfast Central Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EA. 6:30pm - 7:30pm. Admission free. Booking esssential: 028 9050 9150.

Wednesday 17 June: Explore the Archives – Practical Workshop, aimed at those who have just started their Irish family history. Two segments. 2pm: Explore Archives Online; 3pm: Using the Documents (searching for, ordering and viewing original documents). Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free but booking essential. Reserve your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone 028 90534800.

Wednesday 17 June: The First World War in Derry and Donegal, with Richard Doherty. Host: Adult Learners Week. Venue: Limavady Library, 5 Connell Street, Limavady, Co Derry BT49 0EA 6:30pm. Admission is free but booking is advised: T: 028 7776 2540; E: limavady.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 17 June: Rhyming Weavers of Ulster, iwth Laura Spence. Part of the Ulster Scots Connections; People, Place and Practice series. Hosts: PRONI, MAG-Ulster Scots Academy, Ulster Scots Community Network and Ulster Scots Agency. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulveard, Belfast. 1pm. Free.

Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 June: Strokestown Irish Famine Summer School & Conference. Venue: Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon. Lectures, workshops, field trips, Hedge School, music and drama performances. Programme.

Thursday 18 June: The Battle of Waterloo: Ireland and Europe in 1815, a half-day conference. Host & Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. The conference will focus on the part played by Irishmen as soldiers and statesmen in the conflict and on the British army’s presence in Ireland during the 18th century. Lectures: The Army Barracks of Ireland, 1690-1822, with Dr Ivar McGrath; The British Army, Ireland and the Battle of Waterloo, with Dr Tim Bowman; Irish Gentry Officers at Waterloo: Embedding a Tradition, with Nicholas Perry; and ‘Entertaining to a degree and perhaps a little dangerous’: Lord Castlereagh, Lady Londonderry, Vienna and the Peace of Europe, with Brett Irwin. Starts 2pm. Free, but booking essential.

Saturday 20 June: Family History Help session, with Kathleen McGee at 10am, followed by New York City: State vital records and their substitutes, with Jane Wilcox at 11am. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Avenue, Bethpage, NY, 11714 USA. Details.

Sunday 21 June: The Irish at Waterloo, with Lt-Col Dan Harvey. Venue: National Museum of Ireland – Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. 3pm. Free. No need to book but arrive early to ensure you get a place.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Free access to Ancestry's Irish & UK collection 5–7 June

The free weekend has finished
Ancestry UK's collection of one billion Irish and UK records will be free until Sunday 7 June at 23:59hrs GMT (which translates into Irish/British Summer Time as Monday 8 June at 00:59).

It's a straightforward 'free access' process. You have to register with name and email address but no financial information is requested – you just go direct to searching for your ancestors.

When the free access period ends, you will need a subscription to Ancestry.co.uk to view the records.

Most of the Irish record sets available on Ancestry are detailed below, but there are many more of Irish family history relevance, particularly the British/UK military, passenger and occupation record collections.

(See all the records in the UK & Ireland collection and use the vertical scroll bar.)

Ireland 1766 Religious Census
Ireland Gazetteer and Surname Guide
Ireland Householder's Index, County Antrim
Ireland Topographical Dictionary, 1837
Ireland Visitation
Ireland, 1841/1851 Census Abstracts (Northern Ireland)
Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922
Ireland, Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958
Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index, 1864-1958
Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958
Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844-1847
Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1847-1864
Ireland, Indexes to Wills, 1384-1858
Ireland, Lawrence Collection of photographs, 1870 - 1910
Ireland, Lord Viscount Morpeth's Testimonial Roll, 1841
Ireland, Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1771-1812
Ireland, Newspapers, 1763-1890
Ireland, Ordnance Survey, 1824 - 1846
Ireland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911
Ireland, Select Catholic Birth and Baptism Registers, 1763-1912
Ireland, Select Catholic Confirmation Registers, 1775-1912
Ireland, Select Catholic Death and Burial Registers, 1767-1912
Ireland, Select Catholic Marriage Registers, 1775-1912
Ireland, Select Deaths, 1864-1870
Ireland, Select Marriages, 1619-1898
Ireland, Selections of Catholic Parish Baptisms, 1742-1881
Ireland, Selections of Catholic Parish Deaths, 1756-1881
Ireland, Selections of Catholic Parish Marriages and Banns, 1742-1884
Ireland, The Royal Irish Constabulary 1816-1921
Ireland, Thom's Directory, 1904
Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837
Ireland: 1841/1851 Census Abstracts (Republic of Ireland)
Irish Emigrants in North America [1670-1830], Part Six
Irish Emigrants in North America [1775-1825]
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part Four and Part Five
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part I
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part II
Irish Emigrants in North America, Part III
Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839
Irish Emigration to New England through Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1841–1849
Irish Flax Growers List, 1796
Irish Genealogical Abstracts from the Londonderry Journal 1772-1784
Irish Gravestone Inscriptions
Irish in Boston
Irish Independent Newspaper Obituaries: May 2001-June 2002
Irish Landed Gentry
Irish Names and Surnames
Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806
Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871
Irish Pedigrees
Irish Pedigrees Vol. II
Irish Records Extraction Database
Irish Records Index, 1500-1920
Irish Settlers in North America before 1850
Irish Wills Indexes

http://www.kqzyfj.com/g4108vpyvpxCIKGKGDLCEDLEMDDECEHDLKDJLDGDDD?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.co.uk%2Fcs%2Ffree-access-2015

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Dúchas.ie adds Co. Sligo to online Schools Collection

The National Folklore Collection of Ireland (NFC) has completed the digitisation and upload of another set of manuscripts within its Schools Collection, this time for County Sligo.

Gathered into 33 volumes, the Sligo manuscripts were written by schoolchildren in the 1930s in some 130-plus schools across the county. The nationwide project asked children to interview older members of their family and community and record their stories, observations and snippets of information about local interest; the result is a fascinating collection of folk tales and legends, oral history and topographical information, and details of riddles and proverbs, games and pastimes, trades and crafts.

Sligo's collection joins those for Counties Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Leitrim, Mayo and Waterford on the NFC's website, Dúchas.ie.

I've amused myself this morning with a root through the Sligo manuscripts and found some delightful entries. Among them is a report from Maura Cryan of Coolavin School who had interviewed 46-year-old William Cryan of Monasterredan about an attempted eviction from the French Estate on 2 April 1881 when tenant farmers fought the authorities as they came to execute their warrant; and a surprisingly detailed description from fellow student Mary McHugh of Island Road, Monasteraden, who had learned from 57-year-old Mr M McHugh of the mid-19th century Hedge School that had been held (summers only) near the local church.

My favourite discovery, however, comes from Imelda O'Grady of Mullaghroe who recounted tales told to her by John Grady. She called her report The Care of the feet, but it's really about several local characters who didn't wear shoes. Here's part of one of the stories (click image if you want to read the full piece):

http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4701763/4700719/4715318 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Latest additions to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Headstone in Cloncallow Cemetery (near Ballymahon), 
Co Longford. Photo courtesy Dave Hall.
Click for larger view.
All additions to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the last two weeks of May were related to burials, with a good number of new headstone photos and transcriptions of cemetery records across eight counties. As always, these resources are free to view on this hugely popular volunteer-contributed database of resources.

CAVAN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Ashfield Cemetery (CoI) (partial only)

CLARE Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kilmurry McMahon Cemetery (partial only)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Deansgrange Cemetery, North Section Pt 6
Mt Jerome, - Part 103-104

KILDARE
Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Balfeighan Cemetery

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives – Cemetery Records
Glendale-Conwal Cemetery Extracts
Glencar Cemetery Extracts
Kinlough Cemetery Extracts

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Cloncallow Cemetery

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Ardcarne Old Cemetery (partial)
Arigna Cemetery (2 parts)
Kilglass Cemetery

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Cemetery Records
Ahamlish Register of Burials, extracts
Ballisodare Cemetery extracts

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sean Mac Diarmada June 12-13

http://seanmacdiarmada.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015-Brochure.pdf
The Seán Mac Diarmada Summer School 2015 – The Relevance of the 1916 Proclamation in the Ireland of Today – will take place in Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim from Friday 12 June to Saturday 13 June.

In addition to the lectures listed below, the Summer School includes an opening ceremony with traditional music, food and a tour of Seán Mac Diarmada's cottage, panel discussions and Q&A sessions.

For further details of the programme, registration times, costs, venues and booking, click the image, right, to download pdf, or go to the website http://seanmacdiarmada.ie.

The lectures:
  • 'Though I did not say so'; The Silences Women Keep, with Susan McKay
  • Women and Revolution - Gender, Politicisation and Participation in the 1916 Rising, with Dr Mary McAuliffe
  • A Unionist Reflects on the 1916 Proclamation, with Roy Garland
  • Limping into History, with Tim Pat Coogan

Meet AGI: new name for Ireland's accrediting body for genealogists

http://accreditedgenealogists.ie/After almost 30 years as the accrediting body for genealogists in Ireland, APGI, the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, has adopted a new name: Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI).

As Accredited Genealogists Ireland, the Association will continue to set and promote high standards for those engaged professionally in genealogy while safeguarding the interests of clients.

Founded in Belfast in 1986, the Association has always been an accrediting body for genealogists throughout the island of Ireland.

Accreditation from the Association is controlled by an independent Board of Assessors and each applicant is required to demonstrate to a high standard their ability, knowledge and practical experience in Irish genealogy. In addition, each member is bound by the Association's Code of Practice.

APGI has always kept abreast of changes in the world of genealogy. In 2012 it introduced a new category of APGI Affiliate. This is to assist reputable genealogists in the early stages of their transition to professional research to prepare for application for accreditation. Through mentoring and attending APGI Continuing Professional Development events, a number of Affiliates have progressed to membership.

The decision to change the Association's name was made at an Extraordinary General Meeting
in Dublin last week attended by many of the group's Members, Fellows and Affiliates.
In addition to providing top-quality genealogy research to countless individual clients over the years, members of the Association have written for Irish and international print media and appeared on, and undertaken the research for, radio and TV shows. In particular, they have provided much of the raw material documenting the ancestry of celebrities who have appeared on the Irish, British and US versions of Who Do You Think You Are?, appearing alongside such people as Jeremy Irons, Graham Norton and Julie Walters. On RTE's Genealogy Roadshow, they helped members of the public to verify family stories: checking out claims of an ancestor in the Rising; a family relationship to Charlie Chaplin; and talk of a relative with a ticket for the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic.

Other shows include the RTE IFTA nominated series Dead Money, about lost fortunes being restored to families, and The Shelbourne, a five-episode series following the daily life of Ireland's grandest hotel which featured Helen Kelly in her role as the hotel's Genealogy Butler.

Announcing the decision to change APGI's name to AGI, President Steven Smyrl, said: "Beyond its functions of accrediting and regulating, APGI has made many positive contributions over the past 30 years to the development of genealogy in Ireland, particularly through championing the needs of all types of record users, lobbying state-run archives and offices, and by supporting the efforts of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO).

"Under its new name of Accredited Genealogists Ireland, the Association will continue its vital role in all areas of genealogy across the island and internationally."

The Association's website has been renamed AccreditedGenealogists.ie.

NOTE: The above press release was written by Accredited Genealogists Ireland, and I have to say I'm pleased the Association has finally taken this step. For too long there's been a lack of clarity and probably a good bit of freeloading resulting from confusion about the old name and acronym. It wasn't only consumers who failed to recognise the distinction between a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) and a member of the Association of the Professional Genealogists (APG).

APG is a perfectly reputable organisation set up in Utah in 1979. Anyone can join provided they agree to the organisation's code of ethics. There is no educational criterion for membership nor any requirement to prove genealogical experience or know-how. Anyone who pays the membership fee can join. I could join it today if I stumped up the annual fee ($45/ $100)... and I'm not a professional genealogist.

I'm not knocking APG. Professional bodies/membership societies play an important role in any industry. But there is a big difference between paying a fee to become a member of APG and having to earn accreditation through peer-review of your work standards as required by APGI/AGI. Other important criteria for membership of APGI/AGI include a requirement that the applicant is not employed at any full time occupation other than that of a professional genealogist, and he/she must be resident in Ireland.

Hopefully, the change of name to Accredited Genealogists Ireland draws sufficient attention to the high standard achieved by the Association's members, and makes their accredited status clearer.