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Friday, 31 July 2015

WDYTYA? returns to TV screens everywhere!

Whether you're in the UK, the USA or Australia, you should be able to find a new series of Who Do You Think You Are? on a TV screen near you in August.

In the UK, a ten-episode series gets underway on Thursday 13 August at 9pm on BBC One. The ancestries examined are those of Paul Hollywood, Jane Seymour, Derek Jacobi, Jerry Hall, Gareth Malone, Anne Reid, Frank Gardner, Anita Rani, Mark Gatiss and Frances de la Tour.

In the USA, a short series of just five episodes started last Sunday with Ginnifer Goodwin. It continues this weekend (2 August) with J K Rowling in an episode first broadcast in the UK in 2011. Episodes exploring the family history of Alfre Woodard, Tom Bergeron and Bryan Cranston will follow on Sunday evenings throughout August at 9pm ET.

In Australia, a new eight-part series begins on at 7:30pm on Tuesday 4 August on SBS with Geoffrey Rush, Toni Collette, Dawn Fraser, David Wenham, Luke Nguyen, Ray Martin, Peter Rowsthorn and Greig Pickhaver. One of the stories will uncover details of 'an Irish rebel'. See the promo video below:



Summer lunchtime genealogy lectures at the NLI

The National Library of Ireland has announced its line-up of Genealogy at Lunchtime lectures for this summer. The lectures start next week and will be held at 1–2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout August and September.

Tuesday 4 August
The Irish DNA Atlas, with Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri

Thursday 6 August
Secrets of the Bog Bodies, with Dr Eamonn P Kelly

Tuesday 11 August
Irish Surnames, a family heirloom, with Paul MacCotter MAGI

Thursday 13 August
Heraldry: obscure mediaeval mumbo-jumbo, or valid genealogical technique? with Bruce Durie

Tuesday 18 August
Using maps for thinking about history, with Kevin Whelan

Thursday 20 August
Social geography – Was there a Protestant exodus from the south of Ireland? with Andy Bielenberg

Tuesday 25 August
It's off to work we go: mapping Ireland's industrial past, with Rob Goodbody

Thursday 27 August
Archives to be explored in the National Irish Visual Arts Library, with Eve Parnell

Tuesday 1 September
The Tudor Conquest of Ireland: Untold stories, with David Edwards

Thursday 3 September
The Irish in European warfare in the 17th Century – military origins of diaspora, with Padraig Lenihan

Tuesday 8 September
The House on Bunion Hill: an Irish census project, with Ray Gillespie

Thursday 10 September
Getting started in local history, with Séamus Ó Maitiú

Tuesday 15 September
Dating and understanding family photos, with Jayne Shrimpton

Thursday 17 September
Children's literature and the spread of the English language in 19th-centure Ireland, with Charles Benson

Tuesday 22 September
Sport and the everyday in Ireland, with Paul Rouse

Thursday 24 September
Family history and its role in Irish culture. Speaker to be confirmed.

All the lectures will be presented at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. They are free to attend, open to all, and booking is not necessary.

FindMyPast releases records of Dublin's Military School

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=2114&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.findmypast.co.uk%2Fresults%2Fworld-records%2Fireland-royal-hibernian-military-school-staff-and-pupils-1847-193FindMyPast has added some 9,898 records from the Royal Hibernian Military School in Dublin.

The Royal Hibernian Military School admissions 1847-1932 collection relates to the school opened in 1769 by the Hibernian Society to educate orphaned children of British Army personnel in Ireland.

The term 'orphan' could include children who had lost one or both parents, or indeed none; if both parents were posted overseas, a child might be offered a place at the Royal Hibernian Military School (RHMS).

The collection also includes a staff list for the year 1864.

Stored in London, many of the school’s records were destroyed during the London blitz in 1940. Those that survive are now in The National Archives and have been transcribed by Peter Goble.

They include information that goes beyond the details typically found in admission registers, but sometimes, rather infuriatingly, omitting detail that could better identify the individual, as you'll see from some of the examples below:

Henry Byrne, born 11 October 1839, was admitted to the RHMS on 7 May 1850 aged 11. He was 4ft 8inches tall, weighed 3st 10lb and had a chest size of 24inches. His unnamed father was in the Hussars 7th regiment. His occupation is stated as Tailor, presumably the trade in which young Henry was being trained.

Patrick Gannon, born 6 February 1840, was admitted to the RHMS when he was aged 10years 4months. Although not recorded specifically, the admission can be readilty calculated to around June 1850. He was 3ft 10inches tall, weighed 3st 10lb and had a chest size of 24inches. His unnamed father was in the Hampshire South Regiment (37th & 67th Foot).

Bridget Murphy was a protestant who worked as a Laundry Servant at the RHMS in 1864. She's recorded as a resident of the School, which presumably means she lived in; her wages were £6 6shillings and her allowances were £19 18shillings. She resigned. No further information is provided.




Thursday, 30 July 2015

New book: Discover Irish Land Records

Earlier this month, genealogist Chris Paton's latest guide book – Discover Irish Land Records – was published by Unlock the Past.

The softback guide looks at the potential to be found among documents of inheritance, ownership and tenancy, census, valuation and tithes and many other land and property records. At just 58-pages between the covers there is, of course, a limit on how much depth can be included, but Chris has not just skimmed the surface of his theme; he has provided some very useful detail that researchers won't readily find elsewhere, as well as suggesting techniques to ensure they wring every jot of information out of some of the most useful documents and resources.

His coverage of census records is a good such example where he guides the researcher beyond the household schedules to the accompanying Forms N, B1 and B2 for an exploration of the statistical information and 'forensic examination' of the property itself.

Similarly his section on Boundaries and Administrative Areas includes a detailed explanation of Townlands and the resources available to help identify tricky non-standard placenames. He cites an example of his own search for Ballyvoy, a townland named on several records. Townland guides and databases all pointed to the parish of Culfeightrim on the northern Antrim coast, while the family was known to have been located near the village of Doagh in the Antrim parish of Templepatrick.

Chris eventually solved the mystery when he came across a newspaper advert for the sale of a property which referred to 'the townland of Ballyboy, also known as Duncansland... about two miles from the village of Doagh'.

The hard-core of the book looks at tenancy, ownership and valuation records and has particularly strong sections on both Leases and Rentals, again citing personal research examples of the type of content and value of relevant record collections. Probate records, deeds, estate maps and tithe applotment records are covered, as are explanation of terms such as quit rents and ground rents, and a brief glance at the Down Survey of Ireland.

There's also a detailed history of Ireland, suggestions for exploring maps, gazeteers, directories and parish histories, guidance on land measurements and currency, a three-page index, a list of useful addresses and some recommended reading, so the guidebook certainly has some breadth.

While I find the font size far too small for comfortable reading, I'm happy to recommend Discover Irish Land Records as a handy introduction and well-organised reference book for researchers moving into the intermediate stages of their family history studies. Many new avenues of research will be opened up to them through its pages.

Published by Unlock the Past. ISBN 978 1 925323 24 5. Available from Gould Genealogy in Australia (Aust$15.99), MyHistory in the UK (£7.50), and other online bookstores.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Fancy a gruelling experience in October?

Here's something more than just a little bit different as a way to better appreciating the lives and experiences of your ancestors.

The Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities is running a public event called Gruelling Ordeals: The Irish Workhouse Diet, 1850-1950 on Monday 12 October. The Institute describes it as 'an immersive encounter with the diets of Belfast's poorest inhabitants over 100 years ago' and is offering an invitation to experience workhouse life by sampling the oatmeal gruel, broth and suet puddings served to inmates. These meals will be compared with the rich diets of meat pies and fruits enjoyed by the city's middle-classes at the same time.

This unusual 'feast' will be followed by a short programme of talks. Among the speakers will be Dr Ian Miller from the University of Ulster and Dr Linda Price and Dr Olwen Purdue from Queen’s University, Belfast. The talks will offer insights into the diets of the past in order to stimulate debate about our 21st-century eating habits.

The event will end with an informal drinks reception.

Time: 3–7pm.
Venue: Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast BT14 6BP.
Tickets are free but must be booked.


Studies of Dublin graveyard inscriptions on Academia

http://homepage.eircom.net/~seanjmurphy/epubs/stcatherine%27s.pdfGenealogy tutor and historian Sean J Murphy has recently republished some of his works on Academia.edu, a growing platform used by academics to reach a wider audience.

He currently has 15 papers available, each free to view via his profile page. Of particular interest to those actively researching their family history in Dublin are these:

  • Memorial Inscriptions from the Moravian Cemetery, Whitechurch, County Dublin
  • Bully's Acre and Royal Hospital Kilmainham Graveyards: History and Inscriptions
  • Memorial Inscriptions from St Catherine's Church and Graveyard, Dublin

His well-known Survey of Irish Surnames 1992-97 can also be accessed on the site.

Sean's e-publications, including St James's Graveyard Project/Memorial Inscriptions from St James's, Dublin, can also be downloaded in PDF format, free, from his Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies website.

Sean has recently launched a page on Facebook where he provides additional information and comment about some of his research projects.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

FamilySearch adds transcripts of 1871 E&W census

Family Search has added transcripts of the 1871 England and Wales Census to its database. It's not quite complete yet, but with more than 81% of the total now available, it's worth checking out.

In 1871, there were 605,282 Irish-born individuals living in England and Wales (a further 207,820 were in Scotland). The largest concentrations were found in London (91,100), Liverpool (76,700) and Manchester (34,000). The numbers make clear why this is an important collection for Irish family historians to search for 'missing' ancestors, whether they subsequently returned to Ireland, settled in the UK or emigrated, typically from Liverpool, for the United States.

While images are not provided by FamilySearch (there's a link to FindMyPast to view them with a subscription), the FamilySearch transcriptions contain all the information provided on the census forms for each individual: name, age, marital status, relationship to head of household, occupation and place of birth, as well as listing name, age and place of birth for all other occupants of the household.

The majority of the census records do not say where in Ireland the individual was born, but for some lucky researchers, the name of the county is recorded.

Note: All stats from The Irish In Britain 1800–1914, by Donald M MacRaild; 'Studies in Irish Economic and Social History' series.

History Ireland Hedge Schools: two more podcasts

History Ireland Magazine has uploaded free recordings of its two most recent Hedge Schools:

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa: his life and after-life. The Hedge School was held at the National School, Reenacreena, West Cork a couple of weekends back. On the panel were Judith Campbell, Conor McNamara, Shane Kenna.

Wellington, Waterloo and Ireland. This Hedge School took place at the History Festival of Ireland, Borris House, County Carlow early last month. On the panel were Patrick Geoghegan, Jane Wellesley, Lar Joye, Hugh Gough.

Both Hedge Schools were chaired by Tommy Graham, editor of the magazine.

New book: Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland

256-page illustrated hardback
Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland has been published by Four Courts Press.

Edited by Terry Barry, professor of medieval history at Trinity College Dublin, and Vicky McAlister, who lectures in Southeast Missouri State University, the 256-page hardback contains a selection of some of the most inspirational papers presented at the first three Space and Settlement conferences held annually in Trinity College Dublin.

The contents include papers on Medieval rural settlement; Viking Waterford; Leinster ringworks; Viking Age hoards: trade and exchange; Mapping urban space and settlement; Castlemore deserted medieval village; Reconstructing battlefield landscapes; The tower houses of County Down, stylistic similarity, functional difference; Decline of tower houses; and Deer parks.

Each contribution represents the ‘new frontier’ of research in this growing field of academic endeavour, which broadly embraces the disciplines
of history, geography and archaeology.

The illustrated book is available via Four Courts Press and other book retailers.
ISBN: 978-1-84682-500-2. Catalogue Price: €55.00.

(The 7th annual Space and Settlement conference will be held in late May 2016. Details.)

Monday, 27 July 2015

New Irish family history courses at UCD

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgd2ltT2ZqVkFvY00/view?usp=sharing
As reported on Irish Genealogy News last month, University College Dublin (UCD) is discontinuing its popular three-year Certificate in Genealogy/Family History course (see blogpost).

Instead, new Lifelong Learning courses have been introduced, as follows:

Topics in Genealogy/Family History: Advanced topics of interest to more experienced genealogists. This 10-week course will be held on Wednesday evenings (7–9pm) starting 30 September. €190.

Introduction to Genealogy/Family History: Basic family history course, to be held on Thursday evenings (7–9pm) starting 1 October. €190.

Genealogy/Family History of the 1916 leaders: Using genealogical and historical methodologies, the course will study prominent participants in terms of their family backgrounds. This 10-week course will be held on Wednesday evenings (7–9pm) starting 13 January 2016. €190.

Each of these courses will be led by Sean J Murphy.

More details of each course can be found on pages 64 and 65 of UCD's newly published 'Opening Worlds' Adult Education programme 2015-16 booklet (pdf 900kb).

Booking/registration won't start until Monday 10 August.


August bank holiday opening/closing arrangements

The Republic of Ireland will be taking the last of its summer public holidays next Monday, 3 August.

Here are the changes to standard opening times for the main repositories and institutions used by genealogists:

Dublin City Public Libraries will not open on Saturday 1 August or on Monday 3 August. Normal schedules resume Tuesday 4 August.

The National Archives of Ireland will be closed to the public on Monday 3 August and will re-open on Tuesday 4 August at 9.15am.

The National Library of Ireland Reading Room will be closed on Monday 3 August and there will be no Genealogy Advisory Service operating on that day. However, the Yeats exhibition and the World War Ireland exhibition at Kildare Street will be open 12pm to 5pm. Cafe Joly will be closed on both Saturday 1 August and Monday 3 August. All back to normal (9:30am) on Tuesday 4 August.

The GRO Research Room at Werburgh Street will be closed on Monday 3 August, reopening Tuesday 4 August at 9:00am.

Local branch libraries will be closed on Saturday 1 August and Monday 3 August, reopening for normal hours on Tuesday 4 August.

NOTE: Northern Ireland is open for business as usual on Monday 3 August but mark your diaries with a note that it'll be enjoying its own Late Summer Bank Holiday on Monday 31 August.

British Newspaper Archive increases subscription price

The British Newspaper Archive has advised that its monthly subscription cost will be increasing from £9.95 to £12.95 with effect from Wednesday 5 August.

The official announcement says: 'In the years since the British Newspaper Archive started, we've digitised over 11 million pages of newspapers from all over the UK and Ireland, dating back to the 1700s. Over the next year we'll be adding another 2 million.' It adds that the cost rise will ensure the company maintains this growth for years to come.

An annual subscription to the entire BNA database remains at £79.95.

At the last count, there are 74 Irish titles in the BNA database. Access to these newspapers is also available via a FindMyPast Ireland subscription (currently €9.95 monthly or €99.50 annually).

If you want the British newspapers as well as the Irish titles and the entire global FindMyPast family history collection, you'll need a FindMyPast World subscription, as follows:

FindMyPast.ie World subscription currently €14.95 per month*
FindMyPast.co.uk World subscription currently £12.95 per month*
FindMyPast.com World subscription currently US$19.95 per month*
FindMyPast.com.au World subscription currently Aus$19.95 per month*

*Annual World subscriptions are also available.
 

Irish family history & heritage events, 27 Jul–8 Aug

Wednesday 29 July: An examination of the impact of WW1 at a local level in Co Clare, with Morgan Roughan. Part of the Stand up and fight Summer lecture series. Venue: City Hall, Limerick. 6:30pm. Refreshments provided. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 29 July to Saturday 1 August: Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School. Cultural event including a series of history/heritage lectures. See full programme. Shandon, Cork. Enquiries: +353 (0)86 3196063, www.motherjonescork.com.

Thursday 30 July: Nobody's Children: The treatment for shell-shocked Great War veterans in the Irish Free State, with Michael Robinson. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1:05pm. Free. No booking required. All welcome.

Thursday 30 July: Guided tour of St Patrick's Gateway graveyard, with Julian Walton. Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Meet at St Patrick's church, Chapel Lane, Waterford. 7pm.

Friday 30 July: Lecture and launch of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa: Unrepentent Fenian by Dr Shane Kenna. Host: Merrion Press. Venue: Milestone Gallery, Glasnevin Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Details.

Friday 31 July: The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War, documentary screening. Part of the Ballymote Heritage Weekend. Venue: The Art  Deco Theatre and Cinema, Ballymote, Co Sligo. Free. 2pm.

Friday 31 July: Secrets of the Bog Bodies, with Dr Eamonn P Kelly.  Official opening and lecture of the Ballymote Heritage Weekend. Venue: The Teagasc Centre, Tubbercurry Road, Ballymote, Co Sligo. 8:30pm. €10.

Saturday 1 August:
Unveiling of two bronze plaques on O'Donovan Rossa Bridge, Dublin. Speaker: Dr Shane Kenna. Host: The National Graves Association. Free. 3pm, on the bridge. All welcome.

Saturday 1 August:
Centenary of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa – Wreath laying ceremony and re-enactment of Pearse's speech at Rossa's graveside. Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. 4.30 pm. Followed at 5:30pm in Glasnevin Museum by launch of new print of the O'Donovan Rossa Funeral Scene by artist Robert Ballagh.

Saturday 1 August to Sunday 2 August: Re-enactment of Battle of Vinegar Hill. Living history events as part of the Rocking Food Festival. Venue: Enniscorthy Town, Co Wexford. Details.

Saturday 1 August: Migration within the British Isles Seminar, covering people movement and sources for migration between England, Scotland and Ireland. Host and Venue: Genealogical Society of Victoria, Meeting Room, Level B1/257 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia. 10am to 1pm. Members $30/Non-members $60. Booking essential.

Monday 3 August: Sligo and Home Rule, 1886-1812, with Dr Padraig Deignan. Part of the Ballymote Heritage Weekend. Venue: The Teagasc Centre, Tubbercurry Road, Ballymote, Co Sligo. 8:30pm. €10.

Tuesday 4 August: The Irish DNA Atlas, with Gianpiero Cavalleri. Genealogy at Lunchtime lecture series at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Free. No booking required.

Wednesday 5 August and Thursday 6 August: Cavan and the American Civil War, a two-day event hosted by Cavan Librairies. Venue: Johnston Central Library, Farnham Centre, Farnham Street, Cavan. For details, telephone Johnston Central Library on +353 (0)49 4378500.

Thursday 6 August: The Fighting Irish, a story in words and music about Irish people who have fought in American armies in the Civil War, with Myles Dungan and Matthew Gilsenan. Venue: Town Hall, Cavan. 8pm.

Thursday 6 August: Secrets of the Bog bodies, with Dr Eamonn P Kelly. Genealogy at Lunchtime lecture series at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Booking is not required. All welcome. Admission is free.

Saturday 8 August: Genealogy Jumpstart for the Reluctant Irish. Host and Venue: Irish Railroad Workers Museum, 920 Lemmon Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21223, USA. 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM EDT. $10. Register.

Friday, 24 July 2015

IT's Irish Ancestors lists 'Exclusive' county surnames

I've always known my surname, Santry, was rare, but it's good to see it's earned the title 'exclusive' from John Grenham!

John's latest free-to-access option to his Irish Times's Irish Ancestors database is an interesting one. He has gathered together surnames that are localised to such an extent that they're rarely found (historically) outside one single county.

http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/#countiesIn my own case, Santry, despite its apparent Dublin connections, is found as a surname only in County Cork. It's one of nearly 30 names that John's research has identified as a Cork name. Others include Soonish (a name found only on the Beara peninsula), Foohy, Pomphret and Hutch.

These county-by-county listings of 'exclusive' or near exclusive surnames inevitably identify some pretty unusual names. How about Grills in Co Louth, O'Drain in Co Antrim, Furphy in Co Armagh, Noud in Co Kildare or McWeeny in Co Leitrim?

You can access the exclusive surname listings when you use the Browse facility and select a particular county. The extended menu offers a 'Local County Names' option.

I also spotted that the Catholic Records menu option has been updated. Parish maps now link directly to the relevant section of the National Library's new RC registers database.


Irish Army Census 1922 joins FindMyPast database

Click to download larger sample image
FindMyPast has added the Irish Army Census 1922 to its database.

This record set, also available free of charge on the Military Archives website, holds some 32,000 records of men who were serving with the Irish Army at midnight on 12-13 November 1922.

Each record includes a transcript of the details found in the original records and a link to the image on the Military Archives website. Most transcripts provide details such as the soldiers name, age and calculated birth year, place where serving and county.

The images of the original record may reveal further information such as their division, rank, attestation date, religion, marital status, home address and next of kin.



Thursday, 23 July 2015

Greystones Festival of History, 25–27 September

The programme for the Greystones Festival of History has been published and it looks like another fine line-up of lectures has been organised. Hosted by the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society in association with the La Touche Legacy and taking place over the last weekend of September, this will be the Festival's second outing.

This year's theme is Reflections on the Great War & the Easter Rising 1916.

Friday 25 September:

 4:00pm   Official Welcome
 4:15pm   Wartime Diaries of Elsie Henry covering 1916 & WW1, with Professor Clara Cullen
 5:00pm   WW1 Soldier James Lawless, ‘Knockrath’, Church Lane, with Eva O’Hara
 5:30pm   The Psychology of the Fighting Irish, with John O’Keeffe

Saturday 26 September:

10:00am   Letters of 1916, with Professor Susan Schreibman
11:00am   The 36th Ulster Division, with Philip Orr
11:45am   That Easter Dawn – The Personalities of 1916, with Turtle Bunbury
12:30pm   Propaganda During WW1, with Ian Kenneally
 2:30pm   Reflections - Leo Ireton’s Shop, a walking tour of historic Greystones
 8:00pm   Seminar Dinner, Greystones Golf Club. Guest Speaker: John Bruton, Former Taoiseach

Sunday 27 September:

11:00am   Jim Brennan Memorial Lecture: The La Touche Soldiers, with Michael McGinley

Venue:

Greystones Golf Club, Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Ticket prices

All Lectures, Tea/Coffee: €30
All Lectures, Tea/Coffee and Seminar Dinner: €50

For more details contact GAHS.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Historical Mapping Atlas relaunches with Census Maps

The All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) based at Maynooth University, has relaunched its Historical Mapping Atlas with a series of Census Maps. The maps provide visualisations of population data for all 32 counties across the island from 1841 to 2002.

The data is supplied at Electoral Division (ED) level using a consistent set of 3,432 EDs. These are based on the 1851 ED boundaries and the data has been gathered from 16 censuses taken in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.


I've been playing around with the Population Change maps, and discovered that the population of my dad's townland, Kilkerranmore in Co Cork, was 1,874 in the year 1841 and had fallen by more than a third to 1,191 by 1851; by the start of the new century it had shrunk by 50%, and in 2002, having recovered from its lowest number of just 361 in 1961, the population sat at 534 people.

In addition to the Population Change maps, the Atlases also hosts Irish Famine Data. Going back to Kilkerranmore, I discovered that potatoes made up 13% and turnips 9% of all crops grown in this ED in 1841, and from 1841 to 1851 the number of uninhabited houses remained constant at just seven. In neighbouring Clonakilty, however, the number of uninhabited houses rose from 89 to 199 over the same period.

The site also holds a number of themed maps created from more modern data relating to ethnicity, religion, place of birth, heath, unemployment etc.

This is a fascinating place in which to hang out! I could happily spend hours rummaging around.

These Online Atlas projects have been funded by an IRCHSS Senior Research Scholarship awarded to the National Centre for Geocomputation, NUI Maynooth in 2010. The research was carried out by Caroline Treacy and Mary Kelly.

Post Truce Compensation Files added to NAI catalogue

National Archives of Ireland, Bishop St, Dublin 8
The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has added more Post-Truce (Damage to Property (Compensation) Act 1923) files to its online catalogue. This time, it's the turn of Counties Clare, Monaghan and Wicklow and Dublin City.

The files deal with claims for compensation for loss of or damage to property that occurred as a result of military action between July 1921 and March 1923, under the Damage to Property (Compensation) Act, 1923.

They record the claimant's name and address and a brief explanation of the incident that led to the loss of their property, which is also briefly described.

While unlikely to help your research in a genealogical sense, these files can add to your understanding of your family's experiences, and those of their neighbours, in the early 1920s.

County Clare
To explore the Clare files, enter FIN/COMP/2/3/ in the NAI's Simple Search box There are 464 entries. Among the events recorded in the files are a seizure of tobacco at Corofin Railway Station on 18 December 1921, the commandeering of disinfectants and goods by Irregular forces in July 1922, and the burning and destruction of hay and farming implements.

Dublin City
To explore the Dublin City files, enter FIN/COMP/2/28/ in the NAI's Simple Search box There are 2121 entries. Because of the location covered, it's no surprise to find many of the incidents recorded involving damages to property caused by explosions and gunfire. Another rather amused me, and came as a reminder that it wasn't only Ireland's genealogical heritage (or, at least, a good part of it) that went up in smoke; a claim was made for compensation for 'Barristers' wigs and gowns and judges' robes destroyed due to the bombardment of Four Courts, Dublin between 28 and 30 June 1922'. The file notes the claimant as the bar dressing room manager.

County Monaghan
To explore the County Monaghan files, enter FIN/COMP/2/18/ in the NAI's Simple Search box There are 281 entries, a good proportion of them claiming for properties (homes, commercial premises and meeting halls) that were burned by forces or persons unknown. I also found one compensation claim for 'A quantity of cocoa and chocolate taken from train at Creaghanroe, County Monaghan by armed men on 12 April 1922.' This claim came from Cadbury Bros in Bourneville, England.

County Wicklow
To explore the County Wicklow files, enter FIN/COMP/2/26/ in the NAI's Simple Search box There are 271 entries, among them a claim from the Marquis of Downshire for the burning of the Courthouse at Blessington as well as estate offices and dwellings. Several incidents were recorded in Wicklow Town, including the destruction by fire of the Presbyterian church, damage to the Town Hall due to occupation by Irregular forces between 22 April and 3 July 1922, and goods taken from a pawnbroker.

The online catalogue has also been updated with details of recent Testamentary records, as follows:

– Probate Office, 1990 (2011/1/)
– Cavan District Probate Office, 1990 (2011/3/)
– Cork District probate Office, 1991 (2012/5/)
– Galway District Probate Registry, 1987 (2008/8/)


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

New book: Irregular Marriages in Dublin before 1837

A new book, Irregular Marriages in Dublin Before 1837, will be launched this weekend.

Compiled by Henry (Harry) McDowell, a well-renowed genealogist of many years standing and a Fellow of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), the book contains an indexed version of the Schulze Registers of 'irregular' marriages. Harry has confirmed this morning that some 6,500 marriages (c13,000 brides and grooms) are recorded.

He was one of several 'couple beggars' conducting clandestine marriages in Dublin in the early 1800s. While the records for some 30,000 marriages performed by these clergymen were lost in the 1922 fire at the Public Record Office, Schulze's register survived. You can find out more about the Lutheran Reverend JGF Schulze in this week's Irish Roots column by John Grenham in the Irish Times, where you can also note details of the launch venue and times.

Published by Dún Dealgan Press, the book will be available for purchase at the launch event.

C16th Spanish Armada guns recovered from Sligo coast

One of the cannon recovered off Streedagh. Co Sligo
Photo used with kind permission of
Grange and Armada Development Association*.
Six bronze cannon and a gun-carriage wheel, all dating from the 16th century, are the latest artefacts to have been recovered from Spanish Armada wrecks off the coast of Streedagh in County Sligo. Their transfer to the National Museum of Ireland will begin today or tomorrow under the care of conservation officers. A ship's cauldron and a number of smaller items had already been brought ashore, and it is hoped that a further bronze cannon with a dedication to Saint Sebastian will be recovered shortly.

The dive site is currently focusing on the wreck of La Juliana, which was discovered on the seabed during recent winter storms, and is at particular risk from both the effects of weather and illegal interference. Work has been taking place at the site since early June, when two large guns were recovered engraved with depictions of San Iovane and San Matrona.

The variety of guns being recovered graphically illustrates the history of the ship itself from its origins as a Meditterranean trading vessel when it was built in 1570 to its use as a warship during King Philip II of Spain's ill-fated campaign of 1588. La Juliana formed part of the Spanish Armada fleet of 130 ships, 26 of which were lost around the coast of Ireland. At 860 tons, La Juliana carried 325 soldiers and a crew of 70 mariners. She wrecked along with two other ships, La Lavia and Santa Maria de Vison, at Streedagh on 21 September, with the cumulative loss of over 1,100 lives.

La Lavia and Santa Maria de Vision are believed to be still buried under protective layers of sand.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., who visited the site with representatives from the Spanish Embassy at the start of the dive, said yesterday: 'The quality of material being recovered is remarkable and the gun carriage wheels, designed for siege warfare on land, paint a very clear picture of the scale and intent of the planned invasion of England by King Phillip II of Spain.'

As well as the two guns recovered in June, four more large bronze cannon have now been recovered. One highly decorated gun displays a variety of motifs including flames, stars and a bearded figure of a saint clad in robes holding a key, most likely depicting St Peter with the keys of Heaven. The gun also has two highly ornate lifting handles in the form of dolphins with looped tails. Two of the other guns recovered bear images of St Rocho and St Ilaria while another, still on the seabed, bears an image of St Sebastian.

The Minister said that she wanted to again thank the local communities in Streedagh, Grange and Mullaghmore including the Grange Armada Development Association and the Sligo Sub Aqua Club for their continued support and assistance during the project: 'They continue to maintain a watch over the sites, and I am very grateful for their vigilance and support. I am very much aware that they would like to see the material being brought back for exhibition locally when the conservation work has been done. I know that the National Museum would not stand in the way of such a proposal and that the local Development Association is actively exploring how suitable facilities could be developed.'

The Minister confirmed that it may be two years before any of the artefacts would be ready to go on display.

*Grange and Armada Development Association will be hosting a Reliving the Armada event on Streedagh Beach, Grange, Co Sligo, on 19 September, as part of the Celtic Fringe Festival.

Tyrone Constitution joins British Newspaper Archive

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) has added The Tyrone Constitution to its online database.

The Tyrone Constitution is the county's oldest newspaper title and is still published in Omagh.

Its debut upload to the online database includes some 1,294 pages published from November 1844 to December 1872.

Including this latest addition, the BNA database now holds 74 Irish newspapers. The entire collection is available via the BNA website and also as part of FindMyPast's Ireland and World subscription packages.

IGRS transcribes 1887 RC Census of Ballymena

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgeW9MN1NKQmxDeWc/view?usp=sharing
Click image for larger view of sample
The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has completed what is thought to be the first transcription project to result from the online launch of the National Library of Ireland's RC parish registers' database. And it doesn't include any baptisms, marriages or burials!

Instead, it's a census taken in about 1887 by the parish priest in Ballymena (Kirkinriola), Co Antrim. The date is approximate, calculated by looking at the 1901 census for some of the named individuals and seeing how much they had aged in the intervening years.

In addition to noting the names and ages of parishioners and, in most cases, their relationship to their head of household, the priest recorded whether each individual has taken communion or been confirmed and how regularly they attended mass and other holy devotions required of Catholics.

He also made critical notes about the person's lack of faith or non-attendance at church, and other more general comments. So, of the 2,151 entries, it seems Ballymena's Catholics included 13 illegimate individuals, seven sets of twins, a number of converts and people in 'irregular or mixed marriages', a handful of 'very careless' and 'ignorant people', one 'stubborn bad man' and one 'pervert'.

The census images cover some 60-odd register pages and can be freely accessed on the National Library of Ireland's new RC parish registers' site. Members of the IGRS can search the transcribed Index via the Members' Area on the Society's website at IrishAncestors.ie.





Monday, 20 July 2015

Irish genealogy & history events: 20 July–2 August

Monday 20 July: Launch of exhibition: South Antrim Living Memories Doagh, Toome & Whitehead. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast BT3 9HQ. (See official launch event, 22 July.) Open during regular opening hours until 28 August.

Monday 20 July: 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 20 July: South Dublin Libraries' Local Studies Collections. Host: South Dublin County Libraries. Venue: Supervalu Shopping Centre, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin. 6:30pm. Booking essential. T: 01 6216422. E: lucan@sdublincoco.ie.

Tuesday 21 July: Indeed, They Are My Ancestors – The Registry of Deeds, with Paul Gorry MAGI. Second 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, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. Free but need to book by email: bookings@nationalarchives.ie. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday 22 July: Exhibition launch – Portraits of the Invisible. Portrait photographs of Irish men and women involved in WW1. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland’s National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Official launch 11am. Exhibition will run until January 2016. Free.

Wednesday 22 July: Pigs and Kings, with Dr Mary Leenane. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Wednesday 22 July: South Antrim Living Memories Doagh, Toome & Whitehead, official launch of exhibition, with talks from William Roulston and Bob Adams. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast BT3 9HQ. 1pm. All welcome, but need to book: E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: 028 90534800.

Wednesday 22 July: Family tree workshop for children – 6 to 10 year olds accompanied by parent, grandparent or guardian. Host: South County Dublin Libraries. Venue: County Library, Library Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24. Part of the Summer Heritage Festival. 2:30 to 4:30pm. Free. Booking essential: T: 01 4620073. E: localstudies@sdublincoco.ie.

Wednesday 22 July to Saturday 25 July: Free genealogy advice sessions, with Noel Jenkins. Part of the William Edmonson Homecoming (Quaker) Festival in Mountmellick. 15-minute sessions need to be booked. Venue: Drogheda House, O'Connell Square, Mountmellick, Co Laois. Details.

Saturday 25 July:
Conspirators - A Fenian Tour of Glasnevin Cemetery, with Dr Shane Kenna. Host and Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Starts 1pm. Tickets from €12. Details.

Saturday 25 July: Launch of 'Irregular Marriages in Dublin before 1837', by Henry McDowell, a Fellow of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI). Venue: Celbridge Lodge, Church Road, Celbridge, Co Kildare. 5pm to 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 25 July: Did your granny make bombs for WW1? with Hugo McGuinness and Mary Muldowney. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone, 77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. 4:30pm. All welcome.

Sunday 26 July: Bully's Acre – Dublin's oldest cemetery, a tour with Paul O'Brien of the little-known graveyard in the grounds of Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin. 2pm. Last few remaining spaces (at 21 July). Booking essential. Tel: 087 1169347. Free.

Sunday 26 July: Conspirators - A Fenian Tour of Glasnevin Cemetery, with Dr Shane Kenna. Host and Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Starts 1pm. Tickets from €12. Details.

Wednesday 29 July: An examination of the impact of WW1 at a local level in Co Clare, with Morgan Roughan. Part of the Stand up and fight Summer lecture series. Venue: City Hall, Limerick. 6:30pm. Refreshments provided. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 29 July to Saturday 1 August: Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School. Cultural event including a series of history/heritage lectures. See full programme. Shandon, Cork. Enquiries: +353 (0)86 3196063, www.motherjonescork.com.

Thursday 30 July: Nobody's Children: The treatment for shell-shocked Great War veterans in the Irish Free State, with Michael Robinson. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1:05pm. Free. No booking required. All welcome.

Thursday 30 July: Guided tour of St Patrick's Gateway graveyard, with Julian Walton. Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Meet at St Patrick's church, Chapel Lane, Waterford. 7pm.

Friday 30 July: Lecture and launch of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa: Unrepentent Fenian by Dr Shane Kenna. Host: Merrion Press. Venue: Milestone Gallery, Glasnevin Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Details.

Friday 31 July: The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War, documentary screening. Part of the Ballymote Heritage Weekend. Venue: The Art  Deco Theatre and Cinema, Ballymote, Co Sligo. Free. 2pm.

Friday 31 July: Secrets of the Bog Bodies, with Dr Eamonn P Kelly.  Official opening and lecture of the Ballymote Heritage Weekend. Venue: The Teagasc Centre, Tubbercurry Road, Ballymote, Co Sligo. 8:30pm. €10.

Saturday 1 August:
Unveiling of two bronze plaques on O'Donovan Rossa Bridge, Dublin. Speaker: Dr Shane Kenna. Host: The National Graves Association. Free. 3pm, on the bridge. All welcome.

Saturday 1 August:
Centenary of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa – Wreath laying ceremony and re-enactment of Pearse's speech at Rossa's graveside. Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. 4.30 pm. Followed at 5:30pm in Glasnevin Museum by launch of new print of the O'Donovan Rossa Funeral Scene by artist Robert Ballagh.

Saturday 1 August to Sunday 2 August: Re-enactment of Battle of Vinegar Hill. Living history events as part of the Rocking Food Festival. Venue: Enniscorthy Town, Co Wexford. Details.

Friday, 17 July 2015

New 'combined' application form for GRO certificates

Click image to view full size form
If you're intending to apply for research copies (photocopies) of birth, marriage and death certificates from the General Register Office by post/fax, you might like to know that there are now two approaches on offer.

The traditional route is to use a form downloaded from the GRO website, choosing between a birth, marriage and death certificate application, as suits. These forms provide for most requests: for those researchers who can supply the GRO reference; for those researchers who don't know the GRO reference for the event and require a search to be made, for those who want a long-form certificate for legal purposes and for those who want a research copy.

On this form you can write in all the details of the event and/or the old-style GRO reference ie Clonakilty 1885 Q2 vol 5 page 235.

The alternative is to use the much simplified combined form available at IrishGenealogy.ie, which does not offer a search option and requires only the event type, name and either the old style GRO reference number, without the district, to be provided, or the newer Group (Registration) ID number ie 1148081. The latter was introduced last year when civil registration records were launched on the site.

These Group ID numbers have not yet been allocated to all records so most researchers will still be using the old-style GRO reference.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: mid–July update

Drumshanbo New Cemetery
Photo courtesy of Kev Murray
Below are brief details of the uploads made so far this month to the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives site. All records, photos etc are provided by volunteers and are free to access.

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Drumshanbo New Cemetery
Drumshanbo, St. John's CoI (additional stones)

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Aghamore Cemetery
Caldragh Cemetery

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 (CofI) 1711-1851 - Asst. Names

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

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Indexing the RC parish registers: word on the street

We're one week on from the launch of the National Library of Ireland's Roman Catholic parish registers' website (see blogpost), and I'm pleased to say that I've read and heard pretty much nothing but praise for the new database. Online forums are busy unravelling illegible handwriting or de-coding abbreviations and margin notes, and there's already word of small-scale transcription projects being undertaken by family and local history groups and other associations with specialist interests.

But what about the BIG indexing job – the one that would marry each name in the registers to its corresponding page image, and would allow those who don't know their ancestors' parishes of origin a realistic chance of discovering this crucial piece of the genealogical jigsaw?

This was the subject of many conversations at the launch reception. When would one of the commercial suppliers announce their intentions?

Now, I can't confirm the truth of this, but my rumour radar is picking up news that Ancestry and FindMyPast are co-operating in a joint project to index the registers and link to the National Library's register images database. I first heard about this 'joint project' about two months ago, and within days heard it again, with both people citing the same named source. It seems to have become a well-kept 'secret' in Irish genealogy circles since then, with those 'in the know' reverently lowering the volume of their conversation while not reducing it to whispers.

Meanwhile, I've received neither confirmation nor denial through official channels.

Interestingly, an additional element of the story – that the combined resources of both companies will result in very speedy delivery – has not been elaborated upon, which may well indicate the veracity of the rumour. There is precedent for quick turnaround: the US 1940 Census of 3.8million images was indexed by Ancestry within nine months. The National Library's registers collection is just 10% that scale, so I doubt we're talking of much more than a few months before the index is online as part of subscription packages at Ancestry and FindMyPast.

Under normal circumstances, I don't blog about news stories or industry developments until I've checked them out. Trouble is, this particular rumour seems to have its own legs so it seems worth reporting even if 'commercial sensitivity' is preventing the two global businesses from writing a press release about it.

I'm also mindful that some 18 months ago, I heard the National Library of Ireland was scanning its microfilms of the parish registers with a view to putting them online, free. I didn't report it because I couldn't get confirmation this was true. In fact, I got big fat denials from contacts at the Library. And look what happened! (see last November's announcement).



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Genealogy Event returns to Co Limerick, 21-22 Aug

 http://www.thegenealogyevent.com/
The Genealogy Event will be returning to County Limerick this August.

Sponsored by RootsIreland.ie and based in pretty Adare, the summer conference has two strands of lecture/activity across Friday 21 August and Saturday 22 August, with both traditional genealogy and DNA sessions on offer.

Additionally, there are social/excursion events from the Thursday to Sunday.

Day conference tickets are available and each of the offered elements (beginner sessions/socials/tours) are priced individually allowing delegates to pick and choose those parts of the conference that best suit their research needs and interests.

Take a look at the website for the full programme, session descriptions, speakers and ticketing information.

The organisers of The Genealogy Event are BBNY Group and the event partner is the Irish Ancestry Research Centre in Limerick.

Free Irish graveyard books from Kabristan Archives

Kabristan Archives, the small specialist publisher of books relating to Irish and Indian graveyards and cemeteries, is having a summer time giveaway. And some!

The following books are available free of charge; you pay only for the postage:

  • Old Irish Graveyards: County Leitrim Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • Old Irish Graveyards: County Monaghan Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • Old Irish Graveyards: County Sligo Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
  • Donegal Graveyards Part I, Part II, Part III, Part Iv, Part V, Part VI, Part VII
  • Tyrone Graveyards Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.
  • Kells' Burial Grounds County Meath
  • Strabane Cemeteries, County Tyrone
  • Sligo Cemetery Old Section
  • Early Burials in County Monaghan

Eileen Hewson, the founder of Kabristan Archives and well-known for her Irish graveyard inscriptions, told Irish Genealogy News that Kabristan Archives is going fully digital and the giveaway will help clear stock.

You can see details of the contents of each book on the Kabristan Publications' Bookshop page. And you can contact Eileen by email to sales@kabristan.org.uk.to place an order or to enquire about postage.

Kabristan Archives is based in the UK. As an example of postage costs, Eileen says the Old Irish Graveyards County Leitrim collection of four books would cost about £7/€9 to post to an address in Ireland. Rates within the UK would be cheaper. Rates further afield more.

The giveaway will end on 31 August.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Irish Historical Studies journal moves to Cambridge

From this year, Irish Historical Studies (IHS), the joint journal of the Irish Historical Society (IHS) and the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

The new arrangement will see IHS offering articles and reviews online for the first time in its 77-year history, and to celebrate this publishing milestone for the journal, the 2014 edition of Irish Historical Studies has been made available free of charge on the Cambridge site.

Six research articles and 35 short reviews/notices can be downloaded in pdf format.

IHS publishes articles embodying original research on Irish history; articles on the scope and teaching of Irish history; select documents, with editorial comment; select and critical bibliographies; guides to sources; as well as review articles and short reviews of selected works resulting from research into Irish history.

More Baptism records transcribed for Co Clare parishes

Clare County Library has uploaded some more Roman Catholic baptism transcriptions to its website's Genealogy section.

Kilmaley Parish

John Mayer has continued his transcription work from LDS microfilms of the RC registers for Kilmaley Parish. The most recent batch sees the 1853 to 1860 baptism registers completed. This addition means that all the baptism registers from 23 September 1828 to 30 December 1860 have been fully transcribed and are freely available to view.

Kilmurry Ibrickan Parish

Marie Crowley has also been busily continuing her transcription work for Kilmurry Ibrickan Roman Catholic parish. Transcriptions from the 1848 and 1850 baptisms registers (386 records) have been donated to the Libary and made freely available on the website. The run of baptism records for this parish now available spans April 1839 to December 1850. Update 26 August: now runs to 1865 (excludes 1851).

Joanna Fennell joins Accredited Genealogists Ireland

Joanna Fennell MAGI
Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) has announced that Joanna Fennell has become its latest member.

I've known Joanna for a few years having served with her on the Council of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) and I'm delighted to see her professionalism and research expertise formally recognised by her peers.

She has been a full-time professional genealogist since 2012, having discovered a passion for genealogy three years earlier when she began to study the research of her great-granduncle Professor James Bayley Butler.

She ran a freelance research business until May 2015 when she joined AncestryProGenealogists in Dublin as an Associate Genealogist.

Her specialist areas of research include Anglo-Irish families in the East India Company, Irish Quakers, Dublin ancestry and Unitarian families of Manchester.

Joanna speaks several languages including Italian, French and German. Before pursuing genealogy as a career she obtained a BA in English and Italian and an MA in Film Studies, both from University College Dublin, and she graduated from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, with a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies in 2011.

Joanna continues to be a member of the IGRS Council and is the Irish Representative of the Families in British India Society. In 2012 she was approved by the British Library in London as a private research agent for the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections (APAC).

In 2012 Joanna was published in the Journal of the Families in British India Society and she completed her first privately-commissioned book The Pitman Family in 2013. An abridged version of this book is available in selected libraries worldwide, including the National Library of Ireland and Trinity College Library Dublin. In October 2014 she delivered a lecture on tracing Irish ancestors in India at the Back To Our Past genealogy fair in Dublin.

Congratulations, Jo, on becoming a MAGI!


Monday, 13 July 2015

Registry of Deeds Index Project: Update

http://irishdeedsindex.net/deeds_index/name_index.phpThe Registry of Deeds Indexing Project database has been updated over the weekend and now holds 187,385 indexed entries from more than 21,600 memorials of deeds.

Created purely by volunteers, the Index is free to access.

Irish Newspaper Archives offers 20% discount

https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/subscription/sign_up1.php
The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archives, which has more than 50 local, regional and island-wide titles in its database, is offering a 20% discount on all subscriptions taken out between now and the end of the month.

To take advantage of the offer, select the subscription package of your choice (day, month, year) and either set up an account or sign in to your existing account. The offer is available to both new and existing account holders. When you get to the credit card screen, enter the promotional code DISC20.

The promotion reduces the cost of the subscription to €8/day; €24/month; €142.40/year.

The offer will expire on 31 July.

British Newspaper Archive adds Missionary title

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2F
Monthly subscription is £9.95 for all
British and Irish papers
The British Newspaper Archive has added another Irish title to its database: The Missionary Herald of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Twelve editions of the monthly paper have been uploaded so far, covering all of the year 1855. Each edition consists of eight pages bringing news of the Church's missions and its missionary personnel.

Including this latest addition, the BNA database now holds 73 Irish newspapers. The entire collection is available via the BNA website and also as part of FindMyPast's Ireland and World subscription packages.

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events: 13–26 July

Tuesday 14 July: Motherhood in the 17th-century parish registers, with Clodagh Tait. Host: Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Venue: The Music Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 July: The Mound of the Hostages, with Prof Muiris O'Sullivan. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Wednesday 15 July: Weapons, tactics and strategies of the Irish battalions during WW1, with Ronan Hayes. Host: Limerick Museum & Archive. Venue: City Hall, Limerick. 6:30pm. Free. Refreshments provided. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 July: Leitrim, a county at war, with Quincey Dougan. Host: Carrick-on-Shannon & District Historical Society. Venue: Bush Hotel, Carrick, Co Leitrim. 8:30pm. Members free. Non-members €5/€3 concession. All welcome. More information, 086 067 5283.

Thursday 16 July: c995: Dublin's first coinage: The money of the Hiberno-Scandinavians, with Andy Woods. Second of the Milestones of Medieval Dublin monthly lunchtime lectures series 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 booking is necessary.

Thursday 16 July:  Kerry & the American Civil War, with Damian Shiels. Host: Kerry Historical & Archaeological Society. Venue: Benner's Hotel, Main Street, Dingle, Co Kerry. 8pm. All welcome.

Monday 20 July: Launch of exhibition: South Antrim Living Memories Doagh, Toome & Whitehead. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast BT3 9HQ. (See official launch event, 22 July.) Open during regular opening hours until 28 August.

Monday 20 July: 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 20 July: South Dublin Libraries' Local Studies Collections. Host: South Dublin County Libraries. Venue: Supervalu Shopping Centre, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin. 6:30pm. Booking essential. T: 01 6216422. E: lucan@sdublincoco.ie.

Tuesday 21 July: Indeed, They Are My Ancestors – The Registry of Deeds, with Paul Gorry MAGI. Second 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, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. Free but need to book by email: bookings@nationalarchives.ie. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday 22 July: Pigs and Kings, with Dr Mary Leenane. Host: Tara Lecture Series 2015. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Navan, Co Meath. 8pm. Free. Come early as seats are limited.

Wednesday 22 July: South Antrim Living Memories Doagh, Toome & Whitehead, official launch of exhibition, with talks from William Roulston and Bob Adams. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast BT3 9HQ. 1pm. All welcome, but need to book: E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: 028 90534800.

Wednesday 22 July: Family tree workshop for children – 6 to 10 year olds accompanied by parent, grandparent or guardian. Host: South County Dublin Libraries. Venue: County Library, Library Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24. Part of the Summer Heritage Festival. 2:30 to 4:30pm. Free. Booking essential: T: 01 4620073. E: localstudies@sdublincoco.ie.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Tracing your Irish Ancestors, October conference

http://www.ancestryireland.com/family-history-conference/
A busy week of genealogy lectures, visits, history  & fun
Having so quickly sold out its September Tracing Your Irish Ancestors conference, the Ulster Historical Foundation has announced that it will be repeating the event in October. The dates will be 4–10 October 2015.

The conference is an opportunity for researchers to learn about the dramatic history of Ulster and the lives of our Irish ancestors. Expert genealogists are on hand to guide delegates, whether experienced genealogists or beginners, at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the major archives in Dublin, including the National Archives of Ireland, the Registry of Deeds and the RCB Library.

It's a busy week! An extensive programme of tours takes researchers to sites of international renown including the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle on County Antrim’s wild Atlantic coast, the archaeological wonder of Newgrange in the tranquil Boyne Valley, the haunting Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College Dublin with its Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition, all must-see trips for any visitor to Ireland.

Assisted personal research, talks, tours and sightseeing are all part of the eclectic, friendly and fun mix of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. Find out more at AncestryIreland.



Thursday, 9 July 2015

Work continues on Limerick Museum's research aids collection

Research Aids are accessible from the
Limerick.ie Local History Resources page
A week or so ago, I spotted some newly uploaded Limerick resource aids on Academia.edu. These materials had been added by Brian Hodkinson, acting curator of Limerick Museum, so I contacted him to find out more.

It turns out that the 'new' materials and finding aids, many of them compiled or created from Brian's own research, have been available for some time on the Limerick Museum site, along with many others. I wasn't aware of them, despite having made frequent visits to the limerick.ie site to keep up to date with the busy Archives team. It had never occurred to me to click from the Archives web section to the Museum section for such resources and I don't imagine I was alone in this.

So, while these resources may not be brand-new, they are new to me, and probably to many others. And what a treasure trove they make for family historians with Limerick roots.

They can be accessed from the Local History Resources page under two headings:
Research Aids – People, and
Research Aids – Places.

Among the goodies are the following:

Estate Maps of County Limerick: Having begun as a listing of the estate maps, the project evolved to include sale catalogues, rentals etc. Names of tenants, lessees etc are being added. This is an ongoing project.

Who Was Who in Medieval Limerick; from Manuscript Sources: This is a fully referenced index to people in medieval Limerick. It's believed to contain well over 95% of people whose names were recorded through the medieval period.

Who's Who of Early Modern Limerick: This index straddles the medieval period through to c1700. It is a fully-referenced index to people in Limerick during that period and is an on-going project.

The Black Book of Limerick
: This is a new and superior index of people mentioned in The Black Book of Limerick, a collection of medieval Latin documents relating to St Mary's Cathedral, published by James MacCaffrey in 1907.

Placenames of County Limerick: Another on-going work compiling minor placenames gleaned from maps, deeds etc in the museum's collection and from the Limerick City Archives.

Placenames of the Desmond Survey: This could help unlock the survey for many researchers as it identifies places (where possible) and brings all different spellings together. The personal names are incorporated into the Early Modern Who's Who, and the full survey is online on UCC's Celt site.

In addition to the on-going projects mentioned above and on the site, Brian told Irish Genealogy News that he's also well into a project to abstract Limerick names from the Fiants (of the Tudor Sovereigns). The Fiants were warrants dealing with notable appointments, government adminstration, pardons etc. and they frequently name individuals and locations. Brian has already compiled a database of some 5,000 names.

He has also just started compiling a list of Bengal officers from Counties Limerick and Clare who joined the East India Company up to the 1830s. Details of the careers of these men are available into the 1860s/70s.

What are you waiting for?

Northern Ireland: July holiday schedules

Linen Hall Library: closed 11-18 July
There's a double public holiday in Northern Ireland next week.

Most businesses, as well as all libraries and archives will be closed on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 July. Some that usually open at the weekend will also be closed ahead of the holiday.

Normal opening and closing schedules resume on Wednesday 15 July.

Please note a couple of exceptions: the Linen Hall Library and the Presbyterian Historical Society Library, both in Belfast.

Both libraries will be closed to the public from Saturday 11 July to Saturday 18 July inclusive. Both reopen on Monday 20 July.



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

National Library of Ireland releases RC parish registers

Today is a landmark day for Irish genealogy. The National Library of Ireland has released its entire collection of Roman Catholic parish registers in image format on a dedicated section of its website. And it's simply wonderful!

The site is topographically organised. You can either home in
on the map, or type the parish name in the search box.
The registers span the 1740s to the 1880s; most start in the 1820s and a sizeable number even as late as the 1860s.

As we were led to expect, the website is topographically organised and the registers are unindexed, so anyone still hoping the new site would allow instant discovery of their Catholic ancestors without a known place of origin is going to be disappointed.

However, while the handwriting of parish priests hasn't been improved by digitisation, and nor has their Latin, the site provides some clever tools that may help overcome some of the challenges presented by old documents that were not kept in ideal conditions for many long years.

The site is so easy to use, I really don't think anyone who's ever used a genealogical database needs a tutorial.

Instead I'll just mention a few of the features I've been particularly impressed with in my sample searches.

  • You can select a parish by zooming in through county/diocese map options or by simply typing a parish name in the search box.
  • The 'home page' of each parish presents the selection of the registers available by date and provides brief details about the number of images in each book and a map showing the parish highlighted in red and the names and boundaries of the surrounding parishes. This is incredibly useful, allowing you to click through to adjoining parishes if your ancestor isn't showing up where you expected to find him/her.
  • Once you've selected the parish register you want to view, you can choose how to view it. The default option is to scroll through the pages chronologically. It's a relatively smooth scroll, so it doesn't make your eyes spin but there is a slight delay for all the image capture to de-pixelate. Alternatively, you can choose to view by date using the Filter Events/Date button to the top left of the image pane. The image delay is the same.
  • When faced with difficult handwriting, ink splodges, and inconsistent recording patterns, the site has a number of image tools to help decipher the records. There's the option to invert the black and white images into negative view (white writing on black background), as well as brightness and contrast tools that work in both regular and inverted view. These controls are sure to reveal many secrets.
  • The FAQs are also very straightforward and helpful. Good to see Shane's excellent site (www.swilson.info) being mentioned as the place to locate Catholic parishes, and there's a good technique explained for those researchers who know their ancestors' county but not the parish.
So over to you. Have fun!
http://registers.nli.ie

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Letters of 1916 project needs your help for next phase

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will know that I'm a great supporter of the Letters of 1916 project, Ireland's first public humanities initiative that's crowdsourced a new digital collection of letters, postcards and photos from around the time of the Easter Rising nearly 100 years ago.

Since it launched in 2013, the team has gathered more than 2,000 letters and uploaded nearly all of them to its public database at http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/. Many have also been transcribed (if you can help with a bit of transcription work, take a look at the Contribute section of the site).

The project is now approaching its next phase: the launch of the Letters of 1916 Digitial Edition website. This is scheduled for 3 November.

Before then, the project team needs to evaluate the functionality and usability of the new website.

Can you help? In return for an hour of your time one morning between 8 and 17 July, you will receive a sneak preview of the next stage of the project and the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to the final Letters of 1916 Digital Edition.  You will be asked to complete some tasks on the new website and let the project team know what you think of it.

See Letters of 1916 Usability Testing info for further details.

The evaluations will take place on the Maynooth University campus and will be carried out by Dr Judith Wusteman of UCD Dublin.