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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

IrishGenealogy.ie updates civil registration indexes

http://www.irishgenealogy.ie
IrishGenealogy.ie, the free website managed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has had a major update, and it seems to have gone smoothly this time! (An attempt earlier this month accidently wiped millions of records from the site; it was quickly reversed.)

Birth indexes have been updated to include all entries over 100 years old, so they now cover 1864 to 1914 (mother's maiden names are included from 1900. Death indexes have been updated to include all entries from 1864 to 1964. In both cases, only the end year has been extended.

It's the update to the Marriage indexes which is the most significant. While the Marriage Index runs from 1845/1864 to 1939, 'Enhanced' records ie those that show both parties to a marriage, now start from 1882 (about 20 years earlier than was previously available). This development will be well-received by Irish family historians.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

New Irish language archive created in Belfast

A dedicated Irish language archive has been created in Belfast – the first such archive in Northern Ireland.

Held at Coláiste Feirste and St Mary’s University College in Belfast, the archive (Cartlann Gaeilge) contains thousands of records and spans more than 100 years. It charts the revival of the language, in particular since the 1950s, and includes photographs, letters, books, newspaper clippings and other records of interest.

Speaking about the archive, Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “Although Irish has been spoken in Belfast continuously for centuries, by the 1950s its usage was confined to a small number of dedicated clubs and societies. Since then, thanks to the passion and commitment of a small group of Irish speakers, including those who founded the Shaws Road Gaeltacht, we have seen take-up of Irish steadily grow. Indeed we now have thousands of children receiving their education, from pre-school through to post-primary, through the medium of Irish and it is the fastest growing sector of the local education system.

“This new archive tells, for the first time all in one place, the full story of this revival, using artefacts that deliver a tangible and exciting connection to historical events. The archive will be of interest to future generations of Irish learners and historians, as well as to tourists and anyone seeking to find out more about Belfast’s rich cultural heritage.”

Four more historical Irish newspapers join BNA

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2F
The last few days have seen four more Irish newspaper titles join the British Newspaper Archive's online database. They are:

Armagh Guardian: Searchable editions available for this weekly paper so far include 1845–1847, 1850, 1852, 1863, 1866 and 1868–1870.

Munster express/weekly commercial & agricultural gazette: Only the edition published on Saturday 16 January 1869 is currently online. The BNA plans to add editions spanning 1860 to 1871.

Banner of Ulster: Now searchable are the fortnightly editions published in 1844–1845 and 1849– 1850, and the three-times a week editions published in 1854 and 1856.

Kings County Chronicle: All weekly editions published 1845–1871 are included in the database. The archive plans to add those 1872–1874.

The British Newspaper Archive's entire collection of Irish titles is also available on the BNA's sister-company FindMyPast, accessible with an Ireland or World subscription.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sean Murphy publishes Primer in Irish Genealogy 2015

http://homepage.eircom.net/~seanjmurphy/epubs
Well-known genealogist, author and tutor Sean J Murphy has published the 2015 edition of his Primer in Irish Genealogy. Click the image to download your free copy from his publication page or go to Academia.

The Primer is based on introductory lectures from Sean's highly regarded University College Dublin Adult Education courses in genealogy. The online booklet is offered both as a text for students and as a guide for those in Ireland and abroad who wish to trace their Irish ancestors.

He also advises that his UCD Adult Education "Introduction to Genealogy/Family History" is now fully booked.

However, there are still places on the more advanced 10-week "Topics in Genealogy/Family History" course, which starts this Wednesday, 30 September at 7pm on Belfield Campus, Donnybrook, Dublin (course reference AE-GN10, full details and enrolment procedure here).

National Archives offers paper conservation internship

The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) is offering an internship to recent (2014/2015) graduates in paper or archives conservation. The sucessful applicant wil work under the supervision of the NAI's Head of Conservation and will receive valuable practical experience of working with archival collections.

The post is 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

For more details, see the NAI's notice.

Closing date for applications is Noon, Friday 9 October.

Irish genealogy, history/heritage events, 28 Sep–11 Oct

Monday 28 September: The Famine, Ireland, and Co. Down, with Dr. Eamon Phoenix. Host: Greater Mourne Good Relations Forum. Venue: Kilkeel, Co Down. Phone for details: 028 3031 3065 / 077 9388 3664.

Tuesday 29 September: Of Mills and Millers: the industrial heritage of Palmerstown, with Aoife O'Connor. Host: The John Jennings Library, Stewarts Care Limited, Palmerston, Dublin 20. Venue: The Coach House, Old Lucan Road, Palmerstown. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details from the library. T: 01 651 8129. E: Email: libraries@stewartscare.ie.

Tuesday 29 September: Digging up your Irish Ancestors, with Mary Casteleyn FIGRS, Vice Chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. The illustrated talk will concentrate on using different type of media for ancestor hunting such as newspapers, pictures and miniatures and graveyards. Venue: Acocks Green Library, Shirley Road, Birmingham B27 7XH, UK. 2pm. Free but donation of £3 requested. No need to book. All welcome.

Tuesday 29 September: 'Idir dhá thor': Tomás Ó Madagáin, poet at the crossroads of culture', with Philip Fogarty. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Lecture at 8pm, following AGM (7:30pm).

Tuesday 29 September: The Municipal Joyce: James Joyce and the City Corporation, with Pter Costello. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Tuesday 29 September: Derry and Antrim Yearbook Project, with Diane Kirkpatrick and Andrew Kane. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Coleraine Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine, BT52 1HF. 8pm.

Wednesday 30 September: Tracing Your Irish-American Catholic Genealogy, with Michael Brophy. Hosts: Friends of Memorial Hall Library. Venue: Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St, Andover, MA 01810, USA. 7pm to 8:30pm. Details. Free, but need to register.

Wednesday 30 September: The rising of 1798 in County Down, with Allan Blackstock. Part of the Up Down series of lectures. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone to 028 90534800.

Thursday 1 October: 19th-century prison records, with Chris Colvin. First of PRONI's Crime and Society lecture series. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book: E proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: (+44) 028 90 534800.

Thursday 1 October: Court Records - their value to the family historian, with Wesley Geddis. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 1 October: The statues and sculptures of Dublin City, with Neal Doherty. Host: Rathfarnham Historical Society. Venue: Church of Ireland Parish Centre, Main Street, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. All welcome. Non-members €4. 8pm.

Friday 2 October: Celebrating Cork Past, exhibition and more. All day event at Millennium Hall/Lecture Hall, City Hall, Cork City. Pop along to see the Cork Genealogy Society team who will have their own stand. Free admission. 10am to 6:30pm.

Saturday 3 October: Conference: The Border Counties and the First World War. Host: Ulster Local History Trust. Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan. Topics include refugees, war poetry, recruitment, soldiers, nursing and sources for family war research. Bookings. €20 or £15 includes refreshments but not lunch.

Monday 5 October: Unearthing the NorthWest in old photos, with Ken McCormack. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Derry BT48 8AL. 7p–9pm.

Monday 5 October: James McAlpin and the Killyleagh Philosophy School, with Rev Dr David Steers. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh Branch. Venue: Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co. Down, BT30 9QF. 8pm to 9:30pm.

Monday 5 October: Researching your family history, with Brian Mitchell MAGI. Venue: Tower Museum, Union Hall Place, Derry BT48 6LU. 2pm. Free. No booking.

Monday 5 October: Here Lyeth - the 18th-century headstones of Wicklow, with Christian Corlett. Host: Rathdrum Historical Society. Venue: Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 6 October: An Omagh emigrant family tragedy 1836, with Kenneth Collins. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Omagh Branch. Venue: Library, Spillars Place, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT78 1HL. 7:15pm to 9:15pm.

Tuesday 6 October: Henry Gore Sankey: Portrait of a perfect Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1791-92, with Dr Lisa-Marie Griffith. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Thursday 8 October: Suffrage Militancy in Ireland, with Margaret Ward. Part of PRONI's Crime and Society lecture series. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book: E proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: (+44) 028 90 534800.

Thursday 8 October: 1349: The Black Death, with Gillian Kenny. 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–1:45pm. Admission free. NO booking is necessary.

Friday 9 October: Back To Our Past, Ireland's biggest genealogy fair and conference. Includes Genetic Genealogy Ireland, a programme of lectures about using DNA for family history research. This is the place to be if you want expert advice on starting your genealogical hunt or to help you over a brickwall. Venue: Serpentine Hall, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 12Noon to 6pm. Continues Saturday and Sunday (see below). €5 admission per day.

Saturday 10 October: 1916: a contested legacy, a one-day conference. Host and venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, Irish Town, Manchester, UK. Details.

Saturday 10 October: Irish genealogy workshop, with Bridget Bray. Host and venue: New York Irish Center, 1040 Jackson Ave, Between 50th & 51st Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA.  12Noon to 3pm.  Donation $10, includes light refreshments. Tickets.

Saturday 10 October and Sunday 11 October: Back To Our Past, Ireland's biggest genealogy fair and conference. Includes Genetic Genealogy Ireland, a programme of lectures about using DNA for family history research. This is the place to be if you want expert advice on starting your genealogical hunt or to help you over a brickwall. Venue: Serpentine Hall, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 11am to 6pm, both days. €5 admission per day.




Friday, 25 September 2015

Try FindMyPast's World for 1 month for just €1, £1, $1

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?s=559487&v=5947&q=224587&r=123532
See below for other currencies
Following last week’s free weekend to FindMyPast’s World collection, which was (surprise, surprise) incredibly popular, you may be thinking of purchasing a subscription to the database.

To help you make that decision, FindMyPast is following up with a 90%–95% discount on the cost of a one-month World package.

The offer is valid across all FindMyPast territories and works out at just one unit of local currency: €1, £1, US$, Aus$. The percentage discount depends on your currency, but it's huge enough wherever you're from!

Here's how it works. Follow the links below, click through to the subscribe page and you'll find the discount code already applied. Then you fill in the Register/Sign-up form, add financial details, and enjoy the full World collection for 30 days.

Once you’ve subscribed, your subscription will automatically renew after 30 days at the regular price; if you don’t want to continue the subscription past the 30-day mark, be sure to visit your My Account page and change your settings to turn off continuous membership. Read the full terms and conditions, they are set out in very clear language.

Don't hang about. The offer will be available for less than one week.


Ireland €1    
UK £1    

USA $1     
Aust/NZ Aus$1    





Thursday, 24 September 2015

More editions of the Historic Irish Town Atlas online

A couple of weeks ago the Royal Irish Academy released a free pdf version of the Kilkenny edition of the Irish HIstoric Town Atlas (IHTA). (See blogpost here.)

If the IHTA is right up your street, you'll be interested in a tip I've received from Shane Wilson, who manages the swilson.info website (an excellent resource, especially, but not exclusively, for those researching Dublin families). Shane has found a few more free pdf texts from the Irish Historic Town Atlas tucked away in the Toponymy resources section of the Placenames Database website Logainm.ie.

While there are no separate maps available to view via that source, there are downloadable texts from Parts 1, 2, & 3 of the Dublin atlases and from the Tuam edition.


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Clare Library adds O'Callaghan Mills baptisms 1835-45

More than 2,500 transcriptions of baptism registers from O'Callaghan Mills parish, Diocese of Killaloe, Co Clare, have been donated to The County Library and are now available to view, free, on the library's Local Studies website.

The registers transcribed date from 1835 to 1845, the decade before the Famine. They are presented in date order (as per the registers) and also in alphabetical order.

The details provided are the child's name and date of baptism, first name and surname of father, first name and maiden name of mother, townland of residence, and names of sponsors.

Sharon Carbery of Virginia, USA, has transcribed the registers from the images now online at the National Library of Ireland's website.

Well done, Sharon!

National Archives joins Digital Preservation Coalition

The National Archives of Ireland has joined the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), a group which aims to help its members to deliver resilient long-term access to content and services.

The core mission of the National Archives is to collect, manage, and preserve the public record of Ireland and ensure its long-term availability as a research resource and to underpin citizens’ rights.

The long-term availability of the public record is considered a demonstrable feature of transparency and accountability in the democratic process.

"Joining the DPC will enable the National Archives to address matters such as the capture, curation and preservation of the public record which is increasingly generated in electronic format," said John McDonough, Director of the National Archives.

"The National Archives will be able to leverage experience, technical knowledge and policy development from among the members of the DPC. Membership will ensure the National Archives is better placed to meet the significant challenges it faces in this area."

Existing members of the DPC include the National Library of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. It is hoped that the DPC will build towards a critical mass of institutions in Ireland concerned with the growing proliferation of cultural and administrative material in digital or electronic form and the need to take steps towards its ongoing preservation and access.

The Carlow Post 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 Carlow Post has joined the online                     British Newspaper Archive (BNA) database.

The editions available so far are those published 1860–1864, 1870, 1872–1873, and the BNA will be adding more in due course to cover 1853 to 1878.

According to its 1872 masthead, the weekly paper had a circulation across counties Carlow, Kildare, Queen's (now Laois), Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin.

The British Newspaper Archive's entire collection of Irish titles, including The Carlow Post, is also available on the BNA's sister-company FindMyPast, accessible with an Ireland or World subscription.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Kilrush Board of Guardians Minute Books, 1849

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-booksAt the tail end of June, FindMyPast released a collection of more than 63,000 Board of Guardians' Minute Books from two of County Clare's eight Poor Law Unions (Kilrush and Ennistymon unions). See my original blogpost for details.

Each record contains an image of the original handwritten minutes and a transcript, which doesn't necessarily include the full details of the corresponding entry. I found this to be a huge problem, mainly because my patience with awful handwriting is limited, and I tend to not perservere on purely speculative explorations of a resource.

Talking with Clare Library's Local Studies team on a different matter a few days ago, I was surprised to learn that the Kilrush Union Minute Books for 1849 have been fully transcribed and are available free of charge at the County Clare Library website. Also available is a very useful and detailed Introduction to the material by Ciaran Ó Murchadha.

So, if you're interested in the Kilrush books for 1849, you can get the best of both worlds by using the Index on FindMyPast to direct you to entries of interest, and then locate them by date in the Clare transcriptions.

IrishGenealogy.ie will be upgraded 'soon'

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will remember the hoo-ha a couple of weeks ago when millions of birth, marriage and death records disappeared overnight from the civil registration indexes database held on the state-managed site IrishGenealogy.ie (see blogpost).

I've since received confirmation that the site was in the process of upgrading the records on the site when an error occurred, taking down a huge number of records. Without access to full details, my guess is that the upgrade involved the upload of records with a Group ID reference rather than the old style reference, and included many additional 'couple' entries in the marriage index, replacing single entries for bride and groom; the error wiped off all the existing 'old-style' reference records.

The latter have, of course, since been restored (Twitter playing an important role in the speedy corrective action) and the upgrade, as far as I can tell, was abandoned. I've now been told via official sources that the update has been rescheduled and will take place 'soon'.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht say they will publicise the update next time. Whether this will happen before or after remains to be seen.

Hopefully, some lessons were learned in the recent mishap and users of the site will be kept fully informed.

Descriptive List published for McMahon Collection

A Descriptive List of the McMahon Collection has been published and can be downloaded from the Clare County Library and Archives website.

The McMahon Collection consists of papers from an auctioneering and estate agency business dating between the 17th to 20th centuries and is one of the Archives's largest collections of primary source documents. It provides a fascinating insight to local history, genealogy, land acquisition and social history, with records including correspondence, deeds, leases, rental account listings, marriage settlements, wills, account registers and probate valuations.

The main content of material relates to rental accounts from the Rental Account Books which give tenants' names and addresses, valuation, rents and arrears. It also contains items relating to ejectment decrees and notices to quit estates through the county.

Monday, 21 September 2015

New book explores families from Bandon, County Cork

http://amzn.com/1515081532
Available on Amazon
A new book exploring the social history of Bandon in County Cork has been published.

Bandon, County Cork. A Social History of North Main Street and Kilbrogan Hill, by Catherine FitzMaurice, focuses on a part of town once filled with tanneries, malt houses, shoemakers, harness makers and publicans. However, a major transformation took place in the 1700s when English settlers moved in. Industry moved out and the street became primarily residential, filled with a predominantly Protestant population.

The 420-page paperback (ISBN 978151508153) focuses on the families who lived and worked in the area and would be a useful tool for those researching their ancestors who came from the town. Some of the familiar Bandon settler surnames – Bennett, Fuller, Hunter, Appelbe, Lee, Loane, Williams, Robinson, Clear, Baldwin, Burchill, Tresilian and Teulon – feature in the book as residents or lease holders. The study additionally explores the immense influence of the Devonshire Estate as far as it related to the street.

Catherine FitzMaurice is also the author of The Tresilian Family of County Cork: Landowners and Bandon Merchants, which was published two years ago, and a co-founder of the excellent website Bandon-Genealogy.com. This free site intends to help those researching ancestors in the town and its surrounding area, and I can give it a personal recommendation as it helped me greatly when I was researching one of my Santry branches. I remember in particular being incredibly grateful to the site's creators for providing details of street name changes, without which I'd probably never have found the family's home and location of their butcher shop.

Both Catherine's books are available on Amazon.

Irish genealogy, history/heritage events, 21 Sept-3 Oct

Monday 21 September:Who do you think WE are?’ with Irene McCarlie & Su Topping. Members night. North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, Co Antrim BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm.

Monday 21 September: Book launch: Not The Same Sky, by Evelyn Conlon. The story of Famine orphans sent to Australia in the 1840s. Hosts: Libraries NI and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. Venue: Newry City Library, 79 Hill Street, Newry BT34 1DG. 2pm. Free. More details: telephone: 028 3026 4683 or email: newrycity.library@librariesni.org.uk

Monday 21 September: 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.

Tuesday 22 September: Maps, Rentals & Terriers – Irish Estate records, with Nicola Morris MAGI. Last 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.

Tuesday 22 September: Printer to the City: John Exshaw, Lord Mayor of Dublin, with Dr Maire Kennedy. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Tuesday 22 September: Sport and the everyday in Ireland, with Paul Rouse. Genealogy at Lunchtime series of lectures. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Wednesday 23 September: Another time: photographs of the Stewart family, marquesses of Londonderry, with Lorraine Bourke. Part of the Up Down series of lectures. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone to 028 90534800.

Wednesday 23 September: Great Famine in Ulster, a HistoryIreland Hedge School chaired by Tommy Graham. This discussion will open the Annual Famine Commemoration International Conference at Canal Court Hotel, Newry, Co Down (23–25 September) and is scheduled to include Professor Peter Gray, Professor Christine Kinealy, Professor Mary Daly, Dr Ruan O’Donnell. 7:30 to 9:30pm. Free.

Thursday 24 September: Introduction & Registration & How to get Started. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm.

Thursday 24 September: Gallipoli and Ireland/Ulster, with Nigel Henderson and Philip Orr plus music from Ciaran Mulholland. Venue: Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall. 7pm (light refreshments from 6:30pm.). Free but need to book by telephone: 028 90 270 663.

Saturday 26 September: Annual Famine Commemoration, the official ceremony. Includes music, poetry, unveiling of plaque, wreath-laying. Venue: Albert Basin, Newry, Co Down. Gates open 12:30pm. Formalities begin at 2pm.

Saturday 26 September: Open Day at National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. From 10am to 5pm. Tours (30 mins) to the Conservation, storage and preservation areas; Reading Room introductions; Genealogy sources with members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland; Book Stalls; and a lecture (45 mins each) programme exploring all areas of the NAI's work. Booking is recommended for the tours and lectures because space is limited and they are usually over-subscribed: bookings@nationalarchives.ie. Free.

Monday 28 September: The Famine, Ireland, and Co. Down, with Dr. Eamon Phoenix. Host: Greater Mourne Good Relations Forum. Venue: Kilkeel, Co Down. Phone for details: 028 3031 3065 / 077 9388 3664.

Tuesday 29 September: Of Mills and Millers: the industrial heritage of Palmerstown, with Aoife O'Connor. Host: The John Jennings Library, Stewarts Care Limited, Palmerston, Dublin 20. Venue: The Coach House, Old Lucan Road, Palmerstown. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details from the library. T: 01 651 8129. E: Email: libraries@stewartscare.ie.

Tuesday 29 September: Digging up your Irish Ancestors, with Mary Casteleyn FIGRS, Vice Chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. The illustrated talk will concentrate on using different type of media for ancestor hunting such as newspapers, pictures and miniatures and graveyards. Venue: Acocks Green Library, Shirley Road, Birmingham B27 7XH, UK. Free but donation of £3 requested. No need to book. All welcome.

Tuesday 29 September: 'Idir dhá thor': Tomás Ó Madagáin, poet at the crossroads of culture', with Philip Fogarty. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Lecture at 8pm, following AGM (7:30pm).

Tuesday 29 September: The Municipal Joyce: James Joyce and the City Corporation, with Pter Costello. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Tuesday 29 September: Derry and Antrim Yearbook Project, with Diane Kirkpatrick and Andrew Kane. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Coleraine Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine, BT52 1HF. 8pm.

Wednesday 30 September: Tracing Your Irish-American Catholic Genealogy, with Michael Brophy. Hosts: Friends of Memorial Hall Library. Venue: Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St, Andover, MA 01810, USA. 7pm to 8:30pm. Details. Free, but need to register.

Wednesday 30 September: The rising of 1798 in County Down, with Allan Blackstock. Part of the Up Down series of lectures. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone to 028 90534800.

Thursday 1 October: 19th-century prison records, with Chris Colvin. First of PRONI's Crime and Society lecture series. Host and Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book: E proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: (+44) 028 90 534800.

Thursday 1 October: Court Records - their value to the family historian, with Wesley Geddis. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 3 October: Conference: The Border Counties and the First World War. Host: Ulster Local History Trust. Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan. Topics include refugees, war poetry, recruitment, soldiers, nursing and sources for family war research. Bookings. €20 or £15 includes refreshments but not lunch.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

IGRS launches database of rare C19th Notebook

It sounds like an episode title in a wacky new period drama of the Sherlock or Ripper Street variety, but the Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook, 1875, is actually a rare and wonderful journal recording the lives of a working class community in Dublin 140 years ago, and it is now making its debut online.

Marking Culture Night 2015, the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS), in collaboration with Clontarf & Scots Presbyterian congregation, has launched an online database of images of pages from the Notebook. The pages have been fully indexed, allowing researchers to search for their ancestors by name.

The rare book was compiled during January to October 1875 by William Malone, a missionary-colporteur employed by Ormond Quay Presbyterian congregation. On his travels through the streets of Dublin between the two canals, Malone jotted biographical notes on approximately 10,000 inner-city Dublin Protestants. Given the lack of 19th-century census records for Ireland, this unrivalled and, until now, almost unknown resource sheds new light on approximately a third of the inner-city’s Protestant population.

Malone’s task was to 'seek out and visit unconnected Presbyterian families first, then Protestants of any denomination not attached to any place of worship...'. His journal provides a fascinating insight into Dublin life at the time. Sparing no flattery, he noted industry, clean living and godliness alongside squalor, drunkenness and child neglect. He recorded, too, his interaction with Roman Catholics. Of such a family he met in Prussia Street, in Stoneybatter, he noted that, having “entered the houses of several Roman Catholics & held some conversations on religious subjects…found them averse to Gospel truth & firmly attached to their own errors”.

One of the early, poignant entries notes a Presbyterian couple called John and Jane More, originally from Glasgow. Jane had been mother to 20 children, only nine of which had survived. The full entry reads:
"7th Jan 1875 - Found out a family of Scotch Presbyterians living at 5 Wellington Place - Father & Mother, John & Jane More, with 9 children living, 11 children dead. This family has been 26 years in the city & yet have not connected themselves with any church. They worship everywhere, principally the Methodist and Episcopal churches. Mother and daughter baptised by Principal MacFarlane, Glasgow. Husband works as confectioner at Connor's, King Street…working at Robinson's, Capel Street, by 27th March 1876.”

Later the same month Malone found a Mrs Hickey at Walshe’s Row, off Mary’s Place. He noted: “Husband…dead, had been an Episcopalian, - she Roman Catholic – 7 children very neglected & ignorant, attend no school”.

In June, he came across a Craig family in Temple Bar, “an exceedingly unhappy family, arising principally from drink…an inmate of this house, a servant…addicted to cursing.”

Thankfully, not all entries are so negative. Most note ordinary families, recording their occupations, education, number of children and places of origin, with asides about their openness to the reformed religion.

In launching the new database, IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl said: “This major new source fills a huge void left by the lack of nineteenth-century census records for Dublin. Many of the descendants of the families noted are no doubt scattered across the globe and this information will enable them to bring their research back another generation or two and to identify where they came from before moving to the city. Rarely ever does a source of this importance surface, and never one with such glorious, though often heart-breaking, detail.”

The Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook 1875 database is held exclusively on the IGRS website, IrishAncestors.ie. Only members of the IGRS can search the Index to the Notebook AND view images of its pages. However, non-members can search the Index to discover if any of their ancestors were visited by William Malone and recorded in his Notebook.

Registry of Deeds Index hits 200,000 entries milestone

The Register of Deeds Index Project has reached a new milestone, with more than 200,000 entries now included on the free website.

These entries have been extracted from 23,060 memorials of deeds, which often hold fabulously rich information for genealogists.

The project was started back in 2007 by Nick Reddan FIGRS who manages the site and co-ordinates its team of volunteers. Announcing the latest update to the site, Nick was singing the praises of that team: "This wonderful result is only possible through the sustained efforts of the volunteers. We cannot thank them enough. While it is great to reach another milestone, there is still a vast amount of work to do to get close to full coverage."

True enough. Can you help the project? Do you have details from memorials that you've used in the course of your own research? Find out how to contribute abstracts and see the amount of work put in by named volunteers on the site (prepare to be impressed).

Mid-September updates from IGP Archives

IRELAND Genealogy Archives
Land – Auction Announcement - Henry Archdall, Bankrupt 1787
Cemeteries – Funerals by J. & C. Nichols Ltd, 1919-1930

ARMAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Patrick's Cathedral (R.C.) Part 1

CAVAN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kildallon (RC) Cemetery
Annagh Cemetery - New (partial)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Land
Edkins, John Rent Roll - To Be Sold 1778

MAYO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Killasser Cemetery (partial)

MEATH Genealogy Archives – Land
To be Sold, Lands of Ballymacol - 1756

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Gurteen Old Cemetery
Mounterwin; RC Cem. Headstones (partial)
List of cemeteries in Co Sligo

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Manor Kilbride, Kilbride Old Cem. Headstones Pt 2

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives – Photos
McCabe, Maria

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

National Archives of Ireland closure, 23 September

Diary Note: Next Wednesday 23 September, the Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland will be closed until Noon.

National Archives publishes policy framework 2015-17

The National Archives of Ireland has published an Archives Framework 2015-2017, which sets out the policy framework for the development and management of the repository.

It also serves as a neat overview of the National Archives, the roles of its five distinct divisions and its infrastructure (locations and storage capacities). Handy!

Free weekend of access to FindMyPast starts Friday

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5947&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.ie%2Ffreeweekend
FindMyPast has announced that its entire collection of records from Ireland, UK, USA and Australia/NZ will be opened up to all comers this weekend. Yep, a free weekend!

Among the highlights of the collection is a huge database of British military records, millions of immigration records and passenger manifests for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, and a vast archive of historical newspapers from around the world including 88 Irish newspapers.

The World collection of some 4billion records will be free to access from Friday 18 September (Noon Dublin/London time; 7am EDT; 9pm AEST) until Monday 21 September (Noon Dublin/London time; 7am EDT; 9am AEST).

If you have a current FindMyPast 'Local' subscription, you'll find your account has been upgraded to give you access to the entire World collection this weekend.

If you already have an existing 'World' subscription, you won't miss out; your subscription will be extended by three days.

If you don't have an existing FindMyPast subscription, simply register for a free account (you need only provide your name, email address and country of residence) using one of the links below and start researching –

FindMyPast Ireland
   
FindMyPast.co.uk
FindMyPast.com    
FindMyPast.com.au

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5927&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.com%2Ffreeweekend

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Rockstar Genealogists Poll: what can I say but thanks?

Oh my goodness. I have just discovered that I've been voted 'Superstar Genealogist 2015 for Ireland' by readers of John D Reid's Anglo-Celtic-Connections blog.

More than 2,000 votes were received in the poll, which looks to discover the most rated 'genies' in each of the USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, Ireland, and England/Wales/Scotland. I'm truly chuffed to bits to have been voted into the top spot for Ireland.

The term 'Genealogist' is applied fairly loosely in the poll's nomination criteria, which is just as well for me, because I'm not a professional. Nor do I give talks or author books. But I do write this blog, so I guess my votes must have come primarily from my readers. Sincere thanks to you all. I really appreciate the vote of confidence.

It is particularly pleasing to receive this recognition so soon after 'BullyGate', which called into question the behaviour of certain people in Ireland's family history industry. I guess I wasn't alone in believing that lifting the lid was necessary, and I'm pleased to say that taking that step seems to have had the desired effect. Let's hope professionalism and good manners rule at the Back To Our Past show next month.

The Silver and Bronze awards for Rockstar Genealogists 2015 went to Steven Smyrl and John Grenham, both of them most definitely professional genealogists – they are members of AGI – as well as being highly-regarded writers, stars of the silver screen, and extremely popular lecturers. Congratulations to them, and to all those who received Rockstar awards in this year's poll.

And big thanks also to John for organising it. What fun (!) he must have had counting up all those votes and applying them to geographical regions!

National Archives of Ireland to hold Open Day, 26 Sept

The National Archives of Ireland has announced details for this year's Open Day, which will be held on Saturday 26 September at Bishop Street, Dublin 8, from 10am to 5pm. It's free.

There are 30-minute tours to the Conservation workspace and the Storage and Preservation areas. Staff will be on hand to introduce visitors to the resources of the Reading Room while members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland will be on hand to discuss family history sources. There will be an exhibition and book stalls, and a series of 45-minute lectures will run on the hour every hour to present details of about collections and various aspects of the Archives' work.

As space is limited, booking is recommended for the tours and lectures. In previous years, these have been over-subscribed so I'd suggest you reserve your space quickly if you plan to attend.

The programme (Word.doc) can be downloaded here.



Wexford Constitution debuts on British Newspaper Archive

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2F
The Wexford Constitution has joined the British Newspaper Archive. It's the third Wexford title to appear in the database, but only three months' worth of editions published in late 1858 are searchable so far for this particular newspaper.

In time, the digital archives offer for this paper will span 1858 to 1887.

The holdings of several other relatively 'new' Irish newspapers have been extended in the last week or so.

Of particular note are the Kilkenny Journal which now covers 1832 and 1834-1871; the Evening Freeman, now with editions from 1851-1857, 1860-1864, 1866, and 1868-1871 ready for searching; Downpatrick Recorder spanning 1840-1842, 1846-1864, and 1866-1871; and the Belfast Commercial Chronicle which debuted on the site less than four weeks ago with only 154 editions and now offers more than 5,000 spanning (with gaps) 1805 to 1847.

The holding for the Clare Journal and Ennis Advertiser has also grown quickly. The archive now holds editions from the following years: 1835-1836, 1839-1840, 1843-1845, 1848-1849, 1854-1859, 1861, and 1864.

The entire digitial archive of newspapers is available for a monthly subscription of £12.95. However, all 88 Irish titles in the British Newspaper Archive are automatically included as part of a FindMyPast Ireland or World subscription, which may be a better value option if you are actively conducting genealogy research.

2015 Famine Commemoration programme underway

The 2015 Annual Famine Commemoration programme has got underway this week in the Newry and Mourne district.

I've included the lectures I think will be of particular interest to family historians in my Events Listings (see yesterday's blogpost), but there are also many theatrical and musical performances, walks, exhibitions etc that may also appeal. So, if you're in the area and want to support the Commemoration, which is being held for the first time in Northern Ireland, download a copy of the full programme (right - pdf 1.1Mb).

The formal Commemorative ceremony will take place on Saturday 26 September at Newry's Albert Basin.

Monday, 14 September 2015

First school receives tricolour and 1916 Proclamation

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, has launched the Flags for Schools initiative today.

The initiative is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and will see more than 3,300 primary and special schools in the country presented by Defence Forces with a National Flag and a copy of the 1916 Proclamation. The first ceremony has taken place this morning at St. Patrick’s NS Rehins, Cornanool, Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo, and will culminate on 15 March next year – Proclamation Day – when all the schools will raise the tricolour and read the Proclamation.

Speaking at today’s event An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said: “We are helping to remember the great sacrifice of the people who fought in 1916 and after, so that this flag could be flown by its people, and that this nation could take its place among the world’s free nations.”

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, described Flags for Schools as a great way to get young children engaged with the 1916 commemorations. She said: "Through the delivery of the National Flag to every primary school in the country, children will gain a greater understanding of the work of the Defence Forces and the importance of our National Flag, which symbolises the aspiration for peace between the different traditions on this island.

"I hope the thousands of ceremonies which take place across the country in the coming months will leave our schoolchildren with a positive and lasting memory from the commemorations."

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 14-27 Sept

Until Saturday 26 September: Irish Quakers Tapestry exhibition: More than 400 years of Quaker life, ideas, and history displayed on embroidered panels. Venue: Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Market Square, Lisburn. Admission free. 

Monday 14 September: Rescuing our built heritage, with Ronan O’Donnell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry BT48 6AL. 7pm.

Monday 14 September: Hungry for Change - the effect of the Great Famine on Irish migration, with Dr Ann McVeigh. Venue: Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB. 1pm. Free. 028 9032 1707

Tuesday 15 September: Dating and understanding family photos, with Jayne Shrimpton. Genealogy at Lunchtime series of lectures. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Tuesday 15 September: Sir Daniel Bellingham, Dublin's First Lord Mayor 1665–66, with Dr Mary Clark. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Tuesday 15 September: 'I will not be smoked out'; the burning of Ballydugan House 1922, with Ann O’Riordan, followed by her book launch. Host: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: O’Meara's, Clonfert Ave, Portumna, Co. Galway. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 15 September: Mapping Dublin’s Growth 1749-1847, with Rob Goodbody. Host: Foxrock Local History Club. Venue: Foxrock Pastoral Centre, behind church, Foxrock, Dublin 18. Members free. Non-members: €5. All welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 16 September: A favourite watering place: the development of Bangor as a Victorian seaside resort, with Sandra Millsopp. Part of the Up Down series of lectures. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone to 028 90534800.

Wednesday 16 September: To the Gap and Back - Walking through history, with Michael Desmond. Host Waterford Museum. Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Friary Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 8pm. Admission €5. All welcome.

Wednesday 16 September: Relating Ulster's Famine experience: an exercise in myth-making? with Dr Gerard MacAtasney. Host and venue: Crossmaglen Library, 44 The Square, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh BT35 9AA. 7pm. Free. More details: telephone: 028 3086 1951 or email: crossmaglen.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 16 September: The History of Presbyterianism in Ireland and The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, with Valerie Adams. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Town Hall, 15-17 Edward Street, Portadown, BT62 3LX. 7:30pm. Details.

Wednesday 16 September: Nurses from Dublin in the Great War, with Michael O'Flaherty. Host: Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society. Venue: Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm. Members € 2.50, visitors € 3.50.

Wednesday 16 September: Commemorating 1916, with historians Pádraig Yeates, Liz Gillis, Paul O’Brien, Díarmaid Ferriter and Shane Kenna. Host: Hodge Figgis Book Festival. Venue: Hodges Figgis, 56 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Free. 6:30pm. No booking required.

Thursday 17 September: Children's literature and the spread of the English language in 19th-century Ireland, with Charles Benson. Genealogy at Lunchtime series of lectures. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Thursday 17 September: Irish Manor Courts 1785-1859, with John Larkin QC. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulvevard, Belfast. 7pm. Free. Need to reserve your place: E: proni@dcalni.gov.uk, T: 028 90534800.

Thursday 17 September: A Famine link: the Hannah – life and emigration from South Armagh at the time of the Famine, with Kevin Murphy. Host and venue: Newry City Library, 79 Hill Street, Newry BT34 1DG. 12:30pm. Free. More details: telephone: 028 3026 4683 or email: newrycity.library@librariesni.org.uk

Thursday 17 September:  Introduction to family history research, 'Looking for Sarah!', with Hilary Maginnis. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down & Ards branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. 7:30pm.

Thursday 17 September: Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa: his life and afterlife, a HistoryIreland Hedge School debate. Host: Glasnevin Trust. Venue: Prospect Gallery, Glasnevin Museum, Finglas Rd, Dublin 11. Plus official launch of the O’Donovan Rossa Funeral Exhibition. Light refreshments from 6.45pm – 7pm. Free. No booking required but seats limited and offered on first come, first served basis. Details.

Thursday 17 September: Revolution in Galway, an open evening for locals to contribute/share stories, memorabilia or objects relating to Galway in the revolutionary period of 1913-1923. All original matieral will be scanned and copied and returned to owners. Host and venue: Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, Galway. 5pm-8pm. Refreshments provided. All welcome.

Friday 18 September: Culture Night 2015. County programmes.
  • Genealogy Open Evening with Richard Forrest. Venue: Blarney Library, Blarney, Co Cork. 7pm - 9.30pm. Walk-in family history sessions; More details: telephone 021 4382115. 
  • Genealogy and General Research Open Evening at the National Archives of Ireland, Bishops Street, Dublin 8. 5pm to 8pm. Free. Archivists and genealogists will be on hand to offer advice about collections and family history research.
  • Genealogy Advisory Service and all current NLI exhibitions at National Library of Ireland. 5pm to 11pm in Kildare Street, Dublin 2, where there will also be live music. Café Joly will also be open. Free.
  • Discover your ancestry at the Genealogy Centre, Farnham Centre (above Johnston Central Library), Farnham St, Cavan. 6pm - 8pm. Telephone for more details: 049 4361094.
  • The work of angels, an illustrated talk on The Book of Kells, with Kate Walsh. Host and venue: Nenagh Arts Centre, Banba Square, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. 6pm. Free. Details: telephone 067 34400.
  • Tracing your ancestors, with Clem Roche. Athy Heritage Centre Museum, Emily Square, Athy, Co Kildare. 6:30pm-8pm. To book, telephone 059 8633075.
  • Folklore in Cavan, Scéim na Scol, 1937-8, a bi-lingual lecture with Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (UCD National Folklore Collection), and music. Johnston Central Library, Cavan. From 6:45pm. Details.
Friday 18 September and Saturday 19 September: The Irish-Scottish world in the Middle Ages – a free conference marking the 700th anniversary of Edward Bruce's invasion of Ireland in 1315. Host: Trinity College Dublin. Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre (Room 2045, Arts Building), TCD, Dublin 2. Programme. Register for ticket. All welcome.  

Saturday 19 September: Getting Started with Irish Genealogy Research, with Miles Davenport. An introductory level workshop. Host and venue: McClelland Library (Norton Room), 1106 North Central Avenue, Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 10:30am to 12:30pm. Cost: $15 for Library/ICC Members and $20 for non-members. Details.  

Saturday 19 September:  Beyond the Basics of Irish Research in Ireland, with Claire E Keenan. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Avenue, Bethpage, NY, 11714 USA. Help Session starts 10am; General Meeting starts 11am.  

Saturday 19 September: The Great Irish Famine and its consequences, with Francis Xavier McCorry. Host and venue: Warrenpoint Library, 61 Summerhill, Warrenpoint, Co Down BT34 3JB. More details: telephone 028 4175 3375 or email warrenpoint.library@librariesni.org.uk. 12:30pm. Free.  

Saturday 19 September: The Civil War in Dublin - Who Won? with Pádraig Yeates. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone, 77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. 4:30pm. Free.  

Saturday 19 September: One-day Irish genealogy workshop – focus on Ulster, with Chris Paton, Dr William Roulston and others. Host: Ontario Genealogy Society. Venue: North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada. Topics include: the History of the Ulster Plantation, the Decade of Remembrance, PRONI for research, the Orange Order, Belfast's Middle Class, and more. 9am to 4:45pm. Registration. Regular Fee $65 ($60 for OGS members). Workshop full.  

Monday 21 September:
Who do you think WE are?’ with Irene McCarlie & Su Topping. Members night. North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, Co Antrim BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm.

Monday 21 September: Book launch: Not The Same Sky, by Evelyn Conlon. The story of Famine orphans sent to Australia in the 1840s. Hosts: Libraries NI and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. Venue: Newry City Library, 79 Hill Street, Newry BT34 1DG. 2pm. Free. More details: telephone: 028 3026 4683 or email: newrycity.library@librariesni.org.uk

Monday 21 September: 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.

Tuesday 22 September: Maps, Rentals & Terriers – Irish Estate records, with Nicola Morris MAGI. Last 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.

Tuesday 22 September: Printer to the City: John Exshaw, Lord Mayor of Dublin, with Dr Maire Kennedy. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6:30–7:15 plus Q&A. Admission free but booking essential by e-mail to lordmayor@dublincity.ie or telephone 01 222 6200.

Tuesday 22 September: Sport and the everyday in Ireland, with Paul Rouse. Genealogy at Lunchtime series of lectures. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1–2pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Wednesday 23 September: Another time: photographs of the Stewart family, marquesses of Londonderry, with Lorraine Bourke. Part of the Up Down series of lectures. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free but need to book your place by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk or telephone to 028 90534800.

Wednesday 23 September: Great Famine in Ulster, a HistoryIreland Hedge School chaired by Tommy Graham. This discussion will open the Annual Famine Commemoration International Conference at Canal Court Hotel, Newry, Co Down (23–25 September) and is scheduled to include Professor Peter Gray, Professor Christine Kinealy, Professor Mary Daly, Dr Ruan O’Donnell. 7:30 to 9:30pm. Free.

Thursday 24 September: Introduction & Registration & How to get Started. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm.

Thursday 24 September: Gallipoli and Ireland/Ulster, with Nigel Henderson and Philip Orr plus music from Ciaran Mulholland. Venue: Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall. 7pm (light refreshments from 6:30pm.). Free but need to book by telephone: 028 90 270 663.

Saturday 26 September: Annual Famine Commemoration, the official ceremony. Includes music, poetry, unveiling of plaque, wreath-laying. Venue: Albert Basin, Newry, Co Down. Gates open 12:30pm. Formalities begin at 2pm.

Saturday 26 September: Open Day at National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. From 10am to 5pm. Tours (30 mins) to the Conservation, storage and preservation areas; Reading Room introductions; Genealogy sources with members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland; Book Stalls; and a lecture (45 mins each) programme exploring all areas of the NAI's work. Booking is recommended for the tours and lectures because space is limited and they are usually over-subscribed: bookings@nationalarchives.ie. Free.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Ancestors from North West Mayo?

Launching tomorrow evening, Ballycroy and Beyond is a book that people with family connections to NorthWest Mayo will enjoy as a treasure trove of (mainly 19th-century) social history in and around Ballycroy, Erris, Achill and Mulranny.

The author, Patrick Mullarkey is a native of Claggan, Ballycroy, and he has gathered together facts and stories about school life, housing conditions, local murders, the Land League, religious disharmony (including a list of nearly 200 converts), tenants' parties at the Big House and all manner of every day and extraordinary happenings in the area. He has also found visitor accounts dating back to the 1770s.

The 600-page book will be launched at 7pm on Saturday 12 September at the Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre, Ballycroy, Westport, Co Mayo. Refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome to attend.

Ballycroy and Beyond will be on sale at the event, priced €25.

More details about the book, including images, chapter synopses and online ordering can be found at http://ballycroyandbeyond.com.


FindMyPast adds National Archives of Ireland's collection of National School registers

Now at FindMyPast: National School Registers collection
FindMyPast has added a collection of National School Registers to its Education & Work category.

It contains more than 142,000 entries dating from 1860 to 1920 and includes registers from an unknown number of schools (none of them still operating) from 24 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The excluded counties are Carlow and Westmeath.

The personal information held about each pupil in these registers typically includes name, date of birth, address,
occupation of father and religion.

Some also contain details about class attendance, previous schools, date of leaving and even examination results.

The collection is particularly strong in registers from Counties Cavan, Donegal and Dublin, which make up just under half the number of indexed entries.

There is also a 4,891 set from County Clare in the FindMyPast collection; I am advised by Peter Beirne of the County Clare Library Local Studies team that these records are unlikely to duplicate any of the School Roll/Register Book transcriptions freely available at the Library's genealogy website.

Provenance

FindMyPast's new collection of records comes from the National Archives of Ireland (NAI). This fact is not mentioned in the FindMyPast 'Learn More' notes, and while there's an NAI copyright notice in the left-hand corner of the screen when you're looking at a register image, this notice does not transmit when you copy/print the image for your files.

Sorry to bang on about this, but I can't understand why the origin of a collection, complete with catalogue references, is so regularly omitted in the information provided by the database. After all, provenance is everything for the integrity of genealogical research. I mentioned this when another collection recently joined the database, and it seems to be settling in as regular practice. (Interestingly, this was long a criticism thrown at Ancestry, but they seem to be making more effort of late to include researcher-friendly details.)

Free pdf edition of Kilkenny Irish Historic Town Atlas

http://www.ria.ie/research/ihta/online-resources/atlases-online/kilkenny.aspx
Free download
Now here's something to get map enthusiasts whipped up into a lather.

A digital edition of the Irish Historic Town Atlas – Kilkenny has been published by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and is available for download free of charge.

It includes the full text (essay, topographical information, bibliography, notes) of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) no. 10, Kilkenny, by John Bradley, which was published by RIA in hardback in 2000 (€25), as well as select maps. For copyright reasons, some of the historical maps published in the printed book are not included in this digital edition.

The Irish Historic Towns Atlas is part of a wider European project that explores historical towns according to a fairly rigid formula of detailed enquiry and presentation. The resulting publications examine the topographical development of each town during key periods in their history.

Clues to the town's past religious life, defence and security, local and national government, industry, trade, transport, education and leisure habits are explored within the accompanying maps. Dense and accurate, these atlases reveal fascinating details about the societies our ancestors lived in.

If your family history has revealed connections to Kilkenny, be sure to download this digital edition. It may not be freely available in the longer term.

The pdf of the main text of the Kilkenny atlas is 17.8Mb. The maps range from 1.4Mb to 11Mb.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

RootsIreland adds more North Tipperary RC records

Tipperary North Genealogy Centre has transcribed the baptism and marriage registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Thurles and added the indexed records to its database at RootsIreland.

Both sets of registers span 1795 to 1900 and are fully indexed. This means that when researchers find a transcription of interest dating up to 1880, they can readily look at an image of the corresponding register page on the National Library of Ireland's free image-only database.

For later records – 1881 to 1900 – these transcriptions on RootsIreland are, as far as I'm aware, the only online records of RC baptisms and marriages that took place in Thurles parish. And they are, of course, fully indexed to facilitate searching.

The Thurles register transcriptions join a North Tipperary collection consisting of records from more than 30 Roman Catholic parishes. Only two parish holdings stop in the year 1880, as per the NLI database. Many continue to 1899/1900, and more than half continue to 1911. See details.

Ballybran National School registers transcribed

Transcriptions of the Ballybran National School Registers, 1916–1925, have been added to Clare County Library's Genealogy website.

Comprising 118 entries from the Boys' and Girls' registers, the information provided includes the pupil's name, address and month/year of birth; date of entrance to the school and register number; the occupation of the father (being a rural community, most are farmers); details of any school previously attended by the child, and brief details of what he or she did on leaving Ballybran School.

The latter notes that a handful went on to further education, a small number died young, and a few left the locality; many are recorded as 'home', which presumably means they contributed labour to their parents' farm and home.

The transcriptions are the work of Brian Doyle and Peter Beirne of the Library's Local Studies Centre.

IrishGenealogy.ie restores millions of bmd records

The civil registration indexes appear to have been fully restored to IrishGenealogy.ie following the disappearance of millions of marriage and death records earlier this week (see yesterday's blogpost).

From what I can see in a rather rushed check this morning, the site has simply reverted to its former self. Some 6.7million death records can now be searched in the Death Indexes from 1864 to 1963, with only those registered between 1924 to 1963 now sporting the new-style Group Registration ID number.

On the marriage front, all (or most) of those new 'couple format' index entries I mentioned in yesterday's post have been 'decoupled' so that the bride and groom are once again found under their individual names in the index. The number of marriage records showing in the IrishGenealogy Index from 1845 to 1889 now very roughly tally with those recorded in FamilySearch's Index for the same period.

There's been no word from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. I'm not much interested in a blow-by-blow account of how this cock-up occurred or who was responsible for it – I'm sure we can all work out that there was an error/mistake; whether by a human or a computer doesn't really matter. But I think some acknowledgement of the error wouldn't go amiss, along with an brief explanation of what changes are being made to the site... presumably there was some kind of 'upgrade' taking place.

UPDATE 10 September, 3pm: Well, it's an acknowledgement, at least. Heather Humphreys, Minister of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, tweeted the following this afternoon:





Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Millions of records disappear from IrishGenealogy.ie

Someone pass the smelling salts, please.

An all name search for marriages 1845 to 1875 returns just 829 entries
Shurley sum misteak?
With absolutely no explanation evident anywhere on IrishGenealogy.ie, the civil records of nearly all marriages registered on the island of Ireland between 1845 to at least 1875 have disappeared. In fact, according to this state-managed site, there were just 825 happy unions in those three decades. Obviously, this is nonsense.

What is more, all but 3075 pre-1900 deaths have been wiped away.

What's going on? I can't be certain because there is no polite message to tell me, but this is what I found:

I looked at marriages first and checked my Santry One-Name Study database to find 31 Santry marriages, all, bar one, in Southwest Cork, from 1864 to 1886. According to IrishGenealogy.ie, there were just three Santry marriages in that period – one in 1876 and two in 1886. My gt grandparents' marriage in 1877 in Rosscarberry is not among them.

At first I wondered if the problem was geographical, but it isn't. My gt gt grandparents' 1863 marriage at Wicklow Town register office is another on the missing list. So is the 1878 marriage of my Tierney gt gts in Clogheen, Co Tipperary.

From what I can see, the site has extended its reach of 'couple' entries, that is, records that show both bride and groom's names together as one indexed entry. When I last looked at this database a week or so ago, the names of bride and groom were indexed separately for pre-1903 marriages, and cross matching of reference numbers was necessary to be sure you had the correct marriage. Only marriages from around 1903 to 1938 were recorded as one entity.

My recce last night found ALL the marriages appearing in the database after its unannounced 'upgrade' are in this single-entity/'couple' format, which is a preferred presentation for researchers, but of little added-value in a collection now rendered so incomplete. Having more records on the site in the improved format should be good news, but they don't make up for the nearly one million marriage records that have been removed*. As it stands, this database has been rendered useless, completely useless.

And then I looked at the death index database. As mentioned above, just over 3,000 death records from 1864 to 1899 are included, plus 1.76m from 1900 to 1963.  I've no idea why the early records should have disappeared because their format has not changed, as far as I can see.

So there we have it: a mess.

I daren't look at the Births Index.

*FamilySearch's civil registration index holds records of 1.823million brides and grooms from 1845 to 1889, equating to more than 910,000 marriages. It's death index count for 1864 to 1899 is 3.8million.


UPDATE 10 September: The records have been restored to their earlier state.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

NIFHS announces Autumn classes and courses

Lectures will be held in the new Honneyman Room
Further to my earlier blogpost about 10-week to 2-year Irish genealogy and related courses starting this month or next, I've been notified by the North of Ireland Family History Society that their programme of short courses has been published today on their new website.

The programme covers a wide range of topics of interest to family historians of all levels, and there's a mixture of classes available from single session two-hour workshops to courses running over several sessions. Day and evening sessions are included.

All the classes will be held in the Society's newly-acquired Honneyman Room at the NIFHS Resource Centre on the outskirts of Newtownabbey (Belfast 15-20 mins drive), where there's plenty of free parking available.

Maeve Rogan, NIFHS Publicity Officer, told Irish Genealogy News that the Society has run classes in local schools and libraries in the past. "When the opportunity arose to add a classroom to the Resource Centre, we took it, as we knew the demand was there," she said. "Members worked on getting the new lecture room ready during the Christmas holidays last year and we ran some (test) members-only classes in February and May. We have now developed a full programme of classes that are open to members and non-members alike."

These classes will be run in addition to the packed programmes of lectures presented by each of the Society's eleven branches.
 

Londonderry Standard joins online BNA database

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2F
The Londonderry Standard has joined the online database of the British Newspaper Archive.

So far, all bi-weekly editions published in 1837 and all weekly editions published from 1840 to 1843 inclusive have been uploaded, but the site says its holding for this paper will eventually scan 1836 to 1872.

By my reckoning, the addition of this paper means there are now 87 Irish titles in the collection, 23 of them from the North.

All of them are also available via FindMyPast's Ireland and World subscription packages.

Autumn courses in Irish genealogy and related topics

It's that 'learning' time of year again, and there are a good few courses starting over the next four weeks for those who want to get some formalised training in genealogy techiques and related topics. Here's a round up:

Belfast
Genealogy/Trace your family history, with the Ulster Historical Foundation at Stranmillis College (Central Buildings). The 10-week course (code HY520) covers all the main records used in Irish genealogy and is ideal for beginners or for those who have already started to research their family tree. Runs on Tuesday evenings from 29th September – 8th December, 7pm to 9pm. £50. Download brochure (page 45). Telephone 028 9038 4345 to enrol or see pages 57 & 58 of the brochure.

Clare – Kilkishen
Conserving and Caring for Your Family Records. Course organised by University College Cork ACE. Tutor Lorna Moloney. Venue: Kilkishen Cultural Centre. 10 weeks from 29 September to 1 December. Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm. €230. Further details. Phone 021 4904700

Cork
Genealogy: How to trace your family tree, with tutor Tony McCarthy. University College Cork ACE. Venue: Western Gateway Building, Room 304, UCC. Tuesdays 7pm–9pm from 29 September to 1 December. Focusses on genealogical sources, methodology and historical/social context. Fee €230. Enrol by Friday 18 September. Details, or tel: 021 490 4700.

Cork
NUI Diploma in Genealogy. University College Cork ACE combines practical skills with portfolio based assessments. Modules include genealogy, fieldwork, collection care and portfolio building. Course co-ordinator Dr David Butler. Part time study on-campus at UCC, Western Road. Two-year course. 7pm–10pm. Details of course. €1,360 per academic year (€1,000 concessions). Application deadline 18 September.

Dublin - Dundrum
Genealogy – family research for beginners, with tutor Máire Mac Conghail MAGI, at Dundrum Adult Training and Education (D.A.T.E.), Dundrum town centre. 10-week course. Wednesdays 9.30-12Noon. Starts 23 September. Fee €105 (Concessions €60). Details. Telephone: 01 296 4322 (9:15am to 1pm only).

Dublin – Malahide
How to research your family history, with Claire Bradley. Beginners class, covering how to start, where to find resources and how to record what you find. No prior knowledge is required but the ability to use a computer is desirable. Starts Tuesday 23 September in Malahide Community School. 10 weeks duration. €110. Enrolment online or at the school on Wednesday 16 September. Details (page 17).

Dublin – UCD Belfield
Topics in Genealogy/Family History, with Sean J Murphy. This course should suit more experienced genealogists and covers topics such as surnames of the Four Provinces, Irish and international genealogical research sources online, the history of the family, genealogical invention and the status of heraldry. Thursdays, 7pm–9pm, from 30 September. James Joyce library Building, Main entrance, UCD Belfield, Dublin 4. Details (page 64). Book online.

Dublin – UCD Belfield
Introduction to Genealogy/Family History, with Sean J Murphy. A Lifelong Learning course at James Joyce library Building, Main entrance, UCD Belfield, Dublin 4. Designed for beginners, the course explores the main family history sources. Wednesdays 7pm–9pm. Starts 1 October. €190. Details (page 64). Book online.

Limerick - ULL
Certificate in the History of Family and Genealogical Methods. Two-semester course held on-campus at University of Limerick on Thursday evenings, 6.30-9.30pm, or online. Fee €750. Details. For further information, contact Irish Ancestry Research Centre on +353 61 207114.

Mayo – Castlebar
Local history, a 15-week course running two hours a week (Tuesdays) from 7pm to 9pm. Starts 15 September. €245. Lifelong Learning Mayo Campus, Westport, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Syllabus and other details. €245.

Waterford
Tracing the family tree, a 10-week evening class at Waterford College of Further Education. Suitable for all family history enthusiasts, both new and seasoned. Tuesdays 7-9pm from 6 October to 15 December. €150. Details. Contact WCFE at 051 874053.

UPDATE:
Almost as soon as I'd published this blogpost, the North of Ireland Family History Society announced that it was introducing a programme of classes and courses to be presented in the new lecture theatre adjoining the Society's Resource Centre in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. See details.