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Monday, 30 November 2015

Irish family history and heritage events, 30 Nov–12 Dec

Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December, inclusive: Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland closed for transfer of State Departmental records and annual media preview. No access to the public. Reopens Monday 7 December. Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

Tuesday 1 December: From the labour trench to the board: myth, memory and masculinity in Irish migrant memories of work in the British construction industry, with Dr Barry Hazley. Host: Modern Irish History Seminar Series, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Venue: Room G13, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 1 December:: From popular culture in the Great War to the Great War in popular culture, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. Free. No booking required. Panel: Maurice Walsh, John Horne, Angus Mitchell and Jennifer Wellington.

Thursday 3 December: Women’s rights and child welfare in Ireland, 1922-2014, with Sarah-Anne Buckley. Host: Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class. Venue: Room GO11, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. 4pm to 6pm. All welcome.

Thursday 3 December: Blarney Parish Records, an illustrated lecture with Richard Forrest. Host: Blarney & District Historical Society. Venue: Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Blarney Secondary School), Blarney, Co. Cork. Enquiries to Brian Gabriel 087 2153216. All welcome. 8pm.

Thursday 3 December: Irish genealogy sessions, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Drop-in help session 11am–12pm, followed by Discussion group 12pm–1pm. Host and venue: Clifton Park Library (Local History Room), 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065, USA. Free.

Thursday 3 December: Book launch: Cumann na mBan – County Galway Dimensions. Part of the 1916 Centenary programme for County Galway. With Cllr. Peter Roche and Mary Clancy. Venue: Áras an Chontae, Prospect Hill, Galway. 6pm. Confirm attendance by telephone to 091 509198.

Friday 4 December: Fairy Bullets, Superstitions & Strange Goings On, with David Hume, and Christmas Dinner. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne branch. Venue: Halfway House Hotel, 352 Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne, Co Antrim BT40 2RA. Email for details: larne@nifhs.org.

Saturday 5 December: William Niblo — Not Soon Forgotten, with Benjamin Feldman. Host: New York History Roundtable. Venue: McCloskey meeting room, Parish House of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan, New York, USA. 2pm.

Saturday 5 December: Mastering Genealogical Proof, with Barbara Scanlon. A workshop using Dr Thomas W. Jones' book of that name. Host and Venue: Kansas City Irish Center. 30 W Pershing Rd, Lowr, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. 11am–1pm. Details.

Monday 7 December to Friday 11 December: Preservation Week at Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Reduced service. Self-service microfilms will be available in the search room but there will be no document production.

Monday 7 December: The Miller Family, with Jim Condren. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 8 December Family history and genealogy sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Donaghmede Library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Grange Road, Dublin 13. All are welcome and admission is free. 2:30pm to 4pm. Booking is essential, tel: 085 1444883.

Tuesday 8 December: The establishment of the printing press, with Raymond Gillespie. 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.

Thursday 10 December : The Ulster Division, with Dr Timothy Bowman. Host: Western Front Association. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.  7pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 12 December: Our lives should not be sweated: Belfast women workers, 1910-1915, with Theresa Moriarty. Host: The Irish Labour History Society. Venue: Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast. 1:30pm. Free. (Visitors may like to take the opportunity to view the Linen Hall Library's current exhibition: “Labor & Dignity: James Connolly In America”. No ticket required. Details.

Friday, 27 November 2015

20% and 30% discount offers from Ancestry DNA

This offer has now ended
There's a lot of heavy discounting going on in family history circles, and here's another good one: Ancestry DNA is offering its dna testing kit with a discount of either 20% or 30%, depending on geography.

Whether you're completely new to genetic genealogy or you've already taken a test and want to narrow down your results by getting another family member tested, you should certainly consider taking advantage of these discounts. They don't come along often!

This weekend's discount expires on Monday 30 November at 11:59pm (GMT / ET / AEDT).

If you're based in Ireland or the UK, the discounted price of the DNA kit is £69. Postage is £20 extra. To take advantage of the offer, follow this link to Ancestry UK to find out more and place your order.

If you're in the USA you should follow this link to Ancestry.com to claim your discount and pay just $69 plus shipping and applicable taxes.

If you're in Canada, the discount offered is 20% (still a decent saving), and brings the price down to $119, plus postage and any applicable taxes. Click here for Ancestry.ca.

If you're in Australia there's a 20% saving available, bringing the price down to $119. Postage and applicable taxes are extra. Click here for Ancestry.com.au.

Diary note: Early closing at National Library, 7 Dec

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin has advised that it'll be closing at 4pm (normal hours 7:45pm) on Monday 7 December.

The early closing is to facilitate a reception to launch the Library's 2016 programme of events.

All premises and services of the Library – the Photographic Archive in Temple Bar, the Genealogy Advisory Service, Cafe Joly, all exhibition spaces in Kildare Street, the Manuscript Room and the Main Reading Room – will be closing early, 



New at Dúchas.ie: County Monaghan, maps and more

Areas with Schools Collection material on Dúchas.ie
Only one week on from adding the material for County Laois, it's County Monaghan that's the new kid in the Schools Collection at Dúchas.ie. Approximately 140 schools across County Monaghan took part in the scheme and 32 large volumes of material were compiled.

The Schools’ Collection is an important component of the National Folklore Collection, which is held at University College Dublin (UCD). It contains the folklore material – more than half a million pages – recorded by some 50,000 primary school pupils in the 26 counties between 1937 and 1939.

The entire collection of manuscripts, whether written in English or Irish, will be available on the free-to-view Duchas.ie by the end of next year.

In the meantime, the upload of the Monaghan material marks the half-way point of the project, with 13 counties now searchable on the site: Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo, Tipperary, and Waterford.

In another new site development, stories from the Collection that included details of named locations/sites are now linked to a map and to Logainm.ie, the Placename Database of Ireland, where additional information about the place may be available. As an example, see the story about a graveyard in Adare, Co Limerick.

Dúchas.ie is the result of a partnership, established in 2012, between the National Folklore Collection (UCD), Fiontar (DCU) and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The site will be of interest to a great many Irish people and to the Irish diaspora. For specialist researchers in the fields of folkloristics, local history, archaeology, genealogy, linguistics, and a range of other disciplines, dúchas.ie offers considerable research potential. The site can currently be searched by place or by person, and a search facility according to topic will be made available in the near future.

Limerick and Clare men in the Bombay Army

Brian Hodkinson, acting curator of Limerick Museum, has advised Irish Genealogy News of another research aid he's recently created and uploaded to the growing Local History Resources section of Limerick.ie.

It's a list of the Limerick and Clare soldiers who fought in the Bombay Army of the East India Company, 1739–1860. With information gleaned from the FIBIS database, The list comprises around 850 men and may include such details as residence in Ireland, prior occupation, date joined up, rank and regiment, types of injury, where and when of death, if pensioned off, and details of a family member beneficiary to the soldiern's will.

The alphabetically arranged list explains that different levels of information were recorded at different times, so while a town or townland of origin may be noted in later entries, only a county of residence was initially recorded. Similarly, former occupations were not recorded in the early days.

Brian stresses that the list is intended as a search aid and not every bit of information available at FIBIS is included. For example, in the case of soldiers who left a will, the name of the beneficiary is included in the list only if he/she was a family member.

You can download this list from the Research Aids page.



Irish Roots magazine unveils two great new series

http://www.irishrootsmedia.com/.
Irish Roots magagazine has published its final issue of 2015, and it's a cracker, not just with its striking front cover image but also with the arrival of two brand-new series.

The sculpture on the cover is of Ériu, the sovereignty Goddess of Ireland from whom we get the Irish name for the island. It is found on County Westmeath's Hill of Uisneach, the mythological centre of Ireland, and the launch feature for the magazine's new 'Sacred Sites' series which aims to enlighten us on the history and folklore of such special places across Ireland.

The second new series comes from renowned genealogy tutor Sean J Murphy. He'll be exploring the family histories of the 1916 Easter Rising leaders and in this first feature, he examines the background of Patrick and Willie Pearse, James Connolly and Tom Clarke.

While two new feature series begin in this edition, one ends: the 'Back To Basics' series by Maggie Loughran. In this last outing, Maggie provides some strategies for researchers who don't know their ancestors' place of origin.

For those with family connections outside Ireland there are two helpful articles. One explores the resources available for researching ancestors who worked on the railroads of the United States, while the other looks to Australia's Earl Grey's convict 'exiles' and the Irish orphan girls.

Additionally there's a piece about sibling stonecutters from Ballynastockan in County Wicklow who settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a story about how a Wicklow soldier's lost WW1 medals were finally returned to his present-day descendents, a feature setting out a variety of sources available to those with ancestors from County Roscommon, and news of a highly unusual research project that's fusing genealogy with geology,

There's also news and views from a selection of Irish genealogy societies and organisations, my own What's New? Review of the last quarter's crop of recently launched resources and other developments, and details of next year's genealogy and celtic studies summer schools.

Add in 'Letters to the Editor', 'Genealogy Queries Answered', 'Events' and details of new Irish history books, and what you've got is a great edition.

Irish Roots magazine is available in both print and digital format, on subscription or by individual edition. See all the options at the publication's website: www.irishrootsmedia.com.
 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Half price offer on all FindMyPast IE, UK, Aus/NZ subs

Offer has expired
Black Friday, Discount Weekend, Sale Extravaganza... whatever you want to call it, there's a price cutting frenzy at FindMyPast and, if you're serious about your family history research and don't already have a sub, you'd be daft to miss it.

Until Monday 30 November you can take your pick from the full range of monthly and annual subscriptions available via FindMyPast Ireland, FindMyPast UK and FindMyPast Australia& NewZealand, and pay half the regular price.

The 50% discount is available whether you choose one of the 'local' packages or opt for the 'World' package.

The World package includes collections from all FindMyPast territories (ie IE, UK, Aus/Nz and USA).

To take up the offer, choose one of the flags below and click on the link beside it. On the landing page, click the Activate your Discount button. This will take you through to the Subscription page, where the 50% discount code will be automatically applied (you may have to wait a moment or two). Then you can select your preferred type of subscription at the discounted price.

50% off all subs at
FindMyPast Ireland
    50% off all subs at
FindMyPast UK
    50% off all subs at
FindMyPast Aus/NZ
   

Please note: This half-price offer is not available at FindMyPast.com where the Thanksgiving weekend is being celebrated with a whopping 75% discount. See yesterday's '75% discount' blogpost here. If you're looking at subscribing to an annual FindMyPast World package and you're prepared to pay in US dollars, do the maths to work out which route is most advantageous to your wallet.



Unbeatable book bargains – for one day only

To ease your Christmas shopping burden and also the pressure on your purse, the Ulster Historical Foundation is having a 24-hour sale on Friday 27 November right across its BooksIreland range, including those currently on special offer.

A 25% discount will be applied to all purchases made at www.BooksIreland.org.uk using the code 'blackfriday25'.

The topics covered in the range of paperbacks, hardbacks, e-books and cd/dvds includes Irish history, biographies, genealogical guides, gravestone inscriptions and migration studies, so there's plenty to appeal to family historians.

Among the Special Offers are the following publications at knockdown prices:
  • Abercorn: The Hamiltons of Barons Court (£30), offer price: £15
  • Dissenting Voices (£14.99), offer price: £7.50
  • The Church of Ireland (£30), offer price: £10
  • Presbyterians and Irish Language (£9.99), offer price: £3.99
  • History of the Irish Parliament (£60), offer price: £10
  • A Directory of Ulster Doctors (2 vols.) (£50), offer price: £20
  • Springhill: The Old Ulster House (£24.99), offer price: £10
  • Linen Houses of the Bann Valley (£24.99), offer price: £10
  • Belmore: The Lowry-Cowry Families (£19.99), offer price: £10
In addition to these deals, BooksIreland will also be offering the Clergy of the Church of Ireland volumes for just £10 each.



BNA adds The Warder/Dublin Weekly Mail newspaper

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added The Warder to its database. So far, the holding consists of an incomplete range of issues published from 1832 to 1844 but the online archive intends to add editions to span 1822 to 1902.

Between 1880 and 1892, The Warder was also known as the Dublin Weekly Mail.

Access to this Tory paper, and all 104 other Irish titles in the online archive can be obtained direct from the British Newspaper Archive, which is currently offering a first month's subscription for just £1. See details here.

Alternatively, full access to the database is included in all Ireland and World subscriptions to the BNA's sister company FindMyPast:


FindMyPast Ireland     FindMyPast UK     FindMyPast USA    FindMyPast Aust/NZ   

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

FindMyPast USA: 75% discount for Thanksgiving

FindMyPast USA has a terrific offer for Thanksgiving: a 75% discount on the annual World package. This brings the 12-month cost down to a bargain $49.87 (c.€47 / c.£33 / c.AUS$70) for a subscription that provides access to all the Irish, British, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand records, as well as the 540-plus titles in the British/Irish newspaper collection.

To take up the discount, follow this link to FindMyPast USA's Thanksgiving page and click on the 'Activate your Discount' button. Wait a few moments and the discount code will be automatically applied. Then select the 'World' option... the cost of the 12-month World subscription will automatically show the discounted price and you can then register and proceed to the payment page.

This offer is not exclusive to family historians in North America. Provided you're prepared to pay in US dollars, all genealogists can benefit from the offer, regardless of where they are based. Even if you have to pay a small bank charge for the 'privilege' of currency conversion, you're likely to be quids/euros in when you take up a 75% offer. (Do the sums: today's annual World sub is £129.50 at the UK site, €149.50 at the IE site, and AUS$199.50 at the Aust/NZ site. Bear in mind that discounts of these whopping proportions don't come along often!)

Offer expires on Monday 30 November.
http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5927&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.com%2Fpay%3Fisfreetrialrequest%3Dfalse


London seminar: Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years

An afternoon seminar – Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years – will be hosted by the Society of Genealogists at its headquarters in Clerkenwell, London, on Saturday 16 January, 2–5pm.

Presented by Stephen Lally, the seminar will explore Irish lives in the rural west of Ireland in the first half of the 19th century. It will cover housing, possessions, food, work, education, entertainment etc and take a look at politics, social attitudes and the reasons for mass poverty and emigration.

It will also discuss how to build on this context, find less mainstream records, follow leads and bring a story together. The workshop description says it will open up 'a whole area of family history beyond the collecting of birth, marriage, death and census data. If you have just a few facts, this seminar will start you on a family quest that will be engrossing, interesting and, with luck, extremely rewarding.'

It costs £16 for SOG members, £20 for non-members. Full details.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Maynooth Studies in Local History, 2015 releases

Four Courts Press recently released this year's titles in the well-regarded Maynooth Studies in Local History series. The six publications are shown below. Click on the book cover for more information.

Each paperback has between 60 and 76 pages and can be purchased with a 10% discount for €8.95 from the publisher's website.

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/crime-in-the-city/
http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/nenagh-191421/
http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/the-reverend-thomas-goff-17721844/
http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/gowran/
http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/the-middle-class-of-callan-co-kilkenny-182545/
http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/the-burning-of-ballydugan-house/

Ancestry's civil birth records restored

There's been a problem since last Saturday, at least, in accessing Ancestry's Irish Civil Registration Birth records. The marriage and death records were fine, but searches in the births collection delivered no results.

This was still the case when I tried again last night.

I don't know the explanation for the problem, but I'm pleased to report that the problem has now been resolved and the index records are fully searchable again.

Monday, 23 November 2015

PRONI website to undergo major changes

The website of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is to be completely revamped over the coming months as it is amalgamated into the NIDirect megasite. NIDirect is the government website for disseminating information to Northern Ireland citizens about official Information and Services, so it covers everything from road closures to social benefit payments and from the composting of kitchen and garden waste to police issued penalty notices for minor offences.

PRONI's announcement of the move says it is part of a drive to consolidate all front-facing government websites into a single platform. I translate that as meaning it is a cost-cutting exercise. It's also a move the repository has been trying to avoid for some time!

Tagging on PRONI's website, with its free-to-search databases and ever-changing calendars of events, to a templated website of largely evergreen text is not going to be easy. Admittedly, the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) has already gone through this upheaval and its database of birth, marriage and death certificates works well enough (when you eventually find it – the signposting/navigation of the whole site is poor), so hopefully the techies can find a way of accommodating online PRONI as well, if not better.

The NIDirect website will also be getting an upgrade.

Irish family history & heritage events, 23 Nov to 5 Dec

Monday 23 November to Wednesday 25 November, inclusive: Genealogy Advisory Service will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for extended hours from 10am to 5pm (closed 1–2pm). Venue: Reading Room, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. (Normal hours, year-round, are 10am to 1:30pm.) It's always free.

Tuesday 24 November: 19th-century Valuation records, with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GA. 1–2pm. Free but registration required by email to discover@ulster-scots.com or telephone 028 9043 6710.

Tuesday 24 November: Footsteps to Freedom: 1916–2016, West Limerick's part in the Easter Rising, with Gerard Greaney. Venue: Newcastle West Library, Gortboy, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. 8pm.

Tuesday 24 November: NIVAL collections, with Eve Parnell. Host: Eneclann. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. Need to book by email.

Wednesday 25 November: Women and the Irish Revolution – Cumann Na Mban, with Prof Mary J. Hickman, Louise Ryan, Cal McCarthy and Marie Quinlivan. Host and Venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB, UK. 6:30pm for 7pm start. Admission: £8 (concessions £5). Details.

Wednesday 25 November: North Down women in WW1, with Dr Margaret Ward. Host and venue: North Down Museum, Town Hall, Castle Park Ave, Bangor, Co Down BT20 4BT. 7:30pm. Free but you need to reserve a place by tel: 02891 271200 or email: museum@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Wednesday 25 November: Irish genealogy help session, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Host and venue: Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, USA. 11am to 2pm. Free. No booking required.

Thursday 26 November: Surviving the City; Poverty and Health in Belfast 1888-1914. Exhibition launch. Hosts: Queen’s University Belfast and PRONI. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm.

Thursday 26 November: Medieval use of the settlement type known as the crannógs: late medieval use in Ireland, with Dr. Kieran O'Conor. Host and venue: Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Co Roscommon. 7:30pm. Tickets: 071 9639268. Details.

Thursday 26 November: Letters of 1916 – Cork launch. Meet the team, learn about the project, watch demonstrations, learn how you can contribute to Ireland's first public humanities project. Bring in your own letters written 1.11.1915 to 31.10.2016. Venue: Boole Library, University College Cork. 2–5pm. Reception in Staff Dining Room 5:15–6:15pm, followed by talks about the project 6:30–7:30pm in Boole 2, Lecture Theatres and lesson plans for secondary schools, 7:45–8:30pm. Drop in at anytime. Details.

Thursday 26 November: The Battle of Kinsale – a future for our past, an illustrated account of the background and events of 1601 with Dermot Ryan, and a talk by Gerry McCarthy on the possibilities of raising awareness of 1601 at a local, national and international level. Host: Kinsale History Society. Venue: Actons Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 26 November: 1915 – Forgotten battles, with Dessie Blackadder. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena branch. 7:15pm. Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre, 1-29, Bridge Street, Ballymena BT43 5EJ. All welcome.

Thursday 26 November to Friday 4 December : Reading Room of National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8, closed for preparation of departmental records being transferred from departments of state, and annual media preview.

Friday 27 November: West Connaught and the Great War, Exhibition, Open evening. Venue: Clifden Library, Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway. 6:30–8pm. All welcome. Free.

Tuesday 1 December: From the labour trench to the board: myth, memory and masculinity in Irish migrant memories of work in the British construction industry, with Dr Barry Hazley. Host: Modern Irish History Seminar Series, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Venue: Room G13, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 1 December:: From popular culture in the Great War to the Great War in popular culture, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. Free. No booking required. Panel: Maurice Walsh, John Horne, Angus Mitchell and Jennifer Wellington.

Thursday 3 December: Women’s rights and child welfare in Ireland, 1922-2014, with Sarah-Anne Buckley. Host: Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class. Venue: Room GO11, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. 4pm to 6pm. All welcome.

Thursday 3 December: Blarney Parish Records, an illustrated lecture with Richard Forrest. Host: Blarney & District Historical Society. Venue: Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Blarney Secondary School), Blarney, Co. Cork. Enquiries to Brian Gabriel 087 2153216. All welcome. 8pm.

Thursday 3 December: Irish genealogy sessions, with Lisa Walsh Dougherty. Drop-in help session 11am–12pm, followed by Discussion group 12pm–1pm. Host and venue: Clifton Park Library (Local History Room), 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065, USA. Free.

Thursday 3 December: Book launch: Cumann na mBan – County Galway Dimensions. Part of the 1916 Centenary programme for County Galway. With Cllr. Peter Roche and Mary Clancy. Venue: Áras an Chontae, Prospect Hill, Galway. 6pm. Confirm attendance by telephone to 091 509198.

Friday 4 December: Fairy Bullets, Superstitions & Strange Goings On, with David Hume, and Christmas Dinner. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne branch. Venue: Halfway House Hotel, 352 Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne, Co Antrim BT40 2RA. Email for details: larne@nifhs.org.

Saturday 5 December: William Niblo — Not Soon Forgotten, with Benjamin Feldman. Host: New York History Roundtable. Venue: McCloskey meeting room, Parish House of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan, New York, USA. 2pm.

Saturday 5 December: Mastering Genealogical Proof, with Barbara Scanlon. A workshop using Dr Thomas W. Jones' book of that name. Host and Venue: Kansas City Irish Center. 30 W Pershing Rd, Lowr, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. 11am–1pm. Details.

Friday, 20 November 2015

County Laois added to online Schools Collection

The National Folklore Collection's free website, Duchas.ie, has added manuscripts written by pupils at schools in County Laois in 1937–39.

Part of the Schools Collection, the new material comprises stories collected from 70 Co Laois schools under a project run across the 26 counties of the Irish Free State in 1937–39. The pupils collected stories – topics included folk legends, weather lore, local history, proverbs, pastimes, trades and crafts – from their local communities, and recorded the names of their informants, often grandparents or older members of their family or neighbours. See the Schools Collection manuscripts for Laois.

The Schools Collection digitisation project is approaching the half-way stage with stories from 12 counties now available to view.
The counties completed are: Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Sligo, Tipperary, and Waterford. It is expected that the manuscripts for the remaining counties will be online by the end of 2016.


Exploring your Irish Roots - day workshop, Manchester

Researchers living in Britain often contact me bemoaning the lack of Irish family history lectures taking place on their side of the Irish Sea. It's true there aren't many, and those that there are tend to be in London. And, of course, it's irritating if you only hear about them after the event. So here, with plenty of notice, is news of an opportunity that I'm sure will go down well: a full-day workshop – Exploring your Irish roots – to be held in Manchester on Saturday 6 February 2016.

The workshop will be presented by the Belfast-based Ulster Historical Foundation in partnership with the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society. It will be held at Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD from 9:30am to 4:40pm. Tickets are £25 (£20 for MLFHS members).

See the full programme and buy tickets here.

Did your Irish ancestor have a secret handshake?

Ancestry has added a new collection – Ireland's Grand Lodge of Freemasonry membership registers – to its database. These registers date from 1733 to 1923.

The records originate from the Dublin-based Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland, which was founded in 1725 and is the second-oldest such outfit in the world. The collection includes membership registers for Masonic Lodges across the 32 counties of Ireland, for Irish Lodges abroad and for those that were attached to militia and British Army regiments.

Membership registers typically list name and the individual's date of admission to the Lodge. They may also include dates of promotion ie 'When made Warden', 'When made Master' etc. Ancestry says that the 'observations' column sometimes includes a date of death and, from the latter part of the C19th, details of profession are given.

Unexpectedly, a quick search in the collection has found three of my non-direct ancestors in the membership registers of the Wicklow (1817), Trim (1815) and Dublin (1767) Lodges. I'm surprised because I wouldn't have thought this branch of ancestors would have 'cut the mustard' socially back then, but perhaps their merchant business was more successful in its earlier days than in the mid to late 19th century. Interesting.

Hidden Heroes of Easter Week: Book launch

Hidden heroes of Easter Week: Memories of Volunteers from England who joined the Easter Rising will be launched tonight at the Irish World Heritage Centre (IWHC) in Manchester.

The book, written by Robin Stocks, explores those members of the Irish community in British cities who travelled to Dublin in the middle of WW1 to prepare for a rebellion to achieve Independence for Ireland. It relates the experiences of a group of ordinary Volunteers who spent Easter Week under fire and concentrates on the human stories of two of them, a piper and a political radical, and also of their friend from Dublin who fought with the women’s volunteers, the Cumann na mBan.

Newly discovered revelations have shown that it was a Manchester man, Larry Ryan from Tootal Road, Seedley, who was one of the first to storm the Dublin GPO at the start of the 1916 Easter Rising. This is one of a series of previously unknown facts linking Manchester and Stockport with the insurrection.

The 220-page book, which includes some unique period photographs, is now available in bookshops (ISBN: 978-0-9934399-0-2) or can be ordered online from the Hidden Heroes website (£14.99). An e-book is available via Amazon.

The launch will take place at 7:30pm at the IWHC, Irish Town Way, Manchester M8 0AE and everyone is welcome to attend.

NIFHS announces its biennial writing competition

http://www.nifhs.org/resources/biennial-competition/
The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) has announced that the theme of its 2016 writing competition will be 'My Family Odyssey'.

Established in 2005, the competion is held every alternate year and is organised by the NIFHS Belfast Branch for all members of the Society. It attracts entries from all around the world and its purpose is to encourage people to write up stories about their family history, going beyond just constructing a family tree. Many of the previous winning articles have subsequently been published in the society’s journal North Irish Roots.

The theme will be highly relevant to members as migration has played an important part in the history of many families in the North of Ireland. Through the centuries many people left their homes in the hope of better opportunities in a new land, to escape religious or political persecution or simply in search of adventure, and in researching our family history it is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that migration has presented to our families.

The biennial competition is the brainchild of Belfast Branch member Anne Johnston, who has administered it since its inception. She said "I am delighted to be organising the competition again this year. I always look forward to reading the family stories that our members have uncovered. The prizes are attractive and I encourage you to enter."

Full details are on the NIFHS website. The competition is open to all NIFHS members, including new members. The winner will receive £100; runners-up will receive £60 and £40, and prizes will be presented at the 2016 AGM. Entries can be submitted by post or email and must be received by 3 April 2016.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

National Library of Ireland allocated €10m investment

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, of the development of a major new capital investment plan for the Library's historic Kildare Street premises. The investment will be delivered as a phased programme of works in partnership with the Office of Public Works.

The Minister has earmarked an allocation of €10 million to fund the first phase of the redevelopment works.

The redevelopment will address the following key areas for the NLI:
  • Refurbishment of the 1890s building to meet modern standards for universal access, fire prevention, health and safety, circulation, security, mechanical and electrical services, and environmental sustainability;
  • Upgrading and enhancement of visitor and reader facilities;
  • Upgrading the conditions in which heritage collections are kept;
  • Improvement of both access and security;
  • Upgrading and rationalisation of operational areas; and
  • Provision of better linkages throughout the Library’s extended buildings complex.

Making the announcement Minister Humphreys said: "The National Library currently holds a significant amount of its collection in an historic Victorian era building, which is badly in need of upgrading and modernisation. So I am delighted that, thanks to the economic recovery, we are now in a position to invest in this vital cultural institution and address decades of under-investment in the National Library.

“This investment will help transform the Library into a world class facility for the storage and display of some of our most important historical documents. Today's announcement will not only allow the Library to deliver on its core objectives of protecting and conserving the national collection, it will also enable it to develop its place as a venue for research, culture, learning and tourism.

“The redevelopment will upgrade existing storage facilities, address fire safety concerns, improve visitor areas and offer new reader spaces and experiences which will accommodate 21st century digital engagement as well as traditional readers."

Commenting on the announcement, Director of the National Library of Ireland Dr Sandra Collins said: “The Library’s challenges have been well documented and over recent years the Library has been very resilient in the face of limited resources and funding reductions. Today’s announcement will now enable the Library to develop its plans to become an exemplary 21st century modern library for our historic and unparalleled collections, and to be a living space for collaboration, research and culture – for scholars, the public and visitors from across the world and will affirm the Library’s position at the heart of Ireland’s culture, learning and society now and for many years to come.”



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

All roots lead to Chicago: video of lecture online

In Belfast yesterday, the Ulster Historical Foundation and PRONI hosted an excellent lecture called All roots lead to Chicago: Irish Railroad workers and canal workers in the 19th Century. It was presented by Deborah M Dudek and Tina Beard, both from Illinois.

Unusually, it was streamed live online.

If you couldn't attend the lecture at PRONI or watch the live stream, you'll be pleased to know that it's now available on YouTube. Click below.

Dublin Daily Express joins British Newspaper Archive

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added the Dublin Dailly Express to its database. So far, the 624 editions published from January 1862 to December 1863 are available to search, but the holding for this title will eventually span 1855–1917.

Access to this paper, and all 103 other Irish titles in the online archive can be obtained direct from the British Newspaper Archive which is currently offering a first month's subscription for just £1.

See details here.

Alternatively, full access to the database is included in all Ireland and World subscriptions to the BNA's sister company FindMyPast:


FindMyPast Ireland     FindMyPast UK     FindMyPast USA    FindMyPast Aust/NZ   

Monday, 16 November 2015

Latest updates from IGP-web Archives

Torsney gravestone, St. Patrick's, Bellrush,
Castlebaldwin, Sligo.
Photo courtesy of Ken Murray.
Click for full photo.
Below are the files and photos added during the second half of November to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives.

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Drumkeerin (R.C.) Cemetery
St. Mary's, Glenfarne

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Bellarush, St. Patrick's Cem, Castlebaldwin, Pt 2
Emlaghfad Cem., Ballymote
Gurteen Church (Priests)
Monasteraden Cemetery (partial)

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Drumquin Presbyterian Church

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Asstorted Records Taghmon Parish

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballintemple Cemetery, Parish of Avoca
Ballycoog New Cemetery, Parish of Avoca
Ballycoog Old Cemetery, Parish of Avoca



Irish family history & heritage events, 16–28 November

Monday 16 November to Wednesday 25 November: Genealogy Advisory Service will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for extended hours from 10am to 5pm (closed 1–2pm). Venue: Reading Room, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Normal hours, year-round, are 10am to 1:30pm. It's always free.

Monday 16 November: Unusual aspects of the Land War in Mid-Cork, with Michael Galvin. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Ballincollig Rugby Club Hall, Ballincollig, Co Cork. 8pm. Members free; non-members €3. All welcome.

Monday 16 November: Griffiths Valuations, with Bill Macafee. Host: 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 16 November: All routes led to Chicago: Irish railroad workers and canal builders in the nineteenth century, with Tina Beaird and Debra Dukek. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Details and booking.

Monday 16 November: Starting your family history, a practical workshop designed to give hands on experience in how to search the archives on the internet, searching and ordering as well as using original documents held at PRONI. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2-4pm. Free. Booking required. Details.

Tuesday 17 November: Census records, wills and printed sources, with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GA. 1–2pm. Free but registration required by email to discover@ulster-scots.com or telephone 028 9043 6710.

Tuesday 17 November: Testing the limits of the penal laws, with Dr Eoin Kinsella. Host: The Irish Historical Society. Venue: The Centre for Irish Programmes, Boston College Dublin, 43 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 November: County Carlow in the 18th century and the 1798 Rebellion, with Prof Kevin Whelan. Hosts: Trinity College Dublin and Carlow Collage. Venue: Cobden Hall, Carlow College, College Street, Carlow. 5pm to 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 November: The Decade of Centenaries: some reflections, with Catriona Crowe & Lar Joye as part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Reading Room, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. All welcome. No booking necessary.

Tuesday 17 November: A strange kind of glory: the Easter Rising in Co. Galway and its context, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: Mechanics Institute, Middle Street, Galway. 8pm. Panel: Conor McNamara, Una Newell, John Cunningham, Jackie Ui Chionna.

Tuesday 17 November: Dublin soldiers and the Great War, with Pádraig Yeates. Also a short talk by Frank Woods on the Houses of Blackrock. Host: Foxrock Local History Club. Venue: Foxrock Pastoral Centre, Kill Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18. 8pm. €5 for non-members.

Wednesday 18 November: Stories from WW1, with Ian Wilson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh branch. Venue: Town Hall, 15-17 Edward Street, Portadown, Co Armagh BT62 3LX. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 19 November: Londonderry Family, with John Grace. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down & Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor, Co Down, BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. All welcome. Visitors and guests £3.

Friday 20 November: Starting your family history, a practical workshop designed to give hands on experience in how to search the archives on the internet, searching and ordering as well as using original documents held at PRONI. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2-4pm. Free. Booking required. Details.

Friday 20 November: Irish Volunteers - pre-exhibition call for your family items. If you have family items that you would like to donate or loan for the exhibition, take them along to Louth County Archives Service at the Old Gaol, Ardee Road, Dundalk. Times 10am – 1pm; 2pm – 4pm. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Details.

Friday 20 November and Saturday 21 November: What's your 1916 story? A historical evaluation day. Share your family's story and get a free historical assessment of your Easter Rising treasures & heirlooms. Bring along any items of the time you may have and find out their history, these can include documents, letters, diaries, medals, uniforms and objects. Host and Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 21 November: 19th-Century Irish Genealogy Research: What’s Available and How to Use It, with Miles Davenport. An intermediate 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. Details.

Saturday 21 November: Don’t Forget the Ladies - A Genealogist’s Guide to Women and the Law and Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans, both with Judy Russell. Coffee break between the presentations. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Ave, Bethpage, NY 11714, USA. 10am to 12:45pm. Details.

Saturday 21 November: Clondalkin History and Heritage Day. Talks, walks, tours and more. Host: South Dublin Libraries and the Clondalkin Round Tower Heritage Group. Venue: Civic Offices, 9th Lock Road, Clondalkin, Co Dublin. 2–4pm. Free. No booking.

Tuesday 24 November: 19th-century Valuation records, with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GA. 1–2pm. Free but registration required by email to discover@ulster-scots.com or telephone 028 9043 6710.

Wednesday 25 November: North Down women in WW1, with Dr Margaret Ward. Host and venue: North Down Museum, Town Hall, Castle Park Ave, Bangor, Co Down BT20 4BT. 7:30pm. Free but you need to reserve a place by tel: 02891 271200 or email: museum@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Thursday 26 November: Surviving the City; Poverty and Health in Belfast 1888-1914. Exhibition launch. Hosts: Queen’s University Belfast and PRONI. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm.

Thursday 26 November: Medieval use of the settlement type known as the crannógs: late medieval use in Ireland, with Dr. Kieran O'Conor. Host and venue: Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Co Roscommon. 7:30pm. Tickets: 071 9639268. Details.

Thursday 26 November: The Battle of Kinsale – a future for our past, an illustrated account of the background and events of 1601 with Dermot Ryan, and a talk by Gerry McCarthy on the possibilities of raising awareness of 1601 at a local, national and international level. Host: Kinsale History Society. Venue: Actons Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 26 November to Friday 4 December : Reading Room of National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8, closed for preparation of departmental records being transferred from departments of state, and annual media preview

Friday 27 November: West Connaught and the Great War, Exhibition, Open evening. Venue: Clifden Library, Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway. 6:30–8pm. All welcome. Free.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Irish in London needed for research study

Can you help? A research study being conducted by Lauren Coyne, an Irish student on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences course in University College London (UCL), needs willing participants from the London Irish community.

The study, which has been approved by the UCL Ethics Committee, is investigating accent change in Irish immigrants in London.

The first part of the study will take place between November and January (dates are flexible) and will require participants to:
  • Read a short list of words
  • Read some sentences
  • Read a short passage
Readings will be recorded and saved on an encrypted drive to ensure confidentiality.

The second part of the study will involve the same participants listening to a recorded speech sample and completing tasks based around this. This will take place in February – dates to be decided.

If you are interested in taking part, email lauren.coyne.14@ucl.ac.uk to arrange a time, date and place for the recordings.

(Thanks to the British Association of Irish Studies.)

Reading Room changes at National Archives of Ireland

Researchers visiting the Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) in Bishop Street will find there have been a couple of changes of late.

The most obvious physical change is the new Duty Archivist office, complete with view of the Reading Room, which has landed in one corner. In this more accessible position, the Duty Archivist will deal with administrative control issues such as photography permissions and applications for access under data protection rules, and provide advice to professional/academic researchers on the NAI's archive collections and finding aids.

The Duty Archivist will be available during normal opening hours, except at lunchtime.

Meanwhile, the old 'microfilm room' has a new look and a new role.

Although it still houses microfilms of some classes of documents, a large proportion of its old collection has been moved to storage because their contents are freely accessible online. This has freed up an area for a dedicated space for the production and return of materials ordered by researchers. (Order forms will still be processed at the Reading Room's main desk.)

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Release of RC registers was 'a breach of trust', says Archbishop

This summer's online release by the National Library of Ireland of its Roman Catholic parish registers collection was 'a breach of trust', according to Kieran O’Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly. This opinion was stated in a letter to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny some three months prior to the new website going live, and has been revealed by the Irish Times following a freedom of information request.

You can read on The Irish Times website.

Special Offer: British Newspaper Archive for just £1

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe
The online British Newspaper Archive (BNA) holds editions from 103* Irish newspapers in its database, as well as 431 publications from England, Scotland and Wales. The Irish papers alone span 1709 to 1900 – the vast majority are for the early to mid 19th-century – and include papers published in Belfast, Dublin, Cork and many towns across the island.

If you haven't already explored this huge database, here's a special offer that will be hard to resist: enjoy your first month for just £1.

To take advantage of this discount
(the standard price is £12.95), just click/tap the image above, type the promotion code 1939TRYBNA1FOR1 in the box, and select the monthly subscription option. You'll see the cost change to £1 and can then proceed to the payment page.

At the end of your initial 1-month period your subscription will be automatically renewed at the normal price of £12.95. If you don't want the subscription to renew, un-tick the 'auto-renew my subscription’ box in the My Account section of the site.

* The 103rd title made its way into the BNA collection last weekend. It's the Commercial Herald. So far, only editions published from January 1869 to December 1870 are available to search, but the holding will eventually span 1848 to 1872.

ARA Ireland to launch Explore Your Archive 2015

The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARA,I), will launch the third annual Explore Your Archive week tomorrow (Wednesday 11 November) at Dublin City Library and Archives, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Senator David Norris, the campaign's ambassador, will officiate at the launch.

The campaign, which is run jointly with the Archives and Records Association in the UK (ARA), aims to increase awareness of the essential role of archives in society. Organisations participating in Explore Your Archive include local, business, university, military, specialist and national archives.

As part of Explore Your Archive week, archives services will open their vaults and display hundreds of unique collection items from Saturday 14 November until Sunday 22 November. Archivists, record managers and conservators will host talks, workshops, exhibitions and tours of their collections. (My weekly events listing will include many of the Explore Your Archives events in Ireland and Northern Ireland.)

The Explore Your Archive website will also feature ‘story boxes’, small online exhibitions on particular topics highlighting what researchers can discover in archive services.

More information on the Explore Your Archive 2015 campaign and full details on all events are at www.learnaboutarchives.ie.


Book Launch: Van Diemen's Women

Van Diemen’s Women, by Joan Kavanagh and Dianne Snowden, tells the story of 138 female convicts and their 35 children who were transported on the eve of the Famine in 1845 to Van Diemen’s Land on the Tasmania, one of the twenty such ships.

While this book looks at the lives of all the women aboard the one ship, it focuses on two women in particular: Eliza Davis, who was transported from Wicklow Gaol for life for infanticide, having had her sentence commuted from death, and Margaret Butler, sentenced to seven years’ transportation for stealing potatoes in Carlow. Their ship sailed from Kingston Harbour (Dun Laoghaire), reaching Hobart Town three months later.

Using original records, this study reveals the reality of transportation, together with the legacy left by these women in Tasmania and beyond, and shows that this Draconian punishment was, for some, at least, a life-saving measure.

As well as being a scholarly work, the book brings out the human tragedies of mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the reality of life for those transported to the other side of the world. It includes a forward by Mary McAleese, an eight-page glossary of relevant terms and institutions, trial statistics, and a 22-page index.

Joan Kavanagh is well-known in Co. Wicklow historical circles for her work in establishing both the Wicklow Genealogy service and the Wicklow Gaol visitor centre. Dianne Snowden is an academic historian and a professional genealogist. She is currently Chairperson of the Australasian Association of Genealogists and Record Agents (AAGRA).

Published by The History Press, the illustrated book can be bought at G2 in Main Street, Baltinglass, and at Bridge Street Books, Wicklow Town, as well as through main book shops and online outlets.

ISBN: 9781845888855

Monday, 9 November 2015

PRONI: Two family history workshops next week

PRONI
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is to hold two practical workshops next week, as part of the Explore Your Archive campaign. The latter is delivered by The National Archives and the Archives & Records Association across Ireland and the UK and aims to showcase the unique potential of archives to excite people, bring communities together, and tell amazing stories.

PRONI's workshops will focus on starting out in family history research and will give beginner delegates hands-on experience of searching online archives, as well as searching, ordering and using original documents held at the Belfast repository.

The workshops will be held on Monday 16 November and Friday 20 November and will follow an identical format, as follows:

2:00pm Using Online sources
2:45pm Searching for and Ordering original documents
3:30pm Tour of the building, including a presentation of Records.

Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Admission is free, and booking is recommended. To secure a place, telephone 028 9053 4800 or email proni@dcalni.gov.uk.

Irish family history & heritage events, 9–21 November

Monday 9 November: Discovering your family connections, with Martin Curley. Host: Athenry Heritage Network. Venue: Town Hall, Clarke Street, Athenry, Co Galway. 8pm. 

Monday 9 November: Exploring civil registration records for Northern Ireland, with Alistair Fulton from GRONI. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. All members and visitors are very welcome. 7pm.

Monday 9 November: Starting your family history, a practical workshop designed to give beginners hands-on experience of searching online archives, as well as searching, ordering and using original documents held at the Belfast repository. Host and Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Part of Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. 2pm–4pm. Booking recommended. Details.

Tuesday 10 November: Family history and genealogy sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Donaghmede Library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Grange Road, Dublin 13. All are welcome and admission is free. 2:30pm to 4pm. Booking is essential, tel: 085 1444883.

Tuesday 10 November: The History of the Purdysburn Villa Colony, with Stephen J Hamilton. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, Co Antrim. All members and visitors are very welcome. 7:30pm.

Tuesday 10 November: History of Dublin's Fruit and Vegetable Markets, with John Conroy. Host: Tallaght Historical Society. Venue: Tallaght Library, Library Square, Dublin 24. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 10 November: The manorial court rolls of Lucan, with Dr Sparky Booker. Milestones of Medieval Dublin series. Venue: Wood Quay venue of Dublin City Council Offices, Dublin 8. 1:05–1:45pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Tuesday 10 November: Civil records of births, deaths and marriages, with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GA. 1–2pm. Free but registration required by email to discover@ulster-scots.com or telephone 028 9043 6710.

Tuesday 10 November: The personal is political: cultures of commemoration and the children of 1916, with Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid. Host: Modern Irish History Seminar Series, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Venue: Room G13, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 10 November: Cork and the American Civil War, with Damian Shiels. Host: Cloyne Literary & Historical Society. Venue: Ballymaloe House, Midleton, Co. Cork. 8pm. Admission €7.50 payable at the door includes light refreshments. All welcome.

Thursday 12 November: 'Black sheep disgrace any flock': The 19th-century Land Agent, with Dr Ciaran Reilly. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: Helen Roe Theatre, Royal Society of Antiquities, 63 Merrion Square South, Dublin 2. Time: 6:45pm. All welcome. No need to book. Admission free.

Thursday 12 November: 1487: The coronation of Lambert Simnel, with Sparky Booker. 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.

Thursday 12 November: The graveyards of Tulsk, Ogulla, Kilcooley and Killynagh, with Mary B Timoney. Venue: Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. 7:30pm. €5. Tickets need to be booked. Contact 071 9639268.

Thursday 12 November:  Researching East Belfast and the Great War, with Jason Burke. Host: Western Front Association. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Friday 13 November: New Dubliners and the City: 1200 - 2000, a one-day public conference exploring the influence of immigrants on life in Dublin from the Middle Ages to the present. Host: Dublin History Research Network. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2Details. Fully booked.

Saturday 14 November: Gallipoli - Perspectives: a seminar with five speakers offering different perspectives on the Gallipoli Campaign and the aftermath. Moderated by Tom Burke of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 10am to 1pm. Booking not required. Details.

Saturday 14 November: Family history research, free practical tips, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland, Turlough Park (Country Life), Castlebar, Mayo. 11:30am–1:00pm. No booking required. New researchers welcome. At 2pm, the Group will officially launch their project, 101 Mayo People; all welcome to attend.

Saturday 14 November: The people of the 1916 Rising, a History Ireland Hedge School. Host: Dublin Book Festival. Venue: Smock Alley Theatre, 6/7 Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8. 1:30pm. Panel: Turtle Bunbury, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Lucy McDiarmid and Fearghal McGarry.

Saturday 14 November:  Researching Irish Ancestry, with Lesley Anderson. Host: Quebec Family History Society. Venue: Briarwood Presbyterian Church Hall, 70 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada. 10:30am. Members and non-members welcome. Free. Light refreshments after lecture. Details.

Monday 16 November to Wednesday 25 November: Genealogy Advisory Service will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for extended hours from 10am to 5pm (closed 1–2pm). Venue: Reading Room, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Normal hours, year-round, are 10am to 1:30pm. It's always free.

Monday 16 November: Unusual aspects of the Land War in Mid-Cork, with Michael Galvin. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Ballincollig Rugby Club Hall, Ballincollig, Co Cork. 8pm. Members free; non-members €3. All welcome.

Monday 16 November: Griffiths Valuations, with Bill Macafee. Host: 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 16 November: All routes led to Chicago: Irish railroad workers and canal builders in the nineteenth century, with Tina Beaird and Debra Dukek. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Details and booking.

Monday 16 November: Starting your family history, a practical workshop designed to give hands on experience in how to search the archives on the internet, searching and ordering as well as using original documents held at PRONI. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2-4pm. Free. Booking required. Details.

Tuesday 17 November: Census records, wills and printed sources, with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GA. 1–2pm. Free but registration required by email to discover@ulster-scots.com or telephone 028 9043 6710.

Tuesday 17 November: Testing the limits of the penal laws, with Dr Eoin Kinsella. Host: The Irish Historical Society. Venue: The Centre for Irish Programmes, Boston College Dublin, 43 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 November: County Carlow in the 18th century and the 1798 Rebellion, with Prof Kevin Whelan. Hosts: Trinity College Dublin and Carlow Collage. Venue: Cobden Hall, Carlow College, College Street, Carlow. 5pm to 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 November: The Decade of Centenaries: some reflections, with Catriona Crowe & Lar Joye as part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Reading Room, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 5:15pm. All welcome. No booking necessary.

Tuesday 17 November: A strange kind of glory: the Easter Rising in Co. Galway and its context, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: Mechanics Institute, Middle Street, Galway. 8pm. Panel: Conor McNamara, Una Newell, John Cunningham, Jackie Ui Chionna.

Tuesday 17 November: Dublin soldiers and the Great War, with Pádraig Yeates. Also a short talk by Frank Woods on the Houses of Blackrock. Host: Foxrock Local History Club. Venue: Foxrock Pastoral Centre, Kill Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18. 8pm. €5 for non-members.

Wednesday 18 November: Stories from WW1, with Ian Wilson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh branch. Venue: Town Hall, 15-17 Edward Street, Portadown, Co Armagh BT62 3LX. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 19 November: Londonderry Family, with John Grace. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down & Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor, Co Down, BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. All welcome. Visitors and guests £3.

Friday 20 November: Starting your family history, a practical workshop designed to give hands on experience in how to search the archives on the internet, searching and ordering as well as using original documents held at PRONI. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2-4pm. Free. Booking required. Details.

Friday 20 November: Irish Volunteers - pre-exhibition call for your family items. If you have family items that you would like to donate or loan for the exhibition, take them along to Louth County Archives Service at the Old Gaol, Ardee Road, Dundalk. Times 10am – 1pm; 2pm – 4pm. Part of the Explore Your Archives 2015 campaign. Details.

Friday 20 November and Saturday 21 November: What's your 1916 story? A historical evaluation day. Share your family's story and get a free historical assessment of your Easter Rising treasures & heirlooms. Bring along any items of the time you may have and find out their history, these can include documents, letters, diaries, medals, uniforms and objects. Host and Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 21 November: 19th-Century Irish Genealogy Research: What’s Available and How to Use It, with Miles Davenport. An intermediate 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. Details.

Saturday 21 November: Don’t Forget the Ladies - A Genealogist’s Guide to Women and the Law and Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans, both with Judy Russell. Coffee break between the presentations. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Ave, Bethpage, NY 11714, USA. 10am to 12:45pm. Details.

Friday, 6 November 2015

FindMyPast offers 10% discount for 300 credits

Following Monday's launch of the 1939 National Register of England and Wales, FindMyPast is offering a 10% discount to access its records.

If you wish to take up the offer, click the most appropriate flag button below. You'll find the voucher code will be automatically applied after a few seconds and you'll be able to purchase 300 credits at the discounted PayAsYouGo price. Credits are valid for 90 days.

You can use the 300 credits as suits your research. You could, for example, purchase a five-household bundle for access to the 1939 Register (300 credits). Or you could choose to purchase two 1939 household records (60 credits each) and spend the remainder to view records in the FindMyPast main collection (5 credits each).It's up to you.

The discount brings the price of 300 credits down to €30.15; £22.95; US$34.16; Aus$43.65.

Don't delay. The offer expires at 11:59 GMT on Friday 13 November.

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Accredited Genealogists Ireland: new affiliate member

Kit Smyrl
Accredited Genealogists Ireland has a new affiliate member: Kit Smyrl.

Kit is one of seven current Affiliates, while there are 33 current Members. The combined number of 40 genealogists active within AGI is a record for the organisation, which changed its name in May 2015 from Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI).

Kit and the other Affiliates are working towards membership of AGI with the encouragement of mentors, professional development events and interaction with colleagues.

Since the affiliate programme was set up nearly three years ago, three Affiliates have progressed to full AGI membership. While the affiliate panel is currently full (this should not discourage aspiring affiliates from making an application), it is not necessary to take this route to membership, though it does provide support for the applicant.

During 2015 five genealogists were admitted as Members: Sandra Doble, Elaine Hannon, Anne Rodda, Joanna Cicely Fennell and Beverly Brown. In the same period three Affiliates were admitted: Jane Halloran Ryan, Marie Cahill and Kit Smyrl.

Free Military records from Ancestry, 6–11 November

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-5737308-10819001-1408706803000?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2Fsearch%2Fgroup%2Fmilitary_records
Ancestry is offering six days of free access to its worldwide Military Records collection, including a brand-new records set – the UK, WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940-1949.

The worldwide Military Records collection includes more than 200 million records from different conflicts. Free access is available from today until 23:59 (GMT) on Wednesday 11 November. If you don't already have an account with Ancestry, you'll need to register with your name and email address. Ancestry will then send you a username and password to access the records.

UK WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940–1949

Published online for the first time, the UK's WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940–1949 contain fascinating and often heartbreaking details of more than 5,000 awards for civilian gallantry during the 1940s. In detailed accounts – often spanning several pages per individual – the records reveal the names of civilian heroes who were awarded medals for acts of bravery, as well as their place of residence, date of birth and date of the award.

The collection serves as a poignant reminder that while thousands of men and women fought across the world during WWII, more than 1.9 million civilians served as Civil Defence Volunteers back home on British soil. Some worked as air raid wardens, first aiders and firewatchers, but some were ordinary civilians who showed incredible bravery in the face of disaster, sometimes giving up their lives to save others.

Civilian Defence awards could be given to men, women and children, who carried out or supported Civil Defence duties on the Home Front.