Pages

Friday, 29 April 2016

Dúchas adds Schools Collection for County Clare

http://www.duchas.ie/enThe National Folklore Collection's free website, Dúchas.ie, has added manuscripts written by pupils at schools in County Clare in 1937–39.

Part of the Schools Collection, the new material comprises stories collected from 170 Co Clare 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 for County Clare.

The Schools Collection's online availability is now completed for the following counties: Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo, Tipperary, and Waterford. It is expected that the manuscripts for the remaining counties will be online by the end of 2016.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ancestors from the Beara Peninsula of Cork and Kerry?

If you have ancestors from the Beara Peninsula, which is shared between Counties Cork and Kerry, you'll want to check out a database launched yesterday on AmericanAncestors.org, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

After many months' work, volume 1 of Riobard O'Dwyer's remarkable Annals of Beara has been indexed, and browsable images from volumes 2 and 3 included in the new online collection.

You can find out more in this informative blogpost from the NEHGS.

AmericanAncestors.org holds more than one billion records. You'll need a subscription to view this new Irish database but (free) Guest User access is available to a small number of collections. Details here.

Library and archive closures, Monday 2 May

Monday 2 May will be a public holiday in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Excepting the National Library of Ireland (see below), all libraries and archives typically used by genealogists will be closed on both sides of the border. Branch libraries in the Republic may also be closed on the preceding Saturday. I'm not sure if the same happens in Northern Ireland (LibrariesNI's website doesn't provide any clues) but the Linen Hall Library in Belfast is open for normal Saturday hours: 9.30am - 4pm.

The National Library of Ireland will be open over the long weekend as follows:

Main Reading Room, Manuscript Reading Room and Readers Ticket Office – Kildare Street: open on Saturday 9:30am to 12:45pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Exhibitions (1. William Butler Yeats & 2. World War Ireland) at Kildare Street – open on Saturday 9:30am–4:45pm; on Sunday: 1pm–4:45pm; and on Monday 12pm–5pm.

National Photographic Archive Exhibition Galley in Temple Bar – open on Saturday 10am–5pm; on Sunday 12pm–5pm; and on Monday 12pm–5pm.

Genealogy Service, Café Joly and NPA Reading Room closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday.



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

20% discount on FindMyPast World sub – USA only

Until Saturday 30 April you can get a 20% discount on a 12-month World subscription package via FindMyPast.com. The discount reduces the price from $239.50 to $191.60.

The World package gives you access to all FindMyPast's collections – all the Irish, British, USA, Australian and New Zealand records, as well as the 1939 National Register of England & Wales, and the entire British Newspaper Archive of 615 (and growing) Irish, Welsh, English and Scottish newspaper titles.

To take out a new subscription and claim the discount, click the flag below:


The discount will expire at midnight EST Saturday 30 April. Don't miss it!



Unindexed Valuation Books are on Family Search

Peramblation Book for the parish of Killedan,
Barony of Gallen, County Mayo - on FamilySearch
You know the Valuation Books I keep having to mention – the House, Quarto and Field books that have been in the Promise Pipe for a couple of years but still haven't made it to the open end...? (See the most recent blogpost on the subject.)

Well, while I've no update on the likely date of their release in a digitised and indexed format on the National Archives of Ireland's free Genealogy website, I've been reminded (many thanks, John Schnelle) that the House, Field, Quarto and Tenure books were microfilmed back in 2001/2 by the Genealogical Society of Utah/Family Search and are available to view online via the Family Search catalogue. The films are arranged by county, barony, parish and townland.

Having spent a good part of last evening browsing through the sets for the books for the Barony of Ibane & Barryroe, where my paternal family originate and still live, I can tell you that exploring these books is a slowish process. But if you're really eager to see what's coming, or simply can't wait any longer, AND you know the locality you want to view, it's fairly easy to work your way towards the correct section of images.

After quite a bit of too-ing and fro-ing through the images, I got my reward, finding a clue (quite a good clue, I think) to the name of my great great grandmother's father. I've not explored beyond church records before for this particular ancestor; my casual browse may well have delivered an extra generation. Verifying it may require a more determined effort!

Coollattin project aims to connect with Irish Canadians

A project called the Coollattin Canadian Connection (CCC) has been officially launched by Kevin Vickers, the Ambassador of Canada to Ireland. Among its partners are the Genealogical Department of Wicklow County Council and Carnew Historical Society.

Its aim is to help the descendants of emigrants from the Coollattin Estate in Co. Wicklow learn about their family history and return to the land of their forefathers. Thousands of the Estate's tenants were assisted by their landlord, Earl Fitzwilliam, in emigrating between the mid-1830s and 1850s to Canada, most of them settling in the province of Ontario.

Now the CCC is facilitating the return of their descendants for the Homeward Trek, a week of history, genealogy and story-telling taking place from 20-27 August (see the full programme).

The all-in cost, including accommodation, entry to historical and interpretative centres, and tours of Coollattin House and its estate, is just 300 Canadian dollars. Extensive genealogical research is also included and will be carried out by the CCC team on behalf of those attending.

The CCC project's website offers 'how-to' genealogical advice for those just starting out on their research, a lovely album of photos of the emigrants and/or their children in Canada, as well as details of many Coollattin emigrants in the following documents:
  • Coollattin Estate Emigrant Lists 1847–1855
  • Survey of tenants living on the Coollattin Estate in 1868 (seach by surname or townland)
See the Databases section of the CCC website.

Looking ahead, the CCC hopes to stage similar Homeward Trek events in the future and also to develop a 'famine village', characteristic of the estate during the mid-nineteenth century.

Latest update from Registry of Deeds Index Project

The latest update from the Registry of Deeds Index Project shows the index now holds some 209,470 entries. These have come from 24,013 memorials of deeds. All have been submitted by voluteers.

By my reckoning, there have been more than 3,300 entries added this year alone – a terrific rate of output. Well done to all concerned.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Military Archives: New reading room opened and new MSPC Medals Series records released

A new Military Archives building, which includes a larger and brighter Reading Room for researchers and state of the art storage facilities, has been opened by President Michael D Higgins at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin.

The building is the fourth of nine Permanent Reminders to open as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and the event was attended by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD who said: "The new Archives building and its online resources will provide state of the art archival facilities for some of our most important collections, including the ground-breaking Military Service Pensions Collection, which uncovered so much new material about the 1916 Rising.

"The collections in the Military Archives, which stretch from 1913 to the present day, are a key part of our documentary heritage, allowing historians, academics and anyone who is interested in our shared history to understand our past more clearly and explore the nation’s family history."

As well as the opening of the new building, the morning saw the launch of a fourth tranche of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection: the Medals Series database and its associated files. The 1916 Medal recognised those who were engaged in active service during the 1916 Rising and those who served during the period 1917-1921.

L) The 1916 Medal  R) The Service Medal
The database contains the names of 47,554 applicants who claimed for the 1916 Medal and the Service (1917-1921) Medal. In some cases, more than one file is available per person. The Medals files themselves can only be accessed at the Military Archives by appointment, but the online entries seem to give a very good indication of what the files hold.

An example for Willam Santry, a member of my extended family, is below:

"File relates to successful Service (1917-1921) Medal application. Service certified and duly awarded medal issued 11 October 1958. Subject claimed he was arrested and sentenced to six months hard labour for using explosives, and interned at Cork Jail, Spike Island, county Cork, and Maryboro Prison, Portlaoise, county Laois, from 3 February 1921 to 8 December 1921. Associated file DP30742: relates to subject's application for Special Allowance under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of illness or disability. Allowance awarded in 1959. File contains correspondence, memoranda, social welfare reports and means assessments. File also includes material relating to the payment of the balance of Special Allowance to subject's brother Joseph Santry on his death."

Search the MSPC database here (free). Use the 'Search in' menu to select the Medals Series.

There's more about the Medal Series database and making appointments here, and more about the Medals themselves here.

Irish Genealogical Research Society: London Open Day

On Saturday 7 May, the Irish Genealogical Research Society will host its London Open Day at Westminster City Archives.

The friendly and sociable event is open to members and non-members. It includes a light finger buffet and plenty of opportunity to chat with like-minded enthusiasts, as well as a lecture on emigration from West Clare and a workshop on Church Records. The Society's AGM follows lunch, and the day rounds up with an Experts Q&A session where you can put your burning Irish genealogy questions to the professionals.

Full details are on the IGRS website – IrishAncestors.ie – along with directions to the conveniently located venue in central London.



Ulster Historical Foundation settles in to new home

As you'll remember from previous blogposts, the Ulster Historical Foundation relocated to a new home in Belfast's city centre in January. After all the packing and unpacking involved in such a major move, the team is now pretty well settled in (some soon-to-be-fitted shelving will add the final touches) and it's already clear that the move to bigger and more central accommodation has been hugely positive.

Executive director Fintan Mullan has written an informative blogpost about how the move has impacted on the Foundation's ability to offer more personal consultations, host guided research sessions, and facilitate in-house presentations. Take a read here.

A significant percentage of the costs of the move has been funded by the Foundation's Buy a Brick campaign, and there's a relatively small amount of £2,125 still required to hit target. The virtual bricks cost £25 (about €32/US$36) each. Please consider buying one. It's for a really good cause – the UHF is an educational charity and does some great work not just for individual clients who want to know more about their ancestors, but also through its annual North American lecture tour, its annual conferences (June and September), its publication of history and genealogy books, its family history courses and its transcription and upload of records to the RootsIreland.ie database.

Even if you don't have any family connections to Ulster, please think about making a donation.

Clare County Library adds more online RC records

Clare County Library has added more free family history records to its Local Studies website, as follows.

Transriptions of RC marriage registers for the parish of Clondagad/Kilchreest: Some 750 records have been transcribed and donated by Kevin Murphy of Queensland, Australia. He has transcribed the records from the National Library of Ireland's online images collection. They date from 1846 to 1880 and can be searched by date, by groom's surname and by bride's surname.

Surname index to Kilmurry Ibrickan RC baptisms 1839-1880 (excl 1851): Transcribed by Marie Crowley of Derry City, these registers have been available in date order for a year. Marie has now worked her way through her transcriptions to create surname indexes across the full span of years.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Irish genealogy and history events, 25 April – 7 May

Monday 25 April: Frongoch and the birth of the IRA, with Lyn Ebenezer. Host: The Celtic League, Irish Branch. Venue: Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 25 April: Easter 1916 and the Irish revolution: new perspectives, with Dr Fearghal McGarry. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All welcome and booking is not required. 7pm. Free.

Tuesday 26 April: These are queer days that we are living through: Irishwomen and everyday life in 1916, with Dr Fionnuala Walsh. Host and venue: Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. €5, includes refreshments. 7:15pm. Booking required: T (0)1 628 8252 or E castletown@opw.ie. 8pm. Lecture held in the Hunting Room.

Wednesday 27 April: Dublin 1916, with Pádraig Yeates. Part of the 'Dublin: One City, One Book' programme. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All welcome. No booking. 6:30pm. Free.

Thursday 28 April: Exhibition launch – Belfast: A Changing City. Host: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. This Exhibition explores the changing face of the city from 1800. 6:30pm. Continues to 27 May.

Thursday 28 April: DNA in Genealogy – A beginners view, with Brian O’Hara and Maggie Lyttle (follows AGM). 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. Free. All welcome.

Friday 29 April: Revolutionary Memories, with Tomás Mac Conmara. Host: Kilrush Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. This lecture is supported by Clare County Council's Ireland 2016 Community Initiative and admission is free. All welcome.

Saturday 30 April: Finding Your Irish Ancestral Place of Origin: Building a Bridge Back From Here, with Terry Koch-Bostic (at 11am). Part of the GFLI Genealogy Event (9am to 5pm). Host: Genealogy Federation of Long Island. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714, USA. Free. Tickets and details.

Thursday 5 May: Purdysburn Hospital: the legacy of a villa colony with Stephen Hamilton. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast branch. Venue: Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 5 May: 1916 and Partition, with Dr. Sarah Campbell. Part of the Road to the Rising lecture series hosted by Tyneside Irish Cultural Society. Venue: Tyneside Irish Centre, 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. 7:30pm. All welcome. Details.

Friday 6 May: What were your family doing in 1916? Host: Eneclann/FindMyPast. Venue: Thurles Library, The Source, Cathedral St, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Noon to 4pm. Free. Talks and one-to-one consultations. Booking may be required: T 0504 29720.

Saturday 7 May: Genealogy & Famine Roads, with Charles Egan; Irish Church Records workshop, with Claire Bradley; Q&A, at the IGRS Open Day & AGM. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: Westminster City Archives, 10 St Ann’s Street, London SW1P 2DEA. £25 members; £30 non-members. Includes light lunch and refreshments. Details and booking.

Saturday 7 May: Great War Genealogy Day. Hosts: The Western Front Association and the Gallipoli Association. Venue: Blanchardstown Library, The Civic Centre, Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15. 10am to 5pm.  Bookings (20 minute slots) at the library desk or  01-8905563.


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Free UK/Irish parish & probate records – one day only

To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and for one day only, Ancestry is giving free access to its UK parish and probate collection.

While a small number of Irish record sets are included in this free access collection, the majority are from England, Wales & Scotland and could be an opportunity to locate missing Irish ancestors or to check an important collection for clues to place of origin.

You can see a list of the specific record sets available here.

The free access runs until 11:59 GMT tonight. As far as I can tell, you don't even need to register.

Friday, 22 April 2016

ANZAC Day: An update on recent Australian releases

Free access period has now expired
On Monday 25 April, Australia and New Zealand will be marking Anzac Day, the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

Anzac Day is about more than the landing on Gallipoli, however. It's the day all Anzacs are remembered, so Ancestry.com.au is opening up its entire military Anzac collection, including millions of new WWII service records and more than 12million images from the WW1 Anzac service dossiers.

See a full list of the featured collections here.

Free access will continue until 11:59pm AEST on Monday. You'll need a registered account (you don't need a current subscription). If you don't already have an account, simply sign up here; no financial information is requested.

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There's been a spate of new Australian record releases over the last month, and for some reason I didn't cover them as they occurred. This blogpost aims to correct the situation.

Recent Australian record releases from Ancestry

Ancestry has added the following collections held by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office:

Tasmania – Deeds of Land Grants, 1804-1935: The information in this records varies, as does the degree of detail provided. Details can include the date and location of the grant, a description of the land, name of the grantee, the amount paid and the names of witnesses.

Tasmania – Railway Employment Records, 1903-1977: Railway Classification Lists of the Tasmanian Government Railway were published annually in the Tasmanian Government Gazette from 1912 to 1977, and included the names of all employees of the railway. In addition, the lists typically provided the following details on each employee: Number, Office, Salary or other pay details, Date of birth or age at last birthday, Length of service, Date appointed to present class or grade, Classification of work (division and class) and Maximum salary or wage of class or grade.

Tasmania Teacher Employment History Cards, 1886-1945: This collection consists of employment history cards for male teachers in service in Tasmania, Australia between 1886 and 1945, though the majority of the cards date from the 1920s to 1940s. The information typically on each card is name, date of birth, qualifications and training, classification and school appointments. Often, more than one card was created for a teacher, and some cards appear to have been created retrospectively, especially for teachers who had long periods of service.

Australia, World War II Military Service Records, 1939-1945: This unique collection includes service records for Australians who served in the Second World War in the following units: Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The records vary in the amount of information provided, although they usually contain biographical details supplied on enlistment. For more about these records and how to access the images from which the index has been created, be sure to read the details on the collection home page.

Sydney headstones transcriptions: This package consists of more than 285,000 headstone transcriptions from Rookwood and Waverly cemeteries in Sydney, Australia. They date from 1867.

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Recent Australian record releases from FindMyPast

Queensland births, 1829-1919: This collections holds 930,000 birth records, searchable by first name, last name, registration year, as well as by father's first name and mother's first name. Bear in mind that birth registration did not become mandatory in Australia until March 1856.

Queensland Marriages 1829-1939: This collection holds 700,000 transcriptions, searchable by first name, last name and registration year.

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Australian records on MyHeritage

More than 700 newspapers, digitised by the National Library of Australia, are now searchable on MyHeritage.com. It's the same collection as that available on the NLA's free Trove.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

AncestryDNA offers 20% discount to USA researchers

http://www.dpbolvw.net/8m65cy63y5LRTPTPMULNORSRPNMLNQSNNVSRPQMMM
Offer has expired.
To mark DNA Day, AncestryDNA.com is offering a very useful 20% off the cost of its tests.

DNA Day is an annual commemoration of the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. It will fall on Monday 25 April, and this discount offer ends the following day. 

This offer is available only to researchers with addresses in the USA.

The discount reduces the price from $99 to $79, with postage and package costs added. Click the Order Now button for full terms and conditions.

Incidentally, Ancestry announced its first quarter 2016 results yesterday (see official press release) and this says the AncestryDNA database is fast approaching 2million samples tested. That's an awful lot of potential matches to help you unravel your Irish roots!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

NAI releases 1916 Rising compensation claims online

John McDonough, the Director of the National Archives,
and Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage
and the Gaeltacht, at the launch this afternoon.
The National Archives of Ireland has released a new online collection (link below) detailing more than 6,500 compensation claims which were submitted to the Property Losses (Ireland) Committee in the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The collection has been fully indexed and is searchable by surname, location or business name.

The files consist of applications for compensation from individuals and businesses for damage to buildings and property, including loss of personal property, sustained as a result of the fighting, or subsequently as a result of fire and looting.

Although most of the claims relate to property and persons residing in Dublin, the collection contains a substantial number of claims for damage in Enniscorthy, County Wexford and a small number in County Galway.

The files include a huge range of small items, from jewellery which had been left for repair in one of the jewellery shops on Sackville Street, to personal effects belonging to chambermaids working in hotels in the city centre. The majority of claims are from individuals who lost small amounts of personal property or whose homes were damaged in the fighting. There is also a large number of claims from businesses and property owners.

Launching the new collection this afternoon in the Reading Room of the National Archives in Dublin, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “This new website provides a fascinating insight into the very personal cost of the Rising and the impact that the fighting had on both homes and businesses. As well as the lives lost during Easter Week 1916, many businesses were damaged or destroyed. These files go into incredible detail, listing the individual stock items lost by businesses during the Rising and providing us with a window into the homes of 1916, as people claimed for personal effects, both small and large.

“One of the buildings which was completely destroyed by the Rising was the Royal Hibernian Academy on Abbey Street Lower. A number of renowned artists lost works which were on display in the RHA, including Jack B Yeats and Sir John Lavery, both of whom subsequently submitted compensation claims.

“These compensation files illustrate the devastating impact of the Rising on Dublin city centre. Dublin was a city in flames, with hundreds of lives lost and many buildings and homes destroyed. In the aftermath of the Rising, as the political and social landscape continued to change, the families and businesspeople of the city had to pick up the pieces and get on with their lives in what was soon to become an utterly changed Ireland.”

John McDonough, the Director of the National Archives of Ireland, said: “The compensation files being released today give a unique window into the material damages caused in April 1916. Through these files we gain a real sense of the losses to individuals and businesses. The files will enable historians and family members to research the impact of the fighting on peoples’ lives and the claims they made in an attempt to rebuild them.”

A new dedicated area of the National Archives website – http://centenaries.nationalarchives.ie – holds the collection.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

IRC to fund 17 1916-themed research projects

The Irish Research Council (IRC) has announced funding of more than €140,000 to seventeen 1916-themed research projects. It is the second round of awards to come from the IRC, which is marking the Decade of Centenaries by supporting flagship research projects that focus on the period 1912–1922.

All 17 projects come from higher education institutions. They include:
  • A UCD project exploring how the nuns and school-girls at Loreto Convent on St. Stephen’s Green were sequestered in the convent during the 1916 Rising. The funding received from the Irish Research Council will create an open-access digital repository and online exhibition exploring their experiences.
  • A project at NUI Maynooth, which will develop digital tools to engage the public in the history of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge. The tools developed will include an augmented-reality audiovisual recreation of the battlefield for tablet computers and smartphones, and will allow members of the public to interact with 3D-printed buildings of the battlefield.
  • A symposium and exhibition on the topic of hunger striking, which will be organised by researchers at the University of Limerick, in collaboration with Kilmainham Gaol, Kerry County Museum and Kerry County Library Services.
  • A project exploring how Moore Street’s historical significance impacts on urban redevelopment plans, entrepreneurial agendas and trader livelihoods.
    ‘INCLUSIVE16’, an NUI Galway project aimed at engaging new Irish communities in the national dialogue about 1916.
  • An augmented-reality mobile walking tour app, commemorating the role women played in the 1916 Rising.
IRC Chairperson Professor Jane Ohlmeyer said: “A national milestone like the Decade of Centenaries really highlights the important work being done by researchers throughout Ireland. The research projects we are funding are throwing up fascinating insights into the lives of 1916 leaders, as well as ordinary people. They are also exploring how the legacy of 1916 has impacted on the Ireland we live in today.”

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest additions

There has been a good spread of new records added to the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the first half of April. Donated by volunteers, these records are freely available.

CORK Genealogy Archives - Obituaries & Funeral Entries
Funeral Entry: Barham, Nicholas 1640

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Vital Records
Deaths from 1869 (Updated)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Grangegorman Military Cemetery, WWII & Vets (Updated)
Mount Jerome Cemetery - Part 126

GALWAY Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estate of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq (Ballyfruit) 1852

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Cemeteries
Rockstown Graveyard Memorials

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Annagh Cemetery, Glenhest
Taugheen Cemetery, Claremorris

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Obituaries & Funeral Entries
Funeral Entry: Moony, Thomas 1638 & Nugent, James 1634

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballintober Cemetery

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Carrentemple New Cemetery

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Cemeteries
Kilrush Memorials

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Mary's R.C. Church & Plaques, Streete

Monday, 18 April 2016

Irish genealogy and history events, 18–30 April

Monday 18 April: Easter 1916 in Cork – ‘Order, Counter-Order and Disorder’ – What happened in Cork at the time of the Easter Rising, 1916? with Gerry White. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Ballincollig Rugby Club Hall, Ballincollig, Co Cork. 8pm. Members free; non-members €3. All welcome.

Monday 18 April: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 085 1444883 or impossibleancestors@gmail.com.

Tuesday 19 April: 1916: The Mornings After: From the Court Martials to the Tribunals, with Tim Pat Coogan. Dalkey Library, 41 Castle Street, Dalkey, Dublin. 6:30pm. Free.

Tuesday 19 April: Major John McBride and Jacob’s Factory Garrison, with Séamas Ó Maitiú. City Hall lunchtime lectures. Host: Dublin City Council (1916/2016 Programme). Venue: Council Chambers, City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Free. All welcome. 1:10pm. No booking but space limited.

Wednesday 20 April:
Women of 1916, a panel discussion chaired by the Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to Britain. Hosted by the Institute of Irish Studies and the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Cttee. Panellists to include Dr Lauren Arrington, Professor Senia Paseta and Sinead McCoole. Starts 6pm. Refreshments to follow discussion. Venue: The Eleanor Rathbone Theatre, Bedford Street South, Liverpool L69 7ZA. Booking essential: email Dorothy Lynch, Dorothy@liv.ac.uk.

Tuesday 21 April: Symposium on WW1. Host: Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland. Venue: Malone Presbyterian Church, 452 Lisburn Rd, Belfast BT9 6GT. 8pm.

Thursday 21 April: Introduction to PRONI, a practical workshop covering online sources, use of microfilm, a guided tour and presentation of documents. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2–4pm. Spaces limited. Free. Need to book by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk, or telephone: 02890 534800. Fully booked.

Thursday 21 April: 'Is everything we love gone forever?' - focusing on big house destruction from the Irish War of Independence into the Civil War, with Professor Terry Dooley. Host: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co Galway. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April:South Dublin and the 1916 Rising in Oral Histories, with Maurice O'Keefe. Host: South Dublin County Council. Venue: Clondalkin Library, Monastery Road, Dublin 22. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April: From the Ruins of the Rising: Northern Voices on 1916 and its Aftermath, with
Donal McAnallan, discussing the Irish Volunteers Centenary Project. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.  Admission is free. All welcome. 7pm.  Booking recommended.

Thursday 21 April: The story of the Choctaw Indians and Irish people, with Dr Padraig Kirwan. Venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB, UK. 7:45pm. Free, but need to book. Details.

Thursday 21 April: My family connection with the Lusitania, with Colleen Watters, plus branch AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. Free to members. £3 guests. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April: Digs and Lodging Houses: Literature, ruins and survival in post-war Britain, with Professor Clair Wills. The. Host: IES Irish Studies, University of London. Venue: The Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, London W1, UK. Free. Booking. 6pm to 8pm. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the Grand Lobby, hosted by the Irish Embassy.

Thursday 21 April:Siege Mentalities: The Occupation of Jacobs Factory, Easter 1916, with  Séamas Ó Maitiú. Host: Dublin City Public Library & Archives. Venue: Business information Centre, Central Library, Ilac Shopping Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1. Booking essential to businesslibrary@dublincity.ie. All welcome. 1:30pm. Free.

Friday 22 April:  Easter 1916 – Conflict and Consequences, a half-day Conference. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.  Speakers and topics will include: The outcome of the Rising, with Fearghal McGarry; The British Army in the Rising, with Tim Bowman;  The planning of the Rising, with Mike Foy; and Women of the Rising, with Margaret Ward. Free. Starts 2pm. Booking required: T - 028 9053 4800 or E - proni@dcalni.gov.uk.

Friday 22 April: What were your family doing in 1916? An afternoon of genealogy with Eneclann/FindMyPast. Host and venue: Dunshauglin Library, Main Street, Dunshauglin, Co. Meath. 11am to 4pm. Free. Talks and one-to-one consultations. Booking may be required: T 01 825 0504.

Friday 22 April: Researching in Ireland, with Chris Paton. Host: Qualicum Beach Family History Society. Venue: Quality Inn Resort Bayside, 240 Dogwood Street, Parksville, BC, Canada. Lectures include Using the Internet and PRONI for Northern Irish Records and Discover Irish Land Records (to fill in the census gap).1pm to 4:30pm. $25. Details.

Saturday 23 April: Workshop – Irish Family History for Beginners and Refreshers, with Maggie Loughran. Host & venue: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Rd, London, UK. 2pm to 5pm. £20. Details. Fully booked.

Saturday 23 April: Dublin City Council and the 1916 Rising, a day conference. Host and venue: Dublin City Library & Archives, 138 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Registration 9:45. Five lectures. Fre. Tea/coffee included. Lunch (1–2pm) not provided. All welcome. Details.

Saturday 23 April: Easter Rising 1916. A day of events related to the Rising with a focus on the north west and the legacy of Easter 1916 for Ireland in 2016. Workshop: Trace your family to 1916. Talk: What was happening in the northwest in 1916? Film: Footage of Ireland in 1916. Debate: How do we view the Rising today? A sandwich lunch, tea, coffee and snacks will be served throughout the day (free). Host: West Inishowen History and Heritage. Venue: The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana, Co Donegal. 10am to 4:30pm. Free. Registration and details.

Monday 25 April: Frongoch and the birth of the IRA, with Lyn Ebenezer. Host: The Celtic League, Irish Branch. Venue: Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 26 April: These are queer days that we are living through: Irishwomen and everyday life in 1916, with Dr Fionnuala Walsh. Host and venue: Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. €5, includes refreshments. 7:15pm. Booking required: T (0)1 628 8252 or E castletown@opw.ie. 8pm. Lecture held in the Hunting Room.

Thursday 28 April: DNA in Genealogy – A beginners view, with Brian O’Hara and Maggie Lyttle (follows AGM). 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. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 28 April: What were your family doing in 1916? An afternoon of genealogy with Eneclann/FindMyPast. Host and venue: Tallaght Library, Library Square, Dublin 24. 11am–4pm. Free. Talks and one-to-one consultations. Booking may be required: T 01 462 0073.

Friday 29 April: Revolutionary Memories, with Tomás Mac Conmara. Host: Kilrush Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Members, free. Non-members €5. All welcome.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Free access: FindMyPast's new Irish Revolution records

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5947&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.ie%2Feaster-risingFindmypast has today launched some 75,000 records relating to the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence, 1916–1921.

The collection, digitised from original records held by The National Archives in Kew, reveals the struggles of life under Martial Law in Ireland, and demonstrates how events under the occupying military served to galvanise support for the rebels.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on 24 April, this collection is being launched with ten days of free access.

The records reveal the impact that the conflict had on men, women and children across Ireland. There are eye-witness accounts, interviews with civilians and reports of the trials of the leaders of the Rising and their sentences of execution.

The once-classified records shine new light on the subsequent period of Martial Law in Ireland, including the War of Independence, and provide a picture of what life was like for ordinary citizens in Ireland during this turbulent time.

Some 25,000 search-and-raid records show the efforts of the military and police to discover arms, ammunition and seditious material through thousands of raids as well as their search for individuals associated with Sinn Féin, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army.

Military correspondence between the barracks in Dublin and the War Office in London grants new perspectives on the motivations and fears of the British Army leadership, while the movements and actions of several key nationalist figures are also documented, including those of James Connolly, Eamon De Valera, Thomas Ashe, Joseph MacDonagh, Arthur Griffith, Padraig Pearse and Francis and Hannah Sheehy Skeffington and Countess Markievicz.

To view the records free of charge you'll need a FindMyPast account with one of the company's four territories.You don't need to have a current subscription, just an account. If you don't already have one, click on one of the flags below and sign up with your email and name. No financial information is requested in this process.


FindMyPast Ireland
FindMyPast USA
FindMyPast UK
FindMyPast Australia/NZ

The launch period of free access will expire on 27 April. From 28 April, you'll need an Ireland, Britain or World subscription to view the records.

Edited note: When I first published this blogpost I thought that FindMyPast's new collection included the same record sets launched by Ancestry last month. I was mistaken; the two records sets are distinct. For example, the FindMyPast collection includes the Courts Martial Registers ie lists of Court Martials, while Ancestry's collection has the Court Martial Files; FindMyPast has the Search-and-Raid records, while Ancestry has the Intelligence Profiles. Apologies for my error.

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Lisburn Herald joins British Newspaper Archive

Of the 613 titles in the BNA collection, 115 are Irish
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added The Lisburn Herald, and Antrim & Down Advertiser to its online database. Editions available span September 1891 to December 1899.

No more editions are expected to be added.

The BNA's holding of this publication has also joined FindMyPast's Irish Newspapers collection.

The addition of this title means there are now 31 historical newspapers for Northern Ireland in the BNA and FindMyPast collections. For the island
as a whole, the figure is 115.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

New exhibition shines a light on the Women of 1916

A special exhibition on the women of 1916 was launched last night by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. While it focuses on the 300 women who took part in the Rising, the exhibition also seeks to give a fuller understanding of the complex history of Ireland at this time.

It will go on a national tour following a three-week run at Dublin Castle.

The exhibition has been curated by author and historian Sinéad McCoole following extensive research and engagement with the network of national commemoration coordinators in each of Ireland's local authorities. It draws on collections regularly used by family historians such as censuses and bmds (civil and church), as well as material from the Military Archives and the records of national cultural institutions, particularly the National Library and National Museum of Ireland, which have contributed objects, images and documentation. Many of these items have been brought together in for the first time.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said that she was pleased to see the women who participated in the events of 1916 were re-emerging from the shadows and taking their place alongside the more well-known names associated with the Rising. "This exhibition documents for the first time the experience of 300 women involved in the Rising, including, for example, women who were couriers for Eoin MacNeill’s countermand, the women who waited for action that never came and the women who joined the fight and evaded arrest – and indeed the records – for so long.

“2016, our centenary year, is the first time that a light has been properly shone on the activities and experiences of women during Ireland’s revolutionary period. I would like to acknowledge the huge body of work carried out by Sinéad McCoole, and indeed other female historians, who have extracted the female experience from what was, until now, a very male historical narrative. They have done the women of this State a great service.”

NAI issues RFT for cataloguing C19th Valuation Books

The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has issued a Request for Tenders (RFT) for the provision of cataloguing services to its C19th Valuation Office archives. The RFT describes these archives as consisting of 'manuscript maps and books recording the valuation of property in Ireland, which took place between 1830 and 1865 approximately', and goes on to say that the books consist of 'house books, field books, tenure books, quarto books and mill books.'

When I first saw this I was a tad bothered. Haven't I already blogged several times about how this collection has been scanned and digitised and prepared for imminent launch on both the NAI's free Genealogy website and FindMyPast?

Fortunately, I was able to quickly contact the NAI's Senior Archivist and Head of Special Projects, Catriona Crowe, who reassured me that the 'imminent launch' is still 'imminent', and the books will be ready for our consumption as soon as the workload caused by the 1916 centenary subsides and she has a chance to write the contextual detail for the new online collection. The peak of this workload has now passed, she says.

So what about the Valuation books mentioned in the RFT? They belong to a separate tranche of volumes that came to the NAI about two years ago. It is, in effect, the final eighth or so of the total Valuation Office collection, and it will, following conservation and cataloguing, make its way along the scanning and digitising path to join the rest of the collection online.

The full Request For Tenders for the cataloguing project can be downloaded from the NAI's website. The deadline for receipt of tenders is 3 May.

Clare Roots Society's Conference programme published

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5-KQnqDiArgLUtJazc5WHBNUkU
Download the programme (4Mb pdf)
The full programme for the Clare Roots Society's Third International Family History Conference, The Diaspora of the Wild Atlantic Way, has been published, and it looks very appealing with excellent speakers, a good mix of topics, a conference dinner and very reasonable prices.

There's even free parking at the conveniently located venue: Treacys West County Conference Centre and Leisure Hotel in Ennis.

The event runs over the afternoon and evening of Friday 23 September and continues the next morning with a full day of lectures exploring emigration from Ireland in the nineteneth and twentieth centuries.

You can download the 4-page programme by clicking/tapping the image to the right (it's a 4Mb pdf) and buy tickets online via EventBrite.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

RootsIreland adds bumper Westmeath record package

RootsIreland.ie, the online database of the not-for-profit Irish Family History Foundation, has added some 36,000 records to its County Westmeath collection. They are:

RC baptisms, marriages and burials, most of them extending the range of records well past 1900. The burial records additions are notable, as most now run to 1939 or thereabouts. Among the highlights of this new batch of records are an additional 75 years of marriage records for the parish of Mount Nugent (previously only 1832–1863 were available; they now run 1832–1939), and death records for the first time for Mullingar (they run 1757–1910).

Church of Ireland burial records for the parishes of Almorita, Ballyloughloe, Bunowen, Kilbixy and Leny have been extended by about another forty years to the late 1930s.

6,500 headstone inscriptions have been transcribed from memorials in 19 distinct burial grounds, including three graveyards in Ballymore, two in Milltown and four in Mullingar.

View the full breakdown, by parish and years, of the records held in the Co. Westmeath collection.


One billion US records free at NEHGS until 20 April

Free access expires 20 April
America's oldest genealogical society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), is offering free access to the one billion records held in its AmericanAncestors.org database.

The records span the US and beyond.

For Irish family historians, this opportunity is not to be missed as the database is full of records of Irish men and women who emigrated to the US in the hope of a better life.

I've dipped in this morning and found at least a dozen Santrys to follow up, and that's after only spending half an hour looking through its vital records, journals and immigration collections; I haven't even started to search the 1,327 Santrys in the census, tax and voter collection!

Fortunately, the free access will continue until next Wednesday, 20 April, so I should be able to work through all the search results and maybe even seek out records of family on other branches.

To take advantage of this unprecedented promotion, you need only to register as a Guest User. Registering is straightforward and free. No financial information is requested.

Ordinarily, Guest Users are allowed only a sampling of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This current promotion offers the Society's entire collection of online content for free. Don't miss it.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Were your Irish ancestors at The Alamo?

http://www.savasbeatie.com/books/book_page.php?bookVAR=IRISH_ALAMO&bookType=about&authorID1=PTTucker&authorID2=empty&authorID3=empty&authorID4=empty&authorID5=empty
A newly published book, The Alamo's Forgotten Defenders, explores the long-ignored history of the Irish in Texas.

Written by military historian and established author Dr Phillip Thomas Tucker, this book illuminates the many forgotten contributions and heroics of the Irish during the Texas Revolution.

Relying upon a wealth of previously unexplored primary sources, The Alamo's Forgotten Defenders is the first book devoted to the dramatic story of Irish achievements, contributions and sacrifices in winning independence for Texas. In doing so, Tucker's study bestows much-needed recognition upon the Irish and shatters a host of long-existing stereotypes and myths about the Texas Revolution.

The 384-page hardback includes 12 black-and-white images and four maps.

Published by Savas Beatie, The Alamo's Forgotten Defenders costs $29.95


RCBLibrary to close for morning session, 18 April

The Representative Church Body Library at Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14, will be closed for staff training on Monday 18 April until 2pm.

It will then be open for its normal afternoon session until 5pm (last orders for manuscripts and archives at 4:30pm, as usual).

Irish Famine Summer School & Conference, 14-19 June


The full programme for the 2016 Irish Famine Summer School & Conference, which will be held 14th-19th June at Strokestown Park, County Roscommon, has been published.

This year's theme will be 'From Famine to Freedom', and the programme includes international and local historians exploring the movements of political, cultural and social change that paved the way for 1916 and the struggle for independence that followed.

In addition to the lectures, there are many cultural activities on the programme including visits to heritage attractions and musical outings, as well as a dramatisation of The Trial of Trevelyan (the man blamed by many for British inaction during the Great Famine).

Online booking for the conference is now open (one-, two-, three- and five-day options are available), as is booking for the conference dinner which features an dinner speech by RTE’s Myles Dungan.

Monday, 11 April 2016

New home for John Grenham's Irish Ancestors

Since announcing back in February that his weekly Irish Roots column and Irish Ancestors research database were to leave The Irish Times (see blogpost), genealogist John Grenham has succesfully re-established Irish Roots on his own website – http://www.johngrenham.com – and has been busily working towards the relocation of the database.

https://www.johngrenham.com/That relocation has now taken place, and the database is live at https://www.johngrenham.com.

Note the addition of the 's' after 'http'.

John describes this as a soft launch. The process of shutting down the Irish Times/Irish Ancestors site will start next week and will continue in stages until mid-May, when that service will cease for good.

Until mid-May, the Irish Ancestors database on John's site will be completely free, with just registration required after a certain number of page-views.

After mid-May, a soft pay-wall will be in place, leaving most of the site free but requesting a small payment from heavy users.

"It's actually a relief to be leaving the Irish Times site," John told Irish Genealogy News. "For the past few years, I was a bit of an anomaly and the Irish Ancestors site was neglected, with outdated software and a very old-fashioned payment and subscription model that kept most of the really useful parts hidden behind hard pay-walls.

"It's been good to get the chance to rebuild the whole thing from the ground up and expand and improve some features, especially the listings of newspapers, wills and GRO records. I have to say it's been pretty intense – I had to cram 18 years of coding into five months – but at least the thing is now out of commercial limbo. Though I have no idea whether its next destination is commercial heaven or commercial hell."

Drop by. The site obviously looks a little different, but is still recognisable, easy to navigate and crammed with helpful tools, maps and directional aids.

Irish genealogy and history events, 11–24 April

Tuesday 12 April: W&R Jacob and the 1916 Rising, exhibition launch. Host: Dublin City Public Library & Archives. Venue: Business information Centre, Central Library, Ilac Shopping Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1. Booking essential to businesslibrary@dublincity.ie. 2:30pm. All welcome. Free.

Tuesday 12 April: Tyrone records, with Ann Robinson, and AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 12 April: Dublin Fire Brigade and the 1916 Rising, with Las Fallon. City Hall lunchtime lectures series. Host: Dublin City Council (1916/2016 Programme). Venue: Council Chambers, City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Free. All welcome. 1:10pm. No booking but space limited.

Tuesday 12 April: The Irish in the Spanish Civil War, with Pedro Alrudez. Part of the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival. Venue: Spanish Studies Centre, 19 St Patrick's Hill, Cork City. 1-2pm. Free. Booking or queries to spanishstudiescork@gmail.com.

Wednesday 13 April: South Dublin and the 1916 Rising in Oral Histories, with Maurice O'Keefe. Host: South Dublin CoCo. Venue: Ballyroan Library, Orchardstown Ave, Dublin 14. 7pm. Free.

Friday 15 April: This month's Late Opening at the Representative Church Body Library Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14. Reading Room open until 7:30pm. No appointment is necessary.

Saturday 16 April: Using DNA in genealogy research, with Bennett Greenspan. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Library, 47 Powell Ave., Bethpage, New York, USA. Lecture 11:15am, following Help Session with Kathleen McGee (10am), and Ask The Experts (10:45am).

Saturday 16 April: Cork and the Easter Rising, a day conference. Part of the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival. Host and venue: Cork City & County Archives, Seamus Murphy Building, 32 Great William O'Brien Street, Cork City. 10:30am-3:30pm.  Free. Light refreshments provided. Booking advised by email to archivist@corkcity.ie. Fully booked.

Saturday 16 April: The Tragedy of Hulluch -the story of the German gas attack on the Irish trenches in France during WW1, a day seminar. Hosts: The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association and Dublin City Council. Venue: Council Chamber, City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. 10:15am to 4:15pm. Free. First-come, first-served seating. Free.

Saturday 16 April: Fermanagh and the Easter Rising, with Seamas MacAnnaid. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy Centre. Venue: Enniskillen Library (hall upstairs), Halls Ln, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7DR. Free. 1.30-3.30. All welcome.

Monday 18 April: Easter 1916 in Cork – ‘Order, Counter-Order and Disorder’ – What happened in Cork at the time of the Easter Rising, 1916? with Gerry White. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Ballincollig Rugby Club Hall, Ballincollig, Co Cork. 8pm. Members free; non-members €3. All welcome.

Monday 18 April: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning and afternoon sessions. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 085 1444883 or impossibleancestors@gmail.com.

Tuesday 19 April: 1916: The Mornings After: From the Court Martials to the Tribunals, with Tim Pat Coogan. Dalkey Library, 41 Castle Street, Dalkey, Dublin. 6:30pm. Free.

Tuesday 19 April: Major John McBride and Jacob’s Factory Garrison, with Séamas Ó Maitiú. City Hall lunchtime lectures. Host: Dublin City Council (1916/2016 Programme). Venue: Council Chambers, City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Free. All welcome. 1:10pm. No booking but space limited.

Tuesday 21 April: Symposium on WW1. Host: Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland. Venue: Malone Presbyterian Church, 452 Lisburn Rd, Belfast BT9 6GT. 8pm.

Thursday 21 April: Introduction to PRONI, a practical workshop covering online sources, use of microfilm, a guided tour and presentation of documents. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2–4pm. Spaces limited. Free. Need to book by email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk, or telephone: 02890 534800. Fully booked.

Thursday 21 April: 'Is everything we love gone forever?' - focusing on big house destruction from the Irish War of Independence into the Civil War, with Professor Terry Dooley. Host: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co Galway. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April:South Dublin and the 1916 Rising in Oral Histories, with Maurice O'Keefe. Host: South Dublin County Council. Venue: Clondalkin Library, Monastery Road, Dublin 22. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April: From the Ruins of the Rising: Northern Voices on 1916 and its Aftermath, with Donal McAnallan, discussing the Irish Volunteers Centenary Project. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.  Admission is free. All welcome. 7pm. Booking is recommended.  Contact PRONI to secure your place.

Thursday 21 April: The story of the Choctaw Indians and Irish people, with Dr Padraig Kirwan. Venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB, UK. 7:45pm. Free, but need to book. Details.

Thursday 21 April: My family connection with the Lusitania, with Colleen Watters, plus branch AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, NOrth Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. Free to members. £3 guests. All welcome.

Thursday 21 April: Digs and Lodging Houses: Literature, ruins and survival in post-war Britain, with Professor Clair Wills. The. Host: IES Irish Studies, University of London. Venue: The Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, London W1, UK. Free. Booking. 6pm to 8pm. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the Grand Lobby, hosted by the Irish Embassy.

Thursday 21 April:  Siege Mentalities: The Occupation of Jacobs Factory, Easter 1916, with  Séamas Ó Maitiú. Host: Dublin City Public Library & Archives. Venue: Business information Centre, Central Library, Ilac Shopping Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1. Booking essential to businesslibrary@dublincity.ie. All welcome. 1:30pm. Free.

Friday 22 April:  Easter 1916 – Conflict and Consequences, a half-day Conference. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.  Speakers and topics will include: The outcome of the Rising, with Fearghal McGarry; The British Army in the Rising, with Tim Bowman;  The planning of the Rising, with Mike Foy; and Women of the Rising, with Sinead McCoole. Free. Starts 2pm. Booking required: T - 028 9053 4800 or E - proni@dcalni.gov.uk.

Friday 22 April: What were your family doing in 1916? An afternoon of genealogy with Eneclann and FindMyPast. Host and venue: Dunshauglin Library, Main Street, Dunshauglin, Co. Meath. 11am to 4pm. Free. Talks and one-to-one consultations. Booking may be required: T 01 825 0504.

Friday 22 April: Researching in Ireland, with Chris Paton. Host: Qualicum Beach Family History Society. Venue: Quality Inn Resort Bayside, 240 Dogwood Street, Parksville, BC, Canada. Lectures include Using the Internet and PRONI for Northern Irish Records and Discover Irish Land Records (to fill in the census gap).1pm to 4:30pm. $25. Details.

Saturday 23 April: Dublin City Council and the 1916 Rising, a day conference. Host and venue: Dublin City Library & Archives, 138 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Registration 9:45. Five lectures. Fre. Tea/coffee included. Lunch (1–2pm) not provided. All welcome. Details.

Friday, 8 April 2016

FindMyPast releases Irish Quaker collection

Just two days ago I mentioned that Irish Quaker records were on their way...

FindMyPast Ireland has uploaded a great package of Irish Quaker records:

Irish Quaker migration records: This collection includes more than 16,000 migration records. You can find out if your family settled overseas, where they travelled from, where they ended up and if they had relatives waiting for them.

Society Of Friends (Quaker) Congregational RecordsThis record set includes eight different register types: death & burial, deeds, disownments & testimonials, membership, minutes, miscellaneous, poor committee, and sufferings. Some date back to the mid-1600s.

Society Of Friends (Quaker) School Records: Seven schools are represented in these records: Brookfield School, Camden Street School, Friend’s School Mountmellick, Leinster Provincial School, Munster Provincial School, Sunday School Register, and United School FindMyPast notes that some details may have been missed in the transcription process so researchers should be sure to check the image attached to each record.

Quaker BMDs: This collection of Birth (28,000 records), Marriage (33,000 records) and Death (39,000 records) dates back to the 1600s.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

NIFHS launches County Derry research booklet

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) has launched the latest booklet in its Researching Your Ancestors series. It's for County Derry-Londonderry.

Following the successful formula of its sister titles for counties Tyrone, Monagahan and Cavan, the 56-page County Derry-Londonderry book identifies the types of records available and where they can be located and accessed. It covers the main genealogy resources but also includes details of some of the less well-known or more advanced level family history collections exclusive to the county.

Costing £6, the handy booklet will shortly be added to the NIFHS online shop, but if you're attending WDYTYA?Live at the NEC over the next three days, you'll be able to buy a copy from the NIFHS stand number 289. The first copies have already been sold this morning!


IGRS updates its Early Irish Marriages Index

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has updated its Early Irish Marriages Index with another chunk of entries.

This means there are now 77,532 marriages recorded in the database, giving a new approximate total of 170,000 names including those of the brides and groom and their parents. All entries pre-date civil registration, and feature many alternative sources beyond parish registers.

The Early Irish Marriages Index is free to access on the IGRS's website, IrishAncestors.ie. (While this database can be accessed by non-members, the IGRS Early Irish Births and Deaths Indexes are free only to members of the Society.)

Irish News Archive offers run to end of April

Last month, IrishNewsArchive.com announced a couple of special offers (see blogpost): free access to a selection of 33 newpapers published in 1916, and a 25% discount on monthly or annual subscriptions to its main archive of 60 newspapers.

I wasn't sure at the time how long these offers would run, but this has now been clarified.

Both the free access and the 25% discount will be available until 30 April.


http://1916.irishnewsarchive.com
Free access to Irish newspapers published in 1916 - until 30 April

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Irish Quaker Historical Database to join FindMyPast

In my (belated) Preview of 2016 blogpost, I mentioned that Irish Quaker bmd records would be joining FindMyPast in due course. While I still have no scheduled dates for their online debut, the Friends Historical Library Dublin has added a little extra information to its website about what we an expect.

It says that the Irish Quaker Historical Database, which 'contains family records together with details of writings, published or manuscript, by or about individual Quakers', will be joined with 'an extensive collection of manuscript material', and made available on the FindMyPast website before the end of 2016.

See the Quakers In Ireland website for more information about the group's Library and its holdings.

(With thanks to Martha.)

UPDATE: FindMyPast releases Irish Quaker collection

Irish interest at WDYTYA?Live in Birmingham, UK

http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/
The annual genealogy feast called WDYTYA? Live gets underway tomorrow (7 April) at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) near Birmingham. Prominently sponsored by AncestryDNA, this is the 10th anniversary of the three-day show, and will (as always) be the 'biggest and best', according to the organisers.

On offer will be all the best-loved features – lectures, exhibitors and Ask The Experts – which provide plenty of opportunity to get advice and learn more about family history and general history. As you'd expect, the show concentrates on English, Welsh and Scottish genealogy and history, but there's a small Irish contingent, too.

Irish genealogy exhibitors include the North of Ireland Family History Society (Stand 289), who will be launching a new booklet in their Researching Your Ancestors series; The National Library of Ireland and National Archives of Ireland, who are sharing Stand 168; the Irish Family History Society (Stand 268); FindMyPast.ie/Eneclann (Stand 272), Ireland Reaching Out (Stand 270), Irish Ancestors 4U (Stand 38), and the Irish Genelealogical Research Society, who will be celebrating their 80th anniversary on Stand 205.

There is also a handful of Irish-themed lectures included in the Society of Genealogists Workshop Programme.

I shan't be attending the show this year (family wedding), but I'm sure anyone who's attending in the hope of exploring their Irish genealogy will find plenty of free advice and guidance.

PRONI adds lecture videos to its YouTube channel

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has updated its YouTube channel with some more videos of presentations it has hosted at its Belfast offices over the last few months. The ones most likely to appeal to genealogists are the following:

'Playing The Game', Sport, Ireland & The Great War :
This video brings you a conference held at PRONI in November last year. Lecture topics included Sport in Donegal during the Great War (Dr Conor Curran); The GAA and the First World War (Dr Dónal McAnallen); The military value of sport (Tom Thorpe); Recruiting sportsmen's units in Ireland (Dr Tim Bowman); and Irish sportsmen and the Great War (Stephen Walker).

The Fadgies
PRONI and Foras na Gaeilge hosted this talk, presented by Dr Fionntán de Brún, which focused on the origin of Irish speakers in C19th Belfast.

The Colonial Project & The 'Problem' of Irish Place Names
Professor Micheál O Mainnín discusses The Colonial Project, a 1665 directive from King Charles II that 'barbarous and uncouth' Irish place names were to be changed to be 'more suitable to the English tongue'.

Or see the PRONI YouTube channel.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Celtic Connections Conference – Minneapolis, 5-6 Aug

Online registration is now available for the Celtic Connections Conference – Celtic Roots Across America – which will take place in Minneapolis on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August.

Hosted by the Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) and The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), this will be the second time this conference has been held.

I heard good reports of last year's event, and this summer's programme will see a similar spread of Celtic cultural interests exploring genealogy, history, music and literature.

It has a stellar line up of genealogy specialists, including John Grenham MAGI, Brian Mitchell MAGI, Dr William Roulston, Brian Donovan and Professor Bruce Durie.

The full programme is now available on the dedicated CelticConnections.org site, along with details of the discounted Early Bird Registration offer which ends on 31 May and costs only $150.

The conference will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis, just outside downtown Minneapolis.

Church of Ireland Parish Placenames Project launched

The Church of Ireland launched the Parish Placenames Project on Saturday as part of Carlow's Pan-Celtic Festival.

The new project will see the creation of a bilingual listing of Church of Ireland parishes, and this listing, with an explanation of the Irish terms, will then be incorporated into the Church of Ireland Directory.

The work will be carried out in a staged process, on a diocese by diocese basis. The Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory has been the trial diocese, and the results thus far are now available for consultation and feedback on the Irish Guild of the Church website (see the four pdf documents – Deoise Chaisil, Deoise Fearna and Deoise Osrai, and an Explanatory Note).

National Archives' Reading Room April closures

The National Archives of Ireland's Reading Room in Bishop Street will be closed tomorrow afternoon from 1:30pm for staff training purposes. It's a scheduled closure.

The NAI's free Genealogy Service, which is operated by members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland, will be available for its normal daily session from 10:30am to 1:30pm.

After this week's closure, the next staff training afternoon closure will be on Wednesday 29 June.

In addition to the above, the Reading Room will close early (3pm) on Wednesday 20 April 'to facilitate an important formal occasion'.



A trio of Irish sites appears in the Genealogy In Time Top 100 genealogy websites 2016 report

I've been crazily busy over the last four weeks with other work commitments, but while I haven't been blogging as much as usual, I've kept notes of less time-sensitive stories that I wanted to follow up when I came up for air. I hope to get around to all of these over the next couple of weeks, and I'll start the ball rolling with a look at this year's Genealogy In Time Top 100 Genealogy Websites report, which was published in early March.

Now in its fifth year, this annual report is always well considered. It's not a 'my favourite websites' kind of list; it's an analysis of the popularity of genealogy websites as objectively ranked by Alexa, a company that measures Internet traffic not just by how many people visit a site, but also by the length of their visit and how much content they consume. In addition, the Genealogy In Time team gathers statistical evidence directly from some of the websites.

As you'd expect, the resulting Top 100 list is dominated by the commercial household-name databases. Because of the way the companies divide themselves into geographical 'territories', Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindMyPast have no less than twenty sites between them in the list (six, ten and four sites, respectively). So that's one-fifth of the top 100 spots taken, even before you add in any of their subsidiaries or 'partner' speciality sites.

While I'm sure the bean counters and shareholders of those three businesses are fixated by their own positioning in this league table, I imagine the average researcher finds more interest elsewhere in the list. This is where there are some real surprises to be found. For example, who'd have expected that the Genealogical Society of Finland, a country with a population of 5.4m people, would be the second-most highly ranked society, or that a free family tree site in the Ukraine would slip into the list for the first time just behind Genuki?

Ireland's contribution to the Top 100 comes from just three sites. RootsIreland.ie is the highest ranked, claiming position 56. Ten places behind is FindMyPast.ie. And in 'third' place, ranking at no. 85, is IrishGenealogy.ie.

Irish Genealogy News didn't quite make it this year, having squeezed in with a placing at position 99 in 2015. Never mind; I'm told it hadn't fallen far, and I was delighted that both this blog and my separate website Irish Genealogy Toolkit, found a place in the 'just beyond the Top 100 list' of 'websites worth knowing'.

I'd recommend researchers take a gander through the Top 100 list. You're likely to discover some 'new' websites, but the full article by the Genealogy In Time team is also worth reading; it provides great analysis of the genealogy market.

See the Genealogy In Time Top 100 Genealogy Websites report.