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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Reduced summer service for Irish Genealogy News

I'm waving the white flag as a temporary measure
I've been on the verge of doing this for a few weeks but today, however reluctantly, I know I have to wave the white flag and take a short break from the blog. I've been struggling with a backlog of work-work for some time and if I'm ever going to catch up, I really must focus on it.

So I shall be head down until the middle of next week (when there's a lovely gift coming your way... more about that on 3rd/4th) and will then bring you a limited blog service until mid-August, at least.

August is usually a pretty quiet period for record releases and I'm not expecting anything particularly significant to drop from the sky, but you never know.

If I hear of any major news along the way, I'll make sure to report it, if only briefly, but otherwise, I'll hang fire. I'll do catch-up posts as and when I can.


Royal Navy records reveal place of birth for thousands of mid-C19th Irish sailors

Ancestry has added another of its 'Web Search' collections, meaning it has uploaded a searchable index to a record-set held on a third party website.

In this particular case, the record set is the Royal Navy Ratings’ Service Records, Series ADM 139; some 90,000 records strong in total, it holds the details of many thousand Irish sailors*.

Ancestry has called the index the Royal Naval Seamen Index, 1853–1872.

Importantly, in all but a tiny number of cases, the town where the man was born is recorded in these service records (see image, right, of some search results). With most of the sailors born in the 1810–1845 period, this collection may be the only surviving documentation providing this vital piece of information.

I found two records of interest for my Santry One-Name Study, and one that was especially revealing. It related to a 14-year-old William Santry who signed up as a Boy 2nd Class in 1862. Not only was his date and place of birth recorded as 6 October 1848 in Baltimore, County Cork, and a personal description provided (4ft 9inches, fair skin, light hair, grey eyes), his father had to provide name (John Santry) and signature on account of his son's young age.

From that information, I was able to nip over to IrishGenealogy.ie (my preferred site for my Cork ancestors)  to find William's baptism record in Skibbereen parish, his mother's name and the name of his siblings, as well as his parents' marriage record. Not bad for 15 minutes' research, even if I did have to pay TNA £3.45 for images of the service records!

*I can't be certain exactly how many Irishmen are indexed because when I search using Ireland as the place of birth, I get 5,300 results, all of them in the south. When I search using Northern Ireland as the birth place, another 1,000-odd results are returned. I'd have expected a higher proportion of the 90,000 records (as per the catalogue entry) to be Irish.

The Cork Constitution joins British Newspaper Archive

https://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?mid=5895&id=123532The British Newspaper Archive has added The Cork Constitution to its online database. This staunchly Protestant and Unionist newspaper ceased publication on Independence.

So far, the complete editions published in 1890 and 1891 are available for exploration on the site. BNA plans to create a holding that spans 1826–1926, during which it has been known variously as The Constitution, Cork Advertiser and The Cork Constitution.

The addition of this title means there are now 121 Irish newspapers in the BNA collection. This same collection is also available as part of a FindMyPast Ireland or World subscription package.




Monday, 25 July 2016

John Grenham launches a six-part series of Irish genealogy webinars

http://familytreewebinars.com/johngrenham
Genealogist John Grenham MAGI FIGRS has been busy creating a series of webinars for Irish family historians of beginner to intermediate levels of experience.

Called The Foundations of Irish Genealogy, the six-part series was launched last week within the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Library.

The individual webinars are as follows:
  • The Raw Materials of Irish Genealogy - 1 hour 21 minutes
  • The Major Records I - General Register Office – 1 hour 4 minutes
  • The Major Records II - Irish Censuses – 52 minues
  • The Major Records III - Irish Church Records – 1 hour 6 minutes
  • The Major Records IV - C19th Irish Property Records – 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Bringing the Major Records Together - 48 minutes.
While each webinar is available individually, the full series is included in the monthly membership subscription of US$9.95, along with handout notes.

John sets out at the beginning of the series to quash many of the myths about Irish genealogy, especially the one about all the records were destroyed in 1922. He told Irish Genealogy News: "If you really, really, really want to look on the bright side, you could say that the destruction of all those records in 1922 simplified Irish research. Which is what makes it possible to get a good overview of almost everything that's relevant to almost all researchers. And that's what the series tries to provide. Plus it's a chance to tell all my old jokes to a fresh set of victims."

New resources for NLI's Genealogy Advisory Service

The free Genealogy Service is available without
appointment at the NLI's main Kildare Street building.
Visitors to the National Library of Ireland's free Genealogy Service are seeing some additional resources made available to them this summer.

Researchers have long been able to take advantage of free on-site access to a number of subscription websites, including Ancestry, FindMyPast, Irish News Archive, the Irish Times newspaper Archive and the Dictionary of Irish Biography. Well, recent upgrades have brought full access to Ancestry's Worldwide collection and to John Grenham's Irish Ancestors software to all the Genealogy Room's computer screens.

What is more, the 1bn-records database of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, AmericanAncestors.org, will also soon be available to visitors.

The Genealogy Service is located in the NLI's main building in Kildare Street, Dublin 2, and is open Monday to Wednesday from 9:30am–5pm and Thursday and Friday from 9:30am–4:45pm.

No appointment is needed. Just turn up. Those who can't visit in person can contact the service by email to genealogy@nli.ie or telephone +353 1 6030 256.

Irish genealogy & history events, 25 July to 7 August

Tuesday 26 July: 1916 and the Big House: a Kildare perspective, with Dr Ciaran Reilly. Host and venue: Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. €5, includes refreshments. 7:15pm. Booking required: T (0)1 628 8252 or E castletwon@opw.ie. 8pm. Lecture held in the Hunting Room.

Tuesday 26 July: Mná - 25 years of searching - lessons & leads, with Sinead McCool, first of this year's NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome, booking not required.

Thursday 28 July: The lonely sea and sky - the rescue of 168 German sailors in December 1943 by the MV Kerlogue, a tiny ship from Wexford, with Dermot Bolger. Part of the NLI Genealogy at Lunchtime lecture series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Thursday 28 July to Saturday 30 July: Waterford County Museum Book Sale. Venue: Dan McCarthy's Shop, Friary Street, Waterford. 9am to 9pm every day. Wide range of books including novels, gardening, cookery, medical to sports and history.

Thursday 28 July to Monday 1 August: 5th Annual Spirit of Mother Jones Summer School and Festival takes place in various venue in Shandon, Cork City. Includes a mix of lectures, talks, discussions, music, singing and films. All events are free and there is no need to book, however some talks fill up very quickly so be on time to guarantee a seat. Details.

Monday 1 August: Bank holiday in Republic of Ireland.

Tuesday 2 August: Territory, maps and genealogy, with Paul McCotter MAGI. Part of the NLI Genealogy at Lunchtime lecture series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 3 August: The life and legacy of Roger Casement, a special event including exhibition and access to Air Corps Museum. Host: Ireland 2016 and the Defence Forces. Venue: Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin 22. 11am to 5pm. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Details and booking.

Thursday 4 August: Explorations in Irish genealogy, with Fiona Fitzsimons. Part of the NLI Genealogy at Lunchtime lecture series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Friday, 22 July 2016

New book explores the experience of death in Ireland

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2016/grave-matters/contents
A new book – Grave Matters, Death and dying in Dublin, 1500 to the present – has been published by Four Courts Press. As its title suggests, it explores the experience of death, burial and commemoration in Dublin since the sixteenth century, and uses death as a way of understanding social conditions during the last five hundred years. It is edited by historians Lisa Marie Griffith and Ciarán Wallace.

Its contributions consider the role of the public funeral in establishing political hierarchies, the fate of the city’s Catholics during the era of the penal laws and the survival of the death penalty to 1990. They also explore the meanings of humble headstones, elaborate memorials and post-mortem photography. From Sir Francis Agard’s elite funeral in 1577, through the panicky burials during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919, to the presentation of cemeteries as cultural tourism today, this collection of essays offers a fascinating analysis of life – and death – in Dublin.

You can see the full line-up of essay topics on the Four Courts Press's website where the well-illustrated 268-page book is on sale for €22.45.

Genealogy at Lunchtime: National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has announced its summer programme of free Genealogy at Lunchtime lectures which runs from 26 July to 8 September. Each lecture starts at 1pm and is presented in the NLI's seminar room in Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tuesday 26 July: Mná - 25 years of searching - lessons & leads, with Sinead McCool.

Thursday 28 July: The lonely sea and sky - the rescue of 168 German sailors in December 1943 by the MV Kerlogue, a tiny ship from Wexford, with Dermot Bolger

Tuesday 2 August: Territory, maps and genealogy, with Paul McCotter MAGI.

Thursday 4 August: Explorations in Irish genealogy, with Fiona Fitzsimons

Tuesday 9 August: History of Deaf Culture in Ireland, with Liam Breen / Cormac Leonard (interpreter)

Thursday 11 August: "The selkie's skin": How Irish oral traditions preserve family and local history, with Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill.

Tuesday 15 August: Wilde's women: how Oscar Wilde was shaped by the women he knew, with Eleanor Fitzsimons

Thursday 18 August: The Forgotten Irish: Revealing the voices of Irish 19th-century emigrants, with Damien Shiels.

Tuesday 23 August: Irish American Identity - how do we sustain the people-to-people links between Ireland and the United States? with Kevin F. O'Malley,

Thursday 25 August: Children's records in 19th-century Ireland, with Aoife O'Connor.

Tuesday 30 August: Stories from the parish registers, with Clodagh Tait.

Thursday 1 September Ogham Stones: Our earliest genealogical sources, with Nora White.

Tuesday 6 September: Ten free websites for US genealogical research, with Joe Buggy.

Thursday 8 September: Adventures in DNA: Who were the first Irish?, with Professor Dan Bradley.

All are welcome to attend. There's no booking requirement, but arriving early is recommended to ensure you get a seat.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mid-July update from Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web)

http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/tyrone/photos/tombstones/old-fintona/target1.html
St Michael's Old Graveyard, Fintona, Co Tyrone.
Photo courtesy of Brigid Wilson.
Click picture for larger view of image.
Here's the list of early-July additions to the free Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives website. It comes with a request to all researchers who might be wandering around graveyards this summer to consider shaing your headstone photos with the project.

You don't need to photograph the entire burial site! Any individual headstone photo may be helpful to another genealogist researching the family memorialised.

There's full details of how to do so here, and I can tell you from personal experience that the process is very straightforward.

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Vital Records
Death certs 1869 (Updated)

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballintubber Abbey & Cemetery
Murrisk Friary Graveyard

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Michael's Old Graveyard, Fintona

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Portlaw Cem. (CoI) (Corrections and additions)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Certificate & diploma genealogy courses: Autumn 2016

The Irish Ancestry Research Centre (IARC) in Limerick has opened enrolment for the following two courses:

The Certificate in History of Family & Genealogical Methods is managed by IARC and held at the University of Limerick (UL). The course is held on campus on Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 9:30pm but there is also an online programme available.

It runs across the Autumn and Spring semesters and offers options of progression to MA History of Family and to the Diploma in University College Cork.

Full details of the modules and assessment of the course can be downloaded here.

IARC's Diploma in Genealogy is accredited by University College Cork (UCC) and is offered in conjunction with its Centre for Adult Continuing Education. It is a traditional course offered on-campus at UCC, specifically designed to suit the active-retired, part-time employed and unemployed adult learner and offers participants the opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary study of the past while developing genealogical research skills.

It is a two year programme at NFQ level 7 requiring a three-hour weekly class commitment. You can download full details here.

Further information on both these courses is available from Dr David J. Butler – E: d.butler@ucc.ie, or from IARC – E: info@irisharc.org T: +353 61 207114.



IGRS Early Irish Marriage Index updated

Following quickly on the heels of a recent update to its Early Irish Deaths Index (see blogpost), the Irish Genealogical Research Society has added several thousand records to its Early Irish Marriage Index.

It now holds more than 80,000 marriage records, and names some 177,000 individuals. Free to members and non-members alike, it can be searched here.

All the records in the Society's Early Irish indexes pre-date 1864 and the full introduction of the civil registration system, and the entries are noted from obscure and underused sources. The three indexes are managed by Roz McCutcheon FIGRS and continue to grow thanks to the work of IGRS volunteers.

The Early Irish Births Index will be updated next month.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

PRONI lecture series to explore County Armagh

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has announced a series of Wednesday lunchtime lectures, exploring the history of County Armagh. Here's the programme:

7 September  : The work of the Armagh Coroner, 1888-1889, with Dr Desmond McCabe

14 September: Knocknamuckly: the story of an Armagh townland, with Prof Raymond Gillespie

21 September: The making of the Newry Canal, 1728 to 1740, with Geraldine Foley

28 September: Iron Age Votive deposits in the River Blackwater, with Dr Greer Ramsey

5 October       : The Architecture of South Armagh, with Dr Kevin Mulligan

12 October     : Steelboys, Oakboys and Bad Boys: the troubled County of Armagh, 1750–1800,
                        with Dr Eoin Magennis

Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Time: 1pm
Cost: Free

Book launch: Limerick in Old Photographs

If you've ancestors from Limerick City or its hinterland, Sharon Slater's Limerick in Old Photographs is a must-buy book to complement your Irish family history research.

Ireland's third most populous city has a long and vibrant history and has witnessed huge changes in the last two centuries. These changes have been captured in this collection of archive images by historian Sharon Slater, who runs the excellent Limerick's Life blog. Through the 128 pages of the book, she shows how the city has grown, recalling shops and industries, streets and buildings, societies and clubs, and a lost way of life.

Published by The History Press, Limerick in Old Photographs is already on the shelves in Limerick's bookshops, and is available for order from Amazon.

ISBN: 9781845888985


Monday, 18 July 2016

Delayed opening at National Library of Ireland, 21 July

A note for your diaries if you're planning to be in Dublin on a research trip this week...

On Thursday 21 July, the National Library of Ireland will be closed to the public until 11am. All sites and all services will be affected, including the Reading Rooms and the free Genealogy Service in Kildare Street.

(The free Genealogy Service at the National Archives of Ireland in Bishop Street will be operating as normal: 10am to 1:30pm.)

Irish genealogy & history events, 18–31 July

Monday 18 July: 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 July: History Ireland Hedge School: Battle of the Somme. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. History Ireland editor Tommy Graham and panel discuss the WW1 battle. All welcome. 7pm. Booking not required.

Wednesday 20 July: National Archives of Scotland, Ireland & Wales online. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: Level B1 257 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia. Members free/Non-members $20. 1:30–2:30pm. Need to book.


Thursday 21 July: Delayed opening. All areas of National Library of Ireland in Dublin, including the free Genealogy Service, will not open until 11am.

Saturday 23 July: Tracing Irish Ancestors - for Intermediate-Advanced Researchers, with Roz McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. Host and Venue: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1, UK. 10:30 to 5pm. Fee. Fully booked.

Sunday 24 July: Dublin's deadliest place & Bully's Acre & a guided tour with Paul O'Brien. Host: Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Venue: Grounds of the Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. 2pm. Numbers limited. Booking essential. E: paulf.obrien@opw.ie T: 087 1169347.

Tuesday 26 July: 1916 and the Big House: a Kildare perspective, with Dr Ciaran Reilly. Host and venue: Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. €5, includes refreshments. 7:15pm. Booking required: T (0)1 628 8252 or E castletwon@opw.ie. 8pm. Lecture held in the Hunting Room.

Tuesday 26 July: Mná - 25 years of searching - lessons & leads, with Sinead McCool, first of this year's NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome, booking not required.

Thursday 28 July: The lonely sea and sky - the rescue of 168 German sailors in December 1943 by the MV Kerlogue, a tiny ship from Wexford, with Dermot Bolger

Thursday 28 July to Saturday 30 July: Waterford County Museum Book Sale. Venue: Dan McCarthy's Shop, Friary Street, Waterford. 9am to 9pm every day. Wide range of books including novels, gardening, cookery, medical to sports and history.

Thursday 28 July to Monday 1 August: 5th Annual Spirit of Mother Jones Summer School and Festival takes place in various venue in Shandon, Cork City. Includes a mix of lectures, talks, discussions, music, singing and films. All events are free and there is no need to book, however some talks fill up very quickly so be on time to guarantee a seat. Details.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Dúchas adds Roscommon & Westmeath Schools Collection material

Folklore and local history material from Counties Roscommon and Westmeath have been added to the Schools Collection at Dúchas.ie, the website of the National Folklore Collection (NFC).

The Schools Collection comprises stories written by schoolchildren in the late 1930s in a project run across the 26 counties of the Irish Free State. 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.

More than 160 schools in Co. Roscommon took part in the scheme and 44 volumes of material were compiled. In Co. Westmeath, over 100 schools took part and 31 volumes of material were compiled.

The NFC's project to digitise the Schools Collection has been moving on a pace with the manuscripts from 21 counties now available on the site; material from the remaining five counties – Carlow, Cork, Offaly, Wexford, Wicklow – is expected to be added before the end of the year.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Free shipping on Ancestry DNA: UK/IE buyers save £20

http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-5737308-10819001-1408706803000?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.co.uk%2Frd%2Fcj.aspx%3Ft%3D32673
For UK and Ireland based recipients only
AnceestryDNA has a worthwhile money-saving offer for Irish and UK researchers: shipping on dna testing kits will be free for all UK/IE orders placed before midnight on Thursday 21 July. That's a saving of around £20.

When you add in the recent lowering of the price of the testing kit to £79, there's a total saving of £40 on the same kit purchased just a couple of months ago. This will be well-received by researchers in the UK and Ireland who have always felt the price they have to pay for their tests was unfairly high compared with the price paid by USA-based researchers.

Enjoy the bargain (or nearer-parity!) pricing while it lasts.

This offer has now ended.


It's a long way from Tipperary: TNA exhibition in Kew

http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/irish-somme/
A new 12-panel display at The National Archives in Kew, London, tells the story of the contribution made by Irish soldiers, in particular that of the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 16th Irish Division, to the early part of the Somme offensive.

Called 'It's a long way from Tipperary: The Irish on the Somme', the exhibition provides a narrative of the events from the first date of the Battle of the Somme and explores the crucial part played by the two divisions in the conflict 100 years ago this month. It also considers how the commemoration of the war became problematic in Ireland as a consequence of the revolutionary movement in the years that followed.

Sources for the exhibition have been gathered from The National Archives, PRONI, Ulster Museum and the National Library of Ireland.

The exhibition will be on display in the first floor reading rooms until 17 September.

Latest update from Registry of Deeds Index Project

http://irishdeedsindex.net/
Nick Reddan, founder and manager of the volunteer-led Registry of Deeds Index Project, has advised details of the latest update to the free website.

The number of index entries now stands at 214,220, with names etc taken from 24,415 memorials of deeds.

One of the memorials indexed in the latest update (number 183919292) was a whopper. Dating from 1839, it resulted in more than 1,100 index entries, many of them carrying name and age.

Roman Catholic ancestors from Co Tyrone?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgbDN0bWc2NndxQU0/view?usp=sharing
Annotations in the Drumragh baptism register.
Click image for larger view.
Irish Genealogy News generally concentrates on news (duh!) but occasionally an item comes my way that falls into the 'Well, it's news to me' category. This is one of those, and it originates from a tweet by ProGenealogist Kyle Betit (@CatholicGeneal).

The Roman Catholic parish of Drumragh in County Tyrone has a free online database of its baptism, marriage and death registers. While the National Library of Ireland's image-only collection and the Ancestry/FindMyPast indexes include some 35 years of these registers, from 1846 to 1881, the parish database pushes the cut-off date well into the 20th century, as follows:

Baptisms: 1846 to 1910
Marriages: 1846 to 1927
Burials: 1846 to 1942

The records include high quality digital images of the registers. The baptism registers are particularly useful for their disciplined annotations of subsequent marriages. See image.

Drumragh Parish published these records online in 2012.

Sorry for the delay in bringing you the news!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

AskAboutIreland's access problems being monitored

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/
AskAboutIreland's Griffith's Valuation collection,
including maps, is free to search
Researchers who turn to AskAboutIreland.ie's free version of Griffith's Valuation have been experiencing some access problems with the site over (at least) the last couple of weeks.

Typically, search requests are returning 500 Error codes, which means that the server cannot process the requests for an unknown reason.

My own attempts to access the site's GV database have been largely successful during this time. I received the error code once, but assumed the problem was rectified when my next search returned results.

However, I've received emails from researchers in different parts of the world who have been less lucky. I've also noticed some chatter on forums about the hit and miss rate, too.

I contacted AskAboutIreland at the end of last week. It seems the technical team was not aware of the problem. I'm told the developers are now monitoring the servers to get a more in-depth understanding of the issue. At first glance it does not look to be a severe problem and they are hoping to be able to resolve it quickly.



Monday, 11 July 2016

Registry of Deeds (partial) relocation from 8 August

As from Monday 8 August, the registration function of the Registry of Deeds office will be relocated to the Property Registration Authority's offices in Chancery Street, Dublin 7.

Researchers wanting to search Registry of Deeds records in person will continue to use the Henrietta Street location, where a public counter will remain open to assist them with their searches and copying requirements.

However, all corresponsdence relating to the Registry of Deeds, including copy memorial and search requests, will need to be addressed as follows:

Registry of Deeds
PRAI
Chancery Street
Dublin 7.

No mail will be delivered to the Henrietta Street office.

Irish genealogy and history events, 11 – 24 July

Monday 11 to Saturday 16 July: Northern Ireland genealogy. This week includes a bank holiday when many repositories and libraries in Northern Ireland will be closed. Some are closed just for just two days, others for the entire week. See details on blogpost.

Tuesday 12 July: 1392: The Attack on St Thomas’s Abbey by the Citizens of Dublin, with Aine Foley. Host: Friends of Medieval Dublin / Milestones of Medieval Dublin Lunchtime Lectures series. Venue: Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. 1:05–1:50pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Tuesday 12 July: The Irish DNA Atlas – a Study of Genetic Diversity in Ireland, with Ed Gilbert. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin 18. 8–10pm. All Welcome. €3.

Wednesday 13 July: The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and the Easter Rising, with Meadhbh Murphy. Launch of Surgeons and Insurgents exhibition and talk, followed by wine reception. Host: Dublin City Public Libraries. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. No booking, but arrive early to ensure a place.

Wednesday 13 July: Researching the Rising Workshop, with Dr Emma Edwards. Advice on researching the National Library's collections. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. suitable for anyone looking to embark on a research project or to enhance research skills in navigating the catalogue, accessing the various collections and interpreting the sources. 11am. Free. Need to book. Details.

Wednesday 13 July: Revealing its story through excavation, with Dr Ann Lynch. The Hill of Tara Lecture Series. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Tara, Co Meath. No booking but seating is limited so come early. Free. 8pm.

Thursday 14 July: WWI Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, an exhibition tour. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Booking is not required. All welcome. 2pm.

Saturday 16 July: Using databases to research your information, with Mary Wickersham. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 Concord St. N, South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. 10:30am to 12 noon. Need to register. Class fee is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members.

Monday 18 July: 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 July: History Ireland Hedge School: Battle of the Somme. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. History Ireland editor Tommy Graham and panel discuss the WW1 battle. All welcome. 7pm. Booking not required.

Wednesday 20 July:
National Archives of Scotland, Ireland & Wales online. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: Level B1 257 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia. Members free/Non-members $20. 1:30–2:30pm. Need to book.

Saturday 23 July: Tracing Irish Ancestors - for Intermediate-Advanced Researchers, with Roz McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. Host and Venue: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1, UK. 10:30 to 5pm. Fee. Fully booked.

Sunday 24 July: Dublin's deadliest place & Bully's Acre & a guided tour with Paul O'Brien. Host: Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Venue: Grounds of the Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. 2pm. Numbers limited. Booking essential. E: paulf.obrien@opw.ie T: 087 1169347.

Friday, 8 July 2016

FindMyPast adds US Naturalisation & Passport records

FindMyPast has added more than eight million records to its US Travel & Migration collection, as follows:

United States Naturalization Petitions*
This collection of more than 7.8million records spans 1905 to 1950 and covers four states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. The records report date and place of birth, age of first Atlantic crossing and port of entry. Some of the records include photographs of the petitioner.

US Passport Applications
This collection holds more than 800,000 records. Depending on when the application was made (earlier records hold fewer details), the information provided may include physical description, occupation, address, naturalisation details, name of spouse and date and place of birth. From 21 December 1914, applications include a photograph of the applicant on the second page of the document.

These records can be accessed within the FindMyPast USA and World subscription packages. If you don't already have a sub, you might like to consider taking advantage of a 50% discount on the one-month World package. Follow the links below. The offer expires on 15 July.


FindMyPast Ireland
One-month sub just €7.48

FindMyPast USA
One-month sub just $9.98
FindMyPast UK
One-month sub £6.48

FindMyPast Australia/NZ
One-month sub just AUS$9.98

* UPDATE 10 July: See this very helpful table from John D Reid's Anglo Celtic Connections blog setting out the state-by-state availability of naturalisation records on Ancestry, FamilySearch and FindMyPast.

National Heritage Week returns 20 – 28 August

http://www.heritageweek.ie/
National Heritage Week will be returning next month, with some 1,800 cultural events of all sizes planned across Ireland from 20–28 August.

Among them is a good number of genealogy lectures and workshops, most of them aimed at beginners, and one-to-one sessions with genealogists which invite researchers of all levels. As far as I can see from the Heritage Week website, all are free. (Go to What's On and select Genealogy from the Category menu.) The site can be searched by category and by region.

Hard copies of the What's On guide will be available from the end of this month at Failte Ireland Tourist Offices; libraries; OPW sites; heritage centres & historical societies; county council heritage offices; museums; Bus Eireann stations; and some hotels.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

50% off one-month FindMyPast World subscriptions

FindMyPast is offering a 50% discount on all new one-month World subscriptions. This reduces the cost of the sub to €7.48 / £6.48 / US$9.98 / AUS$9.98.

As its name implies, the World package includes not only the extensive Irish collection but also records from Britain, the United States and Australia/New Zealand. While the 1939 National Register is not included, the entire British Newspaper Archive database – all 120 Irish titles and 508 British titles – is part of the package.

To take advantage of this half price offer, click one of the flags below to pay in your preferred currency.

Your subscription will last for 30 days. If you do not wish to continue the subscription at the regular price at the end of that period, turn off the auto-renewal instruction in Your Account settings. (It's not complicated to do this, but you need to remember!)

This discount offer will expire at 11.59pm on Friday 15 July.


FindMyPast Ireland
One-month sub just €7.48

FindMyPast USA
One-month sub just $9.98
FindMyPast UK
One-month sub £6.48

FindMyPast Australia/NZ
One-month sub just AUS$9.98

Northern Ireland libraries & archives: closures in July

Next week's Battle of the Boyne public holiday in Northern Ireland will see all libraries and repositories closed for two days. You may find some will also close early on Monday 11 July, while others take the opportunity to close their doors for a week. Best advice is to check before you travel. Here are some of the certain closures:

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will be closed on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 July. Reopens normal hours on Thursday 14 July.

The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland Library
and Archive will be closed from Monday 11 July to Friday 15 July inclusive. Reopens on Tuesday 19 July 2016.

The Linen Hall Library
in Belfast will be undertaking its annual archive stocktake between Saturday 9 July and Saturday 16 July inclusive and will be closed to the public. It will reopen to normal hours on Monday 18 July.

Ulster Historical Foundation will be closed for the entire week commencing Monday 11 July and will reopen on Monday 18 July.

All branches of Libraries NI will be closed on both Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 July, reopening on Thursday 14 July to each branch's regular hours.

The North of Ireland Family History Society's Research Library in Newtownabbey will be closed throughout July, except by special arrangement.

Easter Week 1916: the Valuation Office perspective

The exhibition continues until 30 December
To mark the 1916 Centenary, the Valuation Office in Dublin is hosting an exhibition entitled Easter Week 1916 – the aftermath – a Valuation Office perspective.

The repository of a unique property archive, the Valuation Office was established in 1830 as a Government Office of the Crown and is now among the oldest offices of the Irish State still carrying out its original mandate.

Assembled by a multi-disciplinary team, the exhibition presents the Valuation Office's connection to the events of Easter Week 1916. It recalls the events that took place in the aftermath of the Easter Rising when staff were required to account for their movements during that historic week of turmoil and rebellion and were required to swear allegiance to the Crown. Among its highlights are presentations of the rateable valuation records of the homesteads and places of abode of the signatories of the Proclamation. Through a series of graphic display units, a specially selected number of items from the valuation archive gives the public an insight to these unique property records.

Admission to the exhibition is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, in the Valuation Office, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2016: more details released

http://ggi2013.blogspot.ie/
More information has been released about this year's Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) conference, which will, once again, be held during the Back To Our Past exhibition/show in Dublin in October (see dates and venue below).

The line up of speakers has been published on the GGI website and once again includes both international and home-grown DNA experts.

Their topics will reflect the centenary of 1916 – such an important year for Ireland and the rest of Europe but will also include ancient Irish DNA, the Irish DNA Atlas project, linking DNA to the Ancient Irish Annals, Scandinavian DNA, introducing DNA to your Family History Society, DNA & adoptees, and a range of practical presentations on how to interpret your DNA results and get the most out of your DNA test.

National Archives of Ireland's Reading Room to close for several weeks from 22 August

The NAI's Reading Room will be closed
from 22 August to at least 11 October.
Somewhat later than originally planned, works to upgrade the lighting and air-conditioning facilities in the Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) in Bishop Street is to get underway at the end of next month.

The works are expected to take around two months to complete and the management has announced the closure of the Reading Room from Monday 22 August to Tuesday 11 October. Depending on how the upgrading project goes, this period may be extended.

Inevitably, this closure will seriously curtail visitor services. A limited appointment-only service will operate on Tuesday to Fridays, 10am to 4pm.

Researchers wanting to make an appointment should download details of this restricted service and follow its instructions.

The National Archives' free Genealogy Advisory Service, which is staffed by members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland, will operate 10am to 1:30pm Tuesday to Friday throughout the closure period.

The NAI's Genealogy website will be unaffected by the closure.

This blogpost updated 12 August.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

PRONI to host lunchtime lectures on food and drink

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is to host a lunchtime lecture series marking the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink. The programme is as follows:

Friday 2 September     : Flax growing and linen production, with Liam Corry

Friday 9 September     : Our daily bread, with James Davidson

Monday 12 September : Tea, with Pamela Emerson

Friday 16 September   : Rationing, with Ciaran Doran

Monday 26 September : Temperance, with Valerie Adams

Friday 7 October         : A history of eating and drinking, with Kim Mawhinney

Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Time: 1pm
Cost: Free
Booking: No booking required.

IGRS updates its Early Irish Deaths Index

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has updated its Early Irish Deaths Index with another 5,670 additional entries, many of them sourced from Walker’s Hibernian Magazine. The update brings the number of entries in this index to 11,100.

This index is one of a trio created and managed by the IGRS recording Early Births, Marriages and Deaths sourced from lesser or rarely used sources. The term 'Early' means all the entries relate to events prior to civil registration in 1845/64.

Only IGRS members get full access to the Early Irish Deaths Index database. However, a restricted but free Surname-Only Search of the database can be made by non-members; such a search tells you how many entries in the database match your search criteria. It will not provide all the details of those matched records. Find out more here.

All three IGRS indexes will be updated during the course of this month. I'll bring you news as the other two happen.

Free online genealogy course (MOOC) starts 18 July

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogyThe University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is to re-run its free online Genealogy: Researching your Family Tree course from Monday 18 July.

The course has been created by the University's
Centre for Lifelong Learning’s Postgraduate Programme in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies and is delivered by FutureLearn, a company owned by The Open University. It runs for six weeks.

Primarily designed for beginner to intermediate researchers, the course does not concentrate on any specific country's records and sources, so it can be useful to any researcher, no matter where their ancestors lived. The weekly 'lessons' cover effective searching techniques, the major source types and how to use them, Genealogical Proof, DNA testing, putting your research into context, and how to document and communicate research results. A weekly study commitment of four hours is recommended.

The presenters of the course, Tabita McCabe and Graham Holton, are tutors in Genealogical Studies at Strathclyde. When this genealogy MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) was first run earlier this year, it attracted 26,000 participants!



Monday, 4 July 2016

AncestryIreland marks July celebrations with 50% off

To celebrate Canada Day and American Independence Day, the Ulster Historical Foundation has announced a half price sale.

The 50% discount will be available across the AncestryIreland.com database of two million pay-per-view birth, marriage & death records for Counties Antrim & Down.

In terms of births and baptisms, AncesetryIreland holds virtually all Roman Catholic registers and a large number of Church of Ireland and Presbyterian baptism registers for both Counties Antrim and Down, as well as many civil birth records for Belfast.

For marriages it holds virtually all civil records for the two counties, as well as nearly all Roman Catholic records up to 1900. Additionally, it holds a large number of Church of Ireland and Presbyterian registers of marriages for mid, south and west County Down.

The site also contains funeral records (where they survive) from Roman Catholic registers for Counties Antrim and Down prior to 1900 and a large number of Church of Ireland and Presbyterian registers of burials for the city of Belfast.

The offer will expire on 8 July.

Celebrate 4th July with 50% off Irish News Archives

https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/subscribe
The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archive has announced a flash sale to mark American Independence Day. If you sign up for a monthly or annual membership to the online archive before close of play on Wednesday 6 July, you can enjoy a 50% disoount.

That puts the monthly sub at just €15 and the annual sub at €89.

See the list of publications included in the archive.

To take advantate of the offer, click the logo and choose which subscription you want. Enter the coupon code 1916FB when prompted.



Another Belfast title joins British Newspaper Archive

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/search/results/1880-01-01/1889-12-31?sortorder=dayearly&newspapertitle=belfast%20telegraph
The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added another Irish title: the Belfast Evening Telegraph.

This broadsheet launched in 1870 as a four-page publication; much expanded, it remains one of Northern Ireland's top-selling titles.

While the BNA plans to increase its holding of this paper to span 1871 to 1912, its first tranche of Belfast Evening Telegraph uploads consists only of the editions published January to December 1877, 1881 and 1898.

The addition of this paper to the BNA means there are now 120 Irish historical newspapers (33 of them from Northern Ireland) in the online archive. This collection is also available via FindMyPast as part of the Ireland or World subscription package.

National Library of Ireland runs Exhibitions survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLIexhibitions
You don't have to have visited an NLI
exhibition to take the anonymous survey
The National Library of Ireland is reviewing its exhibition programme and wants to find out if it is meeting the needs of its past and future exhibition visitors. It wants to find out what’s working well or not so well, and what it could or should do that might better meet expectations.

An anonymous online survey, which you can reach by clicking on the image to the right, is asking for your views. It consists of just 12 questions, some of them multiple choice, and a couple asking for your own ideas of topics/themes and manners of presentation for future exhibitions.

I've just completed it. It took all of 10 minutes.

The Library is also conducting face-to-face surveys with visitors as they leave the current exhibitions.The Library says it will share its survey's findings later in the year.

Dr Ray Refaussé, RCBL's Librarian & Archivist, retires

At a reception in Church of Ireland House, Dublin, last Wednesday, staff of the Representative Church Body said farewell to Dr Raymond Refaussé, Librarian and Archivist of the RCB Library, who retired after 35 years with the library.

During those three and a half decades, the library's printed and archival collections grew considerably, particularly after Ray secured agreement with the Public Records Office of Ireland (now the National Archives) that the RCB Library was the appropriate place of custody for Church of Ireland parish registers. Over 1,100 parish record collections have been secured, stored and catalogued during his tenure, as have thousands of manuscript collections, and the papers of diocesan, cathedral as well as the central RCB and other administrative records of the wider Church.

The content of this material and its value for research has been heavily promoted by Ray's establishment of an exemplary publication scheme since the early 1990s, and latterly the development of online catalogues. As a result the library is visited by genealogists and historians from throughout Ireland and overseas.

In addition to his role as Librarian and Archivist, Ray has made an important contribution to other areas of the Church, especially in the area of publishing and communications. For many years he has edited the Church of Ireland notes, published weekly in The Irish Times (a role which he will continue) and as Secretary to the Literature Committee which manages Church of Ireland Publishing. In Dublin and Glendalough, he is a member of the Diocesan Communications Committee.

Paying tribute to his loyal service and hard work for the Representative Church Body and his contribution to so many aspects of church life, the Chief Officer, David Ritchie, presented Ray with a gift from his colleagues - a painting of South William Street, Dublin, by the artist Peter Pearson.


Dr Ray Refaussé (centre) with Dr Susan Hood who succeeds him as Librarian and Archivist and
Chief Officer David Ritchie. (Photo: David Wynne)

Irish genealogy and history events, 4–17 July

Wednesday 6 July: Newgrange and the Bend in the Boyne, Dr Geraldine Stout. The Hill of Tara Lecture Series. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Tara, Co Meath. No booking but seating is limited so come early. Free. 8pm.

Saturday 9 July: The National Library's History & Heritage, an introduction to the Library's rich architectural history and the Signatories exhibition, plus a guided tour of the Reading Room.  Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Admission free. All welcome. 1pm. No need to book.

Saturday 9 July: Genealogy drop-in, with Mayo Genealogy Group. Host and venue: National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough Park, Co Mayo. If you have an interest in finding out about your family history come along for free practical tips. No booking required. New researchers welcome. 11:30am to 1pm.

Saturday 9 July: Jumping the Pond – Finding the origins of your immigrant ancestor, with Donna Moughty. Host: Imperial Polk Genealogical Society. Venue: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lakeland, 3140 Troy Avenue, Lakeland, Florida, USA. All welcome. 1pm.

Saturday 9 July: Irish Saturday, with the Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Library, 1185 Concord St. N, South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. 10am to 4pm. Details. No need to book.

Sunday 10 July: Women of the Irish Revolution. Film - Guns and Chiffon, followed by a talk - Rebel Sisters, with Dr Sonja Tiernan, plus launch of Manchester's Irish Story. Also Irish book stall, bar, tea & coffee. Hosts: Manchester Irish Film and Chorlton Irish Club. Venue: Chorlton Irish Club, Irish Association Social Club, 17 High Lane, Manchester UK, M21 9DJ. Doors open at 2pm. Entry £4.

Tuesday 12 July: 1392: The Attack on St Thomas’s Abbey by the Citizens of Dublin, with Aine Foley. Host: Friends of Medieval Dublin / Milestones of Medieval Dublin Lunchtime Lectures series. Venue: Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. 1:05–1:50pm. Free. No booking. All welcome.

Tuesday 12 July: The Irish DNA Atlas – a Study of Genetic Diversity in Ireland, with Ed Gilbert. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin 18. 8–10pm. All Welcome. €3.

Wednesday 13 July: The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and the Easter Rising, with Meadhbh Murphy. Launch of Surgeons and Insurgents exhibition and talk, followed by wine reception. Host: Dublin City Public Libraries. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. No booking, but arrive early to ensure a place.

Wednesday 13 July: Researching the Rising Workshop, with Dr Emma Edwards. Advice on researching the National Library's collections. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. suitable for anyone looking to embark on a research project or to enhance research skills in navigating the catalogue, accessing the various collections and interpreting the sources. 11am. Free. Need to book. Details.

Wednesday 13 July: Revealing its story through excavation, with Dr Ann Lynch. The Hill of Tara Lecture Series. Venue: Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Tara, Co Meath. No booking but seating is limited so come early. Free. 8pm.

Thursday 14 July: WWI Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, an exhibition tour. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Booking is not required. All welcome. 2pm.

Saturday 16 July: Using databases to research your information, with Mary Wickersham. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 Concord St. N, South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. 10:30am to 12 noon. Need to register. Class fee is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members.

Friday, 1 July 2016

FindMyPast adds Brtish military records & Canadian census

FindMyPast has added the following new records to its database today:

WW1 Officers and Household Cavalry 1801–1919
An additional 1,670,000 records have been added to the British Army Service Records collections. They include the records of officers who served during World War 1 and men who served with the famous Household Cavalry between 1801 and 1919.

RAF Gallantry medals from WW1
This is an index of 3,714 RAF members awarded gallantry medals during WW1. The index includes name, rank, service number and the date his medal award was published in the London Gazette.

Census of Canada 1911
Holding some 6.7million records, this collection covers census returns for all ten provinces and two territories (Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories). As with most census records, these allow you to discover where your ancestor was living, their birth place, age, marital status, occupation and much more.

TCD launches 'Irish soldiers voices from the Great War'

A new website – Fit as fiddles and as hard as nails - Irish soldiers’ voices from the Great War – has been launched by the Library of Trinity College Dublin to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Free to access, the new site presents diaries, letters and memoirs from Irish officers who served on both Western and Eastern Fronts during WW1. Three of them were Trinity graduates; two never came home and two received the Military Cross.

A total of 1,600 pages have been digitised as part of the project. See the short (2.5minutes) video below for more information.

RCB Library commemorates the Battle of the Somme

“Ulster’s Sacrifice”  article as published in the
Church of Ireland Gazette, 14th July  1916.
This month's Archive of the Month from the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) commemorates the Battle of the Somme with a focus on how it was reported in the weekly Church of Ireland Gazette.

The battle began 100 years ago today with the Allied objective of advancing along the banks of the River Somme to the French village of Thiepval to penetrate the German trench network called the Schwaben Redoubt.

Both the 36th Ulster and 16th Irish Divisions were involved at the Somme and paid a heavy price. Within a fortnight, the Gazette had published a heart-breaking piece entitled Ulster’s Sacrifice, recording that ‘there is hardly a house where there is not one dead’.

The shared experience of unionists and nationalists fighting side by side at the Somme remains one of the most poignant Irish legacies of the First World War, and in the first edition published after the battle began, on 7 July, the Gazette was highlighting this significance. Its lead article of that date – entitled The Somme or the Boyne – was written in the context of government proposals to partition Ireland as a solution to the Irish question in response to the Easter Rising. Speaking for wider Church and island interests as a whole, the article took on the language of appeal that all would remain united in the spirit of the Somme, rather than dividing along green and orange lines, thus promoting the Somme as a symbol of Irish unity.

The online search engine, which provides free access to the editions of the newspaper for the entire commemorative period, 1911-1923, reveals no less than 23 different articles covering the Somme between July and December 1916.

The newspaper's "The War Week by Week" columns by its lay editor and wartime correspondent Ware Bradley Wells (1892-1958), the “Boyne or the Somme” series, and all the other content of the Gazette editions between 1911 and 1923 remains freely available using the online search engine available through the Church of Ireland website at https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb

Thanks to support from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, a commemorative reprint of the 7 July 1916 edition – as it appeared for contemporary readers – will be printed and circulated for current Gazette readers on 8th July 2016.