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Friday, 30 September 2016

Irish Famine Eviction Project: research help wanted

https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/subscribe?cur=EUR
An interesting study – The Irish Famine Eviction Project – is underway to document evidence of evictions during the Great Irish Famine.

It's being co-ordinated by Dr Ciaran Reilly, author of several books on this period of history, who has created a dedicated website to pin-point the famine eviction sites and to record information and background stories about the people displaced and involved in the evictions.

More than 400 sites have already been identified and their locations fixed on a map, which can be viewed here.

The Project is now reaching out to researchers to ask them to submit any information of evictions, locations and local folklore. This could be additional information relating to an eviction already identified, or details of a new, as-yet-unidentified eviction. Details of how to submit information can be found on the site.

This collaborative phase of the project is being sponsored by Irish Newspaper Archives, in whose online database of historical newspapers many facts and details about evictions can be found. To assist researchers in helping the Irish Famine Eviction Project, INA is offering a 30% discount on its monthly and annual membership subscriptions.

To take up the offer, go to the Irish Newspaper Archives subscription page, choose your preferred package, and, when prompted, use the discount coupon code IFP30. Offer expires 31 October.

(The Irish Famine Eviction Project and Offaly Historical Society will be hosting a morning seminar at Offaly History Centre in Tullamore on Saturday 8 October. Details (Word doc).)



'Ireland: Church, Famine and Immigration' seminar, Queensland, 15 October

The Genealogical Society of Queensland will be holding a full-day seminar – Ireland: Church, Famine and Immigration – on Saturday 15 October at the Queen Alexandra Conference Centre in Coorparoo.

Presentations will be given as follows:

  • Irish immigration, with Dr Perry McIntyre
  • The Great Irish Famine, with Dr Jennifer Harrison
  • Online sites for Irish genealogy, with Helen Smith
  • Land, with Bobbie Edes
  • The Catholic church in Queensland, with Rev Dr Chris Hanlon
  • Social media sites for Irish family history, with Helen Smith
  • Q&A session

The day will start at 8:30 am and finish at 3:15pm. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.The fee is $50 for members of the GSQ, and $60 for non-members. Booking is essential.

Details.




The Irish Times joins British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added the Irish Times and the Weekly Irish Times to its online database.

The holding for the Irish Times, Ireland's newspaper of record, will eventually span 1859 to 1985. For now, it includes all of the daily editions published in nine of the years between 1866 and 1886.

Seven years of the Weekly Irish Times are already available. They date from 1876 to 1893. The holding for this paper will eventually span 1876 to 1958. During the last 17 years of its publication, the paper was known as Times Pictorial, Pictorial and Irish Pictorial.

These latest additions bring the number of Irish publications in the BNA to 126. All of them are also available via FindMyPast with an Ireland or World subscription.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Living DNA launches new test with regional breakdown of genetic ancestry

There's a new kid on the DNA block: Living DNA.

It launched last weekend at the NewScientist Live exhibition/show in London and is the first genetic ancestry test to incorporate data from the People of the British Isles (POBI) project.

As such, its test results will give customers 'a breakdown of genetic ancestry within the British Isles and then relate your ancestry to the rest of the world.'

Living DNA's website says that the test will be able to identify 21 regions within the geographical British Isles 'such as Cornwall, Devon, Norfolk or North Wales'. I have checked with the company and been told that Ireland is one of these regions.

Genetic genealogist Debbie Kennett has published a detailed blogpost about the new test, so I'll direct you there for more information and knowledgeable analysis: crwys.co.uk.

If you're keen to learn more, check out the Living DNA website or pop along to the Back To Our Past show in Dublin next month (RDS Industries Hall, 21-23 October), where the Living DNA team will be on hand to discuss and sell its new kits.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Three ISBGFH webinars on Irish topics announced

The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) has announced its Winter Webinar Series and it includes three Irish topics, as follows:

1 October 2016: In Search of Your Irish Ancestors with Michael Brophy
The webinar begins with the central event in the history of Irish genealogy — the destruction of the Public Records Office in Dublin on 30 June 1922. The unique challenges and realistic expectations for Irish ancestral research will be discussed. Vital records, immigration documentation, and unique resources will be presented. Register.

12 November 2016: DNA Testing for Genealogy with Dr Maurice Gleeson
Dr Gleeson will discuss the different tests available for genealogy and will help us to understand what information we can hope to get from each one. He will also present some of the projects available through FamilyTreeDNA. Register.

10 December 2016: Researching Your Scots-Irish Ancestors, with Fintan Brohy
This webinar will assist you in researching your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors with roots in the province of Ulster, and help you to discover a variety of historical resources that may link you to your family history. Register.

All webinars take place at 1pm (USA) Eastern Time. They cost $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Payment is made via PayPal at time of registration.

New TV series to explore Ireland's greatest building and engineering achievements

A new TV documentary series, starting this week, will explore and explain how Ireland’s greatest building and engineering achievements came to be, and the impact they had on the development of our towns and cities. These projects employed legions of men, from general labourers to skilled tradesmen such as stonemasons, and the programmes include details about the working conditions and pay our ancestors would have experienced.

‘Building Ireland’, will air at 8.30pm on RTÉ One on Fridays from 30 September, with five more episodes airing in the same time-slot over the following five weeks.

The series is presented by Tim Joyce, a civil engineer from East Galway; Dr. Susan Hegarty, a Cork native and geographer; and award-winning architect Orla Murphy. All three presenters previously worked on the programme's first series, which aired on RTÉ One two years ago.

Among the projects featuring in the second series are:

Spike Island, Co. Cork served as a prime defensive location for the British Empire, as well as functioning as part of the Irish prison system. At its height in 1850, it housed up to 2,500 men. It has opened to the public in recent months, after undergoing a €5.5million upgrade and enhancement project. Leaving the stark prison regime on Spike Island, the residential architecture of Cobh is also examined, as is the influence the prosperous middle class had on the town in the aftermath of the Irish Famine (see pix below). You can view some very short video trailers here.

Kilkenny Castle – Architect Orla Murphy explores the history of Kilkenny Castle, while geographer Dr. Susan Hegarty looks at the layout of Kilkenny as a medieval city and engineer Tim Joyce investigates the great flood of 1763, which caused many bridges in Kilkenny City and county to be swept away. The loss of these bridges led to engineers devising creative and robust solutions to re-unite the city and replace the lost bridges along the Nore, such as Green’s Bridge, whose design is a copy of the Palladian architecture of the Roman bridge at Rimini, but only on the city side.

Spike Island, Cobh - Home to 2,500 prisoners in 1850

Genteel Cobh - How the other half lived


UCD history courses at National Library of Ireland

University College Dublin (UCD) and the National Library of Ireland will be offering a number of history courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme.

UCD Lifelong Learning courses are part-time specific interest courses that are participative, engaging and facilitated by experts in their field. The courses are open to all and provide a chance to explore a subject without concerns about assessment. The 2016/2017 courses are:

Starting October 2016:
  • The American West and the Irish who made it. Tutor: Myles Dungan. Eight weeks from Wednesday 5 October, 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • Ireland at War 1913-1924. Tutor: Eve Morrison. Eight weeks from Thursday 6 October, 2–4:30pm. €195. Details and booking.

Starting January/March 2017:
  • Sport and Society in Ireland. Tutor: Paul Rouse. Eight weeks from Wednesday 11 January. 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • Republicanism and Irish Life 1922-2005. Tutor: Eve Morrison. Eight weeks from Thursday 26 January, 2–4:30pm. €195. Details and booking.
  • The Great Irish Famine 1845-1852. Tutor: Brian Casey. Eight weeks from Wednesday 8 March. 10:30am to 1pm. €195. Details and booking.

Each course is held at the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fifth Waterford title joins British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has added another Irish title: The Waterford Standard. This paper was published from 1863 to 1882 as The Standard and Waterford Conservative Gazette before changing its name.

More than 2,500 editions published between 1897 and 1950 are now available to search in the online database.

Waterford is particularly well represented in the BNA database. Five titles – Waterford Chronicle, Waterford Mail, Waterford Mirror and Tramore Visitor, Waterford News and now The Waterford Standard – provide excellent coverage for the county between 1824 and the 1950s.

This latest addition is one of 124 Irish publications in the British Newspaper Archive. These titles are also available via FindMyPast with an Ireland or World subscription.

AGI and ASGRA in historic first joint meeting

L-R: ASGRA Chairman Janet Bishop and
AGI President Máire Mac Conghail
Having formed an alliance earlier in the year, Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) and the Association of Scottish Genelaogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA) held their first joint meeting last week at a special two-day professional development event hosted in Belfast, where AGI (then APGI) was founded in 1986.

The two organisations have been providing accreditation for professional genealogists for three decades, and have joined forces to promote the benefits of such accreditation for both competent genealogists and those seeking to engage competent and trustworthy researchers.

At the beginning of the two-day event AGI President Máire Mac Conghail, and ASGRA Chairman Janet Bishop outlined the history and evolution of their respective organisations and welcomed the alliance.

In August, an internal newsletter for AGI and ASGRA members (compiled by Kirsteen Mulhern (ASGRA), Michael Walsh MAGI, and John Grenham MAGI) was launched, and AGI will attend the 28th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies, which ASGRA is hosting at North Queensferry, Fife, next April.

AGI and ASGRA have similarities. For example, both have programmes to help those in transition towards a career in genealogical research. However, there are differences of approach between the two organisations. The alliance recognises these differences and does not seek to impose uniformity. The organisations are equal and are supportive of one another.

Cork and Offaly folklore materials complete online Schools' Collection

Folklore and local history material from Counties Cork and Offaly has been uploaded to the National Folklore Collection's free website, Duchas.ie and completes the online Schools' Collection.

In this latest and final instalment, the material was prepared by children attending more than 450 schools in County Cork and 90 schools in County Offaly.

The Collection as a whole consists of more than half a million pages of handwritten stories and reports gathered and written by some 50,000 primary school pupils across the 26 counties between 1937 and 1939.

The site can currently be searched by place, by person and by topic, and it has material from almost every parish in Ireland.

A special feature of the site is Meitheal Dúchas.ie, a crowdsourced transcription initiative. At the beginning of 2015, the public was invited to help Dúchas.ie by transcribing the text of the Irish-language stories in the Schools’ Collection. Since the start of this year, every story in the collection, both Irish and English, is available for transcription and a dedicated community of transcribers eagerly undertake this work. To date the voluntary transcribers of the Meitheal have transcribed over 35,000 pages, making Meitheal Dúchas.ie one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects of its kind in the world.

Launching the final upload and marking the successful completion of the Schools' Collection project, Seán Kyne, TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, said: ‘I am delighted to launch the two final counties of the Schools’ Folklore Collection. This wonderful resource is now available to the public in its entirety. It is of great importance not only as a primary source for the academic researcher but also as a treasure trove for everyone around the world who has an interest in Ireland.’

IGRS celebrates 80th anniversary at the College of Arms

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) celebrated its 80th anniversary at the place where it was founded back in 1936: the College of Arms in London.

The reception, held in the Old Court of Chivalry, was well-attended by Society's members and high-profile supporters, and by several dignitories including Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador; Peter O'Donoghue, the York Herald; Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms; and Timothy Duke, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.

For more details of the event and the Society's successes over the 80 years, see the IGRS website IrishAncestors.ie.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Irish genealogy and history events, 26 Sept–8 Oct

Monday 26 September: Temperance, with Valerie Adams. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking recommended: T: 028 9053 4800, E: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk. Postponed.

Tuesday 27 September: The Ulster Covenant, 1912 and the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland, 1916, with Liam Kennedy. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Fre but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E: ilc.reception@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

Tuesday 27 September: 1916 & 1956. The Irish & Hungarian Revolutions - similarities and differences, with Brian Comerford. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members/€5 non-members. All welcome. Lecture will be preceded at 7:30pm by the Society's postponed 2016 AGM.

Wednesday 28 September: Mysteries of Life and Death: the work of the Armagh Coroner, 1888-1889, with Dr Desmond McCabe. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Friday 30 September: Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition. This year's theme is 1916. Venue: Millenium Hall, City Hall, Cork City. 10am to 6:30pm. Free. Details (pdf)

Saturday 1 October: Ireland and the Great War - a one-day conference. Host: Western Front Association, Cork Branch. Venue: Ambassador Hotel, Military Hill, St Luke's, Cork City. 9:30am to 5pm. All welcome. €15 on the door or in advance from Liam Ruiseal Book Shop, 49-50 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City.

Monday 3 October: The school and the home: boarding schools in Dublin 1800-1860, with Mary Hatfield. What was it like to be a student at boarding school in the early nineteenth-century. What did students study and why? Part of the Dublin Festival of History. Venue: Ballymun Library, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 11. Free. 6:30pm. Booking required. Details.

Monday 3 October: History, Memory & the Archives: sources for the Revolutionary period in Military Archives, with Commandant Stephen MacEoin. Part of the Dublin Festival of History 2016 programme. Venue: Auditorium, Guard Room, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6. 3pm. Free. Early booking recommended, to militaryarchives@defenceforces.ie.

Monday 3 October: History of Ballyarnett Racecourse, with Thomas Deeney. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 October: Visit to Heritage Services, Central Library. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: Heritage Services, 2nd Floor, Central Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1EA. 2:30pm. Email Branch: belfast@nifhs.org.

Tuesday 4 October: The Irish soldier in 1916, with Lar Joye. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Free but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E: ilc.reception@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

Wednesday 5 October: Visit to the LDS Family History Centre, with Keith Wright. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Foyle Northern Ireland FHC, Racecourse Road, LondonDerry, BT48 7RA. 7pm. Email Branch: tyrone@nifhs.org.

Wednesday 5 October: Halloween in Ireland, history and traditions, with Dr Deirdre O'Byrne. Host: Birmingham Irish Heritage Group. Venue: Irish Centre Birmingham, 14-20 High Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, UK B12 0LN. 7–9pm. Details.

Wednesday 5 October: ‘From Jangling steeples to Hill-Rimmed Houses’: the Buildings of County Armagh, with Dr Kevin Mulligan. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place

Wednesday 5 October: Launch of #IAMIRISH - Photography Exhibition. Formalities by Ambassador Dan Mulhall. Launch will also announce a series of workshops and debates linking those of mixed race heritage to their Irish family ancestry. Host and venue: London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB. Exhibition marks Black History Month. 7pm. Free. Details. Exhibition to continue to 31 October.

Thursday 6 October: The archaeological landscape of the War of Independence and The Civil War, with Damian Shiels. Host and Venue: National Museum of Ireland Archaeology. Ceramics Room, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1pm to 1:45pm. All welcome. Free but need to book by email to educationarch@museum.ie or telephone to (0)1 648 6334.

Friday 7 October: A history of eating and drinking, with Kim Mawwhinney. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking recommended: T: 028 9053 4800, E: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk.

Saturday 8 October: 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 8 October: Irish Ancestry One-Day Conference, with lectures from Maggie Loughran and Chris Paton. Host: Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society. Venue: Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre, 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, UK, BB5 3HZ. Tickets £20, includes buffet Lunch. Details.

Saturday 8 October: 19th-century Irish genealogy research: What’s available and how to find it - an Intermediate level workshop with Miles Davenport. Host and venue: McClelland Irish Centre (Norton Room), 1106 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA. 10:30am to 12:30pm. Non-Members: $20/Members: $15. Need to register. Details.

Saturday 8 October: Famine and eviction in the Irish Midlands, a morning seminar. Hosts: Offaly Historical Society and Irish Newspaper Archives. Venue: Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore. 9:30am to 1pm. Details (Word doc).

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Time for a break

The past week or so has been like Christmas for Irish genealogists, as a quick look through recent blogposts will testify.

While I'm as delighted as the next researcher to have all these shiny new resources at my disposal, keeping up with the steady stream of record releases and other developments has taken a toll. Since early summer, I've been trying to spin far too many work plates, and I've now reached a point where, if I don't re-focus on the day job and my other commitments, I'm going to end up surrounded by a lot of broken crockery.

As far as I'm aware, there's nothing else of any great significance in the Irish family history pipe, so, while everyone is happy, absorbed and playing nicely with their new genealogy toys, I'm going to take a 'Christmas' break from the blog and all-things-genealogy. A week or two will (I hope) allow me to clear at least the most pressing elements of the backlog.

Hasta la vista.

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events 19 Sep–1 Oct

Monday 19 September: My Great Grandfather, the Bigamist, with Su Topping. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome. Find out more.

Monday 19 September: 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 20 September 20: The Story of the Scots and Irish in Missouri, with Rickey Pittman. Host and venue: Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, Missouri, MO 64055, USA. 10am to 11am. Free, but need to register.

Tuesday 20 September: From Ireland to Canada in the 1950s, with Philip Donnelly. Host: Bailieborough Heritage Society. Venue: Bailieborough Library, Market House, Bailieborough, Co Cavan. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 20 September:The Irish Volunteers and 1916: Oral history accounts of Lisburn and County Antrim, with Dr Donall McAnallen. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Free but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E: ilc.reception@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

Wednesday 21 September:  Bogs, Battles and Barges: The Newry Canal, Oldest in the British Isles, with Geraldine Foley. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Wednesday 21 September:  Thomas Francis Meagher and the Meaghers of Ballycanvan, with James Andrew Doherty. Venue: Jack Meades, Passage E Rd, Halfway House, Faithlegg, Co Waterford. 8pm.

Wednesday 21 September: Who Do You Think You Are: Starting Family History Research. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 8TD. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 24 September: Guided tour of Long Tower Church and Graveyard, with Ivor Doherty. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Long Tower Church, Derry. 7pm. All welcome.

Friday 23 to Saturday 24 September: Diaspora of the Wild Atlantic Way, an international conference exploring migration from the west of Ireland. Host: Clare Roots Society. Treacy's West County Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. Details. Tickets.

Monday 26 September: Temperance, with Valerie Adams. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking recommended: T: 028 9053 4800, E: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk. Postponed.

Tuesday 27 September: The Ulster Covenant, 1912 and the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland, 1916, with Liam Kennedy. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Fre but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E: ilc.reception@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

Tuesday 27 September: 1916 & 1956. The Irish & Hungarian Revolutions - similarities & differences, with Brian Comerford. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members/€5 non-members. All welcome. Lecture will be preceded at 7:30pm by the Society's postponed 2016 AGM.

Wednesday 28 September: Mysteries of Life and Death: the work of the Armagh Coroner, 1888-1889, with Dr Desmond McCabe. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Friday 30 September: Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition. This year's theme is 1916. Venue: Millenium Hall, City Hall, Cork City. 10am to 6:30pm. Free. Details (pdf)

Saturday 1 October: Ireland and the Great War - a one-day conference. Host: Western Front Association, Cork Branch. Venue: Ambassador Hotel, Military Hill, St Luke's, Cork City. 9:30am to 5pm. All welcome. €15 on the door or in advance from Liam Ruiseal Book Shop, 49-50 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City.

Free access to FindMyPast's Irish collection for 4 days

To celebrate yesterday's launch of some never-before-online Irish records (see blogpost), FindMyPast is offering free access to its entire Irish collection for four days.

The new records date back to pre-Famine Ireland and include land, wills, religion and merchant shipping records; totalling some 3million records, they will be available free of charge, permanently, on both the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy website and FindMyPast.

FindMyPast's free access weekend is not restricted to the new records, however. The full Ireland collection will be accessible without charge from 8am today until 11:59pm on Sunday 18 September via FindMyPast IE, UK and AU.com. It isn't available via the US (.com) site, but that doesn't stop North Americans registering with one of the sister sites.

You don't need to take out a subscription. All you need is a registered account to access the collection. If you don't already have one, it won't take you long to sort one out, and you don't have to provide any financial information. In fact, the only details requested are your name, country of residence and your email address. You choose a password, and that's it... start searching.

Click on one of the flags below to reach the free access page: OFFER HAS ENDED



FindMyPast Ireland
FindMyPast UK
FindMyPast Australia

Latest updates to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

See below for the latest additions to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives, all uploaded to the free site in the first two weeks of this month.

CLARE Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Teampail Graveyard

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives
Headstones &ndash: Palmerstown Cemetery (partial)
Headstones – Mt Jerome Cemetery - Part 132

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Florencecourt: St. John's (CoI), (additional)

GALWAY Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Barna Cemetery (Updated)

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives
Headstones – St. Canice, Kilkenny (additional)

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Tulsk Graveyard

WICKLOW
Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Greenane, Main Cem (Updated)

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives
Land – Holy Ghost Hospital Tenants 1799-1832

WEXFORD Funeral Cards
Memorial Cards – (Click through 3 pgs)

Genealogy courses starting in Autumn

Autumn is fast approaching, and with it the start of the new academic year. If you were thinking of getting some formalised training in genealogy research techniques, you may be interesting in one of the courses below.

Belfast
Genealogy/Trace your family history, with the Ulster Historical Foundation at Stranmillis College (Central Buildings). The 10-week course (code HY520) covers all the main records used in Irish genealogy and is ideal for beginners or for those who have already started to research their family tree. Runs on Tuesday evenings from 4 October to 13th December, 7pm to 9pm. £50. Download brochure (see page 31, but note that dates have been revised). Telephone 028 9038 4345 to enrol or see pages 57 & 58 of the brochure.

Cork
Genealogy: How to trace your family tree, with tutor Tony McCarthy. University College Cork ACE. Venue: Western Gateway Building, Room 304, UCC. Tuesdays 7pm–9pm from 27 September to 29 November. Focusses on genealogical sources, methodology and historical/social context. Fee €230. Enrol by Monday 19 September. Details, or tel: 021 490 4700.

Certificate/Diploma in Genealogy, with Dr David Butler. Venue: Department of Geography, University College Cork Main Campus. Three-hour weekly commitment, 6–9pm. A two-year programme at NFQ level 7. €1,360 per academic year (€1000 if retired). Brochure. Enrolment ends 4 October.

Dublin
Beginners' Genealogy on Wednesdays 12–2pm, and Continuation Genealogy on Thursdays, 12–2pm. Tutor for both courses is Máire Mac Conghail MAGI FIGRS, and the classes run for 10 weeks. €143 (reduced rates available for senior citizens). Venue: Kilternan Adult Education Centre, Kilternan, Co. Dublin. Enquiries to +353 1 2952050 or email: kae@ddletb.ie.

How to research your family history, with Claire Bradley. Beginners class covering how to start, where to find resources and how to record what you find. No prior knowledge is required but the ability to use a computer is desirable. Starts Tuesday 27 September in Malahide Community School. 7:30pm–9:30pm. 10 weeks duration. €110. Enrolment online or at the school on Monday 19 September. Details.

Diploma in Family History, with John Grenham MAGI FIGRS. Classroom-based and online, the course runs over 10 weeks, one evening per week from 6:30pm–9:30pm. Next course starts Thursday 29 September. Venue: City Colleges, Wicklow House, 84-88 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2. The Institute of Commercial Management is the awarding body. Course fee from €845 online/€945 classroom, with instalment plans available. Details.

Limerick
Genealogy Workshops, presented by the Irish Ancestry Research Centre in partnership with the University of Limerick. A series of ten workshops (each 2.5hours) covering a full spread of genealogy reasearch topics including ethics. You can choose to go to a single workshop or any number. Attendance at all ten plus completion of course assessment earns a "CPE Certificate in Family History” from the University of Limerick. Cost of each lecture session is €35. Details or phone +353 61 207114.

Newtownabbey
The North of Ireland Family History Society is offering a range of 15 short courses, all being held at its Research Centre, just outside Belfast. The courses cover topics such as DNA testing, "Life in Ulster in the 1830s", "Land Records and Maps", as well as craft and computer classes to help genealogists present their research. The courses are of one to three week duration and run throughout October and November. They cost between £10 and £30, with members getting a discount. Details.





Irish themed webinars from Family Search next week

Family Search will be running three free Irish-themed webinars, all aimed at beginners, next week, as follows:

Monday 19 September:   Irish Census and Census Substitutes, 1:00 PM MDT
Tuesday 20 September: Scots-Irish Research, 1pm MDT
Friday 23 September:     Finding and Understanding Irish Place Names, 1pm MDT

1pm MDT is 8pm in Dublin/London.

See the Family History Library Classes and Webinars page for instructions on joining the presentation, and to download the September Class Shedule.

Presbyterian ancestors? Check out the PHSI Book Sale

The Library of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland (PHSI) in Belfast is having a second-hand book sale.

The line-up includes books, journals and pamphlets, and many of them could be of interest to researchers with Presbyterian ancestors.

If that's you, take a browse through the titles on offer here. Note that postage of the books will be in addition to the prices quoted.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Folklore material for Wicklow, Wexford & Carlow joins online Schools Collection

Folklore and local history material from Counties Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow has been uploaded to the National Folklore Collection's free website, Duchas.ie.

The material is from the Schools Collection, which contains folklore material recorded by pupils between 1937 and 1939, and consists of more than half a million pages of handwritten stories and reports noted by some 50,000 primary schoolchildren across the 26 counties.

With this latest upload, the database now holds the Schools material from Counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. Only the manuscripts from Counties Cork and Offaly remain undigitised. They are expected to join the site before the end of the year.

National Archives of Ireland releases online its final major batch of free record collections

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will know I've been banging on for ages about the imminent arrival of a final tranche of major record collections destined for the easy to search and free National Archives of Ireland (NAI) Genealogy website. Exactly how many times I've been assured their launch is imminent, I couldn't tell you (the last time was in June), but today I can reveal that they're not coming soon...

They've arrived.

They'll be permanently available, free, on both the NAI's site (no registration required) and on FindMyPast.ie (need to register, but no need for a subscription).

Here are the record sets we'll now have available to us through the wonders of digitisation and online technology:

Valuation Office Books, 1848–1860
This collection includes the House, Field, Tenure and Quarto Books completed by surveyors as they went about the countryside conducting their surveys. It isn't complete – there is another sizeable tranche of these books (about one-eighth of the total) still undergoing conservation and cataloguing – so some researchers will find gaps in coverage in the new collection. There is no particular rhyme or reason to the gaps; you may be lucky, you may not.

These books are not likely to be bothering too many beginner researchers, but they can sometimes reveal the 'missing vital link' to the history of a family. Previously scattered across several repositories, the books in this collection are likely to be full of surprises now that they are fully indexed and readily accessible in one place.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgU1ZDWVVVSmh6a2M/view?usp=sharing
Cavan District Registry's transcribed copy
of the will of Bernard Maguire, died 1858
Original Will Registers, 1858–1920
This collection consists of the surviving Will Books prepared by the district registries. (The only Will Books lost in the PRO in 1922 were those for the Principal Registry based in Dublin and the Dublin District Registry).

The books contain transcripts of each will, the wording of the grant, the date of transcription and the date of the death of the testator. Click image right to see part of the transcribed copy of the will of Bernard Maguire.

(PRONI holds the books covering counties of Northern Ireland.)

Catholic Qualification & Convert Rolls, 1701–1845
These records have been top of the wishlist of many genealogists for some time, so they are going to be very happily received, indeed. It's rare to have a pre-Famine collection at our finger tips (or click of a mouse) and this one is no shrinking violet with a whopping 52,000 records. The Rolls record those who chose to convert to the Church of Ireland or swear allegiance to the British monarchy in order to avoid the harsh Penal Laws which prevented Irish Catholics from owning property or running businesses. They took an oat at the local assizes or in Dublin and their names were then registered to show that they 'qualified' for privileges. The Rolls were lost in 1922, but the indexes survive. The information they hold is usually name, occupation, date and name of place where the oath was taken.

Diocesan and Prerogative Wills Indexes, pre-1858
These indexes are arranged by diocese and some of the books are in a very poor and damaged state (some even have bullet holes through them!). Although the majority of records in this collection are indexes, a small percentage (let's say 5%) are Will Books compiled at the time the will was proved.

Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes, 1623 - 1866
Marriage licences were granted, for a fee, by the ecclesiastical courts of the Church of Ireland. These indexes record Protestant marriages and provide names of the bride and groom, the year of marriage and the diocese in which it took place.

Merchant Navy Crew Lists, 1863–1921
I really wasn't sure what this collection would deliver but the quickest dip into it has already resulted in exciting discoveries about my maternal ancestors from Wicklow Town. My gt gt gt grandfather Edward Doolittle (1812-1886) was Master of several cargo ships during his lifetime, and I knew one of these vessels was called Monkton. So I was thrilled to find several impressive looking crew list documents (one of them is below) showing his son, also called Edward, as crew for voyages taken in the 1860s and 1870s. Even more fascinating is that Edward junior was sailing under the guidance of one Captain George Nichols, the man who married his sister and is another of my gt gt gt grandfathers. There are many of these crew lists featuring one or two of the men over a period of three decades and I'm going to enjoy going through them, one at a time, to see what else they might reveal.

The full GRONI is now live at PRONI

As previously advised (see blogpost), this summer has seen the installation of four terminals at PRONI's Titanic Boulevard offices in Belfast to offer researchers full access to the General Register Office of Northern Ireland's database without having to visit GRONI's office. The GRONI Search Room is shortly to move out of the city centre to Stranmillis.

These four terminals are now fully connected and up and running in PRONI's Search Room. While researchers using the database on the Internet are restricted to historical birth, marriage and death records under the 100-75-50-year rule, access via the GRONI/PRONI computers is extended right up to current records. Please note that this is a payable search service in which customers will be required to register with GRONI. You can see exactly what is available here, and scrolling down to the GRONI Public Search Room section.

The page also explains how to purchase bmd certificates. This GRONI service will not be available at PRONI.

PRONI opening hours etc.

IGRS celebrates its 80th anniversary

Hearty congratulations to the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS), which celebrates its 80th birthday today. I'm sure there will be plenty of cakes and champagne, and they'll be richly deserved for all those years of gathering and preserving manuscripts, pedigrees, transcriptions and other records, and promoting Irish genealogy.

See the IGRS website – IrishAncestors.ie – for more information.

NIFHS extends opening hours of its Research Centre

The North of Ireland Family History Society is extending the opening hours of its Research Centre in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

It currently opens on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm to 8pm, excluding Christmas, New Year, Easter and July, with access to its extensive library of books, journals, transcriptions, maps, directories and microfiches, cds and dvds. Fully equipped to help the researcher, it has free wifi, a microfiche reader and computer tables, plus photocopies, scanner and printer. It's free to members, and only a small donation is requested from non-members.

The Research Centre is also where the Society presents lectures and courses.

Starting tomorrow, Thursday 15 September, and continuing on the third Thursday of each month, members of the Society's Lisburn Branch will additionally be opening the Research Centre from 10:30am to 1pm.

The Centre is very conveniently situated at Unit C4 in the Valley Business Centre, Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS, with ample free parking and a café on the site. See nifhs.org for more details.

RootsIreland adds 1821 census transcriptions for two County Leitrim parishes

Some unexpected records have been added to RootsIreland.ie's Leitrim database: 7,288 transcriptions from the 1821 Census covering parts of Carrigallen Parish and Drumreilly Parish.

These records are not included in the National Archives of Ireland's collection of census fragments collection.

The Leitrim Genealogy Centre in Ballinamore has advised that these records, transcribed between 1823 and 1833, had been held privately by a Carrigallen resident and were sourced some 30 years ago. The records were transcribed from the 1821 Census Returns covering “The Manor of Craigstown & the Estate of Mr Godley.” As such, they would include Carrigallen parish and some townlands in Drumreilly parish.

A great addition to the local records, indeed.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Maurice Gleeson: Ireland's Superstar Genealogist

Today brought the announcement of the Gold medalists in the Superstar Genealogist 2016 poll, organised by John D Reid's Anglo-Celtic-Connections, and it's great to see Maurice Gleeson – genetic genealogist par excellence – take the Ireland award.

Maurice is a hugely popular researcher and lecturer who has worked tirelessly to extend an understanding of genetic genealogy to beginners and to bring together DNA specialists from all round the world to discuss and share developments in this fast moving field of research.

When he's not organising Genetic Genealogy Ireland or the Family Tree DNA lecture programme at WDYTYA?Live, he's either giving lectures (he really is a natural) on traditional Irish family history or DNA topics, or working out the fiddly bits of uploading videos of lectures (his own and others') to YouTube. He also manages a number of DNA groups and helps organise and publicise the Gleeson Family Gathering.

He really puts in some air miles in the process, and not just between London and Dublin. I can't tell you how many times this year he's emailed me from foreign airports. And today was no different. When I contacted him this morning, he replied from New York with this message: "I am very pleasantly surprised by this award. I’ve spent a fabulous few days in Ottawa at the BIFHSGO Conference (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) and this was a lovely way to end the conference. I am also very privileged to have been nominated among such worthy genealogical luminaries and I am very humbled by the award. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me - I am very grateful."

Congratulations, Maurice. You're front of stage again.



Transcribers needed for Wexford Memorial Cards project

Most of the collection relate to deaths in the C20th
but there are a good number of older ones, too.
Can you help Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web)? The free online archive holds an outstanding range of donated records and other genealogical material, and is run entirely by volunteers. It has been bequeathed some 2,000 memorial cards, most of them relating to people from County Wexford, and needs assistance to get them all transcribed.

The collection was gathered together by Michael Doyle from Wexford who passed away about a month ago. His brother wants to share the cards with as many researchers as possible and knew that IGPArchives was the best home for them.

The team are delighted, of course, but the huge collection presents a problem, as Co-ordinator Christina Hunt explains: "If we can only upload these memorial cards a few at a time, it will be ages before they are all available. My hope is to find several transcribers to add these to our online archive. This way, we would get the project completed much more quickly."

You can see the form that has to be filled in to add individual cards to the archive here.

If you can offer some time to this worthwhile project, please contact Christina by email at chrisnina@gmail.com.

FindMyPast adds 3.5million London records

Last week's FindMyPast Friday included a bunch of new London record sets that may be of value to researchers whose Irish ancestors sought work in England's capital or settled there. Brief details of these collections are below.

London Post Office Directories 1842, 1851 and 1861: The directories include lists of traders, bankers, people employed by the crown, officials, and lawyers as well as full street directories. They are not indexed but you can browse through a directory fairly easily as their different sections are well signposted and they list names alphabetically by surname.

Westminster, Poor Law and Parish Administration: This collection of transcripts and images of the original documents holds more than 1.7million records including bastardy papers, admissions, examinations, pauper records, valuations, work house records and more. It can be searched by name, year, place, record types and additional keywords, and the amount of information varies according to the type of record.

City Of London, Gunmakers' Company Freedoms and Admissions, 1656-1936: A small collection of more than five thousand records from registers of Freeman's admissions and lists of liverymen.

There were also some top-ups to existing collections (number of added records in brackets):

Monday, 12 September 2016

Rockstar Genealogists 2016: Silver & Bronze medals

An email from blogger John D Reid of Anglo-Celtic-Connections arrived in my Inbox this morning telling me that I'd been voted into Bronze place in his annual RockStar Genealogist Awards. What a nice way to start the day!

While I'm genuinely chuffed to have received votes, I'm glad to have dropped down a couple of positions from last year's virtual podium because I didn't feel comfortable or deserving of the top spot. For a start, my natural inclination to the limelight is to run a mile in the opposite direction. But it's also because one of the primary reasons for John's poll is to help society and conference organisers chose highly-regarded speakers for their lecture programmes. I don't give lectures. I'm not even a professional genealogist! Despite feeling I don't really belong in this poll, I much appreciate the votes cast. A big thank you to everyone who voted for me.

A certain John Grenham came in at second place and he most certainly gives lectures... very informative, witty and well-presented lectures, too, as many researchers around the world will know (and weekend after next, he'll be doing just that at the Clare Roots Society's international conference in Ennis - see here). As well as being a professional genealogist and member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland, he presents webinars, publishes his incredibly useful Irish Ancestors website and blog at johngrenham.com, and is the author of the bestseller Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, now in its 4th edition. A Rockstar Genealogist poll will always see John in the band! Congratulations, John.

You can view all the RockStar Genealogists 2016 Silver and Bronze Medallists here.

National Library of Ireland's website is offline

All online services from the National Library of Ireland, including the free Roman Catholic Registers database of images at nli.registers.ie, are currently offline.

I'm not sure what the problem is, but the Library's tech team is aware of it, so hopefully it won't be too long before normal service is returned.

UPDATE - 1pm: It seems the Library has suffered a 'prolonged power outage'. In addition to the on-going loss of online services, all the Library's buildings have been closed and will remain so throughout the day. So no access to exhibitions, Reading Rooms, Cafe Joly, or the free Genealogy Advisory Service.

UPDATE - 7pm: The Library's web services – both the main site (http://www.nli.ie) and the RC Registers database (http://registers.nli.ie/) – are back with us online.

UPDATE, 15 September:
The NLI has announced that its online services will be offline this evening from 5pm to 10pm for 'essential electrical works'. Whether this is related to the power cut earlier in the week, I don't know.

President Higgins unveils Famine Cross at Glasnevin

The Famine Cross at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin,
is a new national memorial to those who
perished in Ireland during An Gorta Mór
At a ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday, President Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, unveiled a striking Famine Cross as a memorial to those who perished during the years of An Gorta Mór.

The failure of the potato crop left an indelible mark on Ireland, with one million people dying of starvation or disease, and a further million forced to escape by emigration. In an emotional speech, President Higgins compared the World's current refugee crisis, which has seen millions of people displaced or drowned as they flee war and famine, to that of the Irish Famine, and said that we must learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them.

The National Famine Commemoration is a State ceremony; it included military honours and a wreath laying ceremony by Ambassadors to Ireland in remembrance of all those who suffered or died during the Famine, as well as music from local choirs and St James’s Brass and Reed Band, Ireland’s oldest band.

Donated by Glasnevin Trust, the Famine Cross was hand-crafted from Irish Blue Limestone by an unknown but skillful sculptor in the mid-19th-century. It has been elevated and fixed into a stone base of the same material by McKeon Stone of Stradbally with the inscription made by letter-cutter Aileen Ann Brannigan.

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 12–24 Sept

Monday 12 September: Tea, with Pamela Emerson. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking: T: 028 9053 4800, E: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk.

Monday 12 Sept:Rare ’Oul Tales from Derry Quay': stories from the history of the port, with Ken McCormack. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 12 September: Back to School: Gaining Knowledge as an Amateur Genealogist, with Kathleen Morrison. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim BT36 5HP. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 September: Making Sense of the Census, with Roddy Hegarty. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 September: Linking genealogy and social history, with Billy Saunderson. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Donation €3. All welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 14 September: Players or Patriots? The Gaelic Athletic Association and the 1916 Rising, with Dr Richard McElligott. Part of the Atlas of the Irish Revolution: Lecture Series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 14 September:  Knocknamuckly: the story of an Armagh townland, with Professor Raymond Gillespie. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Friday 16 September - Culture Night. 3,000 events in 1,400 venues, in 40+ venues. All events are free but some require advance booking. Download programmes.

Saturday 17 September: Irish records, with Jill Williams FIGRS, part of the U3A family history day-conference. Other speakers include Dr Nick Barrett, Nigel Lutt and Bill Taylor. Host: U3A Peak District Family History Network Events. Venue: Palace Hotel, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. Fee £20. Details.

Saturday 17 September: One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools, with Steve Morse. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Library. Meeting starts 10am. 47 Powell Ave., Bethpage, New York, USA. Details.

Monday 19 September: My Great Grandfather, the Bigamist, with Su Topping. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome. Find out more.

Monday 19 September: 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 20 September 20: The Story of the Scots and Irish in Missouri, with Rickey Pittman. Host and venue: Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, Missouri, MO 64055, USA. 10am to 11am. Free, but need to register.

Tuesday 20 September: From Ireland to Canada in the 1950s, with Philip Donnelly. Host: Bailieborough Heritage Society. Venue: Bailieborough Library, Market House, Bailieborough, Co Cavan. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 20 September:The Irish Volunteers and 1916: Oral history accounts of Lisburn and County Antrim, with Dr Donall McAnallen. Host and venue: Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum (Assembly Room), Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. 7pm. Free but booking essential: T: 028 9266 3377, E: ilc.reception@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

Wednesday 21 September:  Bogs, Battles and Barges: The Newry Canal, Oldest in the British Isles, with Geraldine Foley. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Wednesday 21 September:  Thomas Francis Meagher and the Meaghers of Ballycanvan, with James Andrew Doherty. Venue: Jack Meades, Passage E Rd, Halfway House, Faithlegg, Co Waterford. 8pm.

Wednesday 21 September: Who Do You Think You Are: Starting Family History Research. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 8TD. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 24 September: Guided tour of Long Tower Church and Graveyard, with Ivor Doherty. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Long Tower Church, Derry. 7pm. All welcome.

Friday 23 to Saturday 24 September: Diaspora of the Wild Atlantic Way, an international conference exploring migration from the west of Ireland. Host: Clare Roots Society. Treacy's West County Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. Details.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Ireland's historical registers of births, marriages and deaths are now online

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgcnZJRmF6Sm45clU/view?usp=sharing
The General Register Office of Ireland's historical civil registers of birth, marriage and death have been uploaded to the free state-run IrishGenealogy.ie.

As anticipated, they follow the 100-75-50 years access rule and they are free. If the index entry gives you the option of an image, you download a pdf of the full register page in which that birth, marriage or death certificate appears.

While this seems to be working fine for all indexed entries that had been assigned the GRO's Group Registration ID (GRID), I'm not getting access to any images for those without a GRID. As far as I can see from my early kick-around, all the births from 1864 have a GRID, so this collection should be complete with images. However, marriages before 1886 do not seem to have GRIDs so are not accompanied by an image, and the same goes for deaths from about 1880.

Whether these will appear later, I don't know. Hopefully the site's Help pages will be updated without too much delay so that we can be sure what we've got.

I'll update this page as things clarify. In the meantime, have fun and try not to break it.

UPDATE 1:45pm: Didn't I say to play nicely?! The site 'broke' about 15 minutes ago. Since it has reverted to yesterday's site, I'm going to keep positive and believe it is not really broken. Probably this morning was just a trial run. Keep your fingers crossed for its quick return either later today or tomorrow, in time for the evening launch.

UPDATE 2:05pm: Okay, the new site is back again but throwing up as many Internal Error notices as records. Such fluctations usually suggests a capacity problem so don't be surprised if you find it bouncing around for the best part of the day+. If I become aware of any other problems I'll flag them here.

UPDATE 7:30pm:
I've just spent a happy hour of research on the IrishGenealogy site, and it seems to be working just fine. There are, however, 'gaps' in the availability of images, as mentioned above, plus a few records that 'should', by time frame, have an image attached, but don't. I've also received emails from researchers who have found indexed entries that link to the wrong images. There seem to be more instances of this than I'd have expected. I've even found my own example: Bessie Santry, born 1896 in Kinsale; she doesn't appear on the linked page of the register.

I've emailed some questions regarding the issues raised today. I'll let you know the response in due course.

UPDATE: 8 September, 11:45am: I've heard back from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs who manage the site. The website now holds 12.5million Index records linked to 2.5million images from the historic registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths. Images are available as follows:
  • Births: 1864 to 1915
  • Marriages: 1882 to 1940
  • Deaths: 1891 to 1965
Apparently, the images of the pre-1882 registers of Marriage and pre-1891 registers of Deaths are being updated by the General Register Office and will be added to the website in due course. I have also been advised that the website may fluctuate a bit today while some last-minute checks are run before this evening's official launch.

UPDATE 3:30pm: Two new pages have appeared in the Civil Records Help section of the site. They both relate to the redaction of records. Those over the age of 100 years old who don't want an image of their birth certificate to be available online are provided with instructions for applying for its redaction. Same goes for those who've been married for more than 75 years who don't want their marriage certificate to appear online. There's also a note about cancelled entries.

UPDATE 5:20pm: Official launch press release from the DAHG and DSP here.

UPDATE: 9 September, 12:30pm:
The site has been offline for over an hour. So, too, the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy website (or, at least, its databases). Not sure what the problem is, but I'll advise when they're up and running again.

UPDATE: 3:30pm:
And the site is back online. (So is the NAI's website.)

Monday, 5 September 2016

National Library of Ireland's autumn Genealogy course is fully booked

You may remember reading here on Irish Genealogy News about the National Library of Ireland's new 8-week Genealogy course to be run by the well-respected tutor Sean Murphy (see blogpost). The course starts on 5 October.

Booking opened on Thursday 1 September and all 30 places were allocated within two-and-a-half hours! Ten people are on the waiting list.

Irish genealogy & history events, 5 – 17 September

All of September: Railway Street (Lisburn) through the ages - Exhibition exploring local family history resources and how to start researching. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society Lisburn Branch. Venue: Lisburn City Library, Linenhall St, Lisburn BT28 1FJ. Free. Members available for free consultations during library hours, 5–9 September. Details.

Monday 5 September: Researching Ancestors in the Army in India, workshop, with FIBIS. Host & venue: British Library, Euston Rd, London UK. 2pm–5pm. Free but you need to book. Details.

Tuesday 6 September: Women and the Legacy of the First World War, with Kate Adie. Host and venue: Ulster Museum (Lecture Theatre, ground floor), Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB. 1–2pm. Free but booking is essential.

Tuesday 6 September: Ten free websites for US genealogical research, with Joe Buggy. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 7 September:  Tracing your ancestors, with Ann Robinson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society Lisburn Branch. Venue: Lisburn City Library, Linenhall St, Lisburn BT28 1FJ. 1-2pm. Free. Details.

Wednesday 7 September:  The City of Armagh and Christianity since St Patrick: Ireland’s Jerusalem? with Roddy Hegarty. First of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Thursday 8 September: Adventures in DNA: Who were the first Irish?, with Professor Dan Bradley. Part of the NLI Genealogy at lunchtime lecture series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Thursday 8 September: Emigration and our Galway diaspora, conference. Venue: Clarenbridge Oyster Festival Marquee, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. Full day conference featuring a lineup of genealogy specialists. Free. Programme and details (4Mb pdf).

Thursday 8 September: 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.

Friday 9 September: Finding the Stories of Your Ancestors, with Pamela Guye Holland. Host: TIARA. Venue: Brandeis University, Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G3, 415 South St., Waltham, Massachusetts 02453 USA. Doors open at 7pm. Lecture at 7:30pm.

Friday 9 September to Sunday 11 September: BIFHSGO Family History Conference, focussing mainly (but not exclusively) on Irish genealogy and DNA. Irish topic speakers include Kyle Betit, Maurice Gleeson, Gloria Tubman and Lucille Campey. Host: British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 2016 Conference. Venue: Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Canada. $40. Programme and details.

Saturday 10 September: School of Irish Genealogy, with the Friends of Irish Research Genealogy Team. Venue: The Irish Cultural Centre Library, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA, USA. Using free research tools online, with Joe Petrie, and DNA – How to get the most of the available services, with Richard Reid. 1pm–4pm. Register by email: friendsofirishresearch@gmail.com.

Saturday 10 September: 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 10 September: Genealogy drop-in, with Mayo Genealogy Group. Host and venue: National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough Park, Co Mayo. Free practical tips. No booking required. New researchers welcome. 11:30am to 1pm.

Saturday 10 September: European Heritage Open Day at PRONI. Tours of the building will be available and the Search Room will be open for access to self-service microfilm and other reference material.  There will no access to original records. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 10am–4pm.

Sunday 11 September: The impact of WW1 on the domestic, economic, social and political life of Ulster, including the effect on women and children, industry and agriculture. Part of European Heritage Open Day series at Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB. (Lecture Theatre, ground floor). 3-4pm. No need to book.

Monday 12 September: Tea, with Pamela Emerson. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Free. 1pm. Booking: T: 028 9053 4800, E: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk.

Monday 12 Sept:Rare ’Oul Tales from Derry Quay: stories from the history of the port, with Ken McCormack. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 12 September: Back to School: Gaining Knowledge as an Amateur Genealogist, with Kathleen Morrison. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim BT36 5HP. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 September: Making Sense of the Census, with Roddy Hegarty. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 September: Linking genealogy and social history, with Billy Saunderson. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Donation €3. All welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 14 September: Players or Patriots? The Gaelic Athletic Association and the 1916 Rising, with Dr Richard McElligott. Part of the Atlas of the Irish Revolution: Lecture Series. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 14 September:  Knocknamuckly: the story of an Armagh townland, with Professor Raymond Gillespie. Part of the County Armagh Lecture Series. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Booking recommended - email proni@communities-ni.gov.uk to secure your place.

Friday 16 September - Culture Night. 3,000 events in 1,400 venues, in 40+ venues. All events are free but some require advance booking. Download programmes.

Saturday 17 September: Irish records, with Jill Williams FIGRS, part of the U3A family history day-conference. Other speakers include Dr Nick Barrett, Nigel Lutt and Bill Taylor. Host: U3A Peak District Family History Network Events. Venue: Palace Hotel, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. Fee £20. Details.

Saturday 17 September: One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools, with Steve Morse. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Library. Meeting starts 10am. 47 Powell Ave., Bethpage, New York, USA. Details.

Friday, 2 September 2016

FindMyPast.com launches Starter sub with 70% off

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5927&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.com%2Fstarter
A new 'Starter' subscription has been launched by FindMyPast.com aimed primarily at family historians in the United States just starting their research.

The launch offer comes with a whopping 70% discount for those that take out the 12-month option, reducing its cost from $114.50 to just $34.95. (The monthly option does not attract a discount; it costs $9.95 a month.)

As well as access to FindMyPast's online family tree builder, the Starter subscription includes more than 2.9 billion records including:
  • US immigration & travel records: This collection includes records of people leaving the UK between 1890 and 1960, and passenger lists from states including Florida and California
  • US birth, marriage and death records: Notable record sets in our Starter Package are CA births and marriages, NY marriages and SC deaths. FindMyPast's comprehensive marriage collection, spanning 360 years, is not included (see Premium)
  • US Newspapers: Historic newspapers are a valuable – and often underutilized – resource for family history researchers. They contain family announcements, details about criminal cases, military commendations and much more.
  • UK & Irish Censuses: Essential for Americans with Irish or British heritage.
  • Access to FMP's free collections of US census records and Irish Parish Catholic Registers.
For comparison, the regular 'full' package, now known as Premium, costs $239.40 for a year or $19.95 for a month, and gives access to more than 8 billion records.