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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Free access to FindMyPast's BMD & Census records

FindMyPast is offering a long weekend of free access to its global Census and Birth, Marriage & Death records.

This includes 1.9billion records held under the World search category 'Birth, marriage, death & parish records', or the 'Census' sub-category will be completely free to view. (Note: land and survey records are not included.)

To gain free access, follow one of the links below.

You'll need to have a registered account; if you don't already have one, this is easy and quick to set up, with no financial or personal details required beyond your name, email address and chosen password. If you're completely new to family history, take some time to read the details and follow the links on the landing page.

FindMyPast Ireland. Free access ends 11:59pm IST on Monday 1 May.

FindMyPast UK. Free access ends 11:59pm BST on Monday 1 May.

FindMyPast USA. Free access ends 6.59pm (EDT) on Monday 1 May.

10% off FindMyPast's 12-month World package

FindMyPast has announced a 10% discount on its 12-month World subscription package across all of its territories (but please note the different expiry dates below).

No matter which FindMyPast you sign up with, you get access to the exact same huge database of records from around the world. The World package includes the Ireland and Britain collections, including the 1939 Register and British & Irish Newspaper collections (the latter currently including some 106 Irish titles), the USA and Canada collections, and the Australia and New Zealand collections.

Taking the discount into account, the cost of the annual subscription is: €161.55 | US£215.55 | £140.36 | AUS$215.55. In each case, it is charged in one up-front payment and gives you access to eight billion records.

Select your preferred currency below. You'll be able to sign up from the landing page and the discount code will be automatically applied.



FindMyPast Ireland
10% off 12-month World subscription
Expires 11:59pm IST, Sunday 7 May

FindMyPast USA/Canada
10% off 12-month World subscription
Expires 11:59pm BST, Sunday 7 May
FindMyPast UK
10% off 12-month World subscription
Expires 11:59pm BST, Sunday 7 May

FindMyPast Australia/NZ
10% off 12-month World subscription
Expires 11:59pm AEST, Sunday 30 April

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ancestry World Archives Project update shows several Irish interest collections coming our way soon

http://www.ancestry.com/wiki/index.php?title=File:IrelandFamineRelief_Capture_5.JPG
From the Ireland, Famine Relief Commission
Papers, 1844-1847. Click for expanded view
Ancestry's World Archives Project (WAP), which sees volunteer researchers index digitised record collections that are then made available free on the Ancestry database, has published some impressive stats about its achievements in 2016 and an updated list of current projects.

Among the ongoing projects is the Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844-1847, a collection consisting primarily of letters relating to crop failures, studies on potatoes, donations to the relief funds, and reports on prices, health and social conditions in certain parts of the island. Many of the papers are lists of names; others are letters from local relief committees, witnesses describing conditions, local clergy and other officials.

Indexing of this WAP has been going on since late 2014 and, with more than 14,000 image sets still outstanding, is 57% complete*.

The update also notes collections that will soon be searchable on Ancestry. I've picked out a few of obvious Irish interest, and some others that may be worth exploring when they come online:

  • A List of Emigrants from England to America, 1682-1692, 1718-1759
  • Australia, Newspaper Vital Notices, 1841-2001
  • The Belfast Newsletter (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1738-1925
  • Ireland, Police Gazettes, 1861-1893
  • Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885-1980
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Runaway Servants, Convicts, and Apprentices, 1728-1796
  • South Australia, Australia, Passenger Lists, 1853
  • South Australia, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1862-1947
  • Tasmania, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1884-1933
  • Victoria, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1855, 1864-1924

To see the full list of current and soon-to-be-live WAP projects, see the WAP blogpost. The list represents a total contribution by the volunteers of more than 12.6 million records. And they'll all be free. Congratulations to everyone who takes part in these projects.

*If you think you could spare some time to help move along the Famine Relief Commission Papers collection, take a look at the detailed overview page.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Historic Towns Atlases released online for C18th towns

The Royal Irish Academy has released more digital editions in its Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) series. This time, it's the development of the 18th-century town that's under scrutiny.

This is the period in which the Big House flourished in the countryside, and their wealthy owners often looked to transform their local town by remodelling its layout with graceful parades and ornamental avenues, enclosed parks overlooked by quality housing with uniform frontages, and a good handful of architectural style statements in the form of neo-classical public buildings.

Dundalk, Maynooth and Dublin (part II, 1610 to 1756) are the towns explored in this release.

Each of the digital editions is published with the relevant chapter from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas by Jacinta Prunty and H.B. Clarke (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2011) and includes the full text of the printed edition (essay, topographical information, bibliography, appendices, notes for each town) as well as a selection of maps.

The Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) is a research project of the Royal Irish Academy that aims to record the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small. It has been publishing maps and publications about Ireland's towns and cities since 1986, and is part of a wider European project that explores historical towns according to a fairly rigid formula of detailed enquiry and presentation. The 'formula' allows comparisons across the continent.

The resulting publications examine the topographical development of each town during key periods in their history.

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

The digital editions exploring Towns in the 19th century (Bray, Belfast part II, 1840–1900) are expected to be published next month.

See the line-up of more than 20 digital IHTA editions here.

DNA Day 2017: AncestryDNA reduced from €95 to €70

As you should know from the flurry of discounts offers reported on Irish Genealogy News over the last six days, today is DNA Day 2017.

I've just been advised that Ancestry also has a money-off saving on its DNA test for Irish residents who want to pay in Euros, rather than Sterling, thereby avoiding currency exchange and other greedy bank charges. The Ireland offer reduces the price from the standard €95 to €70. Shipping costs are additional. See the AncestryDNA Ireland page for details.

For convenience and price comparison, you'll find all the current offers on the Special Offers page of my website, Irish Genealogy Toolkit.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Ballymena Weekly Telegraph joins online BNA

The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph has joined the online British Newspaper Archive (BNA). It is the 36th Northern Irish title in the database.

The initial upload sees editions available for 1904, 1906–1916, 1921–1929, and 1931–1957. When complete, the holding for this paper will eventually span as follows:

  • 1894–1918 The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph
  • 1918–19 Ballymena Telegraph
  • 1921–59 Ballymena Weekly Telegraph

Along with all other papers in the BNA's database (which include the Ballymena Observer) this title automatically joins the Irish Newspaper Collection as part of FindMyPast's Ireland and World subscription package.


Irish genealogy and history events, 24 April to 6 May

Monday 24 April: Nomadic, Titanic's little sister, with Frances James. Plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, Co Antrim. BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 25 April: Islandbridge - People, places, pictures, with Patrick Hugh Lynch. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. No booking required. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place.

Tuesday 25 April:: Great houses of Belfast and their families, with Roger Dixon. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 25 April:: Tracing your Irish ancestry, a workshop with Jill Williams FIGRS. Host: Consulate General of Ireland. Venue: CG of Ireland, 16 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 7TT. 2pm–4pm. Free. Places are limited so be sure to register your attendance by email to RSVPEdinburgh@dfa.ie.

Tuesday 25 April:: Marcus Keane and Fr Michael Meehan: Two figures from Clare's Famine landscape, with Dr Ciarán Ó Murchadha. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members, €5 for non-members. All welcome.

Wednesday 26 April: The life and times of J B Malone, founder of the Wicklow Way: map-maker, soldier, historian and author, with Michael Fewer. The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive Conference Room, 138–144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 27 April: Delayed opening of National Library of Ireland, Dublin. To facilitate a staff development meeting, NLI buildings will not open until 11am.

Thursday 27 April: Dr P J O’Hara, a local doctor, with Brian O’Hara. Talk follows AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena Branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 27 April: The Fitzwilliams of Merrion – the last of the line, with Des Smyth. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall (Rathmines College), Rathmines Road, Dublin 6. 8pm. €3. All welcome.

Friday 28 April: First generation Irish, with Margaret Sullivan; Identifying Famine immigrants in Griffith's Valuation, with Donna Moughty; Mapping Irish locations online, with Pamela Guye Holland; Jumping the pond - Finding the origins of your Irish ancestors, with Donna Moughty; and Prejudice and Pride: Irish immigrants in Know-Nothing Boston, with Margaret Sullivan. Host: New England Regional Genealogical Consortium. Venue: MassMutual Convention Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Details and program.

Friday 28 April: H.M.Coastguard in pre-Independence Ireland: the Forgotten Force, with James Doherty. Host: Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: St. Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford. 8pm. Admission: €5.00 (members free).

Saturday 29 April: Michael Collins, Dublin 1916-22, with Joe Connell Jnr. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone, 77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Free. 4pm to 5:40pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 2 May: From Meeting House to Chapel: The evolution of Presbyterian and Catholic churches, with Finbar McCormick. Host: Institute of Irish Studies. Venue: Irish Studies Seminars, Queen's University Belfast, 6–10 Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast. 4:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 4 May: May Day Magic: Fairies, Witches and Dew-Charms, with Dr Jenny Butler. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Rugby Club, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. All welcome. Non-members €3. 8pm.

Thursday 4 May: 1916 Lives in focus Augustine Birrell, with Eunan O'Halpin; Thomas Clarke, with James Quinn; Desmond Ryan, with Lawrence White. Host and venue: Pearse Museum, St. Enda's Park, Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. 7pm. Admission is free, but booking is advised on 01 4934208. Details.

Friday 5 May & Saturday 6 May: Genealogy Days, with talks, tours, consultations and local genealogy societies. Host and venue: Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, USA. Details to be posted in due course.

Saturday 6 May: The Mother and Child Scheme, with Andrew McCarthy Host & venue: Tipperary County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. 10:30am. €5. All welcome. Seats allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Saturday 6 May: IGRS Open Day. Two lectures: Ireland’s Court Records – What survived 1922? with Steven Smyrl MAGI, and Finding the Irish in British and Irish Army Records, with Nicola Morris MAGI; AGM; light lunch and refreshments; Q&A session. An informal and informative event for members (£25) and non-members (£30). Venue: The Abbey Conference Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU, UK. Booking and full details.

Friday, 21 April 2017

RootsIreland adds index to 60,000 Mayo headstones

RootsIreland.ie has added an index to approximately 60,000 names on gravestone inscriptions in south Mayo; they've been abstracted from the gravestone collection held at the South Mayo Research Centre in Ballinrobe.

Some 160 burial grounds are covered in the records – see the full list here. They include a mix of religious denominations, and span most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The index contains name and graveyard and in many cases also contains date of death, address and age of the decease. 

Wide range of FamilyTreeDNA test kits in DNA Day Sale

https://www.familytreedna.com/
FamilyTreeDNA's National DNA Day Sale sees special discounts across nearly all its range of testing kits.

Its bestseller – the autosomal Family Finder test – has seen its price slashed to just $59, while its Y-DNA and MtFull Sequence tests and bundles of product across the categories have also received generous discounts.

See sale price list and product descriptions here.

The DNA Day Sale ends at 11:59 pm Central Time on Thursday 27 April, which is a day later than other promotions currently running with other DNA testing companies.

Irish Press Weekend: up to 30% discounts on offer

As you may have heard in today's news, the owners of the Irish Press newspaper group, Irish Press plc, have voted to wind up the business which has its roots in the earliest days of the Irish state. The company was famous for owning the Irish Press newspapers, which were founded by former taoiseach and president Eamon De Valera and started publication in 1931, but the presses ceased to roll way back in 1995.

The full span of Irish Press editions is available to search and view on the Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archive database, where it is one of some 70 historical national and local titles, many of them right up to current editions.

To mark the turning of the final page of the Irish Press story, the Irish Newspaper Archive has made available free downloadable pdfs of the front pages of both the very first edition and the very last edition of the newspaper.

Additionally, a couple of special offers have been announced for subscriptions to the Archive. There's a 20% discount on a monthly subscription (use the Coupon Code Irishpress001) and a 30% discount on the cost of the annual subscription (use the Coupon Code Irishpress002). These discounts will expire on Monday 24 April.

AncestryDNA special offers for DNA Day

http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-5737308-12913984
With DNA Day on Wednesday 26 April, Ancestry DNA is offering discounts on its testing kits.  The savings vary, as follows:

Ancestry DNA Canada: CAD$30 off

Ancestry DNA USA: 20% off.

Ancestry DNA Ireland & UK: A 25% discount (£20) reduces the price to £59.

Shipping costs are additional.

In each case, the special offer will run until 11:59pm on Wednesday 26 April.

FindMyPast opens up entire Australian and New Zealand collection for Anzac Day long weekend

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5948&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.com.au%2Fanzac-ancestors%2F
FindMyPast is marking Anzac Day by making its entire Australian and New Zealand collection free for five days.

This collection holds 96 million records of military service, life events (BMDs), travel and migration, education and working life, court and legal records,  and more. You can see the full list of record sets here.

Click the image to the right and you'll not only be able to start searching for your ancestors by name, you'll also find a free quide to tracing your ancestors in Australia and New Zealand, and an invitation to register for a free webinar on Anzac Day.

To view the records you'll need a registered account. If you don't already have one, you'll be prompted to create one when you start searching the collection. It's a simple and fast procedure; you have only to provide your name, email address and password. No financial details are requested.

The free access period is now live and will continue until 11:59pm AEST on Tuesday 25 April.

Ancestry marks Anzac Day with five days' free access to its Australian and New Zealand military collections

http://www.ancestry.com.au
To commemorate Anzac Day 2017 (25 April), Ancestry.com.au has opened up its historical Australian and New Zealand military records collection for free access over the long weekend.

You can check out the full list of record sets included here.

If you don't already have a registered account with Ancestry, you'll need to set one up. This is easy enough to do, and you have only to provide your name, email address and a password – no financial details are requested. You can go straight to the Create a Free Account form here.

The free access weekend is now live and will continue until 11:59pm on Tuesday 25 April. 

“Anzac” stands for 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps'. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the day in 1915 during World War One when Australian and New Zealand troops went ashore at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula. This was the Anzacs first major military action as part of the Great War, and they faced fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders.



Thursday, 20 April 2017

National DNA Day: discounts on Living DNA test kits

National DNA Day is fast approaching. It's on Tuesday 25 April, and commemorates the publication in 1953 when papers on the structure of DNA by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues appeared in the journal Nature.

First out of the blocks with a topical discount is Living DNA. This testing company is based in the UK but is already making a name for itself in the global area since it launched last year. It says the Living DNA test is the world's most advanced, offering twice the detail of other ancestry tests. It breaks down your DNA mix across 80 world regions, including 21 in Ireland and Britain, and additionally provides details of ancestral migration pattens via your Motherline ancestry and, if the person being tested is male, Fatherline Ancestry.

It's good to see that the company will also shortly be introducing DNA Matching, giving researchers the choice to securely compare their DNA with other people's DNA in the Living DNA database.

You can find out more about the Living DNA test and enjoy a special National DNA Day discount by clicking on your preferred flag below (flag = currency and discount shown). The special offer is now live and will run until Wednesday 26 April.



Ireland - Save €30
Living DNA kit reduced to €129

USA – Save $40
Living DNA kit reduced to $119

UK – Save £21
Living DNA kit reduced to £99

Canada – Save CAD$40
Living DNA kit reduced to CAD$119.








Ancestry adds UK Military Indexes, 1920-1971

Ancestry has added an index of soldiers discharged from the British armed forces after 1920. It's called the UK Military Indexes, 1920–1971 collection.

The indexes include soldiers born between 1866 and 1901 and there are, inevitably, many Irish men among the 371,000+ individuals named in the collection.

Being an index, the information offered is relatively light but it's sufficient to identify the service man. Each entry should include the soldier's initial, surname and date of birth, together with their service number and rank, and a Ministry of Defence Reference. The latter allows the researcher to apply to the MOD for further details of the soldier's military service. A link is provided to guide researchers making such an application.

I'm glad to see this index online. Some years ago I applied to the MOD for the service record of an ancestor who had fought in the South Africa (Boer) War and served in India, and was still in the British Army in 1919, when his medal card showed he received an award. He must have left the service shortly after the award because the MOD could find no later discharge and could not, therefore, furnish his service records. Had this index been available, I wouldn't have wasted my time applying (there was a non-refundable charge of £30 at the time, if I remember correctly, AND I had to provide his 1949 death certificate).

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

IGRS London Open Day, Saturday 6 May

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) will be holding its London Open Day on Saturday 6 May in Westminster.

Following the successful format of previous years, the event will start with refreshments, followed by two informative lectures by two of Ireland's leading professional genealogists (see below) and a finger buffet. For those that wish to stay on (most do), the afternoon continues with the AGM, which everyone may attend free of charge but only IGRS members may vote. The day wraps up with an Ask the Experts session; if you haven't yet managed to collar any of the professionals on hand, this is your chance to receive to ask your burning questions.

I've attended several IGRS Open Days in London and I can recommend them to members and non-members for their welcoming and friendly atmosphere, expert speakers, and a jolly tasty lunch! It's also a great opportunity for a relaxed chat with other Irish genealogists about developments in the industry or any problems you're having with your research.

The venue is the Abbey Conference Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU, which is just a stone's throw from Big Ben and the Westminster City Archives (where the AGM has been held in the previous three years).

Here's the programme for the day:

10:15 Registration, coffee and biscuits
10.45 Ireland’s Court Records – What Survived 1922? with Steven Smyrl MAGI FIGRS
11.45 Finding the Irish in the British and Irish Army Records, with Nicola Morris MAGI
13:00 Lunch
14:15 IGRS AGM (All welcome, but only members may vote)
15:30 Q&A session – Ask The Experts
16:00 Close

This being London, there's a cost involved but it's been kept as low as possible at £25 for members (£30 for non-members).

For more details and to book your place, see the IGRS website: IrishAncestors.ie.

AmericanAncestors: Free access to 32 probate-related databases for one week

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering 7 days of free access to 32 probate-related databases. These databases hold some of the earliest probate records of colonial Massachusetts and other New England colonies and states, as well as New York, and New Brunswick in Canada. As such, they can be useful both to those with Irish ancestors who emigrated to North America and those who have 'missing' members of their extended ancestral family.

If you don't already have a Guest Account at the NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org, you'll need to set one up (here). It's simple enough and free. Guest access automatically includes access to a different set of 20-odd useful databases, so it's worth setting up, anyway.

In addition to the 32 databases included in the current free access offer, researchers will find a host of support information from the Society about probate records and their use in family history research. There's a webinar by probate expert David Allen Lambert, as well as videos on how to search for New York, New England and Massachusetts probate collections, plus written features providing guidance on finding these records and how to get copies of documents.

https://www.americanancestors.org/probate

Free access to the probate collection will continue until Tuesday 25 April.


Longford Leader publishes YesterYears, a photographic trip down memory lane in the county

The Longford Leader has published YesterYears, a 164-page book of photographs that celebrate the county's towns and villages over time.

The selection was made after wading through hundreds of editions of the newspaper and include some of the most memorable images of the past several decades.

YesterYears is on sale for €10 in local outlets and from the newspaper's offices in Dublin Road, Longford, but copies can also be sent by post for €15 (email or phone to (0)43-33-45241).



Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Connecting People and Place: Exploring Ulster Roots, a family history day at PRONI on Saturday 13 May

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in conjunction with the Ulster Historic Foundation, the Federation of Local Studies and the North of Ireland Family History Society will be hosting 'Connecting People and Place: Exploring Ulster Roots', a full day of family history on Saturday 13 May.

The programme includes lectures, guided tours of PRONI, and a panel discussion, and the keynote speaker will be Joe Mahon of UTV's Lesser Spotted fame. It is aimed at anyone interested to discover more about their local area or their ancestors. Admission is free and open to everyone irrespective of skills or experience – novice and more experienced researchers alike are welcome.

Morning programme 10am–12:45pm

People and place, with Joe Mahon, Keynote Speaker

An introduction to family history research, with Gillian Hunt

Getting started online at PRONI, with Janet Hancock

Making connections with local and family history: a case study, with Roddy Hegarty

The local press in Strabane in WW1, shared narratives and diverging priorities
, with John Docher

Lunch and guided tours of PRONI 12:45pm–1:45pm

Afternoon programme 1:45pm–4pm

Glenelly My Home: A Facebook project in local and family history, with Rosemary Murphy

Sources for family history in North West Ulster, with Brian Mitchell MAGI

Panel discussion, with facilitator Fintan Mullan, joined by
  • Valerie Adams: Church records [TBC]
  • Dr Brian Lambkin: Migration records
  • Dr William Roulston: Landed estate records
  • Ann Robinson: The resources of the North of Ireland Family History Society
The event will be held at PRONI's premises in Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Admission is free. However, booking is essential as spaces are limited and these kinds of events at PRONI are usually over-subscribed. You can register for this event at Eventbrite.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest additions

In the first two weeks of April, the team of volunteers added the following records to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web):

A Sage family headstone in Ballygunner
St Mary burial ground.
Photo courtesy of IGPArchives and volunteer
Valerie Ackroyd, who has added more than
1,000 headstone records so far this month
CAVAN Genealogy Archives
Headstones
Gowna (R.C.) Cemetery (updated)
Killeshandra Old Burial Ground

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives
Church Records
Derrygonnelly, Church Hill Baptisms, Wesleyan Methodist 1877-1930

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives
Headstones
Conwall, Glendale Cemetery

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH, Genealogy Archives
Church Records
Clones Registers, Marriages 1694-1702 & 1757-1778
Clones Registers, Baptisms, 1710-1713

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives
Headstones
Ballygunner, St Mary - Pts. 4-7

Irish genealogy and history events, 17–30 April

Monday 17 April. Easter Monday. Archives and public libraries closed Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 18 April: Easter closure. Archives and public libraries closed Northern Ireland (incl PRONI & GRONI).

Tuesday 18 April: The Islandbridge Memorial Gardens, with Carole Walker. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. No booking required. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free.

Wednesday 19 April: Archaeology of the Blackstairs, with Seamus O'Morchu. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Community Hall, Borris, Co Carlow. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 19 April: Irish women during WW2, with Dr Mary Muldowney. Host: Dublin: One City One Book. Venue: The Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson St, Dublin 2. 6:30pm–7:30pm. Free. Register.

Thursday 20 April: Walking tour of Magee University's historic buildings, with John Thompson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Confirm meeting time and place (Derry) with branch by email.

Thursday 20 April: Kindertransport to Ulster, with Charlie Warmington (preceded by AGM). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down & Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor, BT20 4AG. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 20 April: From Laois to Kerry – How the clans of Laois were forced from their lands, with Michael Christopher Keane. Host: Laois Heritage Society. Venue: Heritage House Abbeyleix, Rathmoyle, Portlaoise, Co Laois. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €3.

Friday 21 April: The Exiles' Journey: James Connolly in America, discussion and documentary screening. Host: Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, USA. 6:30pm to 8pm. Free. Register.

Friday 21 April: Women in the Irish Revolution, a History Ireland Hedge School. Panel includes editor Tommy Graham, Mary McAuliffe, Linda Connolly, Elaine Sisson and Conor McNamara. Host: History Ireland and Women's Association of Ireland. Venue: The Mechanics Institute, Middle Street, Galway. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 22 April: The Loreto Sisters, their schools and their archive, with archivist Áine McHugh. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 3pm. Members and non-members welcome. Free to all. No need to book. (Lecture preceded at 2:30pm by IGRS Ireland Branch AGM, members only.)

Saturday 22 April: A showing of family history resources, with Sarah McHugh. Host and venue: Enniskillen Castle Visitor Centre, Castle Buildings, Enniskillen, Fermanagh. 2:15pm (Refreshments and branch meeting precedes talk from 1:30). Members free. Small charge for non-members. All welcome.

Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April: Alberta Genealogical Society Conference. Venue: Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, 4520–76 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6B 0A5. Specifically Irish-themed lectures are Irish Sources You May Never Think of, with Kyle J Betit on Saturday at 10:15am; Advances in Irish Research, also with Kyle, on Sunday, 11:20am–12:10pm; and Researching Your Scots–Irish Ancestors: Canada and Beyond, with Ruth Blair on Sunday, 11:20am–12:10pm. Several of the other lectures would also be particularly useful for researchers with Irish heritage. See full programme and details of registration.

Monday 24 April: Nomadic, Titanic's little sister, with Frances James. Plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, Co Antrim. BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 25 April: Islandbridge - People, places, pictures, with Patrick Hugh Lynch. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. Bring your own headphones for enhanced sound. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place.

Tuesday 25 April:: Great houses of Belfast and their families, with Roger Dixon. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 25 April:: Tracing your Irish ancestry, a workshop with Jill Williams FIGRS. Host: Consulate General of Ireland. Venue: CG of Ireland, 16 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 7TT. 2pm–4pm. Free. Places are limited so be sure to register your attendance by email to RSVPEdinburgh@dfa.ie.

Wednesday 26 April: The life and times of J B Malone, founder of the Wicklow Way: map-maker, soldier, historian and author, with Michael Fewer. The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive Conference Room, 138–144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 27 April: Dr P J O’Hara, a local doctor, with Brian O’Hara. Talk follows AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena Branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 27 April: The Fitzwilliams of Merrion – the last of the line, with Des Smyth. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall (Rathmines College), Rathmines Road, Dublin 6. 8pm. €3. All welcome.

Friday 28 April: First generation Irish, with Margaret Sullivan; Identifying Famine immigrants in Griffith's Valuation, with Donna Moughty; Mapping Irish locations online, with Pamela Guye Holland; Jumping the pond - Finding the origins of your Irish ancestors, with Donna Moughty; and Prejudice and Pride: Irish immigrants in Know-Nothing Boston, with Margaret Sullivan. Host: New England Regional Genealogical Consortium. Venue: MassMutual Convention Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Details and program.

Friday 28 April: H.M.Coastguard in pre-Independence Ireland: the Forgotten Force, with James Doherty. Host: Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: St. Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford. 8pm. Admission: €5.00 (members free).

Saturday 29 April: Michael Collins, Dublin 1916-22, with Joe Connell Jnr. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone, 77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Free. 4pm to 5:40pm. All welcome.

Friday, 14 April 2017

500 Legacy Family Tree Webinars free this weekend

To mark the upload of its 500th webinar, Legacy Family Tree Webinars is giving researchers free access to its entire library of online presentations.

Among them are 24 webinars with Irish themes. Half of them are by John Grenham MAGI, who won't require much introduction to readers of this blog, and they were all uploaded over the last nine months. Other well-known independent genealogists and lecturers are represented in the line-up, and I'm sure all family historians looking to improve or refresh their skills and knowledge would find something of interest among the lecture subjects offered.

The only caution I'd raise is to check the date of each recording. Some were made two, three or four years ago. While the background information provided in some of these older webinars may remain perfectly valid and useful, Irish genealogy has been moving at quite a pace over the last few years and details regarding access to collections may be out of date.

This generous offer from Legacy Family Tree Webinars is a first, and (who knows?) may not be repeated, so don't miss this opportunity during the Easter break to learn or brush up research skills.

Free access is now 'open' and will continue until Sunday evening.

You can learn more about the free weekend and how the webinar library developed here.

https://familytreewebinars.com/ireland


Free Easter access to Ancestry's Irish, UK and Commonwealth records

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-5737308-10819001?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2Fsearch%2Fgroup%2Fcommonwealth_recordsAncestry is giving free access this weekend to its collection of Irish, UK and Commonwealth records.

You can see a full list of all the record sets featured in this free access weekend by clicking the image, right. It includes records across Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, India, the Carribbean, New Zealand and many other parts of the world.

Access to the records in the featured collections will be free until 11:59pm BST on Monday 17 April.

You'll need to have a registered account. If you don't already have one, it's simple enough to set one up. Just follow the links and provide Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address. You'll then be sent a username and password.  No credit card or personal address details are requested.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Easter closures of main repositories in IE, NI & UK

IRELAND

The following repositories and libraries will be closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive, and will return to normal opening hours from Tuesday 18 April:

National Archives of Ireland
Registry of Deeds
General Register Office, Dublin Research Room
Public libraries outside Dublin
Representative Church Body Library
Dublin City Library & Archives
All Dublin City branch libraries and South Dublin Libraries

National Library of Ireland
All Library buildings will be closed from Friday 14 April to Sunday 16 April inclusive. On Monday 17 April (11am to 5:30pm) you can visit the Reading Room, visit the exhibitions and enjoy a number of free 45-minute talks as part of Cruinniú Na Cásca. Details. All back to normal hours on Tuesday 18 April.


NORTHERN IRELAND

PRONI
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will be open from 9am–4:45pm on Friday 14 April but will then be closed until Wednesday 19 April, reopening at 9am.

GRONI
The Public Search Room of the General Register Office of Northern Ireland will be open normal hours (9:30am–4pm) on Friday 14 April. It will then be closed until Wednesday 19 April, reopening at 9:30am.

Linen Hall Library
Open normal hours (9:30am to 5:30pm) on Friday 14 April and Saturday 15 April (9:30am–4pm). Closed Sunday 16 to Tuesday 18 April inclusive. Reopening 9:30am on Wednesday 19 April.

NIFHS Research Centre
Normally open on Tuesday from 2pm to 8pm, the North of Ireland Family History Society's Research Centre will not open on Tuesday 18 April. It will, however, be open on Thursday 20 April, from 10.30am to 1.00pm.


GB

Irish Genealogical Research Society's Library, SOG, London
Closed on Saturday 15 April. Reopening Saturday 22 April.

Society of Genealogists (SOG), London

The Society will be closed from Friday 14 April to Monday 17 April, inclusive.

The National Archives, Kew, London

Closing at 5pm on Thursday 13 April. Closed Friday 14 April to Monday 17 April inclusive.

Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Closing at 8pm on Thursday 13 April. Closed 14 April to Monday 17 April inclusive.

FamilySearch's online image-only Liverpool resources

Followers of Irish Genealogy News will be aware that FamilySearch.org has been digitising some of its microfilm collection and placing the resulting images on its website for free search and view. Its Valuation Office Books and a significant proportion of its Registry of Deeds microfilms are examples. While the former are online elsewhere, the Registry of Deeds collection has never been available online before.

This development prompted Col of Liverpool, a regular contributor to this blog, to take a look at FamilySearch's online image collections for the city of Liverpool, through which so many Irish men, women and children passed or settled during the C18th and C19th. He found the microfilm collections listed below partially or completely available as browsable images.

Please note that in some cases, FamilySearch seems to have filmed the originals twice. From what I can tell, online images are publicly available for one set only. The other set can be viewed online only at a Family History Center:

St Peter's Liverpool, Church of England. Demolished in 1922 and replaced by Giles Gilbert Scott's impressive Liverpool Cathedral, St Peter's was the parish church of Liverpool; people of all denominations were married in it.

St Nicholas Liverpool (aka Our Lady & St Nicholas with St Anne), Church of England. Located near the Pier Head, this is the oldest church in city centre. Again, people of many denominations were married here.

Gore's Directory of Liverpool, 1825-1900. Fifty directories are available during the time span.

(Liverpool Workhouse) Admission and discharge registers, Liverpool Board of Guardians, c1840s-1915. Registers include names entered by surname in alphabetical order, date of admission, age, location admitted to, by whom admitted, settlement and remarks, date of discharge, and conditions of discharge.

During the Famine era period although there were some RC churchyards in the Liverpool area most Irish people were buried in the CE "parish" cemeteries with St Mary's being more associated with people who died in the Famine. There's a plaque commemorating these Famine burials on a wall nearby in Mulberry Street. Neither of these sites are now cemeteries.

St Mary's Cemetery, Burial Registers 1806–1849: This is the Church of England Parish Cemetery in Cambridge Street/Mulberry Street. During the Famine era, many Irish Catholics were buried here. The Register notes the religion of the deceased, usually referring to Catholics as Papist, Roman or Romanist.

St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Cemetery, Burial registers 1829-1861: This is the Church of England Parish Cemetery in Silvester Street. The registers note name, abode location, burial date, age at death, and person performing ceremony.

Many thanks to Col for working through the Family History Library catalogue to find these imaged collections.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Book launch: Top 300 Surnames of Derry-LondonDerry

The Top 300 Surnames of Derry-Londonderry, by Brian Mitchell, has been published.

A member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), Brian runs the Derry Genealogy Service and has written several books exploring the history and genealogical resources of the area. This latest compact book – a 72-page paperback – includes a series of maps created by Sam Mitchell to help the reader follow the migration of surnames to Derry.

Exploring the history of a surname is a useful first step on a journey to tracing roots in Ireland. Surnames are very much connected to place in Ireland and are, therefore, an integral part of Irish identity and family history.

In the case of the Northern Ireland city of Derry (aka Londonderry), naming traditions go back to Derry’s founding by the city of London in 1613.

Brian has based his selection of 300 surnames on the 1989 Foyle Community Directory. Each name in this book has at least ten listings in the Foyle directory. The Introduction discusses the main cultural origins of Derry surnames – Gaelic, English and Lowland Scottish – and 20th-century newcomers, notably persons from Italy; Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and, later, Nazi Germany; and, most recently, Indian nationals. Derry’s unique historical background, including the impact upon surnames of the C17th Plantation of Ulster, also comes into play.

The bulk of the book consists of an alphabetical list of surnames, each given a ranking and short description history, such as the following:

Olphert. Rank: 269. Scottish. This variant of Oliphant is chiefly found in Counties Antrim and Derry. The Oliphants of Norman origin, who settled in Northamptonshire, England in the late 11th century, acquired lands in Roxburghshire, Scotland in the 12th century. The Londonderry Port Book of 1612 to 1615 records the trading activity of Wibrant Olfert, a Dutch merchant, who made Derry his home in the very early years of the Plantation of Ulster; he was importing timber from Norway and exporting butter and oats.

A bibliography of the books Brian consulted for this research is provided.

Published by Clearfield, the paperback is now on sale via Genealogical.com (US$14.95) or, for Ireland and UK purchases, via Amazon (£9.45).

ISBN: 978-0806358420

Registry of Deeds Index Project: update and new guide

The Registry of Deeds Index Project has been updated. It now holds 232,544 index entries from 26,222 memorials of deeds, all brought to you by the sustained efforts of a committed and international team of volunteers.

Access to the index is completely free.

Nick Reddan, who manages the site, has also added a navigation guide to help you find your way around the new FamilySearch collection of images. The LDS microfilmed records in the Registry of Deeds back in the 1950s and more recently digitised the microfilms. Last year, the digitised images started to appear on the FamilySearch.org website, allowing researchers to view indexes and memorial transcription volumes online for the first time. The navigation guide is designed to speed up your research.

National Famine Commemoration 2017 will be held in County Tipperary

This year's National Famine Commemoration will take place on Saturday 30 September in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary. It will be the first time the county has hosted the event.

It will be held in the Famine Warhouse 1848 (aka The Widow McCormack's House), the OPW national heritage site in Ballingarry.

Announcing the date and venue, Heather Humpreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, said: “Each year the commemoration represents an opportunity for the modern generation to remember the devastating impact which the Great Famine had on this country. At the heart of the National Famine Commemoration is the involvement of the local community, which each year brings a unique perspective to the ceremony which culminates in the formal State event, with the National flag and military honours, and wreath laying ceremonies.

“The Ballingarry Famine Warhouse is a fitting and historic venue for this year’s commemoration and I look forward to working with the local community and our colleagues in Tipperary County Council in preparing for this solemn commemorative event. The Ballingarry 1848 Historical Society has held the annual Famine 1848 Walk for the last decade, which shows the commitment of the local community to remember An Gorta Mór and its victims."

Monday, 10 April 2017

Irish genealogy and history events, 10–23 April

Monday 10 April: George Russell (AE): literary witness to Irish history, with Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. No booking. 7pm. Free. Details.

Monday 10 April: War of Independence agony in Cork City and County, with Tim O'Brien. Host: Muskerry Local History Society. Venue: Rugby Club, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. All welcome. Non-members €3. 8pm.

Monday 10 April: From Dublin to Limerick by barge in an era before the railroads, with Brian J. Goggin. Host: Limerick Historical Society. Venue: Room 203, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Free. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 11 April: Digitised online resources and complementary sources for researching family history, with Tom Quinlan. Host: Genealocial Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire FE Institute, 17 Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3 donation requested.

Tuesday 11 April: 'Enough People have died: No one else should be killed in battle!’ How Kathe Kollwitz became a pacifist during World War I, with Dr Alexandra von dem Knesebeck; chaired by Philippe Roland, Ambassador of Belgium to Ireland. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. Bring your own headphones for enhanced sound. No booking required, but come early to ensure a seat. Admission free.

Thursday 13 April: World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, a public tour. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street (entrance on main street, alongside main building), Dublin 2. No booking required. 2pm. Free.

Thursday 13 April: The first anniversary of the Easter Rising, with Dr Roisin Higgins. Host and venue: GPO Witness History, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. Lecture at 5pm. Tickets €10, includes a visit to the exhibition at 4:15pm. Tickets at www.gpowitnesshistory.ie or (0)1 872 1916.

Friday 14 April: Good Friday. Most archives and libraries closed. Check locally.

Monday 17 April. Easter Monday. Most archives and libraries closed. Check locally.

Tuesday 18 April: The Islandbridge Memorial Gardens, with Carole Walker. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. Bring your own headphones for enhanced sound. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free.

Wednesday 19 April: Archaeology of the Blackstairs, with Seamus O'Morchu. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Community Hall, Borris, Co Carlow. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 19 April: Irish women during WW2, with Dr Mary Muldowney. Host: Dublin: One City One Book. Venue: The Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson St, Dublin 2. 6:30pm–7:30pm. Free. Register.

Thursday 20 April: Walking tour of Magee University's historic buildings, with John Thompson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Confirm meeting time and place (Derry) with branch by email.

Thursday 20 April: Kindertransport to Ulster, with Charlie Warmington (preceded by AGM). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down & Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor, BT20 4AG. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 20 April: From Laois to Kerry – How the clans of Laois were forced from their lands, with Michael Christopher Keane. Host: Laois Heritage Society. Venue: Heritage House Abbeyleix, Rathmoyle, Portlaoise, Co Laois. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €3.

Saturday 22 April: The Loreto Sisters, their schools and their archive, with archivist Áine McHugh. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 3pm. Members and non-members welcome. Free to all. No need to book. (Lecture preceded at 2:30pm by IGRS Ireland Branch AGM, members only.)

Saturday 22 April: A showing of family history resources, with Sarah McHugh. Host and venue: Enniskillen Castle Visitor Centre, Castle Buildings, Enniskillen, Fermanagh. 2:15pm (Refreshments and branch meeting precedes talk from 1:30). Members free. Small charge for non-members. All welcome.

Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April: Alberta Genealogical Society Conference. Venue: Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, 4520–76 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6B 0A5. Specifically Irish-themed lectures are Irish Sources You May Never Think of, with Kyle J Betit on Saturday at 10:15am; Advances in Irish Research, also with Kyle, on Sunday, 11:20am–12:10pm; and Researching Your Scots–Irish Ancestors: Canada and Beyond, with Ruth Blair on Sunday, 11:20am–12:10pm. Several of the other lectures would also be particularly useful for researchers with Irish heritage. See full programme and details of registration.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Scottish Roman Catholic Registers join FindMyPast

Findmypast has added some 1.2million Scottish Roman Catholic church records to its database. Given the historical ties between Ireland and Scotland, not to mention the physical proximity of the two countries, this collection should be checked out by Irish family historians.

This release is the first tranche of FindMyPast's Scottish Catholic collection. It includes baptism, marriage, burial and congregational records from all eight of Scotland's Roman Catholic Dioceses: St Andrews & Edinburgh; Aberdeen; Argyll & the Isles; Dunkeld; Galloway; Glasgow; Motherwell; and Paisley.

The records date back to 1730, span 300 years of Scottish history and cover more than 115 parishes across the nation. The oldest records date to 1608 (Braemar), but most start in the mid- to late-19th century. Many continue well into the 20th century.

The records sets are:

Scottish Roman Catholic Baptisms: With each result, you'll find a transcript and an image of the original baptism register. The amount of information recorded may vary depending on what the priest chose to note, but most include date of birth, baptism date, home parish and parents' names. The only Santry entry I found (in the Greenock St Mary register) additionally included sponsors' names, the name of the clergyman, and, under a column headed 'Legitimacy', the infant was noted as 'Lawful'.

Scottish Roman Catholic marriages: This record set holds just under 200,000 entries, each comprising both an image of the original matrimonial register and a transcript of the key facts ie date and location of the wedding, names of bride and groom, names of their fathers and names of witnesses to the ceremony. The amount of detail in each transcript will vary depending on the age of the document (later records tend to include more details) and the condition of the record (some records may have been damaged over the centuries).

Scottish Roman Catholic Burials: These records provide an image of the burial register and a transcript of the vital details. Images may reveal additional details such as your ancestor’s cause of death, marital status, the name of the person who ordered their internment (usually next of kin) and any additional comments.

Scottish Roman Catholic Congregational Records: This record set holds some 268,000 assorted congregational records including registers of first communions and confirmations, parish lists, pew/seat rentals, and lists of people who converted to Catholicism. Each search result returns a transcript and an image of the original document.

You can find a full list of the parishes included in these record sets, plus the dates of their respective earliest and latest registers, in the Scottish Roman Catholic Parish List. Bear in mind there are often gaps in the stated date ranges of the registers.

Further Scottish records are expected to be added to the collection later this year.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Libraries NI ends access to Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry's Library Edition is no longer available in
Northern Ireland's public libraries.
Family historians in Northern Ireland who have been accustomed to using Ancestry's database at their local library are going to be in for a shock when they drop in for their next research session.

Against the backdrop of ever tighter budgets, Libraries NI has not renewed its Ancestry subscription and access to the Library Edition has now ceased across the entire library network.

A Libraries NI spokesperson told Irish Genealogy News: “I can confirm that Libraries NI has taken the decision not to renew the Ancestry service from 1 April 2017 as a result of an overall review of online services. In the coming months Libraries NI will be considering the ways in which we can support customers with an interest in genealogy.

"Libraries NI offers a wide range of resources that are of benefit to historians, researchers, genealogists, students and those who have an interest in cultural and community life, past or present. Our main heritage collections are located in Armagh City, Ballymena Central, Belfast Central, Derry Central, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Newry City and Omagh libraries and in the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies (MCMS). Heritage exhibitions and events take place throughout the year and include talks, family history fairs, family history workshops and book launches.”

Decisions such as these are usually taken very reluctantly by library services. And reluctant decisions can be overturned when they provoke a strong negative reaction from users. If you're a Northern Ireland-based researcher and a regular library user, why not voice your concerns and have a moan about how it will impact you and other family historians, especially beginners?  Complaints in writing are more likely to reach those that have the authority to overturn this decision, so use the online feedback form on the Libraries NI site or write to the organisation's HQ at Lisburn City Library (address is on the same page) or drop a note round to your local library.

(Many thanks to Robin Gourley for informing me about this development.)


CSO releases preliminary findings from 2016 census

The Central Statistics Office has released its preliminary findings from last year's census. It paints a picture of the modern Republic of Ireland and shows the population has grown since 2011 by 3.8% to 4.76million.

Click for larger view of infographic
Central Statistics Office (cso.ie) infographic.
Click for larger view.
The current rate of population growth is the slowest for more than two decades. However, the population of Dublin grew by 5.8%, Cork by 4.6%, and Galway by 4.2% in the last five years, and only counties Mayo and Donegal showed any decrease in overall numbers.

The total population figure for the 26 counties is up from 3.14million just over a century ago, in 1911, when it was less than half what it had been in 1841.

In 2016, some 78% of the population - 3.7m people - declared themselves as Roman Catholic, a reduction of more than 130,000 since 2011 when 84% stated they belonged to this church.

Meanwhile, slightly less than half a million people (468,400) declared they had no religion. Now representing 10% of the current population (it was 6% in 2011), this 'no religion' group now makes up the second largest 'religious' category in the Republic.

If you like to immerse yourself in these kinds of stats, find yourself a comfy chair and download the Central Statistics Office's 107-page Census 2016 Summary Results Part 1 .


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Two top Irish genealogy sites have technical problems

Two of Ireland's essential genealogy websites – IrishGenealogy.ie and Genealogy.NationalArchives.ie – have been having problems all morning. They have a common server, so when one is down, there's a good likelihood the other is, too. Fortunately, these kinds of shared downtimes are usually sorted out pretty quickly, but this one has been going on since at least 7.30am, when I received my first notification of a problem, so, since it's now gone noon and there's still no resolution, I thought I'd do a quickie blogpost to confirm the state of play.

The home pages and non-database features of both sites are operating as normal. It's only when you select a database you want to search that the problem appears. Basically, nothing happens and then you get a 'Problem Loading Page' or '503 Service Unavailable' screenview.

Optimists please note: There is no suggestion that new records are being uploaded!

Techies are working to solve the problem and restore the databases to public use.

UPDATE, 2:05pm: All the databases appear to have been restored.

UPDATE, 2:30pm: Perhaps not fully, though. You can search the civil records database on IrishGenealogy.ie and see the index entries, but when you want to view an image, the response is 'Not found'. Similarly with the Census database on http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/, your search results will stop short of providing access to an image of the return; the response is 'Forbidden - you do not have authority...'. I've checked four of the databases on the NAI's site and in each case, you can't get access to the image. Clearly there's still some work to be done.

UPDATE, 7 April, 8:00am: The problems persist.

UPDATE, 7 April, 10:35am: The National Archives of Ireland has just tweeted: 'Some technical issues are continuing with our genealogy website. Images are not currently available. We are working to resolve the issue asap'.

UPDATE, 7 April, 11:25am:  The National Archives of Ireland has advised that the problem has been identified and the techies are working on correcting it.

UPDATE, 8 April, 10:30am: I'll keep an eye on the sites and update here if there's any change, but I rather expect the glitch has settled in for the weekend.

UPDATE, 10 April, 10:15am: National Archives of Ireland has tweeted apologies for the continuing technical issues. "Please be assured we are doing all that we can to resolve it."

UPDATE, 10 April, 11:30am: Hurrah! Full function appears to have been restored to both sites.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

More County Westmeath records join RootsIreland

The Dún na Sí Heritage Centre based in Moate has added some new County Westmeath records to the Irish Family History Foundation's online database at RootsIreland.ie.

Among them are the early baptism, marriage and death/burial registers of Castlepollard Roman Catholic parish. These date: baptisms &ndash 1763-1790; marriages – 1763-1790; and death/burials 1764-1818.

The volunteer team will be continuing its transcription project with later registers from this parish. These will be added to the searchable online records collection as they are completed.

Also newly online are some 3,200 headstone inscriptions from three cemeteries, as follows:
  • Walshestown Cemetery, Mullingar: nearly 2,000 headstone transcriptions
  • Kilbeggan Cemetery, Kilbeggan: nearly 1,200 headstone transcriptions
  • Quaker Cemetery, Cartronkeel, Moate: just over 60 headstones. 
In the course of gathering these transcriptions, most of these headstones have been photographed and the images are held at Dún na Sí. If you find an entry in the database that relates to your ancestors, it might be worth emailing the heritage centre to ask if a digital image is available. 

You can see the full line-up of the Heritage Centre's Co. Westmeath's online collection here.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest updates

Additions to the free Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the second half of March are summarised below.

http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/mayo/photos/tombstones/craggagh/target26.html
Headstone to Michael Ruane in Craggagh
Cemetery, Foxford, Co. Mayo.
Photo courtesy IGP Archives/Dympna Beckett Joyce
CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Brigid Graveyard (R.C.), Gowna

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Deansgrange Cemetery – St. Anne's Section, pt 2
Mount Jerome Cemetery – Parts 156-158

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Craggagh Cemetery, Foxford

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives
Church Records
Baptisms, Clones Parish Registers 1701-04

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Carrick-on-Suir (St Nicholas CoI)
St. Mary's (RC) Graveyard, Cahir

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Lismore, St. Carthage's Cathedral (Additional)
St. John's RC Church Waterford City
St. Mary, Ballygunner - Parts 1-3

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Newspapers
Wexford Independent: Poorhouse entries & Discharges, 14 Dec 1864

UNKNOWN Genealogy Archives - Memorial Cards
"Found in Ireland"

* Along with a huge batch of memorial cards focussed on Wexford, the unknown Memorial Cards listed above were donated last year (see blogpost) and contain no information to link the deceased with any county or even Ireland. A decision was taken by the IGPArchives' volunteers to place them online, as they may hold valuable information for researchers, Irish or not.

Irish genealogy and history events, 3 to 15 April

The following Irish family history, local history and social history events will be taking place in the next two weeks in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK, and the USA:

Monday 3 April: Killyleagh - its castle and celebrities, with Clive Scoular. Followed by AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killeleagh Branch. Venue: Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co. Down, BT30 9QF. 8pm to 9:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 3 April: Useful free family history sources to draw your family tree, with Lorna Moloney. Part of the 14th Cork Lifelong Learning Festival. Host: University College Cork Adult Continuing Education. Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, Room 102, UCC, College Rd, Cork. 1pm to 3pm. Free. No booking.

Monday 3 April: How to be a successful family historian without really trying, with Tony McCarthy. Part of the 14th Cork Lifelong Learning Festival. Host: University College Cork Adult Continuing Education. Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, Room 102, UCC, College Rd, Cork. 3pm to 4pm. Free. No booking.

Monday 3 April: The Quakers in Wicklow, with Philip Geoghegan. Host: Rathdrum Historical Society. Venue: Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 April: Genealogy workshop, with Lorna Moloney. Part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning programme. Venue: City Hall, Limerick. 10.30-12:30. Free. All welcome. Registration.

Tuesday 4 April: Why Can’t I Find my Ancestors? part of the LifeLong Learning Festival. Host and venue: Castletownbere Library, The Square, Castletownbere, Co. Cork.  Free. 1pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 April: The Irish Famine Roads, with Charles Egan. Host: Kilmacanogue History Society. Venue: Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow. 8pm. Entry €4 (members €3). All welcome.

Tuesday 4 April: How to start your family tree, by Ann Marie Coghlan. Joint hosts: Cork Genealogy Society and Cork City Libraries. Venue:  Tory Top Library, Tory Top Road, Ballyphehane, Cork. 11am to Noon. Free. Register.

Tuesday 4 April: Ireland and the Great War in Belgium, with Piet Chielens. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. Bring your own headphones for enhanced sound. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free.

Tuesday 4 April: Awkward, Uncomfortable and evil items in manuscripts and archives, with Dr Jason McElligott, Keeper of Marsh's Library. Host: Irish Society for Archives. Venue: Conference Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Lecture at 6:30pm (preceded at 6pm by AGM). All welcome. No booking required.

Tuesday 4 April: Using genetic genealogy to reconstruct our family history, with Paddy Waldron. Part of the LifeLong Learning Festival of Limerick. Venue: T1.15, Ground Floor, TARA Building, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. 7pm–8:30pm. Free.

Wednesday 5 April: Genealogy workshop, with Lorna Moloney. Part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning programme. Venue: Engineering Room EN1025, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Co Limerick. 7pm to 9pm. Free. All welcome. Registration

Wednesday 5 April: Free website sources for historical maps of Ireland, with Jane Nolan. Host: University College Dublin, as part of the All Aboard 2017 Digital Citizenship Project. Venue: DLR Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin. 11am–noon. Admission free. No booking necessary.

Thursday 6 April: Open Access historical sources at the UCD Library, with Jenny Collery, and an Open Evening with local history groups. Venue: James Joyce Library, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4. 7pm to 8:30pm. Free.

Thursday 6 April: A few things you didn't know about the Easter Rising 1916, with Mick O'Farrell. Host and venue: GPO Witness History, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. Lecture at 5:30pm. Tickets €10, includes a visit to the exhibition at 4:45pm. Tickets at www.gpowitnesshistory.ie or (0)1 872 1916.

Thursday 6 April: The Ulster Question, with Gerry McCarthy. Host: Kinsale & District History Society. Venue: Temperance Hall, Market Quay, Kinsale, Co. Cork. 8pm - 10pm. All welcome.

Thursday 6 April: Genealogy workshop, with Lorna Moloney. Part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning programme. Venue: King John's Castle, Limerick City. Free. All welcome. 2pm to 4pm. Registration

Thursday 6 April: The McCormack Brothers, a screening. Filmed in Ireland, the production tells the story of two brothers wrongfully hanged for the murder of a local land agent in 1858. Host and venue: Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co Offaly. This is the second film in the 'Stories from The Famine' series from Blue Socks Entertainment. Two screenings: 2pm (€5) and 8pm (€8).

Friday 7 April: Why can't I find my ancestors? A talk about overcoming family history research problems, with Karen O'Riordan. Part of the LifeLong Learning Festival. Host and venue: Cobh Library, Arch Building, Casement Square, Cobh, Co. Cork. Free. Starts at noon. To book, tel (021) 4811130 or email cobh.library@corkcoco.ie to book.

Saturday 8 April: Finding living descendants: Tracing your family forward, with Gigi Hickey. Host: Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 N. Concord Street, South St. Paul, MN, USA. 10:30am to Noon. Cost: $15 for IGSI members, $20 for non-members. Register.

Saturday 8 April: Researching your family tree, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Host and venue: National Museum of Ireland – CountryLife, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo. 11.30am to 1pm. Free. No booking required.

Saturday 8 April: An introduction to genealogy workshop, with David Ryan. Part of the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival. Venue: St. Peter's Cork, North Main Street, Cork City. 2pm–4pm. Free. All welcome. Register.

Saturday 8 April: The joys and sorrows of genealogy as a hobby, with Tony Harpur. Part of the Midleton Lifelong Learning Festival. Venue: Midleton Library, 81 Main St, Midleton, Co Cork. 12:15pm to 1:45pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 10 April: George Russell (AE): literary witness to Irish history, with Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. No booking required. 7pm. Free. Details.

Tuesday 11 April: Digitised online resources and complementary sources for researching family history, with Tom Quinlan. Host: Genealocial Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire FE Institute, 17 Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3 donation requested.

Tuesday 11 April: 'Enough People have died: No one else should be killed in battle!’ How Kathe Kollwitz became a pacifist during World War I, with Dr Alexandra von dem Knesebeck; chaired by Philippe Roland, Ambassador of Belgium to Ireland. Host: City Hall Lunch-time Lectures Series (Dublin CC). Venue: Council Chamber City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin. Doors open 12:30pmm. Talk starts 1:10pm. Bring your own headphones for enhanced sound. No booking required, but come early to ensure a place. Seats allocated on first come - first served basis. Admission free.

Thursday 13 April:
World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, a public tour. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street (entrance on main street, alongside main building), Dublin 2. No booking required. 2pm. Free.

Thursday 13 April: The first anniversary of the Easter Rising, with Dr Roisin Higgins. Host and venue: GPO Witness History, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. Lecture at 5pm. Tickets €10, includes a visit to the exhibition at 4:15pm. Tickets at www.gpowitnesshistory.ie or (0)1 872 1916.

Friday 14 April: Good Friday. Most archives and libraries closed. Check locally.