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Friday, 26 May 2017

29 May: Bank holiday in Northern Ireland

There's a public holiday in Northern Ireland on Monday, 29 May, so all repositories, archives and libraries will be closed.

The Linen Hall Library in Belfast will be open on Saturday, but not Monday.

While Northern Ireland takes the day off, it's a normal working day in the Republic of Ireland, where the next bank holiday is a week later (5 June).

Donegal's oral history recordings identified in database

Donegal Heritage Office will be launching an Audit of Oral History Recordings for County Donegal this evening (see below).

The Audit is the result of work carried out over the last year by Dr Tomás Mac Conmara, an oral historian from County Clare. He has identified more than 4,000 oral history recordings from 57 collections relating to County Donegal. They range from the professional work undertaken by Seán Ó hEochaidh of the Irish Folklore Commission to a family's recording of their grandmother's memories.

The purpose of the audit was to identify, in so far as possible, what has been collected at national, regional and local levels, and to put that information together for the first time into one database. This will allow more locals and people with ancestral connections to Donegal to explore that material where that is possible and ultimately engage more deeply with their own heritage.

"Oral history as a method of exploring our past enables a more personal and human story to unfold," said Dr Mac Conmara. "It leads us often to a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our history. The folklore and stories of local places and people are crucial to a more complete telling of our past.”

The audit will be accessible on the County Donegal Heritage Office website following its launch.

The launch will be held at 7:30pm at the County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny. All welcome. Details.

A day-long Oral History Training Workshop will be taking place tomorrow in Letterkenny. It is fully booked. If there is demand, the Heritage Office will consider holding another workshop in the future. Details.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book launch: The Irish Revolution 1912-23 – Monaghan

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2017/monaghan/
A new book from Four Courts Press will be of interest to researchers with connections to County Monaghan.

The Irish Revolution, 1912-1923 – Monaghan
, by Terence Dooley, explores the Revolutionary Era from the perspective of this border county, which seemed likely to become a battlefield in a sectarian civil war until the First World War intervened with significant consequences for both Protestant and Catholic communities.

The 1916 Rising itself had little impact on Monaghan but its consequences did, as all communities were discommoded during the turbulent 1919–23 period by violence (sometimes sectarian in nature), the growth of lawlessness and agrarianism, the economic effects of the Belfast Boycott, and the imposition of the border with the new state of Northern Ireland.

After 1923, the people of Monaghan got on with living their lives in a changed political landscape. For many, the revolution brought a sense of lingering disillusionment: Monaghan unionists were aggrieved at their desertion by their fellow Ulster covenanters and nationalists were disappointed by how little the social and political order had changed.

Terence Dooley is director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, Maynooth University. He is the author of The decline and fall of the Dukes of Leinster, 1872–1948: love, war, debt and madness (Dublin, 2014) and co-editor, with Christopher Ridgway, of The Country House and the Great War: Irish and British experiences (Dublin, 2016). His new 192-page paperback is on sale (€17.95) from Four Courts Press. ISBN: 978-1-84682-616-0.


London FamilySearch Centre's microfilms to leave Kew

The SoG is based at 14 Charterhouse Buildings,
Goswell Rd, London EC1M 7BA, close
to Barbican and Farringdon tube stations.
As announced some time back, the microfilms at the London FamilySearch Centre, currently at The National Archives in Kew, will be moving to the Society of Genealogists (SoG) in Clerkenwell.

The last day to view microfilms at The National Archives location will be Wednesday 31 May 2017. Following their removal and setting up at their new home, the microfilms are expected to be available for viewing at the SoG's Library and Education Centre before the end of June.

The London FamilySearch Centre is not closing. The computers and websites will continue to be available at The National Archives. It is just the microfilm library that is moving.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Two completed World Archives Projects for Ireland join the Ancestry database

Two of Ancestry's World Archives Projects (WAPs) of Irish collections have joined its main database. This means these newly indexed collections can now be searched by researchers, whether or not they have an active subscription. While you can search the index and view all the indexed records that match your query, you will need a subscription to view the images.

http://www.ancestry.com/wiki/index.php?title=File:MasterMistressBlank.JPG
Ireland, School Masters and Mistresses, 1826

You may remember me blogging about the launch of this WAP back in November. It covers just one year, 1826, and includes data extracted from the Irish Education Inquiry's second Commissiners' report into the state of education across the island.

The names of 13,265 School Masters and Mistresses employed in schools in that year have been indexed, along with the location of the school in which they were employed, the parish and the county. The entire island is covered.

See the image right (click for larger view) to understand the data collected for the index.

Ireland, Poor Law Union Removals From England, 1859-1860

This is a small collection of just under 2,000 records. The WAP volunteers have indexed details of the Irish-born individuals living in England who were unable to prove they were 'legally settled' in their new parish. Usually, this meant being able to show evidence of being settled -- typically employment or marriage to a parishoner. The idea was to prevent people of no means becoming a burden on the parish chest. Failure to meet the required criteria could lead to forcible removal. If they could not fulfil the required criteria, they could be removed by force and sent back to their original parish of legal settlement in Ireland.

The image below shows part of a page in which removals from Gloucester were recorded. It records the date of removal, the name of the individual or head of household, and the port to which they were returned. The middle columns show (left) the numbers of adults in the party, and (right) the number of children. For example, on 26 July 1859, Bridget Patterson and her four children were returned to the port of Cork.

The free index-only record for Bridget would tell you the date, the removal place and the port of return. The full record, ie the image of the page, would additionally show that Bridget was given no financial assistance to facilitate her onward travel from the port. Some were. Some were not.

UPDATE, 25 May: Ancestry UK has just published a detailed blogpost about the Poor Law Union Removals from England collection (here). Well worth reading.









PRONI's Archives Unlocked - Lunchtime lecture series

PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has announced a new series of Thursday lunchtime talks. They don't start until August, but as PRONI events are so popular, I thought I'd pass on details now rather than wait for my usual fortnightly listing when they might be fully booked.

Each of the talks will be led by a member of PRONI's staff, will centre on archival collections in PRONI and will provide excellent insight on using these resources for family and local history. They will all be held at PRONI's offices.

Thursday 14 September: Drawn from our land: revealing maps from the collections, with Dr Glynn Kelso
Thursday 21 September: Prison records at PRONI, with Graham Jackson
Thursday 28 September: Sport in the Archives, with Andrew Toland
Thursday 5 October: Capturing the past – photographic collections and digitisation at PRONI, with Joy Carey & Lorraine Bourke

Admission is FREE, however booking is essential as spaces are limited. Tickets.

Irish Historic Towns Atlas: full digital series now online

The Royal Irish Academy has released the final planned editions in its Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) digital series. This time, it's the development of the 19th-century town that's under scrutiny.

https://www.ria.ie/towns-nineteenth-century
Bray and Belfast (Part II, 1840 to 1900) are the towns
explored in today's last-in-the-series digital release.
This is the period that includes the Famine; mass-emigration from the countryside; the completion of Ireland's canal network; the growth of railways, trams and factories; the construction of barracks, gaols, workhouses and asylums; and a massive Roman Catholic church building programme as the Penal Laws ended.

Bray and Belfast (Part II, 1840 to 1900) are the towns explored in this digital release.

Each of the digital editions is published with the relevant chapter from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas* 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.

You can see the line-up of 25+ digital IHTA editions here.

* By Jacinta Prunty and H.B. Clarke (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2011)

June edition of Irish Roots magazine published

The June edition of Irish Roots Magazine arrived in my postbox yesterday morning, and it's another excellent issue with a wide range of features covering traditional family history, genetic/DNA research, Irish history and heritage, news of record releases and other developments in Irish genealogy, and much more.

http://www.irishrootsmedia.com/shop-product//Issue-102---Summer-2017/171Regular readers of this blog will know that FamilySearch.org recently began digitising microfilmed material from the Registry of Deeds – one of the last largely untapped major Irish archives for genealogists. As this vast collection of material starts to become more accessible and ready to give up its secrets, many researchers will be wanting  to become familiar with the archive and the online facility. Cue a timely feature to explain the records and find your way around the database.

Another resource under the spotlight is the Irish Reproductive Loan Fund collection. This, too, is timely, as the surviving records (almost all from western seaboard counties) are available on FindMyPast and, from next month, on Ancestry. This feature examines the funds from a historical perspective and analyses the surviving material for evidence of how our ancestors felt about money, debt and poverty. It's quite an eye-opener.

There's also an in-depth listing of the many resources available to those with ancestral connections to the Orchard County – Armagh – and a guide explaining how the results of Y-DNA tests can be applied to surname studies. Talking of surnames, there's also the second of a four-part series looking at Gaelic place names and families from each of Ireland's provinces; this issue is the turn of Munster.

The Irish emigration in the 19th century is the focus of another article; it looks at the events and social conditions that played a part in the exodus, especially to North America, the journey endured by the emigrants and the discrimination and hardship they encountered on arrival in their new home. Sticking with the 'leaving Ireland' theme is a feature exploring the comprehensive records known as the Irish Gift presented to mark Australia's Bicentenary nearly 30 years ago: the Australia Transportation Records, which not only include details of those transported, but also applications from the convicts for their families to join them in their new land.

As always, Irish Roots Magazine is full of news. Apart from my own What's New? Review, which sets out the quarter's most important record releases, there's news from family and local history societies, comment and observations of other recent events, letters to the editor, a reader's story of successful research, and a helpful Q&A column.

This issue also brings details of a project to connect descendants of the Mountbellow Orphan Girls who sailed for Australia in 1853. The project plans a commemoration of the Girls next year, and TV documentary is scheduled.

Irish Roots magazine is available in both print and digital format, as a one-issue purchase or as part of a subscription package. See full purchase details (and don't miss the free sample of the issue).

Happy reading and learning!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Irish genealogy & history events, 22 May - 4 June

Tuesday 23 May: Milltown Cemetery, with Tom Hartley, and Dabbling with Facebook, with Anne Johnston. 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 23 May: Family History Day at Ballyclare Town Hall. With local genealogical and historical societies, DNA testing, PRONI, exhibitions of maps and photos, guidance and research advice. All free. Venue: Town Hall, The Square, Ballyclare, Co Antrim, BT39 9BB. 10am to 4pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 23 May: Exploring Your Irish & Scots-Irish Ancestors, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: The Wanaka Genealogy Group. Venue: Presbyterian Community Church Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka, New Zealand. 1pm–5pm. $20. All welcome. Details and booking.

Wednesday 24 May: The Gore-Booth Sisters in Manchester: Suffrage, Socialism and Sobriety, with Dr Sonja Tiernan. Host and venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Cheetham Hill, Manchester UK, M8 0RY. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 25 May: Forger, freemason, freeman: the story of Samuel Clayton, Dubliner, with Margaret Smith. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall, Rathmines, Dublin 6. 8pm. Members free; Visitors €3.

Thursday 25 May: Irish family history day, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Society of Australian Genealogists. Venue: Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street (next door to Richmond Villa, 120 Kent St), Sydney, Australia. 10am–4pm. Morning and afternoon tea provided; bring your own lunch. Bookings essential: $55 members, $70 non-members. Details.

Thursday 25 May: From Antichrist to ARCIC: Protestant attitudes to Catholicism, 1517-2017, with Prof Alan Ford. The Beckett Lecture. Host: Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6:30pm. Free tickets. Booking

Friday 26 May: 'Squinting George': the Curraghmore of George, first Marquess of Waterford (1736-1800), with Julian Walton. Host: Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: St. Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford City. 8pm. Small charge for non-members. All welcome.

Friday 26 May to Sunday 28 May: The Homecoming of the Daniel McCarthy Glas Archive and the Mac Carthy Cultural and Historical Weekend. Hosts: School of History, UCC; Cork City and County Archives; Dunmanway Historical Association. Venue: The Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, Co Cork. For details, email info@dunmanwayhistoricalassociation.com.

Saturday 27 May: Tracing your Irish ancestors - a day seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Genealogy Sunshine Coast. Venue: Genealogy Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, Petrie Park Road, Nambour, QLD 4560, Australia. 8am–3:30pm. $40, includes morning and afternoon tea; Lunch available for $5pp. Details. Booking advised.

Saturday 27 May: Our Wicklow Heritage: Community Archaeology, including illustrated presentations, a screening, workshop and optional field trip to Glendalough. Host: Wicklow County Council Heritage Department. Venue: Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, Co Wicklow. 10am–4pm. Free. All welcome. Advance booking essential. Details.

Sunday 28 May: Irish Family History, seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: The Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS). Venue: State Library of Western Australia, 25 Francis St, Perth, Australia. 1pm–7pm. $40 members of WAGS or Affiliated Societies, $50 non-members. Details. FULLY BOOKED.

Tuesday 30 May: Irish family history seminar, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies. Venue: Willis Room, Whitehorse Centre, 397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 9:30am-4:30pm. Bookings is essential $45. For more details, tel (03) 9877 3789. SOLD OUT.

Tuesday 30 May: Domestic service in Kilrush, Co. Clare from 1881 to 1951, with Lisa O’Sullivan. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 8pm–9pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 30 May to 9 June: Messines Memorial exhibition, an art installation entitled ‘Assembly - Memorial Chairs’ by artist Val Carman. During the course of this battle, the 16th (Irish) division fought side by side with the 36th (Ulster) division. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Exhibition free during normal opening hours until 1pm Friday 9th. 

Wednesday 31 May: Irish Family History Day, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria, Irish Ancestry Group. Venue: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Includes Scots-Irish research, landed estate records, census substitutes, church records, using Registry of Deeds, Poor Law records. 9:30am-4:30pm Bookings is essential $45. Refreshments provided but bring your own lunch. Details. SOLD OUT.

Wednesday 31 May: The Great Parchment Book, with Philippa Smith. Host: London Metropolitan Archives. Venue: Heritage Gallery at Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2, UK. Talk marks London History Day. 10:30am. Free and all welcome, but need to book.

Thursday 1 June and Friday 2 June: Women and Irishness, conference. Host: Women on Ireland Research. Venue: Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford City, County Waterford. €50 for one day; €75 for two days. Programme and registration.

Thursday 1 June: The island of Ireland and the Great War in Flanders, with Piet Chielens. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 7pm. Free but need to book.

Friday 2 June: The British Army in 1917: how serious were the morale problems? with Dr Tom Thorpe. First of the Battle of Messines lunchtime lecture series, co-hosted by PRONI and the Antrim and Down Branch of the Western Front Association. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast BT3 9HQ. 12:30-1:30pm. Free. All welcome. Booking advised.

Saturday 3 June : Irish family history, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Part of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists's 50th Anniversary Conference. Venue: Alexandra Park, Greenlane West, Auckland New Zealand. 9am–6pm. Day rate: $92 (or full conference $230). Details.

Sunday 4 June: Irish family history, an evening lecture with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Loyal Orange Institution of New Zealand. Venue: Sudima Hotel, 18 Airport Drive, Airport Oaks, Auckland, New Zealand. 7pm–9pm. More details.

Friday, 19 May 2017

RootsIreland adds 32,000 East Galway records

RootsIreland.ie has uploaded an interesting and useful mix of 32,000 records to its East Galway Family History Society (Woodford Heritage Centre) database.

http://galwayeast.rootsireland.ie/generic.php?filename=centres/galwayeast/sources.tplThe new records include transcriptions from marriage registers, a parish census, headstone inscriptions, directories and census substitutes. The areas covered are as follows:

Non Catholic Marriages 1845-1955: This collection includes the parishes of Ardrahan, Athenry, Eyrecourt, Gort, Kilcolgan, Killinane, Kilconickney, Kinvara, Loughrea, Portumna, Tynagh and Woodford.

1889 Woodford Parish Census: This joins the parish census for 1897, which was already in the database. Together they make 4200 records.

Graveyard Inscriptions: Included are 26 burial grounds in Ahascragh, Aughrim, Beagh, Clontuskert, Craughwell, Kilbeacanty, Kilclooney, Killascobe, Killimordaly, Kilmacduagh, Mountbellew, Moylough, Mullagh and Woodford.

Census substitutes:
  • Christmas Donations – Beagh and Gort parishes, 1856
  • Registry of Freeholds 1829, Co. Galway.
  • Slater’s and Pigot’s Directories, Co. Galway 1824, 1846, 1856, 1870, 1881 and 1894 

Tithe Applotment Books: This collection holds more than 12,700 transcriptions from the 1827 tithe applotment books for  the parishes of Abbeygormican, Ahascragh, Augheart, Aughrim, Ballinakill, Ballymacward, Beagh, Boyounagh, Bullaun, Clonbern, Clonfert, Clonrush, Clontuskert, Donamon, Donanaghta, Duniry, Fahy, Fohanagh, Grange, Inishcaltra, Isertkelly, Kilbeacanty, Kilbegnet, Kilchreest, Kilcloony, Kilconnell, Kilconickny, Kilcroan, Kileeneen, Kilgerrill,Kilkerrin, Killaan, Killallaghtan, Killeenadeema, Killeroran, Killian, Killimorbologue, Killimordaly, Killinan, , Killogilleen, Killoscobe, Killosolan, Killora, Kilmacduagh, Kilmalinogue, Kilquain, Kilreekill, Kiltartan, Kilteskil, Kilthomas, Kiltormer, Kiltullagh, Leitrim, Lickerrig, Lickmolassy, Loughrea, Meelick, Moylough and Templetogher.

See RootsIreland's full menu of online sources for East Galway here.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

IGRS Genealogy Open Day, Dublin, Saturday 20 May

The Ireland Branch of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) will be holding its annual Genealogy Open Day this Saturday, 20 May, in the Conference Room of Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

The event is free to attend and everyone – IGRS members and non-members – is welcome. There's a great line-up, with three lectures and three short talks (the latter aimed mainly at beginners), as you'll see from the programme below:

10:00am   Registration
10:20am   Welcome
10:30am   Tracing Ancestors in the Irish Police, with Jim Herlihy
11:20am   Finding the Irish in Scotland, with Ruth Mathewson
12:00pm   Lunch at own expense
13:45pm   How German immigrants brought savoury delight to Dublin, with Karl-Heinz Wuestner
14:45pm   Three short talks:
                Demonstration of new features on the IGRS website, with Claire Bradley
                DNA testing, with Aileen Wynne
                Church records, with Rosaleen Underwood
16:00pm   Close

No booking is necessary.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Buried in Fingal: a new database for North Co Dublin

Fingal County Council has released a new interactive guide called Buried in Fingal.

http://buried.fingal.ie/The free database includes searchable details of more than 65,000 people interred between 1905 and 2005 in 33 of the burial grounds in the council's care in North County Dublin. The site is searchable by name and graveyard. Search returns provide date of interment, area of last residence, and precise grave plot identifiers plus, in most cases, a link to a clear image of the register entry. The oldest burial record dates to 1877 and the most recent to 2013.

Additionally, the online guide includes an overview of the history, notable burials and epitaphs of each graveyard, location maps, photographs and, where they exist, historical plot maps and drawings.

Interment registers per specific graveyard can also be downloaded in pdf format.

Brief location details are provided of some 22 private cemeteries in Fingal.

The Council's Burial Grounds team and Local Studies & Archives service have worked together to create the new guide. The project began as a conservation exercise to digitise the hand-drawn maps and sketches of the graveyards, many of which were in poor condition. It then expanded to include the digitisation of all the burial registers as back up copies. From there, the scans were indexed, and an online database and website created.

It has taken several years to bring the evolving project to fruition, and it's been worth the wait. The resulting guide is of a high standard, well-designed and full of information – a blueprint for other councils or church parishes to follow, I hope.




Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Pennsylvania resources free at AmericanAncestors

https://www.americanancestors.org/PennsylvaniaThe New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has opened up its substantial Pennsylvania resources on AmericanAncestors.org until Tuesday 23 May.

Pennsylvania – one of the original thirteen colonies – was one of the two most popular destinations (the other being Delaware) for early (18th century) groups of Presbyterian Irish-Scots emigrants. By 1790, it was the most populous state in the country, and Philadelphia was the largest and busiest port in North America. With its prominence as an important immigration destination from many points in Europe and beyond, the state is a significant point of consideration for many Americans who are researching family history.

The free access offer features several databases of Pennsylvanian records and a free webinar with NEHGS genealogist Ann Lawthers on research methods specific to this state. The webinar includes a description of Pennsylvania settlement patterns and how those patterns and changing county borders influenced the surviving genealogical resources. Special attention is given to early German, Scots-Irish, Welsh, Quaker, and Mennonite immigration.

You'll need to register as a Guest at AmericanAncestors.org/Pennsylvania to gain access to the databases, webinar and other valuable resources. It's free and a quick and straightforward process.

Irish Presbyterian title joins British News Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has added the Monitor and Missionary Chronicle of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland to its database.

Twenty editions of the monthly publication, each of about 24 to 26 pages, are available; with only one gap (October 1854), they date from August 1853 to April 1855. It's a very focused newspaper, so may be of interest to those who had Presbyterian ancestors in Ireland, but don't expect general news.

This addition brings the BNA's holding of historical papers published in Northern Ireland to 37, and for the entire island to 143. This same holding is available as the Irish Newspaper Collection as part of a FindMyPast World or Ireland subscription.

Military Archives Reading Room: reopens on 1 June

The Reading Room of the Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6, is currently closed and will re-open for appointments on Thursday 1 June.

The closure, which started last month, is to facilitate the re-homing of additional collections into the storage areas and to complete a number of outstanding projects left over from the restoration and rebuilding works carried out in early 2016.

While the doors are currently closed to researchers, contact may be made by telephone (00353 (0)1 8046457), email (militaryarchives@defenceforces.ie) or post. Queries are being answered as normal.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest updates

Volunteers at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives have uploaded the following files to the free IGP-web database during the first half of May. Included are the final tranche of headstones from Sligo Cemetery's middle section (well done Kev Murray!), and some, but not all, plaques from the interior of St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork.

es/belcarra2/target22.html
Sligo Town Cemetery.
Photo courtesy of Kev Murray and IGP Archives.
Click for larger image.
CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mullaghboy Cemetery (R.C.)

CORK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City (Plaques)

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Marriages: Church Hill Wesleyan Methodist 1879-1934

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Instioge Cemetery

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Elmhall Cemetery, Belcarra, Part 2

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1806-1808
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1808-1812
Clones Parish Registers, Baptisms, 1733

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Sligo Cemetery - Middle Pt, Section A (Q-W)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Friary Graveyard, Carrickbeg (Updated)
St. Molleran's Graveyard, Carrickbeg

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Cathage's Parish Church, Lismore

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Newspapers
Poorhouse Entries and Deaths, 20 Feb 1867

Monday, 15 May 2017

Ancestry ProGenealogists vacancy in Dublin/London

Ancestry's Dublin office overlooks the Liffey
A vacancy has been announced for a Genealogist Researcher to further extend the Ancestry ProGenealogists' team. The position could be based at either the Dublin (Sir John Rogersons Quay) or London (Hammersmith) office, depending on the successful applicant.

As the job description and person specification sets out, Ancestry is looking for a graduate genealogist with at least eight years' experience of research across a range of Irish/British/European regions.

Irish genealogy and history events, 15 - 28 May

Monday 15 May to Friday 19 May: Clans and Surnames - genealogy and dna talks and consultations, fieldtrips and tours. Venue: Great National Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Day bookings still available. Details.

Tuesday 16 May: Revolution and the Burning of Irish Country houses, with particular reference to Kilboy, with Professor Terence Dooley. Host: Dunkerrin Parish History Society. Venue: Obama Plaza, J23/M7, Moneygall, Co Offaly. 8pm. All welcome – tickets €5; members free.

Thursday 18 May: Mapping towns through time, with Professor Roger J P Kain, Part of the IHTA Seminar 2017. Host and venue: Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free to attend but advance registration required. Details.

Thursday 18 May: Book launch: County Louth and the Irish Revolution, 1912-1923, by Donal Hall and Martin Maguire. Host: Irish Academic Press. Venue: Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol, Carrickmacross Road, Dundalk, Co Louth. 7pm. Free. Booking to info@iap.ie or (0)45 432 497.

Thursday 18 May Tracing your Irish ancestors, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host New Zealand Society of Genealogists, Irish Interest Group, Lower North Island. Venue: Loaves & Fishes Hall @ Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 45 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand (entrance Hill St). Two two-hour sessions, each with two Irish genealogy topics. Choose from 1pm–3pm, and 6pm–8pm. $20 per session. Advance booking required: email jenmartin@paradise.net.nz.

Saturday 20 May: Irish Genealogical Research Society – Dublin Open Day, Dublin City Library & Archive 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Three lectures: Tracing ancestors in the Irish Police, with Jim Herlihy, Finding the Irish in Scotland, with Ruth Mathewson, and How German immigrants brought savoury delight to Dublin, with Karl-Heinz Wuestner, plus three 'Lightening Talks': DNA testing, Church records, and Introducing the upgraded IrishAncestors.ie website. 10am to 4pm. Lunch at own expense. Free. Details.

Saturday 20 May: Introduction to Irish Genealogy, with Bridget Bray. Host and venue: Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st. Street, New York, NY 10019, USA. 3pm to 5pm. $38 for IAC members/students/seniors and $47 for all others. All welcome. Tickets.

Saturday 20 May: 19th Medieval Dublin Symposium. Host: Friends of Medieval Dublin. Venue: Robert Emmett Theatre (Room 2037), Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. Free. No booking required. 9:30am–4:50pm. All welcome.

Saturday 20 May: Rathfarnham – Touched by Faith, Surrounded by History, a walk and talk. Host: Rathfarnham Historical Society. Venue: Meet at the Moravian Graveyard, Whitechurch Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 at 11:30 am (sharp). Duration approx 1hr 15 mins. All are welcome. Fee €4.00.

Sunday 21 May: Tracing your Irish Ancestors, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: New Zealand Society of Genealogists, Dunedin Branch. Venue: Dunningham Suite, 4th Floor, Dunedin Public Library, 230 Moray Place, Dunedin, New Zealand. 10am to 5pm. £20. Refreshments included, but bring your own lunch. Contact Robyn Thorburn, 03 473 8503.

Tuesday 23 May: Milltown Cemetery, with Tom Hartley, and Dabbling with Facebook, with Anne Johnston. 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 23 May: Exploring Your Irish & Scots-Irish Ancestors, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: The Wanaka Genealogy Group. Venue: Presbyterian Community Church Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka, New Zealand. 1pm–5pm. $20. All welcome. Details and booking.

Wednesday 24 May: The Gore-Booth Sisters in Manchester: Suffrage, Socialism and Sobriety, with Dr Sonja Tiernan. Host and venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Cheetham Hill, Manchester UK, M8 0RY. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 25 May: Forger, freemason, freeman: the story of Samuel Clayton, Dubliner, with Margaret Smith. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall, Rathmines, Dublin 6. 8pm. Members free; Visitors €3.

Thursday 25 May: Irish family history day, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Society of Australian Genealogists. Venue: Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street (next door to Richmond Villa, 120 Kent St), Sydney, Australia. 10am–4pm. Morning and afternoon tea provided; bring your own lunch. Bookings essential: $55 members, $70 non-members. Details.

Thursday 25 May: From Antichrist to ARCIC: Protestant attitudes to Catholicism, 1517-2017, with Prof Alan Ford. The Beckett Lecture. Host: Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6:30pm. Free tickets. Booking

Friday 26 May: 'Squinting George': the Curraghmore of George, first Marquess of Waterford (1736-1800), with Julian Walton. Host: Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: St. Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford City. 8pm. Small charge for non-members. All welcome.

Friday 26 May to Sunday 28 May: The Homecoming of the Daniel McCarthy Glas Archive and the Mac Carthy Cultural and Historical Weekend. Hosts: School of History, UCC; Cork City and County Archives; Dunmanway Historical Association. Venue: The Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, Co Cork. For details email info@dunmanwayhistoricalassociation.com.

Saturday 27 May:
Tracing your Irish ancestors - a day seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Genealogy Sunshine Coast. Venue: Genealogy Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, Petrie Park Road, Nambour, QLD 4560, Australia. 8am–3:30pm. $40, includes morning and afternoon tea; Lunch available for $5pp. Details. Booking advised.

Saturday 27 May: Our Wicklow Heritage: Community Archaeology, including illustrated presentations, a screening, workshop and optional field trip to Glendalough. Host: Wicklow County Council Heritage Department. Venue: Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, Co Wicklow. 10am–4pm. Free. All welcome. Advance booking essential. Details.

Sunday 28 May: Irish Family History, seminar with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: The Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS). Venue: State Library of Western Australia, 25 Francis St, Perth, Australia. 1pm–7pm. $40 members of WAGS or Affiliated Societies, $50 non-members. Details. FULLY BOOKED.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Local history course at Portumna starts in June

The South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society (SEGAHS) is to run a local history course over six Saturdays in June and July. The Irish Workhouse Centre at Portumna will be hosting the classes, which will start at 11:30am.

The course is aimed at people in the area who are interested in contributing to heritage groups or tourist providers or in becoming local historians. It aims to help individuals develop their existing skills to use available heritage resources and share the knowledge gained with both locals and visitors. A walking tour and a conference form part of the programme.

Each training session will be a mixture of lecture and practical application. On course completion, participants will have developed an awareness of the wealth of heritage assets in their local area and broadened their knowledge of the area's built, natural and cultural heritage. See below for more specific information about the classes. The course is expected to be particularly suitable for those with an interest in local history and genealogy.

To find out more, see the Irish Workhouse Centre's website.

County Louth and the Irish Revolution

http://irishacademicpress.ie/product/county-louth-and-the-irish-revolution-1912-1923/
Louth, as with many other counties in Ireland during the revolutionary period, was changed irreparably by outbreaks of violence and ever-mounting animosity towards the British presence in Ireland. A new book County Louth and the Irish Revolution, 1912–1923, has been published to tell the story of the fierce military action and its impact on daily life.

The book is probably the first local history of the county during this period and brings to light a wealth of stories that will appeal to a general public with an interest in a time where everyday life was overturned. Critically, these stories reveal new findings about the early military skirmishes in the local area by towering republican figures, Seán MacEntee and Frank Aiken, how the Civil War struck Drogheda and Dundalk with a conflagration unlike anything previously witnessed, and new research is revealed into the sectarian massacre at Altnaveigh.

The economic, political and cultural experience during these years is also fully discussed, providing stark evaluations of social classes, gender, church communities, traditions, and the intrepid activities of Cumann na mBan, the RIC and the IRA.

You can see the Table of Contents, and the names of the contributors, on the publisher's website: click the image.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

PRONI events for International Archives Day, 9 June

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is to mark International Archives Day (Friday 9 June) with free workshops and guided tours.

PRONI - Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Family historians and other researchers taking the two-hour guided tour will be led through PRONI's research areas to the normally off-limits staff-only areas where archivists will be sorting, listing and cataloguing new materials.

They will also meet archival staff who support visiting researchers or undertake cutting edge preservation work, and will have the opportunity to ask questions about their specialised areas of work or about PRONI more generally.

Those attending the one-hour digitisation workshop will enjoy a demonstration by PRONI's archive photographer of how best to handle, preserve and digitally restore old family photographs and other historical documents.

Researchers can bring along their own documentary or photographic treasures for digitisation and, if needed, digital restoration.

For times and (essential) booking information, see PRONI. (PRONI often holds similar tours and workshops... they always book up very quickly. You have been warned.)

Goldenbridge Cemetery to re-open this weekend

The re-opening of the historic Goldenbridge Cemetery will be the flagship event of a new festival celebrating the historical and cultural life of Dublin 8. The inaugural 'Culture Date with Dublin 8' takes place in various locations around Inchicore and Kilmainham this weekend (13–14 May).

http://www.culturedatewithdublin8.ieGoldenbridge Cemetery was a non-denominational cemetery that welcomed the deceased of all religions and none. It was founded following a campaign led by Daniel O’Connell in 1828, and modelled on Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was closed almost 150 years ago following a dispute with the British War Office that operated the nearby Richmond Barracks and has remained closed since, except for very occasional burials such as that for W T Cosgrave, the first leader of the Irish Free State, in the 1960s.

Sadly, the two-acre burial ground was targetted by vandals in 2014 and 2016, when many graves, including Cosgrave's, were badly damaged. They have since been restored.

The reopening of the cemetery will take place with a special outdoor concert at 3pm on Sunday.

Also taking place over the course of the weekend are bespoke guided tours of Kilmainham Gaol, family-friendly events at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and a new exhibition celebrating the Irish lives lost in World War One at Richmond Barracks.

All activities and events are free of charge, but you need tickets. They are fast being allocated, so book quickly if you're particularly keen to join a tour. See a map of the locations involved.

Click the '8' image to see the festival website and full programme.

Family Tree DNA: $10 discount until Sunday 14 May

https://www.familytreedna.com/products/family-finder
Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has a special offer for Mother's Day, which falls this weekend in the USA.  It's a $10 discount on FTDNA's Family Finder test, which focuses on the autosomal DNA inherited from your direct ancestors on both maternal and paternal sides.

The test is designed to find matches in FTDNA's database within the last five generations. The Family Finder package also includes:

myOrigins – mapping tool that provides a detailed ethnic and geographic breakdown of where your ancestors came from

ancientOrigins – a tool that maps your ancient ancestors’ migration routes and shows the amount of autosomal DNA you still carry from ancient European civilizations.

Family Matching – an enhanced feature that enables users to sort confirmed DNA matches by maternal and paternal lines

Chromosome Browser – an exclusive tool for comparing matching segments of DNA (blocks) with your genetic matches

The $10 discount reduces the cost of the Family Finder testing kit from $79 to $69. Shipping is extra. The offer ends on Sunday, 14 May, and is available to all researchers, not just those in the USA.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Lord Mayor's Certificate in Oral History: booking open

http://www.dublincity.ie/story/lord-mayors-certificate-oral-history-2017-2018
Click for more information
The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History will be taught at Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Classes will be held from 5:30pm to 8pm on  Monday evenings from September 2017 until April 2018, and Dr. Catherine O'Connor will be the course tutor.

The course examines the wealth of recorded oral narrative sources in Ireland in both oral history and folklore. Participants will receive a formal and practical training in how to prepare oral history projects and to conduct and transcribe interviews. It will equip students with essential skills in interviewing techniques and encourage engagement with ethical research issues, and will introduce documetary and other sources for the study of Irish history. Participants will develop writing and presentation skills and will learn to set their own research projects in historical and cultural contexts.

The subsidised course fee is €550. Two bursaries in part payment of fees are available. Applications for these bursaries must be received by 8 September.

Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and the maximum number of participants is sixteen.

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 1 September. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Ulster Historical Foundation: New Zealand & Australia Tour 2017

The Ulster Historical Foundation's Gillian Hunt and Fintan Mullan will be dusting off their suitcases (not that there's been much time for dust to settle since they returned from the USA earlier this year) and heading off to help researchers in New Zealand and Australia discover their Irish and Irish-Scots ancestors.

The dates and briefest details of the workshops and seminars they'll be delivering are below.

If you're interested in attending, be sure to book soon to avoid disappointment. As you can see, the Perth seminar is fully booked already.

Thursday 18 May - Wellington, New Zealand.
Host: Irish Interest Group, Lower North Island.
Venue: Loaves & Fishes Hall @ Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 45 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington 6011 (entrance Hill St).
Two two-hour sessions, each with two Irish genealogy topics. Choose from 1pm–3pm, and 6pm–8pm. $20 per session. Advance booking required: email jenmartin@paradise.net.nz.

Sunday 21 May Dunedin, New Zealand.
Host: New Zealand Society of Genealogists, Dunedin Branch.
Venue: Dunningham Suite, 4th Floor, Dunedin Public Library, 230 Moray Place, Dunedin 9058.
10am to 5pm. £20. Refreshments included, but bring your own lunch. Contact Robyn Thorburn, 03 473 8503.

Tuesday 23 May – Wanaka, New Zealand
Exploring Your Irish & Scots-Irish Ancestors
Host: The Wanaka Genealogy Group
Venue: Presbyterian Community Church Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
1pm–5pm. $20. All welcome. Details and booking.

Thursday 25 May – Sydney, NSW, Australia
Irish family history day
Host: Society of Australian Genealogists
Venue: Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street (next door to Richmond Villa, 120 Kent St), Sydney
10am–4pm. Morning and afternoon tea provided; bring your own lunch. Bookings essential: $55 members, $70 non-members. Details.

Saturday 27 May - Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Ulster Historical Foundation Day Seminar
Host: Genealogy Sunshine Coast
Venue: Genealogy Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, Petrie Park Road, Nambour, QLD 4560
8am–3:30pm. $40, includes morning and afternoon tea; Lunch available for $5pp. Details. Booking advised.

Sunday 28 May - Perth, WA, Australia
Irish Family History Seminar
Host: The Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS)
Venue: State Library of Western Australia, 25 Francis St, Perth WA 6000.
1pm–7pm. $40 members of WAGS or Affiliated Societies, $50 non-members; excludes tea, coffee, snacks and meals. Details. FULLY BOOKED.

Tuesday 30 May - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Host: Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies
Venue: Willis Room, Whitehorse Centre, 397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading
9:30am-4:30pm. Bookings is essential $45. Payment due in full before 23 May. A lunch box $10, ordered and paid on the day. Or bring your own lunch. For more details, tel (03) 9877 3789 or email: info@aigs.org.au.

Wednesday 31 May - Melbourne, VIC Australia
Irish Family History Day Seminar

Host: The Irish Ancestry Group of the Genealogical Society of Victoria
Venue: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008
Programme covers all Ireland, not just the north. Includes Scots-Irish research, landed estate records, census substitutes, church records, using Registry of Deeds, Poor Law records. 9:30am-4:30pm Bookings is essential $45.00. Payment in full before 23 May. Refreshments provided but bring your own lunch. Details.

Saturday 3 June – Auckland, New Zealand
Irish genealogy lecture programme as part of the NZSG Conference 2017
Host: New Zealand Society of Genealogists
Venue: Alexandra Park, Greenlane West, Auckland
9am–6pm. Day rate: $92 (or full conference $230). Details.

Sunday 4 June – Auckland, New Zealand
Host: Loyal Orange Institution of New Zealand
Location: Sudima Hotel, 18 Airport Drive, Airport Oaks, Auckland
Evening lecture, 7pm–9pm. More details.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Irish genealogy and history events, 8 – 21 May

Monday 8 May: The early history of the Ulster Plantation c1609–1641: Some problems and opportunities, with David Hefferman. Host: Institute of Irish Studies. Venue: Irish Studies Seminars, Queen's University Belfast, 6–10 Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast. 4:30pm. All welcome.

Monday 8 May: Tracing your ancestors through shipping records, with Brian Mitchell MAGI. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 9 May: The story of our DNA, with Mike Mulligan. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire FE Institute, 17 Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3 donation requested.

Wednesday 10 May: Guarding against ‘hogs, dogs, bogs and thieves’: West of Ireland herdsmen in the 19th century, with John Cunningham. Host: Western Family History Association. Venue: Lackagh Parish Centre, Lackagh, Co. Galway. 8pm–10pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 11 May: Lorrha (Tipperary) people in the Great War, with Gerard O'Meara. Hosts: Western Front Association and PRONI. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. All welcome. £4 donation requested. 6:30pm to 8:45pm. Details.

Friday 12 May: Dr Brian Trainor – A day of talks to celebrate his life and work in history and archives. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 10am to 3pm. The event is free to attend and light refreshments and lunch will be provided on the day. Registration is essential; Tel UHF on 028 9066 1988 or e-mail: enquiry@uhf.org.uk or Eventbrite.

Friday 12 May to Sunday 14 May:
Knocklong History Weekend, focus on the Irish Revolution in Munster. Lecture, bus tour of war sites, music, theatre, and a seminar on Cumann na mBan in the War of Independence. Venues in Knocklong, Co Limerick. Small charge for some elements. Details.

Saturday 13 May: DNA: the next step in family history, with Paddy Waldron. Host: Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. 2pm–3:30pm.

Saturday 13 May: Griffith's Valuation of Ireland, with Audrey Leonard. Host: Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS) Library, 1185 N. Concord, South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Starts at 10:30am. Cost is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members. Register.

Saturday 13 May: Connecting People and Place: Exploring Your Ulster Roots, a day seminar. Hosts: Ulster Historical Foundation, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Federation for Ulster Local Studies, North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT1 2LG. 10am to 4pm. Refreshments and light lunch included. Advance registration for free tickets is essential. Waiting list only. Details.

Monday 15 May: History of the Ulster Steamship Company ‘Headline', with John Hanna, Master Mariner. 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.

Monday 15 May to Friday 19 May: Clans and Surnames - genealogy and dna talks, consultations, fieldtrips and tours. Venue: Great National Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Day bookings still available. Details.

Tuesday 16 May: Revolution and the Burning of Irish Country houses, with particular reference to Kilboy, with Professor Terence Dooley. Host: Dunkerrin Parish History Society. Venue: Obama Plaza, J23/M7, Moneygall, Co Offaly. 8pm. All welcome – tickets €5; members free.

Thursday 18 May: Mapping towns through time, with Professor Roger J P Kain. Part of the IHTA Seminar 2017. Host and venue: Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free to attend but advance registration required. Details.

Thursday 18 May: Irish family history research, with the Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: New Zealand Society of Genealogists. Venue: Loaves & Fishes Hall @ Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 45 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. Two sessions: 1pm-3pm and 6pm-8pm. Two topics in each session. $20 per session. Booking essential: jenmartin@paradise.net.nz

Saturday 20 May: Irish Genealogical Research Society – Dublin Open Day, Dublin City Library & Archive 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Three lectures: Tracing ancestors in the Irish Police, with Jim Herlihy, Finding the Irish in Scotland, with Ruth Mathewson, and How German immigrants brought savoury delight to Dublin, with Karl-Heinz Wuestner, plus three 'Lightening Talks': DNA testing, Church records, and Introducing the upgraded IrishAncestors.ie website. 10am to 4pm. Lunch at own expense. Free. Details.

Saturday 20 May: Introduction to Irish Genealogy, with Bridget Bray. Host and venue: Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st. Street, New York, NY 10019, USA. 3pm to 5pm. $38 for IAC members/students/seniors and $47 for all others. All welcome. Tickets.

Saturday 20 May: 19th Medieval Dublin Symposium. Host: Friends of Medieval Dublin. Venue: Robert Emmett Theatre (Room 2037), Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. Free. No booking required. 9:30am–4:50pm. All welcome.

Sunday 21 May: Tracing your Irish ancestors, with Ulster Historical Foundation. Host: Dunedin Branch, New Zealand Society Of Genealogists. Venue: Dunningham Suite, 4th Floor, Dunedin Public Library, 230 Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand. 10am to 5pm. £20. Refreshments are included, but bring your own lunch. For more details, telephone Robyn Thorburn, 03 473 8503.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Just published: my new Irish Genealogy Guide book

As some of you will be aware, I spent most of the second half of 2016 writing a full-blown, 240-page print-copy guide to Irish family history research. Today I received my advance copy, so it's time to spread the word....

Now available to pre-order
THE FAMILY TREE Irish Genealogy GuideHow to Trace Your Ancestors in Ireland is a comprehensive how-to guide and research companion. It's full of step-by-step strategies for getting a family history project underway, for gaining an understanding of genealogy basics and for applying advanced research techniques. There are tips to help you avoid pitfalls, to guide you to the most useful online and offline resource materials, and to ensure you know where to find the the most up to date record releases, the best books and the handiest tools and widgets.

You'll also find insights into the limitations of specific search engines, receive sound advice for tackling certain record types, and discover page after page of contextual detail about the main record collections, their quirks and potential treasures. Along the way, there are numerous checklists and genealogy forms available for download.

Published by Cincinatti-based Family Tree Books, whose sister company produces the USA's top-selling genealogy publication, Family Tree Magazine, the book is aimed primarily at Irish-Americans. It includes chapters on Ireland's history, geography and land divisions, Irish names, and the key waves of Irish immigration to America. Of course, the toughest part of the research for many Americans of Irish descent is making the connection across the Atlantic to a specific place of origin in Ireland, so one of the book's most in-depth chapters sets out the best strategies and US record sources for identifying that most vital ingredient.

The Irish Genealogy Guide is not designed for the exclusive benefit of Irish-Americans, however. It's my sincere hope that its strategic approach to pinpointing a townland of origin can be applied by any Irish family historian, no matter where he or she lives. Once a townland is successfully identified, the book goes on to show you how to use and understand Irish resources to learn more about your ancestors' lives: there are chapters on civil registration; census, lands and church records; wills and deeds; newspapers; military and occupational records. Appendices also feature guides to Irish archives, libraries and heritage centers; understanding Latin; and lists of the best Irish genealogy websites and publications to consult for further study.

The book is published in both paperback and ebook formats. It's now available from the publisher's online store – ShopFamilyTree.com – and will be reaching bookshops in the USA and Amazon warehouses over the next few weeks (it can be pre-ordered with a price guarantee from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in the meantime).

Its ISBN is 978-1440348808.

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad 1835-1974

Among the many collections Ancestry has updated over the last three or four weeks, one in particular caught my eye: All Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835-1974.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgVE1NclhGbWRUU28/view?usp=sharing
Click for enlarged view
It turns out this collection has been in the database for eight years, but since I'd not heard of it before, I decided to take a peek. And what treasures it holds, with huge potential for an Irish-American researcher who is struggling to make a connection between their Irish immigrant ancestor and a place in Ireland.

Click on the image to view a taster: Thomas Devine, born c1846 and naturalised in Montana in 1893, suffered a heart attack while visiting Londonderry and died in the City Infirmary. He was buried in Cloughcor cemetery and the plot was marked by a headstone. He had a son and daughter living in Londonderry, and another son and daughter living in New York. Their four addresses are provided, and it is noted that the elder son, resident in Londonderry, had taken ownership of the family farm.

The collection holds more than 210,000 reports of death compiled by US consulates around the world. Among them are 4,420 reports of deaths of American Citizens in Ireland, most of them naturalised Irish-born; in most cases the deceased appears to have been visting family in Ireland.


Dr Brian Trainor: celebrating his life and work

Click for details of speakers and topics
A wonderful event has been organised by the Ulster Historical Foundation to celebrate the life and work of Dr Brian Trainor, who had made an immense contribution to numerous archives and libraries, and to local historical, genealogy and community groups over the last nearly seven decades.

It's to be held on Friday 12 May at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, where Dr Trainor worked as assistant archivist from 1956 to 1970 and then as Director to 1986. The day promises to be informative and entertaining, with a distinguished line-up of speakers, each representing an organisation with which Dr Trainor has been involved, giving presentations on subjects related to their research areas.

For more about Dr Trainor's life and career, and for the list of speakers and their topics, see the programme (click image).

The event will start at 10am. It's free to attend and includes light refreshments and lunch.

Registration is essential. You can either contact the Ulster Historical Foundation by email, enquiry@uhf.org.uk; telephone, 028 9066 1988; or register online at EventBrite.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

UK's major annual genealogy event runs out of steam

Many years ago, when I worked for a publishing company that ran a big industry-specific consumer show, I was told that such events rarely survive more than 12 outings. That milestone was passed this year by the UK's annual family history get together – the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show, exhibition and conference – but it was still a shock to learn today that its owners, Immediate Media (who were bought by a German business in January), have pulled the plug. It will not be held again.

Better known as WDYTYA?Live, the show was held at Olympia in London from 2007 to 2014, and continued at the NEC in Birmingham right up to last month, plus a one-off outing to Glasgow SECC in 2014.

In the early days, visitor numbers hovered around the 20,000-mark; more recently they had fallen to somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000.

Anecdotal comments suggest this year's show, held 6-8 April, saw a further drop. The list of exhibitors was a bit light, too, reflecting the ever-increasing cost of booking a stand, never mind the associated travel, hotels and subsistence costs for those who will man them for the three days of the show.

Read Immediate Media's announcement about the show's closure here.

The Society of Genealogists (SOG) has always been closely associated with WDYTYA?Live, recruiting a huge team of Ask the Experts volunteers, organising an excellent programme of genealogy lectures, and managing the SoG's Family History Show, which always brought in so many local genealogy groups and associations with their indispensible geographically-specific expertise. You can read the SoG's reaction to WDYTYA?Live's demise here.

Derry's Great Parchment Book at London's Guildhall

The Great Parchment Book is the 'City of London Treasure of the Month' for May 2017. Three original folios are on display in the Guildhall's Heritage Gallery, showing the level of distortion of the surviving fire-damaged pages of the 1639 manuscript.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guildhall_Art_Gallery,_London.jpg
Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2
A major survey of all the estates in Derry managed by the City of London, The Great Parchment Book of the Honorable The Irish Society represents an important resource relating to the Protestant colonisation of Ulster.

All 165 pages of the Book were damaged as a result of a fire at the Guildhall in 1786 but have been the subject of an extensive conservation and digitisation project by the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, Derry City Council Heritage and Museums Service and London Metropolitan Archives.

The project has its own dedicated website – www.greatparchment book – where the people, places and livery companies mentioned in the book can be searched and pages viewed.

On Wednesday 31 May, a curator's talk will be presented at 10:30am in the Heritage Gallery of the Guildhall Art Gallery. It is free to attend but booking is required.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Ancestry adds East End of London burial registers

Donovan, Sullivan, Cassidy (1865) –
Irish names a-plenty. Click for larger view.
Ancestry has added the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Company registers, 1841 to 1966.

This company was one of the earliest set up to purchase burial land, and it opened a cemetery in Southern Grove, Mile End.

This has a catchment area over many of the poorest parishes in London's East End, including St Dunstan, St Leonard, Stepney and Bromley by Bow. As such, you can be pretty certain of finding a good many Irish recorded in these registers.

The online collection comprises more than three quarters of a million entries in the Company's Daybooks of Burials, Registers of Burials and Registers of Private Graves. The originals are held by the London Metropolitan Archives.

Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies: booking open

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dA4jg8qBl7A/WQMfjmVvkKI/AAAAAAAAOPw/D61fx1MueXAjSUfbnF4mHAprLS3qPecwgCLcB/s1600/Lord%2BMayors%2BCert%2Bin%2BLocal%2BStudies.jpg
The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies will be taught at Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Classes will be held from 5:30pm to 8pm on Tuesday evenings from September 2017 until April 2018, and Dr. Seamas O Maitiu will be the course tutor.

The course gives participants a formal and practical training in how to carry out research in local studies, with an emphasis on the history and heritage of local places, and how to write up their findings in the form of a dissertation.

The subsidised course fee is €550. Two bursaries in part payment of fees are available. Applications for these bursaries must be received by 25 August.

Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and the maximum number of participants is sixteen. (Last year’s course was sold out.)

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 1 September.



RCB Library's Archive of the Month for May: churches in the Diocese of Tuam

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgaVZFaF9xOVBkZlk/view?usp=sharing
Ballinrobe parish church interior plan, 1863
Click for larger view
May's Archive of the Month from the Representative Church Body Library (RCB Library) focuses on architectural drawings for churches in the Diocese of Tuam.

To date, more than 5,000 drawings of churches in some 20 of a total of 30 Church of Ireland dioceses have been processed as part of a project to digitise, catalogue and release online the RCB Library's collections of architectural drawings. The drawings from the western Diocese of Tuam is the latest phase.

Included in the line-up are the drawings of the diocese’s two glorious medieval buildings: Tuam Cathedral and St Nicholas, Galway. 

With the completion of the extensive collection for the Diocese of Tuam, those for a further 10 dioceses remain for systematic processing i.e. imaging each drawing and details therein, cataloguing the details and uploading it to the dedicated web page available through the Church of Ireland website. The work is being carried out by architectural historian Dr Michael O’Neil.


Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: late April update

The files added to the free Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in second half of April are below. They include the second and final tranche of headstone photos and inscriptions for St Mary's Ballygunner, making a total of 1900+ images for this one cemetery alone.

Transcriptions of the baptism and marriages registers for the Church of Ireland parish church of Clones are also moving on, and there's a first upload of headstone photos for the graveyard at Kilmore Quay, one of Ireland's oldest burial grounds.

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Patrick's R.C. Graveyard (Partial), Killygordon

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Elmhall Cemetery, Belcarra, Part 1

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Navan; St. Mary's (Right Side) (G-H)

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Clones Parish Registers, Baptisms, 1722-1725
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1723-1724
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1758-1767
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1792-1797
Clones Parish Registers, Marriages 1798-1805

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Sligo Cemetery - Middle Part, Section A (L-P)

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballygunner, St. Mary – Parts 8-13
Dunmore East, St. Andrew's (CoI) Plaques

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Kilmore Quay, Grange, Graveyard

Monday, 1 May 2017

Irish genealogy and history events, 1–14 May

Until the end of June: Con and Eva – Gendering Revolution, an exhibition exploring the revolutionary lives of two sisters, Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth. Host and venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Cheetham, Manchester, UK. Free. Details.

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.

Friday 5 May to Sunday 7 May: The Historic Settlement in South Kildare, conference. Hosts: Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement and Castledermot Local History Group. Venue: Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. Programme. Full Conference Registration €50; students €20.

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.

Saturday 6 May: Genealogy Workshop, with resident genealogist Lynn Brady. Host and Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11. 2pm to 3pm. All participants will receive vouchers worth €10, giving access to Glasnevin Cemetery's unique records. Booking essential. E: lbrady@glasnevintrust.ie or call 0(1) 882 6536.

Monday 8 May: The early history of the Ulster Plantation c1609–1641: Some problems and opportunities, with David Hefferman. Host: Institute of Irish Studies. Venue: Irish Studies Seminars, Queen's University Belfast, 6–10 Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast. 4:30pm. All welcome.

Monday 8 May: A Dander Through Shantallow – A history of the area, with Roy Hamilton. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 9 May: The story of our DNA, with Mike Mulligan. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire FE Institute, 17 Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3 donation requested.

Wednesday 10 May: Guarding against ‘hogs, dogs, bogs and thieves’: West of Ireland herdsmen in the 19th century, with John Cunningham. Host: Western Family History Association. Venue: Lackagh Parish Centre, Lackagh, Co. Galway. 8pm–10pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 11 May: Lorrha (Tipperary) people in the Great War, with Gerard O'Meara. Hosts: Western Front Association and PRONI. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. All welcome. £4 donation requested. 6:30pm to 8:45pm. Details.

Friday 12 May: Dr Brian Trainor – A day of talks to celebrate his life and work in history and archives. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 10am to 3pm. The event is free to attend and light refreshments and lunch will be provided on the day. Registration is essential; Tel UHF on 028 9066 1988 or e-mail: enquiry@uhf.org.uk or Eventbrite.

Friday 12 May to Sunday 14 May:
Knocklong History Weekend, focus on the Irish Revolution in Munster. Lecture, bus tour of war sites, music, theatre, and a seminar on Cumann na mBan in the War of Independence. Venues in Knocklong, Co Limerick. Small charge for some elements. Details.

Saturday 13 May: DNA: the next step in family history, with Paddy Waldron. Host: Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. 2pm–3:30pm.

Saturday 13 May: Griffith's Valuation of Ireland, with Audrey Leonard. Host: Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS) Library, 1185 N. Concord, South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Starts at 10:30am. Cost is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members. Register.

Saturday 13 May: Connecting People and Place: Exploring Your Ulster Roots, a day seminar. Hosts: Ulster Historical Foundation, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Federation for Ulster Local Studies, North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT1 2LG. 10am to 4pm. Refreshments and light lunch included. Advance registration for free tickets is essential. Waiting list only. Details.