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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Living DNA launches One Family One World project

Living DNA has announced the launch of One Family One World, a five-year project which aims to create a single worldwide family tree based on people's DNA.

The One Family One World project will analyse people’s DNA results from around the world to enable them to see where they fit in the One World Family Tree, and show how everyone is related if you go back far enough in time.

Using 'proprietary technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning', the project will see tens of thousands of computers working together to identify distinctive and shared patterns in people’s DNA. Over time, this will allow Living DNA to produce the most detailed genetic map of the world, enabling people to explore both their modern ancestry and ancient migration patterns.

Living DNA is collaborating with genealogists and scientists around the world on this projects, including representatives from the University of York, Trinity College Dublin, Vanderbilt University, The University of Texas, University of Utah, University of Copenhagen, University of Iceland and the University of Sydney.

Ultimately, participants can match with and choose to connect with anyone else in the project to see how they are connected on the One World Family Tree.

Preliminary indication of distinct
Irish genetic clusters.
Click for larger image and legend.
How to join the One Family One World project

Anyone can join the project and help build the tree by visiting the website LivingDNA.com. People who have already done a DNA test with another company can upload their autosomal raw DNA data from their existing provider and take part for free. By mid-2018 they will be able to find DNA matches with others in the project.

Those who haven't already had a test can take a Living DNA test. (All existing Living DNA members will have the opportunity to join the project for free.)

In addition, any new DNA testers with four grandparents born within 50 miles of one another will receive a special discount because their results will help Living DNA create in-country regional mapping. No data from anyone joining the project will be sold for any other purpose.

Cutting edge DNA technology

The technology being used to test hundreds of millions of genetic combinations worldwide in this project is based on academic research from US institutions and also builds on the same proprietary technology used in the landmark ‘Peopling of the British Isles’ study of 2015. This allowed scientists to explore regional differences of DNA within a country for the first time, by analysing combinations of DNA from people with four grandparents born within 50 miles of each other.

With an exclusive license of this technology, Living DNA is now applying an updated version of the same approach to countries around the world to produce the first fine-scale genetic map of the world, and in the process building up the One World Family Tree.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween discounts from Irish Newspaper Archive

The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archives has some scarily big discounts on offer this Halloween.

A 30% saving is available on the one-month subscription (coupon code Treat30), while a 35% saving is on offer for those signing up for the one-year subscription (coupon code Treat35). These savings will end on Thursday 2 November.

To take advantage of this spookily good discount, head on over to the Irish Newspaper Archive subscription page and type in the coupon code when prompted. Select your preferred currency here: US$   |  Euros  |  GB£.

Irish genealogy and history events, 30 Oct to 12 Nov

Monday 30 October: Public Holiday in Republic of Ireland only. All libraries and archives offices closed.

Tuesday 31 October: The
wWreck of the Leon XIII in 1907,
with Mick Carrick. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 8pm to 9pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members €5 on the door.

Tuesday 31 October: Halloween lock-in, with Martin McDowell. Late night research and social mingle. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS. 8pm to 12pm. Need to be in by 8pm. Stay as long as you like. Complimentary light refreshments will be available. Free, but need to book. All welcome. Details.

Wednesday 1 November: Early medieval masons in Rathdown, with Jason Bolton. Host: Rathmichael Historical Society. Venue: Rathmichael NS, Stonebridge Road, Shankill, Co Dublin. 8pm. €4. All welcome.

Wednesday 1 November: Archives of the Valuation Office, with Frances McGee. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. All welcome. No booking required. 6pm.

Wednesday 1 November: Family history clinics – free advice workshops. Host: Lisburn City Library. Venue: Lisburn City Library, Linenhall St, Lisburn BT28 1FJ. 10:30am–12:30pm and 2pm–4pm. Booking essential on 028 9266 9345. All welcome.

Wednesday 1 November: Welcome to the Golden Age of Irish genealogy, with Tony Hennessy MAGI. Host and venue: Medieval Museum in Waterford's Viking Triangle, The Mall, Waterford City. All welcome. 1:15pm to 2pm. €5 admission on the door. No booking required.

Thursday 2 November: Paisanos: The forgotten Irish who changed the face of Latin America, with Tim Fanning. Host: Mount Merrion Historical Society. Venue: Mount Merrion Community Centre, North Avenue, Mt Merrion, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Non-members €4.

Thursday 2 November: From medieval warlords to anglicised loyalists: The Powers of Curraghmore, 1400-1700, with Julian Walton. The Niall Byrne Memorial Lecture. Host & venue: Waterford Museum of Treasures, The Mall, Waterford City. No prior booking is required. 7.30pm. Admission €5.

Saturday 4 November: Irish research expert help desk, with Ruth Mathewson and Roz McCutcheon of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host: West Surrey Family History Society. Venue: Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Rd, Woking, Surrey, UK (GU22 9BA). 10am–4:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 4 November: Our Wicklow heritage: Making local history. Hosted by Heritage Office, Wicklow County Council. Venue: Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Keynote speaker Professor Raymond Gillespie. Other presentations by five local historical societies, Wicklow Library and Archives services, and a group workshop. 9:30am–4:30pm. Free, but need to register. Details.

Saturday 4 November: The Children of the 1916 Rising: part of Women's History Day. A talk, walk, and museum visit. Host: Maryland Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. Venue: Irish Railroad Workers Museum, 918-920 Lemmon St, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 11:30am–2pm EDT. Free. Details.

Saturday 4 November: Dublin Histories, with Donal Fallon, John Gibney and Aileen O’Carroll in conversation with Myles Dungan. Hosts: Dublin Book Festival and NLI. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 3.30pm – 4.30pm. All welcome. Booking advised.

Saturday 4 November: Family history advice day, with the Western Family History Association. Host: Galway City Museum and WFHA. Noon for lecture presentation by Paul Greaney and Pat Finn); From 2pm: free consultations. Venue: Galway City Musuem, Spanish Parade House, Merchants Rd Lower, Galway City. For more information or to book consultation, phone Museum on 091 532460.

Monday 6 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operating as normal. Details.

Tuesday 7 November: Understanding heraldry, with Michael McKeag. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, C4, Valley Business Park, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. 11am–1pm and 2pm–4pm (lunch, not provided, 1–2pm). £12. Plus optional informal walk round Queen’s University to spot memorials and armorials. All welcome. Need to book. Details.

Wednesday 8 November: From Meath of the Pastures to Smithfield - a story of a cattle market and a family who lived there, with Mary O'Connell. Host: Old Dublin Society. Venue: Conference Room, Dublin City Library & Archive; 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Starts at 6pm. No booking; seating allocated on first come basis. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 8 November: Tracing your Family Tree: How to Start, Where to Start, with Tony Hennessy MAGI. Host and venue: Medieval Museum in Waterford's Viking Triangle, The Mall, Waterford City. All welcome. 1:15pm to 2pm. €5 admission on the door. No booking required.

Thursday 9 November: Dublin's great wars: Parallel stories from 1912-23, with Prof Richard Grayson. 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.

Thursday 9 November: Public tour of WWIreland exhibition, Exploring the Irish Experience at home and abroad. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street (next door to main building), Dublin 2. Free. 2pm. No booking required.

Thursday 9 November: Female connections are the best road to research success, with Kevin Cassidy. Host: Greater Omaha Genealogical Society – Irish Interest Group. Venue: LDS Omaha Stake Center, 14680 California Street, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. 7pm. Free, but advance registration required by email to Rita Henry (rhenry416@cox.net).

Saturday 11 November: Irish historical walking tour of The City of London, exploring inside the walls of the City of London to meet the Irish people who lived and worked there over the last 300 years Host: London Easter 1916-1924 Centenary Committee. Venue: Meet at Holborn tube station (London WC2B 6AA) at Noon. No charge, but donations accepted. Details.

Saturday 11 November: Irish Family History Society's Winter Meeting with two talks in the morning (at 10:15, Quakers of Baltboys, Co Wicklow, with John Hussey, and at 11:15, Culture, politics and local government in Fingal, 1891-1914, with Declan Brady) and two in the afternoon (at 2pm, Jacobs Biscuit Company and its archive, with Douglas Appleyard, and at 3pm, A Nobel scientist who lived in Dublin: Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), with Niall McDevitt. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138 Pearse St, Dublin 2. Registration at 10am. Free. All welcome.

Friday, 27 October 2017

New book tells the history of the Liverpool Irish

Click image to find out more
Click image to find out more
A new book, In Hardship and Hope: A History of the Liverpool Irish, was launched this week at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Irish Studies during the Liverpool Irish Festival.

Written by social historian and guide Greg Quiery, it presents a narrative history of the Irish community in the city, describing its struggle for social and political acceptance and the impact of the city’s Irish heritage on Liverpool’s modern culture.

The 266-page book is written for the general reader and covers the 1700s to 1960s via a variety of topics, including employment, education, revolutionaries, sectarianism, Irish Nationalism and the break-up of the Irish districts after the 1920s. It features a timeline and 100 potted biographies.

ISBN 978-1-9998030-0-3.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Recent lectures uploaded to PRONIonline on YouTube

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has updated its PRONIonline YouTube collection with videos of the lectures it hosted and presented between late August and the middle of this month.

The links for these videos are below, but if you take a look at the PRONIonline menu, you'll find the full selection of videos going back six years.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Major new online resource to be released by UCC as part of 2018's National Famine Commemoration

Next year's National Famine Commemoration will take place on Saturday 12 May in University College Cork (UCC), and will be hosted jointly by UCC and Cork City Council.

University College Cork
The focal point of the 2018 commemoration will be the launch of The Great Irish Famine Online.

Speaking at the official announcement, UCC President Professor Patrick O’Shea said: "The University has supported and invested in research on the Great Irish Famine for over twenty years. The award winning publication The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine* is internationally regarded as the most original and insightful publication on this topic.

“This research continues as reflected in the Famine Online Project led by Mike Murphy, Cartographer, UCC. This flagship collaborative project includes colleagues from the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Education and Skills. It will result in the creation of a new digital resource of global significance of which all the partners can be immensely proud.”

Outlining the benefits of the initiative, Professor O’Shea said, “The project will make unique information globally available and for free. It will facilitate people across the world to explore and analyse the information pertaining to the famine for each of the 3,000 parishes and 1,600 towns across the entire island of Ireland.  

"The Great Irish Famine Online is a fascinating new resource that will make important contributions to new understandings of our past. This is one of the biggest contributions to Irish famine knowledge, research and education. It will allow people to explore this tragic event like never before, made possible by the use of modern technology”.

*Published 2012. Details.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

MilitaryArchives.ie releases 5,000 new MSPC files

As scheduled (see last week's blogpost), another release from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection is freely available from this morning at MilitaryArchives.ie.

These files relate to claims lodged by the participants of the revolutionary period or by their dependents.

This instalment contains almost 5,000 new scanned files relating to 1,576 individuals. Some of the files are huge, holding many pages. I've opened two files this morning with a combined digital 'weight' of more than 85Mb; one of them held 31 pages, the other 57 pages, so be prepared not only for slow download if your internet connection is sluggish but also for a lot of reading!

This will bring will the total number of files now available online from this collection to around 20,000 (relating to 6,564 individuals).

For a snapshot of the collection, see RTÉ's 'taster' presentation.


Rockstar Genealogists 2017 results announced

Final results in the 2017 Rockstar Genealogists' poll were revealed this morning and the results from the 'Irish jury' were an exact copy of the previous year's reckoning.

I held on to my bronze placement, which I'm very happy about, so many thanks to everyone who took the time to register a vote for me: John Grenham MAGI took the silver for the second year in a row; and Maurice Gleeson repeated last year's triumph by taking the gold crown again.

The poll, is run by Ottawa-based genealogist John D Reid, who publishes the Anglo-Celtic-Connections blog. This is how he describes Rockstar Genealogists: "They are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates. For clarity, it's about communication and influence not who's the best researcher."

Pop over to John's blogpost to see the names of all the Gold Medal winners ie the Superstar Genealogists, and all the Silver and Bronze winners.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Irish genealogy & heritage events, 23 Oct to 5 Nov

Monday 23 October: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 23 October: Protest and resistance during the Great Famine, with Dr. John Cunningham. Host: Moate Museum and Historical Society. Venue: Grand Hotel, Main Street, Moate, Co Westmeath. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 25 October: The October Revolution in Russia: The Impact of Communism in Ireland conference. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 10am – 4pm. Free, but need to book ticket. The exhibition, Women in the Russian Revolution will be on display at PRONI on the day of the Conference.

Wednesday 25 October: Pre-Famine Dublin: a calamity waiting to happen? with Vincent Ruddy. Host: The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free.

Wednesday 25 October: Negotiating Insanity in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: the case of Carlow Lunatic Asylum and the south-east, with Dr Catherine Cox. Host: West Wicklow Historical Society. Venue: Timmins Bar (upstairs), Baltinglass, Co Wicklow. Admission €5 - includes tea / coffee. All welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 25 October: The frustrated return of WWI Irish ex-servicemen, with Dr Emmanuel Destenay. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. No booking required. All welcome. 6pm.

Thursday 26 October: The Treasonous Irish: Vigilantes, Conspiracies and the Mainstream Press, 1917-1918, with Mick Mulcrone. The Ernie O’Malley Lecture. Host & venue: Glucksman Ireland House, 1 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003, USA. All welcome. Free. 7pm–9:30pm. Details and registration.

Thursday 26 October: Researching around Adoption and using DNA Resources, with Séan T Traynor. 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. All welcome.

Thursday 26 October: Mapping the Canal: David Vaughan and the Erie Canal, with Craig Williams. Host and venue: Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY, USA. Free to members/ $5 non-members. 6:30pm–8pm. Need to register in advance.

Monday 30 October: Public Holiday in Republic of Ireland only. All libraries and archives offices closed.

Tuesday 31 October: The Wreck of the Leon XIII in 1907, with Mick Carrick. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 8pm to 9pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members €5 on the door.

Tuesday 31 October: Halloween Lock-in, with Martin McDowell. Late night research and social mingle. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS. 8pm to 12pm. Need to be in by 8pm. Stay as long as you like. Complimentary light refreshments will be available. Free, but need to book. All welcome. Details.

Wednesday 1 November: Early medieval masons in Rathdown, with Jason Bolton. Host: Rathmichael Historical Society. Venue: Rathmichael NS, Stonebridge Road, Shankill, Co Dublin. 8pm. €4. All welcome.

Wednesday 1 November: Archives of the Valuation Office, with Frances McGee. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. All welcome. No booking required. 6pm.

Thursday 2 November: Paisanos: The forgotten Irish who changed the face of Latin America, with Tim Fanning. Host: Mount Merrion Historical Society. Venue: Mount Merrion Community Centre, North Avenue, Mt Merrion, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Non-members €4.

Thursday 2 November: From Medieval Warlords to Anglicised Loyalists: The Powers of Curraghmore, 1400-1700, with Julian Walton. The Niall Byrne Memorial Lecture. Host & venue: Waterford Museum of Treasures, The Mall, Waterford City. No prior booking is required. 7.30pm. Admission €5.

Saturday 4 November: Irish Research Expert Help Desk, with Ruth Mathewson and Roz McCutcheon of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host: West Surrey Family History Society. Venue: Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Rd, Woking, Surrey, UK (GU22 9BA). 10am–4:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 4 November: Our Wicklow Heritage: Making Local History. Hosted by Heritage Office, Wicklow County Council. Venue: Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Keynote speaker Professor Raymond Gillespie. Other presentations by five local historical societies, Wicklow Library and Archives services, and a group workshop. 9:30am–4:30pm. Free, but need to register. Details.

Saturday 4 November: The Children of the 1916 Rising: part of Women's History Day. A talk, walk, and museum visit. Host: Maryland Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. Venue: Irish Railroad Workers Museum, 918-920 Lemmon St, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 11:30am–2pm EDT. Free. Details.

Saturday 4 November: Dublin Histories, with Donal Fallon, John Gibney and Aileen O’Carroll in conversation with Myles Dungan. Hosts: Dublin Book Festival and NLI. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 3.30pm – 4.30pm. All welcome. Booking advised.

Saturday 4 November: Family History Advice Day, with the Western Family History Association. Host: Galway City Museum and WFHA. Noon for lecture presentation by Paul Greaney and Pat Finn); From 2pm: free consultations. Venue: Galway City Musuem, Spanish Parade House, Merchants Rd Lower, Galway City. For more information or to book consultation, phone Museum on 091 532460.



Saturday, 21 October 2017

Back To Our Past & Genetic Genealogy Ireland: last day on Sunday

Despite intending to be at this year's Back To Our Past (BTOP) and Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) conference at the RDS in Dublin, events have conspired against me and I won't be able to attend. But I've been in touch with some of those attending the show and all seems to be going well: a happy, busy atmosphere, with lots of help and guidance being freely dispensed to family historians of all levels by knowledgeable genies on the exhibitor stands and in the lecture halls.

There are also loads, and I mean LOADS, of special offers to be had, whether you're after DNA tests, genealogical society memberships, database subscriptions, stationery supplies for the researcher, family history magazines and books, or pretty much anything else.

From what I'm hearing, visitor numbers look pretty good despite the downpours and gales being thrown down on Ireland courtesy of Storm Brian.

I've managed to beg and borrow some photos to give you a feel for the show, so if you fancy popping along tomorrow when the weather is likely to be bit quieter, you'll know what to expect.

The Shelbourne Hall doors open on Sunday at 11am and the show continues until 6pm. Check out the lecture programmes for the day (Genetic Genealogy and Traditional Genealogy/Heritage), and be sure to allow yourself enough time to visit all the stands and attend a selection of talks.

Top: Eppie Jones presents her lecture 'Ancient DNA and the Genetic History of Europeans' at GGI (photo
Svetlana Hensman @SvHensman); Middle: Irish Genealogy Supplies stand has all your research
stationery needs covered; Bottom: Irish Roots Magazine - Ireland's only independent family history magazine.


Top: North of Ireland Family History Society's stand: check out their Family History Beginner’s Pack or
dedicated County Research Guides; Middle: Making their debut at BTOP is MyHeritage;
Bottom: Who cares about the lotto? This weekend all eyes are on the
Irish Genealogical Research Society's fabulous raffle prize worth €1,000!



Clockwise from Top Left: Books galore on the Royal Irish Academy's stand; Wesley Burke, Editor of Ireland's Military Story magazine; Maurice Gleeson, co-ordinator of Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference with Cathal McElgunn, visiting geneticist; Find out how the collections and resources of PRONI can help your Northern Ireland research.



Top: Family Tree DNA sponsor the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference.
Middle: Ancestry's ProGenealogists team in action, busy busy busy.
Bottom: BTOP is held as part of the Over 50s show at the RDS.


FindMyPast discounts running to end of October

FindMyPast is offering discounts on some of its subscription packages. In each case, the money-saving offers are available on new subscriptions only, and you'll need to sign up for your chosen package before the end of October, when the discounts expire.

The following discounts are now live using the links below:

10% off 12-month World/Premium Subscription - Ireland, Australia/NZ & USA only*
*Links for the UK site will be added in due course


FindMyPast Ireland
10% off 12-month World package



FindMyPast Australia/NZ
10% off 12-month World package



FindMyPast US
10% off 12-month Premium package
(See also 50% discount offer below)



50% off one-month Premium Subscription - USA only


FindMyPast US
50% off 1-month Premium package


Friday, 20 October 2017

FindMyPast adds three collections of abstracts and pedigrees, and an early rural Cork census

FindMyPast has added four useful new collections to its database of Irish records. Three of them feature the work of renowned genealogists of yesteryear and include abstracts of wills dating as far back as the 16th or 17th centuries as well as transcripts from other miscellaneious records The fourth collection, though small, will be of interest to those with Cork ancestors. The four collections are held by the National Archives of Ireland.

From Betham Genealogical Abstracts
Click for larger image.
Betham Genealogical Abstracts

Sir William Betham was appointed Ulster King of Arms in 1807 and set about creating abstracts of pre-1800 wills. He also reconstructed family trees and pedigrees. This collection holds nearly 490,000 records created by him. It includes abstracts of wills, reconstructed family trees and detailed pedigrees.

Crosslé Genealogical Abstracts

The Crosslé Genealogical abstracts were created in the 19th century by Dr Francis Crosslé and his son Philip (1875-1953). The miscelleneous collection of more than 657,000 detailed abstracts dates from 1620 to 1804, many of them transcribed from prerogative wills subsequently destroyed in the 1922 fire, as well as Army returns from 1767 to 1816. A good proportion of the material comes from the Northwest of Ireland.

Thrift Genealogical Abstracts

Created by the genealogist Gertrude Thrift (1872-1951), this collection of 150,000 abstracts contains transcripts and notes from military commission books, parish registers, exchequer bill books, prerogative grants, chancery bill books, freeman rolls, wills, and more. It also includes detailed family trees and pedigree charts for a number of well-heeled families. The original sources and lives recorded date back to 1505 and spans up to the 1930s, but more than 90% of the entries are from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the wills copied by Thrift were subsequently lost during the fire at the PRO in Dublin in 1922.

NorthWest Cork/East Kerry, Pobble O'Keefe Census 1830-1852

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgRUlQSjczVmNzbzQ/view?usp=sharing
An 1850 census from townland of Tooreenclassagh.
Click for larger image.
This is a small-ish record set but for those whose ancestors are recorded, it will bring rich pickings. The rest of us with Cork connections can only look on with envy.

The townland of Pobble O'Keefe, aka Pobal O'Keefe or Pobal O'Keeffe, was originally owned by the O'Keefe family but was forfeited in 1641.

The area includes 9,000 acres on the banks of a tributary of the Blackwater, straddling the Cork and Kerry borders. In the 1830s it was managed by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, who built many roads and a new rural town, known as KingWilliamstown. The name has since been changed to Ballydesmond.

This record set holds just over 4,500 records from seven local censuses – 1830, 1834, 1836, 1849, 1850, 1851, and 1852 – providing names, ages and occupations of household members. It also appears to be free to search and view (unlike the others above).


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Book launch - Dublin: A New Illustrated History

https://www.collinspress.ie/dublin-a-new-illustrated-history.html
A new book telling the story of Dublin has been published by Collins Press.

Dublin: A New Illustrated History. The story of the capital from origins to the present, by historian and walking tour guide John Gibney, is a 348-page hardback featuring full colour photographs and a multitude of tales to explain how the city developed. The author tells his story of the capital’s social, political, cultural and architectural past through anecdotes about personalities, goings-on, buildings, literature and song over the centuries.

Unlike other histories, this sweeping portrait starts with the prehistoric settlements from which the city’s two names, Dublin and Baile Átha Cliath, are drawn, charting its growth through the Vikings and Normans, the Georgian, Victorian and Revolutionary eras, into the new millennium.

Each chapter brings a different period to life with lavish artworks, maps, artefacts and photos. The absorbing episodes and characters that fill these pages guarantee that this book is no mere local history. Rather, it is an illuminating chronicle of the Irish nation’s nerve centre and will captivate everyone interested in the ebb and flow of Irish life.

Via the publisher's website, the book is on sale for €29.99, which includes free shipping in Ireland. Its ISBN is 9781848893306.

The official launch of the book will be held this evening, from 6:30pm, at Hodges Figgis in Dawson Street, Dublin 2. The guest speaker will be Frank McDonald, author, journalist and former Environment Editor of the Irish Times. John Gibney published this tweet earlier today: 'If near @Hodges_Figgis tonight...all welcome!'

MilitaryArchives.ie prepares to release more MSPC files

http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection
MilitaryArchives.ie has announced some details of its imminent online release from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection. These files relate to claims lodged by the participants of the revolutionary period or by their dependents and have already yielded significant new information for period.  .

This will be the fourth instalment from the collection and includes the files of 1,576 individuals. In total, this instalment includes 290,000 scanned pages in 4,730 files. These files relate to claims lodged by the participants of the revolutionary period or by their dependents and contain a wealth of new and unique information for the period.

The release includes:
  • 300 women participants
  • 343 IRA Civil War casualties
  • 66 individuals executed during the Civil War.
  • 352 claims lodged by dependants of deceased participants
  • 5 veterans of Easter Week
  • 510 applications for service (either pre-Truce or War of Independence and Civil War (IRA and National Army)
The names and residences of the 1,576 individuals have been published in a downloadable list (PDF 1.3Mb). The release will be on Tuesday 24 October.

See details about the various record sets within the MSPC that are already online here.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Rockstar Genealogists 2017 poll: voting ends Saturday

Rockstar Genealogists 2017 poll is now open for your votes.

Run by blogger John D Reid of Anglo-Celtic-Connections, the Rockstar awards were introduced as a way of helping the organisers of lecture programmes to know who is popular internationally and in different regions.

John says:"Rockstar genealogists are those who give 'must attend' presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates. For clarity, it's about communication and influence not who's the best researcher."

Voting requires access through a Google account. This stops people voting multiple times. If you don't already have an account, you can sign up for free here.

You can  select as many or as few of the nominated genealogists as you wish, but you can submit only once.

All votes need to have been submitted by 2pm (EDT-USA/Canada) / 7pm Dublin/London.




Monday, 16 October 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives passes milestone

Please see below a summary of the files added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP Archives) in the first two weeks of this month. 

The volunteer team noted that in the course of these uploads, more than 120,000 gravestone images – an impressive milestone – are now available to view via the IGP Headstone Project.

ARMAGH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballymacnab Old Graveyard - McKee & McParlan

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Donaghmore, St. Patrick's (CoI)
Meenglass(CoI) Diocese of Raphoe


DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Deansgrange Cemetery, St. Anne's Section, Pt. 6
Golden Bridge Cemetery, Part 2 (D-G)
Mount Jerome, Dublin - Part 178

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mungret Graveyard

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Urney Cemetery, Parts - Completed

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Otteran's, Waterford City, Part 8

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Greenane Main Cemetery, Part 2

Accredited Genealogists Ireland admits new Affiliates

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) has announced that two more genealogists have recently been admitted as Affiliates of the association. The Affiliate category was introduced by AGI as a stepping stone towards an application for accreditation from genealogists in the early stage of their transition to professional status.

The two new Affiliates are  Séamus O’Donoghue, who is based in his native Co. Clare, and Des Murtagh, originally from Dublin and now resident in Co. Kildare.

AGI's two new affiliates: Séamus O’Donoghue (left) and Des Murtagh (right)

AGI has limited places in the Affiliate programme, partly because each Affiliate is matched with a mentor from within the body of accredited Members.  To date there have been fifteen Affiliates and six of them have progressed through the accreditation process to becoming Members (MAGIs). See the AGI website for more information about the Affiliate programme.





Irish genealogy and heritage events, 16-29 October

Monday 16 October: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 16 October: Genealogy and family history advice service, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Host: Donaghmede Library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Grange Road, Dublin 13 or Raheny Library, if preferred. All welcome but you need to book by phone: 087 6491605. Free.

Monday 16 October: The History of the Kelly Family from 1820 (Kelly Coal Boats), with Kelly Wilson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 October: The frustrated return of WW1 Irish ex-servicemen, with Dr Emmanuel Destenay. Host: National Archives of Ireland's 2017 Lecture Programme. Venue: Reading Room, National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. All welcome. 6pm. No booking required.

Tuesday 17 October: The Irish Boundary Commission of 1925, with Declan Ryan. Also: Viking influences around us, with Brian Mac Aongusa. Host: Foxrock Local History Club. Venue: Foxrock Pastoral Centre (rear of Foxrock Church), Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €5 / Members free.

Tuesday 17 October: Rathnadrinna Fort: Excavation of a multi-period hilltop in Cashel, with Richard O'Brien. Host: Tipperary People & Places Lecture Series. Venue: Tipperary Studies, The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome. More details studies@tipperarycoco.ie.

Wednesday 18 October: Reformation 500, a History Ireland Hedge School, with Editor Tommy Graham. On the panel for the roundtable discussion will be Adrian Empey, John McCafferty, Alison Forrestal, Gesa Thiessen. Host and venue: St Werburgh’s Church, Werburgh Street, Dublin. 7pm. Free.

Wednesday 18 October: Carlow lunatic asylum, from 1832, with Dr Catherine Cox. Host: Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society. Venue: Seven Oaks Hotel, Athy Road, Carlow. 8pm. All welcome. Free. Details.

Thursday 19 October to 29 October: Liverpool Irish Festival, film screenings, theatrical performances, music sessions, talks, tours and debates. Venues: Various across Liverpool, UK. See the full programme.

Friday 20 October to Sunday 22 October: Back To Our Past, Ireland's largest genealogy shin-dig with exhibitors, free family history advice, DNA help, discounts, free lectures and much more. Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017 conference runs alongside it. Venue: Shelbourne Hall, RDS Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 11am to 6pm daily. Normal admission €10 per day. Advance admission (online) €5 per person per day. See Irish Genealogy News' preview.

Friday 20 October: Following the footsteps of the Cork Fenians – 150th Anniversary of the Rising, with John Mulcahy. Host: Carrigtwohill & District Historical Society. Venue: St David's Centre (in old graveyard), Chapel Lane, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. 8pm. Admission: €5 on door.

Friday 20 October: Medieval nunneries in Ireland, with Dr Tracy Collins. Host: Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Parnell Room, Granville Hotel, Meagher's Quay, Waterford City. 8pm. Members free / Non-members €5. All welcome.

Saturday 21 October: Unique aspects of Irish research, with Tom Rice. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. Venue: Celtic Junction Arts Center,  836 Prior Ave, North St Paul, MN, USA. 10:30 am to 12 noon. $15 for IGSI members, $20 for non-members. Details.

Monday 23 October: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 23 October: Protest and resistance during the Great Famine, with Dr. John Cunningham. Host: Moate Museum and Historical Society. Venue: Grand Hotel, Main Street, Moate, Co Westmeath. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 25 October: The October Revolution in Russia: The Impact of Communism in Ireland conference. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 10am – 4pm. Free, but need to book ticket. The exhibition, Women in the Russian Revolution will be on display at PRONI on the day of the Conference.

Wednesday 25 October: Pre-Famine Dublin: a calamity waiting to happen? with Vincent Ruddy. Host: The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free.

Thursday 26 October: Researching around Adoption and using DNA Resources, with Séan T Traynor. 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. All welcome.

Ireland on lock down for forecast storm on Monday

(Midday Monday forecast) Image from Met Eireann
Due to the forecast of extreme weather across Ireland as ex-hurricane Ophelia passes rather too close for comfort, most if not all public institutions will be closed on Monday.

Provided the power stays on, it'll be a day for online research!

Keep safe everyone.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Participants sought for survey of Ireland's holy wells

A nationwide crowd-sourcing survey project has been launched to identify and document Ireland's holy wells, and the associated traditions/beliefs associated with them held by our ancestors. County by county across both the Republic and Northern Ireland, it will record those holy well sites that remain in active use and also those nearly lost to living memory.

The project is being managed by its creator, Dr Celeste Ray, Professor of Anthropology at the University of the South in Swanee, Tennessee, USA. She has been researching Irish holy wells since 2000.

Project participants will find suggested research questions and instructions on the Ireland's Holy Wells project website. Any data submitted will be appreciated and you do not have to answer every question to be a contributor.

It's hoped local researchers will capture accounts of the prayer 'rounds' unique to each well, plus details of the patron saint, associated flora and fauna, and cures; audio clips of the pronunciation of well names and townland locations; video clips of interviews, pattern days, or demonstrations of the rounds; and photographs of the sites, votive offerings and associated stations.

Items are already starting to be added to the website, which is worth browsing. So far, the only counties with entries are Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Offaly and Tipperary.

The information gathered from the survey will produce a permenant open-access archive of known holy wells and the beliefs attached to them. The database of geographical and archaeological data, oral recordings, videos of the sites and demonstrations of the traditions, written memories and stories etc – will be donated to the National Folklore Collection.

St Patrick's Well, Gortmore, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary is one of the largest holy wells in Ireland.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

GRO England & Wales launches second phase of pilot scheme for pdf birth & death certificates

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO-EW) has today launched another phase of its PDF Certificates Pilot scheme. As its name implies, the service offers researchers a chance to purchase a pdf format image of a historical civil registration certificate (births and deaths only); the cost is £6, rather than the regular £9.25 for a watermarked paper version.

Paper certificates (above) cost £9.25 each. 
PDF versions are £6.
This extension of the scheme, which was first trialled from November 2016 to April 2017, will run for a minimum of three months. The GRO-EW hope this will help them to better understand the level of demand for such a service. It will also mean, for me and probably many others who missed the earlier phase, the opportunity to get ourselves in gear and purchase certificates for those of our Irish ancestors who crossed the Irish Sea and settled in England or Wales.

The years covered by the pilot are 1837–1916 for births, and 1837–1957 for deaths.

Applications must be made via the GRO-EW online service and must include a GRO-EW index reference. You can do a free search for the index reference on that site. Alternatively you could find the reference on the freeBMD website.

Unlike the first phase process, pdfs ordered under the extended scheme will not be sent as an email attachment to the researcher. Instead, the researcher will receive an email advising that the pdf image is ready to view and download from his/her account page. PDFs will remain available to view for three months from the date of the order, and no reminders will be issued prior to deletion.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

New book explores the working lives of Dublin dockers

http://irishacademicpress.ie/product/the-dublin-docker-the-working-lives-of-dublins-deep-sea-port/
If you have ancestral connections to Dublin's dockyards, you might want to check out a new book from Irish Academic Press: The Dublin Docker: Working Lives of Dublin’s Deep-Sea Port, by Aileen O'Carroll and Don Bennett.

The 285-page paperback explores the working lives of the capital's dockers from the mid-19th-century to the 1970s.

Lavishly illustrated with photos of the port, the dockyards and the men who worked there, the book tells the social history of the Dublin quaysides and how the dockers lives were impacted by events, especially the Dublin Lockout, WW1, the Easter Rising and the War of Independence.

Priced from €24.99 | ISBN 9781911024729

Extensive church records for Co. Armagh are in the pipe

Armagh Ancestry, the Irish Family History Foundation's designated research centre for genealogical research in County Armagh, has reached an important milestone in a two-year project to upload another significant chunk of church records to its sizeable database on RootsIreland.ie.

The records have been transcribed from  the following sources:
  • Church of Ireland (CofI) baptism, marriage and burial registers,
  • Presbyterian baptism and marriage registers,
  • Quaker marriage and burial registers, and
  • Methodist baptism registers.
In some instances, the additional transcripts 'top-up' a specific parish's collection. For example, the records already searchable on the database for Milltown CofI collection currently consists of marriages from 1845 to 1921; the new tranche of records will include baptism 1840-1864, burials 1845 to 1889, and slightly earlier marriages from 1840-1845. In other cases, records are about to be uploaded for parishes that were not previously represented in the database (for example, baptism records for the Bannfoot Methodist congregation and Montiaghs CofI).

The project team has recently imputted these records but they have yet to be fully validated. The validation process will take some time to complete, and only then will they all be available to search at RootsIreland.ie.

You can see a full breakdown of Armagh Ancestry's existing collection at RootsIreland here.

A summary of the soon-to-be validated additions can be found here.

If you think one of your ancestors may be discovered among these records and you just can't wait for the online database to be updated, you can ask Armagh Ancestry to make a manual search. You'll need to name your ancestor and pay a £10 fee for the service. Contact Armagh.Ancestry@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 9-22 October

Monday 9 October: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 9 October: The Irish Linen Industry, with Brian Mackay. Host: Carryduff Historical Society. Venue: Committee Room, Lough Moss Leisure Centre, Hillsborough Road, Carryduff, Co Down. 8pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members £2.

Monday 9 October: Carnmoney Graveyard, with Nigel Henderson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 10 October: Irish Family History Group, monthly meeting. Host and venue: The Core Library, Theatre Square, Homer Road, Solihull, UK, B91 3RG. 10am to Noon. All welcome, for genealogy help and support.

Tuesday 10 October: DMP casualties during the War of Independence – Part Three, with James Scanlon. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI). Venue: Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm. €3 donation. All welcome.

Tuesday 10 October: Family history: A beginner's guide to DNA, with Martin McDowell. Host and venue: Belfast Central Library, Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1EA. Free. 2pm–3pm. Booking advised; T: 028 9050 9150. All welcome. 

Wednesday 11 October: Irish Family History Advice Sessions, with Archivists. Host and venue: Glasgow City Archives, Level 5, Mitchell Library, Granville Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN, Scotland. Bookable one-to-one slots. Book in person at Granville St. reception or phone 0141 287 2999.

Thursday 12 October: The Plantation families of North-West Ulster, with Brian Mitchell MAGI. Host and venue: Ballymena Central Library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, Co Antrim, BT43 5AX. Free. 12:30pm. All welcome. Details: T- 028 2563 3950; E- ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk​.

Thursday 12 October: Public tour of WWIreland Exhibition, Exploring the Irish Experience at home and abroad. Host and Venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street (next door to main building), Dublin 2. Free. 2pm. No booking required.

Thursday 12 October: How to get ready to search Irish records, with Kevin Cassidy. Host: Greater Omaha Genealogical Society – Irish Interest Group. Venue: LDS Omaha Stake Center, 14680 California Street, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. 7pm. Free, but advance registration required by email to Rita Henry (rhenry416@cox.net).

Friday 13 October: Tour of the Newspaper Library and how to use it for genealogy research. Host and venue: Belfast Central Library, Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1EA. Free. 2:30–3:30pm. Booking advised; T: 028 9050 9150. All welcome.

Saturday 14 October: Places and jurisdictions in Ireland, with Tom Rice. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Library, 1185 Concord St North, South St Paul, MN 55075, USA. Members $15/ Non-members $20. 10:30 to Noon. Register.

Saturday 14 October: Towns of the Ulster Plantation, a one-day conference. Hosts: Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne (Breifne Historical Society) and Cavan Genealogy. Venue: Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan. 10am to 4pm. To book, contact the Library on +353 (0)49 436 1094. Fee: €10. Booking essential. Full programme.

Saturday 14 October: Derry – the pathway to another life, with Brian Mitchell MAGI. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Seminar Room, First Floor, Omagh Library, Dublin Road, Omagh, BT78 1HL. 10am. All welcome.

Saturday 14 October: Social life in Mayo at the turn of the century, a day of talks highlighting life in the county in the early 1900s. Host: Mayo Genealogy Group. Venue: National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo. 11am - 3pm. Free. but booking essential. Details..

Sunday 15 October: Irish Historical walk from Kings Cross to Soho. Hosts: London Easter 1916-1924 Centenary Committee and Irish Historical walks in London. Meeting at German Gymnasium, 1 King's Blvd, London, N1C 4BU. Taking in Irish ghettos (Bloomsbury, Soho, Somerstown), links to Fenian rising of 1867, and Easter Rising, and places with connections to famous Irish people. 12pm to 3pm. Details.

Monday 16 October: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Monday 16 October: Genealogy and family history advice service, with Margaret Bonar and Betty Craven. Host: Donaghmede Library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Grange Road, Dublin 13 or Raheny Library, if preferred. All welcome but you need to book by phone: 087 6491605. Free.

Monday 16 October: The History of the Kelly Family from 1820 (Kelly Coal Boats), with Kelly Wilson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 October: The frustrated return of WW1 Irish ex-servicemen, with Dr Emmanuel Destenay. Host: National Archives of Ireland's 2017 Lecture Programme. Venue: Reading Room, National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. All welcome. 6pm. No booking required.

Tuesday 17 October: Rathnadrinna Fort: Excavation of a multi-period hilltop in Cashel, with Richard O'Brien. Host: Tipperary People & Places Lecture Series. Venue: Tipperary Studies, The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome. More details studies@tipperarycoco.ie.

Wednesday 18 October: Reformation 500, a History Ireland Hedge School, with Editor Tommy Graham. On the panel for the roundtable discussion will be Adrian Empey, John McCafferty, Alison Forrestal, Gesa Thiessen. Host and venue: St Werburgh’s Church, Werburgh Street, Dublin. 7pm. Free.

Wednesday 18 October: Carlow lunatic asylum, from 1832, with Dr Catherine Cox. Host: Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society. Venue: Seven Oaks Hotel, Athy Road, Carlow. 8pm. All welcome. Free. Details.

Thursday 19 October to 29 October: Liverpool Irish Festival, film screenings, theatrical performances, music sessions, talks, tours and debates. Venues: Various across Liverpool, UK. See the full programme.

Friday 20 October to Sunday 22 October: Back To Our Past, Ireland's largest genealogy shin-dig with exhibitors, free family history advice, DNA help, discounts, free lectures and much more. Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017 conference runs alongside it. Venue: Shelbourne Hall, RDS Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 11am to 6pm daily. Normal admission €10 per day. Advance admission (online) €5 per person per day. See Irish Genealogy News' preview.

Friday 20 October: Medieval nunneries in Ireland, with Dr Tracy Collins. Host: Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Parnell Room, Granville Hotel, Meagher's Quay, Waterford City. 8pm. Members free / Non-members €5. All welcome.

Saturday 21 October: Unique aspects of Irish research, with Tom Rice. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. Venue: Celtic Junction Arts Center,  836 Prior Ave, North St Paul, MN, USA. 10:30 am to 12 noon. $15 for IGSI members, $20 for non-members. Details.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Back To Our Past & Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017

Two weeks today, at 11am on Friday 20 October, the doors to the RDS's Shelbourne Hall will open to both the Back to Our Past show and Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017.

Half price tickets are available for advance purchase
As you may have already seen in the local press, Ancestry is once again the sponsor of Back To Our Past, and also of the 50 Plus Expo which is held in the adjoining hall over the same three days (20-22 October). They'll have a big stand and visitors will be invited to seek out their ancestors in Ancestry's vast database under the guidance of a friendly member of Ancestry's team.

Other exhibitors include Family Tree DNA, Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum; PRONI; the island's four largest genealogical societies – Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS), North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS), Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI), and the Irish Family History Society (IFHS); Accredited Genealogists Ireland; Irish Roots Magazine, the Irish Manuscript Commission, Clans and Surnames Genealogy School and Irish Genealogy Solutions.

I don't think there is yet a definitive list of exhibitors but I understand that the Irish Whiskey Museum, Titanic Belfast and Epic Ireland will be attending, and there will, as usual, be some costumed military types strutting around ready to give guidance on finding Irish military ancestors.

Making debut appearances at the show will be My Heritage and Living DNA.

I'm told that neither the National Library of Ireland nor FindMyPast Ireland will be appearing at this year's show.

A programme of traditional genealogy and heritage talks will be held throughout the day on each day of Back To Our Past. They are free and they start on the hour from Noon. The final one starts at 4pm.

GGI lectures will be video'd and uploaded to the GGI video
channel on You Tube in the weeks after the conference.
See goo.gl/1VeJJn.
The Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017 conference (GGI) will once again be taking place as a distinct element of Back To Our Past. Organiser Maurice Gleeson has again put together an exciting programme of free lectures featuring many acclaimed Genetic Genealogists from around the world.

While the conference allows for these experts to share their most recent research, the lecture programme also caters for family historians who are new to dna testing. Whether you're a complete beginner or you have a little experience but want some help understanding your results, you'll find suitable lectures are included in the programme.

Like the traditional genealogy lecture programme mentioned above, most of the GGI lectures start on the hour. However, there is one earlier lecture, which starts at 11:15am each day, and one later lecture, starting at 5pm. 

The GGI is sponsored by Family Tree DNA, who usually offer discounts to those who take a test at the show. There may also be some free tests for those with certain ancestral surnames or other criteria.

See the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017 lecture programme.

Irish Newspaper Archive offers 30% discount

Dublin's Irish Newspaper Archive is offering a 30% discount on its monthly membership.

To take advantage of the promotion, follow the following steps:

  1. Choose your preferred currency:    Euros  |  US Dollar  |  GB Pound
  2. Select the Monthly Membership option
  3. Enter your details, and register if you do not already have an account.
  4. Use the code IREOCT30 at checkout to apply the discount.

This offer will expire on Monday 9 October.

https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Emerald Ancestors adds Ballymena Presbyterian baptisms

Baptism records from the Ballymena Second or High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Thomas Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim have been added to the EmeraldAncestors.com database.

https://www.emeraldancestors.com/northern-ireland-ancestor-search
Click to search these records
They cover 1813–1880 inclusive and the details provided for each record include the infant's name and date of birth, the name and surname of the father, the mother's first name and maiden name, their townland or street where the family lived, together with the date of baptism. In some case, annotations provide additional information.

The database already holds transcripts from the marriage register for the same church from 1845 to 1921.

This church, originally on High Street, was designated as Ballymena Second Presbyterian Church, Kirkinriola Parish following the formation of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1840.


Enjoy a 31% saving with a new 3-month subscription to the online British Newspaper Archive

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe
The British Newspaper Archive has introduced a three-month subscription offer to its huge online database. Previously, only 1-month or 12-month options were available.

The 3-month subscription costs £25.90, representing a 31% saving on the monthly package.

The British Newspaper Archive holds historical papers dating back to the 18th-century, although its core archive dates from the 1800s. Some 22million pages are online, with more being added almost daily. They span England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, with the Irish collection currently made up of 150 publications (41 published in Northern Ireland and 109 from the Republic).

In addition to the new 3-month package, the BNA has today launched a Yorkshire and London local history campaign, which may be of interest to those whose Irish ancestors emigrated and settled in those regions. You can sample these archives with three free page views by following the links.

National Library of Ireland: Annual Review 2016

Last week the National Library of Ireland published its Annual Review of 2016. It was a busy year for the institution, which, in addition to its traditional role of collecting and conserving material, launched an ambitious five-year strategy, digitally archived more than 880 Irish websites, saw 170,000 visitors attend its five exhibitions and some 35,000 more made their way to 455 tours, talks, workshops and performances.

The Review (3.6Mb pdf) can be downloaded from NLI.ie.

I took the opportunity of the latest review to compare figures with those of the last four years, in particular looking at the number of visitors taking advantage of the Library's online and offline facilities and services. Overall, the number of visitors through the Library's doors has fallen slightly. The graph, right, makes this fall appear dramatic. In fact, the drop was less than 4%.

A genuinely dramatic reduction in numbers was witnessed in the Family History Room. From roughly 60,000 visits in each of 2013 and 2014, the number fell by 59% to less than 25,000 in 2016.

If there weren't a very good reason for this fall, there would be concern, but the simple explanation is that the National Library released images of its Roman Catholic registers collection in summer 2015. Previously, family historians had to attend the Library for the dubious pleasure of whirring through microfilmed copies of these images; now they could do this research from their own homes. The subsequent indexing and linking to the images by Ancestry, FindMyPast and RootsIreland made the task even easier. For many researchers, there is now no need for regular visits to Kildare Street.

The Library is to be congratulated for its success in making up for the loss of visiting family historians; the numbers attending tours, lectures and workshops more than doubled between 2015 and 2016.

While the numbers attending Library premises overall is steady, the Library's online presence has grown hugely. It is particulary strong on the two main social media outlets of Twitter and Facebook, where it has enormous followings, but its level of interaction with online visitors via its main website (excluding the RC Registers 'channel') and Flickr (for its photo collections), is also impressive.

Launching the Annual Review, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD said: “The Annual Review 2016 highlights the remarkable achievements of the Library last year. Nearly a quarter of a million visitors walked through the doors of the Library over the course of the year, and more than 22 million interacted with the Library online. This astounding figure demonstrates the need for libraries to provide access to information in new and innovative ways, and, through its ambitious digitisation and web archiving programme, the National Library has claimed a leadership role in the digital arena."