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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

NIFHS launches Spring programme of short courses

The North of Ireland Family History Society has announced its Spring programme of short genealogy courses. All are held at the Society's Research Centre in Newtownabbey (see address below) and are open to members and non-members.

To further details about each course, and to book, see NIFHS.org.

Saturday   4 February:  Family Finder - DNA – 3 afternoons
Tuesday 20 February:   Photo Restoration for Beginners – 1 evening
Tuesday 21 February:   Using Newspapers for Family History Research – 1 morning
Tuesday 21 February:   Family Finder - DNA – 3 evenings
Tuesday 28 February:   Technology for Genealogy – 1 afternoon
Tuesday 7 March     :    Land Records – 1 morning and afternoon
Wednesday 9 March:    Dublin Archives – 1 afternoon PLUS trip (TBA if there is interest)
Thursday 9 March    :    Starting your Genealogy – Beginner’s Course – 3 afternoons
Tuesday 14 March   :    Emigration to Australia and New Zealand – 1 morning
Tuesday 14 March   :    Family History using PowerPoint – 1 afternoon
Saturday 18 March   :   Using Gedmatch – 1 afternoon
Tuesday 21 March   :    Valuation Records - 1 morning and afternoon
Wednesday 22 March:  Breaking through Brickwalls – 2 afternoons
Saturday 25 March   :   Researching Military Ancestors – 2 afternoons
Tuesday 28 March   :    Family Tree Maker: Basics and Benefits – 1 morning

The NIFHS Research Centre is at Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS. There's plenty of free parking on site.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: first 2017 update

Here we go with the first 2017 updates from Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. The volunteer team has uploaded the following items in the first two weeks of January:

Stone to Kelly family of Carroward in Kilgefin
Cemetery, Co Roscommon.
Photo courtesy Dave Hall and IGP Archives.
CARLOW Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Carlow Cathedral of the Assumption - Bishops

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Abbey/Friary, Dublin (Updated)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mt Jerome, Dublin - Part 146-148

KILDARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Mullins (CoI), Timolin

LAOIS/QUEENS Genealogy Archives - Photos
Seale John - Photos

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Patrick's (CoI) Graveyard, Granard

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Gloshpatrick Cemetery, Murrisk
Old Kilmeena Graveyard, Westport - Part 1

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Kilgefin Cemetery

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Sligo Cemetery - Middle Pt, Sec. A (A-E)

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Memorial Cards
Memorial Cards (Duggan) - Updated

Monday, 16 January 2017

'From Laois to Kerry' – the plantation of 7 septs (clans)

ISBN 9780992698867
A recently launched book –  From Laois to Kerry – will be of interest to family historians with links to both counties, and especially those with surname connections to Moores, Kellys, Lawlors, Downlings, Dorans, Deevys/Dees and McEvoys.

These are the surnames of the leading septs (clans) of Laois who, under sentence of death if they returned to their home county, were transplanted in the 1600s as tenant farmers to the estate of Patrick Crosbie, who had come to own much of North Kerry.

Written by Michael Christopher Keane, a native of Tarbert in Co Kerry and retired lecturer from University College Cork, From Laois to Kerry is presented in two parts. Part I explores the origins of these Laois septs and their transplantation to Tarbert and its surroundings, and traces the strong surname presence of their descendants in Kerry on a century by century basis down to the present day.

Part II concentrates on the remarkable lives of Patrick Crosbie and his son Sir Pierce Crosbie. The father was a leading figure in Irish history during the plantation period, posing as an English imposter while in reality being a MacCrossan, bards to the O’Moores of Laois. His son was landlord to the septs in Kerry, led regiments in a number of wars and was both Cupholder and Gentleman of the Kings’ Bedchamber to both King James I and Charles I. He lost and then regained his estates and was closely associated with a notorious scandal in which his stepson the Earl of Castlehaven was executed for sexual depravity.

The 130-page softback costs €20 and is available at kennys.ie, omahonys.ie or direct from the author – mjagkeane@gmail.com or m.keane@ucc.ie.


Cork City's Local Studies Library closed until 25 Jan.

Cork City's Local Studies Library on Grand Parade will be closed until 10:00am on Wednesday 25 January.

The closure is to facilitate Phase II repairs to the roof (Phase I finished in December). This programme of works will see new roof lights installed, the upgrading of insulation and the fitting of a new ceiling.



Irish genealogy and history events, 16 – 28 January

Monday 16 January: Irish genealogy records, with Jill Williams FIGRS. Host: Scottish Genealogy Society. Venue: Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, UK. 7pm for 7:30pm lecture. All welcome. No booking. Free to members. Non-members are encouraged to make a small donation.

Monday 16 January: Understanding DNA Genealogy, with Martin McDowell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 16 January: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning and afternoon sessions. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 087 6491605 or impossibleancestors@gmail.com.

Monday 16 January: Larne’s American Links, with David Hume. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 January: Researching Early Ulster Ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. Second of four in lecture series. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue. Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 10:30am-12:30pm. Booking Essential t: 028 2563 3950 e: Ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 18 January: Carlow Graveyards, with Eoin Lyng. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Tullow Community School, The Mullawn, Tullow, Co Carlow. 8pm. Details. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 18 January: Show and Tell, with Branch Members. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, BT66 8TD. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 18 January: The story of Titanic and her importance in history, with Chris Woods. Host: Libraries NI. Venue: Carryduff Library, Church Rd, Carryduff, Co Down, BT8 8DT. Booking advised: T 028 9081 3568, E carryduff.library@librariesni.org.uk. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 19 January: Researching Court Records, with Wesley Geddis. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 17 January: Tipperary Catholic landed gentry of the 18th Century, with Paddy Ryan. Part of the Tipperary People and Places Lecture series. Host: Tipperary Studies. Venue: Gallery of the Source Library, Thurles, co Tipperary. Details. 7:30pm. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome.

Saturday 21 January: Genealogy in The Clogher Story, with Jack Johnston. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy. Venue: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, BT74 7 Enniskillen. Free admission for FG members. Non-members £3. All welcome. 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Tea/coffee at 1:30pm.

Tuesday 24 January: Estate Records for the Family Historian, with Valerie Adams. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: C S Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. All welcome. 7:30pm. Free.

Tuesday 24 January: Tracking "Bad Bridget": Criminal and Deviant Irish Women in North America, 1838-1918, with Dr Elaine Farrell. The Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland Annual Lecture. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. Free. All welcome. No booking required.

Tuesday 24 January: Researching Early Ulster Ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. Third of four in lecture series. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue. Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 10:30am-12:30pm. Booking Essential t: 028 2563 3950 e: Ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 25 January:
Ireland & the UK from 1916 to Brexit, a History Ireland Hedge School. Venue: London Irish Centre. 50-52 Camden Square, London, NW1 9XB, UK. Panel: Tommy Graham, History Ireland editor; Dan Mulhall, Irish ambassador to the UK; Mary Kenny, writer and journalist; Michael Kennedy, RIA's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy; and Martin Mansergh, vice-chair of the Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations. Doors open 7pm. Free tickets.

Wednesday 25 January: Open Genealogy Consultation, with Lisa Dougherty. Host and venue: Paul O'Dwyer Library, Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207 USA. 11am-2pm. Free.

Thursday 26 January: The Rising and its aftermath in Phibsborough and Glasnevin, 1916-17, with Brian Hanley. First of the 'Ireland and the World after the Rising’ Winter Lecture Series 2017. Host: Glasnevin Trust & Trinity College Dublin. Venue: Museum’s Milestone Gallery, Glasnevin Cemetery. Dublin 11. 7pm. Tickets for each lecture are €10 or book the full series of 6 for €50. Details and booking.

Thursday 26 January: Book Launch – The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America, by Damian Sheils. Host and venue: Hodges Figgis, 56-58 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 6pm–7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 26 January: The curious grave of Elizabeth Scrope, with Kieran Groeger. Host: Dunhill History Lecture Series XI, 2017. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opp GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. €5. Lecture is followed by Q&A and light refreshments. All welcome. Details of lecture series.

Friday 27 January: The Reading Room of the National Archives will be closed until 2pm.

Saturday 28 January: People on the Move - Evidence for Migration from the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, with Dr Jacinta Prunty. It's the 16th Annual Irish Migration Studies Lecture. Venue: Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, Ulster American Folk Park, Castletown, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT78 5QY. 11am to 2pm. Registration and Tea/coffee from 10:30. Admission £12, includes tea, coffee, finger buffet lunch, and lecture. Booking advised – see Details.

Saturday 28 January: Arbour Hill Prison and Cemetery – a history, with Jerry O'Reilly. Host: Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project. Venue: The Cobblestone, 77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7. 4pm. All welcome. Details.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Records compiled from Maghera School Attendance Books, 1880-1922

Records from the Maghera National School Attendance Books, 1880–1922 are now freely available to search on the Clare Library website. More than 500 entries are included; the oldest and earliest students to school, which was built in 1869, were born in the late 1860s. Some teachers' details have also been gathered.

More than 500 named school children, the oldest and earliest students having been born in the late 1860s.

The records have been compiled by Brian Doyle and Peter Beirne of the Local Studies Centre, Clare County Libraries, and are based on school attendance books deposited at Clare County Archives. For most of the individuals recorded in the collection, the following information is provided: name, age, quarter and year of joining the school, register number and notes/observations, the latter typically highlighting new pupils, transfer within classes, removal to other schools and death.

Donegal's first newspaper title joins BNA database

County Donegal's first newspaper
County Donegal's first newspaper title
What a great start to 2017 at the British Newspaper Archive, with no less than seven new Irish titles added this week alone.

Today, it's the turn of the Ballyshannon Herald. As Co Donegal's first newspaper, it started publication in 1831. The BNA plans to digitise all editions published from that date until 1883.

So far, the database holds 922 editions dating from 1851 to 1863 and 1866 to 1870.

The addition of this paper means there are now 136 Irish newspapers in the British Newspaper Archive's database (34 of them are from Northern Ireland).

Access to this database is also available to FindMyPast subscribers as part of an Ireland or World subscription.

Registry of Deeds Index Project: First 2017 update

This year's first update to the Registry of Deeds Index Project sees a total of 223,232 entries available for free searching. These entries have been transcribed from 25,336 memorials of deeds.

All the indexing work is performed by volunteers.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Irish Genealogy News: The Catch-up Dozen

Over the last couple of months I've struggled to keep up to date with Irish Genealogy News. It wasn't so much that the quantity of items was exceptional – it wasn't... in fact, it was relatively quiet – it was more to do with my own workload, which was overwhelming. While I managed to keep up with the most important news items, there were a dozen or more not quite so time-sensitive stories which I just didn't get to.

I was planning to splurge these out in individual posts in the first two weeks of the year, but my schedule is simply not going to allow me to do so. I've now waved the white flag. Instead of individual posts, I've gathered twelve outstanding items into one blogpost and written them up in brief. I'm sure you'd rather receive the news in this format than not receive it at all. They're all below. Doing this should allow me to get straight back to normal posting once this current period of overload has passed (a week or two). Here goes:


New genealogy site aimed at secondary school students

https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/2016-family-history/welcome
A free website aimed at helping secondary school students explore their family history has been launched by the National Archives of Ireland and IrishGenealogy.ie. It's called 2016 Family History and is hosted on a distinct area of IrishGenealogy.ie, which is managed by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

It's still being tested but is expected to be formally launched later this month.

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PRONI uploads two more lecture videos to free online library

Click image for full library of PRONI lecture videos
PRONI's YouTube channel has grown with the addition of two more videos of lectures held at the Belfast repository during November. They are:

The Presbyterian Children’s Society, with Paul Gray. The talk explores the organisation formerly known as The Presbyterian Orphan Society and The Presbyterian Orphan & Children’s Society,  which has helped 43,000 children from 17,500 Presbyterian families since it was established 150 years ago.

Steelboys, Oakboys & Bad Boys: Disturbances in County Armagh, 1750-1800, with Dr Eoin Magennis. While the social landscape of 18th-century Ireland was by and large peaceful, County Armagh was one of the exceptions in the 1750s. This talk looks at the changing composition and character of secret peasant societies in Co Armagh in the second half of the century.

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FindMyPast's Irish Petty Sessions Court Records completes

More than 227,700 new records have been uploaded to complete FindMyPast's collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers.  The collection tots up to 22.8million records relating to civil and lesser criminal offences and include names and addresses  of victims, witnesses and the accused, as well as details of the offence, verdict and sentence.

Unfortunately, no details have been provided by FindMypast about the courts to which these additional records relate.

For more information about this record collection, see Irish Genealogy Toolkit.

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Offaly History Archives releases more Digby Irish Estates papers 1890-1916

https://offalyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/new-release-of-digby-irish-estates-papers-online-1890-1916/
Following its online launch last August, Offaly History Archives have released the next two series of records from the Digby Irish Estates Papers. These comprise the annual reports from land agent Reginald Digby to the 9th Lord Digby between the years 1873 and 1889, and to the 10th Lord Digby from 1890 to 1916. His reports are particularly valuable for the information they hold on the agrarian unrest of the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, or the Land War as it was known

See also an introduction to the collection on the Offaly History blog.


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Help preserve Ireland's minor placenaames

A crowdsourcing tool for pooling, storing and sharing data about minor placenames has been launched. Meitheal Logainm.ie gives users the opportunity to promote the toponymic heritage of the country in the digital age by mapping and sharing minor placenames online. This will enable the preservation of minor placenames, and minor placename data as well as raising public awareness on the subject.

Minor placenames, in the context of this project, are placenames other than administrative placenames and population centres.

Administrative placenames include the names of counties, baronies, civil parishes, townlands, and electoral divisions. Population centres include the names of cities, towns, villages and street names. Minor placenames include physical features (e.g. lakes, rivers, bays, headlands, islands, mountains, hills, etc.), and names of man-made features (e.g. ring forts, churches, abbeys, graveyards, bridges, crossroads, etc.)


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Post-Truce Compensation Files 1921-23: Counties Cavan, Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon added

Files can be inspected in the NAI's Reading Room
The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has added the Post-Truce Compensation Files 1921-23 for Counties Cavan, Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon to its catalogue. This leaves only the files for three counties – Galway, Waterford and Wexford – still to be listed.

The Post-Truce Compensation Files relate to claims for compensation for loss of or damage to property that occurred as a result of military action between July 1921 and March 1923. Claims were made under the Damage to Property (Compensation) Act, 1923.

The National Archives describes these files as recording 'the name and address of the claimant and the amount paid in compensation and also a brief narrative of the military action or incident that led to the loss of the property, along with an inventory of the property lost. Using these files, a detailed picture of every incident causing loss of, destruction of, or damage to property during the Civil War can be established.'

While unlikely to help your research in a genealogical sense, these files can add to your understanding of your family's experiences, and those of their neighbours, in the early 1920s. 

For some reason, searching this collection via the catalogue is a rather hit and miss. Instead, you'll find a workaround is to select the county of interest on this overview page of the Post-Truce Finance Compensation files and then browse through the entries. Each entry provides a very brief description of the compensation claim. The original documents can be inspected in the NAI's Reading Room in Bishop Street, Dublin 8.


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Irish Registry of Deeds Indexes online at FamilySearch


A small but useful selection of images of Registry of Deeds Indexes have been released online by FamilySearch.

The LDS Church microfilmed the ROD files back in the early 1950s and has a holding of 2,686 reels which can be ordered for viewing via any Family History Center. It has now released, with public access via the internet, images of about 50 of these reels.

The images are of Grantors Indexes (37 reels) and Land Indexes (13 reels). There are not of the Memorials of Deeds. However, if you can identify an indexed entry of interest, you can then order it a copy of the memorial directly from the Registry of Deeds in Dublin.


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FindMyPast adds 5,000 congregational records to its Irish Quaker collection

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5947&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.findmypast.ie%2Fsearch-world-Records%2Fireland-society-of-friends-quaker-congregational-records
FindMyPast has added 5,000 Irish Quaker Congregational records to its comprehensive Irish Quaker collection.

The records date to the mid-17th century and comprise minutes from half-yearly meetings of the congregation.

These minutes note details of the meeting attended and information about the activities of individual members within the local community. Each entry includes both an image of the original handwritten record and a transcript.


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Ancestry uploads Presbyterian bmds from 38 states

Ancestry has added a bumper collection of 770,000 US Presbyterian records (and more will be added in future updates).

The collection includes baptism, marriage, death, burial, and other records from Presbyterian churches in 38 states and spans 1743 to 1970.

The records originate from the Presbyterian Historical Society and include a good number of Irish men and women and their descendants.

The example above records the wedding in New York City of William Barnes and Rosann Gormley, both of Co. Tyrone, on 3 July 1866, by Pastor W A Scott (42nd St Presbyterian Church).

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Later date and more funding for Culture night

The Minister for Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has confirmed that funding for Culture Night in 2017 will be increased by 20%.

In addition, this year's event will be held on the later date of Friday 22nd September in response to popular demand.

Minister Humphreys is providing a total of €300,000 in 2017 to assist local authorities the length and breadth of Ireland to expand culture night activities.

This year will also see a new annual cultural day join the calendar: Cruinniú na Cásca. This will be held nationwide on Easter Monday, as part of the Creative Ireland programme, and will replicate the successful Reflecting the Rising event held in Dublin last year. It will strongly complement the success of Culture Night and will go to the very heart of embedding culture in every county and community nationwide.”


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Valuation Office Books: House Books Translator launched

You'll remember the Field Books Translator launched back in October by Irish genealogist John Schnelle from Boston (see blogpost). It aims to reveal the details of land-use for each land-holding, explaining not just what crops might have been grown or its suitability for livestock, but also to suggest how the land would have been managed over the years.

John has moved on to the next phase of his in-depth research into the Valuation Office Books and has now launched the House Books Translator to complement the Field Books Translator.

Working from a size of landholding and geographic location, the new Translator reveals details about the property, the social status of the occupier in the local community and the out-houses and layout of their farm.

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Old Irish Graveyards (Sligo and Leitrim) published as e-books

Two books from the Old Irish Graveyards series have been published in e-book format. They cover County Sligo and County Leitrim and can be purchased from The Kabristan Archives, as follows:

COUNTY SLIGO BURIALS from 1797, Part 1, by Eileen Hewson FRGS
91-page pdf: £3.00
Contains c855 records from 10 burial grounds.

COUNTY LEITRIM BURIALS from 1799, Part 1, by Eileen Hewson FRGS
77-page pdf: £3.00
Contains c896 records and 17 burial grounds.


Free access to FindMyPast bmd and census records

FindMyPast is offering Free Access to its birth, marriage, death and census records from today until Sunday.

To take advantage of the free access, select the FindMyPast territory of interest below. You'll need to register for an account if you don't already have one. This involves providing your name, email, country of residence and a password. Nothing more; there's no financial information requested.

The free access will expire at 11:59pm on Sunday 15 January.


FindMyPast Ireland
FindMyPast USA/Canada
FindMyPast UK
FindMyPast Australia/NZ

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

AncestryDNA database tots up 3m participants

http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-5737308-10508555-1479856457000
Ancestry has announced that its consumer DNA database now holds the genetic history of more than three million participants. A year ago, the figure was 1.5million.

The huge leap follows an exceptional sales performance in Quarter 4 when some 390,000 more kits were sold than in the whole of 2015. Much of this is accounted for by heavily discounted sales over the holiday weekend starting on Black Friday when more than 560,000 test kits were sold globally.

Such growth in numbers of participants can only be good news for participants as it increases the chances of finding close cousin matches.

Irish family history courses starting in Spring term

The Spring term sees a small number of new Irish famiily history courses starting, all aimed at beginners and improvers.

Belfast: Monday 6 – Friday 10 February — Full-time
Irish Genealogy Essentials: An intensive week-long Family History Course by Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF). Includes a day and a half of guided research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Participants have full access to the UHF's research and newspaper library, electronic resources, and research staff.
Venue: The Corn Exchange, 31 Gordon Street, BT1 2LG Belfast. Cost £399.99. Details.

Dublin & online: 10 weeks starting Thursday 2 February — evenings or online
Diploma in Family History, with John Grenham. Course is designed to assist students to develop the skills necessary to trace genealogical lineage using online search records as well as resources in historical libraries and archives. Students will investigate death certificates, wills, census records, birth certificates and other primary records. Venue: City Colleges, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Costs: Classroom-based €945; online €845 (instalment plan available). Details.

Malahide: 10 weeks starting Tuesday 31 January — evenings
How to research your family history, with Claire Bradley. Course explores census records, birth, marriage and death records, church registers, land valuations, wills and newspapers. No prior knowledge necessary, but some familiarity with computers is desirable. Classes 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Venue: Malahide Community School, Malahide, Dublin. Enrolment at the school on Monday 23 January, 7:30 to 9pm, or online at easypaymentsplus.ie. Cost: €110. Details (see page 15)

(The National Library of Ireland's afternoon course with Sean J Murphy is fully booked.)

Busy week for Irish titles at the BNA: four more debut

The 'ink' was barely dry on Monday's blogpost about the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) adding the Leinster Leader and the Donegal Independent when along came news of another four Irish titles joining the online database.The latest titles are:

Kildare Observer and Eastern Counties Advertiser: When completed, the holding will span 1879 to 1935. So far, 422 editions have been uploaded: 1897-1898, 1902, 1908, 1910-1912, 1914-1915, 1924, 1928 and 1932-1934.

Longford Journal (and, from 1889, The Longford Journal & Midland Times): The initial upload includes 707 editions for 1850, 1899–1906 and 1911–1914. Eventually, the BNA intends to have editions online from 1839 to 1914.

Wicklow People: The planned archive for this paper spans 1889–1911. Already, all editions published 1900–1909 are online.

Wicklow News-Letter and County Advertiser (and, from 1901, the Wicklow News-Letter, Arklow Reporter &County Advertiser): The BNA plans the holding for this paper to span 1858 to 1922. So far, 868 editions are searchable in the database for 1902-1911, 1913 and 1915-1919.

All Irish titles in the British Newspaper Archive can be searched and viewed via the BNA database.They are also available as part of a FindMyPast Ireland or World subscription.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

NEHGS launches Historic Catholic Records Online

As announced in my December teaser blogpost, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has launched Boston's Historic Catholic Records Online project.

The project, which has been two years in preparation, is a collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston and will see more than 10million sacramental records dating from 1789 to 1900 from over 150 parishes of Greater Boston go online.

Initially, the online database will consist only of images. The first upload available to browse include Boston's four oldest parish records, including those from Holy Cross Cathedral and Holy Trinity, which have the oldest and most fragile registers. These are also the registers in which it's hardest to locate individuals by name. While these digitised records will not be searchable until a later date; completion of the entire project of 937 fully indexed and scanned registers is expected to take 'several' years. The pace of digitisation will be subject to philanthropy and the funding goal is $1million.

While the digitisation process has not yet extended to a searchable index, if you know the parish and rough years of the name you are looking for, you may be able to find it through an index at the beginning of each register volume. However, the method varies across the volumes. An online tutorial has been published to help researchers locate records in this unique collection. The records themselves can be searched from the project page (or click the image).

A dedicated channel of the NEHGS website provides further details of the development of the project as well as historical context to the period covered by the records has also been launched. You can find it at https://catholicrecords.americanancestors.org/

https://www.americanancestors.org/historic-catholic-records-online

Monday, 9 January 2017

Two more Irish titles join British Newspaper Archives

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added two more Irish newspapers over the weekend. They are the Leinster Leader and the Donegal Independent.

The BNA's planned holding for the Leinster Leader will eventually span 1882 to 1955. In the initial uploads, editions published in 1948, 1949 and 1951 to 1955 are now available.

For the Donegal Independent, the BNA plans to add all editions produced by the Ballyshannon-based publisher between 1884 and 1921. The editions published so far are from 1902-1906, 1909-1914, 1917-1919.

These additonal titles means there are now 131 Irish newspapers in the online Archive. All of them are also available as part of an Ireland or World subscription with FindMyPast.

Irish genealogy and history events, 9–21 January

Until end of February: From a whisper to a roar – exhibition exploring the untold story of Monaghan 1916. Venue: Monaghan County Museum, 1 Hill St, Mullaghmonaghan, Monaghan. Monday to Friday 11am–5pm; Saturday 12pm–5pm. Free. Details.

Monday 9 January: "It's All About Me!" - Researching Yourself, with Kathleen Morrison. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre of Glengormley High School, Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. 7pm–9pm. Free. Details.

Tuesday 10 January: Researching Early Ulster Ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. First of four in lecture series. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue. Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 10:30am-12:30pm. Booking essential: 028 2563 3950, ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Tuesday 10 January: Databases for genealogical research at Dublin City Library & Archive, with Dr Mary Clark. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. All welcome. €3.

Tuesday 10 January: Using the Newspaper Archives, with Mike McKeag. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm–9:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 11 January: Researching your family tree, with Denver Boyd. Host: Maghera Historical Society. Venue: Heritage Centre, 17 Coleraine Rd, Maghera, Co Londonderry. All welcome. £5 (members £3), light refreshments included. 8pm.

Thursday 12 January: Delayed Opening at National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. To facilitate a staff development meeting, all NLI locations will be closed until 11am. The free Genealogy Service is included.

Saturday 14 January: Finding and Using Private Land Records, with Tom Rice. Host: Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 North Concord, South St Paul, Minnesota, USA. 10:30am–12 noon. The cost is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members. Need to book.

Saturday 14 January: The Huguenot Jack Family of Ardstraw 1360-2015, with Frank Collins. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Seminar Room, Omagh Library, Dublin Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT78 1HL.

Monday 16 January: Irish genealogy records, with Jill Williams FIGRS. Host: Scottish Genealogy Society. Venue: Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, UK. 7pm for 7:30pm lecture. All welcome. No booking. Free to members. Non-members are encouraged to make a small donation.

Monday 16 January: Understanding DNA Genealogy, with Martin McDowell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 16 January: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning and afternoon sessions. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 087 6491605 or impossibleancestors@gmail.com.

Monday 16 January: Larne’s American Links, with David Hume. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 January: Researching Early Ulster Ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. Second of four in lecture series. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue. Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 10:30am-12:30pm. Booking Essential t: 028 2563 3950 e: Ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Wednesday 18 January: Carlow Graveyards, with Eoin Lyng. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Tullow Community School, The Mullawn, Tullow, Co Carlow. 8pm. Details. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 18 January: Show and Tell, with Branch Members. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, BT66 8TD. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 18 January: The story of Titanic and her importance in history, with Chris Woods. Host: Libraries NI. Venue: Carryduff Library, Church Rd, Carryduff, co Down, BT8 8DT. Booking advised: T 028 9081 3568, E carryduff.library@librariesni.org.uk. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 19 January: Researching Court Records, with Wesley Geddis. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 17 January: Tipperary Catholic landed gentry of the 18th Century, with Paddy Ryan. Part of the Tipperary People and Places Lecture series. Host: Tipperary Studies. Venue: Gallery of the Source Library, Thurles, co Tipperary. Details. 7:30pm. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome.

Saturday 21 January: Genealogy in The Clogher Story, with Jack Johnston. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy. Venue: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, BT74 7 Enniskillen. Free admission for FG members. Non-members £3. All welcome. 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Tea/coffee at 1:30pm.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Autograph books of revolutionary prisoners go online

A new site – Kilmainham Gaol Autograph Books – has been launched to showcase some of Kilmainham Gaol Museum's collection of 120 original autograph books from the 1916–1923 period.

The book volumes contain the personal signatures and thoughts of many people who were involved in the struggle for national independence and who sacrificed so much.

High quality facsimile images taken from thirteen of the books with a particularly strong connection with the 1916 era make up the online collection.

They originate from Belfast, Dundalk and Mountjoy Gaols; Frongoch Internment Camp, in Wales; Stafford and Lewes Prisons in England; and Dublin Castle Hospital, as well as Kilmainham Gaol itself, where the Rising Leaders were executed.

Visitors to the new website can leaf through the pages individually and read directly from the signatures, mementoes and dedications recorded there to gain an insight into the lives and experiences of these remarkable people. The personal histories of approximately 480 individuals are explored with links to other sources such as the Bureau of Military History or the Census records from 1901 and 1911. There's some good historical context features on the site, too.

As well as providing an evocative online memorial for the men and women of 1916, the website is designed to encourage members of the public with interesting family stories to tell or memorabilia from the era connected to people who feature in the Autograph Books to contact the Gaol Museum (see the dedicated 'Help Us' link in the menu options).

The website was developed by the Office of Public Works Heritage Service at Kilmainham Gaol with the assistance of their historical consultant, Professor Mike Cronin of Boston College, Dublin. More books from the Collection will be published on the site in due course.

FindMyPast releases more Irish Dog Licence records

FindMyPast recently uploaded an additional 900,000 records to its Irish Dog Licences collection.

Licences were issued by the Petty Sessions Courts and some of the records date back to 1866. However, records from some of the courts don't start until much later, sometimes as late as the 1900s. The collection covers all 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland.

Among the details recorded in the Licence Registers are the name and residence of the owner, the breed or breed group of the dog and its colour and sex.

Dog licences were introduced to enable the authorities to track down the owners of nuisance dogs ie those who worried sheep or caused damage.

There's a list of the courts covered by the collection on FindMyPast here, but it doesn't appear to have been updated to include those courts featuring in this most recent upload.

A total of more than 7.3million dog licence records are now in the collection.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Conservation of C18th Vestry Minute Book is focus of RCB Library's January Archive presentation

The January Archive of the Month
The first Archive for the Month presentation for 2017 from the RCB Library in Dublin focuses on a recently completed project: the repair and conservation of a vestry minute book covering the period 1710 to 1806.

Illustrated with photographs, the online presentation takes viewers through the restoration and conservation work carried out on this one volume, showing the painstaking steps undertaken by a specialist team to bring such a unique record back to its former glory.

The project was completed by specialist craftsman Declan Browne of Liturgical Book Restorers. Declan is a well-known public face as he regularly appears in the television broadcast of the Angelus from his studio in Athlone (see RTE Player).

Conservation of the featured vestry minute book cost the Library €1,600.

With public support, the RCB Library, which is the repository and archive of the Church of Ireland, will be able to undertake other projects and thus ensure future public access to these research materials. Donations are always welcome and can be made via a secure online payment link here: RCB Library Conservation Fund.

IGRS Early Irish BMD Indexes reach major milestone

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5-KQnqDiArgUVpUOEFBUnJsVTg/view?usp=sharing
Click for larger view of a sworn declaration made
by Patrick Tierney in 1866 confirming James
Carey's 1844 birthdate.
Source: Civil Service Evidence of Age collection.
The Irish Genealogical Research Society's Early Irish BMD Indexes have reached a new collective milestone of a quarter of a million name entries. All relate to events before the start of civil registration and are drawn from a wide variety of records providing substitute evidence of birth, marriage or death.

These sources include family bibles, army and navy records, wills, letters, newspapers, gravestone inscriptions, court records, deeds, leases, diaries, published works, archives of religious orders, census abstracts, guild records, pension records and so on.

Among the most recent updates to the Early Irish Birth Index were a significant number of entries sourced from the British Civil Service Evidence of Age Index. More than 2,600 Irish BMDs were gleaned from this one resource alone. In the absence of formal written records, would-be civil servants had to find friends and neighbours who were prepared to provide a sworn statement as to their knowledge of the applicant's age. In the case of James Carey from Clonoulty, Co Tipperary, who applied for a Civil Service position in 1866, his neighbour Patrick Tierney was able to confirm James' date of birth as 7 January 1844, commenting: “I can declare to same from the fact that my father died on said day.” (Click on image above to view the Sworn Declaration.)

The latest update to the Early Irish Marriage Index includes entries from Church of Ireland Marriage Licence Bonds. Roz McCutcheon FIGRS, the Society's coordinator for the Early Irish Indexes, said: "Although generally only the indexes remain to Marriage Licence Bonds, they are nevertheless a primary source, and include a surprising number of Catholic marriages. I have recently come across some papers, while cataloguing at the Society of Genealogists in London, which include full abstracts of some early marriages in the Dioceses of Ferns & Derry.

"Thus, whereas the previous entry for the Ferns marriage of Henry Haughton showed him marrying Catherine Cavanagh in or after 1682, the new additional information from the abstract notes the exact date of the bond as 10 June 1682, and that the couple were both from Co Wexford, that Catherine was a spinster, living at Polemounly, while Henry was from Ballyane."

Finally, the Early Irish Death Index has been boosted by 3,260 records noted from newspapers. "It is surprising that newspapers are still a much underyused source for biographical information," said IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl. "In particular, notices of death become more common from the 1830s onwards as the middle classes begin to grow in strength and numbers," he said. “As the months roll on, it is hoped to add many more entries to the database culled from newspapers, proving that despite the great loss of 1922, there still remain many untapped sources for Irish genealogists to explore.”

Free public access is available to the Early Irish Marriage Index. While the Early Irish Birth and Death Indexes are IGRS members-only resources, non-members can search corresponding free surnames indexes. See the Society's website IrishAncestors.ie for details.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: last 2016 update

http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/sligo/photos/tombstones/middle-d2/target55.htmlMarking the end of 2016, the team of volunteers at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has updated its free database of records and photos as follows:

KILDARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Quaker Burial Ground, Ballitore
White Abbey, Kildare Town (part)

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Canice Headstones, Kilkenny (update)

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Gortletteragh Cemetery, Cloone

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Old Killoe Graveyard

LOUTH Genealogy Archives - Land
Drogheda Rentals & Properies 1835; pg 6-10

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Sligo Cem. - Middle Pt. Section D (I-Z)

Image: McHugh memorial in Sligo Cemetery. Photo courtesy of photographer Kev Murray and IGPArchives. Click to see larger image.

Irish genealogy and history events, 2–14 January

Monday 2 January: The secrets of traditional music, with John Lawson. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh Branch. Venue: Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co Down, BT30 9QF. 8pm to 9:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 3 January: C4 - NIFHS Research Centre open. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS. 2pm–8pm. Loads of resources to explore. Details.

Wednesday 4 January: Family History Clinics. Two workshops to help beginners with their genealogy research queries. Host & venue: Lisburn City Library, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn. 10:30am–12:30pm and 2pm–4pm. Free. Booking essential: 028 9266 9345 or lisburncity.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Saturday 7 January: The Derrynaflan Hoard and its significance, with Raghnall Ó’ Floinn. Host and 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 7 January: Webinar: Chain Migration from Ulster and One Name Studies, with Nick Cimino. Host: The Southern California Genealogical Society. Venue: Online. 1pm Eastern Time; 6pm Dublin/London time. Need to register in advance here.

Monday 9 January: "It's All About Me!" - Researching Yourself, with Kathleen Morrison. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre of Glengormley High School, Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. 7pm–9pm. Free. Details.

Tuesday 10 January: Researching Early Ulster Ancestors, with Dr William Roulston. First of four in lecture series. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue. Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 10:30am-12:30pm. Booking essential: 028 2563 3950, ballymena.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Tuesday 10 January: Databases for genealogical research at Dublin City Library & Archive, with Dr Mary Clark. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland St, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. All welcome. €3.

Tuesday 10 January: Using the Newspaper Archives, with Mike McKeag. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm–9:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 11 January: Researching your family tree, with Denver Boyd. Host: Maghera Historical Society. Venue: Heritage Centre, 17 Coleraine Rd, Maghera, Co Londonderry. All welcome. £5 (members £3), light refreshments included. 8pm.

Thursday 12 January: Delayed Opening at National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. To facilitate a staff development meeting, all NLI locations will be closed until 11am. The free Genealogy Service is included.

Saturday 14 January: Finding and Using Private Land Records, with Tom Rice. Host: Irish Genealogical Society Intl (IGSI). Venue: Minnesota Genealogical Society Library, 1185 North Concord, South St Paul, Minnesota, USA. 10:30am–12 noon. The cost is $15 for IGSI members and $20 for non-members. Need to book.

Saturday 14 January: The Huguenot Jack Family of Ardstraw 1360-2015, with Frank Collins. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Seminar Room, Omagh Library, Dublin Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT78 1HL.