Tuesday, 17 September 2019

What's up with IrishGenealogy.ie?

As many Irish family historians are already aware, Ireland's main site for historical birth, marriage and death records – IrishGenealogy.ie – has been an on and off affair in the last two or three weeks. Most of the time it's been accessible. But it often hasn't, and sometimes the 'off' mode has lasted for more than one day at a time. When it has been working, it's frequently been decidedly sluggish.

To add to researchers' frustrations, the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy website – with which IrishGenealogy.ie shares a server – has also been a bit giddy of late, although possibly less erratic than its buddy.

The managers of the site, which is run by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, tell me the IT team is aware there is a problem and they are working on it, but they have yet to identify the root cause.

Registry of Deeds - restricted access 18-19 September

The Property Registration Authority has advised that the Genealogical Room at the Registry of Deeds will be closed from 1pm to 4:30pm on both Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September.

All other public areas and services at the Henrietta Street repository will operate as normal.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Northern Ireland's Tithe Applotment Books to be released onliine this year

Scotland-based genealogist Chris Paton has returned from a stakeholder meeting at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) with the excellent news that the repository intends to make its Tithe Applotment Books collection for Northern Ireland available to researchers through its (free) online catalogue. These records will be downloadable in pdf format for each townland/parish, and should be online by the end of the year. You can find more details on Chris's Genes Blog.

The Tithe Applotment Books (TABs) record the results of a land survey taken to assess the tax payable by land occupiers to the Church of Ireland, and are an important source of information for pre-Famine Ireland. They don't cover urban areas, and some other lands were exempt.

TABs for the Republic of Ireland have been searchable online at both the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy website and FamilySearch.org since 2012. The two sites share the same database, which is not, unfortunately, famed for its accuracy. The database does, however, include a small number of records for parishes that straddle the international border into counties Armagh, Derry, Down and Fermanagh.

As far as I'm aware, there's only one other online provider of TAB records, and that's Ancestry. This collection is searchable by name and provides the following information for each individual: name, townland, parish, county, and year of enumeration. The record count for this collection is a little over 600,000 but Ancestry's source notes claims there are about one million entries listed. It holds records from all historical counties of the island, so may well prove useful to researchers trying to identify likely locations for searching in PRONI's catalogue when the TAB pdfs are released.

RootsIreland.ie adds Derry householders from 1930

RootsIreland.ie has added more than 9,000 records transcribed from the 1930 Derry Almanac and Directory. This publication lists heads of household in Derry City and search results provide full name, house number and street and page number.

Given the gap in currently available census returns for Northern Ireland, which stretches from the all-island 1911 census to the pre-war 1939 National Register, this record set will be very useful for those researchers with family from the City in the early 1900s.

You'll need to subscribe to search these records. Go to the RootsIreland's Derry database and select ‘1930 Derry Almanac and Directory’ from the ‘Source’ drop down list.

You can see a full list of Derry sources here.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: early September updates

The following files have been uploaded to Ireland Genealogy Projects (IGP) Archives in the first two weeks of September. As with all records held in the IGP Archives, the content of the files is donated by researchers, uploaded by volunteers and free to access by Irish family historians.

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Brigid's (R.C.) Graveyard, Laragh

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mount Jerome, Dublin - Part 235

KINGS/OFFALY Genealogy Archives - Land
Abstracts of the Deeds Inrolled in Chancery 1835-38

QUEENS/LAOIS Genealogy Archives - Land and Headstones
Abstracts of the Deeds Inrolled in Chancery 1835-37
Coolbanagher Old Graveyard (Transcribed)
St John the Evangelist (CoI) Coolbanagher (Transcribed)

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Sacred Heart Cem., Carrickedmond (partial)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Thurles Parish Marriages (R.C.) 1846-1849

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Peter's, Glenbrien (Oylegate) (Updated)

KilkennyGraveyards explores burial places & traditions

If you have ancestral connections to Kilkenny, you might like to check out and follow KilkennyGraveyards.blogspot.com, a site which, as its name suggests, focuses on graveyards and burial places in that county.

It includes, but goes beyond, the transcription of headstones and memorials, exploring everything to do with burial traditions in the county. Stained glass window memorials are noted, for example, as are the individual styles and changing designs of stone masons; clues to the status and aspirations of the deceased or bereaved are examined in the position, quality and eulogies of memorials; and stories are told of the lives of some of those interred or commemorated in the burial sites.

KilkennyGraveyards was established more than three years ago by two experienced and respected Irish genealogists, Mary Casteleyn and Bernie Kirwan. You'll find more information about their approach to exploring graveyards in their first post, here. Since then, more than 60 well-illustrated features have been uploaded to the website, most of them with detailed observations about a particular graveyard, histories of individuals buried there, and an account of the surviving memorials (including transcriptions).

The most recent post, about Tifeaghna graveyard (RC parish of Sheffin, PLU Urlingford), is a good example of how Mary and Bernie examine and research a burial site, and how other researchers with current or ancestral family from Kilkenny will enjoy getting to know the blog.

Irish family history and heritage events, 16-29 Sept

Monday 16 September: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services – exhibitions, cafe, Genealogy Advisory Service – will have a delayed start - 11am - but otherwise operate as normal.

Monday 16 September to Friday 4 October: The Limerick Soviet: the General Strike of 1919, an exhibition. A Clare County Library Decade of Centenaries History Week Event. Venue: Sean Lemass Public Library, Town Centre, Shannon, Co. Clare. Free exhibition during library opening hours. Details.

Monday 16 September: A Call to Militancy? with Whitehead Suffragette Society. 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. Further details.

Tuesday 17 September: Guerrilla War in Clare, with Dr. Joe Power. A Clare County Library Decade of Centenaries History Week Event. Venue: DeValera Public Library, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co Clare. 6:30pm. Free. All welcome. Phone (065) 6846353 for more information.

Wednesday 18 September: "By heavens, Joe, but there are great men in Ireland still": Commandant Joseph Barrett (1888-1971), with Dr Paul O'Brien. A Clare County Library Decade of Centenaries History Week Event. Venue: Kilrush Public Library, O Gorman Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 6:30pm. Free lecture. All welcome. More information, Tel (065) 9051504.

Wednesday 18 September: Old Portadown, with Mary Hunter. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. 7:30pm. All welcome. Further details.

Wednesday 18 September: Gender and Democracy: The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, with Dr Leeann Lane. Host: Tipperary County Archives. Venue: Clonmel Library, Emmet St, Burgagery-Lands East, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. 7pm. All are welcome and admission is free.

Wednesday 18 September: Louisa Marchioness of Waterford (1818 -1891): a bicentenary assessment and fresh discoveries, with Julian Walton. Host: Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan. Venue: Dungarvan Sailing Club, Quay St, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €5.

Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September: Genealogical Room afternoon closure. Registry of Deeds, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1. Public assess will be restricted frm 1pm to 4:30pm on both days. All other public areas will operate as normal.

Thursday 19 September: The Barrett Family 1888-1971, with Dr Paul O'Brien. Host: Clare Roots Society. Venue: Maguire Suite, Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. 8pm. All welcome.

Friday 20 September: Culture Night returns to towns and cities across the island of Ireland, with 4000+ FREE late-night cultural events taking place in 1600+ venues. Search events.

Friday 20 September: Irish family history, a free workshop with Lynn Brady. Host: Glasnevin Trust. Venue: Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. 7pm. Free. Fully booked.

Saturday 21 September: Genealogy Tips and Tricks, with Marie Scalisi; Finding Irish Place of Origin in U.S. Records, with Kathleen McGee; and Ask the Expert one-to-one consultations. All free, and with light refreshments. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Ave., Bethpage, NY 11714, USA. 10am to 12:30pm. All welcome. Details.

Saturday 21 September: Irish Genealogy 101 – Let’s Start at the Beginning, with Tom Rice CG. Host: Irish Genealogical Research International. Venue: Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, MN 55120, USA. Need to register. Fee $20. 11:30am to 1pm. Details.

Saturday 21 September: The Goodwin Family of Hell's Kitchen – a case study tracking an Irish-American family from the 19th century to the present, with Kevin Cassidy. Host: WISE Family History Society. Venue: Gates Room, Central Denver Public Library, 10 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, Colorado, USA. Free. 2:30pm–4pm, following the CGS CIG program.

Monday 16 September: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services – exhibitions, cafe, Genealogy Advisory Service – operate as normal. (This is the last 'closure Monday' of the current phase of redevelopment.)

Monday 23 September: Poverty and poor relief in pre-Famine King’s County (Offaly), with Ciarán McCabe. Host and venue: Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, Bury Quay, Tullamore, co Offaly. 8pm. All welcome.

Monday 23 September: Democratic revolution? The First Dáil, 1919–21, with Mel Farrell. Host and venue: Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society, Room T.1.17, Tara Building, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. 8pm.

Tuesday 24 September: Troublesome Howth women, with Philip O’Connor. Host: Howth Peninsula Heritage Society. Venue: Angling Centre, West Pier, Howth, Co Dublin. Non-members admission €5. All welcome. 8pm.

Tuesday 24 September: The Genealogy of an Irish Workhouse: Guardians, Staff & Inmates of the Poor Law, with Clare Doyle MAGI. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. 6pm. No booking required. All welcome.

Tuesday 24 September: GRONI’s Records, with Kathie Walker. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Causeway Coast and Glens branch. Venue: Upper Main Hall, The Sandel Centre, Knocklynn Road, Coleraine, BT52 1WT. 8pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 25 September: Irish Family History Assistance. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen St., Melbourne 3000, Australia. Experienced helpers in the library to offer advice on your Irish research. 10am to 4pm. Free for members. $30 non-members. Bookable one-hour appointments with a research consultant. Details.

Wednesday 25 September: Roe's Distillery, Thomas Street, and the Roe Family, with Sean J Murphy. Host: The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. All welcome. Free. 8pm.

Thursday 26 September: From Skibbereen to the Moon: Agnes Clarke and C19th astronomy, with Finola Finlay. Host: Duchas Clonakilty Heritage. Venue: The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Co Cork. All welcome. 8:30pm. Free. Details.

Thursday 26 September: Irish emigration: New sources, new approaches, new results, with Professor (Emeritus) Cormac Ó Gráda. The Annual Brian Trainor Memorial Lecture. Hosts: PRONI and the Ulster Historical Foundation. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Light refreshments will be available at the end of the presentation. Admission is free, however there is an option to make a donation to the Ulster Historical Foundation to fund future talks. All welcome. Details.

Friday 27 September: Michael Collins’s Sligo jail journal, with Phelim Brady. Host: Sligo Field Club. Venue: Institute of Technology Education Centre, Sligo. All welcome. Non-members €5. 8pm.

Friday 27 September to Sunday 29 September: Architecture Kerry 2019, a weekend festival celebrating Kerry's built environment, featuring guided tours of contemporary and historic buildings and interiors. All free events. All welcome. Overview and brochure.

Saturday 28 September: Remembering 1919 – War, Politics and Sport in Revolutionary Ireland, a day conference. Host: Maynooth University Decade of Commemorations Committee in association with the Department of History. Venue: Maynooth University, Renehan Hall, South Campus, Maynooth, Co Kildare. Registration fee (including refreshments & lunch): €20, payable in cash on the day. Schedule and booking.

Friday, 13 September 2019

RCB Library extends its collection of books in Irish

The opening of ‘Cúinne Caird’, a collection of Irish books and related materials of the late Bishop Donald Caird (1925-2017), will take place in the RCB Library tomorrow, Saturday 14 September, at Noon.

This printed collection was part of a larger collection of related archival and photographic materials and was presented to the Library by his widow, Nancy. A special corner of the Library has been created and the books will be exhibited in his memory in a cabinet commissioned from Shane Duffly.

"As the Library did not have many books in Irish in its collections, it was decided to keep the collection together in a dedicated section," says Robert Gallagher, Library Administrator. "I began the project by organising the books in order of the date they were published and each book was recorded on our digital catalogue."

Bishop Donald Caird was a long-time member of the RCB Library. He often visited throughout his career and subsequently during his retirement. He was a member of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise (the Irish Guild of the Church) since 1943. In 2010, he was awarded the Ghradam an Phiarsaigh prize, which is central to the ‘Cúinne Caird’.

This event has been organised by the RCB Library and Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise.

FindMyPast adds Irish Boundary Commission Records

FindMyPast has digitised the Irish Boundary Commission, 1924-1925 collection held by the National Archives (UK). This Commission was set up to determine the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland*.

This sample page (click for enlarged image) shows the
preference for titles and initials over first names
While copies of the records are quite freely available online, I think this the first time they've been indexed, opening up their content to a wider audience.

More than 47,000 records, made up of minutes, papers and reports, correspondence, and records of oral and written evidence, are held in the collection and can now be searched by place and name. The index offers searches for eight of the nine Ulster counties – Antrim, Armagh, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, LondonDerry, Monaghan and Tyrone – plus Dublin.

Among the highlights of the collection is a numerical census giving names of heads of household in Castlederg, Clogher and Dungannon Unions and Omagh Urban District.

When searching the online collection, FindMyPast advises that formal documentation of the period tended to use titles and/or initials rather than first names. 'For example, if your search is unsuccessful for William Smith, try Mr Smith or Lord Smith. Alternatively, if your search is unsuccessful for Mary Smith and she was married to John Smith, try Mrs John Smith or alternatively Mrs Smith. If needed, you can narrow your results by including additional search criteria such as a year, location name or county.'

* The Commission was intended to research, take evidence and subsequently recommend any alterations needed to the border. Its final report was never published, so the border remained as originally created. You can read a detailed feature about the Commission and its aftermath, published in History Ireland magazine, here.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Autumn 2019 Family History courses in Ireland

It's Autumn – time to tackle a new skill – and there's a good number of family history courses due to start across Ireland. Not all of them start in September, and, while they may have similar sounding titles, there's a lot of variation in how they cover the topic, so be sure to read the online details to ensure the course is what you are expecting.

If a course starts next week, would-be participants should contact the provider to enrol without delay.


City Centre
Irish Genealogy Essentials, a five-day course running 4 November to 8 November inclusive, run by the Ulster Historical Foundation, The Corn Exchange, 31 Gordon Street, Belfast. Classroom based sessions covers main and lesser known sources. The course includes assisted research at PRONI and a one-to-one consultation to help move your research forward. Course fee: £449.99. Details.


Cork City
An introduction to family history. Are you interested in tracing your family history, but don’t know where to start? This course, held on Mondays at Ashton School, Blackrock Road, Cork City, will provide you with the practical know-how to find your family records. Basic Internet knowledge required. Tutor: Karen O’Riordan BA. Starts 23 September. 8-week course. 7.00–9.00pm. Fee: €95. Brochure.

Research your Family History, a 6-week course starting on 1 October, will be held at St Colmans College, Midleton, Co Cork. Classes will take place on Tuesdays, 7.30-9.30pm. Course fee €80. Details of the class and enrolment here (catalogued under Empowerment, for some reason).


City Centre
Diploma In Family History. This 10-week course is tutored by John Grenham MAGI FIGRS at City Colleges, Wicklow House, 84-88 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2. Both classroom based (fee from €995) and online (from €895) are available. 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Course starts Thursday 26 September. Syllabus and details.

Genealogy and Family History. This 10-week introductory course will run on Mondays, 7:30pm to 9pm, at Crumlin College, Crumlin Road, Dublin 12. It will start on 16 September and the fee is €120. Download the brochure for details of the class and enrolment.

Genealogy, a 5-week course, will be held at Liberties College, Bull Alley Street, Dublin 8 on Wednesdays from 23 October to 27 November inclusive. 7pm–9pm. Fee: €40. The course is for those who want to discover their ancestry and connect with past generations of their family. It will show delegates how to find surviving relatives with whom they may have lost contact (or, indeed, never met) due to a variety of circumstances such as generational emigration or adoption. Details.

Irish genealogy - How to research your family history, with Claire Bradley. This beginner class at Malahide Community School covers census; birth, death and marriage certificates; parish registers; newspapers; wills; land records; military records and DNA testing. No prior knowledge is required but ability to use a computer and the internet is essential. Tuesday evenings, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, from 17 September. Fee €110. Details and enrolment.


City Centre
Tracing your family history is a 10-week course suitable for anyone wishing to develop a broad array of historical research skills. Designed for those with any level of interest in history, the programme each week will include detailed instructions into the tools and sources that are available to conduct personal, family and community based history research and projects. Held at Limerick College of Further Education, Mulgrave St, Limerick City on Tuesdays, 7pm to 9:30pm. Fee:€130. Details.

University of Limerick Campus

The University's Certificate in History of Family & Genealogical Methods is now closed for 2019-20 enrolment.