Friday, 16 April 2021

Take 5: a second batch of five brief Irish genealogy news items

Since my last Take 5 blogpost in March (here), I've made some catch-up progress with my backlog. Not quite as much as I'd have liked, but at least in the right direction. I may, therefore, continue the occasional Take 5 format for a bit longer as I still have too much on my plate. So, here's a second batch of five short news items that have been delayed but are still newsworthy. I'll keep cracking on...

Roscommon Biography epic goes digital

Last summer, I blogged about the launch of A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography, by Michael Lennon. It contains the obituaries of 5,000 women and men associated with County Roscommon and its hinterland, spanning four centuries, and covers the careers of representatives from politics, sport, arts, religion, law, business and journalism.

As the 930-page hardback has almost sold out, a digital edition has now been published to facilitate interested readers at home and abroad who were unable to purchase a copy. Further details about the book can be found on its website www.roscommonbiography.com.

The digital edition may be purchased online (€10) from Rathcroghan Visitor Centre


The Breslin Archive adds first tranche of new photographic collection

Founded in 2019, The Breslin Archive has recently uploaded some 100 images from a recently acquired and newly digitised photographic collection. Taken during the 1890s, the pictures show people, stately homes, houses, fishing ports and landscapes, mainly from around County Waterford, and provides insight into the lives of people across different social classes in Ireland towards the end of the 19th-century.

This new collection consists of original glass and celluloid negatives, 6.5" x 8.5" (full plate) and 3.25" by 4.25" (quarter plate) in size.

Now digitised, the full plate photographs can be viewed on the site. They join existing collection of photographs taken in the west of Ireland during the 1930s, with more collections from the 19th and 20th centuries (including the quarter plates mentioned above) being digitised for later addition to the free online archive.


National Archives of Ireland issues request for tender for Genealogy Advisory Service

The National Archives of Ireland has issued a request for tender for the provision of qualified personnel to operate a Genealogy Advisory Service for its users, visitors (when again allowed) and correspondents. The work will be carried out onsite at Bishop Street, Dublin 8, and remotely.

The NAI's Service has been, and still is, provided by members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland for most of the last decade or so. While the daily in-person service has not been possible during Lockdown, the genealogists have been running a busy email service, answering queries from researchers. Details.

The closing date for receipt of tenders is 14 May 2021, and full details are available at etenders, here.


John Grenham's video channel continues to expand with helpful videos

Professional genealogist John Grenham MAGI announced the launch of his video channel back in January, and uploaded four videos, all aiming to help researchers better understand and explore his useful website. Along with useful tips on how to get the best from the site, the video format also allows him to offer advice on Irish genealogy resources more generally.

He's been a busy lad! The channel now holds 17 videos. They're short (11-23 minutes long), informative and helpful, and come with a good sprinkling of the humour for which John is so well known. And they're free! Check them out by clicking the thumbnail, left.


MyHeritage opens up its entire birth records collection from 18–24 April

All birth records held in the MyHeritage database will be free to search AND view for a full week starting this Sunday 18 April and running until the 24th. The database holds 115 collections containing a total of 1,144,541,613 individual records from all over the world. Some contain indexes, while others contain an image of the record.

Unfortunately, MyHeritage doesn't yet have much to entice the average Irish genealogist as most of its Irish collections are non-exclusive and often also permanently free elsewhere. However, that doesn't mean Irish genealogists won't find anything to interest them in this free access period. If you have ancestors who left Ireland, you may well find their descendents in MyHeritage's birth collections.

This week's genealogy updates for England, Scotland and Wales

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by the major genealogy databases over the last week (for the previous summary, see 6 April blogpost).

This regular summary of releases and updates relating to British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors migrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in the new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update. In some instances, the supplier has not made this figure available. Where two figures are given, the first is the number of additions, the second is the new total.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS

Ancestry


BritishNewspaperArchive (and shared with some FindMyPast subscriptions)

National Library of Scotland - Maps



UPDATED COLLECTIONS

FamilySearch 


FindMyPast

National Library of Scotland - Maps


Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

MilitaryArchives launches enhanced search facility to MSPC

The MilitaryArchives has enhanced its search facility to the Military Service Pensions Collection (MSPC)

From today, researchers can broaden their search with combinations including address, date of death, occupation, Easter Rising Service (yes or no), and relevant 1924 and 1934 Military Service Pensions Acts.

To go direct to the advanced search page, click the image, right.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Ireland's Land Commission records are back in the news

The preposterous lack of access to the Republic's collection of Land Commission records relating to the transfer of estate land from the gentry to their tenants has received another airing in the press. On this occasion it is Professor Terence Dooley of Maynooth University, one of Ireland's most highly regarded historians, who is rattling the cage via the Independent newspaper.

The Department of Agriculture is the custodian of
the Republic's Land Commission records

These records – about eight million of them – are under the strictest lock and key in a Department of Agriculture facility in Portlaoise. They have neither been conserved nor digitised, and the public is not allowed to access them. Their warders insist they are working papers and do not come under Freedom of Information legislation, a banal response wheeled out many times since the collection was closed.

The Department of Agriculture's other knee-jerk excuse for not allowing access is that the papers are fragile. Surely that's a very good reason for getting them into the hands of archivists without delay!

While Professor Dooley is primarily concerned that scrutiny of this collection could help to better understand Ireland's revolutionary era, genealogists continue to lament the lack of access to its documents such as wills, family tree records, lease books, rentals of tenants, maps, title deeds and correspondence dating back to the 1880s.

For some reason, even material pre-dating 1921 – which would normally see historical records released from data protection considerations under the 100-year-rule – is deemed too 'sensitive'.

Northern Ireland doesn't feel this sensitivity; Land Commission records for the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, LondonDerry and Tryone can be viewed by researchers in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's Search Room. (See PRONI's Land Registry leaflet.) They are not digitised, but neither are they locked and hidden away, wrapped up in excuses.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Dedicated Co Cavan website launches with historical records & data

A freshly re-designed website has launched to provide a 'gateway to the history of each of Cavan's 2,000 townlands'. It's called CavanTownlands.com, and brings together historical data and sources for each individual townland.

The site is hosted by husband and wife team Michael McShane, an enthusiastic family historian, and Catherine Kerr, a data scientist who has used her skills to compile and present the data they have gathered into an easily accessible layout.

"The emphasis of the site has been refocused on each of the 2000 townlands of County Cavan, says Michael. "Every townland is unique and we have created an individual page for each one. The new format is designed to bring together the historical data which we have uniquely researched along with the more generally available data which we have edited and improved on in terms of access and quality."

Data sources include location map and basic townland information along with relevant articles, where available, the 1609 Bodley Plantation Map, the 1652 Commonwealthy Survey; Tithe Applotment Books; the 1836 Name Book for townlands in nine parishes; the 1841 Census of Killeshandra; Griffith's Valuation records, and Logainm, the official database of Irish placenames. Most of these come with supporting articles which provide further background and tips on searching.

In addition, the site offers full access to an extensive (and growing) library of maps and books and articles.

Further development of the site will see more unique sources and articles added, as time allows. Michael says he is constantly seeking further historical information and any contributions including articles, books, photographs, maps etc will be greatly appreciated and all contributors fully credited.

If you have ancestral connections to County Cavan, be sure to check out the site by clicking the image above.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Four-week summary of new and updated USA genealogy collections

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been released or updated by the major genealogy databases in the last four weeks. (The previous summary list was published on 8 March, see blogpost).

My regular summaries are designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated, temporarily or permanently, to the United States.

By default, they should also be useful to anyone carrying out research in the US, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in each new record set, if provided by the database.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update, if a number has been clearly noted by the supplier. I do not include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS


AmericanAncestors

Ancestry

FamilySearch

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


AmericanAncestors
  • Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920
    More than 400,00 names added for these parishes:
  • St. John the Evangelist of Newton
    Our Lady of Victories/Notre Dame des Victoires
    St. Angela’s Mattapan
    Blessed Sacrament, St. Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, all in Roxbury
    St. Adalbert Hyde Park
    Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and St. Vincent de Paul, both in South Boston
    St. Lazarus, East Boston
    Sacred Heart and St Joseph, both in Amesbury
    St. Agnes, and St James, both in Arlington
    St. Mary, Ayer
    Blessed Sacrament, and St. Thomas Aquinas, both in Jamaica Plain.

Ancestry
FamilySearch
    Some 67 US collections have been updated in the last month. Rather than create an excrutiatingly long blogpost, I'll simply direct you to the FamilySearch.org update page. On the right hand side of the landing page, beneath 'Historical Record Collections', click the blue 'Last Updated' column title twice. You'll now see the most recently updated collection at the top of the list. (You need to be signed in to reach this page.)

FindMyPast



Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Latest update from Irish Registry of Deeds Project Index

The volunteer-led Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project has received another update and now holds 411,670 entries transribed from 43,634 memorials.

In addition, both the Grantors and the Townlands Indexes have been updated.

The Indexes are all free to search and view. The site has become much easier to explore in recent years, and with images of microfilmed copies of the manuscript archive now also available to view via FamilySearch.org, this vast collection is starting to reveal many family history secrets and discoveries. If you haven't checked the site for a while, I think you'd find it worth making time to do so.

A new virtual Irish genealogy, history & DNA conference

A new Irish genealogy, DNA and history conference, featuring many well-known experts, will be held online on the weekend of 30 April to 2 May.  It's called Sleuthability.

It will be hosted by BBNY Group, who many will remember as the founder and organiser of The Genealogy Event, an annual learning experience presented in Limerick from 2014 to 2018. 

Sleuthability will present talks on a variety of Irish family history research topics, including some aimed at Irish-American researchers. You can find the programme and details of the speakers on the conference website - click the logo, right.

The three-day conference provides a number of ticket options, so that attendees can view the talks on schedule and/or on demand. Tickets prices range from US$5 for one talk to US$3 for a weekend pass. Each talk is pre-recorded and up to 30 minutes in length, with Q&A sessions that follow the scheduled broadcast through live chat and video connections. 

For more details, click the logo, above right.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

England, Wales & Scotland: 2-week summary of genealogy updates

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by the major genealogy databases over the last two weeks (for the previous summary, see 22 March blogpost).

This regular summary of releases and updates relating to British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors migrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in the new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update. In some instances, the supplier has not made this figure available. Where two figures are given, the first is the number of additions, the second is the new total.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.



NEW COLLECTIONS


BritishNewspaperArchive (and shared with some FindMyPast subscriptions)

FindMyPast
TheGenealogist

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

TheGenealogist



Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: March additions

Headstone to James McColough, who died in 1793,
buried in Christ the Redeemer graveyard in Dromore,
Co Down. Photo courtesy of Graham McColough and
IGPArchives. Click for enlarged view.

Below, please find a summary of the new files donated, transcribed and uploaded by volunteers to the free Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives during March.

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Inagh Old Graveyard Pt 1 (B-H)

DOWN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Cathedral Church of Christ the Redeemer graveyard, Dromore

GALWAY Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estates: Carrowmanagh, Carrownrooaun, Cartron, Derreen, Finish Island, Garra, Kilgill, Moyne Demesne Lands 1855

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Easkey Abbey Graveyard (T)
St. Anne's (CoI) graveyard, Easkey (T)
St. Paul's (CoI) graveyard, Coolooney (T)