Sunday, 21 July 2019

Arizona to host Int'l Famine Commemoration 2019

Josepha Madigan T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, has announced that the 2019 International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine will take place in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday 3 November.
The Famine Memorial at the Irish Cultural
Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Confirming the arrangements for this year’s international Commemoration Minister Madigan commented: "As Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, I look forward to the International Famine Commemoration being held in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the fifth time the commemoration has been held in the USA, and Phoenix is the westernmost venue to date. Previously the International Famine Commemoration has been held in New York, Boston, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

"I am particularly pleased that the Commemoration is being held in Phoenix this year as 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Great Hunger Memorial commissioned by the Irish Cultural Center.

This year’s commemoration represents an opportunity to not only recognise the work of the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library in Phoenix but to honour the memory of those who left Ireland during the Famine itself, the subsequent years of emigration which saw many Famine Irish and their descendants make an enormous contribution in the Western states, and the ongoing role of the Irish diaspora and Irish-Americans in Arizona and throughout the Western United States.”

There have been ten international commemorations of the Great Irish Famine to date. Since the first international commemoration in Toronto and Quebec in 2009, events have also been held in Australia, Canada and the UK.

A giant leap for mankind and a half price offer from Irish Newspaper Archives
Half price offer expires tonight
To mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon Landing, Irish Newspaper Archives is offering a generous 50% off subscriptions to its database. The archive holds more than six million pages of newspaper content from titles published across the island. Many of the newspapers are available from thier very first edition to the current day.

If you want to take advantage of this special offer, you'll need to be quick. Click the image, right, choose your preferred subscription and currency, and, when you get to the payment page, type in the coupon/promo code Moon50 to see the half price sum.

The offer expires tonight, Sunday 21 July, at 11:59pm.

The content above not contain affiliate links, but some of my news stories do. Affilate links allow me to earn a small commission if the reader buys via such links. Affiliate links do not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Friday, 19 July 2019

30 Irish cultural traditions given official recognition

Some 30 unique traditions have been given official recognition by the state. Some of the customs and traditions have a national reach, which others are specific to regions or cities.

Traditional Currachs are still a common sight in
the coastal waters along the West of Ireland.
Among them are the making of Irish crochet lace and Mountmellick embroidery, the Burren Winterage festival, which celebrates the unique farming history of North Clare, the Mummers of Fingal, dry stone construction, which is still such a feature of rural Ireland, Sea currach making and Snap net fishing, and the tradition of carillon – bellringing percussion organ – in Cobh, Co Cork. All 30 have been given a status that will help to protect and preserve the traditions for generations.

The customs have been added to the National Inventory of Ireland’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, a UNESCO initiative to safeguard cultural heritage.

Uileann piping and hurling have already been been inscribed in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, while an application for harping will be considered at the end of the year.

The full list of customs and traditions recognised on the list are:

  • Uileann Piping
  • Hurling
  • Cruitireacht na hÉireann / Irish Harping
  • Winterage in the Burren
  • Limerick Lace
  • Turas Cholm Cille
  • Snap Net Fishing
  • Irish Crochet Lace
  • Cobh Carillon Playing
  • Native Irish Pedigree Dog Breeds
  • Art and Practice of Falconry
  • St Moling’s Pilgrim’s Route
  • Mountmellick Embroidery
  • Cant / Gamon, the traditional language spoken by Travellers
  • Traveller Tinsmithing
  • Sea Currach Making
  • Mummers of Fingal
  • Basketmaking
  • Letterpress Printing in Ireland
  • Floating Heritage
  • Carrickmacross Lack Making
  • Marcanna na Talaimh
  • Dry Stone Construction
  • Irish Traditional Music
  • Traditional Farming and Sheepdog Training
  • Irish Draught Horse Breeding
  • Boyne Currach Making
  • Loy Digging
  • Holy Wells in County Clare
  • Mid Kerry Biddy

Free access to's Canadian census collection is offering free access to its Canadian Census Collection this weekend.

You can access these records sets (details below) so long as you have a free registered account. If you don't already have one, you'll need to register. This is a straightforward and quick process.

Either way, just click the image to get started.

The free access will end on Sunday 21 July at 11:59pm ET.

The following data collections are included in the free access weekend:

  • 1825 Census of Lower Canada
  • 1842 Census of Canada East
  • 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
  • 1861 Census of Canada
  • 1871 Census of Canada
  • 1881 Census of Canada
  • 1891 Census of Canada
  • 1901 Census of Canada
  • 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
  • 1911 Census of Canada
  • 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta
  • 1921 Census of Canada
  • Nova Scotia, 1770 Census
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Census, Assessment & Poll Tax Records, 1770-95, 1827, 1838

The content above 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 IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Heritage Week 2019 programme launched: 2,000 events

National Heritage Week, which will take place 17–25 August, was officially launched yesterday by Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The nine-day event is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the EU to promote awareness and involvement in our natural, built and cultural heritage.

Josepha Madigan, TD, with children at
the Heritage Week launch
It is Ireland's most popular cultural event and at least half a million people are expected to participate in some 2,000 heritage events. Nearly all events are free and this year's theme is Pastimes | Past Times.

For family historians, whether they live in Ireland or will be visiting during August, Heritage Week will present a diverse programme of walks, workshops, talks, re-enactments and have-a-go events that can help you understand more about the lives of your ancestors and find out how and where you can discover more. Free genealogy advice, tours of national and local repositories, Open Days at historical venues, 'Living' history experiences, graveyard tours... they are all featured in the line-up. Really, if you can't find at least a handful of events to interest and motivate you, you should check for a pulse.

Search the database of events using keywords such as Genealogy, Archives, Family history, Ancestors etc.

As the launch was held in Dublin's Henrietta Street, I'm going to call out just one venue for its events likely to be of interest to genealogists: the Registry of Deeds. Not only will it be running lunchtime tours of its very special archive (Monday to Friday, 19-23 August, Booking essential), it will also present an evening seminar exploring some of the recent discoveries made in its collection (Eureka! 22 August, 6-7:30pm. Booking essential.)

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project: mid-July update

The Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project has updated its online database with another tranche of transcriptions from its hard-working band of volunteers.

The update means there are now 318,287 records in the main index, transcribed from 34,628 memorials of deeds in the main index.

Additionally, the Townland and Grantors indexes have been updated with new entries. The new totals for each of those indexes are as show in the images, above.

All the indexes can be searched here, free of charge.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

UCD Digital Library releases Workhouse Drawings

University College Dublin's Digital Library has released a representative sample of drawings, plans and other documents from the Workhouse Collection (ref 85/128) held by the Irish Archictural Archive (IAA).
Click map to view UCD Digital Library's
Workhouse Drawings Collection
Built between 1839 and 1847, some 130 workhouses were built. They were designed by architect George Wilkinson to accommodate either 400 people or 800 people and were constructed to a standard specification and layout. Fever Hospitals were added to them from 1847, and 30 more workhouses were built between 1849 and 1853 to a different design. (Of these 163 workhouses, 74 have been completely demolished and seven are derelict.)

While the IAA's Workhouse Collection holds drawings for 81 workhouses in the Republic of Ireland, many are in too delicate a condition for open access but UCD's smaller digital sample collection will allow free and unrestricted access to researchers. It holds 42 drawings and documents relating to the Mallow, Castleblayney, Lismore and Gorey workhouses, and the 104-page Fifth Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners dating from 1839.

Accompanying the Workhouse Drawings (digital) Collection is an interactive map showing the location of the workhouses on modern maps and data on whether each survives and, if it does, in what capacity. There is also a very informative short feature about the collection here, which is worth reading for greater insight into these architectural icons that were so feared by our ancestors.

Early July update: Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Photo from Shankill cemetery.
Courtesy Dave Hall and IGP Archives.
Volunteers have donated the files noted below to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web) during the first half of July.

They are made available to researchers, free of charge, but do bear in mind that contributors retain copyright of their transcriptions and/or photographs.

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Mount Jerome, Dublin - Part 226-229

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives – Land
Registry of Deeds - Index of Grantees, 1708-1738
Registry of Deeds - Index of Grantors, 1708-1738

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Shankill Cemetery, near Elphin (UPDATE)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives – Church
Thurles Parish Marriages, Dio. of Cashel & Emly (R.C.) 1841-1843

Monday, 15 July 2019

What's in store from later in the year?

More Roman Catholic records from County Wexford are in the process of being transcribed and will be uploaded to RootsIreland later this year. So, too will another instalment of records for Limerick. are two revelations made in the latest Irish Genealogy Matters, the newsletter of the Irish Family History Foundation, which manages the RootsIreland database and oversees an island-wide network of heritage and genealogy centres.

The newsletter also provides an impressive summary of the records uploaded to the database so far this year. They tot up to more than 100,000 records of different types – a selection of Protestant and Roman Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials; confirmations; census substitutes; and civil births, marriages and deaths – and come from Counties Waterford, Armagh, Cork, Wexford, Galway, Laois and Offaly. The transcribing teams have certainly been busy!

All of these records have, of course, been noted here on Irish Genealogy News as and when they were released, but it's worth checking the summary in case you missed a relevant blogpost.

You'll also be able to find news of developments past, present and future, of developments from around the IFHF centres in the newsletter. Click the image to download the pdf.

Irish genealogy, history and heritage events, 15-28 July

Monday 15 July: NLI Main 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/exhibitons/cafe/Genealogy Advisory Service operate as normal.

Monday 15 July: Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland. PRONI, private libraries and all public lending libraries across Northern Ireland will be closed until Tuesday 16 July. This public holiday does not apply in the Republic of Ireland.

Tuesday 16 July: The Myth Business: Alma and Jeremiah Curtin in Dingle and Ventry, 1892, with Professor Angela Bourke. Host: Dingle Historical Society. Venue: Dingle Skellig Hotel, Dingle, Co Kerry. 8pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 17 July: Tara: 'The Resuscitated Jerusalem', with Dr Mairead Carew. Third of this year's Tara Lecture Series. Host: Office of Public Works. Venue: Hill of Tara Centre, Castleboy, Co Meath. Free. All welcome. Seating limited so arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

Thursday 18 July: Irish Wills in the Society of Genealogists Library, with Else Churchill. Host and venue: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Gosport Road, London EC1, UK. 1 hour. Free. Bookings.

Friday 19 July: The heritage, archaeology, and folklore of some sacred wells in East Galway, with Christy Cunniffe. Host and venue: Aughrim Visitor Centre, Aughrim, nr Ballinasloe, Co Galway. 2pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 20 July: Dead famous – Who is buried where in Northern Ireland, with David Hume. Host: Whitehead Summer Festival and Whitehead Library. Venue: Whitehead Library, Edward Rd, Whitehead, Co Antrim BT38 9QB. Booking essential T 028 9335 3249 / Free. All welcome.

Saturday 20 July: A celebration of People, Place and Heritage, an afternoon conference. Part of the Crinniú festival. Host and venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, co Galway. 1-4pm. Free. Details.

Saturday 20 July: HER story in history - Irish Women who made a difference, with Maura Barrett. Ormond Castle Lecture Series. Host and venue: Tipperary Studies, County Library, Castle Ave, Thurles Townparks, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. 11:30am. Free. All Welcome. Booking essential on 051 640787.

Saturday 20 July: Lesbian Lives in 1916 and the Irish revolutionary period, with Claire Hackett. Host and venue: Áras Uí Chonghaile, James Connolly Visitor Centre, 374 Falls Rd, Belfast BT12 6DG. 1–2pm. Free. No booking required.

Monday 22 July: 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/exhibitons/cafe/Genealogy Advisory Service operate as normal.

Tuesday 23 July: Using social media for Irish research, with Laura Mackinson and Ilene Murray. Host: St. Louis Genealogical Society. Venue: Auditorium at St. Louis County Library HQ, 1640 South Lindbergh, St Louis, MO 63131, USA. 7–8:30pm. Members and non-members welcome. Open to members and non-members.

Wednesday 24 July: Rebels, Redcoats and Contested Identities: The Battle of Tara, 1798, with Dr Ciaran McDonnell. Last of this year's Tara Lecture Series. Host: OPW - Office of Public Works. Venue: Hill of Tara Centre, Dunsany, Navan, Co. Meath. Admission is free but limited seating, so arrive early. All Welcome.

Wednesday 24 July: Irish Family History Assistance. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen St, Melbourne 3000, Australia. 10am to 4pm. Free for members. $20 non-members. Bookable one-hour appointments with a research consultant. Details.

Thursday 25 July: Book launch: Interned. The Curragh Internment Camps during the War of Independence, by James Durney. Host and venue: Curragh Military Museum, Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare. All welcome. 7:30pm. Lord Edward's Own Re-Enactment Group will be taking part. RSVP to

Sunday 28 July: Genealogy Day at Cabinteely House. Hosts: Genealogical Society of Ireland and DLR Summer Festival 2019. Short talks, demonstrations and advice for beginners and above. 2-5pm. Cabiteely Park, Co Dublin. No booking required. Details.