Friday, 3 December 2021

Church of Ireland Gazette, 1856-2010, to remain free online to 2033

The RCB Library has confirmed that its digital archive of the Church of Ireland Gazette, 1856-2010, will remain free until at least the end of 2033. Funding to cover the costs associated with e-cloud hosting have been committed by the Ministry for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The Church of Ireland Gazette, formerly The Irish Ecclesiasticl Gazette, covered the activities of the Church of Ireland across the island and it is an important resource for genealogists and historians. Researchers don't need to have Church of Ireland ancestors to find The Gazette valuable. As well as exploring the major national and international issues of the day, the paper also carried localised church and social news, which would have been of relevance to all local communities whatever their beliefs.

In addition to keeping the Gazette portal online, the funding will secure similar free public access to another database (here) hosting the Journals of the General Synod from 1912 to 1922, and to six online exhibitions examining various aspects of the Decade of Centenaries:

  • The Birth of Partition: the Southern Experience Through the Eyes of the Church of Ireland Gazette;
  • The Foundation of Northern Ireland: Two Jurisdictions – One Church;
  • The centenary of the Easter Rising, when the Gazette’s editor, Ware B Wells, witnessed first-hand events as they unfolded in Middle Abbey Street, where the Gazette’s premises were located
  • The centenary of the General Convention, 1917-18, as the last time all-Ireland representatives (including church leaders) participated in political negotiations before Partition in 1921;
  • The centenary of the sinking of The Leinster in 1918.
  •  Christmas 1921, focusing on events in Ireland at the end of the pivotal year, through the lens of the Church of Ireland Gazette and other sources available at the Library.

These exhibitions can be viewed here.

Thursday, 2 December 2021 despatch turnaround has lengthened to 100 days

If, in the immediate future, you have need to purchase an offical birth certificate – not the much cheaper photocopy of an entry in the civil registration register known as a 'research copy' – you need to be aware that the HSE-managed is currently working on a 100-day despatch cycle.

Yep, 100 days.

This has increased since Monday (29 November), when, as you'll see from the tweet, right, I was told delays were running at 'an average of up to 8 weeks', ie 56 days. I received the tweet after I queried the non-arrival of a birth certificate I'd ordered on 7 October. The order auto-acknowledgement had said the cert would be issued within 30 days, so when I hit 53 days with no advice about additional delays, I felt entitled to an explanation.

Four days later, the service delay has moved on by another 40! See the image below, which is not a grab the Home Page of the site. No, that still says the HSE aims to complete orders within 10-30 days. It's only when you go to place an order that you discover it could be 100 days. Nearly a quarter of a year.

I have sympathy for the chaos caused by the cyber attack. But there's no excuse for not keeping your customers informed. I mean, come on. How long does it take to update one line of a website? Or an auto-response email? Or the answering message of the customer service contact telephone.

The turnaround time has gone from 10, to 30, to 60, to (this week) 100 days.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: November update of new files

Unusually, most of the files added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives during the past month are of Church of Ireland baptisms and marriages. As you can see below, these include transcriptions of registers from parishes in Counties Cavan, Fermanagh and Tyrone. Also newly added to the free archive are Presbyterian marriages for Enniskillen and photos and transcriptions from two graveyards in county Donegal.

All the transcriptions and images were gathered by volunteer researchers with the aim of helping other Irish family historians.

18th-century stone in St Anne's Graveyard,
Ballyshannon, Donegal to James Moore and his
wife MART. Stout, who died 1723 and 1746
respectively. Photo courtesy of Valerie Ackroyd
and IGP Archives. Click for larger image.

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Church Records

  • Killinagh CoI Marriages 1845-1921

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones

  • St Agatha RC Graveyard, Clar
  • St Annes CoI Graveyard, Ballyshannon

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records

  • Enniskillen Presbyterian Marriages, 1845-1921
  • CoI Marriages for Monea, 1845-1890, and St Molaise, 1891-1921
  • Newtownbutler (Galloon) CoI Marriages, 1845-1921

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records

  • CoI Marriages for Monea, 1845-1890, and St Molaise, 1891-1921
  • Trory CoI Marriages, 1845-1921

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Church Records

  • Trillick Church of Ireland Marriages - 1904-1920

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Christmas savings on Ancestry DNA kits for researchers in Ireland

Ancestry DNA test kits are on sale with a 25% discount until the close of St Stephen's Day for researchers based in Ireland.

The offer reduces the price of the test kit from its regular €95 to €69. Shipping is extra, and you even get a choice of packaging: either the standard box or the more festive version if you're intending to give it as a gift to friend or loved one.

To take advantage of the saving, click the image, right, and place your order before 11:59pm Irish Time on Sunday 26 December.

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.

MyHeritage offers free access to its US City Directories, 1860-1960

MyHeritage is offering six days of free access to its US City Directories collection this week. It will start tomorrow* and run until Tuesday 7 December.

The collection contains records from 25,468 public directories published between 1860 and 1960. City directories were distributed to help residents find local individuals and businesses, and while they come in many different formats, they typically list names (and names of spouses), addresses, occupations, and workplaces.

As such, they constitute a rich source of information for anyone seeking to learn more about their immigrant ancestors in the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. They can serve as an important alternative to census records where those records are not available — for example, most of the records from the 1890 census, which were destroyed in a fire in 1921. (It wasn't only the Irish who couldn't keep their records safe!)

MyHeritage used algorithmic methods to identify and consolidate records from a total of 561,503,516 entries into one set of records per individual. It has resulted in about 560 million aggregated records, each featuring the same individual who lived at the same set of addresses over the span of multiple years. The records also include images of the original directory pages.

* The free access is officially supposed to start on the 2nd, but appears to be fully open a day early.

More Kerry baptisms join has added a further 6,121 Roman Catholic baptismal records to its County Kerry database.

The new records are for Abbeydorney Parish, about four miles north of Tralee, the county town, and they date from 1835 to 1900. (They match, almost seamlessly, with the parish marriage records, 1836-1900, which were uploaded to the database in July.)

All those dated up to 1880 link to the National Library of Ireland's online images of register pages.

To view the full menu of records – they are currently all Catholic records from 27 parishes – click the image above, right.

And don't miss out on RootsIreland's 25% discount on 6- and 12-month subscriptions. The offer is still live and runs to Friday 10 December.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

National Library of Ireland requests your feedback on draft strategy

The National Library of Ireland is developing its new strategy for 2022 to 2026 and is calling on those who use its services to have a say in how the institution can best provide for your needs in the future.

A short survey is awaiting your feedback and it takes only five or so minutes to complete, although I'd recommend you read the Draft Strategy summary before you hit the 'go to the survey' link provided on the landing page. This may add a couple of extra minutes.

The survey will be open until Sunday 5 December 2021.

Monday, 29 November 2021

40,000 names added to Irish-rich Boston Savings Bank collection

AmericanAncestors has updated its Irish-rich Boston MA - Provident Institution for Savings, 1817–82 collection. Four more volumes, or ledgers, have been digitised and uploaded, adding more than 40,000 names to search.

     Click image to view a sample page from a Signature Book

This collection launched on the New England Historic Genealogical Society's database in October 2020 and I blogged about its value to Irish family historians at the time.

Rather than repeat that post, I'll simply let you link to it for a quick read, here. It explains the contents of the ledgers and why this is such an important collection for resarchers whose ancestors from Ireland immigrated or settled in Boston, Massachussets.

The collection, when completely digitised and available to search, will comprise six Waste Books and six Signature Books.

Waste Books record transcription ledgers showing how much and when each account holder deposited funds money or requested a cheque to be raised to a third party. Signature Books note personal information provided when the account was opened: Irish county of birthplace, customer's residential or contact address in Boston, occupation and, in some cases, marital status.

For now, the following volumes can be explored in the database (bolded books are from the latest upload):

  • Waste Book 1A, 1817-1820
  • Waste Book 1B, 1820
  • Waste Book 1C, 1820
  • Waste Book 4C, 1821-1833
  • Waste Book 1D, 1 Mar 1821 - 5 Jun 1822
  • Waste Book 1E, 1822-1824
  • Signature Book 10, May 1854 - Jun 1855
  • Signature 11, 1854-1858
  • Signature 14, 1863-1867

Together they provide a collection of just under 70,100 records.

You'll need an Individual-level and above NEHGS membership to search or browse this collection.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

New and updated British genealogy collections: 3-week summary

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 three weeks (see previous summary, 5 November).

My 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 thi 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.


BritishNewspaperArchive, shared with FindMyPast (total 46,252,976 pages)
  • New titles in main collection ($£€)









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, 24 November 2021

Irish genealogy and history events: 24 November to 21 December

While online talks continue to be offered by most organisations and event hosts, a few in-person events are beginning to re-appear in my listings. In the list below, you'll find all in-person events clearly indicated and the location highlighted in bold.

Wednesday 24 November: Stephen Scarth, PRONI, A Century of Archiving – the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, an online lecture with Stephen Scarth. Host: LibrariesNI, Heritage from Home series. 12:30pm–1:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details and registration.

Thursday 25 November: In their own words: children of Victorian Belfast, with Dr Alice Johnson. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Part of the UK and Ireland's ‘Explore Your Archives Week’. An online lecture via Zoom. 2pm to 3pm. Free but you need to book your place at eventbrite.

Thursday 25 November: The Story of the Workhouse and Their Records, with Natalie Bodle. A free online talk hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena Branch. 7pm-9pm. Email to request link: Details.

Thursday 25 November: Reading the Deeds and Sasines: A Digital Humanities approach to the Irish and Scottish Land Records, with Dr Patrick Walsh and Dr Andrew Mackillop. Host: Registry of Deeds/PRAI. 11am–12pm. Free. All welcome. Need to register.

Wednesday 1 December: Using Online Resources, a Getting Started Workshop on Zoom. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. 12:30–1:30pm. Free. Need to book. Details.

Wednesday 1 December: An Irish Diaspora webinar, with Claire Bradley focussing on tracing your Irish ancestors to their townland of origin. 8pm GMT. Cost: €10 per person. Online from Dublin. Details and booking.

Thursday 2 December: Exhibiting the past: telling the story of Partition in the museum environment with Armagh County Museum curator Sean Bardon. Host: LibrariesNI, Heritage from Home series. Online at 12:30pm. All welcome. Free, but need to register. Details.

Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 December: The Treaty, a new play from playwright Colin Murphy and Fishamble Theatre Company. An in-person event. The 70-minute play tells the story of what happened inside the negotiations, as Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and fellow Irish negotiators engaged with one of the most formidable negotiating teams ever assembled. Tickets: £25/£21 (online via ICC Hammersmith). Venue: The Embassy of Ireland, 17 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HRDetails.

Thursday 2 December: Sharing our Story – Northern Ireland's Jewish community, with Steven Jaffe, Amanda Jackson, Bernard Enlander and Lorraine Bourke. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. 15:00 – 16:00 GMT. Free. Online event. Details.

Thursday 2 December: Advanced Google Tools for Family History Research, an online NIFHS class with Anne Johnston. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. 7pm to 8:30pm. All welcome. £10. Details and booking.

Saturday 4 December: Irish winter traditions, with Dr Marion McGarry. Host: Ulster Architectural Heritage. Choose between in-person and online event. Those attending (The Old Museum Building, Belfast BT1 6AR) get Christmas refreshments from 10:30pm to 12:30pm. Virtual attendees (11am start) can supply their own. Full details. Free and all welcome.

Saturday 4 December: Family Tree Maker - Basics and Benefits, an online class with Imelda McVeigh. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. 2pm to 3:30pm. All welcome. £10. Details and booking.

Saturday 4 December: Irish Civil Registration and Church Records: It’s a New World! and Map It Out: Using Maps to Locate your Irish Ancestors, with Donna Moughty in a two-lecture, online seminar. Host: Hamilton County Genealogical Society, USA. 11am to 1:15pm ET (includes 15-min break at noon). Need to register before 9pm EST on 27 November. Details.

Monday 6 December: Making men pay: the financial support of illegitimate children in Ireland 1800-1957, an online lecture with Professor Maria Ludd. Host: Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society. 7:30pm. All welcome. Free. Email for link.

Tuesday 7 December: PRONI Online Records, an online class with Andrew Kane. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. 7pm to 8:30pm. All welcome. £10. Details and booking.

Thursday 9 December: Aspects of the Land War of the 1880s in Offaly, with Dr Ciaran Reilly, Host: Offaly Libraries History Lecture Series 2021. Online via Offaly Libraries’ Facebook and YOUTUBE channels. Free to view. 7:30pm.

Thursday 9 December The murder of Martha Lunney and the little histories of partition, with Dr Peter Leary. Hosts: The Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. 7pm to 8pm, on Zoom. All welcome. Free but need to register. More.

Monday 13 to Saturday 17 December: National Archives of Ireland closed to the public. Annual media preview.

Tuesday 14 December: Researching your ancestors in Northern Ireland, an online lecture with Gillian Hunt. Host: Ulster Historical Foundation and Libraries NI, Heritage from Home series. 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Free. All welcome. Need to register. Details.

Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 December: National Archives of Ireland closed to the public. Annual media preview.

Tuesday 21 December: Tom Kiely: Tipperary's and Ireland's greatest champion, with Dr Kevin McCarthy. Host: Tipperary Library Services 'Tipperary People and Places Lecture Series XV'. Free. In-person at Tipperary Studies, The Source, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7pm. No need to book. Details.