Monday, 18 June 2018

Registry of Deeds Index Project: mid-June update

The latest update from the Registry of Deeds Index Project results in a new total of 274,091 indexed entries available to researchers. These entries have been indexed from 30,371 memorials of deeds.

It's worth noting that the project also now has more than 55,000 townland index entries, all submitted by volunteers.

The project website is free to search.

Irish family history & heritage events, 18 June - 1 July

Monday 18 June: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service operating as normal. Details.

Thursday 21 June: The sinking of the RMS Leinster in 1918, with Philip Lecane. Host: Leixlip History Group. Venue: Leixlip Community Library, Captain's Hill, Newtown, Leixlip, Co. Kildare. 7:15pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 20 June to Saturday 24 June: Irish Journeys: Famine Legacies and Reconnecting Communities, the 2018 Irish Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park. Speakers include Professor Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University), Prof Mike Cronin (Boston University), Prof Maura Murphy (Hofstra University), Prof Mark McGowan (University of Toronto) and Prof Ian Kuijt (University of Notre Dame). Venue: Strokestown Park House, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. Programme and details.

Thursday 21 June: Rebel women of the 20th century - Mother Jones, with Rosemary Feurer: GPO Witness Visitor Centre, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. 5:30pm. All welcome. Free, but need to book ticket.

Thursday 21 June: Hunger, History and Memory: The Great Famines of Ireland and Finland Compared. A symposium and exhibition (the latter runs to late-August). Host and venue: GO11 Moore Institute, University Road, NUI Galway. 1:30pm–4:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 21 June: They have rights who dare maintain them – the formation of the Irish Volunteers, with Gerry White. Host: Cork University Press (Atlas of the Irish Revolution). Venue: Waterstones, 69 Patrick Street, Cork City. Free. 7pm. Limited seating.

Saturday 23 June: Three 'Lightning' talks on Old Lucan. Host: Old Lucan Society. Venue:Seminar Room, Lucan Library, Unit 33, Lucan Shopping Centre, Newcastle Rd, Lucan, County Dublin 2pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Saturday 23 June: Irish genealogy advice and help, with the Irish Genealogical Research Society at the York Family History Fair. Venue: The Knavesmire Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, York, UK. £5 admission. 10am to 4:30pm. Details.

Sunday 24 June: Free genealogy help session. Host and venue: Library of the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630, USA. From 1pm to 4pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 25 June: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are to facilitate extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operating as normal. Details.

Wednesday 27 June: Foyle & East Donegal Family History Festival. Hosts: Monreagh Ulster Scots Heritage Centre. Venue: An Grianan Hotel, Burt, Co Donegal. Lectures (including 1718 Migration conference), performance, workshops and demonstations, live music and dancing. Speakers include Dr William Roulston, John T Mann, Boyd Gray and Belinda Mahaffy. Noon to 9pm. Admission €5. All welcome.

Wednesday 27 June: Frederick Douglass and Ireland – a transatlantic view of poverty and oppression, with Christine Kinealy. Final lecture in the Famine Reflections Series. Host: Coming Home - Art and the Great Hunger exhibition. Venue: President's Room, Dublin Castle. 11am. Details. Sold Out.

Wednesday 27 June:
Irish family history assistance in the Library. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne, Australia. Free for members. $20 non-members. 10am to 4pm. Consultations: One-hour appointments with a research consultant also available. See details.

Thursday 29 June: Cork to Barbados: The story of the unfree Irish, with Jim Murphy telling the history of the enforced transportation of the Irish from Cork to the plantations in Barbados. Host and venue: Independence Museum Kilmurry, Kilmurry, Lissarda, Co. Cork. 8pm. All welcome. Details: email: or telephone: 021 7336932.

Saturday 30 June: How to use the Registry of Deeds to further your Irish family history research, with Malcolm McDonald. Host: New Zealand Society of Genealogists. Venue: NZ Society of Genealogists Family Research Centre Level 1, 159 Queens Rd Panmure, Auckland, New Zealand. 10am to Noon. $15, includes tea & coffee. Booking.

Saturday 30 June:
The place of the Big House and Estate in Irish history, a conference. Hosts: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society and the Irish Workhouse Centre. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co Galway. Free. Book early by email:

Sunday 1 July: Irish Ancestry Summer School starts. Host and venue: NUI Galway. A week-long exploration of Ireland's history, society and culture, incorporating family history research and fieldtrips to west of Ireland. Full programme and details.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Yet more free Church of Ireland Gazette editions online
For the second time this month, the RCB Library has announced the digitisation and free online availability of a further tranche of the Church of Ireland Gazette.

The first June release (see blogpost) saw the free Gazette database extend to cover editions published from 1856 to 1933. The latest instalment adds editions published from 1934 to 1936, so that the free database now spans more than 80 years.

You can search the Church of Ireland Gazette here.

FindMyPast adds to British WW1 Soldiers Medical records collection

FindMyPast has added more than 691,000 to its British Armed Forces collection of First World War Soldiers' Medical Records

This collection may allow you to discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, where they were treated how long they were held at the medical facility for treatment. Images may provide a variety of additional details such as their service history and a description of wound.

In total, there are now 934,000 records in FindMyPast's collection, which is restricted to records dating back at least 100 years.

The records are from the UK National Archives series MH106 - War Office: WW1 Representative Medical Records of Servicemen, which comprises a representative selection of the full collection of medical records gathered during the war; the sample records were used for statistical purposes. They include admissions and discharge records from hospitals, field ambulances, and casualty stations.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Suffrage exhibition launch & conference: PRONI, 2 July

To mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, PRONI will be launching a new exhibition – Voices and Votes: Suffrage and Representation of the People, 1832–1928 – on Monday 2 July at 10am. It explores the journey from reform of the 40-shilling franchise to universal suffrage and recognises some of the people who championed change.

The launch will be followed (10:10am to 1pm) by a half-day conference which will examine the history and context of suffrage and the Representation of the People Act, and its legacy and impact. (10.10am – 1pm).

Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Blvd, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9HQ.

The event is free, and everyone is welcome to attend, but booking is required. For details, see Eventbrite.

Dublin tenement wins RIAI best conservation project

The conservation of a former tenement house at 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin's north inner city has been named Best Conservation/Restoration Project, and has won the Special RIAI* Jury Award at the prestigious annual RIAI Irish Architecture Awards.

14 Henrietta Street, Dublin
Dublin City Council undertook to save and renovate 14 Henrietta Street more than a decade ago, when it was in a seriously derelict state. After painstaking restoration, the building will be officially opened in September as a social history museum telling the story of the Georgian townhouse's shifting fortunes, from aristocratic family home and powerbase to courthouse; from barracks to its final incarnation as a tenement house. In the 1911 census, more than 100 people from 17 families lived in the building and it was not until 1979 that the last occupants left.

The stories of the house and street – the latter now the most intact collection of early- to mid-18th century town houses in Ireland – mirror the story of Dublin and her citizens and how social change impacted on them.

Awarding the RIAI Special Jury Award, the Jury said: “This is a gift to the city of Dublin, made possible by an inspiring client and a highly skilled team of architects and contractor. Architecture and exhibition design merge here in a very unique way, explaining the history of the building by restoring different parts of the building to different periods of its occupancy. Most impressive is the way the architect manages to bring the building up to contemporary technical and regulatory standards in an almost invisible way, making the experience of the building completely immersive. Outstanding.”

While 14 Henrietta Street will officially open in September 2018, advance tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays in July and August, with an opportunity for the visitors to feed back their memories, stories and reflections. Tickets (€9 adult / €6 concession) for the 90-minute tour should be booked in advance at

*Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Celtic Connections Conference, Boston MA, 10-11 Aug

This year's Celtic Connections Conference, 'Pathways to Our Past', will be held at Boston Marriott Hotel in Massachussetts, USA, on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August.
Co-sponsored by The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) and the International Genealogical Society of Ireland (IGSI), the conference presents two days of lectures on Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Scots-Irish family history, DNA and culture. All presentations are by international and US-based experts.

Luncheon, with entertainment, is included on both days of the conference. There's also a full-day coach tour the day before the official start of the conference, a Friday evening banquet and a pub quiz.

You can find full details of the conference, the programme, accommodation options, costs and registration by clicking/tapping the image, above right.

The Chief Butlers of Ireland, a genealogical guide
Click for more information
Written by historian, author and genealogist John Kirwan, The Chief Butlers of Ireland and the House of Ormond – An illustrated genealogical guide is a lavish and fascinating account of one of the most powerful families in Irish history: the Butlers.

The lives of the Butlers were defined by incredible wealth, power and splendour. The family held the title of Chief Butler of Ireland and was later awarded the Earldom of Ormond(e) and a number of subsidiary titles.

They were based at Kilkenny Castle for more than five centuries (from 1391 to 1935), and at other seats including Nenagh, Cahir, Roscrea, Kilcash and Thurles.

Published by Irish Academic Press, the 424-page hardback can be ordered from the publisher (€50) and good bookstores. ISBN 9781911024040'

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

NAI's census database corrections: progress update
Most readers of Irish Genealogy News will be aware that well-known genealogist John Grenham MAGI has been wading through the backlog of census correction emails submitted by researchers to the National Archives of Ireland (NAI).

John started the task in late summer last year, and, with the half-way point in sight, took a well deserved break yesterday to bring us up to date on how the project is going.

He tells us on his blog that about 60,000 corrections have been made to the NAI's free census database so far (updates go live monthly) and reminds researchers that these corrections are exclusive to that database.

You can read more about the work John has been performing and his personal observations of the task at

Keep taking the tablets, John!

NUI Galway's Irish Ancestry Summer School, 1-6 July

NUI Galway will be hosting an Irish Ancestry Summer School in the first week of July.

The Summer School programme will explore the origins of people and society in Ireland from earliest times to the present. It includes lectures by some of Ireland's leading scholars on ancient DNA studies, prehistoric demographics, early tribal groupings, later medieval clan history, post-medieval lifeways, history and genealogy.

Delegates will also be taught how to research their own Irish family history and will be offered the opportunity of giving a DNA sample to learn more about their origins. The five-day course includes fieldtrips to various sites of archaeological, historical and genealogical importance in the West of Ireland.

Participants will also have access to the James Hardiman Library's collections, including historical newspapers, Irish local studies books and periodicals, maps and 19th century government publications. In addition the library holds over 350 unique archival collections, including landed estate papers, photographic collections and theatre and literary archives.

See the full programme and further details.