Friday, 3 July 2020

4-week summary of new/updated US genealogy records

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been either newly released or updated by the major genealogy databases.  (The last summary list was published on 3 June, 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. Please note that I have omitted updates of fewer than 1,000 records to any one 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, if a number has been clearly noted by the supplier.






       St Joseph, Lynn and St John the Baptist, Quincy (330,000)
       Stoneham (21,700)
       Blessed Sacrament, Walpole (27,500)
       St Casimir, Brockton; St. Brigid, Lexington; Our Lady of Czestochowa, S.Boston (66,000)
       St Matthew in Dorchester (37,600)
       St Joseph, Salem (279,800)
       St Bridget, Framingham and St Anthony of Padua, Cohasset(15,100)




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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Kilkenny Moderator joins BritishNewspaperArchive
The online British Newspaper Archive has certainly cranked up its digitisation programme after the Lockdown, with several new titles joining the database this week.

As reported on Monday, the Lisburn Standard was one of them, and today there's another: The Kilkenny Moderator, a mainly Protestant and Unionist newspaper that ceased publication just before the establishment of the Irish Free State.

The anticipated holding for this title will run from 1825 to 1924. So far, 760 editions have been digitised, adding 3,054 to the BNA's Irish collection.

The BNA shares its collection with FindMyPast, its sister company.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: late June updates

Headstone to Annie Richardson Smith in the Friends'
Burial Ground, Newtown Lower, Waterford.
Photo courtesy IGPArchives and Andrew Bernos.
The files below have been added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the last two weeks of June.

As you can see, it's headstones all the way in this update to the free database, with six burial grounds in counties Dublin, Mayo, Meath and Waterford being recorded by the IGPArchives team of volunteers.

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mt. Jerome Cem., Parts 255 - 257

Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Leigue Cem., Ballina (additional)

Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Bohermeen, St. Ultans -Left Side (T)
Cannistown (Ardsallagh) Navan (T)

Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St Loman's, Trim Pt 5 Me-P (T)

WATERFORD Gen. Archives - Headstones
Friends Burial Ground (partial), Newtown.

Back to our Past event plans to go virtual this autumn

Back To Our Past (BTOP), Ireland's only national family history show, is going virtual for this year's autumn outing.

Normally held over two or three days at the RHS complex in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 in October, the 2020 event will be a purely digital affair, with online presentations, podcasts and Q&As running for seven days from Monday 14 September to Sunday 20 September.

The organisers are putting together a programme of talks on genealogy (traditional and genetic) aimed at all researchers exploring their Irish ancestry. So far, there's no word on whether these talks will be newly and specifically recorded for the event or if they are recordings from presentations delivered at previous outings of BTOP.

Thus far, I've not had any response to my request for details, but when/if I do receive more information, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Summary of new & updated Canadian genealogy records

Happy Canada Day!

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated Canadian records released by the major genealogy database suppliers over the last seven weeks. For the previous summary, see my 19 May blogpost.

These regular listings of additional sources are designed primarily to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated to Canada, but you don't have to have heritage from Ireland!

They may prove useful to any researcher looking for a brief update of what's been recently made available for tracing ancestors in Canada.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection, or the total number in a newly topped-up collection (if provided by the database owner).







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.

Summer saving on 1-year subscription to RootsIreland is offering a 20% discount on its 12-month subscription. The saving is available to both new and current subscribers.

http://www.rootsireland.ieResearchers who already have a sub should login, click on My Account and Start a New Subscription; the special deal subscription will begin once the current sub ends.

New subscribers should register for a free account and then select Subscribe.

RootsIreland holds the most complete and most accurate set of Roman Catholic church records online and its database continues to grow.

It covers the entire island, and, in 2019, added more than 200,000 new records from Laois, Offaly, East Galway, Wexford, Armagh, Cork, Kilkenny, Clare and Waterford.

That figure has already been doubled in the first six months of 2020, with nearly 500,000 records uploaded from Kerry, Cork, Armagh, Kilkenny, North Mayo, North Dublin, Westmeath and Wicklow.

And there are plenty more in the pipe for this year.

The Summer Saving will be available until 11:59pm Irish Time on 14 July.

Irish-themed online talks from Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists (SoG) in London is hosting some Irish-themed online lectures in the next couple of months. Anyone can attend, but you have to book in advance. Irish workshops at the SoG are always over-subscribed, and the one-hour online talks are proving no different, even though the numbers who can 'attend' are several times higher than when physical attendance is required.

So the message is: if you want to book your place for one of these online talks, do so immediately. You probably won't be able to get a space if you leave it to later.

Saturday 4 July: Using Free Websites to Research your Irish Ancestry, with tutors Rosalind McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. 11am to noon. Fully booked.

Saturday 4 July: Finding Irish Probate Records - Online, in Record Offices and at the SoG Library, with Else Churchill. 4pm to 5pm. £10. A few places still available as of this morning.

Thursday 9 July: Using Free Websites to Research your Irish Ancestry, with tutors Rosalind McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. 4pm to 5pm. £10. A few places still available as of this morning.

Saturday 8 August: 1169 and all That: Ireland's Tumultuous History, with tutors Rosalind McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. 4pm to 5pm. £10. More than 70 spaces still available.

Thursday 13 August:
1169 and all That: Ireland's Tumultuous History, with tutors Rosalind McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. 2pm to 3pm. £10. More than 70 spaces still available.

Talks take place on Zoom, which is free and easy to use. See each talk's details for information.

The SoG advises that events at the Library are likely to resume in due course, but online talks are expected to continue to be offered even after the premises reopen.

Pandemic in Ireland One Hundred Years Ago

The RCB Library has commissioned the historian and writer Dr Ida Milne to produce a timely analysis piece on the influenza of 1918-1919 as viewed through the lens of the Church of Ireland Gazette for July’s Archive of the Month.

Dr Milne is an expert on the impact of infectious diseases on Irish society over the course of the 20th century and her book Stacking the Coffins, Influenza, war and revolution in Ireland 1918-1919 (Manchester University Press, 2018) is widely acclaimed, as is her recently co-edited (with Dr Ian d’Alton) collection of essays exploring identity, Protestant and Irish: The minority's search for place in independent Ireland (Cork University Press, 2019). She has been in great demand in recent months as a commentator on the parallels and contrasts between the current Covid-19 pandemic situation and what Ireland experienced during the 15-month period between spring 1918 and early summer 1919 in the flu pandemic widely known as the ‘Spanish flu’, another unusually deadly pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus.

In this illustrated online presentation, Dr Milne explores how the influenza was reported just over 100 years ago by the Church of Ireland Gazette. In the early summer of 1918, the editorials of the Gazette appeared far more concerned with matters political and military than religious.  But in the background, behind the machinations of politics and the lumbering war, a darker force was beginning to emerge: the most extensive influenza pandemic in the modern world.

Elsewhere in the newspaper, medical realities were beginning to dawn. On 12 July 1918 one columnist made the following stark observation: ‘Belfast has paid a heavy toll in the recent influenza epidemic. In the Registrar General’s return for the seven days ending 19th ult. no less than 341 deaths are recorded. In other words, the death-rate reached the abnormal rate of 45.2 per 1,000 per annum.’

 (12 July 1918) Early reporting on the influenza outbreak from the Church of Ireland Gazette

 Written and read by both lay and clerical members of the Church of Ireland, and others, the Gazette (published since 1856) provides the longest–running commentary on Church of Ireland affairs, and is recognised as a valuable primary source for understanding the complexities and nuance of Church of Ireland and indeed wider Protestant identity, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life throughout the island. The RCB Library is undertaking a sustained project to digitize the paper, and all editions up to and including 1949 are freely searchable online at informa.

Later in 2020 the Library will be digitizing the remaining decades from 1950 up to 2003 (when the Gazette became available in a digital format), and make a contribution to reconciliation by presenting each decade in the context of an online exhibition. This project is funded by the Irish Government’s Reconciliation Fund through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Lisburn Standard joins

The Lisburn Standard has joined the online British Newspaper Archive, with (so far) some 3,781 pages published in 1878 and 1884–1959.

This weekly paper was published in the Antrim town, and circulated in its wider neighbourhood, carrying local and district news and articles of general interest.

Also uploaded in recent days have been sizeable updates to the holdings of four newspapers from the Republic of Ireland: Midland Counties Advertiser, Westmeath Guardian & Longford Newsletter, Sligo Independent, and the Meath Herald & Cavan Advertiser.

The British Newspaper Archive shares its holding with sister company FindMyPast. All the latest additions to the holding are now available in FindMyPast's Irish Newspaper Collection.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Irish research facilities begin to reopen from 29 June

Many repositories, archives and other research facilities have spent the last week or so dusting their shelves and rearranging the furniture in preparation for opening their doors to researchers for the first time since the lockdown started. In this phase of the relaxation, caution seems to be the by-word, and most, but not all, facilities seem to be opting for an appointment-only system.

Here's a brief round-up that will give a flavour:

National Library of Ireland
From Monday 29 June, the NLI will open on an appointments basis from 10am–4pm, Monday to Friday. Appointments will be available for the following services of main interest to history and genealogy researchers:
• Reading Services for registered Readers in the Main Reading Room
• Reading Services for registered Readers in the Manuscripts Reading Room
Readers will be required to order the material they wish to access when making their booking.
The NLI cafe will also be open, 9:30am–4pm.
Detailed booking and visiting information here.

National Archives of Ireland
The NAI will also re-open to the public on Monday and will operate a limited, appointment-only system. As yet, there's no confirmation on how this system can be accessed, nor on how many researchers can be accommodated at one time in the Reading Room, but I'll bring details when they're made public later this week.*

Tipperary Studies
The local and family history department of the county's library services will also be appointment-only and will operate to slightly restricted hours of 10am–1pm and 2pm–5pm, Monday to Friday. You can book by email: or phone: 0761 066123.

Dublin City Libraries will open six libraries (Cabra, Coolock, and Raheny, Pearse Street, Pembroke (Ballsbridge) and Rathmines) for browsing books and borrowing from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday. No bookings, but you may need to queue if the number of visitors goes beyond a safe threshold. There will not, initially, be any seating for reading or studying, which I guess rules out the Dublin City Library & Archive in Pearse Street opening just yet.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
No word yet as to when and how PRONI will reopen in Belfast. Again, I'll advise when details are announced.

*UPDATE Saturday 27 June: The NAI has not yet announced details of its appointment system. The website says the repository is operating a limited public service via e-mail only: I don't think this is intended for the new appointment system. Let's hope there is news about this as soon as they reopen on Monday.

*UPDATE Monday 29 June: The NAI's booking system is now ready and waiting along with information about what to expect when visiting.