Sunday, 17 February 2019

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: mid-Feb updates

St Joseph's cemetery, Bohola, Co Mayo. Photo
courtesy Dympna Beckett Joyce & IGP Archives.
Click image for enlarged image.
In the first couple of weeks of February, volunteers have contributed the files below to the free-to-access Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives.

The files cover five burial grounds in three west of Ireland counties, and contain headstone photos and inscriptions, as follows:

CLARE Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Ennistymon Old Cemetery - Part 1
Holy Rosary Graveyard, Doolin
Kilshanny Cemetery

MAYO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Bohola, St. Joseph's Cemetery

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Caldra Cemetery, Elphin

Saturday, 16 February 2019 adds 18,000 Laois and Offaly records

Irish Midlands Ancestry has uploaded an interesting mix of 18,000 records for Laois (Queen’s County) and Offaly (King’s County) to its databases at

These records include:
  • Census Laois and Offaly, 1659
  • King’s County Chronicle, 1890-1895
  • King’s County Electors, 1836
  • King’s County Voters, 1829
  • Landholders, King’s County, 1824
  • Landowners, King’s County, 1876
  • Landowners, Queen’s County, 1876
  • Queen’s County Freeholders, 1758-75
  • Queen’s County Voters, 1846
  • Rateable Occupiers of Geashill Barony (King’s County), 1883-84
  • Subscribers Parsonstown Poor Relief Fund, 1855
  • Tullamore RC baptisms, 1900-1916 (these join existing records dating from 1819)
  • Tullamore RC marriages, 1900-1916 (these join existing records dating from 1801)
To view the detailed menu of records held within each database, go to Co. Laois online sources or Co.Offaly online sources.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Free access to Ancestry's Irish & UK record collections

Click image to start searching
Ancestry has opened up its UK and Ireland collection today for a long weekend of free access to all researchers. It runs until 11:59pm GMT on Monday 18 February.

You'll find a full and very long list of all the record sets featuring in the free access promotion here.

You need a registered account to view the records. If you don't already have one (you don't need a current subscription), you'll be prompted to do so when you start to search for records. It's free, quick and easy to register, and you have only to provide your name and email address.

Start searching by clicking the image, right.

FindMyPast adds 23m records to US Marriage collection

1910 Affadivit for License to Marry, New York
Click for expanded view.
FindMyPast has added a cool 23 million records to its existing United States Marriages collection. The additions include records from 46 states and span nearly 450 years dating back to 16th-century Massachusetts.

While some of these records offer only a transcript, about half provide both a transcript and an image of the original document. All kinds of record types feature in the collection, including applications, licenses, certificates, intentions to marry, registers, bonds, and affidavits, plus a small collections of banns records. As such, the information provided by each record varies, but most give date and place for both bride and groom, as well as both sets of parents.

With this top-up, FindMyPast's United States Marriages (and Divorces) collection contains more than 214 million records.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

IGRS gives free access to How-To Irish genealogy videos

If you've been looking for an experienced guide to help you understand and get the best from Irish Census records, Irish Roman Catholic parish records and Church of Ireland records, you can stop searching and grab this opportunity.

Last year, the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) made "How-To" videos on these three major collections. They're designed to help both the beginner Irish family historian and the not-so-new researcher. Feedback has been highly positive, so the series is to be extended this year with videos on other important Irish genealogy topics.

Normally, these educational resources are available only to members of the Society, but for the rest of February, non-members have the opportunity to access and learn from them free of charge. Each video is about 20 minutes long.

Find out more on

Ancestry adds London infirmary records, 1842-1918

Ancestry UK is bang on schedule with its most recent database addition: London, England, Hospital Admission and Discharges, 1842-1918.

The collection, sourced from the London Metropolitan Archives, holds nearly 300,000 records of the elderly and chronically ill – many of them Irish – receiving medical relief in infirmaries attached to workhouses. Although some of the records date right back to the mid-1800s, the majority date from the last 20 or 30 years of the time frame in the collection's title.
Next of kin details in workhouse infirmary registers
The registers note name, age, gender, dates of admission, discharge and/or death. Some entries also include the patient's occupation, but where these registers really excel, is where they give names and addresses of next-of-kin. These details are not available in all cases, or in the earlier records.

In exploring the new database, I found an 80-year-old Ellen Santry admitted from the Greenwich workhouse to the infirmary in March 1916 (see image below). She was discharged back to the workhouse three weeks later.

The 1911 census gave me a clue to her family, but I couldn't be certain there was a link.

And then I spotted next-of-kin on the next image of the double-page spread register (see screenshot, above). Her son was Jeremiah, living nearby at 21 Eastney Street. This confirmed the 'clue'. Ellen was the widowed 78-year-old 'grandmother' living in 1911 with her son and family at the same docklands address.

Further research established that she was born in Ellen Regan in County Cork in 1835 and had married John Santry in Gravesend in 1864. He was the eldest son of Jeremiah Santry and Mary Murphy who married in the West Cork parish of Schull East in 1839. Their first four children, including John (in 1845), were also born there, but the family upped sticks at the height of the Famine and moved to England, where five more children were born. This was a very satisfying hour of research!

Also sticking to Ancestry's February update timetable was the upload of some 5,500 additional entries to the London Poor Law, Selected Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930 collection, which holds details of settlement and removals in the Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar, Shoreditch, and Stepney areas of London's East End.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

AmericanAncestors' Boston RC records collection grows

The New England Historical Genealogical Society's has continued to expand its online collection of Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston registers, 1789-1900.

The additions uploaded in the last three weeks are as follows:

Indexed database

The latest parish volumes to be fully imaged, indexed and available to search have added some 75,000 records and more than 250,000 names to the database. The parishes and the dates of the 19 indexed registers are:
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (Jamaica Plain): Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations and Marriages, 1869-1900
  • St. Peter (Lowell: Baptisms and Marriages, 1841-1900
  • Sacred Hearts (Malden): Baptisms and Marriages, 1891-1900
  • St. Francis Xavier (Weymouth): Baptisms and Marriages, 1866-1869
To search and view the indexed database, you need to be a member (Individual-level and above) of the NEHGS.

Unindexed Image-only database

Images of 12 volumes for the following parishes have been uploaded to the Browse database:
  • Sacred Heart (Lynn) Baptisms and Marriages, 1894-1900
  • St. Ann (Somerville) Baptisms (with indexes) 1881-1900, First Communions and Confirmations, 1883-1900; Marriages 1881-1900
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lynn) Baptisms and Marriages 1886-1900
You don't need a subscription to view the unindexed images, only a Guest Account. To find out how to navigate the collection to find the records you want, watch this short how-to video.

West Cork History Festival lectures free on Playback

The West Cork History Festival has been held in each of the last two summers in the grounds of Rosebank, next to the Liss Ard estate, about one mile outside Skibbereen. It's an idyllic setting and perfect for a long-weekend programme that has quickly become known for the quality of its speakers and its wide variety of topics exploring the local, national and international dimensions of Irish and Cork history.

Even its well-informed audience, which is never afraid to engage in some robust debate, especially if the topic covers the Revolutionery Era, has been recognised in the national press.

If you haven't been able to attend in person, you can now enjoy some of the lectures presented at the 2018 Festival. They are audio recordings, rather than videos, and they're available free of charge on Soundcloud. I can promise you a treat! Over the last two evenings, I've enjoyed Dr Susan Flavin's talk on food, drink and society in C16th Ireland; William Casey's talk on cillini in West Cork; Dr Ida Milne on the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Ireland and Dr Brian Hughes exploring depictions and perceptions of Irish revolutionary violence, all of them wonderfully informative and thought provoking.

You'll find the full Playback list of 24 lectures here.

And you might like to make a note that this year's Festival will be taking place 8–11 August.

Monday, 11 February 2019

AncestryDNA on special offer for US researchers only
Ancestry DNA test kits are on special offer to US-based researchers for the next few days. The discounted price is $59 plus tax and shipping.

The sale will end at 11:59pm EST on Thursday 14 February. To take advantage of this offer, click/tap the image to the right.

If the sale is extended to genealogists beyond the USA, I'll update this blogpost.

All marriage records free on MyHeritage until 17 Feb
Ahh. MyHeritage has got all loved up on account of Valentine's Day on Thursday and is opening up its marriage records with free access.

This free access extends to all US state, European and worldwide marriage record collections. You won't need a subscription, and you can hunt for your ancestors' romantic couplings until close of play on Sunday 17 February, when the free period ends.

Click the image to reach the MyHeritage Marriage Records 'SuperSearch' page.