Friday, 20 May 2022

One-week summary of English, Scottish & Welsh genealogy updates

Below is a summary of newly released and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases over the last week (for previous summary, see 13 May blogpost).

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 this 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.


NEW COLLECTIONS


Ancestry
BritishNewspaperArchives, shared with FindMyPast (new total 52,861,748)
  • New titles in main collection ($£€)

FindMyPast


UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

MyHeritage

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.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Digest of Statistics 2020/21

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has released its annual Digest of Statistics for 2020/2021 (April to March). As you'd expect, the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the operation of the Belfast repository, with access to physical collections restricted and staff adapting to new ways of working while continuing to deliver archival services. The majority of PRONI staff were not working on site on a full-time basis, in line with social distancing measures.

To download the 19-page pdf of the Digest, click the image right.

Here are some of the main statistics:

PRONI main catalogue: 2,724 new items were added.

PRONI e-catalogue: 15,161 new items published. The searchable database now holds more than 1.5million item descriptions and received 1,692,456 searches during the year.

PRONI online archives: The most popular online collection – Will calendars – received 2,313,448 searches. The second most popular, Valuation Revision Books, was searched 1,158,319 times. Figures for other collections were Name Search (543,126), Street Directories (519,173), Ulster Covenant (204,815) and Freeholders (127,467).

Visitors (in-person): In the five years to April 2020, annual visitor numbers had averaged some 4,200, with the highest number - 4,797 - in the 12 months before the first Lockdown. With the doors closed to the public for much of 2020/2021 year, only 536 visitors were able to use of the Search and Reading rooms. It was not possible to facilitate the registration of new visitors for most of 2020/21; just nine new visitors were registered. There were 2,757 documents requested and produced. While the tightest restrictions were operating, all orders for records were placed by staff in advance, to facilitate quarantining of the records.

Virtual events: 47 virtual events were held in 2020/2021 and attracted 4,888 members of the public.

Online presence: PRONI's website received 9.2 million page views. The repository has 5,803 followers on Facebook; 1,170 followers on Instagram; and 2,350 followers on Twitter. During the 12-month period, 20 additional talks were joined PRONI’s YouTube channel. The most popular videos for the year were: ‘Leisureworld’ (6,745 views); ‘Irish Language & Culture, History of the Irish Language’ (4,482 views); and ‘The Hidden History of Protestants the Irish Language’ (3,973 views).

PRONI Image Gallery: Some 219 photos from the archives were added to the photo-sharing website Flickr during the year, making a total of 3,463 photos publicly available to view. The Flickr collection received 1,801,320 searches. The collection D4069, which contains photographs taken by various Rural District Councils between 1959 and 1964 for the production of official guides and publications, was also added to PRONI's image archives.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

'Bad Bridget' explores lives of female Irish migrants in 19th century

The Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone has introduced a new exhibition exploring the experiences and struggles of Irish women who migrated to Boston, New York and Toronto from 1838 to 1918 and the challenges they encountered with the authorities and poverty as they struggled to survive.

The Bad Bridget exhibition will be on display at the Ulster
American Folk Park in Omagh, Co Tyrone until 28 April 2024

It's called the Bad Bridget exhibition, and was curated predominantly by women. It is based on significant research into Irish women criminals carried out by Dr Elaine Farrell and Dr Leanne McCormick over the last seven years, much of it carried out in the archives and libraries in the three cities.

Bad Bridget is the first new display at the folk park – one of Northern Ireland's four National Museums – in four years. It uses an eclectic mix of objects, sights, sounds and smells as it tells the women's stories of their lives in Ireland, the hardships that led them to emigrate, and their subsequent experiences as migrants.

The exhibition will run until 26 April 2024 and entry is included in the general admission ticket to the Park. For more details, visit the NMNI website.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Ireland's Census 2022 Time Capsule: no official response planned

A big topic of conversation among genealogists in the weeks leading up to last month's census in the Republic of Ireland was what to include in the so-called Time Capsule. This was a blank space – quite literally – into which each household could write or draw whatever they wanted for later generations to discover when the census papers are released to the public in the year 2122.

Given the fun, chatter and preparation for completion of the Time Capsule, I was surprised to read in the Irish Times at the start of May, when enumerators were still collecting census forms from homes, that a survey of householders showed almost 60% had chosen to not leave any message to the future.

There was no obligation to do so, but c'mon... How could anyone waste such a unique opportunity, even if it was only to have a rant about politicians, social issues or the price of a pint? I bet no self-respecting family history researcher was capable of leaving that space blank!

According to the survey, carried out by Amárach Research of Dublin, a narrow majority of those who chose to leave something more creative than answers to the formal census questions had their descendants in mind when they filled in the space.

While not doubting the veracity of the published survey results, I was curious as to whether the survey had been commissioned by the Central Statistic Office (CSO). It seemed unlikely, and sure enough, the Central Statistics Office quickly confirmed that they had not released any 'early' stats from the paper returns already received at their base in Swords, Co Dublin.

Although preliminary Census 2022 results will be published by CSO in June, these will not relate to the Capsule. Looking forward, the CSO has confirmed to IrishGenealogyNews that it does not anticipate that it will be releasing any data in relation to the Time Capsule.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Irish genealogy, history and heritage events, 16 to 29 May

Monday 16 May: AGM & Update on the Islandmagee Project, with Martin McDowell & Anne Johnston. An online event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Email Larne@nifhs.org by Saturday noon for link.

Monday 16 May: ‘The Temple, the Ark and the Edicule': Recreating Jerusalem in Early Medieval Offaly, with Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin (UCC). An online lecture hosted by Offaly History. All welcome. 7:30pm via Zoom. Free. Email info@offalyhistroy.com for the link.

Monday 16 May: Ireland’s Biggest War? – The American Civil War, with Dr John Lynch. An online event by North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. AGM at 6:30pm. Talk starts c7pm. Free. All welcome. Non-members should email Foyle@nifhs.org for zoom link. Details.

Tuesday 17 May: Sourcing Family Connections before 1800, with Roddy Hegarty, plus AGM, an online event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society's South Tyrone Branch. Non-members welcome. Free. Starts 8pm. Non-members can email to SouthTyrone@nifhs.org for zoom link. Details.

Thursday 19 May: Ablaze! Fire and the country house: a perspective beyond Ireland, with Christopher Ridgway. Last of the online Burning the Big House lecture series. Host: Centre for the Study of Historic Irish houses & Estates, Maynooth University. 7pm–8pm. Booking. Fully booked.

Thursday 19 May: A day programme of workshops exploring how the Irish Historic Towns Atlases are used by various sectors from academic to architectural. An online event, live-streamed from the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 2. Free. All welcome. 9:30am to 6pm. Need to register. Details.

Thursday 19 May: Ancestral Voices: Dillon and Parnell, the 2022 J.C. Beckett Memorial lecture with Professor Paul Bew. An in-person event hosted by the Ulster Society of Irish Historical Studies (USIHS) and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 7pm. Free. Need to book in advance.

Saturday 21 May: Black '47 conference. Lectures and discussions exploring the Great Famine in the year of 1847, emigration, protest and consequences. In-person event. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway. 9am–5pm. All welcome. Fee: €25 per person, includes welcome tea/coffee and scone, lunch and other refreshments. Details.

Monday 23 May: A reception to mark the publication of Irish Archives Vol 27: Innovation, the ISA at 50, edited by Susan Hood and Elizabeth McEvoy, and to be launched by Aideen Ireland, President of ARA. An in-person event hosted by the Irish Society of Archives at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be served. Need to register.

Monday 23 May: The Treaty 1921, the National Archives of Ireland's exhibition is now on tour and will be at County Hall, Carricklawn, Wexford Town, County Wexford until 10 June. Free. In-person event. All welcome. Details.

Monday 23 May: Arctic Ireland : The Great Frost and Forgotten Famine of 1740/41, with Professor David Dickson. An in-person event hosted by the Lurgan Townscape Heritage Scheme. Venue: Brownlow House, Windsor Avenue, Lurgan BT67 9BJ. Free. 7:30pm. Details and booking.

Tuesday 24 May: Leaving Hearth and Home, an online talk with Natalie Bodle discussing the reasons why so many Ulster-Scots emigrate to North America in the C18th. Follows AGM. Hosted by the Belfast Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society. AGM 6:30 / talk at c7pm. All welcome. Non-members may email Belfast@nifhs.org for zoom link.

Tuesday 24 May Researching ancestors in Northern Ireland, an online talk with Vincent Brogan MAGI. Part of DCC's Culture Club 'Ask the Genealogist' series. Free. 11am. Need to book.

Tuesday 24 May: Emigration from the Causeway Coast & Glens area, with Dr Paddy Fitzgerald. An online event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society's Causeway Coast and Glens Branch. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Non-members should e-mail the branch secretary at causeway@nifhs.org to request the zoom link.

Wednesday 25 May: Fragmented Pasts: Re/building fragmented archives, an online event with three presentations. Hosted by the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick. 2pm to 4pm. Free. Need to register.

Thursday 26 May: The National Library of Ireland: History & Heritage, with Katie Foley. An online event providing an introduction to the National Library’s early history and architectural heritage, with a festive twist! 1pm. Free. All welcome. Need to book.

Thursday 26 May: From Slieve Gallion Brae to the shore of Lough Neave: The place names of mid-Ulster, with Dr Brian Ó Doibhlin delivering the Ulster Place-Name Society's annual Deirdre Flanagan Memorial Lecture. An in-person event. Venue: Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN in the Peter Froggatt Centre/0G/007. 7:30pm. Free. Details and registration.

Friday 27 May: Front Page News, a lunchtime online event with Ruth Concannon. Hosted by the National Library of Ireland, this talk takes a light-hearted look at social change as seen in the RTÉ Guide for May 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992 and 2002. 1pm. Free. Need to book

.

Friday, 13 May 2022

What's new for English, Scottish & Welsh genealogy: 2-wk summary

Below is a summary of newly released and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases over the last two weeks or so (for previous summary, see 26 April blogpost).

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 this 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.


NEW COLLECTIONS


Ancestry
BritishNewspaperArchives, shared with FindMyPast (total 52,722,807)
  • New titles in main collection ($£€)

FindMyPast

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Family Search

FindMyPast

Free BMD

TheGenealogist

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, 11 May 2022

Nearly half a million Irish-born appear in the 1950 US Census

Last week, Ancestry announced the preliminary release of their transcription of the 1950 US Census. Impressive stuff, given images of the census returns were released only on 1 April. This speedy transcription was achieved by the company's proprietory handwriting recognition software and although it hasn't been fully quality checked, they took the decision to release it to researchers.

I've given it a quick spin to check out the Irish contingent. I'm not fully convinced of the figures returned by my searches, but the number of Irish-born individuals appearing in the collection's index is just shy of half a million: 483,099.

Of these, more than 2,090 were in their nineties (born 1850-1860) as were 8,080 other residents born anywhere other than Ireland. A further 39 Irish-born claimed to be centenarians.

The oldest of the Irish-born were two gents recorded as 104 (see below): Dennis Sullivan (transcribed as Sullman) of Marlborough, Middlesex, Massacussetts and Edmund Walsh of Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan. The Sullivan family – he was living with his daughter and son-in-law – may have been having a family joke, as Dennis was buried two years after this census and his headstone records him as 10 years younger.

Edward Walsh is proving a little more difficult to confirm one way or the other, but he is living in 1950 with a 75-year-old woman. She describes him as a bachelor 'roomer', so may not have known him well.



Upgraded Placenames Database of Ireland - Logainm.ie - now online

The much appreciated Placenames Database of Ireland – Logainm.ie – has been redeveloped and will be officially launched tomorrow, 12 May, by Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport.

Improved search functions, additional browsing facilities, and new maps from Ordnance Survey Ireland and OpenStreetMap have been part of the upgrade, and very welcome they are, too (the refreshed site is already accessible).

These upgrades helped me out yesterday when I was exploring a new dna match. The family surnames appearing in the match's online tree looked promising, but the place of origin was stated as Glen Givet. Hmmm. Never heard of that one.

Thanks to Logainm's suggestions and maps, I was soon looking deeper into records for the civil parish of Glenlealy, the neighbour of Wicklow parish, which my mother's maternal line called home for more than two centuries.

I still haven't made the link (I haven't had much time), but I'm reasonably confident I will.

To mark the launch of the improved site, a Place Names Workshop: Place names in bilingual areas will be presented by Dublin City University's All Hallows Campus. It will be held from 10:30am to 5pm in Irish on Thursday and and from 9:30am to 5pm on Friday in English. The programme is available to download here. Any queries, contact logainm@dcu.ie.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Belfast City Cemetery records: free enhanced access coming soon

I attended a presentation hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland this lunchtime and learned that the £2.8million Belfast City Cemetery Heritage Project will not only see some of the burial ground's outstanding architectural features restored and the creation of a new visitor centre, it will also provide family historians with a new digital and interactive resource.

The burial ground, which was opened in 1869 and now covers more than 80 acres, is the final resting place for an estimated 225,000 people.

For some years, burial records have been available via the Belfast City Council website (here), which provides images of records over 75 years old at a fee of £1.50 each.

However, as part of the Heritage Project's remit to introduce new and improved digital experiences, PlotBox.io – a Ballymena-based company specialising in Management Software & Mapping For Cemeteries – has surveyed, photographed and mapped the cemetery plot by plot and carried out a full audit to verify the digital data for each burial matches the Council's historical documentation.

Researchers will recognise Plotbox as the company behind (Discover) EverAfter, a free site hosting burial details for many cemeteries in Northern Ireland. The businessnow has a 80-strong team across its NI HQ and offices in Boston and San Franscico.

Today's brief presentation was given by Plotbox's Solution Consultant Niall Adams. He ran through various features of how genealogists will be able to search the Belfast City Cemetery site, zoom into its map to identify the exact location of each plot, view the headstone, and find out whether the plot is shared (and if so, with whom). Niall said the new database is not quite ready for public access, but its launch is not far off. All the records will be free, and registration will not be required.

I understand the physical architectural restoration and new-build elements of the Heritage Project, which has been partially financed through the Heritage Lottery Fund, are due to be completed and opened this summer, so it may be that the digital elements have to wait for the official launch before the button is pressed.

Irish genealogy, history and heritage events, 9-22 May

Monday 9 May: Pier 53, Philadelphia, an online talk with Susan McAninley, plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. All welcome. Non-members should contact Branch Secretary at Newtownabbey@nifhs.org for zoom link. 7pm–8:30pm BST. Free.

Monday 9 May: Ferries on the Foyle, an online talk with Dr Jim Condren, plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. 7pm to 8:30pm. Talk Postponed.

Monday 9 May: Visit to the Livingstone Centre, an in-person event at The Livingstone Centre, 3 Church Hill, Killinchy, Newtownards, Co Down. Host: NIFHS, Killyleagh Branch. All welcome. For confirmation of meeting time and other details, contact the Branch Secretary at Killyleagh@nifhs.org.

Monday 9 May: Big Jim Larkin 1874-1947, an in-person talk with Historian-in-Residence James Curry. A Mondays at the Mess event. Venue: Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, Dublin 8. 7pm–8pm. All welcome. Admission: €5 full / €3 conc. – includes refreshments after the talk. Booking.

Tuesday 10 May: Towards an understanding of Mary MacSweeney: Trauma and the Brixton Hunger Strike, 1920, with Dr Leeann Lane, an in-person talk presented to coincide with The Treaty 1921 exhibition. Hosts: Tipperary County Council and the National Archives. 7pm. Free. All welcome. Venue: The Source, Cathedral St, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Details.

Tuesday 10 May: Military Records - Nineteenth century British Army, WW1 & the Irish Revolution, an advanced family history workshop with Declan Brady. In-person at Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, Dublin 8. 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Free. Details. Fully booked

Tuesday 10 May: From the Ashes: Creation of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, with Stephen Scarth. An online event hosted by the Antrim and Down branch of the Western Front Association (WFA) and PRONI. Free. All welcome. 7pm. Need to register before 6pm on the day to receive link. Details.

Tuesday 10 May: Early Irish Immigrants to Essex County, an online talk by Laura Smith. Host: Essex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Essex Branch. Non-members welcome. Free. Pre-registration is required. 7pm EDT / 12pm Ireland. Details.

Wednesday 11 May: Waterford Heritage – Plans, Projects and Partnerships, an in-person event with Bernadette Guest, Waterford County Heritage Officer discussing her role and projects. Host: Waterford Museum Society. All welcome. 8pm. Venue: upstairs at Merry’s Gastro Bar, Lower Main Street Dungarvan. Admission fee €5.

Thursday 12 May: The National Archives – the Memory of the Nation, with John Hedigan and NAAC panel. An online YouTube event charting the evolution of the National Archives as the memory of the Irish State from the 18th century to the present day. 6pm. All welcome. Free. Register by 5pm on day of event.

Thursday 12 May: Cleave's Creamery Tipperary – taken over by the workers on 12 May 1922, a talk with Des Marnane. In-person event at The Excel, Mitchell St, Tipperary. 8pm. Details.

Thursday 12 May: Grangegorman's archive collection, an online lecture with Brian Donnelly, senior archivist at the NAI. Host: TU Dublin Conservatoire. Part of the Stages of Memory project. 5pm. Free. All welcome. Need to register on Eventbrite.

Thursday 12 May:Such troubled times’: the burning of big houses in Northern Ireland 1921-1981, with Olwen Purdue. Part of the online Burning the Big House lecture series. Host: Centre for the Study of Historic Irish houses and Estates, History Department, Maynooth University. 7pm to 8pm. Booking. Fully booked.

Saturday 14 May: Home to Mayo, a day programme from the Mayo Genealogy Group celebrating its work at past and present projects. In-person. Venue: Museum of Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Talks and presentations from 11am to 1pm followed by tours with an emigration focus from 2pm and 3pm. Free. Details.

Sunday 15 May: O'Connell Avenue, Limerick City, a free walking tour with Dr Paul O'Brien. An in-person event. Meet at the Model School, O'Connell Street, Limerick at 1.45pm. Tour starts at 2pm. All welcome.

Monday 16 May: AGM & Update on the Islandmagee Project, with Martin McDowell & Anne Johnston. An online event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Email Larne@nifhs.org by Saturday noon for link.

Monday 16 May: ‘The Temple, the Ark and the Edicule': Recreating Jerusalem in Early Medieval Offaly, with Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin (UCC). An online lecture hosted by Offaly History. All welcome. 7:30pm via Zoom. Free. Email info@offalyhistroy.com for the link.

Tuesday 17 May: AGM and Branch meeting, an online event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society's South Tyrone Branch. Non-members welcome. Free. 8pm. Email to SouthTyrone@nifhs.org for zoom link.

Thursday 19 May: Ablaze! Fire and the country house: a perspective beyond Ireland, with Christopher Ridgway. Last of the online Burning the Big House lecture series. Host: Centre for the Study of Historic Irish houses & Estates, Maynooth University. 7pm–8pm. Booking. Fully booked.

Thursday 19 May: A day programme of workshops exploring how the Irish Historic Towns Atlases are used by various sectors from academic to architectural. An online event, live-streamed from the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 2. Free. All welcome. 9:30am to 6pm. Need to register. Details.

Thursday 19 May: Ancestral Voices: Dillon and Parnell, the 2022 J.C. Beckett Memorial lecture with Professor Paul Bew. An in-person event hosted by the Ulster Society of Irish Historical Studies (USIHS) and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 7pm. Free. Need to book in advance.

Saturday 21 May: Black '47 conference. Lectures and discussions exploring the Great Famine in the year of 1847, emigration, protest and consequences. In-person event. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway. 9am–5pm. All welcome. Fee: €25 per person, includes welcome tea/coffee and scone, lunch and other refreshments. Details.