Friday, 19 April 2019

DNA Day - Special offers from Family Tree DNA

To mark DNA Day (25 April), Family Tree DNA is offering up to 30% on its range of testing kits. Its most popular tests have savings as follows:

y-DNA for Paternal ancestry : discounts reduce the price of the Y-37 test from $169 to $129. (The savings on offer across the Y-DNA range are as big as $200!)

Family Finder for Family ancestry _ Save $30. Test kit reduced from $79 to $49.

mt-DNA for Maternal ancestry : The current offer reduces the mt Full Sequence test kit from $199 to %149.

Click the Shop Now button (right) to find out more. I don't know when the offers officially expire, but it's probably on or straight after DNA Day.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

IGRS adds 13,300 records to its Early Irish BMD Indexes

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a further tranche of records to its exclusive Early Irish Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes. These indexes refer to records gleaned from lessor known or underused sources, all of them pre-dating Ireland's civil registration system, and most parish registers.

This update adds a further 8,325 birth and 5,000 marriage records, bringing the total number of names in these indexes to 70,000 births and 213,000 marriages.

https://www.irishancestors.ie
Established in 1936
Included among the newly-added marriages are 1,000 events drawn from the Registry of Deeds, which brings the total number of marriages in the index drawn from there to 10,000.

While many of these are formal pre-marriage settlements for wealthy people, there are examples of others for quite ordinary folk, including one dowry amounting to as little as £30. This was for the union of Thomas Shee, a farmer, and his bride Ellis Lanigan, a farmer's daughter. Both bride and groom were from Co Kilkenny and they married in 1772.

Other additions to the marriages are 4,000 references drawn from the Killaloe Marriage Licence Index. The index, which covers licences issued during the years 1719-1845, is all that survives. Originally, it was the finding aid to the more detailed marriage licence bonds, but these were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire in 1922.

The diocese of Killaloe comprises approximately 85 Church of Ireland parishes from across the counties of Clare, Galway, Laois (Queens), Limerick, Offaly (Kings), and Tipperary. Given that the penal laws placed heavy strictures upon the Catholic population, it's worth remembering that a proportion of the marriages were actually those contracted between Catholics, but who were protecting their interests by being married according to the rites of the Church of Ireland, the established, Protestant state church at that time.

The 8,325 births newly-added to the database are all drawn from the Carrick-on-Suir Census of 1799. Carrick is a town and parish which straddles the boundary between counties Tipperary and Waterford. Although references to births are easy to extrapolate from the Carrick census, this is not the case for marriages because while addresses and ages are given clearly, family relationships are not spelled out. Given this, marriages have not been extracted.

However, they are indicated within the records. Take, for instance, the Crowley family living in River Lane West: John (aged 35), Margaret (aged 38) and their three children, Catherine, Jillen and Bridget. Living with them are a widow and a single woman, both described as relations: Jillen Driscoll (aged 62), and Catherine Driscoll (aged 40). It is reasonable to suppose, subject to verification, that Mrs Margaret Crowley, aged 38, was a daughter of Jillen Driscoll, and that Catherine Driscoll was her sister. Also, this would indicate that John Crowley married Miss Margaret Driscoll sometime before 1790, prior to the birth of their eldest child noted in the census, being Catherine, aged 9.

You can search the databases here:

Marriage Index – Free to IGRS members, and non-members

Birth Index - Free to IGRS members. Free Name search only for non-members

Death Index - Free to IGRS members. Free Name search only for non-members

Across the three databases, there is now a total of 320,000 names.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Tipperary Studies uploads two more image collections

From the Fethard Collection
Tipperary Studies, the local studies department of Tipperary Libraries, has recently uploaded two more wonderful albums of historical photos to its free digital archive. Both will be of particular interest to researchers with connections to Fethard and its surrounding area.

The first is the Kenrick Collection of images, which is made up of nearly 800 glass photographic plates. The photos are of a high standard and were mostly taken at the end of the 19th century. The website provides an interesting introduction to the collection and its author, here.

The second album – The Fethard Collection – comprises more than 65 images taken from a photo album found in the attic of McCarthy’s Hotel on Main Street. Many of the photos were taken behind the hotel and around the town. If anyone can put names to the people in the pictures or confirm the locations where they were taken, the library team would like to hear from you.

Irish Genealogy Matters: latest issue published

http://www.rootsireland.ie/2019/04/new-irish-genealogy-matters-newsletter/The Irish Family History Foundation (IFHC) has published the latest edition of its newsletter, Irish Genealogy Matters.

Among the new records lined up to join the RootsIreland.ie database shortly are Roman Catholic register transcriptions from the parishes of Camolin and Adamstown in County Wexford.

The newsletter also brings news of recent research successes and upcoming conferences/tours and other events across the island involving the IFHC network of genealogy and heritage centres. There are also details of some new books that may be of interest to researchers.

You can download the newsletter pdf here.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Easter sale on My Heritage DNA testing kits

My Heritage is holding an Easter Sale on both sides of the Atlantic on its home testing autosomal DNA kit. The savings are not huge (around the 10% mark) but always worthwhile, and possibly the best we'll see until summer or Thanksgiving.

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=16098&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myheritage.com%2FdnaYou can also boost your savings by taking advantage of the free shipping offer, as below.

For UK and Ireland researchers, the sale reduces the price of the MyHeritage DNA kit from £75 to £69. If you choose to order two or more kits at the same time, you'll receive free shipping.

For USA researchers, the sale reduces the price of the MyHeritage DNA kit from $79 to $69. As in the UK offer, if you order two or more kits, you won't be charged for shipping.

Discounts will expire on Easter Monday, 22 April.

There may be similar discounts available in Canada, Australia/New Zealand and other territories. Unfortunately, I can't locate details. If you're not in Ireland, UK or USA, click the image above to reach your local MyHeritage territory to see if it is offering a sale.

8-week Introduction to Genealogy course at NLI, Dublin

The well-known lecturer and genealogist Sean Murphy MA will once again be teaching this summer's Introduction to Genealogy course at the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

National Library of Ireland, Dublin 2
Held on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4:30pm, the eight-week course will begin on 1 May. Classes will be held at the NLI in Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Participants are expected to have experience of using computers, and it is strongly recommended that they bring a laptop, tablet or other Internet-connected device to classes. They will also need to hold an NLI Reader's Ticket.

A summary of the programme is below. You can download the full syllabus from the NLI site.

  • First Steps
  • Computers and the Internet
  • Place names, Forenames and Surnames
  • Census Records
  • Vital Records and Property Valuation Records
  • Church Records, Wills and Deeds
  • Memorial Inscriptions and Miscellaneous Sources
  • Conclusion and Recaptitulation

The course fee is €100 and class size will be limited to 30 students. For more information or to book a place on the course, contact Brid O'Sullivan by emailing: booking@nli.ie. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. (This course has been over-subscribed each time it has been offered, so if you're keen to be on the register, don't delay your booking.)

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 15-27 April

Monday 15 April: NLI closures: All services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, closed until 11am for staff meeting. Main Reading Room and Manuscript Room remain closed all day to facilitate Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Monday 15 April: Women of the Somme, with Carol Walker. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Rd, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 15 April: What's New in Irish family history, with Chris Paton. Host: Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society. Venue: Gilchrist Theatre, Kelvinside Academy, Kirklee Road entrance, Glasgow, Scotland G12 0SW. 7:30pm. Members free. Non-members £1 on the door.

Tuesday 16 April: The Boyne in Medieval Myth and Literature, with Dr Clodagh Downey. Host: Meath Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: Navan Library, Railway St, Dillonsland, Navan, Co. Meath. All welcome. 7pm.

Tuesday 16 April: Are we there yet? Irish genealogy online, with John Grenham MAGI. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop St, Dublin 8. Free. 6pm. No booking. All welcome.

Tuesday 16 April: Commandant Joe Barrett (1888-1971), leader of the mid-Clare Brigade, and his newly discovered archive, with Dr Paul O'Brien. Host: Clare Libraries. Venue: DeValera Public Library, Harmony Row, Lifford, Ennis, co Clare. 6:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 16 April: Workshop evening. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, South Tyrone branch. Venue: Killymaddy Centre, 190 Ballygawley Road, Dungannon BT70 1TF. 8pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 17 April: NAI Reading Room closed until Noon. National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

Wednesday 17 April: The Vikings in Ireland, with Dr John Sheehan. Host: Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association. Venue: Heritage Room, Independence Museum, Kilmurry, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members €5.

Wednesday 17 April: Widows and the 1641 Depositions, with Professor Jane Ohlmeyer. Host: Institute Association of Professional Historians. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 17 April: The Secret of Dublin Placenames, with Cathy Scuffil. Host and venue: Inchicore Library, 34 Emmet Rd, Inchicore, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. 6:30pm. Admission free. First come, first seated. T. 01 453 3793 or E. inchicorelibrary@dublincity.ie.

Friday 19 April: Cave Hill and the United Irishmen, with John Gray. Host and Venue: Clifton House, North Queen Street, Belfast, BT15 1ES. 1pm–2pm. Booking advisable, T:028 9099 7022. Fee: £6.50, cash only. All welcome.

Friday 19 April: Good Friday, a public holiday in all but name in the Republic of Ireland, where all librairies and archives will be closed until Easter Monday inclusive. In Northern Ireland, Good Friday is not an official holiday and most repositories will be open (they close instead on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday).

Monday 22 April: Easter Monday. All National Library of Ireland exhibitions in Dublin, except Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, will be open Noon to 5pm. All other areas of the Library closed, as are all repositories and archives in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 23 April: Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland only. PRONI, the NIFHS Research Centre, and all repositories and local libraries will be closed.

Thursday 25 April: Members Interests Night. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre, 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm. All welcome.

Friday 26 April: PRONI Workshop - Getting Started. Host & venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Blvd, Belfast. Receive advice on searching for records, take part in a practical demonstration on using the Public Search Room, and handle original documents in the Reading Room. 11am to 1pm. Free, but need to book. All welcome. Details and booking.

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April: Family Tree Live, exhibitors, lectures, workshops, DNA, one-to-one consultations. Researchers with Irish connections should be sure to visit the stands of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) and North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS). Online booking for lectures ends 22 April. See FamilyTreeLive for details. Venue: Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, London, UK.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, by John Grenham - 5th edition published

When a non-fiction book reaches its 5th edition, it's fair to assume the title has achieved a classic status among its intended audience. It's also reasonable to conclude that its presentation and format 'works', its content and author is trusted, and that its topic has undergone sufficient change and development since the last edition to warrant an update. So the publication last week of edition number five of John Grenham's Tracing Your Irish Ancestors – a title designated by many in the industry as the 'bible' of Irish genealogy – was, if anything, overdue.

Now available via the Book Depository
for €22.11/£21.60 with free postage worldwide.
While many new editions of standard reference books may see only minor changes, John's 5th edition is substantially updated. It has just under 20% more pages than the 4th edition published eight years ago, and is only 50 pages short of having twice the page count of the 2nd, publshed in 2000. This extra pagination is not due to John infilling with waffle (as if) nor with strategic use of white space in a new layout. No. The blueprint of the presentation is comfortably familiar and repeats the 15-chapter structure of the last edition, even if the content of a few of them has been 're-ordered'.

As John explains in his Introduction: 'The ease of access created by digitisation has changed the balance of priority between record sources, and this is reflected in this edition.'

The running text in which he introduces the history, value, limitations and accessibility of the various record types has been subtly updated and rarely significantly extended.

There are new sections of text about Genetic Genealogy, the online arrival of the National Library of Ireland's RC Registers, an overview of the major online sites, and tips and techniques to overcome the inconsistencies of some of the search engines. The bashful author even manages to slot in an important note about the National Archives of Ireland's census database being uniquely updated with thousands and thousands of user-submitted corrections without referencing himself as the person who carried out that vital, time-consuming and probably rather mind-numbing task.

Where most of the extra 110 pages have been used is to dramatically extend Chapter 8 - Emigration and the Irish Abroad, which now includes online sources for each of Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the UK, as well as an indepth bibliography for research in Africa, Australasia, India, Europe, North America and South America.

The other major winner of additional content and pagination is Chapter 13 - County Source Lists, which now reference online access to specific local records held in all the major commerical databases, county or town archives and other smaller websites.

Every Irish genealogists with any research under their belt probably already has an earlier edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors on their bookshelves (it'll be the well-thumbed one), and they'll be missing a trick if they don't update to the new edition with its gloriously long listings of sources. Those new to Irish family history will also make a wise investment in buying John's book, tried and trusted as it is delivering an understanding of how Irish records work and how and where to find them.

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is published by Gill Books. It is now available in bookshops in Ireland and via Amazon UK and other online booksellers including Book Depository and Easons. It will be launched in North America in due course.
ISBN 10: 0717174654; ISBN-13: 978-0717174652. 688-pages. Paperback.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Three more historical North of Ireland papers join BNA

It's been a good few days for North of Ireland family history research with the County Down Spectator and Ulster Standard joining the Brtitish Newspaper Archive (BNA) at the end of last week (see blogpost) and now another three titles making their into the online holding over the weekend. They are:

North Down Herald and County Down Independent. Another weekly paper for county Down, and also published in Bangor, this title changed its name to The Northern Herald in 1926. The BNA's planned holding will span 1898 to 1939. So fair all editions to 1937 are available to search.

The Fermanagh Herald. This weekly paper launched in 1902 since when it is published by North West News Group in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. The intended holding of this paper spans 1903 to 1914. So far, more than 500 editions have been digitised and uploaded.

People's Advocate and Monaghan, Fermanagh, and Tyrone News. This Saturday paper, nationalist in tone, was published in Monaghan and circulated in three counties. The BNA's online holding spans February 1876 to mid-December 1905.

All the titles are now searchable on both BritishNewspaperArchive and FindMyPast databases.

Irish family history and heritage events, 8-21 April

Monday 8 April: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate Library's redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal.

Monday 8 April: What the newspapers wrote about my family, with Michael Parkinson. Host: NIFHS, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High, 134 Ballyclare Rd, Newtownabbey. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 8 April: Online family and local history resources, a workshop. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. The 2-hour workshop includes an orientation tour of PRONI and introduction to online resources. 11am. Free. Need to book.

Tuesday 9 April: Using court, prison and coroners’ records, with Wesley Geddis. Host: NIFHS, Lisburn branch. Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT 28 1XP. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 10 April: Armagh County Museum – a resource for local studies, with Sean Bardon. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 10 April: The lives and correspondence of three C18th-sisters: Katherine Conolly, Jane Bonnell and Mary Jones, with Dr Gabrielle M Ashford. Host: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 1. No booking required. All welcome. Free. 1pm–2pm.

Wednesday 10 April: The Augustinian Church, Dungarvan, a walk and talk with William Fraher. Host Waterford County Museum Walk & Talk at 3 series. Meet at Waterford County Museum, St Augustine Street, Dungarvan at 3pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 10 April: A Cultural Revolution: the Last Years of Donnybrook Fair, 1855-1868, with Fergus A D'Arcy. Host and venue: Pembroke Library, Anglesea Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. 1pm. Booking essential T: +353 1 6689575 E: pembrokelibrary@dublincity.ie.

Thursday 11 April: First World War nurses: the Northern Ireland connection, with Margaret Graham. Host: Western Front Association, Antrim and Down Branch. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Blvd, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 6:30pm to 8:45pm. All welcome.

Thursday 11 April: Mary Elmes, the Irish Schindler, with Mark Elmes. Host: Rosscarbery & District History Society. Venue: Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co Cork. All welcome.

Thursday 11 April: Macardle Moore & Co Ltd. Host: Old Dundalk Society. Venue: Louth County Museum, 8 Jocelyn St, Townparks, Dundalk, Co. Louth, 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 11 April: Using early maps to explore local history and heritage – a midlands perspective, with Dr Arnold Horner. Host: Offaly History. Venue: Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore (beside Tullamore DEW), Co Offaly. All welcome. €2 members/€5 non-members. Teas, coffees and cake after the meeting.

Friday 12 April: Titanic together, a tour of PRONI. Hosts: PRONI, Belfast Titanic Society, Belfast City Council, Titanic Foundation and Titanic Belfast. Venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. Visitors will see Harland & Wolff and other historic maritime related material in the Reading Room, see the Reprographics and Conservation areas and visit the stores. Free. Book here.

Saturday 13 April: The Irish Revolution – local or global? a History Ireland Hedge School with editor Tommy Graham, John Borgonovo, Fearghal McGarry, Darragh Ganno and Linda Connolly. Host: Cobh Readers' and Writers' Festival. Venue: Cobh Library, Arch Building, Casement Square, Cobh, Co Cork. 3:30pm. All welcome.

Saturday 13 April: Soldier marriages in garrison towns, with Dr Aoife Breathnach. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 2pm to 4:30pm. Lecture follows AGM. Non-members may attend AGM but only members can vote. The lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

Saturday 13 April: Irish Saturday – free assistance from IGSI members. Host and venue: Library, Minnesota Genealogical Center,1385 Mendota Heights Rd., Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA. 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 13 April: Using Google for Irish family history research, a workshop with Anne Johnston. Host: Venue: NIFHS Resource Centre, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. 11am to 4pm (one-hour lunch break 1pm-2pm). Fee: £14. Details.

Saturday 13 April: Irish women of action, a panel discussion. Host: New York Irish History Roundtable. Venue: McCloskey meeting room, Parish house of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan, New York, USA. 2 p.m. Reception to follow. Suggested donation: $5. Details.

Monday 15 April: NLI closures: All services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, closed until 11am for staff meeting. Main Reading Room and Manuscript Room remain closed all day to facilitate Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Monday 15 April: Women of the Somme, with Carol Walker. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Rd, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 15 April: What's New in Irish family history, with Chris Paton. Host: Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society. Venue: Gilchrist Theatre, Kelvinside Academy, Kirklee Road entrance, Glasgow, Scotland G12 0SW. 7:30pm. Members free. Non-members £1 on the door.

Tuesday 16 April: The Boyne in Medieval Myth and Literature, with Dr Clodagh Downey. Host: Meath Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: Navan Library, Railway St, Dillonsland, Navan, Co. Meath. All welcome. 7pm.

Tuesday 16 April: Are we there yet? Irish genealogy online, with John Grenham MAGI. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop St, Dublin 8. Free. 6pm. No booking. All welcome.

Tuesday 16 April: Commandant Joe Barrett (1888-1971), leader of the mid-Clare Brigade, and his newly discovered archive, with Dr Paul O'Brien. Host: Clare Libraries. Venue: DeValera Public Library, Harmony Row, Lifford, Ennis, co Clare. 6:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 17 April: The Vikings in Ireland, with Dr John Sheehan. Host: Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association. Venue: The Heritage Room, Independence Museum, Kilmurry, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome. Members free. Non-members €5.

Wednesday 17 April: Widows and the 1641 Depositions, with Professor Jane Ohlmeyer. Host: Institute Association of Professional Historians. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 7pm. All welcome.

Friday 19 April: Cave Hill and the United Irishmen, with John Gray. Host and Venue: Clifton House, North Queen Street, Belfast, BT15 1ES. 1pm–2pm. Booking advisable, T:028 9099 7022. Fee: £6.50, cash only. All welcome.

Friday 19 April: Good Friday, a public holiday in all but name in the Republic of Ireland. All librairies and archives closed until Easter Monday inclusive. In Northern Ireland, Good Friday is not an official holiday and most repositories will be open (they close instead on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday).