Tuesday 9 July 2024

Irish Genealogy News publishes its final blogpost

And so it ends.

After 14 years and 5,764 blogposts, Irish Genealogy News is taking its leave. Kind of. There will be no new blogposts but those that have already been published will remain online for a while... probably until the domain name comes up for renewal.

My website – Irish-Genealogy-Toolkit.com – will also be continuing for the time being. It will be receiving some much-needed attention over the next couple of months but should then be able to stand on its own legs without taking up too much of my newly-discovered liberty.

Many thanks to all those who have supported the blog over the years, recommending it to new researchers, sending me tip-offs, and whizzing off messages to make me aware of my latest typing blunder or broken links.

Bye. Bye. Bye.

Image by storyset on Freepik

Monday 8 July 2024

Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland: 1922 Fire - Anniversary gifts for genies: Part II

The second week of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland's release of records delivered the promised Census records (see teaser in Part I of Anniversary Gifts for Genies blogpost) and more.

So let's get down to it. The following releases and plans for their expansion will delight Irish genealogists:

1821 Census of Ireland transcripts: There's been a lot of detective work going on to make sense of paper scraps and scribbled notes to reveal names and places from this pre-Famine census. The resulting release sees the names of more than 4,000 individuals enter the public realm for the first time. These are sample households from each of the island's four provinces.

The team working on this collection has already gathered 50,000 names and research suggests this could rise to 200,000. Every name that can be deciphered and placed in a precise location will come on stream in 2025. In the meantime, check out the team's report – Census Gleanings – for more explanation and detail about this wonderful collection of previously lost family history.

Among the highlights is a partial (c35%) reconstruction of the 1821 census entries for Desertegny parish in County Donegal (most of the individuals are named Dougherty). Check out the townland-by-townland transcriptions here, and transcripts for Drogheda's St Peter's parish and St Mary's parish.

For an understanding of how the research team have been able to reconstruct populations by combining different source materials, see the 'Scope and Content' info for Clonmel Town.

Deeds, Wills and Memorials: Volume 2 of the Registry of Deeds Transcript Books series is the latest addition to the VRTI from Tailte Éireann. Dating from March 1708, some 400 new items are ready to be explored. The update also includes the 'Deeds, Wills and Memorials' curated collection with its explanatory text; three printed volumes of the Irish Manuscript Commission's abstracts of wills 1708–1832; and ...drum roll... the collection is now fully searchable online.

By 2025, the Tailte Éireann collection will hold 20 volumes from the Registry of Deeds Transcript Book series, consisting of about 11,300 pages, some 10,300 memorials and 6.7million words of searchable content!

Go crazy!

A quickie round up of recent Irish genealogy news snippets

A few quick fire news items for you:

Landmark research on Irish Civl War fatalities has been published online by University College Cork. The project represents the first real attempt to investigate the number of all combatant and civilian death from the opening shots of the Civil War on 28 June 1922 and the ceasefire and dump arms order on 24 May 1923s. In collaboration with UCC’s Atlas of the Irish Revolution Team, the research findings have been cartographically represented in a searchable, interactive Civil War Fatalities map. Check it out here

CavanTownlands, an essential site for anyone with ancestors from County Cavan, has moved to an 'ie' domain. You can now freely enjoy all the maps, stories, insights and historical statistics at https://cavantownlands.ie.

Cork/Corcaigh: Irish Historic Towns Atlas, no. 31, by Howard B Clarke and Máire Ní Laoi, has been published by the Royal Irish Academy. It explores the city from its origins to the present day. The emergence of Cork from a monastic settlement on a marshland site through to today's thriving city is explained in a thoroughly researched text and is illustrated with newly created thematic maps, early views and photographs. Historic maps are reproduced on large-format pages, showing how the topography transformed through time. A gazetteer of over 13,000 sites and an accompanying essay give the detailed topographical history of the city up to c1900.

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) will be hostings its annual outing on August 2024. It's Dublin-based, so no coach required. It takes in a tour of the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, a leisurely lunch at the Hilton Kilmainham, and a tour of Goldenbridge Cemetery from Richmond Barracks. For details and costs for members and non-members, see the IGRS website.

Land War to Civil War 1900-1924: Donoughmore to Cork and Beyond, by Gerard O'Rourke, was launched last month by Cork Lord Mayor, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy. Its 480 pages tell a story of conflict and perseverance leading to Irish Independence, a journey that starts in Donoughmore and continues to locations through the County and to Cork City and abroad. It includes the executions of Mrs. Lindsay and Compton Smith, the Wallace’s ‘little shop’, the Dripsey Ambush, Civil War, executions, prison life, sport, culture, economic life, all tempered with impromptu little nuggets guaranteed to enthrall. It is packed with fascinating details including images not seen previously and supplemented with intriguing table data along with names that may be your ancestors. €15 of each copy sold will be donated to cancer care services in Cork. On sale via donoughmore.ie.

The first week of September will see the return of the NIFHS DNA Summer School. Full details are not yet available but if this sounds just the ticket for your research, keep an eye on the NIFHS Education pages. The full menu of classes and presentations will be along shortly.

There's a good selection of discounts on newspapers and magazines, database subscriptions and DNA test kits running at the moment. Some of the offers are close to their expiry date so don't waste any time checking them out on my website: Irish-Genealogy-Toolkit.com.

The National Library of Ireland's Main, Microfilm and Manuscript Reading Rooms, and the NLI Ticket Office will be open onthe following two Saturdays this month: 13 and 27 July from 9:30am to 1pm. These are in addition to their regular Monday to Friday openings.

Northern Ireland will have a bank holiday this Friday, 12 July, marking the Battle of the Boyne. PRONI and most other repositories and businesses will be closed on this Friday and Monday 15th.

Friday 5 July 2024

Savings on Ancestry DNA test kits for IE and UK researchers

Genealogists in Ireland and the UK can take advantage of a special sale price on Ancestry DNA test kits until 11:59pm on Monday 15 July.

Ancestry DNA is the number one selling dna test kit and gives you access to the world's largest consumer dna network, so you've more chance of matching up with your genetic cousins and extending your family tree.

With this generous 30% discount, the kits cost £54 in the UK and €64 in Ireland (plus shipping, of course). Select your preferred 'territory' and currency below.

Ireland: Ancestry DNA kits reduced from €95 to €64, plus shipping.

United Kingdom: Ancestry DNA kits reduced from £79 to £54, plus shipping.

Don't forget to place your order before the expiry date above!

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 4 July 2024

Excellent Limerick Local Studies website continues to grow

Limerick Libraries has been busy digitising and developing its new local studies website at limericklocalstudies.ie.

Among the wide range of material now freely available on the site are 23 publications in the free digital books collection. These include Margaret Franklin’s Bibliography of Limerick, Tom Toomey’s definitive account of the history of The War of Independence in Limerick, Limerick City Street Names by Gerry Joyce, and Limerick Snapshots of the Treaty City and County 1840 - 1960, by Tom Donovan and Vincent Carmody.

The latter (here) is a heavily illustrated book containing informative articles about a range of industries and retail outlets, including Limerick's Bacon Merchants, Undertakers, Jewellers, Furniture makers, Brewers and Iron foundrys, and will be of certain interest to those with ancestral connections to the city. 

Added only a couple of days ago is a rare book – Historical Notes on Adare, by Rev. T. E. Bridgett that was published in 1885.

Separately, there is also (here) the downloadable Histories of Protestant Limerick 1912–1923, a collection of ten original essays edited by Seán William Gannon (Limerick City and County Library Service) and Brian Hughes (Department of History, MIC) which explores the experience of Limerick’s Protestant communities during the Irish revolutionary period.

Family historians should also be sure to check out the Genealogy section of the site as this includes online indexes to the following:

  • 1829 Freeholders in Limerick City and Environs (4,275 entries) 
  • 1837 Electors List
  • 1885 Register of Electors (5949 entries)
  • Trades and Street Directories, 1769 to 1976, of Limerick City and County (78,491 entries to 1969
  • Obituaries: All notices of deaths contained in the Limerick Chronicle (and other local newspapers) from 1781 to 1951. The database consists of death notices, obituaries, funeral reports and news stories pertaining to the death of Limerick persons. (34,310 entries) 

I could go on...

Dive in, but be sure to come up for air every now and again.

Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project: July 2024 update

The Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project has been updated and the main Index now holds 595,067 index records from 61,422 memorials of deeds. They are freely searchable.

Every one of these memorials has been indexed by a volunteer, releasing fascinating genealogical information unlikely to be available elsewhere, and likely to remain hidden away, undigitised, in Dublin's Registry of Deeds for many years yet. This Index Project, set up in 2007 by Nick Reddan FIGRS, has moved on a pace since 2016 when FamilySearch uploaded its library of microfilmed images created many years ago.

These images are free to view at the FamilySearch site, allowing volunteers to index memorials from their own device in their own home, rather than having to visit the Dublin repository.

Volunteers can index a single memorial – perhaps one they have used in their own ancestral research – or index a batch of memorials at a time. There is no rigid commitment required of volunteers: each works at their own pace. If you'd like to join the indexing team, please check out this incredibly worthwhile Project (see this How To Index page). Its website offers many detailed guides to help volunteers, and being involved in it means you'll be helping other researchers learn about their ancestors. You'll also be gaining useful skills.

The Dublin Repository's official digitisation project is still, sadly, years away.

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Irish Newspaper Archives offers up to 40% discounts

The Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archives is running its annual summer sale and marking Independence Day 2024 with big discounts.

The family-owned database holds more than six million pages of newspaper content from 249 titles published both North and South of the Irish border over a period of c280 years.

It includes a mix of historical and current titles.

This material is split across two distinct collections:

  • The Radical Archive holds 97 titles aimed at publicising developments and encouraging support for the island's various protest groups during a period of great political tension. Most date from the late 19th century to the 1930s.
  • The main Irish News Archive holds 152 titles from across the island. They include national, regional and local publications with a mix of news and political viewpoints, plus some specialist interest papers.

There are two subscriptions packages: The Gold sub gives you access to all the titles in both archive collections. The discount on this sub is 40% for both monthly and annual packages. The Silver sub gives you access to the main Irish News Archive and comes with a 35% discount, again for both monthly and annual plans.

To find out more, make a note of the promo codes above. Then click the image above and enter the code for your preferred subscription. Your discounted price will then be applied.

The discounts will expire on Monday 8 July 2024.

If you already have a current subscription you can still take advantage of these discounts by using the promo code to buy a Gift membership; when your existing sub expires, you can then activate the discounted Gift membership.

June 2024 updates to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

It was all about headstones last month! Each one of the seven bundles of records added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in June delivered a package of headstone photos and inscriptions. Those records are, as always, now freely available to Irish genealogists, having been collected and donated by other family historians for the benefit of our research community.

Gravestone to the Fleming and Underwood families
in Kilmacree RC graveyard in Piercestown, Co Wexford.
Click image for enlarged view. Photo courtesy of IGP Archives
and the photographer
Michelle Meadows-Rousseau.

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Killilagh Old Graveyard, Killilagh

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St Patrick's CoI Cemetery, Castle Archdale

KERRY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Murhur Burial Ground Part 2, Newtown Sandes

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Regina Caeli Cemetery, Mooncoin

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Loughill Graveyard

OFFALY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Rathlihen Graveyard, near Mountbolis

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kilmacree Graveyard RC, Piercestown

Tuesday 2 July 2024

RootsIreland.ie offers 20% savings on 12-month subscriptions

RootsIreland.ie is offering a 20% saving on 12-month subscriptions to its database to those who order one before 11:59pm (GMT+1) on Tuesday 16 July 2024.

The RootsIreland database is managed by the Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF), a not-for-profit organisation that has been co-ordinating a network of 32 genealogy and heritage centres across the island for 30+ years. It currently holds more than 23 million records and continues to expand.

In the first six months of this year, the database has grown by more than 83,500 records from Kerry, Monaghan and Tipperary, and there's plenty more to come in the second half of the year.

While this database holds civil BMDs, census records, headstone inscriptions and census substitutes, RootsIreland is probably most appreciated for its fabulous collection of church records.

Its Roman Catholic church record collection is widely considered the most complete and most accurate set available online, and its impressive holding of Protestant records including Church of Ireland, Baptist, Methodist, Congregational, Quaker and Presbyterian records is second to none. Most of the Protestant records are not accessible online anywhere else while the Roman Catholic collections typically extend beyond those in other online holdings by more than 20 years.

To take up this offer, click the logo above. Alternatively, go directly to the website to explore details of the online sources for each county, or to subscribe.

Monday 1 July 2024

New and updated GB genealogy releases: three-week summary

Listed below is a summary of newly-released and -updated genealogy collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases. For previous list see 12 June blogpost.)

These regular listings are designed to help researchers whose Irish ancestors migrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

By default, they will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


Figures in parentheses are the numbers of records (or images, if browse-only) in each new collection.


BritishNewspaperArchive (BNA) and FindMyPast (FMP)
  • Shoreham Herald   |   Lancing Herald   |   Boston Independent and Lincolnshire Advertiser


Scotland's People







Scotland's People


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.