Monday, 27 September 2021

A small addition to's Kerry database of RC records, the database created by the Irish Family History Foundation's island-wide network of genealogy centres, has received another update, this time with more records from County Kerry.

This update is small – just 2,300 baptism records for the parish of Knocknagoshel dating from 1867–1907 – but as welcome as any others. It also pushes the number of Kerry records added to the database in the last four months to an impressive 340,300. All have been Catholic records.

To view an up-to-date list of Kerry sources, click the logo right. Or to search the records go to and login or subscribe as required.

Friday, 24 September 2021

New and updated British genealogy collections: 10-day summary

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by the major genealogy databases over the last 10 days (see previous summary, 13 September).

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 thi 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.


BritishNewspaperArchive (and shared with sister company FindMyPast)
  • New titles in main collection ($£€) – (now more than 45m pages in holding)








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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Next in the Irish Historic Towns Atlas's Suburb Series is Rathmines

The next publication from the Royal Irish Academy's Irish Historic Towns Atlas desk will be the second in the Dublin Suburb Series and will explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Rathmines.

Click cover image to pre-order your copy

Written by lecturer, writer and editor Séamas Ó Máitiú, the 152-page paperback will be officially published next month. It presents a number of historic maps showing how the topography changed from medieval ráth to early modern castle, and from 19th-century village to wealthy residential suburb, local government administrative centre and 20th-century flatland. A gazetteer of over 1,000 sites and accompanying essay provides the detailed topographical history of Rathmines from earliest times up to c1970.

The Dublin Suburb Series was launched in 2017 with the arrival of Clontarf by Colm Lennon. The series is published by the RIA in association with Dublin City Council, and three more studies of the capital's suburbs are already planned. They will give the in-depth 'historical atlas' treatment to Drumcondra, Kilmainham/Inchicore and Ringsend/Irishtown.

To coincide with the launch of the paperback, Dr Séamas Ó Máitiú will be presenting a free online lecture – Rathmines Through Time and Space: From Medieval Rath to Flatland – on Thursday 7 October as part of the Dublin Festival of History. Find out more and book your ticket here.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

BritishNewspaperArchive races past the 45-million-pages marker

The online BritishNewspaperArchive (BNA), a partnership between the British Library and BrightSolid (the owner of FindMyPast), has been adding historical newspaper titles to its database at an ferocious rate recently.

The online BritishNewspaperArchive, a partnership between the British Library and Brightsolid (the owner of FindMypast), has been adding historical newspaper titles to its database at an ferocious rate recently. To be precise, its total page count as of this morning (45,063,642) has increased by more than a million in seven weeks and, while still uploading additions to its existing titles, has seen 76 titles make their debut in the last 30 days alone.

Sadly, none of the new titles is an Irish paper, but some of the recently updated page count does include additions to the existing holding of 213 newspapers published in Ireland, so it's not as if we've been completely overlooked!

The full collection (British, Irish and colonial), is available to search on both the BNA site and, depending on subscription package, at FindMyPast's.

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.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

FamilySearch's digitisation project completes nearly 30 years early!

FamilySearch has announced the completion of its ambitious project to digitise its entire microfilm library.

The work of digitising the organisation's 2.4million rolls of microfilm – a collection that started to grow some 83 years ago – began in 1998. It was expected to take up to 50 years to complete. To the great benefit of people all over the world, it has taken 'just' 23 years.

The Utah-based organisation has issued a statement today about this impressive achievement, and provides some interesting history and facts and figures about the project. You can read it here.

Monday, 20 September 2021 adds 20,000 more records for County Armagh

Armagh Ancestry, the Irish Family History Foundation's Genealogy Centre for County Armagh, has announced the addition of more than 20,000 records to its database on

The new records include:
  • Kilmore Church of Ireland – additional baptisms
  • Portadown – Church of Ireland baptisms
  • Kilmore – Church of Ireland deaths
  • Gravestone inscriptions
  • Various corrections and additions made to existing Armagh record sets

For a list of collections held by Armagh Ancestry, go to the RootsIreland's Online Sources for Armagh.

To search the records, click the logo above and login or subscribe as necessary.

PRONI reinstates on-demand document ordering for visiting researchers

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has relaxed some of its strictest covid-related regulations for researchers. This move will see the building open to the public between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, and appointment-only access to the Research and Search Rooms operating between these hours.

Appointments are allocated with a staggered arrival time between 10am and 11;20am on the day of the visit, and the appointment lasts all day.

One research appointment per week is the maximum any individual researchers can request, and appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bookings open every Monday at 1pm, and appointment slots are made available three weeks in advance.

From today, PRONI is returning to its on-demand (onsite) document ordering service. Researchers booking an appointment are no longer required to submit references for the material they want to consult;; they will be able to order an unlimited number of records onsite during their visit (up to five items at a time).

PRONI's website has been updated this morning with all the necessary information for visitors, along with a link to the booking system. You can read it here.

National Library of Ireland extends Reading Rooms' opening hours

The National Library of Ireland has extended the regular opening hours of its Reading Rooms.

While this will undoubtedly be good news for those family historians, and others, with a backlog of research, it doesn't see a full return to 'pre-Covid normal'. Most particularly, there is no late-night opening on Thursdays, and, in line with government advice, the maximum number of visitors allowed into the Reading Rooms at any one time will increase, but remain somewhat reduced. Spaces, as always, will be subject to availability.

From today, the new Reading Room hours will be 9:30 to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Researchers will still need to book their place at least one day in advance via the online ordering system. Appointment slots are offered with four weeks's availability on a rolling basis, and new dates are added every day.

The availability of some offsite material from the Published Collections is also being restored from today; these items are clearly indicated in the catalogue and items must be ordered five working days in advance.

Notwithstanding the above, please note that the Main Reading Room will close early (at 4pm) this Thursday, 23 September.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 16 September - 3 October

There are some big event programmes starting over the next few days, so it seemed like a good time to get back into the habit of posting events listings. Trouble is, there are so many at this time of year. As a compromise, I'm going to stick with online events that Irish family and local historians can enjoy no matter where they live, even if they might have to tune in an unholy time of morning or night in some cases. Most of the events below are free.

Thursday 16 September: Ireland Genealogy Projects (IGP): a free and underused online resource, with Aileen Wynne. Host Clare Roots Society. 8pm on zoom. Details.

Friday 17 September: Culture Night: The island's annual culture extravaganza sees hundreds of free events, tours and behind-the-scenes screenings across all 32 counties. These are spread across more than 40 categories of Irish culture. The Culture Night website is easy to search, by location and category and whether on- or off-line. I've listed below a few that caught my eye, but be sure to check out the site itself. You're bound to find something of interest.

Friday 17 September: Registry of Deeds Event: Lending & Borrowing in a World without Banks, with Dr Brendan Twomey. A Culture Night event from the Registry of Deeds Archive Services/Property Registration Authority of Ireland. 6pm to 7pm, IST. Free. Online. Need to book.

Friday 17 September: Dublin in the Archives: Digital Collections Exploring the City and County. This event will show how Dublin's digital collections can be used together to give us a multi-dimensional view of Dublin’s past and present. It will be chaired by Deputy City Librarian at Dublin City Libraries and Archives, Brendan Teeling. Speakers include Emma Clarke, Karen De Lacey, Joe Lee and Dr James Louis Smith. 4pm - 6pm. free. Need to register.

Friday 17 September: Leitrim Local Studies, an online session demonstrating the breadth of material available to those wanting to learn more about the history, archaeology, genealogy, literature, culture and heritage of the county. Host: Leitrim Library Service. 7:30pm to 9pm. Free. Need to book by email or phone 071 964 5582.

Friday 17 September: In Other News: Behind The Newspaper Headlines 1916-1923, an illustrated talk with Pat Lonergan. Host: Kildare County Council Decade of Commemorations programme. Online. No booking required. Details. Go to YouTube at 7:30pm.

Friday 17 September: How to create your family tree, with Tony Hennessy MAGI. Host: National Archives of Ireland. On Zoom, 6pm to 7:30pm. Free, but need to book.

Sunday 19 to Sunday 26 September: BIFHSGO Conference – Irish Lines and Female Finds: Exploring Irish records, female ancestors and genetic genealogy. Host: The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. Daily events over eight days. Check out the full programme and register

Monday 20 September to 10 October: Dublin Festival of History 2021 presents a programme of 100+ free events, both online and in-person. Host: Dublin City Council. More tickets have already had to be made available, such was the response to some events, so don't delay in booking your tickets. See

Tuesday 21 September: The Down Survey of the 1650s and the transformation of Ireland, with Micheál Ó Siochrú. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Live on Zoom at 7pm – 8:15pm. Free. Details and registration.

Wednesday 22 September:Getting Started Workshop - Using Online Resources, an online workshop. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Free. 12:30 - 13:30 BST. Need to book.

Wednesday 22 September:Teaching the Nation’s Past: Irish history in Secondary Schools, 1922-69, with Dr. Colm MacGearailt. A Louth County Council Decade of Centenaries lecture, moderated by Historian in Residence, Dr. Thomas Tormey. 8pm on Facebook. Free. Aimed at teachers and students. Need to register.

Thursday 23 September: Bring me into the spotlight of a London conference: Michael Collins from Truce to Treaty, an online lecture with Dr Anne Dolan and Dr William Murphy, moderated by David McCullagh. Joint hosts: National Archives of Ireland and National Library of Ireland. Part of the Dublin History Festival. 8pm. Book your free ticket.

Saturday 25 September: Finding "The Hollow" - The McDonalds and Doyles in St. Marys, Ontario, a webinar with David Trudeau. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. 10:30am to Noon (CDT). Free. All welcome. Details and link. No need to register.

Saturday 25 September: The Connaught Rangers, Through Time and History, an afternoon conference. 1pm to 5pm. See Galway Bea facebook page.

Wednesday 29 September: From Townhouse to Tenement, with Dr Tim Murtagh and Ciarán Wallace. Part of the 14 Henrietta Street Teatime Talks series. Zoom. Free. Need to register.

Friday 1 October: Aspects of life and death in the Workhouse, with Clare Doyle MAGI. A First Friday Talk from the Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna. Online at 8pm. Fee €5 via paypal. Need to book.

RCB Library to re-open on appointment-only basis from next week

The RCB Library, which holds the Church of Ireland archive, is to re-open to the public with a new online booking system from next Tuesday, 21 September. Initially, the Library will be open only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but it is expected that additional days and appointment slots will be made available in October.

Click to view short video
Unscheduled or drop-in visitors will not be able to view archives and manuscripts, nor to spend time reading from the printed collections. However, there is no need to make an appointment just to borrow or return books.

Booking for a given week will open at 9am on the Friday of the previous week. So the first appointments, for next Tuesday and Wednesday, will be available to book from tomorrow, Friday 17 September.

Researchers will be a able to reserve either a morning slot (10am to 12:30pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm to 4:30pm). Up to five items may be ordered in advance and will be ready for viewing on arrival.

You can find out more about the re-opening and the new desk reservation system here, or click the image to view a short explanatory video.