Thursday, 25 April 2019

DNA Day: Ancestry discounts test kit for Ireland and UK

And better late than never, AncestryDNA announces its DNA Day promotions for family historians residents in the UK and Ireland.

Both offer a saving of 25% on the basic price of the autosomal test kit. Shipping costs are, as usual, additional.

Here's how the discounts line-up: researchers:
Discount reduces price of kit from €95 to €71.
 UK researchers:
Discount reduces price of test kit from £79 to £59.

The promotions will expire at 23:59pm on Sunday 28 April.

Please note: If you are signed in to Ancestry when you click the links above, the discount may not be offered to you. Log-out and try again. Bingo! You can then sign in again.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Ancestry DNA: $50 CAD saving for Canadian researchers
AncestryDNA is running a DNA Day promotion for family historians in Canada. It offers a saving of $50 CAD on the basic price of AncestryDNA's autosomal test kit.

The offer reduces the cost of the kit to S79 CAD, plus shipping.

To take advantage of the discount, order your kit before 11:59pm EST on Tuesday 30 April. Just click the Order Now button.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Irish genealogy and history events, 22 April to 5 May

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 closed.

Tuesday 23 April: Disappearing Workplaces, with Mary Muldowney. Key C19th industries in Dublin and what happened to them in the C20th. Host and venue: Central Library, Henry St, North City, Dublin 1. 1pm. Admission free. Booking required: or 01 873 4333.

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: Getting Started workshop. Host & venue: PRONI, Titanic Blvd, Belfast. Advice on searching for records, practical demonstration on using the Public Search Room, handle original documents in the Reading Room. 11am to 1pm. Free, but need to book. 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.

Monday 29 April:: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal.

Tuesday 30 April Henry Joy and Mary Ann McCracken – A Belfast tragedy, with Dr David Hume. Host: NIFHS, Belfast Branch. Venue: C S Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 1 May: Revolution within the Revolution? 1919 and the generation of 1916, with Professor Roy Foster. Host: The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite.

Wednesday 1 May: AGM, Tyrone Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: Local History Section, Omagh Library, 1 Spillars Place, Omagh, BT78 1HL. Free. 7:30pm. Details.

Thursday 2 May to Saturday 4 May: Invasion 1169, a national conference marking the 850th anniversary of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland. Featuring an international panel of experts discussing recent research on the impact and significance of this event in late C12th-Ireland. Host: TCD. Venue: Edmund Burke Theatre (Arts Building), Trinity College Dublin. Admission free. All welcome. Registration and details.

Thursday 2 May to Sunday 5 May: Cloughjordan Honours Thomas McDonagh, a weekend of lectures, screenings, dance and music, guided walks, language sessions. Host and venue: Thomas McDonagh Museum, Lower Main Street, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. Details and programme.

Friday 3 May: 850 Years of Oppression? a History Ireland Hedge School. Part of the Invasion 1169 conference (see above for details and booking). Venue: TCD, Dublin 2. Attendance is free but booking is recommended.

Saturday 4 May: Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Results, with Anne Johnston. First of two 2-hour Saturday classes (second one on 11 May). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. 2-4pm, on both dates. Cost: £14 for the 2 sessions, payable at the first class. These courses are open to members and non-members. Further details.

Sunday 5 May: In Pursuit of the Heiress, a day programme of lectures at Dromana House and Gardens. Julian Walton: “The drawbacks and dangers of heiress hunting, with Julian Walton; The decorative life of Marie Antoinette – the glittering road to the guillotine, with Judy Brittain; The Abduction of Mary Pike and that fateful night in Vernon Mount, Cork, with Dr Kieran Groeger; and The Irish ‘Wild Geese: In search of fortune in the Habsburg Empire, with Dr Dagmar O'Riain-Raedel. Host: Dromana House, Lismore, Co Waterford. 10:30am to 4pm. Refreshments, lunch and afternoon tea included. Tickets €70pp or €125 for 2 persons. Enquiries and booking email: or tel (086)8186305.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

DNA Day: Up to 40% off Living DNA test kits

Living DNA is offering a discount of between 30% and 40%, and in the process presenting its lowest ever prices. The saving you get depends on where you live.

  • Europe :  35% saving – reduced to €69, its lowest ever price
  • UK :   £40 off – kit reduced to £59, its lowest ever price
  • USA :  Save US$40. Kit reduced to $59.
  • Australia, New Zealand:  30% off – kit reduced from $169 to $119
  • Canada : Save CAN$50 - kit reduced from $149 to $99

To take advantage of the offer, which coincides with DNA Day (25 April), place your order by following the appropriate link above (or click the image to visit your local geographical territory). The discount will expire on Saturday 27 April.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

DNA Day: Ancestry DNA offer for US researchers
Ancestry DNA is offering USA-based researchers a discount on its testing kit. The offer reduces the test price from $99 to $69, plus tax and shipping.

The special offer will run until 11:59pm EST on Thursday 25 April – DNA Day.

As far as I can see, this offer is available only in the US, but it might be worth checking your local Ancestry territory to be sure you don't miss an offer. Click the 'Order Now' button, right. The site's geo-locator will take you to your local site.

UPDATE: I believe there will be DNA Day discounts for some other countries later this week. Check in here on Irish Genealogy News, or on the Special Offers page of my Irish Genealogy Toolkit for details on Wednesday/Thursday.

Friday, 19 April 2019

This Easter sees biggest ever free access to Ancestry

This Easter, Ancestry is opening up a huge collection of Irish, British and Commonwealth records to free access. The company says this collection of more than one billion records is its biggest ever free access offer. the collection are records from Ireland – civil bmd indexes, RC parish registers, land records, Ancestry's huge library of city and regional trade directories spanning 1848 to 1946, passenger lists, Poor Law Removals from England, military and policemen records, and much more – as well as a huge mix of record sets from the UK, Channel Islands, Australia, Canada (English and French), New Zealand and West Indies.

See a full list of all the featured record sets here.

The period of free access runs until 23:59pm GMT, Monday 22 April.

To view these records you will need to register with Ancestry UK by providing your name and email address. Ancestry then issues a user name and password. It's a very straightforward and automated process. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry subscription.

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.
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 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 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.