Thursday, 17 January 2019

Latest updates to Massachusetts/Boston RC collection on

The New England Historical Genealogical Society's has continued to expand its online collection of Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston registers, 1789-1900.

The additions uploaded between early December and yesterday are detailed below.

Indexed database

The latest parish volumes to be fully imaged, indexed and available to search have added more than 146,000 records and over 528,400 names to the database. The parishes and the dates of the indexed registers are:
  • St Mary of Boston – Baptisms and Marriages, 1836 to 1900; First Communions and Confirmations, 1866-1900.
  • Blessed Sacrament (Jamaica Plain) – Baptisms, Marriages and Confirmations, 1892-1900
  • St Augustine (Lawrence) – Baptisms, 1879-1886
  • Most Holy Redeemer (East Boston) – Baptisms and Marriages, 1844-1900; Confirmations 1851-1882 & Marriages 1851-1900
  • Immaculate Conception (Malden) – Baptisms, 1859-1897; Marriages, 1861-1900
To search and view the indexed database, you need to be a member (Individual-level and above) of the NEHGS.

Unindexed Image-only database

Images of the volumes for the following parishes have been uploaded to the Browse database:
  • All Saints (Roxbury) Baptisms and Marriages, 1896-1900
  • St Bridget (Abington) Baptisms, 1864-1900, Marriages 1864-1900; Confirmations, 1870-1900; Confirmations & Financial records, 1857=1883
  • St Michael (Lowell) Baptisms, Marriages and Confirmations, 1884-1900
  • St John the Baptist (Peabody) Baptisms, 1874-1900; Marriages, 1875-1900
  • St Peter (Plymouth) Baptisms and Marriages, 1873-1900; First Communions and Confirmations (names only, dates unknown)
  • St Philip (Roxbury) Baptisms, 1895-1900; Marriages 1895-1900; Confirmations, 1896-1900
  • St Joseph (Waltham) Baptisms, 1894-1900; Marriages and Deaths, 1895-1900; First Communion & Confirmations 1895-1900
You don't need a subscription to view these images, only a Guest Account. To find out how to navigate the collection to find the records you want, watch this short how-to video.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Five more 2019 dates for PRONI's free two-hour 'Online Family & Local History Resources' Workshops

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast has scheduled five more dates in early 2019 to present its Online Family and Local History Resources Workshop.

Each two-hour workshop will start with an orientation tour of PRONI, followed by an introduction to searching online resources. Both daytime and evening workshops are available.

These sessions tend to be very popular, and available spaces are usually booked out some time in advance, so don't delay if you want to attend on one of these dates shown below.

  • Thursday 31 January at 6pm
  • Monday 11 February at 11am
  • Thursday 28 February at 6pm
  • Friday 8 March at 11am
  • Monday 8 April at 11am

Register here.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: Early Jan update
Memorial stone to Catherine Murray in Bekan
Cemetery, Co Mayo. Click for larger view. Photo
courtesy of Dympna Beckett Joyce and IGPArchives
In the first two weeks of 2019, the volunteer team at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has uploaded the following files to its free online database:

ANTRIM Genealogy Archives - Wills
Wills from National Archives, London (Updated)

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Michael's, Potahee, Arvagh (Updated)
St. Patrick's RC, Corlough (Updated)

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Aughaval Cemetery, Part 6
Bekan Village, Bekan Cemetery Part 2 (K-W)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

MyHeritage adds exclusive collection of historical Massachusetts newspapers the countdown to the Christmas break I didn't get time to check out an announcement from MyHeritage about a new collection of newspapers, but I made a note and finally got round to exploring the records over the past weekend.

I'm glad I did. The new collection has rich pickings potential for Irish family historians on both sides of the Atlantic.

The collection is a new and exclusive compendium of historical Massachusetts newspapers. Spanning 1704–1974, it holds 239 titles published in various cities in the state, and its database holds an impressive total of 6,072,877 searchable pages.

It's been created with a particular emphasis on papers from Boston and surrounding locales, making it fertile ground for hunting down ancestors from Ireland, and has been produced by MyHeritage in partnership with the Boston Public Library.

Having made a search for the surname Santry (for my one-name study), I was almost overwhelmed with the number of results. My goodness, the Santrys loved sport! But rather more importantly I also found many reports and announcements relating to marriages, births and deaths, the marketing efforts of an unexpected chiropodist, court cases, a bankruptcy, trade union meetings and society events. A real pot of gold! It's going to take me some time to transcribe/copy all my findings!

Monday, 14 January 2019

40% discount on offer for Fold 3's 12th anniversary
Fold 3, the military specialist sister site of Ancestry, invites you to join in its 12th anniversary celebrations with a generous 40% discount.

The database provides access to more than 537 million records from numerous military forces. These records, which typically are sourced from the US National Archives, the National Archives of the UK and similar institutions, include the stories, photos, and personal documents of men and women who served in conflicts around the world.

The discount offer will end at 11:59pm MST on Thursday 31 January.

Ancestry DNA now detects 90+ genetic Irish regions has confirmed via its blog that more than 90 distinct genetic regions in Ireland can now be identified in its DNA testing analysis process. Just 13 were detectable only 18 months ago.

The blogpost, by Kristen Hyde, says 92 distinct regions of Ireland are now offered. "We now have the capability to break the Irish population down by province, county and in some cases, parish!" she writes.

All researchers who have tested with the company should have seen their Ethnicity Estimates updated recently to reflect the improved detection of regional markers.

You can read the blogpost here.

Petition demands identity rights for Irish adoptees

A petition has been launched to demand identity rights for adoptees in Ireland.

Click/tap to sign the petition
Created by Maree Ryan-O'Brien of Tullamore, Co Offaly, herself an adoptee, the petition aims to help more than 150,000 Irish adoptees gain the right to access their birth certificates, health and heritage information and adoption files. There is currently no legislation allowing automatic access, despite such equality and identity rights being available to other citizens.

I'm sure most Irish family historians will sympathise with Maree's view that old values and secrecy from another era have no place in a modern society (see her opinion piece in the Irish Times).

As of this morning, the petition, which is addressed to Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, has more than 3,200 signatures, and is pushing on towards the 4,000 milestone. Why not give it a helping hand?

The Irish Revolution documentary to air in February

See final paragraph below
Starting at 9:30pm on 4 February, RTÉ One will broadcast the first episode of The Irish Revolution, a three-part documentary based on the best-selling Atlas of the Irish Revolution published by Cork University Press in 2017.

The documentary, produced with the University College Cork team behind the book, is narrated by the actor and one-time UCC law student Cillian Murphy.

The TV programme will focus on the events of the first Dáil in 1919, the War of Independence and the subsequent Irish Civil War and will include some never before broadcast archive footage. It will also feature new 3D-CGI mapping as part of the many dramatic visuals and rare images which help provide a new understanding of events in Ireland a century ago. More than 20 academics make contributions in the documentary.

The second and third parts of the programme will be shown on Mondays 11 and 18 February, again at 9:30pm.

A preview screening of an episode from the documentary will take place at a special event at Cork Opera House on Tuesday 29 January. President Michael M Higgins will be attending. Following the screening, a Q&A session will be held with a panel of specialists. This will be moderated by the historian Dr John Bowman and will be recorded for broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on St Patrick’s Day. The special event will start at 7.45pm. Tickets €5, with all proceeds going to the Cork Penny Dinners charity.

Registry of Deeds Index Project passes major milestone

The Register of Deeds Index Project has achieved a huge milestone as it sailed past the 300,000 entries marker last week.

Some 300,419 index records from 32,939 memorials of deeds are now held in the free-to-access main database, every one of them transcribed and donated by a volunteer – a researcher who is fully aware of the potential value of the material to other Irish family historians and willing to give up a few minutes of their time to submit the data online.

Why not make a New Year resolution to contribute to the project during 2019? You'll find more information about how the project and its volunteeer team works by clicking the link above.

Another Wexford title joins British Newspaper Archive Gorey Guardian has joined the online British Newspaper Archive. Covering the County Wexford town and its surrounding area, the tabloid paper is published on Wednesdays. It is part of the Independent News and Media group.

An incomplete run of 527 editions dating from 1994 to 2002 is now available to search and view, with editions up to and including 2006 (which will complete the planned holding)  likely to upload to the BNA database in the next few days.

The BNA's holding of this newspaper and all other historical Irish newspapers in its collection is shared with FindMyPast customers holding Pro/Ultimate subscriptions.