Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

What will 2011 bring to family historians, I wonder? My fanciful self hopes for loads of new resources, online, perfectly indexed and transcribed, and prettily wrapped up in a box marked 'free'. And then I return to reality, and realise that in the current economy, it's highly unlikely the Government is going to be dishing out much in the way of funds for major genealogy projects anytime soon.

Rather, I wouldn't be surprised if the opposite happens and we start to see some price rises along the way. It's already happening in Northern Ireland, where the cost of bmd certificates purchased from GRONI will rise from £12 to £14 from today.

But I don't really want to start speculating (especially in case it gives out any ideas!) so I'll stick here to what already appears to be on the cards.

  • Like it or not, it seems the LDS intends to forcibly switch us to the new, beta version of the online Irish civil registration index. The original, so-called pilot version was, according to many of us, considerably easier to use, and search results were more confidently received. Despite hundreds of negative comments, from genealogists in all corners of the world, the LDS team seem to be forging ahead. Until the day the plug is pulled, I know which one I'm using!

  • Expect a Certificate of Irish Heritage to be launched sooner, rather than later. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs confirmed to Irish Genealogy News just before Christmas that negotiations with a service provider were at an advanced stage. Since this product is mainly aimed at the American diaspora, and will bring in funds, I see this one going ahead.

  • The Tithe Applotment Books are being transcribed by the LDS church and, when completed, will be uploaded for free access onto the Family Search website. I don't know how long the transcription is likely to take but the project started at the end of November so I imagine it will be finalised this year.

  • More Roman Catholic church records for Cork and Dublin should be released at IrishGenealogy in the next few months. These are the records originally scheduled for release by the end of 2010. The revised date is 'early 2011'.

  • Another US series of Who Do You Think You Are will begin on NBC on Friday 4 February. The line-up includes Gwyneth Paltrow,
    Tim McGraw, Rosie O'Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd. Not being a sleb follower, I don't know who most of these people are so can't hazard a guess on how much Irish genealogy will be involved, but the press blurb specifically states that this series includes some family history in Ireland.

  • Yet more genealogy on TV. A new genealogy programme is about to hit screens in Ireland. Called Genealogy Roadshow, the show will feature 'ordinary' people, rather than celebrities (hurrah!). Filming of the pilot show will be taking place at Carton House, Maynooth, co Kildare on Sunday 16 January, 11am to 5pm, when a team of genealogy experts will be on hand to solve family mysteries. The team are especially hoping to meet descendents of Arthur Guinness and Ernest Shakleton.

  • The mega database Ancestry is in the process of updating its Griffiths Valuation collection. It's calling this update an 'improvement'. I've no idea what that means, so we'll just have to wait and see. Currently, the database contains the Valuation Index of nearly one million names.
It's not a bad looking list for the very start of the year, especially considering the economic climate and outlook. As always, Irish Genealogy News will be keeping you up to date in the weeks and months ahead with any snippets of information about these and any other possible releases.