Wednesday 29 June 2011

Four stout female mendicants, and more

Telling the tale of a distressed and inequitable society, a selection of newspaper snippets from the second half of June 1861:

The other day a gentleman was casually walking down the principal street of Tullamore, when he was pounced upon by four stout female mendicants, who demanded money of him; when he refused to comply, they caught him, dragged him into a gateway, and kept him there for some time, trying to extort money from him, until a policeman happening to pass by, he called him to his aid and gave up the amazonians in charge of him. They were brought before the Town Magistrate, who fined them 4s each, which sum they immediately paid.

A woman who gave her name as Hogan, appeared before the (Tullamore) board with a child in her arms, which she stated she wanted to get admitted to the house. The child, which was illegitimate, belonged to her daughter who ran away the other day, leaving the child with her. It appearing that the mother of the child, as well as the child itself, were formerly paupers in the house, and that Mrs Hogan came before the board some time ago and agreed then to support both outside, if they received clothes from the guardians to enable them to leave the house, the Board now refused to admit the child.

A man named Darvison was charged by the Borrisokane Board of Guardians with deserting his wife and son, thereby leaving them chargeable on the ratepayers, as they were compelled to seek shelter in the Workhouse. It appearing, however, that Darvison was not married to her, though they were living together as man and wife in the town for years, the charge against him was dismissed.

Peter Birmingham, a boy about 15 years of age, pleased guilty to stealing two asses at Thurles in April last. The boy said he had been told by a neighbour to take them, and that he didn't know it was any harm at the time. He got 3 months' imprisonment and hard labour.

Hannah Ford, for having a standing in the street in Toomevara on Sunday, was fined 1shilling and costs.

Nugent, Esq, Portumna and HC Cowper, Esq, North Wales, have arrived at the Royal Hotel, Killaloe, for trout and salmon fishing on the Shannon and Lough Derg.

Lost, between Drumcondra Bridge and the Broadstone Station, an ENVELOPE, containing two five pound notes and some papers. A reward of £1 will be given to any person bringing same to Miss Carpenter, 8 Lower Dorset Street, Drumcondra Road.

Deed lost by a Gentleman on Thursday the 27th inst, between Sackville Street and Upper Dorset Street. An ENVELOPE containing a Parchment Deed. Any person bringing same to Mr Archibald Robinson, 13 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, will receive a reward of five shillings.

There is a greater influx of tourists into Killaloe this season than we remember for a long time. Scarely a steamer arrives from Athlone that does not bring large parties, almost all of whom spend a week or fortnight there, enjoying the fishing, boating and driving, and above all the delightful scenery for which the place is celebrated.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

News briefs

National Heritage Week, 20-28 August: More than 1200 events, many of them of genealogical interest, have already been added to the programme for this year's heritage festival. A free printed listings guide will be available from mid-July in public offices such as libraries and heritage centres. In the meantime, if your family history group is organising any events, make sure to register it on the festival website at to ensure it is included in the online listings.

How to trace your ancestors in Ireland: In conjunction with the Genealogical Society of Ireland, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network is starting a new Saturday morning course for beginners this coming weekend (2nd July). Held at the GSI Library & Archive, Carlisle Pier, Dun Laoghaire, the six-week course will include class-based lessons as well as guided tours of major repositories. More details: 087 0505296

Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War: The National Archives in London today released records for 4,000 British and Irish soldiers who volunteered to join the International Brigades in their defence of the elected Spanish goverment and were involved in some of the Spanish Civil War’s most critical engagements. These records were collected by the British Security Service (MI5) in the belief that many of the volunteers were communists. The records consist of alphabetical lists of named volunteers, together with a small selection of digitised card indexes relating to individuals.

Three collections released by The recently launched has added three small but interesting collections to its online database of records. They are:
  • Estate Commissioners Offices, Applications for Evicted Tenants 1907
  • Marriage Licence Bonds; Diocese of Cloyne (Cork) 1630-1800
  • The Sinn Féin Rebellion Handbook, published by the Irish Times in 1917 to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising (more than 6,700 names).

Thursday 23 June 2011

In Parliament yesterday.....

The subject of Ireland's genealogy services was raised in the Dáil yesterday when TD Tom Fleming asked if the Government would set up a comprehensive central research facility for family historians.

In response, TD Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, advised that work to release one million bmd records for Dublin City and County Cork would be 'substantially' completed by the end of next month ie July when they would be released on (The original release date was May, which shifted to June a couple of months ago. The website still says completion will be in June.)

He also advised that Tourism Ireland is working on a proposal to establish a genealogy web portal to provide direct incentives to people living overseas to come to Ireland. This facility would provide opportunities at a local level for specialist local history and genealogical services and products.

On the subject of the 1926 census, Deputy Deenihan advised that his department was still looking at the legal process necessary to ensuring the release of the records.

You can view the full 'debate', complete with additional facts and figures, on

New Militia papers provide colourful details

Online for the first time and exclusively through Find My Past is the Militia Service 1806-1915 Collection.

It's a big collection, comprising more than 3million images of militia attestation and personal papers for some 500,000 British and Irish soldiers who signed up for the voluntary, county-based and part-time 'home defence' force. Attestation papers were the forms filled in when a soldier signed up, and they were updated throughout his service until discharge. Personal details recorded include place of birth, age, occupation and physical appearance (including any scars or tattoos).

I've had a breeze through the collection and was surprised (for no real reason) to identify seven of my Cork ancestors. In all but one case, there were four pages of details available to view.

By way of example, here are the details gleaned from one set of papers: Patrick Santry was born in Buttevant but had been living in Ballyhea, north county Cork, for at least a year when he joined the Royal Artillery on 28 March 1896. Aged 27 years and one month, he was a labourer working for Mr W Buckley of Charlesville. He was 5ft 10½" tall, weighed 132lbs, had grey eyes and brown hair, and a tattoo (possibly the initials 'L D') on his right forearm. He was Roman Catholic, and had quite a neat signature.

Patrick held the rank of gunner until he had completed his initial training and was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 1st June 1896. He turned up for training in 1897 and moved into the Militia Reserve on 23rd July 1897. The final entry appears to read 'Deserted 6 July 1898'.

As you can see, these papers provide rich details and colour that won't often be found in other records (some of the later records even include photographs of the soldier), so they are a very valuable addition to the Irish genealogy resource portfolio.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Genes Reunited upgrades collections

Genes Reunited has today launched a fully indexed Death Records facility for England and Wales. This facility means you can get immediate results that match your search criteria and, if some of your Irish ancestors died across the Irish Sea, you'll be able to quickly start tying up loose ends.

In addition, a new collection of Travel and Overseas records has been released. This contains Passenger Lists 1890-1960, Passport Applications 1851-1903 and Indian Records 1793-1933. Ireland was still part of Britain for a lot of these years so these records include a sizeable Irish contingent.

Standard members of Genes Reunited are able to access these records using PPV credits. The Death records will be automatically included within the Platinum membership package while the Travel and Overseas collection will be an additional option.

Was your ancestor a lady of the night?

Forgive my indelicate bluntness, but if you suspect one of your ancestors was a member of the oldest profession, you might be interested to know of a newly released collection – the records of Westmoreland Lock Hospital.

The origins of the hospital date back to 1755 when it was founded as a specialist treatment centre for venereal diseases. Initially, both men and women were admitted but in 1819 it became a women-only centre. Many of the patients were prostitutes, presumably providing their services to Dublin's large British Army garrisons.

Patient records (1814-1894), including registers of admission and discharge, are included in the collection, along with minute books, letter books, a visitor's book and chaplaincy papers (1861-1887).

For more information, and to view the Hospital's catalogue, see the RCPI website.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Little of Irish interest in Google-British Library deal

From the flurry of newspaper reports this week about the digitisation of a quarter of a million 18th- and 19th- century books, periodicals, pamphlets etc held by the British Library, I got the impression that a collection of huge interest to Irish and UK historians would soon be available online, via Google Books.

I guess I was thinking in terms of contemporary political and social commentaries, pamphlets encouraging participation or agitation, provincial newspaper reports etc.... the sort of stuff that is crammed with interest for Irish and British family historians wanting to get a better grip of the world in which their ancestors lived.

On further investigation, it seems this Google-British Library initiative is unlikely to release very much of the kind of research material I was hoping for.

Instead the project will concentrate on non-English published material, as Miki Lentin from the British Library's press office explained to Irish Genealogy News:

"The focus of this digitisation initiative is published material in continental European languages, 1700-1870. Published material from Britain and Ireland will be picked up when it appears within a collection, for example, when European and British or Irish pamphlets are bound together into a single volume.

"We are not aware of any special collections of printed books or pamphlets of primarily Irish focus in the parts of the British Library being considered for this project."

Monday 20 June 2011

The Genealogy Roadshow: July 9th venue confirmed

The venue of the fourth and final recording of the new RTE Genealogy Roadshow on Saturday 9th July has been confirmed as beautiful Slane Castle, Co Meath.

In the meantime, the third recording will be taking place this Sunday (26th June) at Glenlo Abbey, Co Galway. Genealogy organisations, societies and groups will be on hand to offer genealogy advice and encouragement, and everyone with an interest in family history is welcome to come along.

More details about The Genealogy Roadshow.

Find My Past releases details of Dublin graduates has today launched another set of records: the complete list of graduates of Trinity College, Dublin from 1592 to 1846.

This collection – The Alumni Dublinenses (1924 edition) – holds details of more than 32,000 graduates. Each entry provides information such as the graduate's address and names of parents, together with details of the qualifaction achieved.

If you've got some brainy or celebrated ancestors, or you just want to check out some names from Irish history, you'll find this a fascinating resource.

Tracing ancestors from Co Cork?

A new edition of 'Tracing Your Cork Ancestors' by Tony McCarthy and Tim Cadogan is now available from Flyleaf Press.

The new edition is greatly expanded and sets out the records available, where they can be accessed, and how they can be used to best effect.

The book is available to booksellers from Easons Wholesale or Argosy, or direct from the Publishers.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Searching for elusive Irish ancestors in England or Wales?

If you've got Irish ancestors who may have emigrated to England/Wales or joined the British army, or simply took off and were never heard of again, you'll be pleased to hear that Find My Past has overhauled its Death Records search facility.

The upgrade, which follows a similar transformation for birth and marriage records, makes searching much easier. It's now possible to search the following fully indexed records in one go:

* England & Wales deaths 1837-2006
* British nationals died overseas 1818-2005
* British nationals armed forces deaths 1796-2005
* British nationals died at sea 1854-1890

If you've got a particularly elusive ancestor, one that might have signed up for the the army life or chased fame and fortune overseas, these records might just provide the answer.

Friday 10 June 2011

Wicklow marriages go online

The records of just under 95,000 Wicklow marriages have gone online this morning on the pay-per-view site. These are for both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland marriages.

If you've got ancestors from Wicklow, you'll also find some useful tips and advice in my recent interview feature with the manager of the Wicklow Family History Centre.

June events for your diary

Seem to be running late with everything this month! Here're some events for the last two weeks of June.

14 June: Irish Online Sources, with Mary Beglan. Genealogical Society of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire College of FE. 8pm. 

15 June: Court Records for Genealogists, with Steven Smyrl. Raheny Library, Howth Road, Dublin 5. Free. 6.30pm. Contact Raheny Heritage Society: (0)1 831 5521. 

16 June: Familly History for Beginners, with Ann Robinson of the Lisburn branch of Northern Ireland Family History Society. Venue: Lisburn City Library. 7pm. Booking advisable. 028 9263 3350. 

17-19 June: Death & Dying is the theme of the 13th Irish Conference of Historians to be held at Iontas Building, North Campus, Maynooth. 50 Euros.

18 June: Irish Genealogy Research Society's outing to Kilkenny Castle, St Canice's Cathedral and Woodstock Gardens. Cost 55 Euros for all inclusive day out.  Departs 8.30am prompt, Natural Museum, Kildare Street, Dublin. Return c8.30pm. (0)1 406 3542.

21st June: Another round of monthly lunchtime lectures in the Tales of Medieval Dublin series is starting at Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin. The first lecture is The Viking's Tale, 1.15 to 2pm.. It's free.

Looking forward -

1 October: Genealogy & Family History Conference, Templegate Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. Theme: The future of our Past. There's some very well known and well regarded names on the programme

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Recent additions to IGP Archives

Fortnightly round-up of recent additions to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP):

GENERAL IRELAND Genealogy Archives
Education - Alumni Dublineses - additional Surnames

Deansgrange Cemetery - St. Brigids Section, pt3
CLARKE, David 1827
FENNELL, Catherine 1827
RYAN , Patrick November 22, 1900
MCCABE, Bridget 1827
GLEESON, Patrick Coleman 1875

Cleenish Parish Graveyard, Belanaleck

Obituaries - Wood, Thomas Dawson 1827

Cronin, James 1827
Moriarty, Mrs Mathew 1827

LONG, Judith 1827
TIGHE, Charlotte Frances 1827
WARING, John 1827

WHITE, Jasper 1827; Tipperary Free Press
BLACKWELL, John 1827; Tipperary Free Press
GUBBINS, Mrs James 1784; Clonmel Gazette
HANLY, Mrs. John 1827; Tipperary Free Press
LANGFORD, Jonas December 1763; Freeman's Journal

Drum Church of Ireland Graveyard
Drum Presbyterian Church

Royal Irish Constabulary with native county of Sligo 1846 (partial)

Finnea, Drumlummon Churchyard, (CoI)
Finea, Finea Cemetery, Westmeath
Lickblay Cemetery
Mullingar, Turin (R.C.) Cemetery,

Kilquade, St. Patrick's Church

Irish Genealogy Toolkit is the Research Help partner of IGP Archives.

Friday 3 June 2011

Launch of PRONI Exhibition – A century of change, conflict and transformation

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has opened its first exhibition at its new Headquarters in Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

The exhibition entitled 'A Century of Change, Conflict and Transformation' covers the period 1911 up until the present day, and depicts not just changes in society but also changes in the records that we keep.

As well as touching upon the major events of the period, the exhibition charts the changes in the type of media used to record information over the years and how the digital age may affect how future generations access their 'history'. Starting with 1911 diaries, it concludes with social network blogs.

The exhibition comprises storyboards, interactive audio visual content and three cabinets displaying original documents and artefacts. Particular documents of interest include a diary of Molly Duffin containing a narrative of day to day life of a 19-year-old girl growing up in Belfast in 1911; World War II pilot’s log book and medals of Wing Commander Ken McKenzie; applications to work in Northern Ireland received from Austrian Jews escaping persecution in Europe; and correspondence relating to the debate on Capital Punishment.

PRONI opening hours:
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri: 9.00am-4.45pm; Thurs 10.00am-8.45pm

More info: