Saturday 9 July 2011

This week's releases and launches

The last seven days has brought some interesting new online releases from genealogy databases and a little flurry of launches, all adding to what's starting to look like another very good year for Irish genealogy resources.

New records first. has released more than 80,000 records from the 1899 edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland. It contains detailed genealogies of all the toffs in Ireland, including Irish landowners and those merchants and professionals who aspired to high status.

For the overwhelming majority of us with Irish heritage, this doesn't, at first glance, appear to have much genealogical relevance since most of our ancestors were not from this social class.

However, there is potentially great value in this source because the genealogies within it are extensive and pick up all collateral lines, junior branches and in-laws, many of whom would have been of more modest means.

Also from comes the release of the Register of Derry Cathedral. This was published by the Parish Register Society of Dublin in 1910 and comprises the baptisms, marriages and burials for the parish of Templemore, which included Derry City, from 1642 to 1703.

With some 10,000 BMD records, this is an extremely useful source for those tracing family in Derry, as well as providing an insight in to the history of parish records in Derry Cathedral., the recently rebranded and revamped version of, has completed the transcription of its Armagh records. The transcriptions relate to data gleaned from the 1841 and 1851 censuses before their destruction. In the absence of birth certifcates dating back 70+ years, the data was used as evidence of age to support pension applications when the Old Age Pension was introduced in the early 20th century.

And now for three launches.

The National Centre for Emigration History was officially opened yesterday in New Ross, co Wexford. The €2.6 million interactive centre features a state-of-the-art exhibition on the story of Irish emigration, plus a genealogical resource for visitors hoping to trace their Irish heritage. Four times larger than the well-established original Visitor Centre on the site, it is located on the River Barrow quayside next to the replica Dunbrody Famine Ship.

The centre also features the Irish America Hall of Fame which “honours the lives, works and achievements” of the diaspora in the United States.

The National Library of Ireland launched a blog yesterday. With a beautiful design and a breezy style, it's one that's worth bookmarking and checking in with on a regular basis. Let's hope it will soon be bringing news of where and when its collectin of RC parish registers can be viewed online.

A further launch is that of the Little Museum in Dublin. Okay, it hasn't happened yet, but its planning is now well developed and a great location has been found at 15 St Stephens Green, so it should become a reality later this summer.

This new non-profit museum will tell the story of Dublin in the 20th Century, and the public is being urged to donate or lend items to its collection. You can find out more about the type of artefacts the museum is looking for on the website.