Wednesday 23 May 2012

Polls, podcasts and a Kerry welcome

Poll Books: has released a large set of UK poll books and electoral registers dating from 1538 to 1893. Containing more than 4.6million records, you might just find a missing Irish ancestor lurking in there – if he or she had some means.

You won't find paupers in this collection because the right to vote was restricted to property owners until 1832. The Poll books were drawn up by local sheriffs and include lists of voters and the candidate each voted for in county elections (secret balloting wasn't introduced until 1872).

In addition to the poll books which make up the majority of the collection, there are also registers, indexes, lists of liverymen, and similar records in this set.

Besides names and details of the election itself ie when it took place, who was running and for what, poll books may list address, occupation, qualifications for voting, and a place where the property that qualified a voter is located.

Ancestry has also added 28 additional years to its database of will calendars for England and Wales. It now starts from 1858 (previously 1861) and ends at 1966 (previously 1941).


Podcast: Last Sunday's History Show on RTÉ Radio 1 brought together genealogist Nicola Morris, Catriona Crowe from the National Archives, and historian Turtle Bunbury to discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of tracing your family history. They argued that genealogy research is a lot more than simply discovering the names of long lost relatives and described it as a micro history — the story of your own family through the ages.

Some of their points will come in quite handy when I next have to defend my expenditure (to he who foolishly thinks he must be obeyed) on certificates, books and database subscriptions!

If you missed its broadcast, you can listen to the programme on podcast.


A Kerry Welcome: North Kerry XO's Week of the Welcomes programme has been announced. Covering the parishes of Listowel, Ballyduff, Lisselton/Ballydonoghue, Ballybunion, Asdee, Ballylongford, Tarbert, Duagh, Lyreacrompane, Lixnaw, Moyvane/Newtownsandes, Knockanure, Finuge and Kilflynn, NKXO hope to connect people worldwide with their Kerry home.

The group has been collecting old photographs, testimonies, documents, oral histories, stories and poems and making them available online, but the Week of the Welcomes extends an invitation to everyone with a link to North Kerry to visit. The programme offers a feast of Irish culture with concerts, craft demonstrations, matches, turf cutting and more, plus genealogy workshops.

Email for more information.