Tuesday 31 December 2013

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: final 2013 update

Old Ballyduff Cemetery (Photo Brendan Lynch)
Take a detention anyone who thought the elves at Ireland Genealogy Projects would be too busy tucking into turkey and mince pies to be adding resources to IGP-Archives over the festive period! Here's what they've added during the last two weeks of the year:

GENERAL IRELAND Genealogy Archives – News
* NewarK, New Jersey Supporters of Repeal - Freemans Journal 28 Sep 1843
* Beaver Meadow, Pennsylvania Supporters of Repeal – Freemans Journal 28 Sep 1843

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives
Deansgrange Cemetery – St Patricks Section, pt 15

KERRY Genealogy Archives
Headstones – Ballyduff, Castlegregory Burial Ground

LAOIS Genealogy Archives -
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

SLIGO Genealogy Archives
Cemetery – Kilvarnet Parish - Additional Memorials
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives
Military – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

TYRONE Genealogy Archives
Military – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives
News – Ferns Tragedy (DUNNE) - Evening Telegraph, Dublin July, 9, 1920
Military & Constabulary – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)
Miscellaneous – Freemen found in the Liverpool Record Office

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives
Military – 1858 Irish Constabulary (partial)

Monday 30 December 2013

Start 2014 with a 20% discount to FindMyPast.ie

FindMyPast.ie is offering a very attractive 20% discount on its subscriptions for those who register and subscribe by Thursday 2 January.

A subscription gives you the freedom of unlimited family history research within your chosen collection. You can choose from:

World Subscription: This option lets you make the biggest saving and give you access to all records on findmypast.ie from Ireland, Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand. The normal price of a World subscription is €179.95 for 12 months or €112.95 for 6 months. With the discount the cost is reduced to €143.96 and €90.36 respectively.

Britain and Ireland Subscription: As the name suggests, this option gives you access to FindMyPast's huge collection of Irish and British records. The normal price of a Britain & Ireland subscription is €149.95 for 12 months and €94.95 for 6 months. With the 20% discount, the cost is reduced to €119.96 and €75.96 respectively.

Ireland only Subscription:
This option give you unlimited access to FindMyPast's full Ireland collection of more than 70million records (and growing!). The normal price of an Ireland subscription is €56.95 for 12 months and €37.95 for 6 months. With the 20% discount, the cost is reduced to €47.96 and €30.36 respectively.

To claim the discount, follow this link to the Selection page, where you'll see the discount has been applied to each of the subscription packages.

Be quick. The discount offer will expire on Thursday.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Eneclann's Winter Sale offers half price titles

Choose from the range of half price titles
Eneclann has a hefty 50% discount available in its Winter Sale.

The offer covers most of the company's publications so it's worth taking a browse through the shop to see if it applies on one of the books or cds you've been coveting. Chances are you'll be in luck, because almost all Eneclann's products are covered by this half-price offer, whether it's a downloaded pdf copy or a cd.

To give you a flavour of the range of products covered, here's a tiny selection of titles; the price quoted below is the full (normal) cost of each item, so apply the 50% discount to calculate the Sale Price you'd pay.
  • The Penny Illustrated Times from 1882. PDF. Normal price just €1.20/€1.48 incl VAT for EU customers.
  • Waterford City Grand Jury Presentments, Spring 1846. E-book. Normal price €3.70/€4.55 incl VAT for EU customers.
  • Royal Irish Constabulary List and Directory for the half-year commencing 1st July 1889. E-book. Normal price €2.15/€2.64 incl VAT for EU customers
  • Memorials of the Dead: The Collected Works, by Brian J Cantwell. CD. Normal price €57.77/€71.06 incl VAT for EU customers.
There's a great choice and some really serious bargains to be had (not to mention a few free downloads!), so drop in before 12 January.

20% discount to British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is offering a very welcome 20% discount on subscriptions taken out between today and Sunday 5 January 2014.

A subscription opens up access to all 7.1million pages of British and Irish papers currently available on the site, plus any additional pages added during the period of your membership. There are a number of packages on offer. Choose from 2, 12 and 30 days, or treat yourself to a full 12 months.

To take advantage of the offer, sign up for a subscription, and type the code GEMS in the Promotional Code box. (Offer expired.)

Start Your Family Tree Week begins with FindMyPast

FindMyPast's Start Your Family Tree Week kicks off today and continues into the New Year.

You can get started today by claiming 30 FREE PayAsYouGo credits using this Voucher (link removed on expiry) and entering the Coupon Code XMAS13. Simple!

And before you get stuck into the second round of turkey and plum pudding, tuck into this Guide to Asking Questions while the family is still gathered together. There's no better way to get your research started than learning about your Irish ancestors from the family that knew them or heard tales of them long ago.

Enjoy your discoveries!

Deceased Online hits multi-million mark for London

Anglican Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery
Deceased Online has added more than 3million individual burial and cremation records to its London collection with the addition of Kensal Green cemetery. These records represent some 8million-plus data items.

Located in Kensington and Chelsea, Kensal Green is the earliest of London's so-called 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries.

It opened in 1833, a year after Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Like Glasnevin, it is multi-demoninational, although the Anglican grounds are by far the largest. It is home to the final resting places of many famous Londoners, including Isambard ‘Kingdom’ Brunel, William Makepeace Thackeray and Anthony Trollope, and a good number of royals and their hangers on. Oscar Wilde's mother, the Irish poet Speranza, is also buried here.

It isn't crammed full of Irish people, that's for sure. You're more likely to find Irish family in St Mary's Roman Catholic cemetery across the way. But the sheer numbers of burials associated with Kensal Green make this new upload by Deceased Online an important collection to check. It joins one other of the 'Seven': Brompton Cemetery, which was uploaded in the summer and is certainly worth checking if your Irish ancestors settled in the west of London, near Earl's Court; while also a very distinguished cemetery, it has a more mixed 'community' clientele.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

UHF adds Church of Ireland records for Co Down

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has added more than 16,000 Church of Ireland baptismal records to its AncestryIreland pay-to-view database for County Down. The records were transcribed by Dr Brian Trainor, former Director of PRONI.

Registers for the following churches have been added:

Killinchy 1820-77 (418 records)
Blaris 1661-1720(7709 records)
Magheralin 1783-1870 (6628 records)
Bangor 1803-43 (1050 records)
Ballywalter 1845-75 (125 records)
Ardkeen 1746-1871 (541 records)

The UHF intends to add more Church of Ireland soon. These will be from the parishes of Antrim, Carrickfergus, Comber, Donaghadee, Down, Drumballyroney and Kilmore.

Monday 23 December 2013

RootsIreland festive discount runs to 6 January

RootsIreland is repeating its recent 40% discount over the Christmas and New Year period. You can view any of their transcription records between now and 6 January* 2014 for just 15 credits instead of the usual 25 credits. The offer applies when you pay to view any single record from any of the IFHF online centres.

To take advantage of the offer, go to the site and log-in in the normal way.

And if you're stuck for a last-minute present for the Irish family historian in your life, take a look at the Gift Voucher option here. (Vouchers can be sent by email to your recipient.)

Looking forward into 2014, RootsIreland will soon be adding more records for North East Cork, and there will also be uploads for counties Clare and Carlow for the first time.

* Midnight Dublin Time/GMT

Friday 20 December 2013

It was Christmas Day (1921) in the Gaol House...

Dundalk County Museum is looking to gather information about the men who signed their names and home town in a Belfast Prison Missal on Christmas Day 1921.

The prayerbook has been handed into the care of the Museum by Aidan Rogers, son of Frank Rogers who owned the Missal. It is thought that all Frank’s fellow inmates at the Crumlin Road Prison signed the Missal on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, as they awaited release following the agreement on the Anglo Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921.

Most of the signatures are written in Irish and a number use traditional Celtic lettering.

Along with the signatures are the home town and counties of the men, with addresses including Louth, Monaghan, Tyrone, Belfast, Sligo and Cork.

Aidan Rogers explained how his father came to have the Missal: 'My father and his brother, Tom, were involved in the IRA at that time. There was a secret room in the family home where they stored weapons but they were eventually found and the two brothers received 15 years penal servitude.

'My father was sent to the Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast and it appears that he got hold of the Missal from the prison library and got all the inmates in the prison with him to sign their names and their home town or counties.

'It has the stamp of Belfast Prison but inside the stamp he has signed it Christmas Day 1921 and his own name is signed below the stamp.'

Both Aidan and museum curator, Brian Walsh, hope to gather more information about the signatories. 'This Missal records a moment in time in many people’s histories,' said Walsh. 'Surviving families who may know that their father, grandfather, uncle or other male relative may have been an inmate in the Belfast Prison but have nothing more to go on, should find this very interesting.

'The signatures in this Missal are a vital connection for all the families concerned. We would love to hear from them and piece together their histories and the reasons they were in Belfast Prison on those days to sign the Bible.'

Copies of the pages have been uploaded to the Museum's website. The images are a good size for downloading for easier scrutiny. They are also available to view at the Museum. If anyone identifies a familiar name they should contact Brian Walsh on +353 (0)42 9327056.

Exclusive: Christmas is delayed

For those awaiting the upload of the General Register Office's working version of the Irish Civil Registration Indexes to IrishGenealogy.ie, I'm sorry to report that you're not going to see it this side of Christmas.

I'm told that the project is still going ahead, just a little later than was planned. As is the way with such delays, no one wants to put a date to the likely upload in case the deadline is missed a second time, but I get the impression that the delay is likely to be a matter of weeks rather than months.

In the same delayed mode are the West Cork RC records I mentioned back in October. And I have a confession to make in this regard. I incorrectly advised in my Back To Our Past report that the records of 20 West Cork parishes were going to be added to the site. It seems I need to either improve my note-taking or get my ears syringed! The unravelled truth is that there are 20,000 records for a number of Roman Catholic parishes in West Cork ready for upload. Some of these parishes are already represented on the site, but the new additions provide register entries for later dates. For example, baptism records for Ballymodan (Bandon) are currently on the free site for the period 1793-1822; the awaited upload will extend the dates to 1880.

There will also be a small upload of records for St Michael's parish, Dublin.

As to the promised uploads from the National Archives, I am still trying to find out what's happening. While time is running out for pre-Christmas delivery of the two awaited collections – the 1821–1851 census fragments and census search forms record sets – I am mindful that in 2008 the NAI made a very late and unexpected upload of the 1911 census for counties Antrim, Down and Kerry on 22 December.

I could say that it's only the 20th today, but I'll admit that my optimism levels are barely registering on the positivityometer! Perhaps it's best to start looking forward to 2014!

Thursday 19 December 2013

Jack and Grace most popular names in NI in 2013

The most popular names registered in Northern Ireland in 2013 were Jack and Grace. More than 280 baby boys became Jacks, while some 200 baby girls were registered as Grace.

Four of the top 10 boys’ names from 2003 are still present in the top 10 today (Jack, James, Daniel and Matthew). None of the girls’ names from the top 10 in 2003 remain in the top 10 today.

Here's the Top 10 for 2013 for Northern Ireland together with some observations from the 1901 census. The 1901 data is island-wide but gives an indication of the relative popularity of the name at that time. The number relates to the number of babies up to one-year-old with the corresponding name.


No. in 1901, All-Ireland

The top boy's name in 1901 was John, followed by James (see above) and then Patrick. There were more than 9,300 little boys up to one-year-old called John recorded in that year's census, and nearly 6,600 lads called Patrick.


No. in 1901, All-Ireland

The top girl's name in 1901 was Mary, with more than 9,100 little girls up to one-year-old recorded as Mary in that year's census. Margaret was probably the second most popular name, with just under 3,200 entries. Catherine/Kate and Ellen/Nellie were also very popular.

2013 climbers and fallers

Luke was the largest mover within the boys’ top 20, rising to rank 19 from rank 27 last year. Further down within the top 100, Jackson has risen 50 places to 82nd while Theo has also risen 50 places to rank 92. The greatest drops from the 2012 top 100 were Corey, down 66 places to 105th and Reece, down 65 places to 155th.

Ava and Ruby are new entries to the girls’ top 20 in 2013. Looking further down within the top 100, Elsie has risen 60 places to rank 93 and Robyn has risen 45 places to rank 82. The greatest falls out of top 100 were Shannon and Elizabeth.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Brand new military collection holds rich details

http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?s=263217&v=2114&q=125479&r=123532FindMyPast has just published over 88,000 British military records of soldiers who served in the Tank Corps and Royal Tank Corps between 1919-1934. It's the first time this collection has been made available online and it holds more than 2,700 records relating to Irish-born soldiers.

This record set is available at FindMyPast on licence from the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset. Each record includes an image of the original enlistment ledgers held at The Tank Museum Archive & Reference Library. The amount of information listed varies, but the Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records usually include a combination of the following information:

Service history
  • Date of enlistment
  •    Details of previous service, including any First World War service
  •    Service number
  •    Campaigns fought in
  •    Medals awarded
  •    Date of discharge and reason for it
Biographical information
  •    Name
  •    Age
  •    Date and place of birth
  •    Place of residence
  •    Occupation
  •    Name and address of next of kin
  •    Marriage details
  •    Names and dates of birth of any children

Here are a few examples I quickly rustled up:

Thomas Elliott, born 1882 in St Anne's, Dublin. A labourer, he enlisted aged 18 in 1900, Soldier number 389454. He also served in the Dragoons, service number 1760. His next of kin was his aunt, Catherine O'Connor of 26 Charles Street, Dublin. Discharged as a Sergeant in 1921, his home address is recorded as Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. His conduct/character was described as exemplary.

Jeremiah Joseph O'Sullivan, born 1904 in Clonakilty, Co Cork, enlisted aged 20 in 1924, Soldier 398796. Recorded as a horse trainer. His mother is recorded as living in Timoleague. Discharged May 1940. He also served in the 8th Hussars.

Daniel Moriarty, born 1888 in Killorglin, Co Kerry, enlisted in Manchester aged 22 on 29 December 1910. His next of kin was his sister, Mrs Lane of Catford, London. Previous service in the 3rd Hussars. He served in South Africa and was discharged at a rank of Private in December 1922. An address in Farranfoe, Co Kerry is recorded.

This collection is an outstanding source of family history information. Definitely one to check out pronto!

50 years of the Archaeological Survey published

A special supplement to Archaeology Ireland magazine has been published to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI).

The illustrated colour supplement presents a wide selection of accounts from 17 contributors whose varied experiences span the first five decades of the ASI’s operations.

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, formally launched the supplement. The ASI is part of his Department's National Monuments Service and is charged with identifying and recording Ireland’s archaeological monuments.

“The primary purpose of the Archaeological Survey of Ireland is to compile and maintain an inventory of all our monuments so that they can be protected, promoted and appreciated by all, " said Minister Deenihan.

“Ireland’s unique archaeological heritage provides huge support for the growing cultural tourism sector. As well as giving us an insight into who we are as a people and where we have come from it is, therefore, also a key asset to the economy at both local and national level.”

The supplement marking the first 50 years of the work of the Archaeological Survey of Ireland is included in the winter edition of the Archaeology Ireland magazine, which is available on the newsstands or from www.wordwellbooks.com.

Ireland's National Folklore Collection launches online

Dinny McGinley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (AHG), has officially launched Dúchas.ie, a new Irish folklore repository, at an event held at NovaUCD, University College Dublin (UCD).

The new website has arrived with some 64,000 pages of hand-written folklore and local history recorded in 1937-38 by Irish schoolchildren in counties Dublin, Mayo, Donegal and Waterford.

This original material, digitised for Dúchas.ie in a project funded by AHG, is part of the Schools’ Manuscript Collection. This material, part of the National Folklore Collection at UCD, comprises in excess of 500,000 pages of material recorded by some 50,000 school children in over 5,000 schools in 26 participating counties. (See below for more about the Schools' Manuscript Collection.)

Speaking at the launch, Minister McGinley TD said, 'Folklore allows for fresh insights and interpretation regarding our culture. I am delighted to be here at NovaUCD to officially launch Dúchas.ie which will enable Irish heritage and culture to be disseminated to a global audience allowing for a deeper understanding of the definition of society. This is an innovative project bringing together the old and the new in a way which allows for long-term possibilities regarding the understanding of our tradition.'

He also announced €1.75 million of new funding jointly provided by his Department and UCD. This will run from 2014 to 2016 and will fund the main phase of digitising of the National Folklore Collection including the remaining Schools’ Manuscript Collection material.

The National Folklore Collection at UCD is one of the largest folklore collections in the world. It comprises an estimated 2m manuscript pages, 500,000 index cards and 80,000 photographs, plus about 12,000 hours of sound recordings and about 1,000 hours of video material.

While the launch site still has many of its sections 'under construction', there's already plenty to explore. As well as the Featured Item (a 1939 account of Old Irish Christmas Traditions), I've been reading about hedge schools in Ballinlobaun, Crossmolina, Co Mayo, relics of Penal Times near Passage East, Co Waterford, and some very strange cures for blackleg in cattle and mumps in people, from Derries, Co Donegal.

This is definitely a collection to get lost in. I recommend you bookmark it.

Schools' Manuscript Collection (1937-38)

In 1937 the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history.

Over a period of eighteen months some 50,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in the twenty-six counties were encouraged to collect folklore material in their home districts. The topics about which the children were instructed to research and write included local history and monuments, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs, games and pastimes, traditional work practices and crafts, etc. The children collected this material mainly from their parents and grandparents and other older members of the local community or school district.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Heritage Council launches online mapping software

The Heritage Council has formally launched its Heritage Maps viewer, allowing users to visualise a range of heritage data in the context of other information such as landuse planning.

As a map enthusiast, I could spend hours on this viewer, checking out the location of gravel quarries and their proximity to wildlife reserves or seeing which blue flag beaches are closest to cycling trails; less nerdy types will enjoy being able to locate cemeteries and closed burial grounds, landmark monuments and heritage properties, and their proximity to a welcoming hostelry.

Data shown in the viewer, much of which has not been publicly available before, has been provided by a a number of sources, including:
  •   Local Authorities
  •   Ordnance Survey Ireland
  •   Geological Survey of Ireland
  •   National Parks and Wildlife Service (Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)
  •   National Monuments Service (Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)
  •   National Architectural Inventory of Ireland (Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)
  •   National Biodiversity Data Centre
  •   Environmental Protection Agency

First time users are prompted to download Microsilver Silverlight to run the program. My desk pc wouldn't run this software but my laptop accepted it.

Heritage Maps is a work-in-progress. I took a look at it a few weeks ago and didn't get very far, but there are now three video tutorials available (via the Help menu) which seem to resolve some of the problems I encountered. The viewer will be updated at regular intervals and the developers are asking for feedback by email.

The Heritage Maps Project started in spring 2012; it is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council, working in partnership with the local authority heritage officers and builds on the work carried out for the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The project partners will expand to 25 Local Authorities in 2014. Links have been made to other projects within the Irish Spatial Data Infrastructure and other initiatives are being developed with the Discovery Programme, the National Roads Authority and the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The map below has been printed off from Heritage Map and shows burial grounds (crosses) in North Kerry, together with walking routes (purple lines) and Blue Flag beaches (blue flag!) in the vicinity. Using the zoom option, you can then superimpose these features onto the Ordnance Survey road map, complete with local landmarks, pubs, churches etc.

More Sligo Champion editions searchable online

Some more editions (1948 and 1951) of The Sligo Champion have been added in the last week to the British Newspaper Archive and FindMyPast (Irish and World collections) databases.

The line-up for this publication is now as follows on both databases:
  • June 1836 to December 1838
  • January to December 1852
  • April 1923 to December 1923
  • January to December 1926
  • January to December 1948
  • January to December 1951

Irish Newspaper Archives continues upgrade

Since giving us a demo of its new search facility back in October, Irish Newspaper Archive (INA) has continued to improve functionality and has added new titles.

The most recent additions have come from the Skibbereen Eagle, with editions for 1882-1883, 1885-1900, 1907, and 1909–1922 now uploaded (INA plans to fill the gaps as soon as possible but this work has not yet been scheduled). Issues of the Dundalk Democrat are expected to be added shortly.

There have also been a number of site improvements, among them an interactive map of the island through which you can discover the relevant titles for the county of interest.

A range of functionality improvements are also in the pipe, including:
  • Full Date Range Filter (dd/mm/yyyy - dd/mm/yyyy) for searching
  • Next and Previous Issue buttons for browsing
  • Multi-publication selection for searching
  • WebMail Form for emailing articles
These features should be live by the end of January. In the meantime, an improved virtual tour of the site is also in development.

If you were wondering about a Christmas gift for the family historian in your life, or want to drop hints of what you'd like to find under the tree next week, take a look at the INA's gift subscription on USB.

Lockout Tapestry limited edition now on sale

Launched last week at Glasnevin Museum (see blogpost), The Making of the Great 1913 Lockout Tapestry  book is now available from SIPTU Communications Department, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1.  Tel: +353 (0)1-8588217 or email.

Only 600 copies are available for sale, so if this is a book you would cherish, best place your order or pop along to Glasnevin Museum, The Abbey Theatre or Books Upstairs while they still have any stock.

The book costs €15 and can be collected from Liberty Hall.  If it's to be posted, add €6.

Transatlantic Connections: a January conference

A conference, organised by Drew University, is to be held in Bundoran, Co Donegal in January (Wednesday 15 to Friday 17). Its purpose is to explore, investigate and celebrate the ways in which Ireland and the United States are connected – in history, in literature and in contemporary culture.

While the programme doesn't include any obvious Irish genealogy interest, there are certainly a number of local history lectures that will appeal to anyone with ancestors from Donegal, as well as some presentations of wider historical appeal. Mixed in with the historical interest are themes of Irish literature, food and drink, film and, er... surfing.

To give you a better flavour, here is a random selection of lecture sessions pulled from the conference timetable:
  • Irish Whiskey: best in the world
  • Oscar Wilde and the Wild West
  • Female surfers and Irish national identity
  • Five films that define how Hollywood sees Ireland
  • The Boggards and Banshees: Irish Lore and Role-playing games
  • Irish Republicans and the American Frontier 1816–1823
  • Donegal during the Famine
  • The Border counties and World War 2
  • An Ulster-American cook in the age of the Titanic and World War
  • The kindness of strangers: Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland
A series of art exhibitions and live musical performances will also be taking place during the conference. An all-access Conference Pass (lecture sessions, events, meals and entertainment over the three days) cost €50. Day passes cost €30 while morning or afternoon passes cost €10. Art exhibitions are free.

For further details, including a list of speakers, the full programme, costs and locations, download the 12-page brochure (3.7Mb pdf).

Monday 16 December 2013

PHSI adds 18th-century marriage register index

Members of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland have a new resource to enjoy on the PHSI website: Marriages in Banbridge Presbyterian Church 1756-94.

The marriage register was kept during the ministries of the Rev Henry Jackson (said to be a relative of General Jackson, President of the United States), 1743-90, and the Rev Nathaniel Shaw, 1790-1812.

Most of the 306 entries in the register are described as “Purposes of Marriage” but were really proclamations of banns, which were never popular with Presbyterians. Almost all who were proclaimed were soon afterwards married so the book is effectively a register of marriages that took place.

The spelling of surnames in the register is somewhat odd: Mahallan is probably “Mulholland”, McCabbin may be “McKibbin” and McGumery is likely to be “Montgomery”. All the names recorded are of Scottish, Irish or English origin except for Junnaux (Juneau), which is of Huguenot origin.

The index has been produced from the RSAI transcript of the marriage register and has been used with permission from the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, from Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, Banbridge, and from Banbridge Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.

More details of the resource.

New book of essays examines Plantation themes

http://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/all-departments/plantation-aspects-seventeenth-century-ulster-societyThe Ulster Historical Foundation and Ulster Local History Trust have published a new multidisciplinary book of essays about the early 17th-century Plantation.

Plantation – Aspects of seventeenth-century Ulster society, by Brendan Scott, Dr William Roulston, is a collection of essays arrising from two conferences organised by the Ulster Local History Trust in 2008 and 2010, and explores a number of themes relating to this critically important episode of Irish history.

The essays range from overviews to case studies of particular areas, individuals or groups. Sources that are essential to a better understanding of the immense social, economic, demographic and political changes brought about by the plantation are highlighted, while the experiences of the Irish, English and Scots are all brought into view and analysed from different perspectives.

The conclusions challenge some preconceived notions and offer fresh thinking on aspects of this period. This accessible and scholarly collection aims to further our understanding of the Ulster Plantation and is available in paperback via BooksIreland. Hot from the press, it is currently offered at a reduced price of £6.99.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Android app delivers Dublin's 1911 census

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blackwater.dublineage_dublin1911Dublineage is a brand-new android app that focusses on the capital in 1911 and allows you to access transcriptions of more than 300,000 detailed 1911 census entries. It's free to download/install via PlayStore.

Search options are first name, surname, Dublin area and age range, and you can use any or all of them. The returned results provide basic details including exact age recorded, occupation and religion.

So a search for my grandmother's uncle John Doyle, who lived in South Dock, produced 16 results of men of all ages. It was easy enough to pick him out from the list of 16 as I knew he was a Roman Catholic coachsmith. Clicking on his details took me through to further details, which showed he lived in Sandwith Street Lower*, was married and born in County Wexford. A further 'household' screen showed details for his wife, Elizabeth, and a boarder, another coachmaker, a Dublin-born widower called Matthew Goulding.

All the results are transcriptions. There are no images, nor any link to the National Archives of Ireland's online census site. There is, however, a thank you in the credit list to the NAI for supplying the original database to the development team.

The Dublineage application also provides rich content about Dublin just before a decade of phenomenol change in Ireland. A 69-page ebook produced by UCD Master's Degree Geography students in 2011 – Second City - Dublin in 1911 – delivers statistical and factual information about the capital, together with maps, graphs and photos, at the time of the census. Its text comes to life in an accompanying (13-minute) video documentary – Dublin 1911 – A City in Distress – that explores that world further and includes interviews with some of Ireland's top historians.

If you can't access the app but would like to view these resources, you can download the ebook here (58mb pdf) and watch the video on YouTube here.

The app also contains some brief factsheets about Dublin's districts (did you know, for example, that Murphy was the most common surname in Drumcondra?)

The app, which is currently available only for android, has been produced by seven UCD classmates: Robert Andrew, Stephen Browne, Timmy Fisher, Neal Genocchi, Damien Hunt, Samuel Kristensen and Clinton Sweenam, who have founded Blackwater Apps. They say they will consider launching an iphone/ipad version in the New Year, but they're looking to see the level of interest in this android version first.

Feedback is requested.

My own opinion is that this is a neat little tool with an attractive and uncluttered interface. I'm not sure that the factsheets add a lot (perhaps they need beefing up a bit), but the search function is easy enough to get along with and the ebook and video are well-done. I don't have Dublin ancestors other than the John Doyle I've mentioned above, but if I did, I'm sure I'd find Dublineage very useful, convenient and fun.

*transcribed erroneously as Sandwhich Street Lower in this app.

Friday 13 December 2013

Joint Committee hears Irish Genealogy presentations

This week, the Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht has been meeting to discuss the topic: Developing a Plan to Capture the Full Value of our Genealogical Heritage.

Before the meetings got underway on Tuesday, Michael McCarthy, Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, issued a press release outlining the full purpose:

"Genealogy has, in recent years, become a fascination for Irish people, as indeed for people worldwide. People want to know more about their forebears and their origins; where they come from and what was happening back then. While many people engage in genealogical research as a personal hobby there is a very important role for the professional genealogist in conducting research for others and in providing information in both hard copy form and also online.

As well as having a very important social dimension in allowing people at home and abroad to trace their roots and establish their family history, genealogy research could provide an economic opportunity. Given Ireland’s world-wide diaspora, genealogy can make an important contribution to enhancing our tourism sector and, as an industry with major potential growth, can contribute to creating employment in Ireland both in genealogical research and in encouraging people to visit Ireland.

By providing co-ordinated genealogical services to people seeking information on their families, relatives and the localities they came from, employment opportunities could be created in many local communities for librarians, archivists and local history tourism initiatives, as well as boosting jobs in the hotel, retail and leisure sectors around the country from increased tourism numbers."

The Committee heard presentations from all the leading players in the Irish genealogy field, including the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, the Irish Family History Federation, the Genealogical Society of Ireland, John Grenham, Ancestry, DC Thompson/FindMyPast/Eneclann, the Railway Records Society, the Guinness Archive, and the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations representing all of its members.

Each of the invited organisations was able to make a detailed presentation to the Committee during the two sessions, which concluded yesterday afternoon.

Among the subjects discussed was the need for more records to be made available (a matter requiring more financial and staff resources to be allocated to the main repositories), the imperative of releasing the Roman Catholic parish records held by the National Library, the suitability (or not!) of the General Register Office's Research Room in Werburgh Street (which came in for a lot of criticism) and the need to overcome the Central Statistics Office's objections to the early release of the 1926 census.

The latter subject was raised so many times that the committee is considering calling the Central Statistics Office before it to explain itself!

All the presentations and proceedings of these hearings were videoed and can be viewed online. (The location was Committee Room 4 and the presentations were held in the afternoon).

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives latest

The following records have been added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives during the first half of December. I don't suppose there will be any significant uploads between now and the end of the year, so this is likely to be the last hit of 2013 from IGP-web.

CLARE Genealogy Archives – Newspapers
Articles from Clare Journal - 1816 (Partial)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Mount Jerome, Parts 68 & 69

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Church of St. Molaise Graveyard

KERRY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kilshannig Burial Ground

MAYO Genealogy Archives – Photos
Aghaghower Cemetery Photo

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Patrick's Monaseed - North Section, Part 1

Thursday 12 December 2013

Irish Volunteers exhibition opens at Glasnevin

Panel from the 1913 Lockout Tapestry
depicting Jim Larkin's arrest in Sackville Street
Glasnevin Museum is presenting a new exhibition to mark the centenary of the Irish Citizen’s Army and the Irish volunteers. At the official opening yesterday, a new book – The Making of the Great 1913 Lockout Tapestry – was also launched.

Artefacts on display for the first time include a German Mauser Rifle, which was manufactured in 1870 and landed at Howth on 26 July 1914 aboard the Asgard by Erskine Childers as part of a major consignment of arms for the Irish Volunteers. The rifle, whose stock had been cut off to allow female members of the Volunteers to smuggle it beneath their clothes through the streets of Dublin, was retrieved from Sean O Casey’s house on the East Wall Road.

Other items on display include:
  • Roger Casement's personal bible from 1915
  • An inscribed shell, which was being carried by Roger Casement when he was arrested at Banna Strand in 1915
  • A letter from Patrick Pierce to Joseph Mary Plunkett requesting a literary contribution for the St Enda’s College magazine
  • Letters from Thomas McDonough to Joseph Mary Plunkett
  • The original Volunteer’s tunic of Dinny FitzPatrick
The exhibition also highlights a number of men and women involved in the volunteers whose remains are interred in Glasnevin cemeterym including:
  • John Lee from Lower Rutland Street in Dublin, a volunteer who was later wounded in Gallipoli and was brought home to die in Dublin
  • James Grace from Summerhill, who fought on Mount Street in the 1916 Rising; he survived and went on to live into old age
  • Helena Moloney from Rathmines who, as part of the Irish Citizens Army, fought in City Hall in 1916. She became President of the ICTU and lived until 1967.
Speaking ahead of the event, Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, called on members of the public who may have artefacts relating to the commemorative period in their possession, to bring them forward so that they can add to a wider understanding of events such as the centenary of the Easter Rising and the key events of the first World War.

The Making of the Great 1913 Lockout Tapestry documents the collaborative project lead by SIPTU and the National College of Art and Design to design and produce a large-scale work of art depicting the story of the 1913 Lockout when one third of the capital’s inhabitants faced starvation for five months in a battle for workers’ rights. The Tapestry is now on an exhbition tour. I saw it recently at Collins Barracks. It's impressive.

Strokestown to host National Famine Commemoration

Strokestown in County Roscommon is to be the location for the 2014 National Famine Commemoration.

Making the announcement yesterday, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee said: "The ceremony will take place at Strokestown Park House and Gardens, host to the Irish National Famine Museum. The people of Strokestown have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to ensure that the victims of the Great Irish Famine are remembered in a dignified and respectful way and that the people of Ireland have a rich collection of material which helps us to examine the themes of the famine such as blight, eviction and emigration."

County Roscommon was one of the worst affected areas during the Great Irish Famine, with some 32% of its population lost. The Strokestown estate of Major Denis Mahon was by far the worst affected area; Mahon initiated large-scale emigration from the area to Canada and many perished on the journey.

Minister Deenihan said that the local organisers of the National Famine Commemoration have proposed a full programme of events in the run up to the Commemoration. The date of the event will be announced in due course.

Strokestown was chosen for the 2014 location following an open application process whereby all counties in Connacht were invited to submit applications through the relevant local authority.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Overlooked archival sources: PRONI workshops

Here's something to brighten up the dark chilly days of January and February: a series of workshops at the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland looking at often overlooked archival sources for family and local history.

Many of the resources are now accessible online, and five respected specialists will illustrate their historical context and use, so there'll be plenty of insider knowledge to pick up along the way. Here's the programme:

Wednesday 22 January: The 1641 Depositions: An Early Source for Local History (and Beyond), with Dr Annaleigh Margey
Wednesday 29 January: Using Church Records for Family and Local History - First Steps, with Valerie Adams
Wednesday 5 February: Family trees - How GRONI can help them grow, with Alistair Butler.
Wednesday 12 February: "Maps from Snaps": Archive Mapping and Aerial Photography for Local and Family History, with Drew Ferris
Wednesday 19 February: Understanding an Ancestor's Neighbourhood - The Griffith's Valuation Books, Maps, and Revision Books, with Dr Bill McAfee

The workshops will be held at PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast at 1pm. Admission is free but you need to book by email.

PRONI updates Valuation Revision Books

As promised at Back To Our Past back in October (see blogpost), the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland has added 39 Valuation Revision Books that were missing from the original upload of this important free database. You can see the list of the books below.

The Revision Books collection has also been updated with a number of corrections relating to missed pages, duplicates, typos etc which members of the public have identified.

You can search the Valuation Revision Books here.

PRONI ref Electoral DivisionParishDates
VAL/12/B/1/4E BallyclareGrange of Doagh, Ballycorr & Kilbride1897 - 1904
VAL/12/B/1/12A CoggreyGrange of Doagh & Ballycorr & Kilbride1923 – 1929
VAL/12/B/1/14A CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1864 – 1866
VAL/12/B/1/14B CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1867 – 1880
VAL/12/B/1/14C CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1881 – 1891
VAL/12/B/1/14D CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1892 – 1899
VAL/12/B/1/14E CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1901 – 1911
VAL/12/B/1/14F CraigaroganBallymartin & Templepatrick1912 – 1929
VAL/12/B/1/25C RasheeRashee1881–1890
VAL/12/B/1/25D RasheeRashee1890–1900
VAL/12/B/1/25E RasheeRashee1890–1900
VAL/12/B/1/25F RasheeRashee & Connor1865–1879
VAL/12/B/3/1A AhoghillPortglenone & Ahoghill1865-1879
VAL/12/B/3/1B AhoghillPortglenone & Ahoghill1880-1889
VAL/12/B/3/1C AhoghillPortglenone & Ahoghill1890-1900
VAL/12/B/3/5L BallymenaBallyclug, Ahoghill & Kirkinriola1896-1901
VAL/12/B/3/5M BallymenaBallyclug, Ahoghill & Kirkinriola1896-1901
VAL/12/B/3/5N BallymenaBallyclug, Ahoghill & Kirkinriola1901-1910
VAL/12/B/3/5P BallymenaKirkinriola1901-1910
VAL/12/B/3/5Q BallymenaBallyclug1911-1920
VAL/12/B/3/5R BallymenaBallyclug1921-1930
VAL/12/B/3/5S BallymenaKirkinriola1911-1920
VAL/12/B/3/5T BallymenaKirkinriola1921-1931
VAL/12/B/4/3D Ballymoney Ballymoney 1884 – 1894
VAL/12/B/4/3E Ballymoney Ballymoney 1894 – 1905
VAL/12/B/4/3F Ballymoney Ballymoney 1907 – 1915
VAL/12/B/4/3G Ballymoney Ballymoney 1916 – 1930
VAL/12/B/4/17C Killoquin Upper Rasharkin 1884 – 1897
VAL/12/B/4/18A Kilraghts Kilraghts 1864 – 1866
VAL/12/B/4/18B Kilraghts Kilraghts 1867 – 1887
VAL/12/B/4/18C Kilraghts Kilraghts 1887 – 1901
VAL/12/B/4/18D Kilraghts Kilraghts 1901 – 1912
VAL/12/B/4/18E Kilraghts Kilraghts 1912 – 1929
VAL/12/B/4/19A Kirkmoyle Ballymoney 1923 – 1929
VAL/12/B/23/9K Newtownards Clifton Ward Bangor Urban 1918 – 1928
VAL/12/B/26/25D Imeroo Enniskillen 1890 – 1909
VAL/12/B/26/25E Imeroo Enniskillen 1910 – 1923
VAL/12/B/42/19C Dunnamahagh Donaghedy 1879-1881
VAL/12/B/43/H/4 Duncairn Shankill 1906 – 1915

December issue of Irish Lives Remembered published

The December issue of Irish Lives Remembered has been published and can be read online or downloaded, free of charge, here.

County Armagh is the main destination topic this month, with features covering surnames, places to research, tourism and some features by members of the North of Ireland Family History Society's local branch.

There are also features on the Londonderry Collection held by PRONI, the Morpeth Roll, and a Nuns' Register being compiled by the Genealogical Society of Ireland, plus a report on the Gathering in New Zealand, a round-up of some of Irish genealogy's main online sources and an article to help researchers looking for colonial records of the Irish in Tasmania.

In other words, plenty to read!

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Festive season closures at major genealogy institutions

There's no set pattern to Christmas and New Year closures at the main repositories and libraries for Irish genealogical research, so make a note of these details before organising any family history trips over the festive season:

National Archives of Ireland, Dublin
The Reading Room will be closed from 12.30pm on Tuesday 24 December and will reopen at 9:15am on Monday 30 December. Normal hours 30 & 31 December. It will be closed on Wednesday 1 January 2014, reopening 9:15am on Thursday 2 January. Note: there will be no Genealogy Advisory Service on Christmas Eve.

Representative Church Body Library
The RCB Library will close for Christmas on Friday 20 December at 5pm. Reopening Thursday 2nd January 2014 at 9.30am.

National Library of Ireland
The reading rooms of the National Library (NLI) will be closed from Tuesday 24 December to Wednesday 1 January 2014 inclusive. The Kildare Street and National Photographic Archive exhibitions will be open on Monday 30 December and Tuesday 31 December from 10am to 5pm. All NLI Kildare Street services will reopen at 9.30am on Thursday 2 January 2014, with the NPA opening as usual at 10am on that date.

General Register Office
The GRO Research Room in Werburgh Street in Dublin will be closed from lunchtime on Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December, until 9:30am on Friday 27 December. Normal working hours on 27, 30 and 31 December. Closed Wednesday 1 January. Reopening with normal hours Thursday 2 January.

Dublin City Library & Archive
The Pearse Street Library will be open normal hours up to and including Monday 23 December. Closed 24 December to 1 January 2014 inclusive. Reopening at 10:00am to normal schedule on Thursday 2 January 2014.

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Belfast
PRONI will close at 4:45pm on Thursday 19 December and at 4:15pm on Friday 20 December. Regular hours will operate Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 December. Closed 25-27 December inclusive. Open regular hours 30 and 31 December. Closed 1 January 2014. Return to normal opening pattern from Wednesday 2 January 2014

General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI), Belfast
GRONI's Search Room will be closing early (not yet determined) on Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December, reopening at 9:30am on Monday 30 December. Normal hours 30 and 31 December. Closed 1 January. Reopen to normal hours Thursday 2 January 2014.

Irish Genealogical Research Society Library, London
The Library, currently operating on Saturday afternoons only from the Society of Genealogists in London, will be closed on Saturday 28 December and Saturday 4 January. Normal pattern resumes 1:30pm Saturday 11 January 2014.

Society of Genealogists, London
The Society closes for Christmas at 4pm on Tuesday 24 December and reopens 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 31 December for just one day. It will then be closed for the New Year holiday followed by stocktaking until 10am on Tuesday 7 January 2014.

The National Archives UK, London
TNA will close at 5pm on Tuesday 24 December, reopening Tuesday 31 December 9am to 5pm only. It will be closed on Wednesday 1 January, returning to normal schedules on Thursday 2 January.

Monday 9 December 2013

Architectural surveys for Cavan & Monaghan published

Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has launched the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Surveys of Counties Cavan and Monaghan.

The surveys are available online on the Department’s Buildings of Ireland website and are accompanied by illustrated books: An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Cavan and An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Monaghan. These are the 29th and 30th books to be published in the series, and mark an important milestone in compiling the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Arising from the surveys, the Minister has recommended that 770 structures of architectural heritage value in County Cavan and 1,257 structures in County Monaghan be included in each county’s Record of Protected Structures.

Each county boasts a wealth of architectural heritage dating from the medieval period up to the present day. The surveys, which cover an array of religious, industrial, residential, civic and commercial buildings, significantly contribute to an understanding of the history and development of counties Cavan and Monaghan. Their rich architectural legacies include impressive public buildings, fine railway stations, imposing country houses, and simple cast-iron post boxes and water pumps. The surveys will be of interest to family historians who want to learn more about the places where their ancestors lived.

Launching the two books, Mr Deenihan said: “If historic buildings are to survive as our legacy to future generations, they will have to be adapted to cater for the changing circumstances and needs of their present owners and users. The challenge is to manage change without sacrificing the intrinsic character of the building.”

2013's last batch of genealogy and history events

Along with all normality, this year's programme of genealogy and history events draws to a halt early next week as we approach the big Christmas shut down. This is your last chance of the year for brain food:

Monday 9 December: Connacht incastellated: pre-Norman and Anglo-Norman castles west of the Shannon, with Professor Tadhg O'Keeffe. Host: Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: Harbour Hotel, Dock Road, Galway.  8pm.

Monday 9 December: Reading Yesterday's News, a workshop looking at how the newspaper collections of the State and National Libraries can help your research. Basic computing skills required. 10am to 12noon. AUS$5 incl. GST, bookings essential. Venue: State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia, Tel: (02) 9273 1414.

Tuesday 10 December: The resources of Ancestry as a support for the genealogist, with Eric Booth. GSI lecture held at Dún Laoghaire College of FE, Cumberland Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm.

Tuesday 10 December: Silken Thomas and the Siege of Dublin, with Steven Ellis. Milestones of Medieval Dublin lunchtime lectures series.Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices, Dublin 8. 1:05pm to 1:45pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 10 December: Volunteers 1913: two traditions or one?, a HistoryIreland Hedge School, with Lar Joye, Michael Laffan, Timothy Bowman and Phiip Orr. Venue: Belfast City Hall. 6pm. Free, but booking required. Light refreshments before the event from 5:30pm at Belfast City Hall for those attending Hedge School. A guided tour of City Hall also available at 3:30pm.

Wednesday 11 December: Hidden history of the Belfast Hills, an interactive presentation covering history, wildlife and archaeology. Host: Belfast Hills Landscape Partnership. Venue: Falls Road Library, 49 Falls Road, Belfast Co Antrim BT12 4PD. Free. 12-1pm. For more information, tel: 028 9050 9212.

Thursday 12 December: Early Medieval Books, with John Dolan. Host: Rathfarnham Historical Society, Church of Ireland Parish Centre, Rathfarnham Village, Dublin. 8pm. €4 for non-members.

Friday 13 December: The North-West and the Scotch-Irish Diaspora in the 18th and 19th Centuries, with Professor Don MacRaild. Host: Derry City Council Heritage & Museum Service. Venue: Tower Museum, Union Place, Derry. 6pm. Free. No need to book.

Saturday 14 December: Mayo Genealogy Group Workshop at the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo. A monthly drop-in event for family history advice and chat. No booking required. Free. Details.

Wednesday 18 December: Families and Stories from West County Down, with Frank McCorry. North of Ireland FHA, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Town Hall, 15-17 Edward Street, Portadown, BT62 3LX. 7:30pm–9:30pm.

Friday 6 December 2013

More Armagh records added to RootsIreland

RootsIreland.ie has added another big chunk of records to its County Armagh database, as follows:

  • Armagh Methodist (Baptisms 1844-1846)
  • Lurgan (High Street) Methodist (Baptisms 1813–1864, Marriages 1842–1844)
  • Moira Methodist (Baptisms 1827–1844)
  • Newry Methodist (Baptisms 1824–1865, Deaths 1835)
  • Portadown (Thomas Street) Methodist(Baptisms 1824–1864, Marriages 1839–1841)
  • Tandragee Methodist (Baptisms 1800–1866, Marriages 1838–1845)
  • Portadown Primitive Methodist (Baptisms 1847–1878)
  • Eglish Church of Ireland (Baptisms 1803–1865, Deaths 1803–1805)
  • Kilmore (St Saviours) Church of Ireland (Baptisms 1843–1863)
  • Richhill Congregationalist Church (Baptisms 1845–1867, Marriages 1850–1876)
  • Lurgan (Quaker) Society of Friends (Baptisms 1607–1862, Marriages 1634–1848, Deaths 1697–1898)
  • Richhill & Grange (Quaker) Society of Friends (Baptisms 1812–1878, Marriages 1816–1836, Deaths 1747–1920)

These records join another big Armagh collection uploaded last month of Presbyterian register transcriptions (see blogpost).

IGRS Marriage Index races through 30,000 milestone

The Irish Genealogical Research Society has announced that that its Early Irish Marriages Index has broken through another milestone with more than 30,000 records now uploaded. This equates to over 70,000 names, with some 60,000 brides and grooms recorded plus 10,000 parents identified, and they all date from before 1864.

What’s more, they are free to search on the Society’s website, IrishAncestors.ie.

The Early Irish Marriages Index is the creation of Roz McCutcheon FIGRS, a long standing member and volunteer of the Society. She says that about 5,000 marriages now in the 30,000-strong database were drawn from the Registry of Deeds, either from her own research in the Dublin search room or from the Registry of Deeds Index Project (which is run by Nick Reddan FIGRS, another stalwart of the Society).

“One entry from the Registry of Deeds that delighted me was the marriage before 1753 of Hill Wilson in County Down,” says Roz. “Anywhere I had checked previously, there was just a blank where Wilson’s wife’s name should have appeared. But in Book 350, from a deed extracted by Nick, not only is Wilson’s wife named as Elinor Lutevidge, but also his father-in-law is named, plus the Lutevidge address in England. That’s just a tiny example of the riches being uncovered by indexing the Registry of Deeds.”

As the Index continues to grow, Roz is constantly checking for duplications. She explains: “Sometimes three or four entries will refer to the same marriage, but each entry will supply something new towards building a record of the marriage.”

The Early Irish Marriage Index was launched on St Patrick’s Day 2013. If you have not searched it before, I'd echo the Society's suggestion that you read through the Introduction before launching into the database; it'll help you to understand your search results.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Roll books of Lahinch National School go online

The excellent Clare Library website has had an exciting new upload today: transcriptions of the Roll Books of Lahinch National School. These have been donated to the library's online catalogue by Kevin Glynn, a former Principal of the school.

The school was built in 1877, and the Roll Books for boys go back almost to that date. They start in 1879. Those for the girl pupils date from 1909. The cut-off date for both sets of books is 1940.

Details in the Roll Books include name, year of entrance to the school, age, religion, address (typically the townland but sometimes a street name), and the father's occupation. From 1896, most dates of birth are provided, too.

A wonderful resource!

RootsIreland launches Gift Vouchers

http://www.rootsireland.ieJust right for the Christmas stocking! The Irish Family History Foundation has launched a range of gift vouchers which can be exchanged for credits on RootsIreland.ie's database.

The vouchers are available in denominations of €25.00 and €50.00 and are valid for one year from date of purchase. You can find out more, including the precise terms and conditions, on the website via the My Account/Top Up page.

Eagle-eyed visitors to the site will also notice that two counties on the home page map have turned orange. Apparently, some records for counties Clare and Carlow will be joining the RootsIreland database some time soon-ish. No details about what and when are available yet.


Three Irish courses at Society of Genealogists, London

The Society of Genealogists in London has recently announced its full line up of courses for 2014. Included are three Irish-themed half day sessions, as follows:
  • Irish records – Beyond the obvious, with Roz McCutcheon FIGRS and Jill Williams FIGRS. After a brief summary of the usual sources, the course will cover the huge variety of lesser known sources, both online and offline. Date: Saturday 8 February. 10:30am to 1:00pm. Cost: £20. Booking.
  • Scottish and Irish Immigration, with Maggie Loughran. (No further details posted, but the title is clear enough!) Date: Saturday 19 July. 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Cost: £20. Booking.
  • Irish Rentals and Census records, with Dr Jim Ryan of Flyleaf Press fame, exploring Irish rentals – the information they hold, and where and how they can be accessed. Date: Saturday 16 August. 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Booking.
These courses are held at the Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA.

Ireland's oldest town: Ballyshannon exhibition opens

A new exhibition opening today in Ballyshannon investigates the claim that Ballyshannon is Ireland's Oldest Town. The exhibition, which has been developed as part of the Donegal County Museum's 'History on your Doorstep' project, puts forward a compelling argument based on archaeological and archival evidence.

Shane Toolan of Ballyshannon Museum believes that this is a very important exhibition for the town of Ballyshannon. “It has been a long held belief that Ballyshannon is the oldest settled place in Ireland," he said. "And this exhibition sets out the case in a clear and easily understood way."

The museum team worked with a small group of people to study books, archives, objects found in the local area and archaeology and have been able to put together an evidenced account that shows settlement in the area for centuries.

The launch of the exhibition will take place at the Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon, and will be followed by a talk and Q&A about the Oldest Town claim at 8pm.

Doors open at 7.30pm. Admission is free.

After the event the exhibition will be on permanent display in the newly restored and redeveloped Ballyshannon Museum on the top floor of Slevin’s Department Store. Open Monday–Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Lord Morpeth's Roll arrives in Belfast

The Morpeth Roll, the 1841 document holding some 160,000 signatures gathered from across the island, will go on display in Belfast tomorrow.

Before the exhibition opens, a symposium will be held in the Canada Room from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. The formal launch of the exhibition will then be held, at 4:30pm, in the Naughton Gallery, Lanyon Building, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN.

All are welcome to attend, and the events are free.

On display until 24 January 2014, the exhibition is hosted by Special Collections and Archives and the School of History and Anthropology in association with the Naughton Gallery. The Symposium is in association with the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies.

The Morpeth Roll can be searched on Ancestry. The index is free to search, but you need a subscription to view the images. Ronald Reagan's ancestors were recently discovered among the signatures. Other famous connections to the Roll include the British Royal Family, and the Guinness and Beamish families.

325 years later: Lundy finally goes on trial

Lundy's ultimate fate is unknown
A new website will be launched at the Tower Museum Derry~Londonderry on Friday 6 December that might help prove a man’s innocence - 325 years later. Or it may confirm his guilt.

The site – TheTrialOfLundy.com – is the result of a year-long intensive search to unearth the evidence in the case of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lundy. Dr Andrew Robinson and Dr Billy Kelly of the University of Ulster’s Magee campus have produced a definitive and intriguing account of one of the most controversial and iconic characters in the history of these islands. That evidence may provide the foundation that could grant Lundy the trial he so desperately pleaded for.

Lundy was Military Governor of Derry during the great Siege of 1688/9 but his name is now synonymous with that of a traitor. His effigy, emblazoned with the placard LUNDY THE TRAITOR, is hanged and burned in front of tens of thousands each December in the very streets he once commanded. To this day, the term ‘Lundy’ or ‘latter day Lundy’ is a highly effective weapon of intimidation against those who would question the orthodoxy of Ulster Protestantism and Unionism.

Lundy, himself, was outraged at the slur on his reputation “…'which is deirer to me then my life, for I am called papest, traytor or cowarde,”. He was sure that King William and Queen Mary would reward him for “…being the principal if not the Instrument under God of preserving Londonderry to them’

But King William locked him up in the Tower of London, and the fair trial Lundy demanded was denied to him because, so he assumed, those in power “…haue a minde to make me a sacrafice for their owen faults'.

The authorities at that time decided it was “…neither safe nor practicable to send Lundy into Ireland to be tryed”

But who was at most danger from putting Lundy on trial and what is hidden in the ‘can of worms’ that has been sealed tight for over 300 years?

Produced for the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture2013 by Derry based Besom Productions, the website will also host a brand new online-comic, ‘The Banishment of Doubt’. It picks up the story of the siege from the night Lundy left the city. Based on an original story by Paddy Stevenson and produced by Uproar Comics, it will be serialised in eight episodes over the coming months and promises to be a spectacular adventure.

TheTrialOfLundy.com is an innovative way of telling a complex and intriguing story. It offers an opportunity to share and resolve Lundy's story and the wider story of the Siege itself with new audiences, local and worldwide.