Tuesday 24 June 2014

Latest Ancestry additions include many Irish

Ancestry has uploaded a couple of collection that Irish genealogists, especially those in North America, may find worthy of more than a casual glance.

As we all know, Irish-Americans have long had a significant presence in public service, so you may find some of your ancestors recorded in the newly released Official Register of the USA 1863-1959.

In 1816, Congress authorized the publication of a list of all federal employees every two years. It appeared in book form under the title Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States. This collection includes 77 volumes of registers for years ranging from 1863 to 1959 (with gaps).

Registers include the name of each government employee, office held, where employed, where born, when appointed, and pay received, as well as information regarding the Navy, such as names and conditions of all ships and vessels belonging to the United States and when and where they were built. These registers are organized by department and thereunder by agency, bureau, or office. The collection holds nearly 4million entries. Of these, some 166,000 are recorded as having been born in Ireland.

The second new release of interest is the Oregon, Early Oregonians Database Index, 1800-1860. While not one of the major destinations for immigrants from Ireland (most of the early settlers had some capital with which to buy land, unlike the labourers who stayed in East Coast cities), its rich farmland attracted a good number; their descendants make up some 12% of the state's population claims Irish heritage.

This early database 102,546 entries in total. Some 1,516 are recorded as having been born in Ireland, and counties are provided in a minority of cases.

The index was compiled by the Oregon State Archives from initial data provided by the 1850 and 1860 censuses, but with additional information extracted from other censuses, probates, and vital records. As such, the details provided varies, but you may find names, aliases, birth dates and places, death dates and places, and burial locations.

Here are some examples from the search results:
  • Edward Mulholland, born Co. Wicklow; died 1858, buried Lane, Oregon
  • John Anthony Whitaker, born King's County; died 1900, buried Multnomah, Oregon
  • John Quinn, born in Ireland; died 1873, buried in Nevada, USA
  • Daniel Murphy, born Co. Wexford, Ireland; died 1866, buried Marion, Oregon