Monday 26 December 2016

FindMyPast: 10% discount on annual World packages
FindMyPast is offering a 10% discount on its 12-month World subscription. Could be just what you're looking for to get your New Year resolution – the one about making some serious progress with your family history – off to a great start.

To take advanatage of the offer, click on the currency you want to pay in below.

The offer will run only until 23.59 GMT, Saturday 31 December 2016, so don't miss out.

FindMyPast Ireland –
12-month World subscription for €161.55 (normal price €179.50)

FindMyPast USA/Canada –
12-month World subscription for
$215.55 (normal price $239.50)
FindMyPast UK –
12-month World subscription for £140.36 (normal price £155.95)

FindMyPast Australia/NZ –
12-month World subscription for AUS$215.55 (normal price $239.50)

Saturday 24 December 2016

Big festive savings from Irish Newspaper Archive
Irish Newspaper Archive is offering some big festive savings on access to its 9-million-page database.

Choose from the following discounts:
  • For a 15% discount on a one-month subscription, which will reduce the cost from €30 to €25.50, use the code Xmas15, or
  • For a 30% discount on the price of an annual subscription, which will reduce the cost from €178 to €124.60 – a very useful €63.50 saving – use the code XMAS30.
The Dublin-based and family-owned Irish Newspaper Archive holds 60 historical national, regional and local publications, many of them not online elsewhere.

The discounts will expire on Thursday 29 December.

Friday 23 December 2016

Christmas closing in Dublin, Belfast and London


The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: PRONI will be closed from Monday 26 December to Wednesday 28 December inclusive. Open Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. Closed Monday 2 January 2017.

General Register Office of Northern Ireland: GRONI will be closed Friday 23 December to Wednesday 28 December inclusive. Open Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. Closed Monday 2 January 2017. Reopening on Tuesday 3 January.

Presbyterian Historical Society Library: The Library and Archive will be closed from Wednesday 21 December 2016 until Tuesday 3 January 2017.


National Library Reading Rooms: All NLI reading rooms will be closed from Saturday 24 December to Monday 2 January 2017 inclusive. Normal hours from Tuesday 3 January.

National Library Exhibitions:
Exhibitions will be closed from Saturday 24 December to Tuesday 27 December inclusive; They will open from 10amd to 4:45pm from Wednesday 28 December to Friday 30 December inclusive. They will be closed from Saturday 31 December to Monday 2 January inclusive. Normal hours from Tuesday 3 January.

National Archives of Ireland:
The Reading Room will close at 12:30pm on Friday 23 December and re-open at 9:15am on Wednesday 28 December. Normal hours Thursday and Friday 29 and 30 December. It will be closed Monday 2 January and will re-open at 9:15am on Tuesday 3 January.

RCB Library:
The Representative Church Body Library and Archive will close at 4pm on Friday 23 December and re-open at 9:30am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Dublin City Public Libraries: All Dublin City Public Libraries will be closed from Saturday 24 December to Monday 2 January 2017 inclusive. They will all re-open to normal hours on Tuesday 3 January.


The National Archives, Kew: TNA will be closed from Saturday 24 December to Wednesday 28 December inclusive. It will be open Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. It will be closed on Monday 2 January 2017.

Society of Genealogists: The SOG will close at 6pm on Thursday 22 December and re-open on Wednesday 28 December. It will be open on Thursday 29 December for one day only, closing at 6pm. It remain closed for annual stocktaking until Tuesday 10 January 2017.

Irish Genealogical Research Society Library: Based at the Society of Genealogists, and open on Saturday afternoons, the IGRS Library will not open on the following dates: 24 and 31 December and 7 January 2017. Back to normal routine on Saturday 14 January.

Troy IGS releases Lot Sale Book records for St Agnes

Troy Irish Genealogy Society in New York has added another very useful database to its free website. This time it's the Lot Sale Book records of St Agnes Cemetery, Menands, New York.

The new collection covers lot purchases in St Agnes from 1867 to 1922 and lists 6,063 names. In addition to names, the details transcribed from the fragile book may include certificate number of purchase and date, date of deed to lot, purchase price, lot number, plot number and square feet of lot. This 108-acre cemetery was open to Catholics, so the records don't include only Irish immigrants, even if they do appear to be the majority, based on the names, especially in the early days.

The Society points out that many of the lot purchasers were joint purchases by individuals with different surnames, which may indicate a family relationship.

RootsIreland adds 2,000 Sligo marriages, 1864-1939

The County Sligo Heritage and Genealogy Society has added more than 2,000 new civil marriage records to its online database on The new records are for the following civil registration districts and years:
  • Boyle No. 2 1864 - 1939
  • Carney No. 1 1864 - 1938
  • Carney No. 2 1864 - 1939
With these additions, RootsIreland's Sligo database spans across 16 civil registration districts. You can see the full details of the holding, which also includes Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian records, on the Sligo Sources page.

Tipperary Studies releases gravestone inscriptions for 62 burial grounds

Tipperary Studies, the website of Tipperary Libraries' Local Studies department in Thurles, has launched the second phase of its Digitisation Project (the first phase was in May - see blogpost).

Digitisation has been carried over the last several months and has resulted in a wonderful package of graveyard inscriptions covering no less than 62 burial grounds in North Tipperary and the parishes of Killenaule and Moyglass. These are now available as a library of downloadable parish-by-parish pdfs (most of them seem to be 1.5 to 4Mb). You can find the menu on the Tipperary Studies 'Gravestone Inscriptions' page.

Registry of Deeds Index Project: last update of 2016

The volunteers at the Registry of Deeds Index Project have managed to get in another update before the end of the year. It means there are now 221,907 entries transcribed from 25,211 memorials of deeds available to search, free of charge on the website.

British Newspaper Archive offers 20% discount

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) is offering a 20% discount on its annual subscription. The offer reduces the cost of the 12-month 'unlimited' package from £79.95 to £63.96.

The BNA now holds more than 17.5million newspaper pages across 708 titles. Of these, 129 are from Ireland; they include both national and local papers including the Irish Times, Belfast Newsletter, Cork Examiner, Tralee Chronicle and the Carlow Post and some produced for a specialised readership such as The Dublin Builder and the Catholic Telegraph.

All of these titles are included in a FindMyPast Ireland or World subscription, but it you're not currently head down on genealogy research, you might find a standalone BNA subscription suits you better. In which case, to take advantage of the offer, click the image below and type XMAS16 into the promotion code box. You'll see the subscription rate alter to £5.33 a month. Please note that this discounted annual subscription requires an up-front payment; it is not available monthly.

The discount offer will expire on 28 December.

Friday 16 December 2016

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: Latest update

Volunteers, both new and old hands, have been busy in the last two weeks contributing and transcribing records and photos to deliver a bumper update to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. All the records in the IGP Archives are free to access.

As it's the season of goodwill... if you're considering giving a donation to a worthwhile cause, why not make a cash contribution to IGP-web? While the records and photos and transcriptions are given freely by volunteers, maintaining an ever-growing photo-laden website costs real money. Every donation, however small, helps keeps the site online for the benefit of everyone in the Irish family history community. You can donate here.

All-IRELAND Genealogy Archives - Ordination Cards
Beauchamp Bagnal Harvey
Commander-in-Chief of The County Wexford Insurgents
Beheaded on Wexford Bridge
Ordination Souvenir Cards

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Cemetery Records
Crosserlough Graveyard
Castlerahan Graveyard
Munterconnacht Graveyard

CLARE Memorial Cards – Memorial Cards

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Deansgrange Cemetery, St Mary's Section, Pt 14

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Old Killesher Graveyard

GALWAY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kylemore Abbey - Nuns

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Thomastown New Catholic Cemetery (partial)

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Old Drumlish Cemetery (Updated)
St. Emer's Graveyard, Ballinalee (Rt. Side)

MAYO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Knock Cemetery (partial)
St. Cronin's Graveyard, Balla

MEATH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Mary's Navan, (E-F)

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Ahamlish A-G *Transcribed

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Ballyanne (R.C.) Graveyard - CONNICK
Mayglass Graveyard - HARVEY (Updated)

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Castlepollard, St. Michael (Church & plaques)

Digital photography allowed at PRONI from today

Take your own device to PRONI research room
The new Statutory Rule The Public Use of the Records (Management and Fees) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2016 comes into effect at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) today. It introduces a new tariff for charges for photocopying, postage, research by staff etc, and some of the increases are quite significant, so worth noting if you don't want to find yourself financially embarrassed during a visit!

Access to all records online and at the Titanic Boulevard offices remains free of charge, however.

Another major change will be much more welcome. It allows researchers to use their own mobile, tablet or digital camera to photograph most documents (obviously not those with specified copyright restrictions). Previously, such photography had to be agreeed in advance by the Head of Public Services. From today, as part of the document ordering process, researchers will be required to sign a copying and copyright declaration as they collect documents they wish to photograph. Taking your own images means you'll avoid the new higher charges for using PRONI's photocopiers.

Monday 12 December 2016

Irish genealogy and history events, 12–31 Dec

Monday 12 to Friday 16 December: Preservation Week at PRONI. There will be no document ordering service. Search Room and self-service microfilms will operate to normal hours. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.

Tuesday 13 December: The Foundation of St Thomas's Abbey, with Marie-Therese Flanagan. Last of the Milestone of Medieval Dublin lectures 2016. Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices, Dublin 8. Free. 1:05pm to 1:50pm. No need to book.

Tuesday 13 December: The evolution of the Irish harp emblem, with Stanislav Zamyatin. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Donation €3. All welcome. 8pm.

Tuesday 13 December: The Strange Case of Mr Thomas Meharry - A Melodrama, with Elizabeth Scott. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 14 December:
Victorian Malahide – Memoirs of Win McLeod, with Mary McNamara presents with music and images. Host: Malahide Historical Society. Venue: Presbyterian Church Hall, Dublin Road, Malahide, Co Dublin. 8pm. €4. Non-members welcome. Free parking in Bridge Field public car park opposite venue.

Thursday 15 December: School and Education Records, with Valerie Adams. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Thursday 15 December: Research Room open for extra hours, 10:30am to 1pm. North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS), Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS.

Thursday 15 December: The building trade in late medieval Ireland, with Dr Rachel Moss. Host: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Venue: Helen Roe Theatre, Society House, 63 Merrion Square South, Dublin 2. 7:30pm.

Monday 19 December: Genealogy information sessions, with Margaret Bonar and Elizabeth Craven. Morning and afternoon sessions. Morning venue: Raheny Library, Howth Rd, Dublin 5 from 10:30am to 11:45am. Afternoon venue: Donaghmede library, Donaghmede Shopping Centre, Dublin 13 from 2:30pm to 4pm. Free. Bookings to 085 1444883 or

Tuesday 20 December: Peoples, Kings and Kingdoms, with Dr Patrick Gleeson. Part of the Tipperary People and Places Lecture series. Host: Tipperary Studies, Tipperary Libraries. Venue: Gallery of the Source Library, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 22 December: Early closing (3:45pm) at all National Library of Ireland locations. This includes the free Genealogy Service at Kildare Street. The closure is to facilitate a staff development meeting.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Tis the season: free genealogy services at NAI & NLI

Now that we're comfortably into December, it's time for my annual reminder that the free Genealogy Advisory Services at the National Library and the National Archives are not at their busiest, so this could be a perfect opportunity to drop by for some specialist help with your brickwall or to ask for guidance on 'where to go next'.

Both services operate full-time, five days a week, year round, as follows:

National Archives of Ireland

Reading Room, Bishops St, Dublin 8
Mon–Fri: 9:30am–5pm
Readers Ticket required. (Reading Room closed this week only.)
More details.

National Library of Ireland

Genealogy Room, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Mon–Wed: 9:30am–5pm; Thurs & Fri: 9:30am–4.45pm.
More details.

There is no appointment system. You just turn up and wait your turn, but queues are a lot less likely in December than during the busy summer season.

Book launch – Seven Signatories: Tracing the Family Histories of the Men who signed the Proclamation

Seven Signatories: Tracing the Family Histories of the Men Who Signed the Proclamation has been published in paperback.
Available from the publisher at just €7.99
and from good bookshops
Written by professional genealogist Paul Gorry MAGI FIGRS, the book was originally produced in digital format as a special Easter issue of Clann, the magazine of the Irish Family History Foundation / Roots Ireland, as the IFHF's contribution to the 1916 Rising commemorations. Since then it was decided to give the project permanency and greater exposure by producing it in book form.

Kildare County Council and Merrion Press/Irish Academic Press took on the task of publication.

The Family Histories of the Seven Signatories is an indispensable genealogical history that uncovers the disparate lives that came together through the will for Irish independence. The backgrounds and experiences of their families were essential components in the determination of their ideas – each firmly their own – of an Irish republic. Told individually, their extended histories collectively explore many of the complexities that defined 19th-century Ireland.

The book would make a lovely Christmas present for the genealogist or historian in your life, and at just €9.99 (or €7.99 via the publisher), you don't even have to feel guilty if you buy it for yourself! It's available from Merrion Press and bookshops.


PRONI launches free online historical maps viewer

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has launched a free online historical maps viewer for the six counties of present-day Northern Ireland: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone.
Zooming in on the Whiterock linen production area in
Belfast, now under a housing estate.
It allows you to search and browse seven historical Ordnance Survey maps and four contemporary basemaps (including aerial imagery), and displays county, parish and townland boundaries as well as information on sites, buildings and landmarks of historical interest.

The historical maps available are from the 6-inch County Series mapping and, for more recent options, the Irish Grid, as follows:

Edition 1 (1832 – 1846)
Edition 2 (1846 – 1862)
Edition 3 (1900 - 1907)
Edition 4 (1905 - 1957)
Edition 5 (1919 – 1963)
6” Irish Grid (1952-1969)
1:10,000 metric Irish Grid (1957-1986)

The functioning of the viewer and its ability to layer and compare the maps is pretty straightforward. I didn't encounter any difficulties with it when I had a trial run last night, but I'd recommend reading the clear instructions on the viewer home page linked above (or from the right-hand drop down menu) to get you up to speed without delay.

Monday 5 December 2016

NEHGS to digitise RC Archdiocese of Boston records

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced a historic collaboration with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, to create a database of 10 million Catholic records dating from 1789 to 1900.

The collection will include baptisms, marriages and burials, plus first communions, confirmations, sick calls and deaths.

It will be jam-packed with Irish emigrants, as well as a huge number of Italians and Germans who collectively made Boston such a major immigration port during the 19th century.

The Archdiocese of Boston is one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the United States, encompassing more than 130 communities in Massachusetts. According to the 2010 Religion Census, 45% of the state's residents consider themselves Catholic — a statistic that would shock the original, overwhelmingly Protestant, colonists. Catholicism was illegal in Massachusetts until 1780, and violent hostility still reigned in Boston decades later.

The arrival of thousands of Irish Catholics fleeing the Famine horrified the resident population in the 1840s and early 1850s. In 1854, when it was estimated that one in three people living in the city was Irish-born, the Know Nothing party of bigots gained a landslide electoral victory with their slogan 'Americans must rule America' and sought to strip the new arrivals of jobs and workers' and voters' rights. Fortunately, the Know Nothings were roundly defeated two years later.

But back to today's news...

On completion of this significant digitisation project, the resulting NEHGS database on will contain more than 10 million searchable names, making it the largest genealogical collection of American Catholic records online.

The timescale for the digitisation project hasn't been revealed.

UPDATE 9 January 2017: Details will be released tomorrow at 11am EST (4pm Dublin/London) at a press conference which will be streamed live through the NEHGS website at

Irish genealogy & history events, 5-17 December

Monday 5 to Friday 9 December:  Reading Room closed to the public for annual media preview. National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free Genealogy Service will not operate on these dates. Reopens Monday 12 December.

Monday 5 DecemberAgnes Jones – Pioneering Nurse, with Gerald McGill. Plus Members' Research Meeting. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 6 December: Frongoch & 1916, a series of new 1916 exhibitions – Official Launch by Catriona Crowe. Host: Digital Repository Venue: National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Noon. All welcome. No need to book.

Wednesday 7 December: Family History Online, a workshop for beginners. Host: Libraries NI. Venue: Lisburn City Library, Linenhall St, Lisburn BT28 1FJ. 10:30am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 4pm. Free. Booking essential – T: 028 9266 9345, E:

Thursday 8 December: WWI Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, an exhibition tour. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 2/3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Booking is not required. All welcome. 2pm.

Thursday 8 December: Derry City Cemetery and its burial registers (newly transcribed), with the Council's Archive team. Host: Derry City and Strabane District Council. Venue: Tower Museum, Union Hall Place, Derry~Londonderry, BT48 6LU. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Friday 9 December: Women of the Rising, with Dr Margaret Ward. Host: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7DR. 12:30pm. Free. All welcome.Booking advised: T 028 6632 2886 or

Saturday 10 December: Ower the Sheugh – considering the Irish and Scottish migrations across the Narrow Sea in historical prespective, with Dr Paddy Fitzgerald. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Omagh Library, Dublin Road, Omagh, BT78 1HL. 10am. All welcome.

Saturday 10 December: The National Library's History & Heritage, an introduction to the Library's rich architectural history and the Signatories exhibition, plus a guided tour of the Reading Room.  Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Admission free. All welcome. 1pm. No need to book.

Saturday 10 December: Finding the Source: A Survey of Irish Genealogical Websites and Databases, an intermediate level workshop with Miles Davenport. Host and venue: McClelland Irish Centre (Norton Room), 1106 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA. 10:30am to 1pm. Non-Members: $20/Members: $15. Need to register. Details.

Sunday 11 December: Family History Fair. Venue: Great National Abbey Court Hotel, Dublin Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, 11am- 4:30pm. Admission free.

Monday 12 to Friday 16 December: Preservation Week at PRONI. There will be no document ordering service. Search Room and self-service microfilms will operate to normal hours. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.

Thursday 15 December: School and Education Records, with Valerie Adams. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Down and Ards Branch. Venue: 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church Hall, Main Street, Bangor BT20 4AG. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Friday 2 December 2016

RIC Service Records 1816–1922 join FindMyPast

FindMyPast has added a collection of some 486,000 Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records dating from 1816-1922. Released in association with the National Archives, the collection includes a wide range of registers and returns including disbandment records of both British and Irish recruits, service number allocation for ranks and officers, details of the force's clerical staff, nominal rolls by county, and much more.

Joining a separate collection called Royal Irish Constabulary History and Directories is a selection of publications dating from 1840 to 1925. If you have an RIC ancestor, this is where you can learn more about the day to day administration, organisation, salaries and regulations of the force.

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will know that Ancestry recently added the Royal Irish Constabulary Pensions, 1873-1925, collection to its database, which would seem to be a good additional record set to search. Details.

Seems to be a good time to have RIC ancestors!

Thursday 1 December 2016

Latest updates from IGP-Archives cover ten counties
Gowna (CoI) Graveyard, County Cavan. Photo courtesy
Dave Hall and IGP. Click image for larger view.
The team of volunteers at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGP-web) has been very busy in the second half of November, as you can see from the number of headstone collections photographed and transcribed in the list below.

Some of these packages have been completed by new transcribers who heeded the call from IGP Archives for help earlier this month. (Round of applause, to each of you!)

ARMAGH Genealogy Archives – Cemetery Records
Tandragee Church - list of rectors

CAVAN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Arvagh (CoI) Graveyard
Gowna (CoI) Graveyard
Ballyconnell (CoI) Headstones (Updated)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Mt Jerome Headstones, Parts 141-145 (750 new)

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Cavanaleck Presbyterian Graveyard

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kiltoghert Graveyard (R.C.) (Updated)

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Moyne (R.C.) Graveyard
Kilglass (CoI) Cemetery
St. Columb's Cem., Mullinaghta
Ballinamuck (R.C.) Cemetery

MAYO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Turlough Abbey Cem. (Updated)
Meelick Cemetery, Swinford (Updated)
Ballinrobe Cemetery
St. Martin's Cem., Foxford

SLIGO Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Sligo Cem. Middle Part, Section D (A-H)

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Adamstown Graveyard
Selskar Abbey including Headstones
Mayglass Graveyard & Church (partial)

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Rathowen (CoI) Graveyard

National Library's Introduction to Family History course starts January

The National Library of Ireland will be hosting its 8-week Introduction to Family History course from 18 January.

The course, led by the well-respected tutor Sean J Murphy, will be held on Wednesday afternoons (2–4:30pm). Places will be limited to 30 participants and the course fee is €100. Participants should have some experience of using computers.

Booking by email only to Ciara Kerrigan – – will open on 12 December. Do not send your booking request before that date.

Here's the course schedule:

18 January 2017: Lecture 1, First Steps
Preview of course; principles of history and of genealogy, recommended texts, preparing draft pedigrees; advice on completing a personal genealogical project; research methods, National Library, National Archives, General Register Office and other record repositories. Please bring available laptops, tablets, etc, for practical classwork.

25 January: Lecture 2, Computers and the Internet

Computers and online resources; websites of National Library and other repositories; the e-library; Ancestral Quest and other genealogy programs, online family trees; photographs, videos and digital images. Online workshop I.

1 February: Lecture 3, Placenames, Forenames and Surnames
Origins and forms of Irish placenames, administrative divisions; forenames or first names; origins of surnames internationally and in Ireland, surnames of Gaelic and settler origin, septs and chiefs, the question of Irish ‘clans’.

8 February: Lecture 4, Census Records
Census returns of 1901 and 1911 and pre-1901 fragments, census records online; review of progress in personal genealogical projects.

15 February: Lecture 5, Vital Records and Property Valuation Records
Civil records of births, marriages and deaths commencing in 1864 (and non-Catholic marriages commencing in 1845); Tithe Applotment Books (1820s-30s), Griffith’s Valuation (1848-64), Valuation Office records. Online workshop II.

22 February: Lecture 6, Church Records, Wills and Deeds
Parish and church registers (baptism, marriage and burial) of Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and other denominations; National Library and other online church register resources; wills pre- and post-1858, National Archives and online; the holdings of the Registry of Deeds

1 March: Lecture 7, Memorial Inscriptions and Miscellaneous Sources
Memorial inscriptions in graveyards, churches and commercial cemeteries; an introduction to estate papers, newspapers, directories, occupational records, and other miscellaneous sources. Online workshop III.

8 March: Lecture 8, Conclusion and Recapitulation
Recapitulation of main points of course, review of students’ progress, comparing portfolios, selected student case studies, planning further work.

Kerry Evening Post joins British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive has added The Kerry Evening Post to its line up of Irish titles (this addition brings the total to 129).

Politically conservative and pro-Union, the paper was published in Tralee twice a week from 1813. Like many other newspapers, it could not continue printing during WW1 due to paper rationing and ceased publication in 1917.

So far, a selection of 902 editons published in the 1850s, 1860s and early 1870s is available in the British Newspaper Archive database, but the planned holding will eventually include the full 104 years of publication.

The paper has also joined the Irish Newspaper Collection at FindMyPast.

Please Be Seated: RCB Library's Archive of the Month

‘Please Be Seated: The Content of Church of Ireland Pew Registers’ is the working title of the December Archive of the Month presentation from the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL). The online exhibit focuses on the relatively rare church record called the pew register, one of an array of record types produced by the parish vestry – the committee that dealt with the parish's administration and management.

Opening entry in the St Werburgh’s parish, Dublin, pew register, commencing
on 25th September 1719; RCB Library P326.28.3.

The practice of purchasing, renting or being assigned with a pew was primarily found in wealthier parishes, particularly in urban areas, where parishioners were more likely to be able to afford the cost. Pews were considered as property and, as with all property, it was necessary to record the rights and transactions involving them. In many cases, the record of such transactions was simply kept in the regular vestry minute books of the parish but occasionally, particularly in well-endowed parishes with revenue to spend on dedicated volumes, a separate pew register might be kept.

The new archive presentation, which has been researched and created by the RCBL's Robert Gallagher, examines the content of the pew register of St Werburgh’s in Dublin, a volume spanning the period from 1719 up to 1839 (although after 1764 entries are very cursory indeed, reflecting how the process of owning or renting a pew began to die out in the late 18th and early 19th centuries). As one of the earliest Anglo-Norman churches established within the city walls and as the parish serving Dublin Castle, St Werburgh’s enjoyed high status in the city. Its pew register gives an unusual insight into the parish’s social structure, providing glimpses of the wealth and status enjoyed by the parishioners.

Owning a pew in St Werburgh’s, Dublin, was a lucrative privilege especially for a person who was able to afford one of the more expensive or well-positioned pews, in a parish whose members included the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and some of the leading businessmen in the city such as David La Touche. The volume reveals the resolutions that the vestry agreed about pew-related transactions, the income realised from the same, and the parish’s wider social structure – indicated by such details as who was sitting where – with the most sought-after pews being located either in the gallery or near the front of the church.

While pew registers may be relatively rare, those that survive provide a colourful asset for researching parish history, the stories of individual parishioners, and the communities in which they lived.

View the online exhibiton.