Monday 29 October 2018

IGRS adds 14,000 names to its Early Irish BMD Indexes

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has uploaded an additional 7,000 records to the Society's Early Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, a unique collection of life event references from lesser-used and obscure sources. The update delivers 14,000 names, creating a new total name count for the three indexes of 274,000.

The Music Hall in Fishamble Street, as depicted
Lady of the House in 1915
This latest tranche of data includes references to many deaths culled from Irish newspapers. One dramatic news item relates to the partial collapse of a Music Hall located in Fishamble Street, to the rear of Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin.

A meeting of the Trade Guild of St Luke, which combined the city’s cutlers, painters, paper-stainers and stationers, was being held to nominate a candidate to stand for election to parliament. The room was about 20 feet above ground and was crowded with somewhere between 300 and 400 men.

The thunderous applause and stamping of feet eventually caused one of the main support beams to give way and the entire body of men disappeared into the depths of the building below.

Máire Kennedy, former Librarian at Dublin’s Gilbert Library, says this of the event in her online Blog: “Nobody seems to have been killed outright, but at least eleven people died shortly afterwards of their injuries. Many were carried to their homes stretched on doors, or taken in sedan chairs.

Dublin’s medical personnel must have been under severe strain that afternoon and evening with so many casualties. Faulkner’s Dublin Journal reports that the sight of the maimed being carried through the streets caused the greatest consternation in the city. Finn’s Leinster Journal informs us that few escaped without severe injury and many were in a ‘situation that made death desirable’. The Hibernian Magazine predicted that many of the injured ‘will exhibit melancholy monuments, to perpetuate the memory of this dreadful event, by the loss of their legs and arms’.

From Walkers Hibernian Magazine we learn the names of some of those who died of their injuries: Mr Taylor, High street; Mr Deey, Attorney; Mr Byrne, cutler; Mr McMahon, Abbey Street; Mr Pemberton, Capel Street, Mr Johnson, Cutpurse-row; Mr Shaw, Essex-bridge; Mr Scot, Joseph’s-lane; and Mr Dobson, Capel Street.

Also included in this update are 850 references to marriages sourced from the Registry of Deeds. "Many of these marriage references came from formal marriage settlements, but which were hidden by the manner of their inclusion in the contemporary index volumes," notes Roz McCutcheon, the IGRS Early Irish Indexes creator and manager. "Including them in this index probably shines the first light on their existence in two hundred or more years.”

Marriage settlements can be extremely illuminating documents about family relationships and alliances. For instance, one registered in November 1759 notes that Nicholas Biddulph was to marry Elizabeth Dempsey, the daughter of Charles Dempsey; the groom was to be given employment by the bride’s father; and that Nicholas had a brother called Francs who resided at Stradbally, in Queens (Laois) county. Other relatives of the bride named were Samuel Dempsey, noted as a clerk to another man also called Charles Dempsey, assumedly cousins.

You can search the databases here:

IGRS Early Marriages Index – Free to all.

IGRS Early Births Index – Name search only for non-members.

IGRS Early Deaths Index – Name search only for non-members.