Friday, 30 November 2018

NAI closed for annual Media Preview, 3-7 December

As happens every year, the Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland will be closed to the public throughout the first week of December for the annual Media Preview.

This is when news organisations are given access to the annual release of government archives so that the media can provide coverage of pertinent issues in the New Year. This year, the archives being scrutinised relate primarily to the year 1988.

These newly released archives will become available for public inspection from 9:15am on Wednesday 2 January 2019 at the NAI, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

The Media Preview will take place 3–7 December. Only bonafide journalists and broadcasters will be admitted to the Reading Room.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Two more Irish titles join British Newspaper Archive

Following the arrival of the Sunday Tribune on Monday (see blogpost) The Kerryman  is the second Irish newspaper to join the online British Newspaper Archive (BNA) this week. The planned holding will span 1904-2006. So far, all editions from August 1904 to the end of 1910 are available to search and view.

Founded in 1904 and still published weekly from Tralee in County Kerry, the title joins three other Kerry papers – Kerry Evening Post, Kerry Examiner & Munster General Observer and Tralee Chronicle – in the online archive.

And along came a third paper: The Enniscorthy Guardian, which was also known simply as The Guardian from 1986 to 1994. The planned holding will span 1889 to 2005, but it's early days yet with only 37 editions now available, all published in the last decade of the 19th century.

It is the seventh title covering County Wexford to appear in the BNA. The others are The Wexford Conservative, Wexford Constitution, Wexford Independent, Wexford People, New Ross Standard and the Enniscorthy News.

As always, these BNA additions also join the Irish newspaper collection on FindMyPast.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

New book review: Credentials for Genealogists

When I first opened Paul Gorry's newly published book, Credentials for Genealogists: Proof of the Professional, I expected a reasoned and well-researched argument in favour of accreditation as the ultimate badge of professionalism within the genealogy industry. (I think it was the sub-title that suggested its focus!)

Sure enough, Paul, a professional genealogist for more than 40 years and a founding member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), does advocate accreditation as the only certain means of proving competence and experience, and he sets out his thoughts on this controversial topic in a determined and thorough manner.

https://www.blessingtonbookstore.ie/buy-books-online/local-history/credentials-for-genealogists
As I'm not a professional genealogist, nor a potential or past client of one, I'm not going to jump into the controversy publicly. It is, I think, for those working at the heart of the industry to debate the important issues Paul raises and to consider their impact on the future development of the sector and professional genealogy as a career.

From my 'happily amateur' position on the sidelines, however, I can tell you that I found the book educational and thought provoking, and I imagine many of today's pro genies will wish such a book had been in existence before they took their career leap. I expect many will find Section 1, which sets out a history of the development of professional genealogy and credentials across the globe, highly informative of the industry they have joined or seek to join.

Section 2 concentrates on genealogy, academia and education, and was an eye opener; it explores how the academic course provision lobby has successfully created demand and supply for formal qualifications for nearly all careers, and in the process edged 'Experience' from its long-held position as the top-flight of attainment, even in the one-time cottage industry of genealogy.

Paul writes: "From the perspective of a genealogist rather than someone promoting a course of lectures, I would contend that there is one important difference between holding a certificate or diploma and being accredited as a genealogist. The certificate or diploma shows that the holder has knowledge of genealogy acquired through academic learning. Accreditation shows that they have both knowledge of genealogy and experience of genealogical research, regardless of how they were acquired."

Section 3 – Developing a career in genealogical research – is a gift to a new and upcoming generation of professionals from a knowledgeable, experienced and highly-respected mentor who deals in facts not dreams. Any hobbyist who has ever uttered the words 'Oooh, I'm passionate about genealogy, I am' might have an occasional notion of turning said passion into what they think may be a money spinner. This no-nonsense and practical chapter of the book should help them think long and hard about the realities of the professional job; their suitability to what is nearly always self-employment; their possession (or otherwise) of the necessary attributes of self discipline and commitment to accuracy; the strength of their research, writing and technological skills, and so on.

Paul then dives into the main debate about accreditation in today's market. He presents the findings of a survey he carried out over three years among a number of professional genealogists around the world. Some had credentials, some did not. None is identified, because each was assured confidentiality. Their answers are thoughtful and widen the debate into the value of accreditation to the practitioner, and to what practical changes accreditation bodies themselves might do to ensure accreditation retains its status within the industry. Finally, Paul sets out his own personal observations. Warning: your reading may be interrupted by a few involuntary intakes of breath. He doesn't hold back, but that's his call: they are personal opinions, bravely aired, whether you agree with him or you don't.

Paul stresses that his book is not an assault on those genealogists who choose not to (or cannot) seek credentials. "It is," he writes, "a defence of the overall need for accreditation for the good of the general public and the profession. While there are many excellent professional genealogists who do not hold professional credentials, there are many others who are inexperienced or inept. How is the public to know the difference?"

Credentials for Genealogists provides a fascinating and deep insight into a cottage industry that has developed into a global professional and technologically-driven market. It is also a reference book – more than a third of the 250 pages are made up of appendices, glossary, bibliography and index. It can be ordered from Blessington Books, price €16 plus p&p.

PRONI adds Absent Voters Lists for Armagh & Derry

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has uploaded Absent Voters Lists for counties Armagh and LondonDerry.  Together they hold details of more than 8,000 individuals.

Absent Voters Lists were introduced by the Representation of the People Act 1918, which made special provision for people away from their normal residence on War Service to vote. These voters included members of the armed forces, the Merchant Navy and those serving with the Red Cross and similar organisations. Men and women who were qualified to vote could be registered as Naval and Military voters and vote either by post or via a proxy.

As well as being included in the main Register of Electors for each consistency, the Naval and Military voters were also placed in a separate Absent Voters List. These lists included details of the voter's rank and service unit, and will be of interest to people researching the War service of individuals and those studying participation in the War in particular localities.

The records have been made available in Name Index spreadsheets, and digitised pdf downloads of the lists in constituency order.

For more details, click the link above to visit the PRONI website or tap on the image below. 

From the Absent Voters List for the Mid-Armagh Constituency.


IGRS adds Co. Derry/Londonderry Census Substitute

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a new census substitute database to its website, IrishAncestors.ie.

The Balteagh Regium Donum Petition of 1828 notes details on approximately 200 families, comprising 1,023 individuals, all residents of a cluster of sixteen townlands lying to the south-east of the town of Limavady, County Londonderry/Derry.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j13s8bO--O4TZUSbZbM8g4FxzmIpH7aB/view?usp=sharing
Click/tap for larger view
The petition refers to the Presbyterian congregation of Balteagh’s attempt to claim a share of the Regium Donum (or Royal Bounty) Fund, established by Charles I in 1672 for the upkeep of Presbyterian clergy in Ireland. It notes, by townland, the head of each family, spouse and children (if any). For instance, in the townland of Ballyness & Maine is the family of Joseph Perrie and his (unnamed) wife and their six children: Bettyann, Sarah, Lavinia, Joseph, Martha and Isabella.

Unfortunately, ages are not recorded, but alternative sources will likely allow ages to be established or estimated.

All index entries in the database are linked to scanned images of the original document, which forms part of the Official Papers series at the National Archives of Ireland.

The full database is a members’ only resource, but name searches can be made freely by all. Click the link above to search.

Take part in National Archives of Ireland's user survey

http://www.nationalarchives.ie/2018/11/national-archives-user-survey/
The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) is calling for a few minutes of your time to participate in a brief online survey.

A Masterplan is being developed for the public spaces of the NAI, and users input would be valuable to the process.

I've completed the survey. It's just eleven questions long and took about five minutes. All surveys are treated confidentially. Your email address is requested only for validation purposes and to send you a copy of your responses.

To take part, go to http://www.nationalarchives.ie/2018/11/national-archives-user-survey/ before Monday 3 December.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Sunday Tribune joins British Newspaper Archive

The Sunday Tribune is the latest Irish newspaper to join the online British Newspaper Archive (BNA).

The title started out as a tabloid in 1980, and became a broadsheet with a colour supplement in its second year. It switched back to tabloid format before closing in February 2011.

It wasn't an easy 21 years, with funding problems, a short term closure, and a turnstile on the editor's door, but was one of Ireland's most successful titles during the 1980s.

The planned BNA holding will span 1986 to 2005. It is currently complete from 1993 to 2005, excepting editions published in 2004.

With this addition, the BNA now holds 161 Irish historical titles, and the same database is shared with FindMyPast's newspaper collection.

5,000-year-old logboat discovered near Newgrange

Scientific dating has confirmed that the remains of a logboat found in the River Boyne close to the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site dates to the Neolithic period, over 5,000 years ago. The prehistoric logboat was found in June 2016 by local anglers while fishing on a tidal stretch of the river at Oldbridge, Co. Meath.

The remains of the vessel consist of a 3m length of wood which would have formed the base of the boat. It is estimated that the logboat was originally more than 4m long, shaped out of the trunk of an oak tree using stone axes.

This discovery is one of 11 logboats found in the River Boyne, though this is the first boat found to date to the Neolithic period – a sample of the wood has been radiocarbon dated to between 3,300-2,900BC. This is the period of the construction of the great passage tomb complexes of Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange.

The National Monuments Service Underwater Archaeology Unit and the National Museum of Ireland collaborated in recording the boat and carefully removing it from the river bed to the museum facilities, where it is currently undergoing conservation.

The Great Passage Tomb of Newgrange, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Announcing details of the discovery, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD said: “The importance of this discovery and the scientific date which has now been obtained for it lies in its contemporaneity with the building of the Great Passage tomb of Newgrange and the other wonderful passage tombs that dominate our World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. It is tempting to ponder the part such a vessel might have played in the construction of these burial monuments and the lives of those who built them, in ferrying people along the river, and transporting materials and stones used to build the great tombs.”

Details have been added (Ref Wreck No W18584) to the Department’s online Wreck Viewer which launched earlier this year and which helps promote a wider appreciation of Ireland’s maritime and riverine archaeology.

Irish genealogy and history events, 26 Nov - 9 Dec

Monday 26 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Tuesday 27 November: Moving on with your Irish family history & beyond the vital records, with Irene O'Brien. Host and venue: The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN. 6-7pm. Free but booking required: T +44 (0)141 287 2999.

Tuesday 27 November: The Colleen Bawn, with Tom Donovan. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members / €5 for non-members. All welcome.

Tuesday 27 November: Freeholders, electors and absent voters, with Ian Montgomery. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Causeway Branch. Venue: The Guide Hall, Terrace Row. Coleraine, Co Londonderry BT52 1HF. Everyone welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 28 November: Irish family history assistance in the Library. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne, Australia. Free for members. $20 non-members. 10am to 4pm. Consultations: One-hour appointments with a research consultant also available. See details.

Thursday 29 November: Using Family and Local History Resources Online, a practical workshop that starts with an orientation tour of PRONI and is followed by an introduction to searching resources online. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but space is limited so booking is essential. Details

Thursday 29 November: St Mary’s College and its place in the history of Rathmines, with Charlie O’Neill. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall (Rathmines College), Rathmines Rd Lower, Dublin 6. 8pm. All welcome. Members: Free / Visitors: €3.

Thursday 29 November: Spanish Flue in 1918, with Cormac Moore, and Brid Connolly and the Fingal Branch of Cumann na mBan, with Louise Hancock. Host: Coolock, Artane and District Historical Society. Venue: Parnell's GAA Club, 30 Main Street, Coolock, Kilmore, Dublin 5. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 29 November: Influenza, War and Revolution in Ireland, with Ida Milne. Host: South Kilkenny Historical Society. Venue: Parish Hall, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny. Non-members €5. All welcome. 8pm.

Saturday 1 December: “…a cunning intriguing woman [who] is very violent against the Protestants”: Jacobite Irishwomen, 1685-1703, with Dr. Frances Nolan. Host: Athlone Castle Visitor Centre. Venue: Castle Keep, Athlone Castle, St Peter's Square, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, 3-4pm. Free. Places limited so booking is advised. Email info@athlonecastle.ie.

Monday 3 December: Delayed (11am) opening in all NLI sites, plus NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Delayed opening due to staff development meeting. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Monday 3 to Friday 7 December, inclusive: Annual Media Preview of archives of Government Departments. The Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland will be closed to the public. Only members of the press will be given access. Bishops Street, Dublin 8.

Monday 3 December: Christmas Social. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society, Ireland Branch. Venue: Café en Seine, 40 Dawson St, Dublin 2. All welcome to drop in for some genealogy chat. From 6pm.

Tuesday 4 December: Art, artifacts and old buildings in Dublin and Wicklow, with Peter Pearson. Host: Kilmacanogue History Society. Venue: Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow. 8pm. Members €3 / Non-members €4. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 December: A demon in human shape – Murder in Famine Ireland, with Dr Ciaran Reilly. Host: South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, St Brigids Rd, Portumna, Co Galway. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 4 December: From ballots to bullets — Ireland 1918-1919, a History Ireland Hedge School. Host: History Ireland magazine and NLI, in conjunction with exhibition in the National Photgraphic Archive, Temple Bar. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Editor Tommy Graham talks to Liz Gillis, Brian Hanley and Niamh Puirséil. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 5 December: Reflections on 1798: Battlefields, Graves and Books, with Dr Gavin Hughes. Host and venue: Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB. 6pm. £5. Tickets and details.

Friday 7 December: ‘Home for Christmas’: John Francis O’Reilly and John Kenny, the last German agents to ‘drop in’, with Anthony Kinsella. Host: Military History Society of Ireland. Venue: Griffith College, South Circular Road, Dublin 8. Non-members very welcome. 8pm.



Friday, 23 November 2018

Irish Roots Magazine: half price digital subs/copies

Irish Roots, Ireland's long-established and only independent family history magazine, is getting in the Black Friday groove with a generous half price discount.

It applies to one- and two-year digital subscriptions and single digital copies of the last two editions, one of which was published only this week. (Please note, these digital products download to PCs only.)

You'll find all the products in the sale here, each displaying its regular price (you can adjust the currency at the top right of the page). Click through to the checkout and you'll see the 50% discount applied.

Don't delay. These offers don't come along very often.

The discount will expire on Monday 26 November.



Cyber Sale - 25% off subscription to RootsIreland.ie

RootsIreland has records from all the green counties
There's a rare 25% discount available at RootsIreland.ie, the best database (by far) for Irish church records with almost island-wide coverage. Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterians, Congregationists, Methodists, Baptists.... records from all the major church groups are held, as are civil birth, marriage and death records and miscellaneous items from many counties.

The discount can be claimed on a 12-month subscription until 11:59pm (GMT) on Sunday 9 December, giving you plenty of time to check out the range of records held in the database before making your decision. (See this handy widget for a full menu of sources per county.)

Existing RootsIreland customers can also take up this offer. Just login as normal and click My Account/My Subscription/Start a New Subscription. The special deal sub will begin when your current package ends.

Ancestry DNA: lowest prices for US, Canada & Australia

This offer has now ended
Ancestry DNA has some BIG discounts for customers in the US, Canada and Australia (similar discounts for researchers in Ireland and the UK can be found here). With up to 50% off standard costs, these are the lowest Ancestry DNA prices this year, so don't miss them.

The deals will run over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, and expire at midnight EST, Eastern and AETD respectively on Monday 26 November.

To take advantage of the offers, click your flag below. Please note that shipping costs are, as usual, extra:

For researchers in the USA, the half price offer reduces the cost to just US$49.
For Canadian researchers the price of a DNA test kit is reduced to CA$69, a saving of $60.
For researchers based in Australia, the test kit is reduced to AUS$88, a saving of $41.

All links have been removed as the discount has expired.








Thursday, 22 November 2018

Up to 40% off Irish Newspaper Archives subscription

https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/subscribe?cur=EURIrish Newspaper Archives, the Dublin-based, family-owned database of historical local, regional and national papers from across the island of Ireland, is holding a Black Friday Sale. You can view a list of the archive's titles here.

A 40% discount is available on the one-year membership, reducing the cost to £$€89.40, while the one-month sub. is reduced by 30% to £$€20.30.

To take advantage of the offer, click the image above and quote the promotion code when prompted in the purchase process.

The Sale will expire on Friday 30 November.

Winter 2018 edition of Irish Roots Magazine published

The Winter 2018 issue of Irish Roots, Ireland's only independent genealogy magazine, has been published.

Inside this edition, family historians can find out how to research Irish Catholic priests, nuns and monks; discover more about unusual and unique old Irish occupations; and learn about 19th-century Temperance Societies in Australia.

There's also a guide to researching ancestors in County Fermanagh, a step-by-step approach to using DNA in cases of unknown parentage, and some useful advice for using social media to help you discover more ancestors in Ireland. You can also learn about the Irish Archives Resoutce, which, while not designed specifically for genealogists, may still prove useful in your ancestral hunt.

With a round up of what Irish family history societies and other groups have been up to, my own quarterly review of the latest record releases, plus other observations and comment about the world of Irish genealogy, Irish Roots makes sure you're informed about all recent developments and happenings. And as if that's not enough, you'll also find Q&As with a professional genealogist, the final part of an A–Z of Irish genealogical terminology, letters to the Editor, details of the latest books, and much more.

Irish Roots is available as a paper magazine and as a digital publication. Find out more, and see a three-page sample of this new edition, at IrishRootsMedia.com.

More Church of Ireland Gazette editions online

The Representative Church Body (RCB) Library's project to digitise all historical editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette is moving on at a steady pace.

Another 16 years' of editions – from 1934 to 1949 – have been digitised and uploaded (by service provider Informa) to the dedicated database at https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb. This means that weekly editions spanning 93 years from March 1856, when the paper first appeared, are freely shared online for all.

The RCB Library holds the only complete hard-copy run of this newspaper, which became an e-newspaper in 2005.

The current Church of Ireland Gazette and all editions from 2005 may be viewed via an online subscription on the Gazette website at https://gazette.ireland.anglican.org.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

FindMyPast DNA's sale comes with free database access

Making its Black Friday/Cyber Monday debut, FindMyPast DNA is offering Living DNA test kits at their lowest ever prices, PLUS, if you're a new or returning Findmypast customer, you’ll receive a complimentary 14-day subscription to FindMyPast's entire archive of 9 billion records and historical newspapers when you activate your kit.

FindMyPast DNA is a collaboration between the two British companies. Living DNA's test breaks down a person's heritage into 21 specific British and Irish regions and helps users to build a colourful picture of their roots.

The savings on offer are shown below and in each case, shipping is extra. Choose your preferred territory/currency:

With the test kit price reduced from €89 to €69, researchers in Ireland save €20. Offer ends at 11:59pm GMT on Monday 26 November.
With the test kit price reduced from £79 to £59, UK-based researchers save £20.
The offer will expire at 11:59pm GMT on Monday 26 November.
Researchers in the USA save $30. Price reduced from US$89 to US$59.
Offer ends 11:59pm PST on Monday 26 November.
Canadian researchers can save CA$20. The price of the test kit is reduced from CA$99 to CA$79. Discount expires at 11:59pm PST on Monday 26 November.
Researchers based in Australia and New Zealand can save $30, with the price reduced from AUS$/NZ$129 to AUS$/NZ$99. Offer expires at 11:59pm AEDT on Monday 26 November.


New HistoricGraves.com website & crowdfunding drive

https://historicgraves.com/
The newly upgraded HistoricGraves website
The Historic Graves team has unveiled its upgraded website after a week or so with a limited offline presence.

It was worth the wait. The refreshed site has a modern theme and is more visually attractive than the one it has replaced, and while navigation is more clearly signposted, the new magazine layout of the page invites greater browsing.

In the last seven years, Historic Graves has worked with more than 500 community to survey one quarter of all Irish historic graveyards. That's quite an achievement, and it is reflected in the fact the site is now the number one destination for researchers seeking the final resting place of their ancestors from Ireland.

While you're exploring the site, be sure to drop by the Donate page and consider dipping into your pocket to help crowdfund more graveyard surveys. No matter how small your donation (they all add up), the generosity of genealogists allows the team to start new projects which benefit the family and local history community.

Registry of Deeds Index Project: Latest updates and 'unusual considerations'

The latest update to the Registry of Deeds Index Project sees 294,749 entries in the main index, transcribed from 23,384 memorials of deeds. The database is fully searchable, and free of charge.

Additionally, steady submissions from volunteers have helped both the Grantors Index and Townland Index grow. There are now 24,609 and 65,617 entries respectively.

Some new material has also been submitted by Mike from Vancouver, one of the Project's hardest working volunteers. He has collected occurrences of unusual considerations appearing in the memorials of deeds, where landlords have demanded unusual items from their tenants. You can view his collection via the link in the last sentence. Note his request for researchers to send him details of any others they come across.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ancestry DNA: Lowest prices of the year for IE and UK

The discount offer will expire at 11:59pm GMT, Monday 26 November.
There may be no Thanksgiving to celebrate on the eastern shores of the Atlantic, but Ancestry DNA has come up with a Cyber Week Sale for researchers resident in Ireland and the UK.

And it's a great sale, too, with the lowest prices of the year to tempt you to test with the world's largest consumer DNA network.

The price for Irish residents is €55, a saving of €40, while the price for UK residents is £49, a saving of £30. As always, shipping is extra.

Click the relevant flag below to find out more and place your order:

Ancestry DNA for UK addresses
Save £30! Regular price £79. Sale price £49. Plus shipping
Ancestry DNA for addresses in Ireland
Save €40! Regular price €95. Sale price €55. Plus shipping.



Monday, 19 November 2018

Irish genealogy and history events, 19 Nov - 2 Dec

Monday 19 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Monday 19 November: Irish Internal Migration 1600-2018, a Neglected Aspect, with Patrick Fitzpatrick. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne. BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. No need to book. All welcome.

Tuesday 20 November: Researching Military Ancestors, with Alan Rosborough. First of two sessions (2nd on 27 November). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, 67, Valley Business Centre, Church Rd, Newtownabbey, Antrim BT36 7LS. 7pm – 9pm. Booking required. Cost for both sessions £12, payable at the first. Details.

Tuesday 20 November: Family history workshop evening. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, South Tyrone Branch. Venue: Killymaddy Centre, 190 Ballygawley Road, Dungannon BT70 1TF. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 21 November: How the past can save the future: using evidence to prevent history repeating itself, with David McCullagh. Host National Archives of Ireland (NAI)/Archives and Records Association’s Explore Your Archive campaign. Venue: Reading Room, NAI, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 6pm on Wednesday 21 November next. Free, but you need to book.

Wednesday 21 November: The First Crossing - the Royal Flying Corps in Ireland, 1913, with Guy Warner. Host and venue: Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB. 1pm. Free, but need to book.

Thursday 22 November: The Disappearance of George Matthews, with John Larkin, QC. Host: Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland. Venue: Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, 4 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast BT9 5DJ. 8pm. Details.

Thursday 22 November: 1918 and the Vote, a conference to mark the launch of new PRONI resources relating to Suffrage and the 1918 election. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2pm to 4.30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Friday 23 November: An introduction to digitised church records at PRONI, with Joy Carey and Liam O’Reilly. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. All welcome. 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Free. Details.

Friday 23 November: The Conscription Crisis 1918: the nail in the coffin? with Dr Brian Hanley. The 42nd Countess Markievicz Memorial Lecture. Host: Irish Association for Industrial Relations. Venue: Room 5050, Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. Doors open at 1:30pm for light refreshments. Lecture 2-3pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 24 November: Cleenish Island research project, with Marion Maxwell. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy. Venue: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, Enniskillen BT74 7DR. 1:30pm. Members free. Non-members £5. All welcome.

Saturday 24 November: Irish Records they all went up in smoke - didn't they? with Jill Williams of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host and venue: Borders Family History Society, St. Peter’s Church Hall, Parsonage Road, Galashiels, Scotland TD1 3HS. Admission Free, donations welcome. Doors Open 2pm for meeting 2:30pm. All welcome. Details.

Sunday 25 November Free genealogy help session. Host and venue: Library of the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630, USA. From 1pm to 4pm or by appointment (tel: 773-282-7035). Free. All welcome.

Monday 26 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Tuesday 27 November: Moving on with your Irish family history & beyond the vital records, with Irene O'Brien. Host and venue: The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN. 6-7pm. Free but booking required: T 0141 287 2999.

Tuesday 27 November: The Colleen Bawn, with Tom Donovan. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members / €5 for non-members. All welcome.

Tuesday 27 November: Freeholders, electors and absent voters, with Ian Montgomery. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Causeway Branch. Venue: The Guide Hall, Terrace Row. Coleraine, Co Londonderry BT52 1HF. Everyone welcome. 8pm.

Wednesday 28 November: Irish family history assistance in the Library. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne, Australia. Free for members. $20 non-members. 10am to 4pm. Consultations: One-hour appointments with a research consultant also available. See details.

Thursday 29 November: Using Family and Local History Resources Online, a practical workshop that starts with an orientation tour of PRONI and is followed by an introduction to searching resources online. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but space is limited so booking is essential. Details

Thursday 29 November: St Mary’s College and its place in the history of Rathmines, with Charlie O’Neill. Host: Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society. Venue: Rathmines Town Hall (Rathmines College), Rathmines Rd Lower, Dublin 6. 8pm. All welcome. Members:Free/Visitors:€3.



Friday, 16 November 2018

Valuation Office Revision Books: latest digistation news

The Valuation Office (VO) in Dublin has advised that digitised scans of the Griffith's Valuation Revision Books for 17 counties are now available to view on computer screens by personal visitors.

Original Revision Books at the VO, Dublin
The Revision Books, which are also known as the Cancelled Books, contain information on all property in the state from the mid-1850s until the early 1990s. They show changes in land and property ownership since Griffith's Primary Valuation of Ireland, and are used by Irish genealogists to trace their ancestors' homes over that period.

It used to be the case that researchers visiting the VO would view and photocopy from the original books. Inevitably, some of the older books were being damaged or becoming worn in this process, so a decision was taken to start digitising them for public viewing and so reduce the wear and tear of the precious originals. A digitisation project by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland resulted in a free online database of high quality scans of the Revision Books for counties Armagh, Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. It went live back in March 2013 and can be viewed and searched here).

In comparison, a similar project in the Republic has been wading through treacle. At the start of 2014, Irish Genealogy News reported that the books of five counties had been digitised and the images were available to search and browse at the VO's premises. By January 2017, the number had gone up to 13, and nearly two years later, we have another four counties, so there has been progress but it's slow. This is because no additional resources have been directed to the project; existing staff prepare and scan the books as and when they can.

The 17 digitised counties are: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork City & County, Donegal, Dublin City & County, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick City & County, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Tipperary. This leaves the following counties still awaiting digitisation: Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.

I understand that the books for these outstanding counties have all been scanned and will searchable versions will make their way to the public search room computer terminals in due course.

As yet, there are no funds and no plans to create an online database.

(With thanks to Des Ward.)



Thursday, 15 November 2018

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: mid-Nov update

McLoughlin/Moran stone at Killeen Cemetery,
Newport, Co Mayo. Photo courtesy of
Bernie McCafferty and IGPArchives.
The volunteer team at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has donated and uploaded the following files of photos and transcripts in the first two weeks of November:

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives –
Headstones
Carrigeen, St. Kevin's (R.C.) Cemetery L-W
Carrigeen, St. Kevin's Extension  (Complete)

MAYO Genealogy Archives –
Headstones
Killeen Cemetery Part 1, Newport

MONAGHAN/FERMANAGH
Genealogy Archives –
Church Records
Clones Parish Registers, Baptisms, 1863-1868
Clones Parish Registers, Baptisms, 1869-1873
Clones Parish Registers, Burials 1841-1850
Clones Parish Registers, Burials 1834-1840

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives –
Church Records
Fethard Parish (RC) Baptisms - 1810

Explore Your Archive 2018 programme celebrates local, regional and national heritage

The public has been invited to discover Ireland’s past through national and local archives through this year's Explore Your Archive campaign.

2018 marks the sixth outing for the Explore Your Archive campaign, which is coordinated jointly by the Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARAI) and the Archives and Records Association in the UK.

It aims to highlight the richness and diversity of archives throughout the island, and encourage the public to explore their own past through greater engagement with their local, regional and national archives. Participating organisations, both north and south of the border, will open their vaults to display collections of stories, films, photos and other rare manuscripts throughout the campaign.

Highlights from the 2018 programme, which runs from Saturday 17 November to Sunday 25 November – include:
  • The National Archives of Ireland will host a free talk to discuss the ways in which the past can save the future. Guest speaker and RTÉ current affairs broadcaster, David McCullagh will explore how archived evidence can be used to prevent history from repeating itself. Wednesday 21 November, 6pm–7pm.
  • The Cork City and County Archives will host ‘Denny Lane (1818-1895): Renaissance Man’, an exhibition showcasing the personal archive of the eminent Corkman, scholar, businessman and politician. The exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of Denny Lane’s birth in 1918. Monday 19 November – Friday 30 November.
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will host a conference to mark the centenary of the 1918 general election. The conference will explore the impact the election had in Ireland; women and the vote; suffrage and creative responses; voices from the archives; and the absent voters lists of 1918. Thursday 22 November, 2pm–4.30pm.
  • The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) will reflect on its 287 years of philanthropic commitment to the economic and cultural advancement of Ireland. It will host a presentation on the history and development of its archives and collections which represent its corporate memory. Thursday 22 November, 2.30pm.
  • Dublin City Library and Archive will hold a special walking tour of St Stephen’s Green and its environs. Led by Dublin City Council Historian in Residence, Maeve Casserly, the tour will explore the connections of the local area with the Irish suffrage movement. Friday 24 November, 1pm.
  • The Irish Traditional Music Archive will bring its archival songs to life through a three-part live radio broadcast series on Dublin’s Near FM from the historically rich surrounds of its Georgian premises on Merrion Square. The broadcast will include performances and interviews. Thursday 22 November – Saturday 24 November, from 1pm.
There's more information and a full event programme on the Explore Your Archive website.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Genetic Genealogy Ireland talks: some videos online

Recordings of lectures presented at this year’s Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) conference, held last month in Dublin, are now starting to be uploaded to You Tube.

Videos of the following lectures can be viewed free of charge:

DNA for Beginners with Debbie Kennett
If you’re thinking of taking a DNA test, wondering how DNA might help progress your family history research, or just received your test results and don’t know where to start, this beginners’s talk aims to answer your questions.

Introducing DNA Painter, with Katherine Borges
The DNA Painter website is a user-friendly website packed with tools to help you analyse your DNA matches (no matter which company you have tested with). This lecture reviews the tools available and how they can help you in practice, including the DNA Painter itself, the Shared cM tool, and the WATO tool.

Ethical issues & the social application of DNA, a panel discussion
The Golden State Killer case sent ethical ripples throughout our entire genealogy community, and out into wider society. Since then, at least eleven further serial killer cases have been “solved”. Is society safer? Has privacy been invaded? This panel discussion explores some of the issues raised by the use of genetic genealogy techniques and databases to catch a killer.

Using DNA to identify offenders and victims of violent crime, with Barbara Rae Venter
An exploration into the use of autosomal DNA testing in solving cases of “unknown parentage”, from adoptees to the unknown victims of violent crime, to violent offenders. Some of the issues raised by the use of public databases such as GEDmatch in solving such cases is also discussed.

How DNA can help at Tuam - Options for DNA testing, with Maurice Gleeson.
Almost 800 children died at the Tuam Mother’s & Babies Home between 1925 and 1961. Many of them may be buried in a pit discovered on the old site of the home. This talk reviews how DNA can help identify the skeletal remains found in the pit, and explores some of the ethical issues raised.

I’ll post again when the next handful of recordings have been uploaded.

Monday, 12 November 2018

RootsIreland adds County Sligo records to database

http://www.sligo.rootsireland.ie/
Sligo Heritage and Genealogy Society, the Irish Family History Foundation's centre for County Sligo, has added more than 6,400 civil birth records to the RootsIreland.ie database. They are all from the Ballymote Dispensary District (Sligo PLU), and date from 1864 to 1918.

In many of these records, additional information to that included in the child's baptismal entry may be found.

See the full menu of Co. Sligo sources on RootsIreland.ie.

FindMyPast: 50% discounts on selection of subs

With the weekend of free access to FindMyPast's entire collection now finished, along comes a round of half price discount offers from each of the company's 'territories'.

Top billing has to go to FindMyPast UK, where you could take up a half-price deal for three months on your choice of Starter, Plus or Pro packages. (You take out a one-month UK sub and when three months have elapsed, your subscription will renew at the standard rate unless you have switched off 'Auto Renew' in the My Account section of the website.)

To take advantage of these discounts, click on your preferred offer below and purchase your subscription before 11:59pm (GMT) on Monday 19 November.

FindMyPast UK
50% off a three-month Starter, Plus or Pro subscription
FindMyPast Ireland
50% off a one-month Ireland or World subscription
FindMyPast USA/Canada
50% off a one-month Ultimate British & Irish subscription
FindMyPast Australia/NZ
50% off a one-month Australia/NewZealand or World subscription

Irish genealogy and history events, 12-25 November

Monday 12 November: Delayed (11am) opening in all NLI sites, plus NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Delayed opening due to staff development meeting. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Monday 12 November: The Priest's Tale, with Caoimhe Whelan. Host: More Tales of Medieval Dublin lecture series. Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. Admission free. All welcome. 1:05 - 1:50pm.

Monday 12 November: The Dungannon Gold Rush, with Aidan Fee. Host: Donaghmore Historical Society. Venue: Donaghmore Heritage Centre, 15 Pomeroy Rd, Dungannon, Co Tyrone BT70 3HG. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 November: Church of Ireland Records – more than just registers, with Derek Nielson. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3.

Tuesday 13 November: Interpreting your DNA results, with Martin McDowell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn BT28 1XP. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 November: Three Dublin families in WW1, with David Power. Host: Tallaght Historical Society. Venue: County Library, Library Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 15 November: Irish Records? They all went up in smoke... didn't they?, with Jill Williams FIGRS of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host and venue: Ayrshire Family History Society, Troon Portland Church Hall, South Beach, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland. 7:30pm. Admission free. Details.

Friday 16 November: The Spanish Flu: A Global Pandemic – a conference. Hosts: Ulster Museum in partnership with Living Legacies. Venue: Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5AB. Free but need to book ticket. 11am to 4pm.

Friday 16 November: The Great War and Clare, with Joe Power. Host: Part of Clare County Library's Creative Ireland programme. Venue: Ennistimon Library, 10 Main St, Ennistimon, Co. Clare. Free. All welcome. 6.30pm.

Saturday 17 November: Intermediate Irish records, with Jill Williams FIGRS of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host: Scottish Genealogy Society. Venue: Family History Centre, SGS Library, 15 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2JL. 10am to Noon. To book, T 0131 220 3677 or book online.

Saturday 17 November: The Great Hunger reassessed: a History Ireland Hedge School. Hosts: Dublin Book Festival. Venue: Dublin Port HQ, Alexander Road, East Wall, Dublin 3. Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland magazine will chair the discussion with John Gibney, Patricia Byrne and Peter Gray. 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Free. Need to book.

Saturday 17 November: Getting Started with Irish Genealogy Research, an introductory level workshop, with Miles Davenport. Host: McClelland Irish Library. Venue: McClelland Library's Norton Room, 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004, USA. 10:30am-12:30pm. Fee: $15 for Library/ICC members and $20 for non-members. Sold Out.

Saturday 17 November: Archives across Ireland and the UK will open their doors to host a diverse range of events and activities for ‘Explore Your Archive’, a week-long programme running to Sunday 25 November. See exploreyourarchive.org/

Monday 19 November: Irish Internal Migration 1600-2018, a Neglected Aspect, with Patrick Fitzpatrick. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne. BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. No need to book. All welcome.

Monday 19 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Tuesday 20 November: Researching Military Ancestors, with Alan Rosborough. First of two sessions (2nd on 27 November). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, 67, Valley Business Centre, Church Rd, Newtownabbey, Antrim BT36 7LS. 7pm – 9pm. Booking required. Cost for both sessions £12, payable at the first. Details.

Tuesday 20 November: Family history workshop evening. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, South Tyrone Branch. Venue: Killymaddy Centre, 190 Ballygawley Road, Dungannon BT70 1TF. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 21 November: How the past can save the future: using evidence to prevent history repeating itself, with David McCullagh. Host National Archives of Ireland (NAI)/Archives and Records Association’s Explore Your Archive campaign. Venue: Reading Room, NAI, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 6pm on Wednesday 21 November next. Free, but you need to book.

Wednesday 21 November: The First Crossing - the Royal Flying Corps in Ireland, 1913, with Guy Warner. Host and venue: Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB. 1pm. Free, but need to book.

Thursday 22 November: The Disappearance of George Matthews, with John Larkin, QC. Host: Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland. Venue: Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, 4 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast BT9 5DJ. 8pm. Details.

Thursday 22 November: 1918 and the Vote, a conference to mark the launch of new PRONI resources relating to Suffrage and the 1918 election. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2pm to 4.30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Friday 23 November: An introduction to digitised church records at PRONI, with Joy Carey and Liam O’Reilly. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. All welcome. 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Free. Details.

Saturday 24 November: Cleenish Island research project, with Marion Maxwell. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy. Venue: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, Enniskillen BT74 7DR. 1:30pm. Members free. Non-members £5. All welcome.

Saturday 24 November: Irish Records they all went up in smoke - didn't they? with Jill Williams of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host and venue: Borders Family History Society, St. Peter’s Church Hall, Parsonage Road, Galashiels, Scotland TD1 3HS. Admission Free, donations welcome. Doors Open 2pm for meeting 2:30pm. All welcome. Details.

Friday, 9 November 2018

A Free Access Weekend Extravaganza!

This weekend, Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday, Veterans Day (whatever you prefer to call it) marks the centenary of the end of World War One, and the major database suppliers have opened up part or all of their collections for exploration by family historians.

FindMyPast

To my mind, the best offer is from FindMyPast, which is opening up its entire collection of more than 9 billion Irish, UK, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and US records and all historical newspapers for three days. It's not often, these days, we get an across the board freebie like this, so whether or not you're looking primarily for military records, it'll be worth dipping in this vast online repository. You need only to have a registered account, and you don't need to provide any more than name and email address to get one of those.

The offer runs until Noon (GMT) on Monday 12 November. Choose a flag below to access the FindMyPast 'territory' of your choice. The free access will be the same, whichever one you select.

*UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors 2002-2018 is the only record-set excluded from this free access promotion.


*UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors 2002-2018 is the only record-set excluded from this free access promotion.

Ancestry UK

Ancestry UK is offering free access to a collection holding millions of wartime records, both military and civilian. Access will be free until 11:59pm on Monday 12 November.

You can find details of the record sets in the free access collection here.

You'll need a registered account with Ancestry.co.uk. If you don't already have one, it's a simple enough process. After searching for your ancestor, you'll be prompted to fill in the registration form with your name and email address; you'll be quickly sent a user name and password, and will then be able to log in and get on with your search (until the free access period ends, obviously).

Ancestry USA

Ancestry.com has more than 250 million US Military records in its free weekend collection – you can check out the free record sets here. They include draft cards, service records, POW lists and casualty lists for all arms of the military.

This free access offer will run until Tuesday 12 November.

You'll need a registered account with Ancestry.com. If you don't already have one, it's a simple enough process. Use the link above and start your search on the landing page. When you find a search result of interest, click on the record and you'll be prompted to fill in the registration form with your name and email address; you'll be quickly sent a user name and password, and will then be able to log in and get on with your search (until the free access period ends, obviously).

Ancestry Canada

Until 23:59pm ET on Sunday 10 November, Ancestry.ca is opening up its Canadian Military Records for free access (you'll need a registered account). You'll be able to explore the entire collection, which includes records from the British Army service, World War I, and the South African War. You'll find a listing of all the record sets included in the collection here.


American Ancestors

The database of the New England Historical Genealogical Society holds more than 1.4 billion names, and it's records are open to search, free of charge, until 11.59pm EST Tuesday 13 November.

ALL the records are free during this period, not just military records. Among the hundreds of collections that may be of interest to those with Irish connections, are the parish registers of the Archdiocese of Massachusetts which date from 1789-1900. A browse version of this huge and growing collection is always available to non-members, but the searchable version is free during this exceptional access period.

You'll need a free guest account to gain free access to everything in the AmericanAncestors.org database, and you'll find a help video on the landing page.


My Heritage

All 47 million military records in the My Heritage database are free to search this weekend. The collection is global and mixed, with draft cards, service records, and medal cards among them.

The records are available to search here and there doesn't appear to be any requirement to register or have a guest account. I was able to dive straight in and start viewing records, and I have not used the site for real before.

The free access will run until Monday 12 November. I don't know what time it expires.



Enjoy yourselves!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

1918 and the Vote, PRONI conference + new resources

The ballot in 1918
To mark the centenary of the 1918 General Election, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has organised an afternoon conference – 1918 and the Vote – on Thursday 22 November.

In addition to the lectures detailed below, the event will see the launch of new PRONI resources relating to Suffrage and the 1918 Election.

Held at PRONI's HQ in Belfast's Titanic Boulevard, the conference will run from 2pm–4:30pm.

There's no admission charge, but you need to reserve your place here.

Lecture topics and presenters will include:

  • The impact of the 1918 election in Ireland, with Professor John Coakley
  • Women and the Vote, with Dr Myrtle Hill
  • Suffrage and Creative Responses, with Niall Kerr
  • Voices from the Archives, with Dr Glynn Kelso
  • The Absent Voters lists of 1918, with Ian Montgomery

Monday, 5 November 2018

Another Irish title for British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added the New Ross Standard to its online holding.

This weekly paper, which is still circulating in the town of New Ross and surrounding areas of County Wexford and across the border into Kilkenny, was first published in 1885.

So far, 1,110 editions published from August 1889 to December 1910 have made their way to the online archive and are fully searchable, but the BNA's holding for this paper is planned to span 1885 to 2005 when its digitisation is completed.

The holding is shared with sister company FindMyPast and joins its Irish Newspaper Collection.

With this addition to the BNA, there are 160 Irish titles in the online collection.

NIFHS announce extra DNA class to meet demand

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) runs a series of classes each spring and autumn to help family historians of all levels.

The DNA classes have been particularly popular and have booked up very quickly, so the society has arranged an extra beginners’ class, which will start this month.

It is aimed at helping people who have received their autosomal DNA results from Family Tree DNA, or those who have transferred in their results from other companies such as Ancestry, MyHeritage and 23andMe.

This three-session course will show researchers how to use the tools on the FTDNA website to further their family history and discover what steps can be taken to confirm relationships with cousins.

Martin McDowell will lead the classes, which will be held on three consecutive Mondays, 7pm to 9pm, from 19 November. The course costs £15, payable at the first session. To book, email education@nifhs.org. See below for location details.


A recent course being presented by Martin McDowell at the NIFHS Resource Centre in Newtownabbey

There are still a few places on other courses/workshops starting soon, so if you want to grab a spot, book quickly. The courses are:

From Family Tree to Family History: Developing your family tree into a readable story. 3-week course held on Tuesdays from 6 November.

Sharing Your Family History. Using PowerPoint to create a “talking book” to share with your family. One classs, on Tuesday 13 November, 7pm.

All classes take place at the NIFHS Library and Resource Centre, at Valley Business Centre in Newtownabbey, just north of Belfast. There's plenty of free parking on site. For more details, see www.nifhs.org/resources/courses/



Irish genealogy and history events, 5-18 November

Monday 5 November: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Monday 5 November: Workshop Evening. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, LondonDerry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 5 November: 1798 Rebellion, with Dr David Hume. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh Branch. Venue: Killyleagh Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co Down. 8pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 5 November: Using the National Library, a Research Workshop. Venue and Host: NLI, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 3pm. To reserve a place, email learning@nli.ie.

Tuesday 6 November: We Here Who Are About to Die: a lecture on the Great War, with Joe O'Muircheartaigh. Host: Part of Clare County Library's Creative Ireland programme. Venue: De Valera Public Library, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co Clare. Free of charge. All welcome.

Wednesday 7 November: The Great War and Clare, with Joe Power. Host: Part of Clare County Library's Creative Ireland programme. Venue: Kilrush Library, O'Gorman Street, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Free. All welcome. 6.30pm.

Thursday 8 November: Exiles of '98, a half-day conference to marks the recent publication by the Ulster Historical Foundation of 'Exiles of ’98: Ulster Presbyterians and the United States', by Peter Gilmore, Trevor Parkhill and William Roulston. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 2-4:30pm. Free, but need to book.

Thursday 8 November: The history of the linen industry in the Mountshannon region, with Noel Murphy. Host: South East Galway Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Irish Workhouse Centre, St. Bridget's Road, Portumna, Co. Galway. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 8 November: November 1918: Back where we started, a talk on WW1 with Michael Desmond. Host: Ardmayle Historical Society. Venue: Ardmayle Church, Castlemoyle North, Ardmayle, Co. Tipperary. All welcome. Refreshments provided. 8pm.

Friday 9 November: Hidden in the landscape, with Dr James O'Neill. Hosts: This land of ire: the archaeology and landscape of Tyrone's Rebellion, a lecture series organised by Historic Environment Division. Venue: The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Free. Details.

Saturday 10 November: Family History lecture day. Host: Irish Family History Society. Venue: Dublin City Library and Archives, 144 Pearse St, Dublin 2. 10am to 4:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 10 November: The 1918 general election – political earthquake or ‘same old, same old’? History Ireland Hedge School. Host: History Ireland magazine. Venue: Allingham Festival, Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. 6pm. Free. Editor Tommy Graham, with Brian Hanley, Brian Walker, Pauric Travers and Margaret O’Callaghan. Free. All welcome.

Monday 12 November: Delayed (11am) opening in all NLI sites, plus NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Delayed opening due to staff development meeting. On-going Monday closures are facilitating extensive redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal. Details.

Monday 12 November: The Priest's Tale, with Caoimhe Whelan. Host: More Tales of Medieval Dublin lecture series. Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. Admission free. All welcome. 1:05 - 1:50pm.

Monday 12 November: The Dungannon Gold Rush, with Aidan Fee. Host: Donaghmore Historical Society. Venue: Donaghmore Heritage Centre, 15 Pomeroy Rd, Dungannon, Co Tyrone BT70 3HG. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 November: Church of Ireland Records – more than just registers, with Derek Nielson. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Cumberland Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. €3.

Tuesday 13 November: Interpreting your DNA results, with Martin McDowell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn BT28 1XP. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 November: Three Dublin families in WW1, with David Power. Host: Tallaght Historical Society. Venue: County Library, Library Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 15 November: Irish Records? They all went up in smoke... didn't they?, with Jill Williams FIGRS of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host and venue: Ayrshire Family History Society, Troon Portland Church Hall, South Beach, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland. 7:30pm. Admission free. Details.

Friday 16 November: The Spanish Flu: A Global Pandemic – a conference. Hosts: Ulster Museum in partnership with Living Legacies. Venue: Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5AB. Free but need to book ticket. 11am to 4pm.

Friday 16 November: The Great War and Clare, with Joe Power. Host: Part of Clare County Library's Creative Ireland programme. Venue: Ennistimon Library, 10 Main St, Ennistimon, Co. Clare. Free. All welcome. 6.30pm.

Saturday 17 November: Intermediate Irish records, with Jill Williams FIGRS of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. Host: Scottish Genealogy Society. Venue: Family History Centre, SGS Library, 15 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2JL. 10am to Noon. To book, T 0131 220 3677 or book online.

Saturday 17 November: The Great Hunger reassessed: a History Ireland Hedge School. Hosts: Dublin Book Festival. Venue: Dublin Port HQ, Alexander Road, East Wall, Dublin 3. Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland magazine will chair the discussion with John Gibney, Patricia Byrne and Peter Gray. 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Free. Need to book.

Saturday 17 November: Getting Started with Irish Genealogy Research, an introductory level workshop, with Miles Davenport. Host: McClelland Irish Library. Venue: McClelland Library's Norton Room, 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004, USA. 10:30am-12:30pm. Fee: $15 for Library/ICC members and $20 for non-members. Sold Out.

Saturday 17 November: Archives across Ireland and the UK will open their doors to host a diverse range of events and activities for ‘Explore Your Archive’, a week-long programme running to Sunday 25 November. See exploreyourarchive.org/