Thursday, 31 January 2019

Government commits £1m to London Irish Centre

The Irish Government has committed £1m towards the redevelopment of the London Irish Centre as part of the Global Ireland 2025 initiative.

The London Irish Centre is at Camden Square, NW1.
Click/tap image to visit its website.
The London Irish Centre opened in 1955 to meet the needs of newly arrived Irish emigrants and became a significant social and cultural venue for the Irish community in London. The plan is to develop the building to become a world class facility.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said: “The current facility has a great heart and plays a hugely important role for Irish diaspora in London as well as the new audiences it attracts for its strong and diverse arts programme.

"The new building will accommodate 21st century needs and reflect the national self-confidence Ireland possesses and our shared desire that we be ambitious in promoting the interests of Ireland on the world stage. This investment is indicative of our belief that is critical for us to maintain and build on our strong cultural relations with Britain.”

The London Irish Centre also provides help, support and care to the Irish community in London, particular to its most vulnerable members, and has a thriving library. The new building will allow the centre to continue this work. It will be a flagship Irish cultural centre, alongside the Irish Arts Center, New York and Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, which present a year round programme of Irish artists.

Global Ireland sets out a number of key actions across culture, heritage, business and tourism sectors to be undertaken in order to increase the impact of Ireland’s global footprint. It recognises the strength of Ireland’s culture and creativity as a unique power which allows Ireland to connect globally.

Irish and British records coming soon to Ancestry

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1100l4pTC/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.co.uk%2F
Ancestry UK has provided a summary of the new collections and updates to existing record-sets we can expect to join the database in February.

Of particular interest to Irish genealogists will be the following:
  • More than 2million entries in a Dublin street directory (year not revealed) will join Ancestry's collection of Irish Directories (1500-1920) in mid-February.
  • Around the same time, some 5,500 Poor Law records covering settlement and removals for the unions of Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar, Shoreditch, and Stepney, will join the London Poor Law, Selected Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930 collection in mid-February. Many poor immigrants from Ireland (and other countries) settled in these areas of London's East End.
  • More than 1.5million summaries of nearly all probate cases in England and Wales for 1967–1972 will fill the current gap in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 collection. This update should arrive in late February.
  • The final February update is a whopper and will see more than 5.2million records added to the WW1 Pension Ledgers & Index Cards, 1914-1923 collection. Sourced from the Western Front Association, the records provide details of 'other ranks' military and military-related personnel who filed for a pension after WW1, or, if killed, details of their widow/other dependents or next of kin. (The images are available only on Fold3, Ancestry's military database, but Ancestry's indexed data is reasonably informative.)
  • The only imminent new record-set with likely relevance to Irish family historians is the London Poor Law Hospital Registers collection, which holds nearly 300,000 records of the elderly and chronically ill receiving some relief in infirmaries attached to workhouses. The registers note name, age, gender, dates of admission, discharge and/or death. This collection should arrive in the database in mid-February. It did. See 14 February blogpost.
In addition, the Bexley Electoral Registers (1734-1965) collection will be updated with half a million records, and a new British Alien Internees (WW2) collection will join the database.

There will also be a period of free access to Irish and UK collections in the middle of the month. I'll bring you details when they're confirmed.

More East Galway records join RootsIreland.ie

http://galwayeast.rootsireland.ie/generic.php?filename=sources.tpl&selectedMenu=sources
The East Galway Family History Society's database of transcriptions at RootsIreland.ie has been updated with the addition of the following Roman Catholic and Civil records:
  • Cappatagle & Kilreekil RC baptisms, 1766–1915
  • Woodford RC baptisms, 1909–1917
  • Civil records updated and extended
  • Roman Catholic marriages extended to 1917 
This is the second significant upload of records to the East Galway database in five weeks. For a full list of sources for Galway (East), please click the logo.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

30% discount on all British Newspaper Archive subs

 NA30MIL
As you must surely have heard by now (see my blogpost, if you haven't), the online British Newspaper Archive has recently sailed past the 30-million-pages milestone.

To celebrate, there's a very welcome 30% off any subscription package to the database, which holds 167 historical Irish titles in addition to its huge holding of English, Welsh and Scottish publications. A subscription provides unlimited access to the entire online library.

Here's how the discount works in monetary terms:
  • 1-month subscription: reduced from £12.95 to £9.07
  • 3-month subscription: reduced from £25.90 to £18.13
  • 12-month subscription: reduced from £79.95 to £55.97
The offer will end at 11:59pm GMT on Wednesday 13 February.

To take advantage of the discount, click/tap the image; the promotion code will have been applied when you reach the Subscribe page.

Please note that after the initial subscription period, your subscription will be automatically renewed at the regular price unless you un-tick the 'auto-renew my subscription box' in the My Account section of the site. Terms & Conditions apply.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

MSPC's 2019 release will be the Brigade Activity Series

The Military Archives has announced that the Brigade Activity Series will be the 2019 tranche of records released from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection.

The records, which archivists have been working on for some time, were created by the Brigade Activity Committees set up around the country to assist the Referee and Advisory Committee in the verification of claims, so are sure to be very illuminating.

To mark the launch, and as a clear indicator of the importance of this collection, a public symposium is being organised and a new publication will be released. Minister Paul Kehoe, TD, will launch the Brigade Activity files on Saturday 23 February. The event will be free and open to the public but the registration process will be strict.

UPDATE, 4 February: The event is now fully booked.

More progress on NAI's census corrections project

The National Archives of Ireland has advised that a further batch of census corrections have been applied to both the 1901 and 1911 censuses on their free Genealogy website.

John Grenham MAGI is carrying out the project to check and approve what was a huge backlog of user-submitted corrections. At his last progress report at the end of September he calculated he was about 64% of the way through. I imagine he'll confirm current state of play in due course.

These corrections are being applied exclusively to the NAI's online census database.

West Cork men wanted for War of Independence series

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O_P1g_5CreDMzBEhstnjiIR_BqnO2Jkq/view?usp=sharing
Click to view full flyer
Award-winning documentary production company Abú Media is looking to recruit a dozen men from the West Cork area to take part in a living history project to commemorate the War of Independence.

The project will result in a major new TV series – The Brigade – on RTÉ1.

The twelve recruits will reform a Flying Column from 1920. They will be trained by ex-Irish Army officers for a week in a boot camp, and then take part in reconstructions of key battles from the War of Independence.

They will be expected to drill, learn to shoot, and live as if 'on the run', so while this will be exciting opportunity for many, it won't be a cosy doddle!

An open recruitment day will be held at Clonakilty GAA grounds on Saturday 9 February from 10am. Filming will take place from 13–20 February.

If you fancy stepping into the shoes of an ancestor, or simply want to find out more, email the following to Abú Media:
  • Personal details: name, address, age, occupation, contact information.
  • Motivation: Say why you want to be part of The Brigade, and whether you have any connection with the old Brigade.
  • Photo: A headshot.

GRO (England & Wales) - price of BMD certs to increase

Paper bmd certs, England and Wales
Having recently turned my one-name study research to Santrys who settled in Britain, I have quite a shopping list of birth, marriage and death certificates to place with the UK's General Register Office, so I was happy to stumble upon news of an imminent price increase. It may be helpful for other researchers in a similar position to take note.

On 16 February, the cost of English and Welsh certificates of BMDs will increase as follows:

The price of paper copies – certified/official certificates – will increase from £9.25 to £11. The priority service, which allows delivery on the next working day, will rise from £23.40 to £35.

'Research copies', ie pdf versions issued by email, will rise from £6 to £7. PDF versions are available only for registrations of birth 1837-1918 and death 1837-1957.

As far as I can tell, there are no fee hikes in the pipe for Scottish certificates.


Pre-modern Ireland, 1200-1801: London symposium

The UK National Archives (TNA) is to host a major international symposium – Dominus Hibernie/Rex Hiberniae: pre-modern Ireland, 1200-1801 – at its Kew premises in March.

Six centuries of Irish history will explore how institutions, policies and attitudes developed to enable the crown to tackle the challenges of governing Ireland and its inhabitants. The records which such processes generated are voluminous and held by TNA. They afford rich, multi-faceted insights into the administration of pre-modern Ireland, its political and legal culture, its geography, environment, society, economy and trade.

The symposium will be opened by Jeff James, CEO and Keeper of The National Archives and Adrian O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom with key note addresses given by Professor Robin Frame (Durham University), Professor Patricia Palmer (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), and Professor David Hayton (Queen’s University Belfast).

It will run from Noon on Thursday 21 March to 3:30pm on Saturday 23 March. Full conference and day tickets available, with prices starting at £24/£30.

See conference programme, details and registration here
.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Sunday Life joins online British Newspaper Archive

Without any fuss or celebration (unless I just wasn't invited!), The British Newspaper Archive quietly strode past a significant milestone on Saturday (see blogpost). One day later, with no rest for the wicked, and another new title joined the database's line-up. The Sunday Life is the tabloid sister paper of the Belfast Telegraph. It first appeared in 1988 and is currently owned by Independent News and Media plc.

So far, only Sunday Life editions published from 1988 to 1997 are available to search, but the fully digitised holding for this paper will run to 2005.

As with all other Irish publications in the online database, this paper is now available to view on the BNA website or, if you have one of the premium subscriptions, via FindMyPast.

With this addition, the online BNA holds 44 newspapers from Northern Ireland and 123 from the Republic of Ireland.

Irish genealogy and history events, 28 Jan to 10 Feb

Monday 28 January: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will operate as normal.

Monday 28 January: Irish lace, with Bernadine Nic Giolla Phadraig. Host: Clondalkin Historical Society. Venue: Arás Chronáin Irish Cultural Centre, Watery Lane, Clondalkin, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday, 29 January: The Irish Revolution, a preview screening of the 3-part documentary series based on the best selling Atlas of The Irish Revolution published by Cork University Press. Hosts: RTÉ and UCC. Venue: Cork Opera House, Emmett Pl, Cork City. Starts at 7.45pm. Tickets €5 (all proceeds to Cork Penny Dinners). The screening will be acoompanied by a Q&A session. Details.

Tuesday 29 January: The 2018 Maine Ulster Scots Conference, with Helen Perry. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Causeway Coast and Glens Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine BT52 1HF. Free. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 29 January: Cork Archives closed. Seamus Murphy Building, the home of Cork City and County Archives Service, will be closed for the day due to works in the area. Open as usual on Wednesday.

Tuesday 29 January: Ship Wrecks on the Iron Bound Coast, with Mick O'Rourke. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. All welcome. Members free/ non-members €5 on the door.

Wednesday 30 January: The faith journey of the Deise People, with Rt Rev Monsignor Michael Olden. Host: The Julian Walton Winter Lecture Series. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite GAA Grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Lecture followed by Q&A and light refreshments. Fee €5. All welcome.

Thursday 31 January: Family History Research Centre and Library open – an extra day. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. (Free parking.) Hours: 2pm to 8pm. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 31 January: Online sources for Irish Research, a webinar with Donna Moughty. Host: Santa Barbara Genealogical Society. Venue: Online Webinar. 1pm–2:30pm PST/9pm–10:30pm GMT. Register.

Thursday 31 January: 'You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hidden' (Matthew 5, 14): The beginnings of Cashel, with Dr Dagmar O'Riain. Host: Cashel Heritage Forum lecture series marking 700th anniversary of the building of the town walls. Venue: Parish Centre, Friar Street, St. Francisabbey, Cashel, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday 31 January: Online family and local history resources, workshop. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm to 8pm. Each workshop will start with an orientation tour of PRONI, followed by an introduction to searching online resources, and will help improve IT skills. Free, but you need to book.

Thursday 31 January: Banished Beyond the Seas: NAI records of convict transportation to Australia, 1788-1868, with Joan Kavanagh. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Reading Room, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 6pm. Free. No booking required. All welcome.

Thursday 31 January: Wills and Testamentary Records, with Natalie Bodle. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Ballymena Branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm. All welcome.

Friday 1 February: Access restrictions at the RCB Library. No access to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections on Fridays (on-going). Access to Printed collection not affected. RCB Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14. Details.

Friday 1 February: Commemorating the Revolution, with Rory O'Dwyer. Host: Michael Collins House. Venue: Parish Centre, Western Rd, Maulnaskehy, Clonakilty, Co Cork. 7:30pm. All welcome. Free.

Monday 4 February: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will operate as normal.

Monday 4 February: The Archaeology of Derry, with Ruairi O’Baoill. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle Branch. Venue: Lecture Room, Derry Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AL. 7pm. All welcome.

Monday 4 February
: Francis Hutcheson and Early Saintfield, with Martin Todd. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh branch. Venue: Killyleagh Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co Down, BT30 9QF. 8pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 6 February:
Workshop Evening. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Local History Section, First Floor, Omagh Library, 1 Spillars Place, Omagh, BT78 1HL. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 6 February: Irish family history resources on the Internet, with Peter Christian FSG. Host and venue: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA. 2pm–3pm. £8. Booking.

Wednesday 6 February:
DNA: Family Finder 1, with Martin McDowell. First of three sessions (continues on Tuesdays 12 & 19 Feb, note different day of week). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Rd, Newtownabbey, Antrim BT36 7LS. 7pm – 9pm. Booking required. Cost for the three sessions £18, payable at the first session. Details.

Thursday 7 February:
DNA: Family Finder 2, with Martin McDowell. First of three sessions (continues on 14 & 21 Feb). Host: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Rd, Newtownabbey, Antrim BT36 7LS. 7pm – 9pm. Booking required. Cost for the three sessions £18, payable at the first session. Details.

Thursday 7 February: Practical Workshop - Get started: advice on searching for records at PRONI. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but booking essential. Early booking recommended as these workshops are usually snapped up quickly. Register.

Thursday 7 February: Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft: Irish Public Records before 1922, with Dr David Brown. Host: Library Assoication of Ireland Rare Books Group. Venue: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 1pm (follows AGM). Free. All welcome.

Friday 8 February: General Sir Edward Bulfin – Ireland's forgotten general of WW1, with General John Powell. Host: Military History Society of Ireland. Venue: Griffith College, South Circular Road, Dublin 8. Free. Non-members welcome. 8pm.

Friday 8 February: Access restrictions at the RCB Library. No access to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections on Fridays (on-going). Access to Printed collection not affected. RCB Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14. Details.

Saturday 9 February: Destination Canada, a free mini conference exploring the Irish, Norwegian and Romanian migration experiences, and Canadaian immigration resources. Host: Minnesota Genealogical Society. Venue: Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA. Details.

Saturday 9 February: Irish Saturday, with members of the Irish Genealogical Society International. Host: Minnesota Genealogical Society. Venue:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm Minnesota Heritage Center Library, 1385 Mendota Heights Rd., Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA. 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 9 February: Using 1919–1922 Irish Army Records, with Malachi McRoe and Mervyn Hall. Host: Fermanagh Genealogy. Venue: Enniskillen Library, Halls Lane, Enniskillen. 1:30pm–3pm. All welcome. Members free / Visitors £5. No booking required.


Social History & the Irish Revolution - March lectures

Glasnevin Museum and Trinity College Dublin's School of History & Humanities will be presenting a public lecture series next month entitled 'Social History and the Irish Revolution'.

The lectures will be delivered in the Museum's Milestone Gallery at 7pm to 8:30pm, as follows:

  • Wednesday  6 March: Towards a further understanding of the violence experienced by women in the Irish Revolution, with Professor Linda Connolly
  • Wednesday 13 March: Is vverything we loved gone forever?: The burning of Irish country houses during the War of Independence, 1920-21, with Professor Terence A Dooley
  • Wednesday 20 March: 'This is supposed to be a civilised country and part of Great Britain!' Southern Irish loyalists and revolution, with Brian Hughes
  • Wednesday 27 March: Uncovering the ordinary experience of extraordinary times: Ireland 1917 - 1927, with Dr Richard McElligott
Tickets should be booked in advance. They cost €6 per lecture or €20 for a multi-pass which will gain you entry to all four lectures in the series. (Multi-passes are almost all sold out as at today's date.)

Saturday, 26 January 2019

British Newspaper Archive tots up to 30 million pages

Today, the British Newspaper Archive reached a new milestone with more than 30 million pages (30,011,612 pages to be precise) of historical newsprint digitised and available to search and view in its online database.

This means the project to digitise the British Library's Newspaper Collection, which dates back to the 1700s, is now three-quarters completed.

If there were such a title, this would be its front page today
The hard-copy collection, previously held at the BL's specialist library in Colindale, North London, was relocated to a hi-tech, purpose built storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, back in November 2013; in a partnership between the BL and FindMyPast, digital copies of these historical publications began to appear online for the first time in the following year.

From the start, the collection has been hugely popular with genealogists of Irish and British heritage because the papers are full of genealogical and family history details, intrigue and colour, as well as providing the social and political context in which our ancestors lived their lives.

With today's milestone of 30 million pages achieved, the 10-year digitisation project appears to be comfortably ahead of schedule.

As of today, there are 146 historical Irish newspapers in the archive. Some 43 were published in the counties that now make up Northern Ireland; the remaining 123 titles were either national papers that would once have covered the entire island or local/regional papers in counties that now make up the Republic of Ireland.

The full online collection is available via the dedicated BNA site (see link above) and via some FindMyPast subscription packages*.

* Pro subscriptions via FindMyPast Ireland, FindMyPast UK and FindMyPast Australia/NZ; Ultimate subscriptions via FindMyPast.com.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Access restrictions at major libraries & archives

For a number of reasons, access to some archives and repositories is currently being restricted.

While I tend to include these in my weekly Events listings, I thought I should draw particular attention to restrictions and closures over the next week as there are rather more than usual.

Friday 25 January
  • All areas of the RCB Library closed. To facilitate essential maintenance work, the Library in Churchtown, Dublin 14, will be closed all day. 
  • Registry of Deeds access restrictions: The Transcribing Room Vault containing transcripts from 1896-1910 and the Public Microfilm Room will be closed to the public due to essential maintenance works. Reopens on Monday. Dublin.

Saturday 26 January
  • All-day closure of Main Reading Room at National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Due to essential maintenance work. The Manuscripts Reading Room open as usual.

Monday 28 January
  • All-day closure of Main Reading Room & Manuscript Room at National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Due to continuing redevelopment of the premises. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, operate as normal.

Tuesday 29 January
  • Cork Archives closed all day. Seamus Murphy Building, the home of Cork City and County Archives Service, will be closed for the day due to works in the area.

Friday 1 February
  • Access restrictions at the RCB Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14 are to facilitate the Library's (registers) digitisation project. No access to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections on Fridays (on-going). Access to Printed collection not affected.

RootsIreland adds Co Waterford civil marriage records

http://waterford.rootsireland.ie/generic.php?filename=centres/waterford/sources.tpl&selectedMenu=sources
Click logo to view RootsIreland.ie's full
menu of County Waterford records
RootsIreland.ie has added more than 18,500 civil marriage register records from County Waterford to its database.

Nearly all of the transcriptions span the years 1864–1912; only those for Templemichael are different – they stop at 1877, and all areas of the county are covered except St Mary's (Clonmel).

They join civil birth and death records for the county over the same timespan. Only Kilmacthomas deaths are missing, and the birth records for Templemichael run only to 1898.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

MyHeritage DNA shares the love with special deal

MyHeritage DNA is out of the blocks with an early St Valentine's Day offer on its DNA testing kit.

Not only is there the opportunity to save £16 / US$16 / on the (atDNA) test kit itself, the usual shipping fee is completely waived if you place an order for two or more kits.

The special deal will run until Monday 4 February and is available worldwide.

Click the links below to order via your local MyHeritage website.



MyHeritage DNA testing kit price reduced from £75 to £59,
with free shipping if you order two or more kits.



MyHeritage DNA testing kit price reduced from US$£75 to US$59,
with free shipping if you order two or more kits.





Back To Our Past, Belfast: lectures, free tickets and more

Back To Our Past, the largest family history fair in the island of Ireland and host to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference, will be opening its doors to researchers of all experience levels in Belfast in just over three weeks time.

This year's Northern Ireland show will be held at the ICC Waterfront Convention Centre in the city's Titanic Quarter on Friday 15 February and Saturday 16 February from 10am to 5pm. Free tickets are available, but you need to order them by email in advance.

Two strands of lectures – all free – offer visitors a wide range of topics suitable for beginners, intermediates and advanced researchers in both traditional family history and genetic genealogy. The lecture schedules are now available on the organiser's website, as are details of how to obtain the free tickets, at BackToOurPast.ie.

In addition to the lectures, visitors can visit a number of exhibitors, enjoy free advice and guidance from experienced genealogists and find out about various products, magazines, projects, archives and local societies and groups of interest to local and family historians.


Monday, 21 January 2019

British Newspaper Archive adds The Sunday World

The latest Irish title to join the online British Newspaper Archive is The Sunday World.

Unlikely to hold much genealogical treasure
When the paper launched in March 1973 it was Ireland's first tabloid newspaper, serving up the favourite fare – man-down-the-pub analysis alongside pics of scantily clad brunette divorcées – of people who hadn't mastered the folding of a broadsheet. Today, with lingerie snaps taking up slightly less space than they used to command, and with editions published in both Dublin and Belfast, it has become the biggest selling tabloid in Ireland.

Editions dating from 1987 to 2006 will ultimately make their way to the online database. So far, editions published up to 1996 are available to search.

The Sunday World is the 146th Irish newspaper to join the BNA database, which is shared in its entirety with sister company FindMyPast's Irish Newspaper Collection.

Irish genealogy/history events, 21 January - 3 February

Monday 21 January: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will operate as normal.

Monday 21 January: Education records, with Valerie Adams. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 22 January: The 1st Dáil and the War of Independence, with Hugh O'Brien. Host and venue: Cootehill Library, Bridge St, Drumaveil North, Cootehill, Co. Cavan. Free but need to book by phone: 049 5559873. 7pm.

Tuesday 22 January: The great Liberties whiskey fire of 1875, with Les Fallon. Host: Tallaght Historical Society. Venue: County Library, The Square, Tallaght, Co Dublin 24. Free. All welcome. 7pm.

Tuesday 22 January: The men who built the Titanic, with Allison Murphy. Host: NIFHS, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7.30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 22 January: The building of Bullock Harbour, with Elizabeth Shotton. Hosts: Dublin Port Company & Bullock Harbour Preservation Association. Host: Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Admission is free but places should be booked with the Heritage Centre at info@dalkeycastle.com. Details.

Tuesday 22 January: 'The staunchest priest who ever lived in Ireland': the story of Fr Michael O’Flanagan, with Manus O’Riordan. Host: Howth Peninsula Heritage Society. Venue: Howth Angling Centre, West Pier, Howth, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Non-members €5.

Wednesday 23 January: Starting Your Irish Family History, with Dr Irene O'Brien. Host: City Archives. Venue: Moir Dyer Room, Mitchell Library. 6pm to 7pm. Free but places are limited. Moir Dyer Room, Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, Scotland G3 7DN. Book in person at the Granville Street reception or phone 0141 287 2999.

Wednesday 23 January: Reflecting on the History of Irish Childhood and Youth, a panel discussion followed by the launch of 'Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period, 1910-1940'. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 6.30pm-8.30pm. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 24 January: 1918 – The year England lost Ireland, with Pat McCarthy. Host: The Julian Walton Winter Lecture Series. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite GAA Grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Lecture followed by Q&A and light refreshments. Fee €5. All welcome.

Friday 25 January: Practical Workshop - Get started: advice on searching for records at PRONI. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but booking essential. Early booking recommended as these workshops are usually snapped up quickly. Register.

Friday 25 January: Bad Bridget - Women and Crime, Past and Present, a workshop. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Blvd, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9HQ. 10am to 4pm. Free, but need to register.

Friday 25 January: All areas of the RCB Library closed. To facilitate essential maintenance work, the Library in Churchtown, Dublin 14, will be closed all day.

Friday 25 January: Registry of Deeds access restrictions: The Transcribing Room Vault containing transcripts from 1896-1910 and the Public Microfilm Room will be closed to the public due to essential maintenance works. Reopens on Monday. Dublin.

Friday 25 January: Bernard Sheppard, Cloughjordan native and founder of the first private Catholic Secondary School, with Liam Doran. Host: Cloughjordan Heritage Group. Venue: Thomas MacDonagh Museum, Lower Main Street. Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. All welcome. Refreshments will be served. 8:30pm.

Friday 25 January: Bananas on the Breadboard: Stories from the Markets of Dublin, screening of documentary followed by Q&A with the director Joe Lee. Host: Dublin History Research Network. Venue: Dublin Civic Trust, 18 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7. 6:30pm to 8pm. Free, but need to register in advance. See also following day's conference.

Saturday 26 January: Buying and selling: Dublin's markets 1500 to the present, a conference. Host: Dublin History Research Network. Venue: The Wood Quay Venue, Dublin 8. 9:30pm to 5pm. Details and tickets. Tickets €10.

Saturday 26 January: Objects on the move: everyday life in Gaelic Ulster, 1200–1600 AD, with Peter McElhinney; the 18th Annual Irish Migration Studies Lecture. Host and venue: The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Fee £12 (£10 concessions), includes morning coffee and finger buffet lunch. 11am to 2pm. Booking is advisable. More information.

Saturday 26 January: 1919 – birth of a counter state, a conference exploring the beginnings of the Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the structures of a counter state with the foundation of the first Dáil Éireann in January 1919. Host: School of History and Geography, Dublin City University. Venue: E218, St Patrick's Campus, DCU, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. 9:30am to 4:30pm. Free. All welcome. Register.

Saturday 26 January: Closure of Main Reading Room at National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Closed all day, due to essential maintenance work. The Manuscripts Reading Room will be open as usual.

Monday 28 January: Irish lace, with Bernadine Nic Giolla Phadraig. Host: Clondalkin Historical Society. Venue: Arás Chronáin Irish Cultural Centre, Watery Lane, Clondalkin, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome.

Monday 28 January: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will operate as normal.

Tuesday, 29 January: The Irish Revolution, a preview screening of the 3-part documentary series based on the best selling Atlas of The Irish Revolution published by Cork University Press. Hosts: RTÉ and UCC. Venue: Cork Opera House, Emmett Pl, Cork City. Starts at 7.45pm. Tickets €5 (all proceeds to Cork Penny Dinners). The screening will be acoompanied by a Q&A session. Details.

Tuesday 29 January: The 2018 Maine Ulster Scots Conference, with Helen Perry. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Causeway Coast and Glens Branch. Venue: Guide Hall, Terrace Row, Coleraine BT52 1HF. Free. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 29 January: Cork Archives closed. Seamus Murphy Building, the home of Cork City and County Archives Service, will be closed for the day due to works in the area. Open as usual on Wednesday.

Tuesday 29 January: Ship Wrecks on the Iron Bound Coast, with Mick O'Rourke. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. All welcome. Members free/ non-members €5 on the door.

Wednesday 30 January: The faith journey of the Deise People, with Rt Rev Monsignor Michael Olden. Host: The Julian Walton Winter Lecture Series. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite GAA Grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Lecture followed by Q&A and light refreshments. Fee €5. All welcome.

Thursday 31 January: Online sources for Irish Research, a webinar with Donna Moughty. Host: Santa Barbara Genealogical Society. Venue: Online Webinar. 1pm–2:30pm PST/9pm–10:30pm GMT. Register.

Thursday 31 January: 'You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hidden' (Matthew 5, 14): The beginnings of Cashel, with Dr Dagmar O'Riain. Host: Cashel Heritage Forum lecture series marking 700th anniversary of the building of the town walls. Venue: Parish Centre, Friar Street, St. Francisabbey, Cashel, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday 31 January: Online family and local history resources, workshop. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm to 8pm. Each workshop will start with an orientation tour of PRONI, followed by an introduction to searching online resources, and will help improve IT skills. Free, but you need to book.

Thursday 31 January: Banished Beyond the Seas: NAI records of convict transportation to Australia, 1788-1868, with Joan Kavanagh. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Reading Room, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. 6pm. Free. No booking required. All welcome.

Friday 1 February: Access restrictions at the RCB Library. No access to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections on Fridays (on-going). Access to Printed collection not affected. RCB Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14. Details.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Latest updates to Massachusetts/Boston RC collection on AmericanAncestors.org

The New England Historical Genealogical Society's AmericanAncestors.org has continued to expand its online collection of Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston registers, 1789-1900.

The additions uploaded between early December and yesterday are detailed below.


Indexed database

The latest parish volumes to be fully imaged, indexed and available to search have added more than 146,000 records and over 528,400 names to the database. The parishes and the dates of the indexed registers are:
  • St Mary of Boston – Baptisms and Marriages, 1836 to 1900; First Communions and Confirmations, 1866-1900.
  • Blessed Sacrament (Jamaica Plain) – Baptisms, Marriages and Confirmations, 1892-1900
  • St Augustine (Lawrence) – Baptisms, 1879-1886
  • Most Holy Redeemer (East Boston) – Baptisms and Marriages, 1844-1900; Confirmations 1851-1882 & Marriages 1851-1900
  • Immaculate Conception (Malden) – Baptisms, 1859-1897; Marriages, 1861-1900
To search and view the indexed database, you need to be a member (Individual-level and above) of the NEHGS.


Unindexed Image-only database

Images of the volumes for the following parishes have been uploaded to the Browse database:
  • All Saints (Roxbury) Baptisms and Marriages, 1896-1900
  • St Bridget (Abington) Baptisms, 1864-1900, Marriages 1864-1900; Confirmations, 1870-1900; Confirmations & Financial records, 1857=1883
  • St Michael (Lowell) Baptisms, Marriages and Confirmations, 1884-1900
  • St John the Baptist (Peabody) Baptisms, 1874-1900; Marriages, 1875-1900
  • St Peter (Plymouth) Baptisms and Marriages, 1873-1900; First Communions and Confirmations (names only, dates unknown)
  • St Philip (Roxbury) Baptisms, 1895-1900; Marriages 1895-1900; Confirmations, 1896-1900
  • St Joseph (Waltham) Baptisms, 1894-1900; Marriages and Deaths, 1895-1900; First Communion & Confirmations 1895-1900
You don't need a subscription to view these images, only a Guest Account. To find out how to navigate the collection to find the records you want, watch this short how-to video.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Five more 2019 dates for PRONI's free two-hour 'Online Family & Local History Resources' Workshops

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast has scheduled five more dates in early 2019 to present its Online Family and Local History Resources Workshop.

Each two-hour workshop will start with an orientation tour of PRONI, followed by an introduction to searching online resources. Both daytime and evening workshops are available.

These sessions tend to be very popular, and available spaces are usually booked out some time in advance, so don't delay if you want to attend on one of these dates shown below.

  • Thursday 31 January at 6pm
  • Monday 11 February at 11am
  • Thursday 28 February at 6pm
  • Friday 8 March at 11am
  • Monday 8 April at 11am

Register here.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: Early Jan update

http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/mayo/photos/tombstones/bekan2/target116.html
Memorial stone to Catherine Murray in Bekan
Cemetery, Co Mayo. Click for larger view. Photo
courtesy of Dympna Beckett Joyce and IGPArchives
In the first two weeks of 2019, the volunteer team at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has uploaded the following files to its free online database:

ANTRIM Genealogy Archives - Wills
Wills from National Archives, London (Updated)

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Michael's, Potahee, Arvagh (Updated)
St. Patrick's RC, Corlough (Updated)

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Aughaval Cemetery, Part 6
Bekan Village, Bekan Cemetery Part 2 (K-W)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

MyHeritage adds exclusive collection of historical Massachusetts newspapers

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=16098&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myheritage.com%2Fresearch%2Fcollection-10704%2Fmassachusetts-newspapers-1704-1974In the countdown to the Christmas break I didn't get time to check out an announcement from MyHeritage about a new collection of newspapers, but I made a note and finally got round to exploring the records over the past weekend.

I'm glad I did. The new collection has rich pickings potential for Irish family historians on both sides of the Atlantic.

The collection is a new and exclusive compendium of historical Massachusetts newspapers. Spanning 1704–1974, it holds 239 titles published in various cities in the state, and its database holds an impressive total of 6,072,877 searchable pages.

It's been created with a particular emphasis on papers from Boston and surrounding locales, making it fertile ground for hunting down ancestors from Ireland, and has been produced by MyHeritage in partnership with the Boston Public Library.

Having made a search for the surname Santry (for my one-name study), I was almost overwhelmed with the number of results. My goodness, the Santrys loved sport! But rather more importantly I also found many reports and announcements relating to marriages, births and deaths, the marketing efforts of an unexpected chiropodist, court cases, a bankruptcy, trade union meetings and society events. A real pot of gold! It's going to take me some time to transcribe/copy all my findings!

Monday, 14 January 2019

40% discount on offer for Fold 3's 12th anniversary

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-5737308-10967210
Fold 3, the military specialist sister site of Ancestry, invites you to join in its 12th anniversary celebrations with a generous 40% discount.

The database provides access to more than 537 million records from numerous military forces. These records, which typically are sourced from the US National Archives, the National Archives of the UK and similar institutions, include the stories, photos, and personal documents of men and women who served in conflicts around the world.

The discount offer will end at 11:59pm MST on Thursday 31 January.

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-5737308-10967210

Ancestry DNA now detects 90+ genetic Irish regions

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1100l4pTC/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.co.uk%2Fdna%2FAncestry has confirmed via its blog that more than 90 distinct genetic regions in Ireland can now be identified in its DNA testing analysis process. Just 13 were detectable only 18 months ago.

The blogpost, by Kristen Hyde, says 92 distinct regions of Ireland are now offered. "We now have the capability to break the Irish population down by province, county and in some cases, parish!" she writes.

All researchers who have tested with the company should have seen their Ethnicity Estimates updated recently to reflect the improved detection of regional markers.

You can read the blogpost here.

Petition demands identity rights for Irish adoptees

A petition has been launched to demand identity rights for adoptees in Ireland.

Click/tap to sign the petition
Created by Maree Ryan-O'Brien of Tullamore, Co Offaly, herself an adoptee, the petition aims to help more than 150,000 Irish adoptees gain the right to access their birth certificates, health and heritage information and adoption files. There is currently no legislation allowing automatic access, despite such equality and identity rights being available to other citizens.

I'm sure most Irish family historians will sympathise with Maree's view that old values and secrecy from another era have no place in a modern society (see her opinion piece in the Irish Times).

As of this morning, the petition, which is addressed to Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, has more than 3,200 signatures, and is pushing on towards the 4,000 milestone. Why not give it a helping hand?


The Irish Revolution documentary to air in February

See final paragraph below
Starting at 9:30pm on 4 February, RTÉ One will broadcast the first episode of The Irish Revolution, a three-part documentary based on the best-selling Atlas of the Irish Revolution published by Cork University Press in 2017.

The documentary, produced with the University College Cork team behind the book, is narrated by the actor and one-time UCC law student Cillian Murphy.

The TV programme will focus on the events of the first Dáil in 1919, the War of Independence and the subsequent Irish Civil War and will include some never before broadcast archive footage. It will also feature new 3D-CGI mapping as part of the many dramatic visuals and rare images which help provide a new understanding of events in Ireland a century ago. More than 20 academics make contributions in the documentary.

The second and third parts of the programme will be shown on Mondays 11 and 18 February, again at 9:30pm.

A preview screening of an episode from the documentary will take place at a special event at Cork Opera House on Tuesday 29 January. President Michael M Higgins will be attending. Following the screening, a Q&A session will be held with a panel of specialists. This will be moderated by the historian Dr John Bowman and will be recorded for broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on St Patrick’s Day. The special event will start at 7.45pm. Tickets €5, with all proceeds going to the Cork Penny Dinners charity.

Registry of Deeds Index Project passes major milestone

The Register of Deeds Index Project has achieved a huge milestone as it sailed past the 300,000 entries marker last week.

Some 300,419 index records from 32,939 memorials of deeds are now held in the free-to-access main database, every one of them transcribed and donated by a volunteer – a researcher who is fully aware of the potential value of the material to other Irish family historians and willing to give up a few minutes of their time to submit the data online.

Why not make a New Year resolution to contribute to the project during 2019? You'll find more information about how the project and its volunteeer team works by clicking the link above.



Another Wexford title joins British Newspaper Archive

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Ftitles%2Fgorey-guardianThe Gorey Guardian has joined the online British Newspaper Archive. Covering the County Wexford town and its surrounding area, the tabloid paper is published on Wednesdays. It is part of the Independent News and Media group.

An incomplete run of 527 editions dating from 1994 to 2002 is now available to search and view, with editions up to and including 2006 (which will complete the planned holding)  likely to upload to the BNA database in the next few days.

The BNA's holding of this newspaper and all other historical Irish newspapers in its collection is shared with FindMyPast customers holding Pro/Ultimate subscriptions.





Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 14-27 Jan

Monday 14 January: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will open at 11am due to a staff meeting but otherwise operate as normal. Details.

Monday 14 January: The history of the water supply in Derry, with Paul Strawbridge. 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. All welcome.

Monday 14 January: Quirky PRONI stories, with Ann McVeigh. Host: NIFHS, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 15 January: Soloheadbeg Ambush; A centenary perspective, with Dr Des Marnane. Host and venue: Tipperary Studies, The Gallery, The Source Library, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. 7:30pm. Free. Tea served. All welcome.

Wednesday 16 January: Using DNA to explore your family history, with Martin McDowell and Anne Johnston. Host: NIFHS, North Armagh branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Wednesday 16 January: The Powers of St Brigid's Well Brewery, with Des Power. Host and venue: Waterford County Museum, Friary Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €5.

Wednesday 16 January: Deserted schoolhouses of Ireland, with E. O'Flaithbertaigh. Host: West of Ireland archaeological and historical society. Venue: Harbour Hotel, New Dock Street, Galway City. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 17 January: From Ballots to Bullets, Ireland 1918-1919, a guided tour of the exhibition. Host: National Library of Ireland. Venue: National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Free. 2pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Thursday 17 January: Viking Dublin uncovered, with John Kirby. Host: Greystones Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Holy Rosary Centre, La Touche Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow. 8pm.

Thursday 17 January: Digging into Griffith's Valuation, a workship with Terri O'Connell. Host and venue: Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave., Chicago, IL 60630, USA. 7pm–9pm. Fee: $20. Need to register.

Saturday 19 January: Using John Grenham's Irish family history resources, with Barbara Scanlon. Host and venue: Lower Level, Meeting Room 2-3, W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S 15th St, Omaha, Nebraska, NE 68111, USA. 2pm–3pm. Free. All welcome. To register, email rhenry416@cox.net. Postponed.

Monday 21 January: NLI Reading Room and Manuscript Room closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. All other services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will operate as normal.

Monday 21 January: Education records, with Valerie Adams. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Monday 21 January: A.W.N. Pugin and the Gothic Revival in Ireland, with Patrick Comerford. Host: Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society. Venue: Room T.1.19, Tara Building, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Free. All welcome. 8pm.

Tuesday 22 January: The 1st Dáil and the War of Independence, with Hugh O'Brien. Host and venue: Cootehill Library, Bridge St, Drumaveil North, Cootehill, Co. Cavan. Free but need to book by phone: 049 5559873. 7pm.

Tuesday 22 January: The great Liberties whiskey fire of 1875, with Les Fallon. Host: Tallaght Historical Society. Venue: County Library, The Square, Tallaght, Co Dublin 24. Free. All welcome. 7pm.

Tuesday 22 January: The men who built the Titanic, with Allison Murphy. Host: NIFHS, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7.30pm. Free. All welcome.

Tuesday 22 January: The building of Bullock Harbour, with Elizabeth Shotton. Hosts: Dublin Port Company & Bullock Harbour Preservation Association. Host: Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Admission is free but places should be booked with the Heritage Centre at info@dalkeycastle.com. Details.

Tuesday 22 January: 'The staunchest priest who ever lived in Ireland': the story of Fr Michael O’Flanagan, with Manus O’Riordan. Host: Howth Peninsula Heritage Society. Venue: Howth Angling Centre, West Pier, Howth, Co Dublin. 8pm. All welcome. Non-members €5.

Wednesday 23 January: Starting Your Irish Family History, with Dr Irene O'Brien. Host: City Archives. Venue: Moir Dyer Room, Mitchell Library. 6pm to 7pm. Free but places are limited. Moir Dyer Room, Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, Scotland G3 7DN. Book in person at the Granville Street reception or phone 0141 287 2999.

Wednesday 23 January: Reflecting on the History of Irish Childhood and Youth, a panel discussion followed by the launch of 'Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period, 1910-1940'. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 6.30pm-8.30pm. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 24 January: 1918 – The year England lost Ireland, with Pat McCarthy. Host: The Julian Walton Winter Lecture Series. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite GAA Grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Lecture followed by Q&A and light refreshments. Fee €5. All welcome.

Friday 25 January: Practical Workshop - Get started: advice on searching for records at PRONI. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but booking essential. Early booking recommended as these workshops are usually snapped up quickly. Register.

Friday 25 January: Bad Bridget - Women and Crime, Past and Present, a workshop. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Blvd, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9HQ. 10am to 4pm. Free, but need to register.

Friday 25 January: All areas of the RCB Library closed. To facilitate essential maintenance work, the Library in Churchtown, Dublin 14, will be closed all day.

Friday 25 January: Bananas on the Breadboard: Stories from the Markets of Dublin, screening of documentary followed by Q&A with the director Joe Lee. Host: Dublin History Research Network. Venue: Dublin Civic Trust, 18 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7. 6:30pm to 8pm. Free, but need to register in advance. See also following day's conference.

Saturday 26 January: Buying and selling: Dublin's markets 1500 to the present, a conference. Host: Dublin History Research Network. Venue: The Wood Quay Venue, Dublin 8. 9:30pm to 5pm. Details and tickets. Tickets €10.

Saturday 26 January: Objects on the move: everyday life in Gaelic Ulster, 1200–1600 AD, with Peter McElhinney; the 18th Annual Irish Migration Studies Lecture. Host and venue: The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Fee £12 (£10 concessions), includes morning coffee and finger buffet lunch. 11am to 2pm. Booking is advisable. More information.

Saturday 26 January: 1919 – birth of a counter state, a conference exploring the beginnings of the Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the structures of a counter state with the foundation of the first Dáil Éireann in January 1919. Host: School of History and Geography, Dublin City University. Venue: E218, St Patrick's Campus, DCU, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. 9:30am to 4:30pm. Free. All welcome. Register.

Friday, 11 January 2019

IrishGenealogy.ie: latest on overdue BMD updates

IrishGenealogy.ie, the state-managed free database holding an incomplete collection of civil birth, marriage and death records, has advised that it expects to upload marriage register images for 1864 to 1869 inclusive in 'early 2019'.

Additionally, two outstanding 'rolling' years of index and register images will be uploaded for births (1917–1918 inclusive), marriages (1942–1943 inclusive - ROI only) and deaths (1967–1968 - ROI only) to bring the online collections in line with the 100-75-50-year 'rule'.

The managers of the site confirm that the General Register Office will continue to work on uploading the marriage register images for 1845–1863 (all-island), death register images for 1864–1877 (all-island) and user-submitted corrections to the online collections. No date is confirmed for this final release, but further details will be provided with the 'early 2019' release.

You can view the official news item here.

Note:
The website's civil records cover the entire island up to and including 1921. From 1922, it does not hold BMD records registered in the six counties of Northern Ireland.

National Library of Ireland requests feedback on service changes

Over the last 18 months, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has made significant changes to some of its services to researchers. The most striking has been the all-day Monday closure of its Reading Rooms, which was introduced to facilitate extensive redevelopment work on the physical fabric of the Library.

I'm not sure of the official reason given for subsequently (January 2018) introducing 24-hour advance bookings to the Manuscripts Reading Room, but I've heard loud grumbles from professional genealogists and historians about the inconvenience of this step and its disruption to research sessions.

In my experience, there is always a danger these kinds of restrictions, labelled as 'temporary' when introduced for distinct and understandable reasons, become permanent. Not for the benefit of the customer or user, of course, but for the convenience of the provider. For convenience, read cost-saving.

The reinstatement of the original opening hours and service levels is now up for review.

The NLI is looking for user feedback on the impact of the 'temporary' service changes via an online survey. It doesn't take long to complete (5 minutes), and I would urge NLI-users to spare that small amount of time to record your views. You are not required to provide your name or email address. You'll find the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLIEnglish. All submissions need to be received by 21 January.






Bray People joins online British Newspaper Archive

The online British Newspaper Archive has added the Bray People to its database.

So far, the May 1988 to December 1993 editions are available to search and view, with editions published up to 2005 awaiting upload.

Bray People is still in circulation and covers the Wicklow seaside town and the North Wicklow area.

The addition of this newspaper means researchers can now search more than 160 historical Irish newspapers in the BNA database, which is shared with FindMyPast (Pro or Ultimate subscriptions required).

FindMyPast transcribes Boston Pilot's Missing Friends ads

A fully indexed transcription of the Boston Pilot Newspaper Information Wanted Ads collection is now available on FindMyPast.

From October 1831 to October 1921 the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a column with advertisements from people looking for lost friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. These adverts contained details of the missing emigrant's life, typically including the county and parish of their birth, when they left Ireland and the likely or confirmed port of arrival in North America. In addition, some adverts included the person's occupation and other personal information.

The people who placed ads were usually anxious wives, siblings and parents remaining in Ireland, or family members and friends who had themselves emigrated and wanted to reconnect with the earlier arrivals.

More than 40,000 of these adverts were transcribed and published in the multi-volume Searching for Missing Friends: Irish immigrant Advertisements Place in The Boston Pilot 1831–1920, edited by Ruth-Ann Harris, Donald M Jacobs, and B Emer O'Keefe and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1989, and this is the source of the FindMyPast index which can be searched on multiple fields. Some of FindMyPast's transcription detail is poor, however, and researchers may need to crosscheck the NEHGS's database, where a full transcription of the adverts' texts can be viewed (free with a guest account), in order to decipher some of the FindMyPast transcriptions and correctly gather the story told in the advert.

See below an image from the NEHGS database. Click it to see FindMyPast's transcription and ask yourself if you'd have been able to work out the 'story' told in the advert from the transcript alone?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vSDclMgJ1-c16pRN538CIFLmcrbGCPIF/view?usp=sharing





Wednesday, 9 January 2019

FindMyPast trials new OCR method for newspapers

In the late afternoon of 21 December - a day when many, if not most of us, cleared our desks for the Christmas and New Year break ‐ FindMyPast issued a press release announcing the trial of a 'revolutionary' new method for searching OCR (optical character recognition) text. Why they chose such a date and time to issue it, I've no idea, but it comes as no surprise that the news made so little splash.

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=2114&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.findmypast.co.uk%2Fsearch-world-Records%2Fessex-newsman
Click image for The Essex Newsman collection
Nearly three weeks late, then, here is the news:

FindMyPast's has tested a new method of extracting first and last names from printed text identified by OCR on part of its holding of The Essex Newsman, a paper first published in Chelmsford in 1870. The company says that 1.2million names published in editions dating from 31 October 1881 to 6 November 1943 can now be searched with greater accuracy and efficiency than under the standard OCR method.

Researchers who keep a family tree on FindMyPast will also start to receive hints against The Essex Newsman articles containing names that match those in their stored tree.

While this first iteration of the new technology is focused on accurately identifying names, Findmypast plans to extract other details such as locations, events and relationships in 2019. This is expected to further improve the search experience and increase the number of hints generated by the collection.

The Essex Newsman is already available to search in FindMyPast's regular British Newspaper (BNA) Collection, but the editions subjected to the new search method are available in the general A–Z list of the database's holding as a distinct record set (see image).




Ulster Historical Foundation's January 2019 Book Sale

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) is holding its annual Book Sale and has a great number of bargains on offer.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RmVhwRgfnlJu4pm7TMdj0tP42eZPlqyP/view?usp=sharing
Click to download general pricelist
Stock of some of the titles included in the sale are down to the last few copies, so you'll need to place your order quickly. To view the list of books and their discounted prices, click the image, right, to download a pricelist. Just click on the link of any of the titles that interest you to learn more about it.

In addition to the general list, there are also selected volumes from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs series available at half price. This excellent resource does not, sadly, cover the entire island, but if there is a book covering the area where your ancestors lived, you really should have a copy on your bookshelf. Each OS Memoir provides copious background information on the character and habits of the people who lived in Ireland during the early part of the nineteenth century.

Other sale items worth checking out are the Presbyterians in Ireland collection (a bundle of three books) and the R J Hunter collection (a bundle of four books).

For the UHF's Sale and regular priced books, see BooksIreland.com.

The Sale will end on 1 February.