Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Ancestry's DNA network reaches 15 million test samples

Continuing its role as the world's largest consumer DNA network, Ancestry has announced that its DNA database now holds more than 15 million completed test samples.

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1100l4pTC/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.com%2Fdna%2FThe company says that each AncestryDNA customer receives an average of 50,000 total matches; this number grows by 2-5% each month as more people join the network.

“Ancestry is honored to play a role in empowering the journeys of personal discovery for 15 million people around the world,” said Cathy Ball, Chief Scientific Officer, Ancestry. “The size of this community is a true sign of how deeply important it is for people to connect and learn about their past. As the network continues to grow, we can deliver even more value to our members, including more granular insights about heritage, and provide compelling new paths to learn about ourselves using genetics.”

For more information on Ancestry’s growing DNA network and innovative research tools, click the logo above.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

More Co. Wexford RC parish records join RootsIreland.ie

RootsIreland has added more than 2,600 Roman Catholic records to its County Wexford database. All are from the Adamstown Parish registers, as follows:

Adamstown Baptisms: 1837-1865 (2,591 records)
Adamstown Marriages: 1841-1845 (71 records)

They join Roman Catholic records from 15 other parishes in the county. All pre-1881 transcriptions include links to the National Library of Ireland's images of the register pages.

To search the new records, go to http://wexford.rootsireland.ie and select Adamstown from the ‘Parish / District’ drop down list. Login and Subscribe if required.

You can view a full list of the Co. Wexford records on RootsIreland

Registry of Deeds Index Project: May update

The latest update to the Registry of Deeds Index Project shows there are now 313,514 entries in the online database. These index records have been noted from 34,157 memorials of deeds.

In addition, the Townlands and Grantor indexes have been updated with more entries, as you can see from the image, right.

All of these indexed entries are now available for free searching on the Project website, while images of the original documents can usually be found in FamilySearch's free image-only collection of RoD records.

The Index Project is managed entirely by volunteers. If you would like to help other researchers (and yourself!) to explore the vast and rich Registry of Deeds collection, consider becoming a contributor. You'll find step by step details on the Project site.



Monday, 20 May 2019

Irish genealogy and heritage events: 20 May to 3 June

Monday 20 May: : 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, operate as normal.

Monday 20 May: Court records at PRONI, with Wesley Geddis. Also AGM. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 20 May: Warrior Queens – Four women who defied the authorities to publicly mark the first anniversary of James Connolly's execution. With Liz Gillis, Brigid Davis, James Curry and Jennie Shanahan. Introduction by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. 12:45pm to 2pm. Admission free. All welcome. First come first served.

Monday 20 May: Irish Family History Research Assistance. Experienced helpers in the library to offer advice on your Irish research. 10am to 4pm. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV, Level 6, 85 Queen St, Melbourne 3000, Australia. Free for members/$20 non-members. To book a one-hour appointment with a research consultant, or for more information, see GSV.

Tuesday 21 May: Family History Day, with the North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch; Ballyclare District Historical Society; Eddie's Extracts; Ballyclare Library; and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: all celebrating the 262nd anniversary of the Ballyclare May Fair. Venue: Ballyclare Town Hall, The Square, Ballyclare, Co Antrim. Free. All welcome. 10am to 5pm. Details.

Wednesday 22 May: "Men lived as if they dreaded each other”: Hugh Dorian (1834–1914) and the Grey Zone of the Great Famine, with Breandán Mac Suibhne, who will tell the story of the Great Famine and its consequences from the perspective of Hugh Dorian’s extraordinary first-hand account of his experiences. Host & venue: National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free admission. 7pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 22 May: Historic Irish maps, and how Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown is depicted on them, with Tom Conlon. Host: Spring Talks series, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Venue: Marlay House, Grange Rd, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. 7pm. Free. Booking essential; email dlrheritageevents@dlrcoco.ie.

Wednesday 22 May: The start of the Irish Revolution, with Jim O'Hara. Host: The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7-–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite.

Wednesday 22 May: Main Reading Room of National Library of Ireland to close early. Due to a State Visit the following morning, the NLI's Main Reading Room in Kildare Street, Dublin 2 will close at 5pm (normal time is 7:45pm).

Thursday 23 May: National Library of Ireland's main Kildare Street building closed until 2pm to facilitate State Visit.

Saturday 25 May: Using WikiTree, a workshop with Anne Johnston. Host: NIFHS. Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. Workshop fee £8. 11am to 1pm. Open to members and non-members. To book, e-mail Education@NIFHS.org. Details.

Saturday 25 May: Missing Boyles of Drumcrew, with Michael Carragher. How DNA matches and genetic genealogy can provide clues to solve family history riddles. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Ave, Bethpage, New York, USA. Details. Starts 10am.

Saturday 25 May: Historical Irish connections to West London, a walking tour. Meet at St. James park tube station (Piccadilly line, Petty France entrance, London SW1) at 11.45am. Walk includes Constance Marchievicz (Gore-Booth) birthplace; Eaton Square; locations where the 1921 Treaty negotiation talks held; Marble Arch/Tyburn Tree; and other places long associated with the Irish in Britain. Event is free. Hat passed around at end for guide. Details.

Sunday 26 May The Irish and other immigrants in C17th-C19th London's East End, a walking tour. Meet outside Whitechapel Gallery, beside Aldgate East tube station, London E1 at 11:45am. Event is free. Collection for tour guide at end. Details.

Monday 27 May: 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, operate as normal

Monday 27 May: Public holiday in Northern Ireland. All archives and libraries closed, reopening to normal timetables on Tuesday. Note: The Republic of Ireland does not share this holiday and operates as normal.

Tuesday 28 May: A Bloody Dawn - The Irish at D-Day, with military historian Dan Harvey, who recently retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the Irish Defence Forces. Host and venue: Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris, France. Presentation in English. 7pm to 9pm. Admission free. Reservation recommended.

Wednesday 29 May: A Terrible Beauty Televised: The Irish Revolution in Film, with Lance Pettit. Host: ICC's The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite. 

Wednesday 29 May: Lead mining at Ballycorus, with Rob Goodbody. Host: Spring Talks series, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Venue: Marlay House, Marlay Park, Grange Rd, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. 7pm. Free. Booking essential; email dlrheritageevents@dlrcoco.ie.

Thursday 30 May: RCB Library will closed all day. Re-opening Friday 9:30am, subject to usual Friday restrictions (only printed collection accessible). RCB Library, Churchtown, Dublin 14.

Thursday 31 May: The O’Haras of Crebilly, with Brian O’Hara, plus AGM. Host: NIFHS, Ballymena Branch. Venue: Michelin Arts Workshop, Braid Arts Centre, 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ. 7:15pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 3 June: June bank holiday in Republic of Ireland. All archives and libraries closed, except exhibitions at the National Library of Ireland which are open 12-noon to 5pm. Note: Northern Ireland does not share this holiday and operates as normal.


National Famine Commemoration held in Sligo

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD officiated at the National Famine Commemoration in Sligo, yesterday. He will be accompanied by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D.

The formal State ceremony, which is held annually in one of Ireland's four provinces on a rotating basis, included military honours and a wreath laying ceremony by Ambassadors to Ireland in remembrance of all those who suffered or perished during the Famine.

The community programme included performances by local musicians and the sixty-voice Sligo Famine Choir, which was formed specially for the national event.

The Commemoration also saw the re-launch of a booklet produced by the County Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee in 1997 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Famine. It has been reprinted and copies will be distributed to local schools.

Following the formal ceremony, the Model Arts Centre hosted a preview of the trailer for Lost Children of The Carricks, written and directed by Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin.

Speaking at the event An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said:

“The Famine was the single most traumatic event in Irish history. Every county has its own famine story, and the story in Sligo was terrible and tragic. There were 162 sailings from the Port of Sligo, between 1847 and 1851, the majority of them to Canada and the United States. Some 13,000 people left in Black ‘47 alone. 440 people set off from here in the ‘Bark Larch’ to Quebec. Many of these died without ever setting foot on shore. The few who did land on Grosse Ile received comfort from Fr. Bernard McGauran, himself from Sligo.

“I believe the best way we can honour those who suffered and died during the Great Famine is by showing empathy with those who are experiencing similar problems today, whether through natural disaster or oppression. Our country has a longstanding commitment to working for the eradication of poverty and hunger in the world. We were refugees once and we recall the great compassion and the open doors shown around the world. It is seared on our collective memories as we work to assist today’s refugees.”

Friday, 17 May 2019

IGRS Genealogy Open Day, Dublin on Saturday 18 May

The Irish Genealogical Research Society's Ireland branch will be hosting its Open Day tomorrow, Saturday 18 May, and has a great programme of lectures lined up.

As always, the annual Dublin Open Day is open to everyone, members and non-members alike, and the Society looks forward to welcoming family historians of all levels. Whether professional or amateur, beginner or highly experienced, you're sure to learn something new and get into friendly chat with other researchers.

You might even win yourself some genealogical goodies in the Society's popular Silent Raffle.

As usual, this popular annual event will be held in the conference room at Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. It is free to attend and you don't need to book.

The Open Day starts with registration at 10am. After a brief Welcome from the Chairperson, the following lectures will be presented:
  • A pile of stones, a living memory, a family member: Bowen’s Court, Elizabeth Bowen, and imagining the Irish gentry, with Ian d'Alton
  • Some families of interest in the Raheny area, with Joan Sharkey
  • Banished beyond the seas: NAI records of convict transportation to Australia, 1788-1868, with Joan Kavanagh
  • Publishing research in The Irish Genealogist, with Dr David Butler
There's a break for lunch after the first two lectures; this isn't provided by the Society but you'll be able to grab yourself a drink and something to eat in one of the local venues or The Cafe on the first floor of the building (it's open 10am to 3pm). The afternoon session gets underway at 1:45pm, and ends at 4:30pm.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

UHF's Irish genealogy conferences & courses, 2019-20

Assisted research at the Public Record Office of NI
The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has advised that its 5-day Assisted Research Conference in October is now full. However, there are still spaces available in the June and September programmes, both of which allow the researcher a choice of researching in the archives with the UHF team of genealogists or spending time touring famous historic sites.

Now also open for booking are two winter Irish Genealogy Essentials courses.


Irish Family History Experience:  10–15 June 2019

Budding researchers begin this programme in the classroom, learning how to get to grips with research techniques, archives and genealogical sources in Ireland. They will also acquire the knowlegdge and skills to help them further explore their family history during the course and after.

The first three mornings are classroom-based, followed by afternoons of assisted research at PRONI. In the second half of the week, delegates can either continue their assisted research in the archives or choose guided excursions to places of  historic interest, including Bru na Boinne, Derry/Londonderry, Kilmainham Gaol and the Giant's Causeway.
Details.


Tracing your Irish Ancestors: 4-11 September 2019

This is the UHF's classic eight-day programme. It includes a mix of research in the archives in Belfast and Dublin, lectures, and tours to famous historic sites and cultural attractions.

Each day of the conference presents delegates with a choice of assisted research in the archives with the UHF's team of experienced genealogists or an excursion to an historic site or cultural attraction, including Kilmainham Gaol, Giant’s Causeway and the Knowth passage tomb at Brú na Bóinne and the picturesque town of Enniskillen situated in Co. Fermanagh's beautiful lakelands.

Details.


Irish Genealogy Essentials: 4-8 November 2019 and 10-14 February 2020

In addition to the full conference experiences above, the UHF runs 5-day family history courses – Irish Genealogy Essentials – aimed at the beginner or rusty genealogist. As well as lectures, the course includes an orientation tour and assisted research at PRONI and a one-to-one consultation with an experienced genealogist to guide your research.

Details.

RootsIreland.ie adds Armagh CoI Confirmation records

Records of some 9,100 Church of Ireland Confirmations have been added to RootsIreland.ie's Armagh database. They are transcribed from Confirmation Lists, and can be useful for researchers trying to locate an ancestors, especially in those parishes where other church records have been lost or destroyed.

Most of these Confirmation lists start in the 1820s but they vary quite considerably in the information they hold. Some record only the individual's name, the year and the name of the church where the confirmation was held. Others record name, age and address and some have additional comments.

Some churches held Confirmations every three or four years while others held them intermittently over a span of many years.

The transcriptions have been made by Armagh Ancestry, the local heritage team in the Irish Family History Foundation's network of island-wide genealogy centres, who report that this bundle of records is the first of an ongoing computerisation project that will take some time to complete. Confirmation lists from additional Church of Ireland parishes in Armagh will be added to the online database in due course.

In the meantime, you can view details of the parishes and years of coverage or these new online sources in RootsIreland's menu of genealogical records for County Armagh here. Scroll down to Census Substitutes and then to Confirmation.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

AncestryIreland.com: access disruption possible

The Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast has advised that its website – AncestryIreland.com – is in the process of being updated, which may cause some temporary problems with access to some of the site's features.

It seems to be working okay for me, right now, but if you're finding it difficult to connect to some pages, try again a bit later.

New Central Library and cultural quarter for Dublin

The development of a new cultural quarter has been approved for Dublin's Parnell Square, the oldest of the captial's Georgian squares, previously known as Rutland Square.

The re-imagined Parnell Square North and new plaza
Costing €100 million, the scheme involves the relocation of the city's Central Library, the creation of a south-facing plaza, and the restoration of one of Dublin's finest terraces of Georgian houses.

The new complex will be linked to the houses on either side of the existing Hugh Lane Gallery, but will be hidden from plaza level view. At the back of the terrace, the new Central Library building – three times larger than its existing home on the third floor of the Ilac shopping centre – will feature a dramatic great hall (see below). It is scheduled, perhaps rather optimistically, to open in 2023.

Other new-build and refurbishment elements of the project will see the creation of a 200-seat conference centre, a music centre, education facilities, a cafe and exhibition space. 

In the immediate vicinity of the square is an existing cluster of cultural venues, including the Irish Writer's Centre, Dublin Writers' Museum, the Gate Theatre, Poetry Ireland and the Garden of Remembrance. 

Dublin City Council will fund €45 million of the new quarter's development, with the balance being sought from philanthropic donations.

For more details and images of the planned development, see http://www.parnellsquare.ie.

Design of the new Dublin Central Library, Parnell Square.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Irish genealogy, history & heritage events, 13-26 May

Monday 13 May: NLI closures: All services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will be closed until 11am to facilitate a staff meeting. Main Reading Room and Manuscript Room remain closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Monday 13 May: Artefacts evening and AGM. Host: NIFHS, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 14 May: The Mills around Lisburn, with Sebastian Graham. Host: NIFHS, Lisburn branch. Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT 28 1XP. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 May: Show and Tell, with branch members, plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 May: Finding the Source: A survey of Irish genealogical websites and databases, a genealogy workshop for intermediate researchers, with Miles Davenport. Host and venue: McClelland Library (Norton Room), Irish Cultural Centre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Costs: $15 for Library/ICC members / $20 for non-members. 11am to 1:30pm. Details and registration.

Wednesday 15 May: Researching Cemeteries, with Tom Hartley. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Need to book. All welcome. Free.

Wednesday 15 May: Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923, with Maurice Walsh. Host: The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7-–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite.

Wednesday 15 May: We are the survivors: Boyle workhouse and emigration in Famine times, with Barry Feely. Host: Carrick on Shannon & District Historical Society. Venue: Bush Hotel, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim. €5. Members free. All welcome. 8:30pm.

Thursday 16 May: Symposium on the Pursuit and Practice of Local History. with Professor Raymond Gillespie and Dr Olwen Purdue. Hosts: The Irish Committee of Historical Sciences and the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm-8:30pm. Free. Details.

Thursday 16 May: History Scoops. Three short talks: The experience of women furing the Irish War of Independence, with Prof Linda Connolly; Political elections during the War of Independence, with Dr Martin O'Donaghue; Heroes and villains - Commemorating the War, with Kieran Doyle. Host: Michael Collins House. Venue: De Barras, 55 Pearse St, Scartagh, Clonakilty, Co Cork. 8pm. Free. No booking required but seats available on a first come first served basis.

Thursday 16 May: Creative Rebellion: Art, Literature and Politics in the Revolutionary Years, with Angus Mitchell & Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin. Host: Fethard Historical Society. Venue: Fethard Abymill Theatre, Abbeyville, Moneypark, Co. Tipperary. 8pm. Admission: Members €3/Non-members €6.

Friday 17 May: 2019 IHTA seminar: Seascapes and Townscapes – Ports and the nineteenth-century city. Hosts: RIA and Dublin Port Company. Venue: Academy House, RIA, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 10am to 6pm. Free to attend. Need to book. Registration and details.

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May: Emigration - voluntary or forced – a genealogy conference. Host: Armagh Ancestry. Venue: Navan Centre & Fort, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh, BT60 4LD. Speakers include Feargal O'Donnell of Armagh Ancestry, Brian Mitchell, Dr William Roulston, Dr Brendan Scott, plus many more. Friday 6-9pm. Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9:30am–6pm. Two days £20/Three days £30. Details.

Saturday 18 May: IGRS Ireland Branch – Open Day. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 9:30am - 5:00pm. Lectures include: A pile of stones, a living memory, a family member: Bowen's Court, Elizabeth Bowen, and imagining the Irish gentry, with Dr Ian D'Alton at 10:30am; Some families of interest in the Raheny area, with Joan Sharkey; Banished Beyond the Seas: NAI records of convict transportation to Australia, 1788-1868, with Joan Kavanagh; and Publishing research in The Irish Genealogist, with David Butler. Free. All welcome to attend. Details.

Saturday 18 May: AGM followed by visit to Drumragh Old Graveyard. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone Branch. Venue: Committee Room, Omagh Library, 1 Spillars Place, Omagh, Co Tyrone. 10am. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 18 May: A tour of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas of Drogheda, with its author, Ned McHugh. Host: Louth County Council. Venue: Highlanes Gallery, 36 St Laurence St, Lagavooren, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Free. 3pm. Booking advised. Details.

Sunday 19 May: Emigration - voluntary or forced – a genealogy conference, final day. Host: Armagh Ancestry. Venue: Navan Centre & Fort, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh, BT60 4LD. 9:30am to 6pm. Details

Sunday 19 May: Guided tour of Bully's Acre, Dublin's oldest cemetery, with Paul O'Brien. 2pm. Free, but numbers limited, so booking essential. Email Paul at OPW.ie.

Monday 20 May: : 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, operate as normal.

Monday 20 May: Court records at PRONI, with Wesley Geddis. Also AGM. Host: NIFHS, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 20 May: Warrior Queens – Four women who defied the authorities to publicly mark the first anniversary of James Connolly's execution. With Liz Gillis, Brigid Davis, James Curry and Jennie Shanahan. Introduction by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring. Host: Dublin City Council. Venue: City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. 12:45pm to 2pm. Admission free. All welcome. First come first served.

Monday 20 May: Irish Family History Research Assistance. Experienced helpers in the library to offer advice on your Irish research. 10am to 4pm. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV, Level 6, 85 Queen St, Melbourne 3000, Australia. Free for members/$20 non-members. To book a one-hour appointment with a research consultant, or for more information, see GSV.

Wednesday 22 May: "Men lived as if they dreaded each other”: Hugh Dorian (1834–1914) and the Grey Zone of the Great Famine, with Breandán Mac Suibhne, who will tell the story of the Great Famine and its consequences from the perspective of Hugh Dorian’s extraordinary first-hand account of his experiences. Host & venue: National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free admission. 7pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Wednesday 22 May: The start of the Irish Revolution, with Jim O'Hara. Host: The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7-–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite.

Saturday 25 May: Using WikiTree, a workshop with Anne Johnston. Host: NIFHS. Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. Workshop fee £8. 11am to 1pm. Open to members and non-members. To book, e-mail Education@NIFHS.org. Details.

Saturday 25 May: Missing Boyles of Drumcrew, with Michael Carragher. How DNA matches and genetic genealogy can provide clues to solve family history riddles. Host: Irish Family History Forum. Venue: Bethpage Public Library, 47 Powell Ave, Bethpage, New York, USA. Details. Starts 10am.

Saturday 25 May: Historical Irish connections to West London, a walking tour. Meet at St. James park tube station (Piccadilly line, Petty France entrance, London SW1) at 11.45am. Walk includes Constance Marchievicz (Gore-Booth) birthplace; Eaton Square; locations where the 1921 Treaty negotiation talks held; Marble Arch/Tyburn Tree; and other places long associated with the Irish in Britain. Event is free. Hat passed around at end for guide. Details.

Sunday 26 May The Irish and other immigrants in C17th-C19th London's East End, a walking tour. Meet outside Whitechapel Gallery, beside Aldgate East tube station, London E1 at 11:45am. Event is free. Collection for tour guide at end. Details.

Friday, 10 May 2019

County Monaghan's War of Independence files released

A launch reception last night in Monaghan County Museum saw the release of a free online archive of War of Independence files, many including personal recollections of former members of the Old IRA who were active in County Monaghan during the War of Independence.

The statements in the files were collected to produce a book published in 1966 for the County's commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the state. They were gathered from veterans by members of the clergy and include handwritten and typewritten documents, letters and copy books.

View the Monaghan War of Independence Files
Many of the statements are in the person's own handwriting, accompanied by a covering letter.

The files contain personal names (often in lists of the writer's comrades in arms), place names and business names making them an excellent resource for local or family history research.

This unique archive of more than 500 pages provides a clear insight into what it was like to live in Monaghan one hundred years ago during the War of Independence.

To view the files, click the image to reach the Monaghan County Museum website. You'll find two short videos that are worth watching. One provides an introduction to the archive, the other shows you how to search the online database. I'd recommend the latter, even though I was unable to find acommpanying audio.

IGRS London Open Day, Saturday 11 May

Tomorrow, Saturday 11 May, the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) will be hosting its Open Day & AGM in London.

The event will follow its popular format of two talks in the morning, followed by a finger buffet lunch and a chance to chat to other Irish family historians, followed by the AGM in the afternoon. I've attended several IGRS Open Days and can guarantee you a relaxed, informal but informative event where everyone is welcomed, whether members or not.

Just a small handful of places remain as of this morning, so be sure to book quickly if you want to attend.

Here's the programme:

10:15   Registration, coffee and biscuits

10.45   Mining for Treasure in the IGRS Collections, with Jill Williams, FIGRS

11.45   Freed felons, Land Hungry Migrants and Imperial Infantry: The Biographical Database of Australia as a Source for Genealogists, with Michael Flynn

13:00   Lunch

14:15   IGRS AGM (All welcome, but only members may vote)

15:30   Close

Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BU. Close to St James's Park and Westminster tube stations.

Cost: The charge for attending the morning lectures, which includes lunch, is £25 members/ £30 for non-members. The AGM is free.

Details and booking.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

New edition of Sean Murphy's Primer in Irish Genealogy

Genealogist and tutor Sean Murphy has published a 2019 edition of his Primer in Irish Genealogy. The free e-book can be downloaded here (last item on page).

2019 edition published
Sean says his Primer continues to serve as a textbook for his ongoing lectures in the National Library of Ireland and elsewhere, as well as being of assistance to those in Ireland and abroad who wish to trace their Irish ancestors.

The e-book commences with an outline of genealogy, research methods, computers and the Internet, provides a lesson on placenames, forenames and surnames, goes on to introduce census, vital, valuation, church and other core records, and provides a case study of Sean's ancestors, the Murphys of Ballylusky, Co. Kerry. The work concludes with sample copy pedigrees and documents, select lists of publications and online resources.

There's even a quiz! You can test your knowledge in a 10-question test on page 56 of the Primer (the answers are on the following page).

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Drogheda gets the Irish Historic Towns Atlas treatment

The first addition in three years to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) series – No 29 - Drogheda, by Ned McHugh – will be published this month.

https://www.ria.ie/drogheda-0
Published by Royal Irish Academy
Drogheda has a rich and varied history that has been carefully compiled by McHugh, a retired secondary school teacher with a long association with the County Louth town and port. He completed a Masters in Local History and published Drogheda before the Famine: urban poverty in the shadow of privilege 1826–45 (Dublin, 1998) as part of the Maynooth Local History Series. He has also written articles on various aspects of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Drogheda.

In preparing the Drogheda Atlas, he has trawled hundreds of sources to generate histories of thousands of topographic sites in the town. The publication (ISBN: 9781908997746; €35) will be available in large format with many historical and modern maps and illustrations in loose sheets to accompany the detailed text section.

A launch event will take place on Saturday 18 May at 3pm at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, where the author will present a talk about the work. Sponsored by Louth County Council, the event is free to attend but you need to book a place via Eventbrite.

The IHTA series, a project of the Royal Irish Academy, was established in 1981. It's aim is to record the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small, and each town is published individually and includes a number of maps and detailed text. It is part of a wider European scheme, with towns atlases containing broadly similar information available for a number of countries. This allows Irish towns to be studied in their European context. You can find out more about the IHTA here.

Forthcoming titles for the series are Ballyshannon, Cahir, Carlow, Cashel, Cavan, Clonmel, Cork, Dungarvan, Loughrea, Naas, Newry, Roscommon, Tralee, Tullamore, Waterford and Westport.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Irish genealogy, history and heritage events, 6 - 19 May

Monday 6 May: May Day bank holiday, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. All repositories closed, except for most exhibitions at National Library of Ireland in Dublin, which are open 12 noon to 5pm. The exception is the Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again exhibition, which is closed.

Monday 6 May: Great Famine Voices Roadshow 2019. Host: National Famine Museum at Strokestown, in partnership with Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, the University of Toronto, and Parks Canada. Venue: Irish Day on the Hill, Wellington Street, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada. 6pm. All welcome. Details.

Tuesday 7 May Irish Seminar, with John Grenham, David E Rencher and Beth Stahr. An all-day pre-conference starting at 8:15am, with five lectures and lunch. Host: National Geneological Society 2019 Family History Conference. Venue: St. Charles Convention Center, One Conference Plaza Center, 63303 St Charles, Missouri, USA. Details and brochure.

Wednesday 8 May: Irish and Peterloo, with Martin Gittins and Michala Hulme. Host & venue: Irish World Heritage Centre, Irish Town Way, Manchester M8, UK. 7–9pm. Free, but need to register.

Wednesday 8 May to Saturday 11 May: Journey of discovery – National Geneological Society 2019 Family History Conference, includes several Irish lectures. Host: NGS and St Louis Genealogical Society. Venue: St. Charles Convention Center, One Conference Plaza Center, 63303 St Charles, Missouri, USA. Programme.

Thursday 9 May: Consequences of War, an afternoon conference with the Western Front Association, Antrim and Down Branch. Venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 2pm to 5pm. All welcome. Details.

Thursday 9 May: Great Famine Voices Roadshow 2019. Host: National Famine Museum at Strokestown, in partnership with Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, the University of Toronto, and Parks Canada. Venue: Fort Henry National Historic Site, 1 Fort Henry Drive, Kingston, Canada. 3pm to 6pm. All welcome. Details.

Saturday 11 May: The National Library's History & Heritage, a guided tour exploring the National Library's rich architectural history and heritage on this free tour which includes a visit to its Victorian reading room. Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Free. 1pm. All welcome. Booking not required.

Saturday 11 May: Great Famine Voice Roadshow 2019. Host: National Famine Museum at Strokestown, in partnership with Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, the University of Toronto, and Parks Canada. Venue: McMahon Hall, 1145 Avenue de Salaberry, Quebec City, Canada. 1pm – 4pm. Details.

Saturday 11 May: Irish Genealogical Research Society's Library closed at the Society of Genealogists, London, to facilitate volunteers' and members' attendance at the Open Day.

Saturday 11 May: IGRS Open Day and AGM. Host: Irish Genealogical Research Society. Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BU, UK. 10:15am - 3:30pm. After registration and refreshments, two lectures: Mining for Treasure in the IGRS Collections, with Jill Williams FIGRS, and Freed Felons, Land Hungry Migrants and Imperial Infantry: The Biographical Database of Australia as a Source for Genealogists, with Michael Flynn. Finger buffet lunch included. Cost: £25 members/£30 non-members. All welcome. The AGM (free) follows lunch; all welcome, but only members may vote. Details.

Monday 13 May: NLI closures: All services/exhibitons/cafe, including Genealogy Advisory Service, will be closed until 11am to facilitate a staff meeting. Main Reading Room and Manuscript Room remain closed all day to facilitate the Library's continuing redevelopment of the premises. Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Monday 13 May: Artefacts evening and AGM. Host: NIFHS, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. Free. 7pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 14 May: The Mills around Lisburn, with Sebastian Graham. Host: NIFHS, Lisburn branch. Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT 28 1XP. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 May: Show and Tell, with branch members, plus AGM. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh Branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. Free. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 15 May: Finding the Source: A survey of Irish genealogical websites and databases, a genealogy workshop for intermediate researchers, with Miles Davenport. Host and venue: McClelland Library (Norton Room), Irish Cultural Centre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Costs: $15 for Library/ICC members / $20 for non-members. 11am to 1:30pm. Details and registration.

Wednesday 15 May: Researching Cemeteries, with Tom Hartley. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Need to book. All welcome. Free.

Wednesday 15 May: Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923, with Maurice Walsh. Host: The Decade of Centenaries: Ireland in 1919 - Spring lecture series. Venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT. 7-–9pm. All welcome. Tickets £5.92, via Eventbrite.

Thursday 16 May: Symposium on the Pursuit and Practice of Local History. with Professor Raymond Gillespie and Dr Olwen Purdue. Hosts: The Irish Committee of Historical Sciences and the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: PRONI, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 6pm-8:30pm. Free. Details.

Friday 17 May: 2019 IHTA seminar: Seascapes and Townscapes – Ports and the nineteenth-century city. Hosts: RIA and Dublin Port Company. Venue: Academy House, RIA, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 10am to 6pm. Free to attend. Need to book. Registration and details.

Saturday 18 May: IGRS Ireland Branch – Open Day. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 9:30am - 5:00pm. Lectures include: A pile of stones, a living memory, a family member: Bowen's Court, Elizabeth Bowen, and imagining the Irish gentry, with Dr Ian D'Alton at 10:30am; Some families of interest in the Raheny area, with Joan Sharkey; Banished Beyond the Seas: NAI records of convict transportation to Australia, 1788-1868, with Joan Kavanagh; and Publishing research in The Irish Genealogist, with David Butler. Free. All welcome to attend. Details.

Saturday 18 May: A tour of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas of Drogheda, with its author, Ned McHugh. Host: Louth County Council. Venue: Highlanes Gallery, 36 St Laurence St, Lagavooren, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Free. 3pm. Booking advised. Details.


Friday, 3 May 2019

RootsIreland adds 34,000 Waterford baptisms (C of I)

A lovely chunk of records has been uploaded to the RootsIreland's Waterford Genealogy database. It makes available transcripts of more than 38,000 Church of Ireland baptisms from across Waterford and for parishes that straddle the county boundary.

The earliest registers in the collection are for the City of Waterford (the transcripts run 1656–1900), followed by the parishes of Youghal, which starts in 1665, and Kil St Nicholas, which starts in 1679.

In all but seven of the 35 parishes featured in this upload, the transcripts run into the 20th century. In the majority of parishes, the baptism transcripts join existing marriage transcripts.

You can view the parish-by-parish details of this upload, and a full menu of records in the Waterford database, here.

NAI's CSORP collection: 1831 and 1833 now catalogued

Archivists at the National Archives of Ireland have catalogued two more years of files from the Chief Secretary of Ireland Office Registered Papers (CSORP) collection. The additions cover 1831 and 1833.

http://csorp.nationalarchives.ie/With these uploads, catalogues for 1818-1833 are now available on the dedicated CSORP website, along with an overview of the collection and its value to historians and genealogists.

This important resource is one of the most valuable 19th-century collections. The Chief Secretary's Office, located in Dublin Castle, was a key political office for the British administration at the time.

As well as the official records, the archives include unofficial correspondence from private individuals and bodies on a wide variety of topics; some topics of national importance but there are also many personal stories and plights concerning employment, health, unfair incarceration/punishment, religious intolerance, neighbour disputes, and so on.

The cataloguing of the collection has been undertaken by archivists at the National Archives funded largely by a bequest from the late Professor Francis J Crowley, a professor at the University of California and son of Irish-born parents. Work started in September 2008 and is on-going.

The online catalogue is available at www.csorp.nationalarchives.ie and the original documents are freely available for public consultation at the Reading Room of the National Archives in Bishop Street, Dublin 8, subject to the normal rules of the National Archives.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

First Irish Ancestry Summer School at NUI Galway

The National University of Ireland, Galway, has announced its first Irish Ancestry Summer School. It will take place bookings from Sunday 30 June – 5 July 2019. Details https://bit.ly/2fjlpWx.

NUI Galway’s Irish Ancestry Summer School will explore the origins of people in Ireland from earliest times and trace the development of society to the present day. Participants on the Summer School will also be taught how to research their own family history and will be offered the opportunity to take a DNA test to find out about their origins.

This five-day course will include fieldtrips to various sites of archaeological, historical and genealogical importance in the West of Ireland. It will include lectures on ancient DNA studies, prehistoric demographics, early tribal groupings, later medieval clan history, post-medieval lifeways, history and genealogy. Where possible, all lectures will place a special emphasis on the West of Ireland. They will be presented by some of Ireland’s leading scholars who are based at NUI Galway.

Participants will also have access to the James Hardiman Library's collections, including historical newspapers, Irish local studies books and periodicals, maps and 19th-century government publications. In addition, the library holds over 350 unique archival collections, including landed estate papers, photographic collections and theatre and literary archives.

The programme is capped at 45 participants, and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Details, fees,

For further information please contact Dr. Kieran O'Conor, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway by email: kieran.d.oconor@nuigalway.ie or telephone: +353 (091) 493820.

Archdiocese of Boston RC registers: NEHGS additions

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. Additions uploaded from 28 March to 30 April are set out below.

Indexed database

The latest 25 parish volumes to be fully imaged, indexed and available to search have added some 58,700 records and more than 359,789 names to the database. In some cases, the records are not only from registers of Baptism (B) and Marriage (M) but also of First Communion (F) and/or Confirmation (C).

The dates shown are the total span for the Baptism and Marriage registers; Marriages sometimes start a little later than the Baptisms records, while other registers usually start later in the timespan and run for shorter periods.

  • St. Mary Star of the Sea (Beverly) 1871-1900 BMC
  • Most Precious Blood (Hyde Park) 1870-1900 BMC
  • St. Joseph (Pepperell) 1885-1900 BM
  • St. James (Salem) 1851-1900 BM
  • St. Augustine (Andover) 1862-1900  BMCF

To search and view this database, you need to be an NEHGS member (Individual-level and above)

Unindexed Image-only database

Images of the volumes for the parishes named below have been uploaded to the Browse database. They include registers of Baptism (B), Marriage (M) and, in some cases, First Communion (F) and/or Confirmation (C).In the case of St Patrick, Brockton, there is even a Marriage Promises register (P), dating from 1889-1896.

  • St. John the Evangelist (Canton): 1859-1900
  • St. Edward (Brockton): 1897-1900 BMC
  • St. Joseph (Amesbury): 1867-1900 BCF
  • St. Mary of the Annunciation (Cambridge): 1867-1900 BMC
  • St. Patrick (Brockton): 1856-1900 BMPC
  • St. Agnes (Arlington): 1873-1900 BM
  • Sacred Heart (Brockton) 1891-1900 BMC

You don't need a subscription to view these images, only a Guest Account.

To navigate the Masschusetts RC Boston collection, watch this how-to video.


€1 million funding for Gaelic culture research project

Maynooth academic Professor Patricia Palmer has been awarded a grant of €1 million by the Irish Research Council to create an online resource that will explore a period which she believes is largely neglected in the study of Irish history.

 Her project is called the Macmorris project. The name stands for Mapping Actors and Contexts: Modelling Research in Renaissance Ireland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century, and it sets out to recover the complexity of Ireland’s transformative years between Henry VIII’s assumption of the kingship of Ireland in 1541 to the Flight of the Earls.

The aim is to create the first annotated and interactive digital map of all cultural players — from poets, patrons and pamphleteers, to translators, travel-writers and administrators — of this rich period in Irish history.

Prof Palmer hopes the map will counter the narrative that it was a doomed society.

“Irish society was anything but a society in freefall, heading inexorably towards defeat,” she says. Rather, it was a remarkably vibrant place, where several cultural traditions and languages flourished, sometimes in dialogue, sometimes clashing. The English newcomers, agents of the conquest, funnelled the energies of the English Renaissance into what was a surprisingly bookish conquest: this was a conflict where words mattered as much as swords.

“Gaelic culture is vibrant; the English vernacular of the Pale is lively and colourful; agents of the Tudor conquest like Edmund Spenser bring the energies — often dark energies — of the English Renaissance to Ireland; and contact with mainland Europe is routine.

“This project will address Ireland’s place in the European Renaissance — another neglected area of historical study.“

Following the award, Prof Patricia Palmer was interviewed by the Kildare Focus radio programme about her digital mapping project. You can listen to the 8-minute interview on SoundCloud by clicking the Kildare FM logo above. The interview begins 58 seconds into the recording.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

CoI Gazette: Bicycles, Long Coats and Shooting Jackets

The latest offering in the RCB Library’s Archive of the Month slot returns to find “News Behind the News” in the pages of the Church of Ireland Gazette – the Church’s weekly newspaper since 1856.

In this month’s presentation, the historian Dr Miriam Moffitt once again provides her thought-provoking and forensic analysis to reveal how the advent of cycling, which came into its own as a means of transport towards the end of the 19th century, impacted the Church of Ireland directly, with many of its clergy swiftly taking to the bike from the early 1890s onwards.

McBirney & Co. tailoring advertisement for
General Synod 1910, from the Church
of Ireland Gazette, 24 March 1910
Dr Moffitt reveals how Church of Ireland clergy were quick to spot the usefulness of the bike beginning to cycle around their parishes from the early 1890s onwards.

This followed the introduction of the ‘Rover bicycle’ c. 1885, with its equal-sized wheels and robust chain, coupled with John Dunlop’s development of the pneumatic tyre in 1888 giving rapid rise to the use of the bicycle as a means of transport in all walks of life, including the ordained clergy.

The Gazette began to publish advertisements for bicycles and cycling lessons. Bikes soon began to feature regularly in accounts of parish activities and, as early as 1892, the parishioners of Mariners Church in Kingstown even presented one to their rector as a gift, for whom “the bicycle is a heaven-sent machine to him under such circumstances; it costs less than a horse and gets over the ground more quickly”.

Not everyone was completely happy with this trend; a few considered it unseemly that clerics should cycle at all, but many were more concerned about that they should wear. The Gazette of 2nd January 1891, for example, insisted that it was inappropriate for clergy to cycle to church dressed in surplice, stole and hood'.

As the traditional long black coat proved cumbersome on a bike, cycling clergy began to wear short shooting jackets to the dismay of some who claimed they were “coming in ‘as a flood’ and, horror of horrors, they were even worn in colours other than black” (Gazette, 23rd September 1892). The donning of shooting jackets by clergy, would, however, continue. Indeed, while advertisements for distinctively clerical attire continued to appear in the Gazette, their incidence declined by the early 20th century.

The uncovering of this unusual aspect of social history once again confirms the usefulness of the Church of Ireland Gazette (the Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette to 1900) as a resource for historical research over the last 150 years. A combination of central church funds, private sponsorship and support from the Commemorations Unit in the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (for specific aspects of the decade of commemorations period) have to date ensured that all editions of the Gazette between 1856 and 1949 are now freely available for searching at https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb.

This leaves just 54 years of editions (from 1950 to 2004, when the Gazette became available an e-paper) to complete the digitization process and make it a fully and freely searchable resource for a worldwide audience. Prospective sponsors of this final 50-year phase of work are invited to contact the Library, or consider making a donation to the Library Conservation Fund.


Clerical group with bikes, including the new ‘Rover’ to the right, from the collection of
Canon Britain Lougheed (1882–1952), RCB Library Ms 1073.