Thursday, 31 October 2019

Ancestry DNA: Early Bird Gift Offer for AU researchers

Family historians based in Australia/New Zealand are being offered rare discounts on Ancestry DNA test kits and Ancestry.com.au subscriptions.

The Early Bird offer, which runs to 11:59pm (AEDT) on Monday 25 November, sees the standard price inclusive of taxes reduced from AU$128 to AU$108, with shipping extra. To take advantage of the saving, click the 'Buy Now' button, right.

Just when you thought the generosity was sure to end there, along comes another saving! It's on Gift Membership, so if someone you know and love would be thrilled to receive an Ancestry.com.au subscription package, you can make a worthwhile saving of 20% on whichever package suits you and the recipient best. Find out more here. This Gift offer will expire at 12pm on Christmas Day.


Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.



New & updated British genealogy collections 16-31 Oct

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated British records released by the major genealogy database suppliers since the middle of the month. (The previous listing was on 15 October. See blogpost)

My regular listing of new and updated British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection.


NEW COLLECTIONS


FamilySearch

BritishNewspaperArchive (shared with FindMyPast Newspaper Collection)

FindMyPast

Ancestry

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


TheGenealogist

FindMyPast

Family Search

Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.




MyHeritage DNA Halloween sale: IE, UK, CA & US only

MyHeritage is offering its biggest discount this year to researchers based in Ireland, the UK, Canada and United States.

For Irish and UK researchers, the price of the MyHeritage DNA test (Ancestry only) has been reduced from £79 to £49, with shipping at the standard rate of £9. If you order two or more kits, you'll receive free shipping.

For Canadian residents, the same DNA test kit has been reduced from $108CDN to $68CDN. Again, shipping is extra but you won't pay any postage and packing charges if you buy two or more kits.

For researchers in the United States, the MyHeritage DNA (Ancestry only) test kit is down to $49 from $75. As elsewhere, shipping is extra but if you order two or more kits, shipping costs are waived.

This Halloween Sale will expire at 11:59pm on Sunday 3 November.

Click the image to reach your local MyHeritage territory and place your order.




Irish emigrant connections with North America

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and the Ulster Historical Foundation will host a presentation by Dr Linde Lunney on the subject of emigrant connections with North America on Friday 15 November from 1-2pm.

The book is on sale at BooksIreland.org.uk, £9.99.
Dr Lundy is one of the editors, along with James Quinn and Dr William Roulston, of Transatlantic Lives: the Irish Experience in Colonial America, which was published this summer by UHF.

The book features 60 biographical essays from the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography and details the careers of a selection of Irish emigrants to Northern America including both the USA and the British territories that would later become Canada.

The individuals chosen are a representative sample of some of the more notable figures among these emigrants. Colonial administrators, soldiers and clergymen predominate. Among clergymen, Presbyterians (of various hues) are the most numerous, but space has also been found for Methodists, Quakers, Anglicans and Catholics, all of whom made their contribution to shaping the religious culture of the colonies.

The selection, however, also includes educators, doctors, writers, artists, printers, merchants and even a (female) pirate to give some sense of the diversity of such emigrants, and their varying contributions to the economic and cultural development of the colonies.

Most of these people stayed in the colonies, but a sufficient number returned to Ireland, providing some evidence for the contention that emigration to the colonies was not always an irrevocable decision.

If you'd like to attend the lunchtime presentation at PRONI, you'll need to book your tickets at Eventbrite. They are free, and all are welcome.



US genealogy collections: new & updated, 16-31 October

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated United States records released by the major family history database suppliers since the middle of the month. The previous listing was published on 15 October (see blogpost.)

These regular summaries of recent releases are designed primarily to help family historians whose ancestors and extended family emigrated from Ireland to North America. But they will be of use to any genealogists researching in the USA.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection.


NEW COLLECTIONS


Ancestry
MyHeritage
Family Search


UPDATED COLLECTIONS


AmericanAncestors
FamilySearch.org

Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Orlaith McBride to be new director of National Archives of Ireland

Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has announced the appointment of Orlaith McBride as the new Director of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI).

Orlaith McBride, new Director of the NAI
(Photo courtesy artscouncil.ie)
She succeeds John McDonough who served in the post prior to taking on the post of Director of Library Services at DCU.

Minister Madigan said: “Orlaith McBride brings a wealth of knowledge and experience along with her passion and commitment to this important role particularly from her role as Director of the Arts Council for almost a decade.

"This is a very exciting period for the National Archives. Along with its €24 million development of a new Archival Repository, the National Archives must also prepare for the challenges of collection in the modern digital age. It will also be major partner in key projects under the Decade of Centenaries Commemorations Programme. I wish Orlaith every success in her new role.”

Orlaith McBride has been the Director of the Arts Council, the state agency for developing the Arts in Ireland, since 2011.

During her time as Director she successfully delivered the Arts Council’s significant commemorations programme in 2016, the national programme during Ireland’s presidency of the EU in 2013, introduced a new strategy for the arts in Ireland, Making Great Art Work 2016-2025 as well as leading out of many strategic initiatives and partnerships most notably with Local Authorities, other cultural institutions, state agencies as well as leading the Creative Schools Programme as part of Creative Ireland.

Prior to this appointment, she worked in the arts for many years across a broad range of organisations including Local Authorities, the voluntary sector, education and theatre.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Ancestry launches obits collection with 750m records

Ancestry has announced the launch of its Newspapers.com Obituary Collection, 1800s—current. The upload of the collection seems to have been done in a couple of installments since the tail end of September, which would be understandable since the new collection holds 750,694,785 records!

This searchable collection holds extracted facts — names of the deceased, and family members, relationships, important dates and locations — from nearly 200 million obituaries.

Key facts are extracted from the obituary pages of historical
newspapers held in sister site Newspaper.com's database
The obituaries were published in historical titles now digitised by Ancestry’s sister site Newspapers.com, the largest online newspaper archives in the world (525+ million pages from across the US and beyond). While the Newspaper.com site holds both an image of the printed obituary and a transcription, Ancestry's new searchable collection holds only the extracted facts but is available to all subscribers. If you want to view images of the original published newspaper page, you need a separate subscription to Newspaper.com or an Ancestry ALL Access membership.

The indexed details are pretty thorough though, so many researchers won't need to view the published page. Take a look below at a couple of examples I've screen-grabbed from some search result pages. The earlier obituary is not quite so detailed, but the name of Michael's place of origin in Ireland is given (albeit mis-spelt), and the names of two siblings is an unexpected bonus for an 1890 death record.

More than a century later, the obituary to Eleanor Tobin provides only a little more information: her place of origin in Ireland, maiden name, husband's name, children's names and a sibling for good measure.

The only negative is the poor spelling of names and placenames. Transcriptions have been created by computer and while you'd expect errors, the frequency of them is more surprising. These are, after all, typed and printed papers being transcribed, not handwritten documents.

None the less, with more than 750 million names to search, this will be an important collection for any Irish family historian seeking details of their Irish-American ancestors.

In addition to the new Newspaper.com Obituary Collection, Ancestry recently upgraded its US Obituary Collection, which contains obituaries from 1930 to the present day. These obituaries come from online sources and include the names of all family members listed in the obits and their relationships to each other. The latest update adds 40 million records, making a new total of more than 178 million searchable entries in this collection.

Sample results from Ancestry's Newspapers.com Obituary Collection, 1800s-current

Monday, 28 October 2019

Irish genealogy and history events, 28 Oct to 10 Nov

Monday 28 October to Thursday 31 October: Grangegorman Military Cemetery exhibition focussed on some of those buried in the cemetery. Last few days. Host: OPW. Venue: Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Dublin 7. Free. 9:30am to 6pm. Last admission 5:15pm. All welcome.

Monday 28 October: Bank Holiday in Republic of Ireland. All repositories, archives and libraries closed, except at National Library of Ireland in Dublin where exhibitions (only) are open from 12pm to 5pm.

Monday 28 October: Family Tree Maker Insight sessions. Co-Sponsor: Cork Genealogical Society. Venue: The Kingsley Hotel, Deane-Woodward Suite, Victoria Cross, Cork. Members and non-members invited. First 80 people to register receive free tickets. Thereafter, €10pp. The session starts 6pm. Details.

Tuesday 29 October: Family Tree Maker Insight sessions. Co-Sponsor: Irish Genealogical Research Society and Accredited Genealogists Ireland. Venue: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. 63 Merrion Sq, Dublin 2. Three identical sessions starting at 11am,  2:30pm, and 6pm. All welcome. First 80 people to register will receive free tickets. Thereafter, €10pp. Details.

Tuesday 29 October: From agent to landlord: the influence of the Rawdon family in Lisburn and Moira, with Brenda Collins. Host and venue: Irish linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. Free, but places must be booked in advance. 7pm to 9pm. Details.

Tuesday 29 October: Life in Ulster in the 1830s, a one-session class with Mike McKeag. Host: NIFHS. Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. All welcome. 11am–1pm. Fee: £8, payable at the session. Details.

Tuesday 29 October The Bank Buildings: The story behind the façade, with Richard Graham. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Details.

Wednesday 30 October: The IRA in Manchester 1919-1923: new insights from the Military Service Pensions Collection, with Sam McGrath. Host and venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free. No booking required.

Saturday 2 November: Early Christianity in North Connacht: From Pagan to Viking, a conference. Host: Sligo Field Club, 11th Annual Conference. Venue: Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Rd, Sligo Town. 9am to 5pm, with lunch and refreshments plus optional conference dinner €30, and outings on the Sunday morning. Tickets from €25 Students/€50. Details and booking.

Sunday 3 November: International Irish Famine Commemoration. Host and venue: Irish Cultural Centre, 106 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA. Official ceremony 10:30AM – 1PM, booking essential. Other activities in the afternoon do not require booking. Details.

Monday 4 November: Surviving the 17th Century? The Kennedys of Mt Kennedy, with Therese Hicks. Host and Venue: Royal Society of Antiquities, Helen Roe Theatre, Society House, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Monday 4 November: The Secrets in Dublin’s Place Names, with Cathy Scuffil. Host and venue: Ballyroan Library, 54 Orchardstown Ave, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. 6:30pm. Free. All welcome. Booking advised.

Thursday 7 November: Archival medievalisms, ancient records and Ireland's search for a usable past: reflections on the C19th from the Beyond 2022 Project, with Dr Peter Crooks. Host: Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: Seminar Room, PRONI, Belfast. 7pm. All welcome.

Thursday 7 November:The cult of relics in medieval Ireland: Power, Patronage and Devotion, with Dr Niamh Wycherley. The St Willibrord Biennial Lecture. Host: Carlow County Museum and St Laserians' Cathedral. Venue: St Laserian's Cathedral, Old Leighlin, Co Carlow. Free admission. All welcome. 7pm.

Thursday 7 November: The Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection, with Michael Keane. Host: Part of the Decade of Commemorations conference. Venue: Lough Rea Hotel and Spa, Athenry Rd, Loughrea, Co Galway. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Saturday 9 November: The National Library's History & Heritage: a guided tour. Host and venue: NLI, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Saturday 9 November: Irish family history research, free help and guidance, with the Mayo Genealogy Group. Host and venue: National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, Turlough, Co Mayo.  11:30am - 1pm. All welcome. No booking required.

Saturday 9 November: Finding an Irish Immigrant's place of origin, with Tom Rice CG. Host: Irish Genealogical Society International. Venue: Library and Research Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, MN, USA. 10:30am to Noon. All welcome. Non members fee: $20. Details and pre-registration.

Friday, 25 October 2019

PRONI confirms launch of new records in November

As advised early last month, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has been planning to launch a number of newly digitised records this autumn. Further details of the timing and content of the release is now available.

Architectural drawings of a school in Dungannon
The launch event will be held on Friday 29 November at PRONI's premises in Belfast.

Running from 11am to 3pm and with lunch included, the event will feature a series of presentations and demonstrations showcasing digitized records that will be available online, and PRONI staff will show attendees how to navigate and search the records.

Guest speakers, including Valerie Adams of the Presbyterian Historical Studies and others, will talk about some of the key releases including:
  • Tithe Applotment records (FIN/5A)
  • Education Grant Aid records. (ED/1)
  • Hogg photographs (LA/7)
  • Northern Ireland Hansard (NILA/7)

All are welcome to attend the event, which is free, but you need to register.

As you can imagine, take up of reserved seats will be brisk so if you want to attend, be sure to register without delay at Eventbrite.



Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Family Tree Maker 'Insider' events: Belfast, Cork, Dublin

The team from Family Tree Maker (FTM), one of the world's most popular genealogy software packages, will shortly be arriving in Ireland for its first-ever 'FTM Insiders Tour' of the island.

Six FTM Insiders sessions are planned, taking in Belfast, Dublin and Cork. The events are co-sponsored by the North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) in Belfast, the Cork Genealogical Society in Cork, and in Dublin, the Irish Genealogical Research Society and Accredited Genealogists Ireland.

Family Tree Maker has been around for thirty years and is the preferred choice for many genealogists, whether they are beginners, intermediates or professionals. Of course, there have have been many updates to the software in that time (I upgraded to the 2019 version* a month or two ago) as it keeps up to date with genealogical developments and family historians' expectations.

At the Insiders' Sessions, Family Tree Maker 2019 will be on sale for up to 50% off its regular price. There will also be discounts on Charting Companion 7 which helps genealogists researchers to integrate their DNA test results into their family history research, and Family Book Creator which creates a professional quality printed family history book using your FTM tree. Each session will include three talks/demonstrations:
  • Family Tree Maker 2019 - An In-depth Insiders View, with Mark Olsen (FTM)
  • Making a Professional Quality Family History Book, with Stefan Harms (Family Book Creator)
  • Using DNA Test Results in Your Family History Research, with Pierre Clouthier (Charting Companion)
Each session is open to the public, not just to the membership of the co-sponsors, and free tickets are available on a first-come/first-served basis for a limited number of seats at each event. Once the free tickets are gone, tickets cost £10/€10 each, so don't delay in reserving your seat via EventBrite using the links below.

Sunday, 27 October – Sponsors: North of Ireland Family History Society
Venue: The Park Avenue Hotel, 158 Holywood Road Suite, Belfast, BT4 1PB
Cost: First 120 seats are FREE (€10 after free seats are filled)
Times: Two identical sessions starting at 10am and 1:30pm
Register for Morning Session (10am), or the Afternoon Session (1:30pm).

Monday 28 October – Sponsors: Cork Genealogical Society
Venue: The Kingsley Hotel, Deane-Woodward Suite, Victoria Cross, Cork
Cost: First 80 seats are free (€10 after free seats are filled)
Register for Evening Session (6pm).

Tuesday 29 October – Sponsors: Irish Genealogical Research Society and Accredited Genealogists Ireland
Venue: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Times: Three identical sessions each starting at 11am, 2:30pm and 6pm.
Cost: First 80 seats are FREE (€10 after free seats are filled)
Register for  Morning Session (11am),  Afternoon Session (2:30pm), or Evening Session (6pm)


* I paid for it. I've been using Family Tree Maker for 20 years or more.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Dobson's 'Irish Emigrants to North America' is next Ancestry World Archives Project

Ancestry World Archives Projects (WAP) team has announced a new transcription project that'll be of interest to Irish family historians.

The chosen resource is David Dobson's 160-page book Emigrants from Ireland to North America, Parts one, two and three, which concentrates on immigrants arriving in Canada in the late C18th and early C19th. The author's Introduction explains that most of those listed in this book were former soldiers who had been encouraged to settle in Canada after the Napoleonic Wars by the British Government. As such you may be able to find more records about these individuals in mainstream military collections.

Parts four and five and Part six are already searchable as browse collections on Ancestry.

In the majority of entries in the listing, only one individual is noted, but in some, information of an entire family may be recorded. Some entries provide place of origin or other details of the emigrant (see sample below).

By Ancestry's standards, this is a small WAP, so we shouldn't have to wait too long for the indexed collection to become available for searching. If you want to help speed it along, see the WAP announcement here.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Irish genealogy and history events, 21 Oct to 3 Nov

Monday 21 October: Irish Land Records and Irish/Scottish records Q&A, with Chris Paton. Host: Glasgow & West of Scotland FHS. Venue: Gilchrist Theatre, Kelvinside Academy, Kirklee Rd, Glasgow, Scotland, G12 0SW. 7:30pm. Free to members. Non-members £1 on the door. All welcome.

Monday 21 October: The Belfast Famine (1845-1849), with Jenny Cumming. Host: NIFHS/Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7.30pm. All welcome.

Monday 21 October: Offaly in the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection, with Cécile Gordan. Host and venue: Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co Offaly. 8pm. Teas/coffees served. €5 non-members / €2 members. All welcome. No booking required.

Tuesday, 22 October: Finding Irish Ancestors in the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Office, with Richard Buthod. Host: St Louis Genealogical Society. Venue: Auditorium at St. Louis County Library HQ, 1640 South Lindbergh, St Louis, MO63131 USA. 7–8:30pm. Free. All welcome. Details.

Tuesday 22 October: Stories from Stones – Researching Graveyards, with Tom Hartley. Host: NIFHS/Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. All welcome. 7.30pm.

Wednesday 23 October: Managing money in early C18th Ireland: Swift and money, with Brendan Twomey. Host: The Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. All welcome. Free. 8pm.

Wednesday 23 October: Irish Family History Assistance. Host: Genealogical Society of Victoria. Venue: GSV Library, Level 6, 85 Queen St., Melbourne 3000, Australia. Experienced helpers in the library to offer advice on your Irish research. 10am to 4pm. Free for members. $30 non-members. Bookable one-hour appointments with a research consultant. Details.

Thursday 24 October: Cold War heritage in Northern Ireland, with Dr James O’Neill. Venue and host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Blvd, Belfast. 1pm. Free; need to register.

Thursday 24 October: Wexford and the War of Independence: who died and why? with Professor Eunan O'Halpin. Host: Wexford CoCo. Venue: Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. The lecture will be followed by a public consultation on how the next phase of the national Decade of Commemorations programme should be marked in the county. All welcome. Free. 7pm. Refreshments served. Book your place via Enniscorthy Library on 053 9196730.

Thursday 24 October: Ulster in the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection, with Michael Keane. Host: Derry and Strabane Archives. Venue: Tower Museum, Union Hall Place, Derry BT48 6LU. 7pm. Free. All welcome.

Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October RootsTech London. Genealogy conference and exhibition. Host: FamilySearch. Venue: Excel Centre, Docklands, London, UK. 150 presentations, including several on Irish family history themes, plus free to visit exhibitors' hall. Irish Genealogical Research Society (tables 16 & 17) is the only exhibitor dedicated to Irish genealogy. 50% off 1-day and 3-day passes – see IGN story and details.

Friday 25 October: Early closing at National Archives of Ireland, Dublin 8. Due to electrical works being carried out, the NAI's Reading Room will close to the public at 2pm. Reopens after bank holiday for normal timetabled hours on Tuesday 29th.

Friday 25 October: Samhain traditions in Ireland, with Dr Críostóir Macarthaigh. Host: Sligo Field Club. Venue: Institute of Technology Education Centre, Sligo. All welcome. Non-members €5, pay on door. 8pm. No booking required.

Friday 25 October: PRONI Workshop - Online Resources for Family and Local History. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but need to register.

Sunday 27 October: The Goodwin Family of Hell's Kitchen, New York City: A case study tracking an Irish-American family, with Kevin Cassidy. Host: Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society. Venue: Walt Branch Library (#1 and #2), 6701 S 14th, Lincoln, NE 68512, USA. 2pm–4pm. Free. All welcome.

Sunday 27 October: Family Tree Maker Insight sessions. Co-Sponsor: North of Ireland Family History Society. Venue: The Park Avenue Hotel, 158 Holywood Road Suite, Belfast, BT4 1PB. Two identical sessions will be held: One starting at 10am and the other at 1:30pm. First 100 people to register will receive free tickets. Thereafter, it's £10pp. All welcome. See more details.

Monday 28 October to Thursday 31 October: Grangegorman Military Cemetery exhibition focussed on some of those buried in the cemetery. Last few days. Host: OPW. Venue: Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Dublin 7. Free. 9:30am to 6pm. Last admission 5:15pm. All welcome.

Monday 28 October: Bank Holiday in Republic of Ireland. All repositories, archives and libraries closed, except at National Library of Ireland in Dublin where exhibitions (only) are open from 12pm to 5pm.

Monday 28 October: Family Tree Maker Insight sessions. Co-Sponsor: Cork Genealogical Society. Venue: The Kingsley Hotel, Deane-Woodward Suite, Victoria Cross, Cork. Members and non-members invited. First 80 people to register will receive free tickets. Thereafter, it's €10pp. The session will start at 6pm. See more details.

Tuesday 29 October: Family Tree Maker Insight sessions. Co-Sponsor: Irish Genealogical Research Society and Accredited Genealogists Ireland. Venue: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Three identical sessions will be held: One starting at 11am, the second at 2:30pm, and the final one at 6pm. All welcome. First 80 people to register will receive free tickets. Thereafter, it's €10pp. See more details.

Tuesday 29 October: From agent to landlord: the influence of the Rawdon family in Lisburn and Moira, with Brenda Collins. Host and venue: Irish linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Market Square, Lisburn BT28 1AG. Free, but places must be booked in advance. 7pm to 9pm. Details.

Tuesday 29 October: Life in Ulster in the 1830s, a one-session class with Mike McKeag. Host: NIFHS. Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS. All welcome. 11am–1pm. Fee: £8, payable at the session. Details.

Tuesday 29 October The Bank Buildings: The story behind the façade, with Richard Graham. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 1pm. Details.

Wednesday 30 October: The IRA in Manchester 1919-1923: new insights from the Military Service Pensions Collection, with Sam McGrath. Host and venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free. No booking required.

Saturday 2 November: Early Christianity in North Connacht: From Pagan to Viking, a conference. Host: Sligo Field Club, 11th Annual Conference. Venue: Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Rd, Sligo Town. 9am to 5pm, with lunch and refreshments plus optional conference dinner €30, and outings on the Sunday morning. Tickets from €25 Students/€50. Details and booking.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Back To Our Past returns to Dublin, 18 & 19 October

Tomorrow morning, Back To Our Past will open its doors in Dublin for the 9th time. The event will see database and dna test suppliers, magazine publishers, family history societies, course providers, archivists, genealogy supplies sellers, historical tourist attraction promoters, dna specialists and loads and loads of genealogists – professional and amateurs – enjoying the annual genealogy get-together.

It runs over two days, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October, from 10am to 6pm and will be held in the Main Hall of the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. It's part of the Over 50s event and entry is free.

It's a great opportunity for researchers to ask questions from those in the know. It doesn't mattter if you're only thinking of starting your family history or have already been working on your tree for some time, they are sure to receive good advice in this environment.

For researchers looking for some help with a brickwall or needing suggestions on new or less well-known resources, members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland will be giving free consultations (you can book these on arrival at BTOP, subject to availability... at least two genies will be offering advice at any one time).

Two sets of presentations will be held as part of BTOP: the Traditional Genealogy talks will be delivered in the Main Hall, while the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference will be held in the Merrion Room (above the main entrance and accessible from stairs inside the Main Hall).

All talks are free to attend but places are limited, so arrive in good time. Here are the two lecture programmes:

TRADITIONAL GENEALOGY TALKS

Friday 18 October

11.30am: How The North of Ireland Family History Society can help your research, with Andrew Kane (NIFHS)

12.30pm: What we can learn from the censuses up to 1911, with Brian Donnelly (NAI)

1.30pm : What a DNA test can tell you and how you can interpret the results, with MyHeritage

2.30pm : Tracing your West of Ireland relatives, with Lorna Moloney (Merriman Research)

3.30pm : Using the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland’s Map Viewer, with Janet Hancock (PRONI)

Saturday 19 October


11.30am: Tracing your American relatives, with Eileen Quinn (NIFHS)

12.30pm: What we can learn from the censuses up to 1911 Census, with Brian Donnelly (NAI)

1.30pm : Using the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland records, with Stephen Scarth (PRONI)

2.30pm : Tracing your West of Ireland relatives, with Lorna Moloney (Merriman Research)

3.30pm : What a DNA test can tell you and how you can interpret the results, with MyHeritage


GENETIC GENEALOGY IRELAND CONFERENCE


New & updated USA genealogy collections, 3-14 October

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated United States records released by the major family history database suppliers in the last two weeks. The previous listing was published on 3 October. See blogpost.)

These regular summaries of recent releases are designed primarily to help family historians whose ancestors and extended family emigrated from Ireland to North America. But any researchers can use them!

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in paranthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection or, for updated collections, the revised total number of records.

NEW COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

AmericanAncestors

FamilySearch

FindMyPast
  • New Jersey Vital Records This collection of more than 356,019 records spanning 1600 to 1990 has been put together in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

MyHeritage
  • United States and Canada, Index of Obituaries, 1900–2019This collection of 16.5 million records contains an index of obituaries published in various newspapers in the United States and Canada from 1900 to 2019. Index includes the name of the deceased, place of birth, place of death, age and the publication source, including locality information.


UPDATED COLLECTIONS


American Ancestors

Ancestry

FamilySearch

Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Dublin City's 1899 Electoral Roll makes online debut


Dublin Municipal voters’ lists for 1899 have been digitised and are now searchable on the free Dublin City Electoral Rolls database.

The database already held more than 400,000 records, all linked to scans of the original printed lists dating from 1908–1915. This addition of the 1899 data is the latest development in DCC's project to digitise all the Lists dating from 1898 to 1916 as a contribution to the Decade of Commemorations programme.

John Grenham MAGI is the chap who's had all the fun of producing the database and you can read about the trials and tribulations of the project on his A glory and a wonder blogpost here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

MilitaryArchives.ie releases The Collins Papers online

Online access to The Collins Papers is now available, free, on MilitaryArchives.ie.

More than 6,000 documents dating from 1918 to early 1922 are held in The Collins Papers, which is one of the Military Archives’ most accessed and established archival collections.

Michael Collins in 1919
The collection contains communications (despatches) mainly between IRA Brigade and Battalion Officers and predominately those holding appointments in IRA General Headquarters including Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Cathal Brugha and Gearoid O’Sullivan.

The chief creator and man behind most of the paperwork held in this collection was General Michael Collins. The collection, which has been in the custody of the Military Archives for decades, was named ‘The Collins Papers’ to signify that connection.

You can read an overview of the contents here.

The release of these papers online marks the final stage in a very long journey which took these papers from their point of creation to eventual preservation in the Military Archives.

The advent of The Collins Papers online presents new opportunities to a global audience to analyse the years preceding and encompassing the War of Independence and the post-Truce and -Treaty period (1919–1921)  using the records created by IRA leaders and General Headquarters staff.

More details on the collection's contents and archival history, plus a customised search tool can be found via The Collins Papers link above.

Irish Genealogy at a Glance guide: 2nd edition published

Genealogist and author Brian Mitchell MAGI has advised Irish Genealogy News that the 2nd edition of his 4-page Genealogy at a glance: Irish Genealogy Research has just been published by the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore.

First published in 2010, the four-page laminated guide (an e-book version will follow in due course) provides an overview of the basic facts you need to begin your research and proceed successfully.

Building on his many years of experience, Brian, the manager of the Derry Genealogy Centre in Northern Ireland, provides advice about the key record sources for Irish family history, where to find them, and how to use them. He also provides current information on record repositories, genealogy websites and reference materials that will help your research.

The guide (ISBN: 9780806320984) costs US$9.95 at Genealogical.com.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

AncestryDNA launches AncestryHealth test & services

Ancestry DNA has launched two new services under the brand of AncestryHealth. The name will tell you that this latest development involves dna testing for health rather than just for ethnic history and genetic matching.

The two new services are AncestryHealth Core™, 'a one-time, array-based service', and AncestryHealth Plus™, 'a membership service using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology'.

The company's press release (here) is a long read, so I'd suggest that interested researchers take a first look at the new Health pages of Ancestry (click image below) where information about the two services is provided in a rather less dense fashion.

As I mentioned when MyHeritage launched its genetic health testing kit a few months back, I'm not entirely comfortable about dna testing for potential health risks, and such tests have little to do with traditional family history research, anyway. So I'm not going to say any more here than I did then ie I'm purely announcing (not recommending) this range extension from one of the world's largest genealogical suppliers.

Most existing AncestryDNA customers will not be required to submit a new sample* if they want to have the AncestryHealth test.

Existing DNA customers can have their existing sample tested by upgrading to AncestryHealth Core for just US$49 or to AncestryHealth Plus for US$98 (for six months membership).

The tests offered by AncestryHealth are not currently available in New York, New Jersey or Rhode Island. It seems likely they are not currently available outside the United States, either, as there has been no launch of these products via the Ancestry UK, CA or .com.AU sites. If I can track down confirmation, one way or the other, I'll update this blogpost accordingly.

*If you are an existing DNA customer and Ancestry's lab finds you DO need to submit a new sample, a new kit will be provided free of charge.


Summary of new & updated British family history collections, 1-15 October

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated British records released by the major genealogy database suppliers in the first two weeks of October. (The previous listing was on 30 September. See blogpost.)

My regular listing of new and updated British collections is designed to help Irish family historians whose ancestors emigrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.


NEW COLLECTIONS


FindMyPast

British Newspaper Archives (and shared with FindMyPast)

    Scotland

    England/National


UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

Family Search

FindMyPast

The Genealogist


Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping IrishGenealogyNews online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

British Newspaper Archive offline for maintenance

The British Newspaper Archive is offline at the moment (12:40pm). I'm not sure when it happened.

A holding page explains that some essential maintenance is being carried out and the site will be up and running again as soon as possible.

(Gotta love the inspired choice of image – see right – on the 'maintenance' page!)

UPDATE, 2:45pm: Website back and working.

Irish Times publishes The Revolution Files supplement

The Irish Times has today published a supplement called The Revolution Files, which explores the good the bad and the ugly of Ireland's revolutionary years between 1916 and 1923.

Cover of The Revolution Files supplement.
Click image to view online version.
It features highlights from individual pension files and IRA Brigade Activity Reports (BARs) sourced from the Military Services Pension Collection, which only two weeks ago saw another tranche of papers released online by the Military Archives' team at Cathal Brugha Barracks (see blogpost).

The Revolution Files supplement is available with today's edition, and will definitely make a purchase of the newspaper worthwhile, even for those who don't normally buy a paper.

For those outside Ireland who may have difficulty sourcing today's edition (and supplements don't always make it to overseas outlets due to the extra weight), The Irish Times has a good online presentation (free) in web-magazine format (click the cover image, right) and you can search by county to view features about localised events. Unfortunately, the number of pages you can explore without a subscription is restricted.

UPDATE, 16 October: In view of the above restrictions, the Military Archives is presenting online stories contained in the supplement. They are arranged in four parts, by province, as follows:

Upcoming talks by MSPC archivists:

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: new files summary

Below is a summary of the files added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the first half of this month. As always, all the files were contributed and uploaded by volunteers and they are made available, free, on the IGP Archives site for the benefit of other researchers (subject to international copyright protections).

Stone to Volunteer Charles Gyles FSA
in St Patrick's Cemetery, Dundalk. Photo
courtesy Angela Gallagher and IGP Archives.
It's good to see County Louth making one of its rare appearances in the summary. In this particular instance, the photos and inscription transcriptions of Dundalk's St Patrick Cemetery were a joint submission effort between Tom McCaffrey and Dundalk Northend and Friends Facebook Group, and Angela Gallagher, who writes the award-winning A Silver Voice from Ireland blog.

COUNTRYWIDE Genealogy Archives - Emigration
Peter Robinson immigration scheme 1825 Pt 2-7

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Arranmore Island Cemetery (R.C.)
St. John's (CoI) Graveyard, Ballymore

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Little Angels (Updated)
Mount Jerome, Dublin - Part 237

LOUTH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Patrick Cemetery, Dundalk

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Borrisoleigh Parish Marriages - 1850

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Castletimon Cemetery, Pt 1

Monday, 14 October 2019

50% off RootsTech London passes - from Ancestry UK

If you're planning to go to RootsTech London next weekend (Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th October, Excel, London, UK), you could save yourself 50% on one- and three-day passes with this offer sponsored by Ancestry UK.

The offer discounts the three day weekend pass from £99 to £49.50, while the one-day pass (your choice of day) is reduced from £49.00 to £24.50.

To claim this generous discount, click the image, right. You'll then be asked to use either your FamilySearch or Facebook account to reach the RootsTech registration page.

Fill in your personal details and on Step 3 type in the promotional code ANCESTRY1 to see all the prices reflect the 50% discount.

Make your choice, and enjoy your time at RootsTech! There's a good number of Irish-themed presentations, but if you're stuck with your Irish research and need some advice, seek out the Irish Genealogical Research Society on Tables 16 and 17,(near the Cyber Cafe, in the free exhibition area. (According to the Exhibitor List, the IGRS is the only exhibiting organisations dedicated to Irish Family History.)

IGRS revives its Student Membership Scheme

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has revived its Student Membership Scheme and admitted a young enthusiast under the category. Daniel Loftus, a teenager from Co. Cork, has been made a student member of the IGRS with annual membership fees waived, for a period of three years.

Daniel Loftus
It was granted to offer encouragement to Daniel to develop his experience and knowledge of genealogy. It recognizes the commitment to the subject he has shown already in setting up a website, a blog and social media accounts to engage with people, sharing his enthusiasm for family history.

The Student Membership Scheme was first introduced over a decade ago and awarded at the discretion of the Society’s Council, though it has not been active in the past few years. This is the first time it has been granted to a secondary school student. Daniel responded: ‘Wow, this is an honour!’ when informed that he was to receive this concession from the IGRS.

Daniel came to the attention of the IGRS through his participation in @ancestryhour on Twitter (Tuesdays, 7pm GMT). He began researching his family history in January 2017, following the death of his granduncle. His research was entirely online, but he also contacted family members for information. Having completed his Junior Certificate, he started a website and blog in June 2019. He posts helpful hints, reviews of software and interviews.

Steven Smyrl, IGRS Chairman, said: ‘As someone who has been interested in genealogy since I was a child, it is good to see that family history still resonates with young people. It was immediately clear to us that Daniel’s interest in the subject was genuine and something to which he was already dedicating a lot of time. It’s good to know that the IGRS can help to encourage and foster his interest.’