Friday 20 December 2019

RCB Library spreads Christmas joy to Irish genealogists

It's a Christmas gift to all Irish genealogists and historians: the RCB Library has updated its List of Parish Registers so that those of us who plan (or hope) to do some research over the holiday can be sure they've got the most up-to-date information at their finger tips.

The List is a colour-coded resource for finding out what survives of the registers and records of individual Church of Ireland parishes, and, if they survive (in either original or transcribed format), where they are held. It additionally provides links to online records and to other details of the parishes. It is an essential finding aid for Irish genealogists.

It's free to download here.

Those guys and gals at the RCB Library are the loveliest people!

PRONI workshops: dates for early 2020. Book now!

If you, like many others, have been unsuccessful in trying to reserve a place on one of PRONI's free regular workshops, this might be your chance.

PRONI in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast
As of today, there are still tickets available for all six scheduled sessions of the Online Resources for Family and Local History workshop and another six scheduled sessions of the Getting Started workshop. This is rare!

Online Resources for Family and Local History

This two-hour workshop starts with an orientation tour of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and is followed by an introduction to searching online resources.

Here are the dates and times of each workshop:

  • Monday 13 January:     11am to 1pm
  • Thursday 23 January:    7pm to 9pm
  • Wednesday 12 February: 11am to 1pm
  • Friday 21 February:       11am to 1pm
  • Wednesday 18 March:   11am to 1pm
  • Friday 27 March:           11am to 1pm.
You can book your ticket at eventbrite.

Getting Started

This practical workshop helps beginner researchers discover the essential skills required to begin their search at PRONI. Delegates receive advice on searching for records, take part in a practical demonstration on using the Public Search Room, and get an opportunity to handle original documents in the Reading Room.

Here are the dates and times of each workshop::

  • Wednesday 8 January :    11am to 1pm
  • Wednesday 29 January:    11am to 1pm
  • Monday 3 February :    11am to 1pm
  • Monday 27 February :    11am to 1pm
  • Thursday 5 March :    11am to 1pm
  • Tuesday 31 March :    11am to 1pm

You can book your ticket at eventbrite.

All workshops are held in the state of the art premises of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ.

They are extremely popular and usually fully booked well in advance; while many people are distracted by the festive season, I suggest you book your place straightaway as there may be no tickets left by New Year.

Two new Irish titles join British Newspaper Archive

The has added the Newtownards Chronicle & Co. Down Observer and the Sport to its database.

These are the first Irish papers to debut on the site since April, and bring the total number of titles from Ireland in the online archive to 177 (51 of them from Northern Ireland).

Newtownards Chronicle & Co. Down Observer

So far, only editions published in 1874 are available to search, but the planned holding will span 1873–1913.

Already, 1,586 editions have been uploaded spanning 1897 to 1931 (with gaps). The planned holding will span 1880-1931.

As with all titles in the online British Newspaper Archive, these publications are shared with FindMyPast where they can be found in the Irish Newspaper Collection.

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.

In 2019, the NLI saw highest visitor numbers in 10 years

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has already seen more than 280,000 visits during 2019 – its highest visitor numbers of the decade – in a busy year which saw the unveiling of state-of-the-art book storage at the NLI, the launch of a new digital collecting initiative and the opening of the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in partnership with University College Dublin. These and other highlights are contained in an end-of-year video released by the Library.

Reflecting on the year, Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins said: “As 2019 draws to a close and a new decade comes into view, we are also looking back on a remarkably exciting year for the National Library.

"As Ireland’s memory-keeper, we added thousands of books, newspapers, manuscripts, photographs and more to our collections this year, including the writer’s archive of JP Donleavy, while hundreds of thousands of volumes were moved to new, safe storage, where they will be preserved for generations to come.

“As technology changes, so does the way in which we preserve and share the story of Ireland. We also had 20 million engagements across our digital platforms in 2019, archived 550 websites, and digitised 23,000 items – ensuring our physical collections are available to as broad an audience as possible – while our partnership with UCD to create the Museum of Literature Ireland also allows us to showcase more of the Library’s treasures and expertise.”

Some of the highlights of 2019 include:

  • More than 280,000 visits were made to the Library’s various sites
  • 350,000 volumes were moved to new, safe storage
  • 200,000 visits were made to six free exhibitions
  • 29,000 people attended events, tours and workshops
  • 27,000 research visits were made to the Library’s reading rooms
  • 20 million online engagements were made across the Library’s digital platforms
  • Thousands of books, newspapers, manuscripts, photographs and more were acquired
  • 23,000 items were digitised in the Library’s digital studios
  • 550 websites were archived
  • Six arms were granted by the Chief Herald of Ireland
  • 15 exhibitions travelled all over Ireland

You can find out more below in this short video from the NLI (I recommend switching the audio off... the music is painful).

FindMyPast swings into 2020 with a modern look

One of the new brand identities has had quite the makeover. A new logo, new generic brand visuals and a major website re-design are now on show.

A company blogpost explains:

"Findmypast has been completely refreshed as the brand enters a new decade. While the site's core features and services remain unchanged, the look and feel has been significantly improved. The new-look site is designed to encourage more family history beginners to get started, while staying true to its roots as the must-have genealogy resource experienced genealogists know and love.

The new ( website's interface
"As well as a vibrant new colour scheme and an array of quirky new illustrations, you'll see minor site navigation changes, such as the new ‘Help & more’ button that directs you to the resources you want, faster. We're also proud to introduce a new brand logo that reflects how family history is unique for each individual."

Variations of the word ‘my’ in the logo are sprinkled across the new design. They've been collected from members of the FindMyPast community.

So far, it's only the UK site that's wearing the new look. I imagine it will appear on the Ireland, USA, and Australia/NZ sites in due course.

Thursday 19 December 2019

Military Attestation Papers, 1800-1915, for Ireland, Wales and Scotland join Ancestry

Ancestry teased us with this Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915 collection a month or so back, but no records were searchable. Now they are, all 129,682 of them. A crude 'Event in Ireland' search suggests nearly 43,000 records relate to boys and men who were either born in Ireland or attested in Ireland.

A sample result from a search of Ancestry's new collection
Attestation forms were filled in at the time of recruitment and records often include information about physical appearance and details of previous service.

The following information can be found, where available:

Name of relative(s)
Relationship to serviceman
Place and date of birth
Place and date of Enlistment
Regiment and unit
Service rank
Service number

As you can see from the image above, Ancestry's search results provide plenty of useful information. If you want to see images of the attestation papers, which may or may not reveal additional details, you'll need a subscription to Fold3.

The original records are held in WO96 at the National Archives, Kew, England.

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.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Early December Irish genealogy updates to IGP-Archives

Memorial plaque from St. Anne's, Belfast to
William McVicker who started the Boy's Brigade in the
city. Photo courtesy of Valerie Ackroyd and IGP Archives.
This post may be the last update of 2019 from the volunteers at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. It's a busy time of year, even for the committed team who contribute their time to extract records, take photos and transcribe inscriptions for the benefit of other Irish family historians, so I hope they'll find plenty to amuse themselves with rather than traipsing around lumpy, overgrown and wet burial grounds.

Those with ancestral connections to Belfast should note that a dedicated page has now been set up for viewing and searching the files of Belfast Cemeteries.

Here are the other updates since the beginning of December:

BELFAST Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Annes Memorial Plaques

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Kilbarrack Cemetery in Sutton (partial).

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Aughagower Graveyard, Part 2

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Athlumney, Navan A-L (Text File)

Seasonal closures/openings of major Irish repositories

So you want to do some research over the festive period, eh? It's noticeable this year that, apart from PRONI, most archives are closed right the way through to the New Year. Plan your internet time and personal visits accordingly!

Northern Ireland

PRONI, Belfast
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will close at 2pm on Tuesday 24 December, reopening on Monday 30 December at 9am. Normal hours 30 and 31 December. Closed Wednesday 1 January, reopening at 10am on Thursday 2 January. Note also non-standard hours (10am to 4:45pm) on Thursday 19 December and the first Thursday of the New Year 2 January.

Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, Belfast
Library and Archive closed from Thursday 19 December to Monday 6 January inclusive. Reopens Tuesday 7 January 2020.

North of Ireland Family History Society Library, Newtownabbey
(Normally open Tuesdays and Thursdays only.) Closed from 8pm on Tuesday 17 December to 2pm on Tuesday 7 January 2020.


National Archives of Ireland, Dublin 8
The Reading Room and Genealogy Advisory Service will close at 12:30pm on Tuesday 24 December and re-open at 10am on Thursday 2 January 2020.

RCB Library, Churchtown, Dublin 14
Library closing at 1pm on Friday 20 December and re–opening to standard hours (9:30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm) on Thursday 2 January 2020. (No access to archives or manuscripts on Fridays will continue for the foreseeable future.) Note: On Friday 10 January the Library will be closed all day for staff training.

National Library of Ireland, Dublin 2
Reading Rooms will close on Monday 23 December at 7.45pm and reopen on Thursday 2 January at 9.30am. Genealogy Advisory Service will close on Monday 23 December at 4.45pm, reopening Thursday 2 January at 9.30am. Exhibitions: Temple Bar and Kildare Street exhibitions (From Turmoil to Truce; WWIreland; Yeats) open noon to 5pm on Friday 27, Monday 30, and Tuesday 31 December. Seamus Heaney, Listen Now Again exhibition open 10am to 4pm on Saturday 28, Monday 30, and Tuesday 31 December.

Military Archives, Dublin 6
Closed to the public from 19 December. Reopening 10am on Tuesday 7 January 2020.

Dublin City Library and Archive, Dublin 1
Closed from 8pm on Monday 23 December until 10am Thursday 2 January 2020.

An Daonchartlann, Loughlinstown, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Archive & Research Centre of the Genealogical Society of Ireland (Wednesdays only in winter). Open until 4pm on Wednesday 18 December, then closed until  10:30am on Wednesday 8 January.


The National Archives, Kew.
Closed Monday 23 December to Thursday 26 December inclusive. Open Friday 27 and Saturday 28 December for normal hours. Closed Monday 30 December. Open Tuesday 31 December from 9am to 5pm (no late night). Closed Wednesday 1 January. Reopening to standard timetable on Thursday 2 January.

Society of Genealogists, EC1.
No late night on Thursday 19 December; library will close at 6pm. Open 10am to 6pm on Saturday 21 December and 10am to 3pm on Tuesday 24 December. Then closed until standard timetable returns on Thursday 9 January.

The Irish Genealogical Research Society Library, EC1
(Saturday afternoons only throughout year) at the Society of Genealogists: Open 1:30pm to 5:30pm on Saturday 21 December. Closed Saturdays 28 December and 4 January. Reopens for standard Saturday openings (1:30pm–5:30pm) from 11 January.

Monday 16 December 2019

Irish Harping inscribed on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Last week, Irish Harping was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Intangible cultural heritage, or living heritage, refers to customs, traditions, crafts, games, and practices that are part of people’s lives and identities both individually and as part of wider communities, and that are passed on from generation to generation.

Irish Harping is Ireland’s third inscription on the Representative List. Its first nomination, Uilleann Piping, was officially inscribed in 2017, while its second, Hurling, was officially inscribed in 2018.

The submission for this most recent inscription was led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland.

Speaking at the official announcement, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD said: "The Harp is Ireland’s national symbol and has been played here for more than one thousand years. This recognition by UNESCO is a true tribute to the generation of harpers, who have ensured the transmission of Irish harp music for this and future generations. The inscription of Irish Harping is a wonderful opportunity to share a cherished and central aspect of Irish cultural heritage with the international community."

Enjoy a short video of Irish Harpist Claire O'Donnell playing at Powerscourt, Co Wicklow:

Summary of latest new & updated US record collections

Please see below a summary of the new and updated records and collections from the United States released by major genealogy databases during the last four weeks. (The last listing was published on 15 November, see blogpost).

My regular summary of new and updated British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated, temporarily or permanently, to the United States. By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in the US, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in each new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update.







American Ancestors



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.

Irish Newspaper Archives: gift membership - 35% off

Dublin-based Irish Newspaper Archives is offering a big discount on its Gift Memberships. With a 35% saving, the reduced cost of these subscription packages look all the more inviting, as you'll see from the image below.

Click/tap image to view the titles included in the Gold
and Silver packages. Scroll down landing page.
The Gold membership gives access to all the titles, national and local, in the main public archive, plus access to the new Radical and Political Archive, which launched last month.

Silver membership gives full access to the main public archive.

To take advantage of this offer, you need to place your order by Friday 20 December.

To order, send an email with the following details to

1. Name of gift recipient
2. Which package you want to buy: Gold or Silver and whether for 1 month or 12 months.
3. The date you want the membership to be activated.

Irish Newspaper Archives will then register the account and a Gift Membership email will be sent to you for printing or forwarding to the lucky new member. Payment is via PayPal (you don't need an account).

Friday 13 December 2019

Upload your raw DNA data file to receive free forever access to all MyHeritageDNA features: offer ends 18 Dec.
Until 11:59pm on Wednesday 18 December, researchers who have taken an autosomal DNA test with a testing service other than MyHeritage (see supported files below), can upload their raw DNA data file to MyHeritage and receive all advanced DNA features for free, forever.

This option will save researchers the usual $29 'unlock' fee per kit.

MyHeritageDNA's basic features include receiving, exporting and contacting DNA Matches (there are more than 3.5million people in the database now), and viewing shared ancestral surnames. The Advanced features are these:
  • Ethnicity Estimate
  • Chromosome Browser
  • View family trees and pedigree charts of your DNA Matches
  • Shared DNA Matches
  • Shared ethnicities
  • Shared ancestral places
  • AutoClusters
  • Theory of Family Relativity
If you upload your DNA data before the deadline, you'll have free access to ALL of the above not just for a few days, but permanently.

MyHeritage supports DNA files from AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder, 23andMe (all versions, including v5).

You can find instructions for exporting your data from another service and uploading it to MyHeritage on MyHeritage's DNA upload page.

Latest online releases to British genealogy collections

Please see below the new and updated records and collections from England, Scotland and Wales that were released by major genealogy databases since 3 December. As you can see, it's been a pretty busy time. (The previous listing was on 2 December, 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. By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in the new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update.








British Newspaper Archive (and FindMyPast's British Newspaper Collection) New titles


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.

Registry of Deeds Digitisation Project seeks Archivist

It's good to see the Registry of Deeds Digitisation Project moving forward!

An advertisement for a Digitisation Archivist has been published today on It confirms the Property Registration Authority 'is now embarking on a long-term project to digitise its collections', which we have known since June when the Registry of Deeds Digitisation Strategy Advisory Group was set up. The recruitment of a professionally qualified archivist with experience in the areas of cataloguing and digitisatiion will be a major step along the long road. Interviews are expected to take place in February 2020.

A note in the detailed job description booklet reminded me of the intention to merge the Property Registration Authority, the Valuation Office and Ordnance Survey Ireland. This merger of the three state agencies has been progressing sluggishly – I think it must now be at least a year behind the original timetable. Let's hope this isn't a taste of what's to come with the digitisation project..

When established, the new organisation – to be known as Tailte Éireann (TE) – will be responsible for providing the authoritative property registration system, national mapping and surveying infrastructure and property valuation service for the State. As such, it will be the primary national source of property information and geo-spatial data and will be a leader in the development and delivery of land information services.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Steven Smyrl elected Fellow of Society of Genealogists

Dublin-based genealogist Steven Smyrl has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists (SoG).

The London-based organisation is one of the oldest and most prestigious bodies dedicated to ancestral research and it is a great and rare honour to be awarded Fellowship. His election comes in due recognition of many years of distinguished service to the field of Irish genealogy.

Steven’s most significant contribution to the wider genealogical community, and to society at large, relates to civil registration in Ireland. He was the driving force behind a successful campaign which achieved fundamental change on both sides of the border.

Steven Smyrl
He argued that to bring integrity to the civil registration system there was an overriding need to improve the calibre of death registrations through broadening the data recorded. While there had been some helpful changes in Northern Ireland in the mid-1970s, the system had remained completely unchanged in the Republic of Ireland since registration of deaths
first began in 1864.

Steven’s tireless advocacy ensured that since 2005 the Republic’s death registrations began recording each deceased person’s date and place of birth and their parents’ names. He followed this by securing the Northern Ireland Assembly’s backing in 2009 to begin recording parents’ names in all Northern Ireland death registrations.

Subsequently, his achievement was described in The Irish Times as ‘spectacular’.

He is a highly respected professional genealogist, holding credentials since 1991 as a Member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland, the island's regulating body for professional genealogists.

As well as specialising in legal and probate research, Steven is an authority on sources for Irish Dissenting Protestants.  His most significant published work is the Dictionary of Dublin Dissent – Dublin’s Protestant Dissenting Meetinghouses: 1660-1920, published in 2009.

Television viewers will know Steven from the IFTA-nominated RTE TV series Dead Money, which was based exclusively on probate research undertaken by his firm, Massey and King. Readers of Ireland’s only independent family history magazine, Irish Roots, will also be familiar with Steven’s regular column ‘And another thing …’ through which his knowledge, expertise and his wit are given a regular public airing.

Steven is well-known for his contributions to the world of Irish genealogy in a voluntary capacity.  He has served terms as both Hon. Secretary and later President of Accredited Genealogists Irelan. He was twice Chairman of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations and since 2010 he has been Chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.

In addition, Steven has compiled comprehensive manuscript catalogues to surviving records in the Republic for both the Methodist Church in Ireland and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. In many cases his work uncovered records long thought to be lost.

On a personal note, I would like to add that Steven is extremely generous with his genealogical knowledge. He has helped me on many many occasions with specialist background information that I've needed either for this blog, my website or when I was writing my book. There be treasures in his head about Irish record collections and I'm not alone in being grateful for his kind sharing of them, so I am delighted he has received this well deserved recognition from SoG.

The Fellowship of SoG is the second such honour granted to Steven.  Twelve years ago in 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.

Tuesday 10 December 2019 adds Workhouses and PLU data

Riding in just a few weeks after the addition of  data from of fully surveyed burial grounds across Ireland (see blogpost), has added map data of the island's Workhouses and Poor Law Unions.
Ireland's workhouses mapped
It is based on the data and research work of Peter Higginsbotham, the well-known expert on workhouses in the geographical British Isles, and the new maps provide details on each Irish Workhouse and associated Poor Law Union area and provide links to excellent external resources. It is definitely worth exploring. You'll find the Workhouses map under the Architecture 'layer'.

The workhouse maps display the locations of each workhouse and additional data provides information about the structures, and whether the building survives and has been adapted for alternative use. (There are remains of more than 80 workhouses and some are still used as working institutions.)

To create the HeritageMaps dataset, information has been provided by Peter Higginsbotham, Mike Murphy of University College Cork and the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Below is a screengrab of data provided for Dunmanway Workhouse in South West County Cork.


Monday 9 December 2019

Accredited Genealogists Ireland welcomes new Affiliate

At its Annual General Meeting last week, Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) welcomed Gillian Johnson as the organisation's newest Affiliate.

Gill has been working for the past four years as a genealogist for the highly regarded genealogy and historical research company, Timeline, which is based in Dublin. She holds a degree in Local Studies from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, has completed University College Dublin's Genealogy course led by Sean Murphy MA, and has a keen interest in social history.

Gill is the 16th person to be admitted as an AGI Affiliate since the Affiliate Programme was introduced seven years ago. Eight of her predecessors have already successfully progressed to gaining credentials as Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (MAGIs).

All Affiliates are reputatble genealogists in the early stages of their transition to professional research who have not yet applied for accreditation. They are, however, bound by AGI’s Code of Practice.

You can find out more about Gill and the Affiliate Programme at

Thursday 5 December 2019

Beyond 2022: Ireland uses technology of the future to restore seven centuries of its lost history

This morning, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD formally launched the Beyond 2022: Ireland's Virtual Record Treasury research project with a capital grant funding allocation of €2.5m from the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltact.

The all-island scheme aims to restore the lost history that resulted from the devastating fire at the Four Courts during the Irish Civil War in 1922. The fire destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland, and with it seven centuries of historical, genealogical and administrative records.

Through virtual reality, the new flagship project seeks to re-imagine and recreate these archival collections.

Beyond 2022, Ireland's Virtual Record Treasury is a collaborative project led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland, the National Archives UK, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

Speaking at the official launch, which was held in Dublin Castle, Director of Beyond 2022 said: "The scale of copies and duplicates we have identified in other archives is astounding. We are already working with over 35 libraries and archives in Ireland, the UK and US. And this is only the beginning."

The first phase of the research project identified over 200 volumes of transcripts suitable for enhanced digitisation, now scattered between archives in the United States, the United Kingdom and archives on the island of Ireland. These handwritten records contain more than 25 million words from documents destroyed in 1922.

With funding now secured, the project will create a Virtual Record Treasury and reunite for the first time in a century, thousands of stories of life, law, land and loss in Ireland’s history.

The primary outcome from Phase II will be a fully immersive, three-dimensional, virtual reality model of the digitally reconstructed Public Record Office of Ireland, which will be launched in June 2022 to mark the centenary of the fire. This model will be used as an interactive tool for engagement and research, whereby visitors will be able to browse the virtual shelves and link to substitute or salvaged records held by archives and libraries around the world.

See Trinity College Dublin's news story, which carries more details of the project and a video, here.

Irish Roots Magazine, winter edition published

The winter edition of Irish Roots, Ireland's only independent genealogy magazine, has been published. and is now on sale in bookshops and newsagents (print) and online (digital copies).

To find out more, and download a sample of
the current edition, click/tap the front cover
As always, it's got a good mix of articles, columns and news that any family historian with Irish connections will enjoy reading and learning from.

Features in the new edition include:

– What was lost in 1922 and what survived?

– Tracing your County Antrim ancestors

– Dating family photographs: 1870s to 1890s

– A letter from Queen Victoria inspires award winning trilogy

– RCB Library acquisitions—a source for local/family history

– Is DNA a substitute for genealogy research?

– Irish-Australians as patrons of the fine arts

– Researching the family recorded on a broken gravestone

Additionally, there’s a What’s New? Review by Yours Truly noting recent developments in Irish genealogy; Steven Smyrl discusses The Dreaded Genealogical Virus; the Dawsons of Queensland set off on a DNA mystery tour to Ireland; and Nicola Morris MAGI answers readers’ questions. As always, there are Letters to the Editor, details of new book launches and news from local, national and international Irish family history societies.

To order a digital or print copy, or to subscribe to Irish Roots magazine, go to IrishRootsMedia.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Latest online releases to British genealogy collections

Please see below the new and updated records and collections from England, Scotland and Wales that were released by major genealogy databases in the second half of November through to 2 December. (The previous listing was on 15 November. 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.


  • Ireland and Britain, Transatlantic Migration from North America, 1858-1870. Of the 42,695 passengers noted in this index, sixty percent of the passengers were from the geographical British Isles: English (19%), Irish (20%), and Scottish (21%). The indexed names have been extracted from the collection held on FindMyPast where transcriptions of the papers can be viewed. (In searching this collection this morning I was unable to receive any results, even for those names I knew to be in the FMP collection. I assume this is a temporary glitch.)
  • Lincolnshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1990. 3,947,025 baptism, marriage, and burial records indexed.





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 Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Monday 2 December 2019

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: end Nov updates

Laurence Murphy of Marshalstown, who died in
1821 at 75 years, is buried in St. Peters (CoI)
Rossdroit, Moneytucker, Co Wexford.
Photo courtesy of Joanne Garland and IGPArchives
Click image for larger view.
During the second half of November, the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives' team uploaded some small headstone sets and the second instalment from Balmoral Cemetery in Belfast.

Here are the links to the files, as always provided free to view online:

ANTRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Balmoral Cemetery, Belfast - Part 2

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Clonloghan Cemetery (HASTINGS & CONSIDINE).

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Malahide Cemetery (partial)

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Crosstown Cemetery, Ferrybank (BERRY, KEARNEY)
St. Carthage’s RC, Courtnacuddy (9 images)

Irish genealogy and history events in December 2019

Monday 2 December to Friday 6 December: Media Preview Week. To facilitate this annual event, when members of the press explore government records that have been closed for 30 years (this year is records from 1989), the Reading Room of the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8 will be closed to the public. The Genealogy Advisory Service will not run while the Reading Room is closed. Reopens Monday 9 December at 10am.

Monday 2 December: Genealogy chat and drinks, an informal get-together for all genealogists, amateur and professional. Host: The Irish Genealogical Research Society's Ireland Branch. Venue: The Mercantile, 28 Dame Street, Dublin 2. 6pm to 10pm. All welcome.

Monday 2 December: Members' Night - Tales and Artefacts. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh branch. Venue: Killyleagh Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co Down, BT30 9QF. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 3 December: Finding Family History Stories, a single two-hour session workshop with Michael McKeag. Host: Host and venue: North of Ireland Family History Society, C4 Research Centre, Valley Business Centre, Church Rd, Newtownabbey, Antrim BT36 7L. All welcome. 11am–1pm. Fee £8, payable at the session. Booking and details, here.

Thursday 5 December: Tracing Relatives of the Belfast Shipyards, a class with Maureen McKinney 7.00pm-9.00pm NIFHS Venue: Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim BT36 7LS. 7–9pm. £8. Fully Booked.

Thursday 5 December: The suffering of the poor and the language of charity in C19th Ireland, with Dr Ciaran McCabe. Host: Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Venue: Seminar Room, Institute of Irish Studies (QUB), 27 University Square, Belfast. 6:30pm. All welcome.

Friday 6 December: Online Resources workshop, an introduction to using online records for family and local history research. Host and venue: PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. All welcome. Free. 11am to 1pm. FULLY BOOKED.

Friday 6 December: Main Reading Room of the National Library of Ireland closed. All other National Library services, including the Manuscripts Reading Room and Genealogy Advisory Service will be open as normal.

Saturday 7 December: How to get ready to search Irish records, with Kevin Cassidy. Host: Columbus Public Library. Venue: Columbus Public Library-Van Cleave Room, 3000 Macon Rd., Columbus, Georgia, USA, 10:30am. All welcome.

Monday 9 December – Friday 13 December inclusive: Preservation Week. During this annual event, PRONI's Preservation and Collections Management staff get an opportunity to dedicate some time to the vital work that goes on behind the scenes. The knock-on effect means a reduced service to researchers. Document ordering and production will be suspended throughout the week, but the Search Room and self-service microfilm facilities will be available as normal in the public search room. PRONI, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast.

Monday 9 December: A Victorian Childhood in East Antrim, with Ron Bishop. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Newtownabbey Branch. Venue: Drama Theatre, Glengormley High School, 134 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 5HP. All welcome. 7pm.

Tuesday 10 December: Digital Transformation for Cemeteries, with Neil Sherrin. Host: Genealogical Society of Ireland. Venue: DFEi, Cumberland St, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. All welcome. €3. 8pm.

Tuesday 10 December As True as I’m Standing Here: Quirky PRONI Stories, with Dr Ann McVeigh. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XP. All welcome. Free. 7:30pm.

Thursday 12 December: The Butlers of Ireland and the House of Ormond, with John Kirwan. Host and Venue: Royal Society of Antiquities, Helen Roe Theatre, Society House, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. 7:30pm. Free. All welcome.

Friday 13 December: RCB Library early closing. The Library, in Churchtown, Dublin, will close at 1pm. Reopens Monday 16 December normal hours.

Friday 13 December: Christmas 1919 in Bray, County Wicklow, with James Scannell. Host: Bray Cualann Historical Society. Venue: Bray Library, Eglinton Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow. 11:30am. All welcome. Free.

Saturday 14 December: Irish Historical Walking Tour of Central London. Host: Irish Historical Walks in London. Meeting venue: German Gymnasium, 1 Kings Boulevard, London N1 (behind Kings Cross station. Tour visits areas with to 1916 rising in Dublin; Irish Ghettos such as Bloomsbury, Soho, Somerstown; places with links to Fenian rising of 1867, Young Irelanders in 1848, Micheal Collins, Constance Markievicz, and other Irish emigrants who lived, worked and studied in London. Tour is free. 11am to 1:30pm. Voluntary donation at the end.

Saturday 14 December: The National Library's History & Heritage: a guided tour. Venue: NLI, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. No need to book.

Monday 16 December: Getting Started, an introductory workshop for those interested in local and family history. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Titanic Boulevard, Belfast. 11am to 1pm. Free, but booking essential at eventbrite.

Monday 16 December: Christmas through the Ages, with Su Topping. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. All welcome. Free. 7:30pm.

Tuesday 17 December: Christmas through the Ages, with Su Topping. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast Branch. Venue: C. S. Lewis Room, Holywood Arches Library, 4-12 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NT. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 17 December: The Castles, Tower, & Fortified Houses of Limerick, 1199-1703, with Joseph Lennon. Host: Tipperary Studies. Venue: Gallery of the Source Library, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Admission free. Tea served. All welcome. No booking required.

Note: In all likelihood, this year's run of genealogy and history lectures and events will dry up in the week before Christmas and won't get going again until the second week of the new year. If I hear of any others, though, I'll add them to this list.