Saturday, 29 February 2020

MyHeritage releases 545million records from 25,000 historical US City Directories

MyHeritage has released a new collection of 545 million records from 25,000 historical US City Directories.

Cities in the United States have been producing and distributing directories since the 1700s as an up-to-date resource to help residents find local individuals and businesses. City directories typically list names (and spouses), addresses, occupations and workplaces. Some include additional information. They can be extremely useful to genealogists for placing ancestors at a particular location at a specific time, especially between censuses.

With so many publishers involved in producing so many city directories across the United States, there was no standard or agreed publishing format. As a result, MyHeritage's project created a huge amount of varied data that required the development of special technology to process the directories.

After all the information was parsed, MyHeritage identified records thought to describe the same individual who lived at one particular address over several years, as published in multiple editions of the city directories. The next step was to consolidate all these entries into one aggregated record that covers a span of years.

This reduced “search engine pollution,” where a search for a person would have returned multiple, very similar entries from successive years, obscuring other records. The aggregation makes it easier to spot career changes, approximate marriage dates, re-marriages, and plausible death dates.

As far as the company is aware, the algorithmic deduction of marriage and death events from city directories is unique to MyHeritage. For this one collection, 1.3billion records, many of which included similar entries for the same individual, have been aggregated to 545 million records.

In the example above, MyHeritage consolidated 31 records from the years 1912–1959 into a single record. Based on the information collected over the years, it is likely that Alfred and Mary Albert married circa 1914, and Alfred died circa 1959.

MyHeritage have published a detailed blogpost on the methods used to create this collection. Read it here.

Co. Donegal to host National Famine Commemoration

This year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place on Sunday, 24 May 2020 in Buncrana, County Donegal. Announcing the venue, which is different each year and rotates around the four provinces over each four-year period, Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee said this would be the third time the State Commemoration has taken place in Ulster, and will provide an opportunity for the people of Donegal to honour the memory of those who perished or sought escape for a new life from its ports.

“The choice of Donegal as host for the 2020 National Famine Commemoration is particularly significant given the impact of poverty and emigration on the people of the County throughout the 19th century," the Minister said.

"With many people living in small, one-room houses and increasingly reliant on their potato crops, the Famine swept through Donegal causing disease, death, family fragmentation and emigration. The Commemoration will reflect on this momentous event in Irish history and remember all those who suffered and died as a result of An Gorta Mór.”

Minister Madigan also expressed her appreciation for the work of the members of the National Famine Commemoration Committee for their commitment in ensuring that the catastrophic events of the Great Famine are appropriately remembered and that the extraordinary contributions of those who emigrated, and of their many descendants abroad, are justly celebrated.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan said: “We are honoured that Donegal will have the privilege of hosting the National Famine Commemoration ceremony. We look forward to liaising closely with the Minister’s department and together, while engaging with our local community, we will ensure the ceremony is a fitting commemoration on this tragic period in our history.”


The formal event will feature National flag and military honours before culminating in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony. Schools around the country will be invited to hold a minute of silent reflection on Friday 22 May in memory of those who perished or suffered loss during the famine while sporting organisations will be invited to observe a minute of silent reflection at sporting and public events taking place on the weekend of the Commemoration.

Friday, 28 February 2020

British Newspaper Archives and FindMyPast go global

Sister companies British Newspaper Archives and FindMyPast have today announced a major development in their project to digitise the British Library's vast collection of historical newspapers.

It won't come as too much of a surprise for those who've noticed the recent additions of new titles covering British India and Canada, which comes only days after the online archive broke through the 36million pages mark from its 1,000+ titles covering England, Scotland, Wales (Britain) and Ireland.

The two companies share the full BNA holding via their subscription databases.

New titles will soon be joining the online archive from from Canada, India, Pakistan, Jamaica, and Barbados, allowing researchers to gain instant access to millions of articles in titles such as the Toronto Daily Mail, Hamilton Daily Times, Times of India, Calcutta Gazette, The Jamaica Mercury & Kingston Weekly Advertiser and more.

Making the announcement, Tamsin Todd, CEO of Findmypast, said; “We are delighted to be working with our partners at the British Library to welcome these new international titles to our collection. Newspapers supplement the facts of our family histories with rich stories – in them we might find a picture of the place an ancestor lived or worked, or what was happening in sports and politics and entertainment on the important days in their lives.

"With its new international reach, the British Newspaper Archive is becoming an ever more useful source for the social historian and family researcher alike."

Ancestry completes WWII Young Men's Draft Cards

And along comes another huge upload from Ancestry with equally huge potential for researchers with Irish emigrant ancestors: the final tranche of WWII Young Men's Draft Cards, 1940-47 have joined the database with records from Massachusetts, New York City, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

It marks the completion of a multi-year project between Ancestry and the US National Archives & Records Administration, and more than 35 million records in this one collection to Ancesstry's database.

In number terms, it even tops yesterday's big announcement for New York BMDs (see blogpost).

The completed record set contains images and indexes for registration cards filled out by men born between the years of 1898 and 1929 from for all states with the exception of Maine (where the cards were destroyed before they could be digitised).

The cards are potentially valuable sources of genealogical and family information, with details that can include: Name; Serial Number; Address and/or Mailing Address; Telephone; Age; Birthplace; Country of Citizenship; Employer’s Name and place of employment; Name and Address of Person who will always know Registrant’s Address plus that person's Relationship to Registrant; Description: race, eyes, weight, complexion, hair; and Year of Registration.

Here's a sample draft card:




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Ballymoney title joins online British Newspaper Archive

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=%5B%5Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%252Ftitles%252Fballymoney-free-press-and-northern-counties-advertiser%5D%5DThe latest Irish publication to join the online BritishNewspaperArchive (BNA) is the Ballymoney Free Press and Northern Counties Advertiser.

This title was first published, in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, in January 1870.

So far, none of the earlier editions have been uploaded to the archive, but the holding will eventually span 1870 to 1934.

In the meantime, some 2,450 editions have been uploaded to the BNA database, all dating (with gaps) from 1918 to 1934.

As always, the BNA's holding is shared with sister company FindMyPast's Irish Newspaper Collection.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Ancestry uploads detailed BMD indexes for New York

Ancestry has added three BMD Indexes for New York to its collection, and they're going to be very useful to those with Irish emigrants in their family. Although 'only' indexes, the level of detail provided for each entry is a genealogical delight. See the image below, from the death index. Who needs the certificate?

Collectively, these three record sets hold more than 14million entries. Ancestry has provided good information about the resources, dates of coverage and geographical coverage, and how to obtain certifiates.

These are the record sets:

Births index 1866-1909

Marriage licenses 1908-1910, 1938-1940

Deaths Index to death certificates, 1862-1948



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First ever National Library Open Day this weekend

This Saturday, 29 February, Irish libraries are taking part in the first ever National Library Open Day.

Most libraries in the Republic are open on Saturdays, of course, but this weekend's event extends a special invitation to everyone in the country to drop in and see everything that’s on offer in town and county branches.

In addition to showing visitors all the clubs, classes and activities happening in these important community spaces, Library staff will be giving demos of their online digital collections; their free access to commercial genealogy and Irish Newspaper Archives; and their ebook, audio book, and language-learning services.

Some libraries will be setting out their stall with information desks or scheduled talks on how to start a family history or local history project, others on their growing digital resources that can aid such research.

A number of libraries have particular themes to their Open Day, while others have a wider spread of activities. You can check them out via this LibrariesIreland download, or contact your local branch direct.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Spring edition of Irish Roots Magazine published

https://www.irishrootsmedia.com/The Spring edition of Irish Roots Magazine, Ireland's only independent genealogy publication, has been published and is now available in both digital and hard-copy formats.

As always, it's packed with Irish family history guidance and insight from expert contributors including professional genealogists, academic historians, and archivists.

In addition to the regular features – news from around the family history societies, Q&A (with Nicola Morris MAGI), Readers' letters, latest books, comment and observations from the genealogy world (with Steven Smyrl FIGRS MAGI), and my own What's New Review with a summary of record releases and other developments in Irish family history – the following articles are included in this quarter's packed issue:

* PRONI's newly digitised records, by Josh Lambert
* Australian Irish connections, by Jennifer Harrison
* St Patrick's Day traditions in Ireland, by Marion McGarry
* Dating Family Photographs, 1900–1930, by Jane Shrimpton
* Tracing your County Wexford ancestors, by James G Ryan
* Researching your Irish clan, by Dr Maurice Gleeson
* Captains and convicts uncovered at Spike Island, by John Crotty
* Maps of the Escheated counties of Ireland, 1609, by Deirdre Wildy
* Same name, different person... a conundrum solved by reader Bob Fitzsimons

To find out more about Irish Roots Magazine, click the cover image above. You'll find there's a free sample of this edition ready for you to download, too.



Monday, 24 February 2020

Irish genealogy & history events, 24 February - 8 March

Tuesday 25 February: Treating shellshock and severed limbs: WWI veterans at Leopardstown & Blackrock hospitals, with Dr Eoin Kinsella. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. No booking required. All welcome. 6pm. Cancelled.

Tuesday 25 February: A Beginner’s guide to using DNA in Family History, with NIFHS Martin McDowell. Host and venue: Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 11am. Free. Phone 028 2544 2428 or email ballymena.heritage@librariesni.org.uk to book.

Tuesday 25 February: Music, Temperance and Bands: Limerick and Kilrush, 1830-1890, with Dr Derek Mulcahy. Host: The Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. All welcome. Members, free. Non-members €5 on the door. Postponed due to weather.

Tuesday 25 February: Protestant and Irish post-Independence - Tango or Tangent? with Dr Ida Milne and Ian d'Alton. Kilkenny Home Rule Club, John's Quay, Kilkenny. 8:30pm. Admission €5. Refreshments served. All are welcome.

Wednesday 26 February: The foundation of St Micheal's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, with Tom Conlon. Host: Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free.

Thursday 27 February: "Hall and Tent" - Entertaining West Cork 1920-1970, with Carmel Flahavan. Host: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage. Venue: The Parish Centre, Western Road, Clonakilty, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 27 February: Finding medieval Stradbally, with Dave Pollock. Host: Part of the Dunhill History Lecture Series XIV. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite the GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Followed by a Q&A and light refreshments.

Monday 2 March: Emigration from the Foyle by Sail and Steam, with Brian Mitchell. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Foyle branch. Venue: Lecture Room of Derry City’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AL. All welcome. Free. 7pm.

Monday 2 March: Titanic Task – Tracing Crossgar’s Titanic Victim, with Maureen McKinney. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Killyleagh branch. Venue: Killyleagh Masonic Hall, 50 High Street, Killyleagh, Co Down, BT30 9QF. Free. All welcome. 8pm.

Tuesday 3 March: Emigration from North West Ulster, with Dr Paddy Fitzgerald. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Tyrone branch. Venue: Mellon Centre Library, Ulster American Folk Park, 2 Mellon Road, Omagh, County Tyrone, BT78 5QU. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 4 March: Rebellious women in the National Library: Archival collections of women in Irish politics, ca 1870-1918, with Ciara Stewart. This lunchtime talk marks International Women’s Day (on 8 March). Host and venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. 1:05pm. Booking not required. All welcome!

Wednesday 4 March: The Incredible Untold Story of Mary Elms, the Irish Oskar Schindler, with Clodagh Finn. Host: Cill Dara Historical Society. Venue: Áras Bhríde (Parish Centre), Bride Street, Kildare Town. Refreshments served from 7:30pm; talk begins at 8pm.

Thursday 5 March: Get the steam up! (The life of a railway fireman), with Nigel Porter. Poyntzpass and District Local History Society. Venue: Meeting Place, Poyntzpass Community Centre, Church Street, Poyntzpass, Co Armagh. Details. 8pm. All welcome.

Thursday 5 March: Thomas Meagher (1789?-1874): the forgotten father of Thomas Francis Meagher, with Eugene Broderick. Host: Part of the Dunhill History Lecture Series XIV. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite the GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Followed by a Q&A and light refreshments.

Saturday 7 March: Digital Roadshow - Telling Your Family Story. Hosts: North of Ireland Family History Society, with Centre for Data Digitisation & Analysis, Queen’s University Belfast. Venue: Hill of The O'Neill and Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, 26 Market Square, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT70 1AB. 10am - 4pm. Free entry. Free Refreshments. All welcome.


Friday, 21 February 2020

Data Protection Commission to investigate Catholic registers

Ireland's Commissioner of Data Protection, Helen Dixon, published the DPC's Annual Report for 2019 yesterday. On page 48 there's a list of 'Ongoing Inquiries' including one regarding the Catholic Church and the personal data it holds in its registers of baptism and other rites.

On my first reading of that summary, alarm bells starting ringing. Could new restrictions be on the way for Irish genealogists?

Hopefully not. The reason for the investigation is really nothing to do with public access or the value of records for their genealogical information. As you can see below from the published summary of this case, it has been brought following complaints from a number of ex-Catholics that the Church will not delete records of their baptisms; they are looking for these records to be deleted because there is no formal way to leave the Church or renounce their religion.

I remember many, many years ago, feeling the same way. I was furious – well, a bit narked... I didn't care enough to pursue it with vigour – that the church was happy to perform a joining ritual without my consent as a baby but was not prepared to formally rubber-stamp a decision I chose to take as an adult. Where I don't agree with the current complainants is in expecting the baptism to be deleted from the records; the register is merely a log of the baptisms performed in a particular building or parish, and my baptism, like that of every other baby noted on the pages, was, if nothing else, a historical fact.

Not only that, but the integrity of these historical documents must be protected.

Here's the DPC's summary of the case:

So for now, the DPC looks likely to be examining Catholic records in the course of its investigation into whether the church is legally obliged to delete personal data of people seeking to leave Catholicism. This will hang on whether the records are maintained by systems that are regulated by data protection laws.

Let's hope they stick to that narrow remit, and don't start poking their noses where they're not wanted.

The Irish Times has also reported on this issue.

Two-week summary of new and updated US collections

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been either newly released or updated by the major genealogy databases during the last two weeks. (The last listing was published on 7 February, see blogpost).

My regular summaries are designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated, temporarily or permanently, to the United States. By default, they should 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. Please note that I have omitted updates of fewer than 1,000 records to any one 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, if a number has been clearly noted by the supplier.

NEW COLLECTIONS


AmericanAncestors
      * St. Agnes in Arlington
      * St. Edward in Brockton

Ancestry

Family Search

FindMyPast

UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry


Family Search

FindMyPast



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.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Genetic Genealogy Ireland recordings online at Legacy

A collection of 15 lectures recorded at last year's Genetic Genealogy Ireland conferences in Belfast and Dublin are now available to view online in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Library.

The presentations feature top international genetic genealogists on the latest developments in genetic genealogy with a special focus on their application to Irish genealogy.

They include:
  • Using GenomeMate Pro & other tools, with Michelle Leonard
  • Irish genealogies & DNA: Back into the mythological past, with Bart Jaski
  • Exploring new y-DNA horizons with Big Y-700, with Iaian McDonald
  • Irish genealogy 'Down Under', with Michelle Patient
  • The DNA journey: Perspectives from Irish adoptees with Dolores Quinlan
  • An Irish-Ukrainian case study, with Regina Negrycz
  • Did the Irish bring rare mtDNA to Newfoundland? with David Pike
  • The tools at DNAgedcom & Genetic.Family, with Rob Warthen & John Collins
  • Managing your DNA matches, with Donna Rutherford
  • DNA successes of a non-DNA expert, with Alan Rosborough
  • Using Y-DNA testing to investigate Ulster and Scottish surnames, with John Cleary
  • DNA testing for complete beginners, with Debbie Kennett
  • Why testing at Ancestry is not enough, with Martin McDowell
  • Do you have the DNA of a Scottish clan? with Alasdair Macdonald
  • Canadian Casualty Identification Program - Using databases to connect families to their lost soldiers, with Mags Gaulden
The annual two- or three-day Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference (GGI) has been running since 2013 in Dublin. Hosted by Maurice Gleeson, it consists of two- or three-days of DNA lectures from leading genetic genealogists in Ireland, the UK and the rest of the world. In 2018, a second GGI series was started in Belfast.

Up to now, video recordings from GGI have been made available free of charge on You Tube (you can access the 2013-2018 GGI videos here). The move to the Legacy Family Tree Webinar platform comes with a price tag, albeit a reasonable one. Annual membership costs US$49.95, and provides access not only to the GGI lectures, but all recorded webinars in the Legacy FTW Library.

Find out more at Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Ancestry's Irish Census 1901 collection updated

Ancestry has updated its All Web: Ireland, Census, 1901 collection, and has placed a note on the record-set's description that no additional records have been uploaded. Instead, additional search fields have been created to allow researchers to be more creative in their searching.

I was curious to try out the updated indexing, and was pleasantly surprised to find that in the process of collecting data for those additional fields, the collection seems to have automatically picked up the corrections made by genealogist John Grenham when he waded through tens of thousands of user-notified errors in the database.

During the course of his ordeal, which lasted 18 months and ended nearly a year ago, John blogged about some of the amusing mis-transcriptions he found in the database, so I used some of his examples to check the breadth of the Ancestry update.

You can see Ancestry's new transcription, right, for a JP called Robert Dunwoody, whose occupation would previously have read 'Instire of the Peacly Tea Merchant'.

Ancestry's Web collections are free. You don't need a subscription and you don't even have to register to search or view the transcriptions.

In this particular case, the link takes you to the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy site where the images are also free to view. The Ancestry search engine is much more flexible, however, so you may have more luck finding your ancestor in the census via its site than the NAI site.

Meath Herald joins British Newspaper Archive

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&p=%5B%5Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%252Ftitles%252Fmeath-herald-and-cavan-advertiser%5D%5DThe Meath Herald & Cavan Advertiser has made its debut in the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) today, helping the online archive to push past another impressive milestone as its page-count hits 36 million.

This latest Irish newspaper addition was launched in 1845 in Kells, County Meath as a weekly (Saturdays) title circulating in Counties Meath, Westmeath, Louth, Cavan and Kildare. The planned holding will span 1845 to 1932.

Only those editions published in 1877 and 1880 are available to search in the initial upload.

With the addition of the Meath Herald & Cavan Advertiser, the BNA and its sister database provider FindMyPast (via its Irish Newspaper Collection) offer researchers access to 184 Irish titles. Some 51 are from Northern Ireland.



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PRONI & WFA to host After the Conflict conference

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and the Western Front Association will co-host an afternoon conference in April called After the Conflict: Pension Records for Post 1914 Families and Survivors.

In the years after the First World War, and the post-1916 conflict in Ireland, those who had been injured and their families looked for support from the British and Irish governments. Records relating to these pension claims are now being made available online.

As well as providing an important resource for family history researchers these records provide an insight into social conditions in the first half and the twentieth century.

The speakers will include:

  • Bruno Longmore (Head of Archive Depositor Liaison, National Records of Scotland) on the records of the Scottish WW1 Pension Appeals Tribunal, 1919-1932.
  • Cécile Gordon (Senior Archivist, Military Archives, Dublin) on the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection Project
  • Dr Tom Thorpe (PR/Media Officer, Western Front Association) on the WFA’s Pensions records project.

Details:

Date and time: Thursday 23 April, 2pm to 4:30pm. 
Venue:  PRONI, 2 Titanic Blvd, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9HQ
Cost: Free, but need to book a place via eventbrite.*
All welcome


*Book immediately if this is an event you want to attend. It will be fully booked in no time!

Summary of updates to Australia & NZ collections

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated Australia and New Zealand records released by the major genealogy database suppliers since my last update in July.

These regular listings of additional sources are designed primarily to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated to Australia or New Zealand, but you don't have to have heritage from Ireland to use them!

They may prove useful to any researchers looking for a brief update of what's relatively recently available for the two countries.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection, or the total number in a recently topped-up collection (if that info has been provided by the database owner).

NEW Collections


Ancestry

Family Search

MyHeritage


UPDATED Collections


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.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

New member for Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI)

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) is pleased to welcome its latest member, Des Murtagh.

Des Murtagh MAGI
Des is a native of Dublin and now lives in Co. Kildare, and he's had an interest in family history for most of his life.

His former career was in education. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership as well as diplomas and degrees in other areas of education and theology. Over the past twenty years he became more involved in genealogy and in 2014 he completed the diploma course
in Independent College, Dublin, which was delivered by AGI Members.

Des renewed his association with AGI in September 2017, when he was accepted as an Affiliate. He is the ninth Affiliate to gain credentials, successfully making the transition to the status of Member.

He is the fourth person to complete the Independent College diploma and progress to Affiliate and then Member status with AGI.

Des is self-employed as a genealogist, working under the business name Murtagh Genealogy Services. He conducts research throughout Ireland and his areas of particular interest are Counties
Cork, Dublin and Meath.

Ulster Historical Foundation's online charity auction

The Ulster Historical Foundation is holding a "Things Money CAN Buy" online charity auction.

It includes a number of exclusive, exciting and entertaining 'lots' to suit all interests, not just genealogists and historians, and all sizes of wallets.

Each of these auction ‘lots’ have either been generously gifted by other parties for the purpose of this auction or will be fulfilled by the Foundation itself.

All proceeds from this auction will go towards supporting the work of Ulster Historical Foundation and some 'lots' will have a set reserve (the value of which depends on the item).

Established in 1956, the Foundation aims to encourage an interest in the history of the province of Ulster; promote a positive image of Northern Ireland overseas; strengthen cross-community links through the understanding of Northern Ireland’s history; broaden access to historical documents and records for Irish genealogy; and to inspire pride in Irish and Scots-Irish heritage.

The Foundation is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280 and does not receive any funding from government.

Any contribution, large or small, really does make a difference and your support of this auction is appreciated greatly.

So give the link above a click or tap to find out more about the auction which will end this Friday (21 February). The winning bids will need to be paid and prizes supplied within 7 days via the secure online payment system.




More material uploaded to Clare Local Studies website

Researchers with connections to County Clare are fortunate to have a wonderful Local Studies team based at The Manse in Harmony Row, next door to the de Valera Library in Ennis, the county town.

It's a dedicated Local Studies Centre (LSC), open to the public free of charge, and also houses a collection of Irish interest material. Much of the material in the Centre has been digitised and published online by the library's ICT & Information Services Department, based in Library Headquarters. Members of the LSC team also transcribe original materials, and many independent researchers make donations of their own transcriptions, projects, and other material.

The list below covers most of the additions and donations made available online over the last six months. Click the link to find out more, and find out who donated the material:

New & updated British genealogy collections: summary

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by major genealogy databases in the last three weeks. (The previous listing was on 24 January, see blogpost).

This regular summary of releases relating to British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors migrated, 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. In some instances, the supplier has not made this figure available. Updates of fewer than 1,000 records have not been included.

NEW COLLECTIONS


FamilySearch

FindMyPast


BritishNewspaperArchive and FindMyPast's British Newspaper Colletion


TheGenealogist

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

DeceasedOnline

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

Society of Genealogists
     SoG Data online additions include:
  • Surrey Congregational History in the religion section 
  • Kelly’s Directory of Lincolnshire1889 in the Directories
  • Guide to the Island of Jerseyin the Directories section
  • Middlesex Deeds and other documents in the Land records
  • Ipswich Poll Book 1823 in the poll books section
  • Northamptonshire Notes and Queriesin the periodicals section.


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, 17 February 2020

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: early Feb updates

Stone to Thomas Kiernan, born c1730.
Died 92 years old in 1821.
Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.
It's a small but well-formed bundle of records that's been uploaded to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives in the first half of February.

It contains the following files:

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Ballyconnell, Tomregan Parish Church (CoI) (UPDATE)

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Aughnasheelin, St. Mary's (R.C.) Cemetery (200+ stones added to existing file)

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Vital Records
McGuirk Deaths in Civil Registration - 1864-1949

All the files have been contributed by volunteers and are free to search and view.

Irish genealogy and history events, 17 Feb-1 March

Monday 17 February: Beginners Guide to Tracing Your Family Tree, with genealogist Bernie Norris. Host and venue: Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park, Lake Road, Moate, Co Westmeath. Advance registration is required, due to limited space. Telephone 090 6481183 to book a place. Workshop Fee: €10 per person. 7pm to 8:30pm.

Monday 17 February: Finding Ogle, the absconding Master of Portumna Workhouse, with David Broderick. Host: Birr Historical Society. Venue: County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly. 8pm to 9pm. All are welcome, non members €5.

Monday 17 February: From UVF to 36th (Ulster) Division, with Carol Walker. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne branch. Venue: Larne Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, 112-120 Glenarm Road, Larne, BT40 1DZ. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 18 February: Conservation work to Skellig Michael, with Fergus McCormick and Edward Bourke. Host: Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Ireland. Venue: The Custom House, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1. 6:30pm. Tickets: non-SPAB members: € 10+ booking fee; SPAB Members / Student / Unwaged: €5 + booking fee. All welcome. Bookings.

Tuesday 18 February: The Forgotten Gardens of Dunboe, with Mike Jones. Host: Coleraine Historical Society. Venue: The Sandel Centre, Knocklynn Road, Coleraine BT52 1WT. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 18 February: Women in the Irish Revolution, with Sinead McCoole. Host: Foxrock Local History Group. Venue: Foxrock Pastoral Centre (at rear of Foxrock Church), Foxrock, Co Dublin. €5 for non-members. All welcome. Refreshments served after talks.

Wednesday 19 February: Sir Robert Hart, with David Weir. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, North Armagh branch. Venue: Bleary Community Centre, 1 Deans Road, Bleary, Craigavon, Co Armagh, BT66 7AS. 7:30pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 19 February: The Sights, Sounds and Smells: Experiencing Daily Life at some Carlow Castles, with Dr Karen Dempsey. Host: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. Venue: Talbot Hotel, Portlaoise Road, Carlow Town. 8pm. Admission free and all are welcome.

Wednesday 19 February: Some aspects of surnames and personal names in Wicklow as found in 16th-century fiants, with Dr Conchubhar O Crualaoich. Host: West Wicklow Historical Society. Venue: Lalor Centre (near St Joseph's Church), Baltinglass, Co Wicklow. 8pm. All welcome. Admission €5.

Thursday 20 February: Delayed opening at NAI. The archives will not open to the public until 10:45am (usual time is 10am). National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

Thursday 20 February: Investigations at Gallows Hill, Dungarvan, a community archaeology project, with Christina Knight O’Connor and Eddie Cantwell. Host: Part of the Dunhill History Lecture Series XIV. Venue: Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (opposite the GAA grounds), Dunhill, Co Waterford. 8pm. Followed by a Q&A and light refreshments.

Thursday 20 February: Monaghan's War of Independence 1919-1921. Exhibition launch at Monaghan County Museum, 1 Hill St, Mullaghmonaghan, Monaghan Town. From 7:30pm. Exhibition is based on new investigations into what happened in the county during the period. All welcome. For further info telephone (047) 82928.

Friday 21 February: Online Resources for Family and Local History, a two-hour workshop. Orientation tour of PRONI, followed by an introduction to searching online resources. Host and venue: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter Belfast, BT3 9HQ. 11am to 1pm. Free. Fully booked.

Saturday 22 February: Inspired language – cursing, swearing and blessing in early modern Waterford and Kilkenny, with Dr Clodagh Tait. Host: Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Venue: St Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick St, Waterford City. 8pm. Members free; non-members €5. All welcome.

Sunday 23 February: Dublin City Book Fair - Antiquarian, rare, secondhand & out-of-print books, prints, coins, postcards...  Venue: Stillorgan Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. 11am to 5pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 25 February: Treating shellshock and severed limbs: WWI veterans at Leopardstown & Blackrock hospitals, with Dr Eoin Kinsella. Host and venue: National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. Free. No booking required. All welcome. 6pm.

Tuesday 25 February: A Beginner’s guide to using DNA in Family History, with NIFHS Martin McDowell. Host and venue: Ballymena Central library, 5 Pat's Brae, Ballymena, BT43 5AX. 11am. Free. Phone 028 2544 2428 or email ballymena.heritage@librariesni.org.uk to book.

Tuesday 25 February: Music, Temperance and Bands: Limerick and Kilrush, 1830-1890, with Dr Derek Mulcahy. Host: The Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. All welcome. Members, free. Non-members €5 on the door.

Tuesday 25 February: Protestant and Irish post-Independence - Tango or Tangent? with Dr Ida Milne and Ian d'Alton. Kilkenny Home Rule Club, John's Quay, Kilkenny. 8:30pm. Admission €5. Refreshments served. All are welcome.

Tuesday 25 February: Music, Temperance and Bands: Limerick and Kilrush, 1830-1890, with Dr Derek Mulcahy. Host: Kilrush and District Historical Society. Venue: Teach Ceoil, Grace Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. 8pm. Free to members; €5 for non-members, payable on the night.

Wednesday 26 February: The foundation of St Micheal's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, with Tom Conlon. Host: Old Dublin Society. Venue: Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. 6pm. All welcome. Free.

Thursday 27 February: "Hall and Tent" - Entertaining West Cork 1920-1970, with Carmel Flahavan. Host: Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage. Venue: The Parish Centre, Western Road, Clonakilty, Co Cork. 8pm. All welcome.

Friday, 14 February 2020

FindMyPast is all loved up: 40% discount on annual subs

THIS SPECIAL OFFER HAS EXPIRED.

Who wants flowers and chocolates when you could have a 40% discount on any 12-month subscription to FindMyPast? Yes, FindMyPast is sharing the love of Valentine's Day with new and rejoining customers who want to dig deep for their ancestors from Britain and Ireland (B&I).

Each of the FindMyPast websites has its own discount offer, depending on its particular portfolio of subscription packages, but they all mount up to the same thing: savings of 40%.

To take advantage of the discount, click one of the links below and view the 12-months subscription available and their discounted prices. Be sure to make your selection and place your order before 11:59pm (GMT) on Sunday 23 February.



FindMyPast Ireland
PRO subscription - €7.20pm (from €12) billed as single payment of €86.40
PLUS subscription - €9.60pm (from €16) billed as single payment of €115.20.



FindMyPast USA/Canada
Essential B&I - US$6.45pm (from $10.75) billed as single payment of US$77.40
Ultimate B&I - US$8.95pm (from £14.92) billed as single payment of US$107.40.



FindMyPast UK
STARTER - £3.60pm (from £6pm) billed as single payment of £43.20
PRO - £6 (from £10pm) billed as single payment of £72
PLUS - £7.80pm (from £13pm) billed as single payment of £93.60.


FindMyPast Australia/NZ 
STARTER - AU$6.60pm (from $11) billed as single payment of AU$79.20
PRO - AU$11.40pm (from $19) billed as single payment of AU$136.80
PLUS - AU$15pm (from S25) billed as single payment of AU$180.


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.

NAI catalogues 1834's papers from CSORP collection

The National Archives of Ireland quietly released some 5520 items last month from the Chief Secretaries Office Registered Papers (CSORP) collection for the year 1834.

So far, these files are searchable only through the NAI's main online catalogue rather than the dedicated CSORP database, which spans 1818-1833. See list of CSORP additions here.

The Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers (CSORP) consist of official government material relating to all aspects of the administration of Ireland, alongside unofficial correspondence from private individuals and organisations across Ireland. The papers cover a wide variety of topics – from matters of national importance to local issues or personal plights.

The registered papers are much more than the ‘official’ records of government - they offer a unique window into Irish society in the nineteenth century.

I've spent a happy hour browsing through some of the files. Here are some examples from the new descriptive lists:

  • A file of fifteen documents (23 pages) concerning the care of a child born out of wedlock to a sub-constable Henry Keys. The child's grandfather, James Crook, Cosbystown, Co. Fermanagh, complains to the Lord Lieutenant that his daughter Anne was ‘Deluded’ by Keys and has given birth to a child; he calls on Keys to augment her fortune and insists he take his child into his own care, as his daughter Anne is intent on emigration. Keys replies, stating his intention to pay Anne Crook the sum of £3 for the maintenance of her child for one year, after which he will take full responsibility provided she give the infant up. CSO/RP/1834/159
  • Letter from John Furlong, Kilmore, County Wexford, to Edward John Littleton, Chief Secretary, seeking to stimulate the benevolence of government on behalf of the crew of the vessels that went to the aid of passengers on board the ‘Water Witch’ steam ship, which was wrecked on the 19th of December [1833]. Also a printed certificate from Capt John Stacey, commander of the ‘Water Witch’, applauding the heroic dedication of the boat owners who acted ‘regardless of their own danger’. Also damp press copy reply from Littleton, Dublin Castle. CSO/RP/1834/151
  • Letter from church wardens, parish of Anna [Annagh], Belturbet, Co. Cavan, to the Chief Secretary regarding the case of an abandoned infant and seeking legal guidance on whether the parish should accept the maintenance of the child; they explain the child was left for the care of James Rogers, a man who admits having intimate relations with the mother (who has since absconded from the neighbourhood) but who objects to taking responsibility on grounds she had other admirers, and the identity of the father is hard to establish.
  • Draft copy letter from the Chief Secretary at Dublin Castle, to M McEnally, Inspector of Anatomy, Dublin, concerning the issue of human remains used in dissection being obtained by illegal means; asking for vigilance and requesting that an immediate report be made to those in authority. CSO/RP/1834/188
  • A file of seven items (12 pages) concerning the case of Mary Kelly, a seller of articles, who was wounded during a serious disturbance between two factions at the fair of Callan in Co. Kilkenny. She was inadvertently hit by a gunshot fired by one of the constables in attendance. CSO/RP/1834/198
  • A file of three items (7 pages) concerning the case of Edward Shea, sub-constable of Mallow, Co. Cork who is accused of being intoxicated whilst on duty. Includes letter from the Chief Constable of Doneraile, reporting on the apprehension of several men charged with attacking the Rector of the parish of Kilshannig; also reporting on the intoxication of Edward Shea, sub-constable of Mallow, who was in a much weakened state on the night of the apprehension; adding that sub-constable has never been guilty of any past misdemeanour and is otherwise ‘excellent’. CSO/RP/1834/223

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Recent new and updated Canadian genealogy collections

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated Canadian records released by the major genealogy database suppliers during the last five weeks. For the previous summary, see my 10 January blogpost.

These regular listings of additional sources are designed primarily to help family historians whose Irish ancestors emigrated to Canada, but you don't have to have heritage from Ireland! They may prove useful to any researchers looking for a brief update of what's recently available for Canada.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new collection, or the total number in a newly topped-up collection (if provided by the database owner).


NEW COLLECTIONS

British Newspaper Archive


FindMyPast
    Frederick’s Prince Edward Island Directory – McMillian's Agricultural and Nautical Almanac – McMullan’s Almanac – Teare’s Directory & Hand Book Of The Province of Prince Edward Island – The Prince Edward Island Almanac


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry


FamilySearch


FindMyPast

Interment
  • Cemetery records added: Quebec, Canada (Brome, Compton, Drummond, Megantic, Richmond, Shefford, Sherbrooke, and Wolfe counties)

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.

MyHeritage adds colour to photos of your ancestors

MyHeritage has launched MyHeritage In Color, a clever widget that turns black & white or sepia pictures into colour pictures. See below to view a Before and After shot of my maternal great great grandmother, Sophia, who stood for a portait at the Lawrence Studio in Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street), date unknown.

I'm pleased the widget kept the colours muted, and it's certainly fascinating to see a picture I've known as sepia all my life transformed with a more lifelike image of a moment in Sophia's life. I just knew that dress would be grey or black, though!

Here's what MyHeritage has to say about their new colourisation tool, which is now a 'freemium' feature on the website ie, you can colour several photos for free, after which continued use of the feature requires you to have a subscription.

'MyHeritage In Color™ produces lifelike colorized photos with exceptional attention to detail. The technology was trained using millions of photos and has developed an understanding of our world and its colors. The results are more realistic and of superior quality to those generated by other automatic colorization tools currently available.

'The black and white photos remain intact and are not changed by the colorization process, which produces new photos alongside the original ones.

'The photo colorization technology was licensed by MyHeritage from DeOldify, created by software engineers Jason Antic and Dana Kelley. The technology is based on Self-Attention Generative Adversarial Networks (SAGAN), introduced in May 2018. An early version of the DeOldify technology was contributed by Antic to the public domain in November 2018. Antic and Kelley updated it in May 2019. Since then, Antic and Kelley have continued to improve and fine-tune the technology commercially. Their latest version produces colorized photos of unprecedented quality and is currently available only on MyHeritage.'

See MyHeritage's detailed blogpost about the new tool and how to get the best from it.

And here's Sophia:

QUB uploads digitised late-medieval maps of Ulster

Inishowen: a section of cartographer Richard Bartlett's
1602 A Generalle Description of Vlster
The Special Collection's team at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) has shared its newest digital addition: Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland, 1609.

Researchers can now freely view this atlas online (it was first published in 1861) of 31 facsimiles of maps of Ireland dating from 1594 to 1609. It contains maps of Ulster by Richard Bartlett (the royal cartographer beheaded by the people of Donegal who did not want their lands 'discovered'), the Bodley maps, and John Thomas's map of the 1594 siege of Enniskillen Castle, famous for its grisly images of the severed heads of Gaelic defenders stuck on stakes.

A post has been published today, along with a selection of the maps, on the Special Collections blog (read it here), while the full atlas can be viewed in the QUB's Digital Library.


First 2020 edition of Irish Genealogy Matters published

http://www.rootsireland.ie/2020/02/new-issue-of-irish-genealogy-matters-newsletter-published-2/
The Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF), the umbrella organisation responsible for the island's largest network of county heritage and genealogy centres, has published a new edition of its Irish Genealogy Matters newsletter.

It provides an impressive round-up of 2019's additions to its RootsIreland.ie database. These included records for Counties Laois, Offaly, Clare, East Galway, Waterford, Armagh, Cork and Wexford, and they totted up to 200,000 additions. Already this year some 30,000 County Kilkenny records have been uploaded.

The newsletter brings news from some of the genealogy and heritage centres of activities, events and visitors during the old year, as well as details of conferences and clan gatherings that have been organised for 2020.

To download a copy of the publication, click the front cover image.