Thursday, 30 April 2020

Two-week summary of new & 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 fifteen days. (The last summary list was published on 15 April, 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

Ancestry

FamilySearch.org

Newspapers.com

UPDATED COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors

Ancestry

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

MyHeritage


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.

History Ireland magazine: May-June edition published

The May/June edition of History Ireland has been published. In addition to news, letters, and its usual columns and book and museum reviews, the following features are included in the current issue:

https://www.historyireland.com/St Odrán, Gerald of Wales and Christian martyrdom in medieval Ireland

The Irish Brigade at the Battle of Fontenoy

Hurling in Thurles and district before the GAA

Isaac Butt and the founding of the Home Rule movement

A New Zealand perspective on the Easter Rising

‘The shadow of the gunman’ in 1932 & 2020

The second funeral of James Daly, Connaught Rangers mutineer, 1 November 1970

Ulysses I: Griffith in Nighttown

Ulysses II: 'Topnobbers’, James Joyce & Louis Werner

The printed magazine can be purchased in good bookstores and newsagents in Ireland.

Also available are one- and two-year postal or digital subscriptions, and a €5 'one-issue digital subscription' which provides online access to the current edition plus free access to the magazine's archives for a period of two months. 

Ulster Historical Foundation moves to new premises

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has moved to a new location on the outskirts of Newtownards, Co Down, close to the northern tip of Strangford Loch and about 10 miles or 20 minutes drive from Belfast where the organisation has been based since it was formed in 1956 as an integral part of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

It continued its presence in the capital after becoming a separate educational non-profit organisation in 1988, and was most recently located in Gordon Street, just a stone's throw from the city's leaning Albert Clock.

Bradley Thallon House, the UHF's new home.
Now, for the first time in its history, the UHF has a self-contained home.

Its new 305sqm premises are on the Kiltonga Estate, just off the main (Belfast) road, so extremely convenient for car drivers and with good public transport links. It also has a good sized dedicated car park with 16 spaces, which is quite the bonus for those accustomed to spending time navigating one-way city traffic systems trying to find street parking not too far from the office, or paying through the nose for multi-storey parking.

UHF Research Officer Gillian Hunt told Irish Genealogy News she is "busting to start working there" because, although the move took place nearly two months ago, the main physical relocation was on the day before she and UHF Executive Director Fintan Mullan took off on the organisation's annual US lecture tour; by the time they returned, Northern Ireland was in lockdown and working from home was the new normal.

"The building has so much potential," says Gillian. "While there's plenty of space for all the admin and general office functions on the ground floor, there's a huge open plan room with a vaulted ceiling on the first floor and this gives us so many options. This will be our new Genealogy Hub, with space for our library of books, research files and newspapers, and we'll be able to present lectures and classes there, too. We may also be able to host meetings and events for our Guild members, which is something we haven't done for quite a while due to lack of space in previous offices." You can almost hear her designing the layout as she speaks!

The new address is: Bradley Thallon House, Unit 44D, Kiltonga Estate, Belfast Road, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23 4TJ and the unchanged phone number is 028 9066 1988.

15,000 records join West Cork Graveyards database

Wonderful news in from Skibbereen Heritage Centre for all those with connections to South West Cork.

The team at the centre, which is currently closed to the public, has uploaded  15,000 more burial records to its exclusive West Cork Graveyards Database. They are free to search and have been transcribed from burial registers made available by Cork County Council.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/119mDPhFY5PTvxxgtRtc7pOU3HFyXRK1x/view?usp=sharing
Click for enlarged view
The Database now holds transcriptions from registers for the following burial grounds: Abbeymahon, Abbeystrowry, Allihies, Ardagh, Ballymoney, Ballynacalla, Bawnaknockane, Brade, Cahermore (Allihies), Castlehaven Old, Castlehaven New Cemetery, Castletown Kinneigh, Coronea (St Patrick’s Skibbereen), Drimoleague, Dunbeacon, Dunmanway, Durrus, Fanlobbus, Kilheangul (near Schull), Kilbarry, Kilcaskan, Kilcoe, Kilmacabea, Kilmichael, Kilmoe, Lisavaird, Lisheen, Rathbarry, Ross Abbey, Schull, Sherkin Island, Stouke, Tullagh and Whiddy Island.

Additionally, the Cape Clear funeral register has been transcribed, as have more than 2,000 records from the Skibbereen Funeral Register, which details burials in a number of graveyards in the area. The latter was transcribed by Patricia, one of the Centre's volunteers. 

These burial register records are held in the database with records from the West Cork Graveyard Survey of nine local burial grounds - Abbeymahon, Aughadown Upper and Lower, Caheragh, Chapel Lane Skibbereen, Creagh ’1810’ and Old, Drimoleague, Drinagh, Dunbeacon, and three graveyards at Kilcoe. These include headstone photos and transcriptions.

You may also find a new video tutorial useful for getting the best out of the database.


Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Ancestry DNA test kits: US$40 discount for Mother's Day

 https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4pku/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.com%2Fdna%2FAncestry DNA is offering US-based researchers a big $40 saving on its autosomal dna test kit this Mother's Day, which falls on Sunday 10 May in North America.

It reduces the cost of the test from $99 to $59, with shipping extra.

To take advantage of the discount, click the Buy Now button, right, before the offer expires at 11:59pm EST on Mother's Day.

As far as I know, there has been no announcement of a similar offer being made for researchers in Canada, but one may come along nearer the date.


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, 28 April 2020

Westmeath Genealogy adds second batch of detailed records for Clara & Horseleap parish

Westmeath Genealogy, the Irish Family History Foundation's genealogy centre at the Dún na Sí Heritage Park near Moate, has continued working on its 'lockdown project', adding additional data to its early marriage records for the Roman Catholic parish of Clara & Horseleap, which straddles the county's border with Offaly.

A first batch was uploaded to RootsIreland's Westmeath database two weeks ago (see blogpost), and, rather sooner than I'd expected, a second instalment has been delivered.

https://www.rootsireland.ie/westmeath-genealogy/The updates involve adding the names of witnesses and the precise date of each marriage to the transcriptions already available via the site (these details were not included as part of the original transcription of the local registers).

Any annotations by the priest to individual entries have also been transcribed.

With this second batch now available to search, the fully detailed transcriptions for this parish span from November 1821 to November 1846.


See the full menu of records from Westmeath Genealogy on RootsIreland here.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Dublin City Libraries launches History on your Doorstep

Dublin City Libraries has launched a History on your Doorstep programme to help people living in Dublin learn more about their surroundings while limited to a 2km stroll, jog or cycle due to the covid-19 restrictions. It will also be of interest to those with ancestral connections to the city and its environs.

Whatever your preferred media you can find something of interest. Historian Cathy Scuffil is hosting live Facebook talks on the street names and place names of some of Dublin's best loved areas, including the Liberties and the housing estates in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Drimnagh, while her colleague James Curry is uploading illustrated videos about the statues on O’Connell Street, the City’s bridges, and other monuments (you can watch the first one below).

Over on the library blog, you can read the historians' quick reads on topical subjects like the flu pandemic of 100 years ago, Molly Malone (did she really die of a fever?), the general strike of April 1920 and lots more.

The multi-media options continue with a number of podcasts – perfect for company while on a walk or (heaven forbid) doing the ironing – of talks presented at the Dublin Festival of History. Two episodes a week bring you hours of listening on topics including the War of Independence, the Crusades, the rise of Hitler and Great Irish speeches. You can subscribe here.

Or you might like to browse through some of the collections that make up the Dublin City Libraries and Archive Digital Repository. These cover different time periods and include photographs, postcards, letters, maps and ephemeral material. Highlights of the collection include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection, Wide Street Commission Map Collection (1757-1851), the Irish Theatre Archive and the Birth of the Republic Collection.

There is also plenty of reading material available online, too. From history books on BorrowBox and history magazines on RBDigital, to thousands of old photographs, maps and historical documents available free-of-charge in image galleries.


Thursday, 23 April 2020

Free access to MyHeritage's US Yearbook collection - now in colour

You'll remember that MyHeritage released its 'In Color' tool a couple of months ago....

It's proved very popular (10 million photos have been colorized by researchers so far) and it's easy to see why – just put a photo of one of your ancestors through the process and see a real person jump out of the old black and white image!

Well, MyHeritage has started applying their technology to its record collections in cases where black and white photos are abundant and colors could enhance the records. They focused their attention on their huge U.S. Yearbook collection on MyHeritage, which spans 290 million names in 36 million yearbook pages, covering the years 1890 until 1979.

Today, the ocmpany has announced that the entire collection has been colourized. To mark the occasion, and to give family historians a fun genealogical activity in this time of lockdown and isolation, the collection is now open with free access for an entire month (ending 23 May). You don't even have to sign up or register.

You can access the US Yearbooks collection here.

It holds 253,429 yearbooks and a student or faculty member may appear several times in any one of them. Part of the work conducted to produce this collection involved merging all occurrences of the same name in a yearbook into one record with references to the pages where the person is mentioned.

Records in this collection will list the person’s name, often their gender, school’s name and location, and likely residence based on the location of the school. Additional work was done to identify the grade of the students to be able to infer their age and an estimated year of birth for some of the records.

The Munster News debuts on British Newspaper Archive

The latest Irish newspaper to join the online BritishNewspaperArchive.com is The Munster News.

As of this morning, more than 10,200 pages and 2,500 edtions are available to search and view on both BritishNewspaperArchive.com (BNA) and in FindMyPast's Irish Newspaper Collection (Pro subscription required).  More will follow, and the planned holding will span 1851-1930.

This historical paper, published in Limerick City from 1851 until an abrupt end in 1935, was launched as a twice-weekly from printing works in Patrick Street and moved a year or so later to Rutland Street.

The owner was Francis Counihan who launched the title with larger pages than the three other Limerick papers then in circulation and switched to evening distribution to keep the paper afloat. In 1880 the paper moved to its final home in George Street, now O'Connell Street.

Throughout its period of publication, The Munster News' editorial was aimed at a Catholic and moderate liberal  audience interested in local and national news. Its main areas of circulation were the City and County of Limerick, County Clare, southern Tipperary and northern areas of County Cork.

Just a reminder: the BNA is currently offering a 30% discount on its three-month and 12-month subscriptions. Click here.


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.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Free access to the (UK) National Archives's records

The National Archives (TNA) in London has announced that its digital record collection is now free of charge to registered users. The collection, which is published through the TNA's Discovery catalogue, will remain free, subject to its fair use and terms of use policies, until the site in Kew reopens to the public.
The National Archives in Kew, London

Researchers will need to be registered users (free account here) and will be entitled to order and download up to 10 items with no cost, up to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days.

You can see the full digital collection here. It includes some record sets available on other mainstream database sites that charge for access; these record sets will be free only via the TNA Discovery site.

Among the free records most likely to be of interest to genealogists with Irish ancestry are:
  • First and Second World War records, including medal index cards
  • Military records, including unit war diaries
  • Royal and Merchant Navy records, including Royal Marine service records
  • Wills from the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
  • Migration records, including aliens’ registration cards and naturalisation case papers
If you're not already familiar with using Discovery, you'd do well to read the TNA's announcement and instructions here.


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

British genealogy collections: Latest updates & releases

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 12 days (the previous listing was on 9 April, 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

British Newspaper Archives and FindMyPast

FamilySearch

UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

FamilySearch

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.

Monday, 20 April 2020

PRONI launches Making the Future experiment

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is looking for people to join its Making the Future team for an online experiment called Ordinary People - Extraordinary Times. It's aim is to help you discover more about your family's history, the lives of your ancestors and the people in your life.

It seems the kind of project genealogists would enjoy!

PRONI has designed the three-week programme to encourage conversations with the people important to you, and help you document how we, as ordinary individuals, experienced this extraordinary time.

How will the experiment work?
  • You'll receive a package in the post with helpful items to get you started
  • An online community hosted in Slack will allow you to share activities and engage in conversations with others.
  • PRONI will offer six fun activities including letter writing, family history, scrapbooking, cooking & music.
  • Activities are encouraged by all members of your family or group.

The programme will run from 23 April to 14 May and there will be two live webinars (4pm to 5:30pm) on the start and end dates.

To take part, you need to be based in Northern Ireland or the border counties. Numbers are limited so you'll need to sign up straightaway if you want to take part. You can register via eventbrite, here.

For further information, contact Laura Aguiar at l.aguiar@nervecentre.org.

UPDATE, 2:30pm:
Well, that was quick! All the spaces for this experiment have been filled. There is, however, a 'Wait List', so if you're keen to take part, add your name... you may be lucky.

30% off 12-month sub to British Newspaper Archive

The online British Newspaper Archive is running a sale with a rather attractive 30% discount on its 12-month subscription.

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5895&awinaffid=123532&ued=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk%2Faccount%2Fsubscribe%3FPromotionCode%3DBNA30APRIL20GThis subscription package gives you unlimited access to the archive, which, at today's count, holds nearly 37 million pages of historical newspapers dating from the 1700s, including some 185 Irish titles.

The database is still being updated with new titles; last week, three papers made their debut and 68,000 pages were added to these and existing titles.

The offer reduces the cost of a 12-month sub from £80 to £56 and gives you access to 300 years of history. The saving will expire on 30 April.

To take advantage of this worthwhile saving, click the Save Now button above. The landing page should show the discount already applied.


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.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Ireland launches online facility for birth registrations

I had to do a double take on this piece of news yesterday: The General Register Office of Ireland has set up an electronic process for new birth registrations. It follows concerns that thousands of recent births may not yet have been registered due to difficulties during the current pandemic.

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/64a092-registering-a-birth/Announcing details of the new facility, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said:
“As many parents have consciously decided not to register the birth of their new arrival during the pandemic because of the social distancing requirements, we estimate that there may be up to 4,000 births not yet registered.

"This also means that payment of Child Benefit will not commence until the birth is registered," she added.

Families can now send in their birth registration forms by email or post. All the details, and the required form, can be found online. Click screenshot image to find out more.

While receipt of the requisite form and papers will action registration of the birth and trigger notification for Child Benefit, the issuing of an official birth certificate may take some time.

Patience will also be required from genealogists ordering research copies of entries in civil birth, marriage and death registers. All local civil registration offices are closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and those staff still working have been redeployed to more urgent duties within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Whether we will return to the 'in person' only registration system (originally set up in 1864) when the pandemic is exhausted remains to be seen.


Friday, 17 April 2020

IGRS adds to its Early Irish Birth and Death Indexes

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a further 2,206 records to its 'Early Irish' indexes of births and deaths.

Most of the new entries have been supplied by IGRS member Hilary Jarvis who scours old and rare publications for obscure references to births, deaths, and marriages – the sort of material that is often overlooked. Many of these works are privately published, perhaps with only one of two copies still in existence.

In this tranche of data, references have been drawn from such works as The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, The Barclays of New York: Who They Are and Who They Are Not – And Some Other Barclays, and Annals of the Sinnots, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Revves, Bodine and Allied Families, all published between 1900 and 1910.

Additionally, a smaller though highly valuable amount of data has been drawn from 18th and 19th century leases recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Submitted by Ron Price, a regular contributor to the Registry of Deeds Indexing Project, this update it relates exclusively to alternative sources for births.

In Ireland, shorter leases, those designed to raise income for the landlord, generally ran for a period of years and for the lives of three named individuals on the basis of “whichever shall be the longer”. Thus a thirty year lease would expire at the end of that term if all three named lives were by then deceased. But the alternative scenario was that at the end of the term of years, the lease might continue until all three of the named lives had died. In many instances, this might extend the term of the lease by several decades.

It was, however, a gamble. The younger the person that was named, the longer they might live. But, this had to be balanced by the fact that infant mortality was high.

Commenting on this practice the Early BMD Index project coordinator Roz McCutcheon said: “While most northern counties liked to name three junior members of the Royal family, because they might more likely survive to adulthood, the farmers and merchants in southern counties preferred to name their own children, or those of neighbours. For genealogists, this practice provides a rich seam to mine."

Ron’s main interest is West Cork and hence the wealth of family detail drawn from there in this update, much of which refers to that area’s farming and merchant classes. By way of example, one ROD memorial dating from 1811 notes two Cork men, probably brothers, and their sons. Michael, born about 1809, is recorded as the son of Cornelius Driscoll; and Timothy, born about 1807, the son of Denis Driscoll. Another memorial records that in 1814 Mr Florence McCarthy of Co. Cork had a son called James who was then aged 16 and thus born about 1798.

While the IGRS Early Irish Marriage Index can be searched and viewed by everyone, the IGRS Early Irish Birth and Death Indexes are resources reserved for IGRS Members only (although anyone, member or not, can make a search). See IrishAncestors.ie for more information.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: Early April updates

The last two weeks have seen the files below added to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. As always, the photos and accompanying text files of transcribed inscriptions have been freely donated by researchers and are now available to view by other family historians.

Stone to the Black family, Old Shanakyle,
Kilrush, Co Clare. Photo courtesy of
Claire Donlon and IGPArchives.
Can you help keep a flow of new material arriving at IGPA during the current health crisis? Do you have any photos of headstones in Irish burial grounds stored on your computer or cloud service? Maybe you took them while you were on holiday on the island, or when visiting a graveyard where your ancestors are buried, or as part of a local history project by your home community.

You don't need an image of every single memorial in the cemetery or burial ground. Partial collections are fine, as in the case of Old Shanakyle graveyard, County Clare; these were submitted by Claire Donlon who had just returned from a vacation in Ireland.

You can find out details of how to submit photos to IGP Archives here.

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Shanakyle (Old), Kilrush (partial)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mt Jerome Cemetery, Dublin. Parts 247 - 250

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Polranny Cemetery, Achill Sound, Part 4 - N-W

From Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2020: 3 free lectures

Was it really only two months ago that Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2020 was held at the Belfast International Conference Centre? Seems an age. Can't think why.

As mentioned in a blogpost in February*, most of the lectures recorded at the two-day event can be viewed on the Family Tree Legacy platform, for which a subscription is required.

However, three additional lectures from that conference have now been uploaded to GGI's YouTube channel, which is free to access.

The three free lectures are:
  • The Power of X to unlock Family Mysteries, with Martin Hayden (51mins)
  • Never Give Up – Miracles Do Happen (adoption), with Cathal McElgunn (1hr 26mins)
  • DNA for Beginners, with Andy Hochreiter (56mins)
In addition to the lectures noted above, the YouTube channel gives free access to all recordings from GGI conferences held from 2013-2018, plus three from 2019.

* The blogpost includes details of the recordings and how to access FTLegacy. Read it here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

New edition of Irish Genealogy Matters published

http://www.rootsireland.ie/2020/04/new-issue-of-irish-genealogy-matters-newsletter-published-3/
The Irish Family History Foundation, the umbrella organisation for Ireland's island-wide network of heritage and genealogy centres, has published its second Irish Genealogy Matters newsletter of 2020.

As the centres are currently closed* and scheduled events either cancelled or on hold, this edition focusses on the records uploaded to the IFHF-managed RootsIreland.ie so far this year. Each of these instalments has been reported here on Irish Genealogy News, of course, but I hadn't really been keeping a mental note of the numbers of records being delivered. So I was impressed when I made a quick calculation from the newsletter's figures: more than 312,000 records have joined the database since January. Not bad at all!

If you have ancestral connections to counties Cork, Kerry and Kilkenny or to North Dublin, check out the details by downloading the newsletter (click the image, right).

* Many are responding to email queries, however.

3-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 three weeks. (The last summary list was published on 27 March, 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

Ancestry

FamilySearch

UPDATED COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors

Ancestry

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 Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Desperate Haven tells west Waterford's Famine story

Newly republished, Desperate Haven tells the story of the Great Famine in the towns and villages of Dungarvan and the surrounding area of County Waterford.

The book – the product of more than five years research by Dungarvan Museum Society (now Waterford County Museum) – was originally published in 1996 and has been much sought after since it went out of print.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B085HK5PDW/
Republished in paperback and Kindle formats
It explores the lives of the poor in mid-19th century Ireland, the response of the authorities to the unfolding tragedy and the conditions which saw many Irish people create new lives for themselves in America, England, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

Based on the Minute Books of the Dungarvan Board of Guardians, the Famine Relief Papers, and contemporary newspapers, the book traces the development of the Dungarvan Poor Law Union from its establishment in 1839 to its abolition in 1920.

Inevitably, Dungarvan Workhouse prominently in this story. At the height of the Famine, some 4,000 men, women and children from the area were housed within the walls of the main and auxiliary workhouses of the Union. The authors examine in detail the lives of inmates, with sections on diet, education, work, the workhouse farm, religion, the treatment of women and children. Thousands more were dependent on soup kitchens and "outdoor relief" to prevent themselves starving.

The book also looks at the effect of the famine on the fishing industry and on emigration from the area during and after the Famine.

Whether or not you have ancestors from the area, this book will provide family historians with a good understanding of how and why Poor Law Unions were set up and managed, of the harsh realities of life (and death) in the Workhouse, and the conditions that drove them to flee abroad in such numbers.

The 258-page book, authored by William Fraher, William Whelan, Bernadette Sheridan, and  Seosaimh O Loinsigh, is available in both paperback and Kindle format via US & Canada Amazon and IE & UK Amazon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

RootsIreland: detail added to Clara & Horseleap records

Westmeath Genealogy, one of the Irish Family History Foundation's island-wide network of genealogy centres, has uploaded additional information to at least 600 transcriptions of marriage records for the Roman Catholic parish of Clara & Horseleap. The records date from November 1821 to October 1833.

https://www.rootsireland.ie/westmeath-genealogy/When these records were originally transcribed, the transcribers included only the basic details of the union's parties: the bride and groom's names, place of residence, and occupations and their respective father's name and occupation.

Genealogist Bernie Norris told IrishGenealogyNews that details of witnesses have now been added, along with the exact dates of the ceremonies, and any other information recorded in the register by the priest at the time or subsequently. She's currently working from home, answering genealogy queries received by the Centre, and was keen to take on a specific project during the 'lockdown'. She knew this one was waiting to be done, so got on with it!

She says there will be another batch of records added to RootsIreland's Westmeath database in the fairly near future. This next upload will be a mix of cemetery records and parish records that the centre, which is based in the Dún na Sí Heritage Park near Moate, had already started indexing before the lockdown.

See the full menu of records from Westmeath Genealogy on RootsIreland here.

IGRS inaugurates the Valued Service Certificate

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has inaugurated a new award: the Valued Service Certificate, and the first two recipients are long-time friends and research companions Maureen Fitzgibbon and Margaret Purcell.

Every so often the IGRS Council hears of ways in which members have shown selfless dedication and commitment in assisting others in their pursuit of Irish family history. Yet until now there has been no formal way for the Society to acknowledge such work in the public domain.

With this in mind the Society has inaugurated the IGRS Valued Service Certificate which it hopes will go some way towards recognising its members’ achievements, their dedication and their voluntary contributions to the work of the Society and to the wider-world of Irish genealogy.

Maureen, from Cheshire, and Margaret, from Lancashire, have been a fixture on the Irish genealogy circuit for many years now, both in England and in Ireland. Both have contributed in so many ways to the encouragement of others in their research through their volunteering spirit not just with the IGRS, but with the Catholic Family History Society and other Lancashire-based societies with Irish research interest groups.

Whenever the IGRS announces an event it is organising or a family history fair it is attending, Maureen and Margaret are invariably among the first to volunteer. And distance is never an issue for either of them. When the Society attended the ‘Back to Our Past’ family history show in Belfast in February 2018, both flew over to volunteer on the stand, providing invaluable family history advice, along with information about the IGRS. And this has been repeated again and again over the years, in Dublin, London, Manchester, Birmingham and elsewhere.

Maureen Fitzgibbon (l)  and Margaret Purcell (r)

Having been informed of the award, on behalf of herself and Maureen, Margaret recalled their years involved in genealogy: “Most of it was in the pre-Internet and computer days, when we had to travel to libraries and record offices and copy by pencil and paper the records of interest. I particularly remember being part of a small team transcribing the registers of St Wilfrid’s, Preston, and later St John the Evangelist, The Willows, Kirkham. Transcribing St Wilfrid’s took four years to complete, working one day per week.

“We also ‘manned’ the Catholic Family History Society (CFHS) and other Irish Group tables at family history society conferences giving advice. We found that any enquiry for the CFHS usually ended with advice on Irish ancestry. We were also sometimes invited to give talks at family history branch meetings.

“Although we keep telling people we have retired, newcomers at society branches are generally directed to us if they mention Ireland!”

Chairman of the Society’s Awards sub-committee, Paul Gorry, said “It is a great pleasure for the IGRS to be able to recognise the contribution these two ladies – stalwarts of the Society – have made over so many years. They are shining examples of selfless giving of time, experience and expertise. We look forward to seeing them again at Society events once the Covid-19 health crisis has passed.”

Friday, 10 April 2020

Just published: New Irish Genealogy Resources 2020

I've published a new edition of my eBook, New Irish Genealogy Resources today.

https://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/new-irish-genealogy-records-2011-2020.htmlAs with previous editions, the 2020 booklet breaks down all the record releases to have featured on this blog since 2011 into theme (census, church registers etc) and a county-by-county list of the most relevant record-sets for your research.

Most of the released material is online, and I provide direct links to the specific collection wherever possible, but I also cover some resources that remain accessible only by personal visits to archives and libraries in Ireland.

The cut-off date for entries to this year's edition was Friday 3 April, so it really is up-to-date!

And it's pagination has grown again. This year it's 132 pages, which includes two pages of videos and podcasts on topics likely to be of interest to Irish family historians, especially during the current pandemic.

To find out more about this handy reference eBook, click the cover image.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

New and updated British family history collections

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 two weeks or so. (The previous listing was on 24 March, 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

British Newspaper Archives

DeceasedOnline


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

The Genealogist

Ancestry

FamilySearch

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.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Irish government issues list of digital resources to support cultural & community life during the pandemic

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has issued a list of digital cultural resources. It follows Minister Madigan's announcement on Friday of steps being taken during the pandemic to protect and support the artistic and cultural life of the nation.

The listed resources range from online exhibitions, heritage lectures and Irish language learning to some websites that most Irish genealogists will already be familiar with, such as IrishGenealogy.ie, Duchas.ie and Logaimn.ie (the latter two gratefully accepting volunteers to transcribe some of their material) and historical documents searchable on the National Library website.

For some reason, the National Archives of Ireland has not been included in the listing, even though it's dedicated Genealogy website is a recommended first port of call for family historians, and it also has a good number of online exhibitions on its main website.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Select Irish collections free this weekend on AncestryUK

If you fancy a peak into some of Ancestry's most recent Irish additions, here's your chance, as the UK database is offering a few days of free access to these collections.

For the last several years, these collections, which hold more than 31million records between them,  have been available exclusively at FindMyPast, who digitised them in a partnership with the National Archives of Ireland. As I understand it, that period of exclusivity is now over, so Ancestry has added these record sets to its holdings.

These are the record sets:

To view the records, you'll need a registered account with Ancestry.co.uk. If you don't already have one, select one of these links to search and then follow the instructions to set up an account. You need provide only your name and email address; you'll then be sent a user name and password to access the records.

If you're interested, some new additions to the England holding are also free this weekend:

The free access period will expire at 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 5 April.


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.

South West Cork records added to RootsIreland.ie

RootsIreland.ie has announced the addition of 61,505 Roman Catholic baptism and marriage records from South-West County Cork have been uploaded to its database.

http://www.rootsireland.ie/corknortheast/
While the parishes concerned are in County Cork, they are in the diocese of Kerry, so the records have been added to Mallow Heritage Centre's Cork North East database. (Okay, the geography's a bit confusing if you don't know the area, but the important thing is these records are now available to search.)

The parishes and breakdown of records in this welcome update are as follows:
  • Adrigole (baptisms, 1830-1910; marriages, 1831-1910)
  • Allihies (baptisms, 1822-1913; marriages, 1823-1872)
  • Ballydesmond (baptisms, 1888-1915; marriages, 1889-1915)
  • Boherbue (baptisms, 1864-1904; marriages, 1863-1910)
  • Castletownbere (baptisms, 1820-1908; marriages, 1817-1915)
  • Eyeries (baptisms, 1860-1915; marriages, 1823-1910)
  • Millstreet (baptisms, 1854-1903; marriages, 1855-1903)


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Ancestry WAP returns to the Belfast News-Letter BMDs

Ancestry's World Archive Project (WAP) team has announced new indexing projects to get stuck into. One of them is a continuation of the ongoing transcription of BMD announcements published in the Belfast News Letter.

The Belfast News-Letter, first published in 1737, is
thought to be the oldest continually published,
daily English-language newspaper.
The database's holding of this newspaper spans 1738 to 1925, with a few gaps, and is currently a browse collection. But the WAP has been running alongside this and has already indexed birth, marriage and death announcements for the years 1828-1907.

The second index project sees a return to the Surrey, England Regimental Rolls, 1914-1947 collection which holds records for the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment (Enlistment Registers and WWII Honors Indexes) and the East Surrey Regiment (Enlistment Registers, Transfers In Registers, and Nominal Rolls of Officers).

You can find out more about these WAPs on Ancestry's dedicated WAP blog and then following the links to the individual indexing projects.

The Ancestry World Archives Project sees volunteers from around the world creating searchable record indexes from digitized records. These indexes are added to Ancestry's free collections and are accessible to all researchers.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

FindMyPast UK: Easter Sale offers 20% savings

FindMyPast UK is running an Easter Sale, offering 20% off any new 12-month subscription. So far, no other FindMyPast territories have launched a similar offer.

The sale will run until Tuesday 14 April. These are the savings:

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=2114&awinaffid=123532&clickref=&ued=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.findmypast.co.uk%2Fsubscribe%3Fpromocode%3DFMPEASTER20Starter package: Reduced from £79.99 to £63.99.
Plus package: Reduced from £119.99 to £95.99.
PRO package: Reduced from £159.99 to £127.99.

If you are undertaking Irish family history, I wouldn't generally recommend the Starter package, as the Irish records offered are free elsewhere*, but the Plus and the PRO subscriptions (the latter includes the entire Irish Newspaper Collection) will give you access to a huge collection of records, some of them exclusive to FindMyPast.

To take advantage of the discount, click the logo above (you should find the savings have already been applied), and select the subscription that suits your research needs best.

*See BMD records at IrishGenealogy.ie and Census records at NAI/Genealogy

MyHeritage Stay At Home DNA sale: half price test kits

https://www.myheritage.com/dna
MyHeritage has launched a Stay At Home sale which cuts the price of the company's DNA test kits by 50%.

  • In the UK and Ireland, the offer reduces the cost from £79 to £39.
  • In the USA, the offer reduces the cost from $79 to $39.

There may be similar or different offers available in other countries; check by visiting your local MyHeritage site.

In all cases, if you order two kits, standard shipping is free, and the offer will be available until Thursday 30 April.

To order your half price test kit(s) or to find out more, click the image, above. 

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest uploads

From the 18th century to the 21st century
in four generations. Headstone in Kilmaclasser
Old Cemetery. Photo courtesy of
Bernie McCafferty and IGPArchives.
Click for larger image.
The team at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives uploaded four more folders to its free-to-access database in the second half of March. Each one has been donated by volunteers for the benefit of other researchers.

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Achill Sound, Polranny Cemetery Pt. 3 - L-M

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Kilmaclasser Old Cemetery - Part 1, Clogher Lough

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Land
Cancelled Valuations ca 1911-1920's, Cloontogher, Cruit, Curry Derrinturk, Derrycarby, Doogarymore, Fearagh.

WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity (R.C.)