Monday, 25 May 2020

3-month summary of new/updated AU & 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 February.

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 been made available for the two countries.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis reflect the number of records uploaded to a new or updated collection. Where there is a second figure in parenthesis, it is the revised total number of records in an updated collection.


NEW COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

MyHeritage

UPDATED COLLECTIONS


Ancestry

Trove

NEW TRANSCRIPTION PROJECTS


Ancestry World Archives Projects

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.

Skibbereen Heritage launches graveyard video tours

While Skibbereen Heritage Centre is currently closed due to the Covid19 lockdown, the team hasn't been idle. Not only is the Genealogy Service still operating - by email, obviously - you'll remember, I'm sure, the upload of some 15,000 burial register records to the Centre's free West Cork Graveyards Database just four weeks ago (see blogpost).

The team's energetic manager, Terri Kearney, has spent some of the lockdown out and about in local graveyards filming a series of tours around the headstones and tombs. As she goes, she introduces us to some local and social history and tells the stories of some of those buried within the walls.

Two video tours are already available – Caheragh Old Graveyard (see below) and Abbeymahon Graveyard – and Terri tells me there are two more 'cooking in the pot'.


Thursday, 21 May 2020

Ancestry.com and Fold3 open up for Memorial Day

Marking Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Ancestry.com and sister site Fold 3 are opening up three areas of databases for free access from today.

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4pku/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.com%2Fmilitary%2Fworld-war-iiThe site's main US military collection comprises more than 250 million records providing a range of details about military ancestors and the sacrifices they made. Here you can find details of their service, the names of those who perished, were listed as Missing In Action or were POWs, or returned as veterans. The collection will be free until Monday 25 May.

More than 550 million records from Fold 3, covering military conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War, will also be available to search and view without charge until 11:59pm ET on Monday 25 May.

And thirdly, nearly 500 million records and images from the National Archives and Records Administration (including all 36 million of the USA's World War II Young Man’s Draft Cards) will be searchable on Ancestry, free, until Monday 1 June.

You'll need a registered account to access the free records. If you don't already have one, it's quick and easy to set up with just your name and email address. Follow the prompts when you start searching.

https://go.fold3.com/freeaccess?xid=2551


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, 20 May 2020

RootsIreland.ie will be briefly offline on Thursday 21st

https://www.rootsireland.ie/category/blog/RootsIreland.ie has advised that an essential maintenance session tomorrow, Thursday 21 May, will require the site to be unavailable from 6pm.

It should be offline for only a short time. Hopefully just ten minutes or so.

Free access to MyHeritage's 57 million military records

To mark Memorial Day, MyHeritage is offering six days of free access to its entire military collection so that family historians can pay tribute to their ancestral heroes by learning more about them.

https://www.myheritage.com/research/category-3000/military/

The collection includes draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and other military documents from North America and around the world, going back as far as the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century.

In total, it holds 57 million records. Click the image above and start searching. You'll be able to search and view records whether or not you have a registered account.

Free access will end on Tuesday 26 May.


Tuesday, 19 May 2020

New & updated Canada collections: 3-month summary

Below you'll find my summary of the new and updated Canadian records released by the major genealogy database suppliers over the last three months. For the previous summary, see my 11 February 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 researcher looking for a brief update of what's been recently made available for tracing ancestors in 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

Ancestry

British Newspaper Archive

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

MyHeritage


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

OntarioAncestors (OGS/LAC/FamilySearch project)
  • Vernon's Directories (Ontario City. 658 volumes listed, 32 directories for Hamilton 1901-2020 online and indexed)


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, 18 May 2020

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest updates

Mass/Memorial card for Patrick Weir. Photo
courtesy Catherine O'Reilly and IGP-Archives.
The volunteer team at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has uploaded the files below to its free online database.

KERRY Genealogy Archives - Memorial Cards
Memorial/Mass Cards (Additional)

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St Columbanus, Ballivor (Text file added)
St James New, Athboy, Pt 4 (Text file added)
St Loman's, Trim, Pt 2, D-F (Text file added)

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Memorial Cards
Memorial/Mass Cards (Additional)

If you've got any similar records – memorial cards, photos of headstones, transcriptions of registers or other records – please take digital photos and send them on to the team for upload. Having such items and records can be hugely beneficial to other researchers.


London ancestors? Check out Family History Fortnight

The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and City of London's Guildhall Library will be celebrating Family History Fortnight until the end of the month.

 The campaign has many features (you can find out more by clicking the image, right) including free access to the LMA collection in the Ancestry UK database, and free webinars and videos, so for anyone who has ancestors who either lived in London, passed through the capital, or settled there after emigrating from Ireland, it's worth checking out what's on offer over the next two weeks.

Ancestry's LMA Collection is huge. It includes more than 20 million London Parish records from Church of England baptism, marriages and burial registers and Bishops' Transcripts. These date back to 1538.

Other record sets include Non Conformist chapel and congregation registers, London Poor Law records such as workhouse admission and discharge registers, Electoral Registers, City of London Freedom papers, LCC School Admission and Discharge registers, Land Tax Records, Marriage Bonds and Allegation and Wills.

Click here to view the record sets in the LMA collection and to start searching them. You'll need a registered account to view your search results.

If you don't already have a registered account, just start searching, as above. You'll quickly be prompted to log-in or register. Follow the registration instructions (you need only to give your name and email address) and you'll be sent a username and password. You're then free to search.

Two-week summary of new & updated USA 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 first half of May. (The last summary list was published on 30 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

FindMyPast

MyHeritage


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors
  • Massachusetts: RC Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920   (595,000 names added for parishes of St. Ann in Gloucester; St. Mary in Winchester; Holy Family in Rockland; Sacred Heart in Middleborough; Holy Ghost in Whitman; St. Joseph in Holbrook; St. John the Baptist in Peabody; St. Joseph in Ipswich; St. Mary in Lowell; St. Michael in Hudson; St. Edward the Confessor in Medfield; and St. Paul in Hingham.

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.

Tell future generations about Lockdown life in Dublin

DVL&A, Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Dublin City Library & Archive has launched a new archive called the 'Covid-19 Lockdown Collection' and wants people from all over the city to submit materials documenting their experiences during the pandemic and the unprecedented restrictions which came with its arrival in Ireland.

Archivists are aiming to ensure that a true picture of how the people of Dublin fared during this time is preserved for future generations.

The type of materials sought includes:
  • Letters or emails from frontline staff, businesses, and the general public telling of their experiences, heart-warming stories, and frustrations;
  • Photographs showing the impact of the lockdown on work, life and locality;
  • Signs or artwork placed in windows, e.g. thanking frontline staff;
  • Accounts of a typical day under lockdown;
  • Accounts of the virus and hospital stays from those who have contracted Covid19;
  • Postcards with Covid-19 thoughts or worries;
  • Stories of the every-day heroes who are doing good deeds to ease the burdens of others;
  • Stories from non-Irish nationals about their experiences in Dublin during the lockdown;
  • Accounts from homeless people and those living in emergency accommodation;
  • Any other unique, contemporaneous records which tell the story of the Covid-19 pandemic in Dublin.
Detailed information about the new archive and the process for submission of materials can be found at  DublinCity.ie.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Irish Newspaper Archives adds Belfast Telegraph

The Dublin-based IrishNewspaperArchives.com has added the Belfast Telegraph to its online database.

In its initial upload, the holding for this paper includes 295,163 pages digitised from 6,260 editions published from 1977 to 1997, plus 2009 and 2019. Editions from 1998 to 2008 will follow in due course.

To celebrate the release of this important regional paper through the INA database, the owners of the archive are offering a generous 30% saving on its subscription packages. To claim them, use the following promotion codes:

* Gold Subscription (main archive + Radical Papers Archive) – code BTGGold30

* Silver Subscription (main archive only) – code BTGSilver30.

The discount will expire on Monday 25 May.

Ancestry.ca opens up free access for Victoria Day

To mark Victoria Day, a public holiday of celebration across Canada, Ancestry.ca has opened up its entire database to a weekend of free access. It runs until 11:59pm on Sunday 18 May.

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1101l4phT/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.ca%2F
If you don't already have an account with Ancestry.ca, it's easy and speedy to get yourself registered. You need to provide only your name and email address to receive a username and password. Just follow the prompts when you start searching.

Once you're set up, you have the freedom of the site until Sunday night.

To view and explore the records available for locations around the world, click here.


Family Names Dictionary: thumbs down for Irish names

The press seems to have whipped up some excitement today with the news that the online version of The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, published in 2016, is available free for one week.

From most accounts I've read today, it's been practically impossible to get access to it, presumably due to the numbers wanting to learn what the dictionary reveals about their surname.

I can suggest a quick fix for this: if you have an Irish surname, you might make better use of your time today by not trying to gain access to the dictionary. Free it up for researchers with a non-Irish name. My blogpost, written when it was first released online, will explain why: Four Volume Dictionary of Surnames.

Genealogist and tutor Sean J Murphy also reviewed the publication: see Facebook.

Incidentally, I subsequently contacted the authors about the issues I raised in my blogpost and received a pleasant reply from one of the editors which, in a nutshell, acknowledged there had been problems with the Irish research.

When I gained access to the site first thing this morning, the issues I complained of were still in evidence.


Wednesday, 13 May 2020

National Library starts preparing for July reopening

This morning, the National Library of Ireland had its first visitors (members of staff) since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced on 12 March. (That's two months with no dusting... must look a bit like my office at the best of times.)

Photos have been uploaded to Twitter, and probably to other social media that I don't use, to show us that the beautiful building and its gorgeous interior areas are atill looking good. A few minor repairs are being carried out in the absence of the public and all the staff, in anticipation of the doors reopening to researchers on 20 July.

That's the date when Phase 4 of Ireland's 'road map' to the lifting of public health restrictions is scheduled to be actioned, subject to the National Public Health Emergency Team agreeing that the conditions are right.
Phase 4 allows museums, galleries and other cultural outlets (the category that includes archives and similar to re-open, provided staff and visitors can move freely without coming into contact with others, social distancing can be maintained AND strict hand hygiene is enforced on entry.

It's a long way off yet; next week will mark the half-way point of the closures of the Republic of Ireland's major repositories (and a good many smaller ones, too). Northern Ireland's plans, released yesterday, don't currently include dates, but we'll get a better idea of timelines as weeks go by. However, seeing the National Library starting its preparation for a return of staff and researchers should give us all a bit of a lift.



Tuesday, 12 May 2020

RootsIreland adds 40,000+ non-RC Co. Armagh records

If you have non-Roman Catholic ancestors from County Armagh, you'll have to check out RootsIreland.ie's latest updates.

http://www.rootsireland.ie/A bundle of more than 40,000 register records from Church of Ireland (CoI), Presbyterian and Society of Friends (Quakers), some of them dating back to the 1770s, have been added to the database. So have headstone inscriptions from 16 CoI, Prebyterian, Quaker and Methodist burial grounds, plus about 1,500 inscriptions from three Roman Catholic graveyards.

You'll find all the dates for the span of baptism, marriage and burials registers, and 'earliest' dates for the memorial inscriptions on the

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Australian Keith A Johnson elected a Fellow of the IGRS

Australian genealogist Keith A. Johnson AM, FSG, FSAG, FRAHS has been elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS).

Keith Johnson became active in history and genealogy circles in the early 1960s, joining the Royal Australian Historical Society [RAHS] and the Society of Australian Genealogists [SAG].

Keith A Johnson, the Irish Genealogical
Research Society’s most recently elected Fellow.
Since 1980 he has been involved in publishing, originally in print but more recently online. His first significant publication was the Census of New South Wales, November 1828, which he edited with Malcolm Sainty.

In partnership with Malcolm, he founded the Australian Biographical & Genealogical Record [ABGR] in 1982, an ambitious project to build a biographical database of everyone born or arriving in Australia from 1788 to 1900 (including Aboriginal people). Through the ABGR they published various muster lists for the early colonies in Australia.

In 2006 they set up the Biographical Database of Australia [BDA] a non-profit project, now online, which continues the work of the ABGR. Keith is Vice-President of the BDA Board.

Chairman of the IGRS Awards sub-committee, Paul Gorry, said: “Over a period of a quarter century, the work for which Keith Johnson (working with Malcolm Sainty) has been most widely known internationally is the editing of the annual Genealogical Research Directory. Published from 1981 to 2007, the GRD provided an opportunity for family historians to connect with others throughout the world with shared research interests. Before the internet made such contact possible in different ways, the GRD was unrivalled in genealogy.”

IGRS Chairman Steven Smyrl added: “Keith has had a long and distinguished career in genealogy and he has been to the forefront of developments in the field in Australia for decades. He is the 92nd person to have been honoured with the Fellowship of the IGRS in its 84-year history. He is the sixth Australasian (and fifth Australian) to be so elected, following Andrew Clifford (New Zealand, 1995), Rosemary Coleby (2005), Nick Reddan (2006), Lindsay Bellhouse (2009) and Terry Eakin (2012).”

British genealogy: latest updates and new 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 fortnight+ (the last listing was on 21 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

FamilySearch

FindMyPast



UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

DeceasedOnline

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

The National Archives, Kew

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.


Friday, 8 May 2020

Free access for launch of FindMyPast Photo Collection

Findmypast has announced the launch of a new collection in partnership with newspaper and magazine publisher Reach plc.

Digitised and published online for the first time as a complete standalone collection into mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, the FindMyPast Photo collection is made up of more than 10,000 original images from Reach’s archives.

Two workers in Hamilton Robb Ltd's Portadown
linen weaving factory in 1929. Image © Mirrorpix/Reach
This vast archive of press photography dates from 1904 to 2000 and is one of most significant photographic records of British history in the world. This first instalment consists of more than 8,000 original images from press photographers who documented the 1939-45 conflict at home and overseas for nine national and regional titles including the Daily Mirror, the Scottish Daily Record, and Manchester Evening News.

Many of these images have never before been published, providing new opportunities for researhers to explore how their families and communities experienced the war. Original image descriptions created by the photographers still survive and much of this information has been indexed and made fully searchable on Findmypast. Researchers can search the collection of images by keyword, date, and location as well as by category eg Armed forces, World War 2, Evacuees, Home Front, Sport, Life Events, Work or Schools.

Following today's release of wartime photos, the collection will continue to grow as Findmypast and Reach publish additional material covering a wide variety of dates, locations and themes. In time, the Findmypast Photo collection will expand in scope and scale to include millions of images covering all aspects of British life ranging from sports, education, places of work and daily life to politics, national and local events.

To celebrate the launch, the new collection will be free to access until noon (British Summer Time) on Friday 15 May. Click the link above to learn more.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Ancestry UK marks VE Day with free access weekend

In partnership with the UK Government, Ancestry UK is offering free access to a large collection of WW2 records to tie in with the UK's commemorations for VE Day 2020. The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, which marked the end of the war in Europe, will be this Friday, 8 May, which is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and Britain.

 https://prf.hn/click/camref:1100l4pTC/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancestry.co.uk
Click image to start searching
The aim is to encourage the public to join together in the commemoration from the safety of their homes, by uncovering their own family's personal stories and connection to the Second World War.

The collections included in the free access offer include the 1939 Register of England and Wales, medal cards, army lists, casualties lists, absent voters rolls, and much more.

Free access to these featured record-sets will run until 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 10 May, and you'll need to register. If you don't already have a registered account with Ancestry UK, it's easy and free to set one up with just your name and email address. Ancestry then send you a username and password to access the records.

In addition to searching Ancestry's records, you'll find veteran stories, a challenge from well-known tv historian Dan Snow, and full details of tv and radio broadcasts throughout the day on the Gov.UK site.

You can even download templates to create your own bunting or personalise some posters, or print off war time recipes for lemon traybake and flapjacks.


Monday, 4 May 2020

RootsIreland uploads 16,000 Co. Westmeath records

Westmeath Genealogy, the family history centre based at Dún na Sí Heritage Centre near Moate, has added more than 16,000 records to their database at www.rootsireland.ie/westmeath.

http://rootsireland.ie/westmeath/
They include nearly 700 bmd register entries that were 'missed' in earlier transcription projects; anyone who has previously searched these databases without success would be advised to revisit the collection to see if their ancestors have been 'found'.

Here's a summary of the new additions:
  • Headstone transcriptions from seven burial grounds (nearly 4,000)
  • Baptisms, St Mary’s Athlone RC (249 previously missed)
  • Marriages, Mayne RC, part of Coole parish (249 previously missed)
  • Deaths, Mullingar RC (190 previously missed. 1844-1866)
  • Castlepollard Parish, Baptisms (9,176); Marriages (321); Deaths (2,596)
You'll find a full and detailed list, including the names and location of the seven new graveyards, of Westmeath Genealogy's online sources here.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: late April updates

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has added records and/or photos from seven counties from all four of the island's provinces in the past two weeks.

The Sale family headstone from St Kevin's graveyard,
Dublin 8. Photo courtesy of Bridgid Wilson & Ireland
Genealogy Projects Archives. Click to enlarge image.
In each case, the files have been donated by researchers for the benefit of other Irish family historians. They are free to access and use as part of your own research (but bear in mind that copyright of photos remains with the photographer).

Here are the details:

DONEGAL
Genealogy Archives – Headstones
Kilmacrenan Abbey (partial)

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mount Jerome 251-254

DUBLIN CITY
Genealogy Archives – Headstones
St. Kevin's Graveyard, Camden Street, Dublin 8

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mount Jerome 251-254

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Trim, St Loman's, part 1 A-C (Text file added)

MONAGHAN & FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church Records
Clones Parish Registers, Baptisms - N. W. Division, 1821-1825

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous
Extracts from Police Reports 1845-1846

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Nicholas CoI Graveyard, Coole (Text file added)