Thursday 20 August 2020

BackToOurPast, Ireland's genealogy show, goes virtual

The organisers of BackToOurPast, the all-Ireland Irish genealogy show held in both Dublin and Belfast, have announced that this autumn's event – to be virtual in view of Covid-19 restrictions and concerns – will be sponsored by Ancestry and hosted in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland.

It will take place online from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September. Access to the full three-day schedule will cost €10. Click the logo, right, to purchase your ticket.

While the full programme is not yet confirmed, some details of what is planned are beginning to emerge.

1. The National Archives of Ireland will be presenting two lectures, as follows:

Tracing the history of the workhouse system in Ireland using sources in the NAI
, with Brian Donnelly, NAI Senior Archivist. He will outline the history of the workhouse system in Ireland from its inception in the late 1830s to its abolition in the 20th century. He will also explain what records relating to workhouses are available in the National Archives and his talk will be illustrated with documents from the rich holdings of the NAI.

Tracing convict ancestors using sources in the NAI, with Tom Quinlan, NAI Keeper. The presentation will describe the collections used to trace convict ancestors from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. These sources relate to those who served their sentences either in Ireland or further afield in Australia, among other countries and this talk will be illustrated with images drawn from a variety of record series held in the NAI.

2. Glasgow City Archives will be hosting The Irish and Scottish connection, a series of three presentations by Dr Irene O'Brien:

Discover your ancestors in Glasgow and Scotland, an introduction to resources to trace your Irish ancestors in Glasgow and Scotland. With particular focus on the Irish and tracing their migration, the records and sources of ScotlandsPeople and Glasgow City Archives will be explored.

Poor Law Records in Glasgow City Archives. This talk will present Glasgow City Archives' stand-out poor law records for Glasgow and the west of Scotland from 1845 to 1930. A large numbers of Irish applied for poor relief and the applications are rich with essential genealogical data and with details of the lives of applicants.

Church Records in Glasgow City Archives and Beyond. This talk will explore the City Archives's religious collections, which include Presbyterian, Episcopalian and other denominations, and Roman Catholic records held elsewhere.

3. Accredited Genealogists Ireland will present a series of short introductory talks for beginners:

These talks will be aimed those just starting their family history research in Irish records. They will focus primarily on free online resources and explain how to use them to their full potential. The topics to be covered include census returns, civil records of birth, death and marriage, church records and Griffith’s Valuation. There will also be presentations on How to prepare for doing research in Irish sources and on Irish land divisions.

That's where the arrangements are, at present. They give a good flavour of what's being put together, and I'll bring details of additions to the programme when I know them.

In the meantime, the only other thing I can tell you is that Genetic Genealogy Ireland, the specialist DNA conference usually held alongside BackToOurPast and sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA, will not be part of the BTOP Virtual event.