Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Ancestral connections to County Roscommon?

If you have ancestral connections to County Roscommon, a newly published book is likely to be of interest not just to you but also to your extended family. A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography has been compiled and published by Strokestown native Michael T Lennon, and its 930 pages (yes, 930 pages) includes details of more than 5,000 people.

Click image to find out more

His criteria for inclusion was clear, but not too rigid. To get through the selection process, the individuals had to have been: 

  • born in Roscommon with careers in Roscommon;
  • born in Roscommon with careers outside Roscommon;
  • born outside Roscommon with significant careers in Roscommon;
  • born outside Roscommon of Roscommon parentage and with prominent careers outside Roscommon.

Among those who cut the mustard are representatives from politics, art, sport, religion, law, music, business, journalism and entertainment, and with just a few exceptions, they lived between the early 17th century and New Year 2020.

One of the exceptions is the O'Conor family, the former Kings of Connacht and High Kings of Ireland. While the family can trace its lineage back to the 5th century, the Dictionary tracks the family from the death of Teige O'Conor in 954 to the split into the O'Conor Don and O'Conor Roe septs in 1384, and from there up to the death of Denis Armar O'Conor Don in 2000.

The idea for the book, which took 20 years to compile, sprang from Michael's interest in genealogy and developed when a family history project revealed his links to Ardkeenan, near Drum. No surprises, then, to find the book showcasing genealogies of prominent Roscommon families.

Michael has donated several copies of A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography to libraries in Roscommon and Athlone, but if you'd like a copy of this beautifully-bound tome to adorn your own shelves, you'll find it stocked at Cormican's Office Supplies, Sean Costello Street, Athlone; available for purchase via Rathcroghan.ie (€30 + shipping), or contact the author, now based in Dublin, at mike.t.lennon@gmail.com. 

 

Monday, 26 October 2020

New/updated British genealogy records: a busy 10 days

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by the major genealogy databases in the last ten days (see last summary, 16 October).

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. Where two figures are given, the first is the number of additions, the second is the new total.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

BNA

FindMyPast

MyHeritage

TheGenealogist


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

FreeBMD


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, 23 October 2020

Ancestry ProGenealogists team seeks Irish genealogist

Ancestry'a ProGenealogists team is continuing to expand and is currently looking for an Associate Genealogist with experience of Irish research to be based in either Dublin (at Ancestry's modern offices overlooking the Liffey) or Salt Lake City, Utah.

The focus of this Associate Genealogist role will be on research in Ireland, the USA, and immigration from Ireland to the United States, and will involve working closely with the Irish Research Team Manager to research, document, and prepare client sessions.

Applications are invited from Irish genealogists with 2-5 years professional experience, with advanced knowledge and understanding of Irish records and methodological research approaches and who are also proficient in conducting US and/or Canadian research.

You'll find more detail of what the role entails and the qualifications and skills sought by the company on Ancestry's Career pages. Select your preferred location:

All applications must be made online by submitting a CV/Résumé , via the pages linked above.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Free access to Dictionary of Irish Biography from 2021

The online edition of The Dictionary of Irish Biography, Ireland’s national biographical dictionary, will become free-to-access in spring 2021. Since the online edition was launched eleven years ago, it has been available for institutions through a platform hosted by its hard-copy publishers, Cambridge University Press, but it will now move to an open access model, making it available to all users.

The online version of the DIB will
move to an open-access site next year.

The DIB, as it is affectionately known, is a project managed by the Royal Irish Academy. It is an important resource for all researchers and scholars, as well as journalists and politicians, and holds some 11,000 bigraphical entries that vary in length from a couple of hundred to 15,000 words.

These articles outline the lives of prominent Irish men and women from across the island of Ireland and also the Irish careers of those born elsewhere, and cover all time periods from the earliest times to the 21st century. The subjects include actors, architects, artists, criminals, engineers, writers, lawyers, musicians, politicians, saints, scientists, sportsmen and women, surgeons, writers and more. Only the dead are included.

Funding for the open access website has been confirmed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Dublin City Libraries.

Records, history and more in three new publications for Clongish RC parish, Co Longford

Clongish Roman Catholic Parish, Newtownforbes, County Longford is the focus of three new publications based on old baptismal, marriage and burial records from the area. The third book additionally includes a major survey of the memorials of the old parish graveyard at Lismoy.

Brief details are as follows:

Clongish Parish (R.C.) Baptismal Records 1829-1899 [B&W]. This 176-page book includes a record of over 5,000 baptisms, together with background information on the local impact of the Great Famine and emigration. It also provides a statistical analysis of the baptisms, as well as aspects such as common surnames, family size, family links to townlands, age at which baptism occurred, frequency of twins and the distribution of baptisms per townland. It costs €10.

Clongish Marriages 1829-1944 [B&W] This 64-page book provides details of almost 1,300 marriages as well as information on some notable weddings, together with an analysis of the number of marriages per decade and time of year in which people married. €5,

Lismoy Historic Graveyard : Clongish Memorial & Burial Records 1747-2014 [Full colour]. This 224-page book includes burial records 1829-1949; a detailed survey of 300 memorials (1747-2014) and an article by research archaeologist Mary B. Timoney on the decoration on the older memorials. It also gives a brief overview of the Sisters of Mercy cemetery in Newtownforbes (behind the old convert, since converted into apartments), and a special focus on 1847 based on notes recorded in the original register. €25.

Each of the paperbacks can be purchased individually at the prices shown, but there is also a special 'bundle' price of €30 when all three publications are bought together. Post and packing is extra.

To order, email the author Des Mooney at des.moon3@gmail.com

Irish Registry of Deeds Index Project: October update

The latest update to the Registry of Deeds Index Project sees more than 380,058 entries in the Index, with all details extracted from 40,657 memorials of deeds.

Among the memorials indexed this month is one (no. 186417049, dated from 1864 but referring to a previous deed from 1829) which includes a table of tenants. They were all from Ballynerrin in County Wicklow. 

Surveyors for Griffith's Valuation carried out their work in County Wicklow in 1852-53. This memorial, then, is a very useful census substitute for the area some 12 years later.

If you click on the image, right, you'll be able to view a larger version of the memorial page and work through the named individuals and details of their tenancy.

You can also see the full indexed extracts as they appear in the Index database here.

To search the site its growing database of indexed memorials, click the image below.

Call for access and preservation of vast archive created by Mother and Baby Homes investigation

Last week I read that after six long years, The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is due to submit its report to Government. The Commission was set up following widespread claims in 2014 that the bodies of nearly 800 babies and children had been interred in an unrecorded mass grave in a Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway.

The Commission was charged to not only investigate the home in Tuam but also to explore the records and practices of an additional thirteen Mother and Baby Home as well as four county homes between 1922 and 1998.

With that report now completed, the archives of the commission are, under current legislation, due to be sealed for 30 years, thereby preventing women and children who were residents in the Homes to access information about their own lives and those of their families.

Catriona Crowe, who many Irish genealogists will remember as the National Archives of Ireland's Special Projects Manager responsible for coordinating the digitisation of the 1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses and delivering them online with free access in 2007-2010, has written an opinion piece, published in the Irish Times earlier this week, arguing that the 30-year closure would deny access to survivors and historians for an unreasonable length of time.

It's a well argued feature, and has attracted a good number of comments, mostly in support of her views. Definitely worth a read. Access it here.


___________________________________________________

If you're interested in the Commission's investigation and want to learn more about what happened in these Homes, see NUI Galway's Tuam Oral History Project (click image, right), which has enabled survivors of the Tuam institution and their families to tell their own life stories, in the way that they want them to be told.

These recordings are now being preserved and maintained in the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway along with relevant personal documents.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Online Irish genealogy and history events coming up

With social and other activities now seriously restricted across the island, I reckon a rolling calendar of online events is needed. The great thing about online events is that family, local and social historians who live further afield can join in, learn and enjoy many of the tours, exhibitions, podcasts, seminars and conferences lined up to help us get through these difficult times.

I'll be updating this listing at least twice a month.

Thursday 22 October
'I had a mouthful of steel': Cumann na mBan, militancy and gendered violence, 1919-1921. The Centenary Lecture Series. Host: Cavan Library Service. Online 7:30pm at www.cavanlibrary.ie and Facebook.com/CavanLibrary. Free. No booking.

Thursday 22 October
'From Turmoil to Truce: Photographs of the War of Independence'. A guided online tour of this NLI Photographic Archive Exhibition, with Maeve Casserly and Brid O'Sullivan. Hosts: Clare County Library and Clare Decade of Centenaries History Week. Free. 11am on Zoom. Register for tour at decadeofcentenaries@clarecoco.ie

Friday 23 October
'Social Life in Clare during the War of Independence’, a radio-type broadcast by Rita McCarthy focussing on news from around Clare in 1920. This podcast will be available on Clare County Library’s Youtube channel from 11am. Free. A Decade of Centenaries History Week event.

Saturday 24 October
Exploring Irish Ancestry, a full day, online seminar hosted by the Genealogical Society of Queensland. 9:30am to 4:30pm AEST (GMT+10), followed by Q&A at 5:30pm. Speakers are: Pauleen Cass, Dr Jennifer Harrison, Cathie Sherwood, Helen V. Smith, John Grenham and Chris Paton. Prices: $60 (GSQ/QFHS Member) and $75 (Non-Member). Download brochure. Book here.

Monday 26 October
Misbehaving Ministers & Promiscuous Presbyterians – Sexuality and Social Control in the Presbyterian Archive c. 1717-1830, with Dr Leanne Calvert. Hosted on Zoom by PRONI and the Ulster Society of Irish Historical Studies (USIHS). Free. 7pm to 8:30pm. Need to register.

Thursday 29 October
How to use PRONI's ecatalogue and other applications, a PRONI Virtual Workshop. 12:30–13:30. Free. Places limited so book early to confirm your spot.

Friday 30 October
Apple-tricks and Summer-set: Irish Words and Stories of Hallowe'en, with Sharon Arbuthnot, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Gregory Toner (authors of A History of Ireland in 100 Words). Hosted by the Linen Hall Library. Free. 7pm to 8pm. Presented on Zoom. Need to register.

Monday 2 November
Kevin Barry: An Irish Rebel in life and death, with Professor Eunan O'Halpin. A Live zoom event, and part of the Linen Hall Library Archives Series. 7pm-8pm. Free. Booking required.

Tuesday 3 November
Ireland in 1920, a 6-week series of interactive online classes, with Dublin Historian, Cormac Moore. Hosted by Dublin City Council Decade of Commemorations Programme. Starts 3 November at 7pm. Free. Registration required by email to commemorations@dublincity.ie.

Saturday 7 November
Bloody Sunday; A Bitter Legacy or A Legacy of Bitterness, with John Flannery. Host: Tipperary Museum of Hidden History's 8th Annual Lecture Series. Free podcast will be published on website, here.

Thursday 19 November
Exploring Victorian Belfast: People, Place and History, an afternoon online conference to mark the publication of Middle-Class Life in Victorian Belfast by Alice Johnson. 2pm to 4pm. Speakers include Sean Connolly, Robert Heslip and Alice Johnson. Will be held on Zoom. Free. Full details of the talks and booking.

Thursday 19 November
Word Choice and Religion in Early Modern Ireland, with Professor John McCafferty. An online presentation hosted by the Ulster Society of Irish Historical Studies and PRONI. 7pm Zoom meeting. Free. Need to register.

Wednesday 25 November
‘Not in my backyard’: Child Welfare, the Poor Law, and Social Surveillance in Late Nineteenth-century Belfast, with Dr Olwen Purdue. An online presentation on Zoom, hosted by the Trinity Centre for Contemporary Irish History Research Seminar Series in partnership with Trinity Long Room Hub. 4pm start, followed by Q&A at 4:45pm. Free. Details.

Saturday 5 December
The I.R.A. in Great Britain, 1913-1923, with Darragh Gannon. Host: Tipperary Museum of Hidden History's 8th Annual Lecture Series. Free podcast will be published on website, here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

National Heritage Awards 2020: heroes and projects

The efforts of individuals, families and community groups across Ireland to preserve, protect and promote their heritage were recognised today at the National Heritage Week Awards 2020.

National Heritage Week is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and run in association with Fáilte Ireland. At the county level, National Heritage Week is co-ordinated and supported by local authority heritage officers, their colleagues and with numerous local heritage groups and organisations. With Covid 19 restrictions in play this summer, the 2020 Week was rather different to previous years but still embraced enthusiastically.

More than 770 heritage groups and individuals developed the 'Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’ theme with online talks and exhibitions, videos, podcasts, slideshow presentations, blogs, websites, social media accounts, as well as small, restricted social gatherings. More than 850 projects were submitted and each was considered for an award.

The winners of the National Heritage Week Awards 2020 are:

  • The Heritage Hero Award: Christy Cunniffe from Clonfert, Co Galway: Christy Cunniffe has more than 30 years of involvement with heritage. Recently retired as the archaeological field monument advisor for Co Galway, during his time in the role Mr Cunniffe went above and beyond to work with local communities and assist heritage groups. He has worked with several villages to carry out heritage audits resulting in the identification of heritage sites; he was also involved with the Beara Breifne way, the Clonfert Conservation Plan and the forthcoming national heritage plan, Heritage Ireland 2030. His work in the Slieve Aughty uplands engaged local communities in Clare and Galway and promoted the heritage, archaeology and culture of this unique shared region. Mr Cunniffe is being recognised for his efforts to engage and include local communities and heritage groups, to spread his own knowledge and enthusiasm among those around him.
  • The Heritage on Your Doorstep Award: The Killeshandra Tidy Towns Heritage Group from Killeshandra, Co Cavan: This project sees the Killeshandra Census of 1911 being researched and used to sketch the town as it appeared at that time. The Killeshandra Tidy Town Heritage Group is producing sketches, old photographs and census records detailing the houses, shops, and public buildings and people who lived in the town. The result will prove a valuable resource for learning about the town’s cultural and built heritage and for genealogy research for visitors.
  • The Re-Learning Skills from Our Heritage Award: Johnny Shiels from Glenswilly, Co Donegal: Mr Shiels is a third-generation wheel wright and this project involves the restoration of a rate, old Donegal flax / wool spinning wheel. Assisted by his two sons, this project sees the passing of knowledge of wheel making and restoration across generations. Mr Shiels has used digital technology and social media to share the process of the restoration with a wide audience, and plans to engage with local schools to teach pupils about spinning and weaving, and to ensure continued interest in the project and the tradition itself.
  • The Heritage of Education Award: Rathmullan & District Local History Society from Rathmullan, Co Donegal: For this project, Rathmullan & District Local History Society set out to record the intangible heritage of schooldays, including the friendships; sports; games played; songs and lessons remembered; the customs and the ways of life in school and in the community. This was chosen to encourage a sense of connection which would involve the whole community. The first part of the project used their recently-created Facebook page to showcase the histories, stories and photographs of their townlands, and the group also produced a video based on earlier interviews with former pupils in the school from the late 1930s to 2005.
  • The Water Heritage Award: The Ellen Hutchins Festival from Bantry, Co Cork: Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815), born in Ballylickey, West Cork, was Ireland's first female botanist, with seaweeds being her specialist. This Ellen Hutchins Festival project involved the production of family-friendly resources enabling people to explore, understand, respect and protect seaweeds and the natural heritage of the shores of inner Bantry Bay. High quality multimedia items, including photographs and a video were included in the resources.

Commenting, Minister of State for the Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said: “The annual National Heritage Awards offer important recognition of the tireless work undertaken by people – not just during National Heritage Week, but year-round – to ensure the story of Ireland’s heritage continues to be told in a meaningful way. I am delighted to see the interest and excitement generated by the Awards among communities across the country, and offer congratulations to all winning and nominated projects.”

He added that the Heritage Council's budget for next year has been increased by 51% (€2.5m).

The theme for National Heritage Week 2021 will be ‘Inclusive Heritage / Heritage for Everyone’.

1926 Census of the Irish Free State is back in the news

The 1926 Census of the Irish Free State is once again making headlines. Today, it's the subject of a piece on RTÉ, Ireland's national news service, which carries a statement from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) referring to the publication on social media of data and images purporting to be from the census taken in 1926. Such publication, as the CSO makes clear in its statement, is strictly prohibited. It has also posted a tweet to this effect, see below.

Regardless, multiple such images were published and shared on Facebook over the last few days, creating quite a storm of excitement among genealogists. Add in a drop of Chinese Whispers and gossips were soon telling that the census returns had been officially released online.

In the first 'report' I heard this morning, kind civil servants had released the images to cheer up family historians in Ireland as they face a new Lockdown from tomorrow night!

Hmmm.

Thanks to Boards.ie (the best free online forum for Irish genealogy), the real story has been unravelled. No kind civil servants, of course. And no release of census returns, either. It turns out a stash of documents related to the 1926 census were recently discovered (in a skip behind the barracks in Fermoy, Co Cork, according to one gossip strain) and was uploaded to Facebook in all innocence of their 'protected status'. A couple of hundred images were circulated as the story gathered steam, giving details of households in the town, and some viewers were delighted to find older members of their families recorded.

Exactly what was the intended role of the documents has not been ascertained. They were not census returns, as such.

The CSO says the person who uploaded them has agreed to remove the images from Facebook. While I can see some examples remain live, I imagine they will be deleted as and when the news that their publication is illegal reaches more page-admins.

The 1926 census is not due to be released until 2027. If you would like to add your name to the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations's petition to see it released early, see Change.org.

For more information about the 1926 census, she the dedicated page on my website, Irish-Genealogy-Toolkit.com.

Monday, 19 October 2020

RootsIreland.ie uploads 22,000 records from Co. Sligo

Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Centre (Sligo Roots) has announced the addition of some 21,939 records to RootsIreland.ie's Sligo database. The upload comes in two distinct bundles. The first includes some 6,380 miscellaneous baptisms, births, marriages and deaths recorded across the county's parishes.

The second sees more than 15,550 gravestone and memorial inscriptions uploaded from six Roman Catholic burial grounds in Aghanagh, Ahamlish; Drumcliffe; Keelogues, Skreen & Dromard; and Templeboy, and a further three municipal (mixed denomination) cemeteries in Aghanagh, Sligo Town, and Templeboy.

Adrian Regan, the manager of Sligo Roots, told Irish Genealogy News that the first bundle includes the rolling annual upload of records according to the 100-75-50-year rule. "It also includes a back-log of amendments and additions gathered over six or seven year from records discovered on random pages or parts of pages that had become separated or torn from registers, or on previously untranscribed sections of microfilm. They cover many of the county's parishes, across various dates and time-frames."

The gravestone and memorial bundle is the first instalment from a Special Project team of two that's been working through the results of burial ground surveys carried out between 1985 and 1990. "All the records are being data-checked and where the inscription was not complete, the memorial has been re-examined," explains Adrian. "This upload is the first batch. The team has another 26,000 inscriptions to work through."

Other future additions to the RootsIreland Sligo database will include shipping lists dating from around 1909 to about 1950, and Methodist congregational records. There's not yet a timeframe for when these will be online.

You can view the full menu of the online sources held in RootsIreland's Sligo database at https://rootsireland.ie/sligo/online-sources.php.

2-week summary of updates to US genealogy collections

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been released or updated by the major genealogy databases in the first half of October. (The last summary list was published on 2 October, 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.

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. I do not include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors

Ancestry

FamilySearch

Zooniverse American WWI Burial Cards Project


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors

Ancestry

FamilySearch

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.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Now this is what I call an update: 209 million records!

A few weeks ago Irish Genealogy News announced the launch of a new collection on Ancestry (see blogpost). It highlighted the arrival of the Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999, created from details extracted from titles held in the Ancestry-owned Newspapers.com database.

I thought it would be an extremely useful collection for Irish family historians to know about, as marriage announcements often contain important genealogical information not found elsewhere. And with 11 million entries, there seemed a fair chance of locating an Irish immigrant ancestor or his/her descendents.

So, when I spotted an update to the collection in Ancestry's What's New listing, I was keen to see how many extra records had joined the Index.

Only a cool 209,316,224!

The new total of records in this collection is now 220,784,630, making it the ninth largest in Ancestry's database of historical records. (The Newspapers.com Obituary Index, for the same period is the second largest with 810million.)

Friday, 16 October 2020

Half-month updates of British genealogy collections

Below is a summary of new and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales released by the major genealogy databases in the first half of October (see last summary blogpost of 1 October).

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.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

British Library

BritishNewspaperArchive


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

Ancestry

Deceased Online

FamilySearch

FindMyPast

The Genealogist


Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Latest additions to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Five counties are represented in this summary of records and photos uploaded to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archioves in the first half of October. 

Headstone memorial to the White family in
St Patrick's Dunmanway. Photo courtesy of
Candi McCarthy Zizek and IGPArchives.
The records are a real mixed bag, with headstone photos and transcribed inscriptions, a graveyard index, marriage records for two Roman Catholic parishes, and Church of Ireland marriage records from three parishes.

These files have been prepared and uploaded by IGPA volunteers and are free to access. They are:

CORK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St Patrick's Graveyard, Dunmanway, Pt2 (Updated)

FERMANAGH Gen. Archives - Church Records
Holy Trinity Church Marriages, Crom, 1845-1921

FERMANAGH/MONAGHAN - Church Records
Drummully CoI Marriages 1845-1942 (border parish)

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St Mary's Cemetery RC (New), Foxfield

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
St Bridgets Graveyard Index, Oldcastle (Sectn C)

MONAGHAN Gen. Archives - Church Records
Killeevan CoI – Marriages, 1845-1942
Scotshouse CoI – Marriages 1845-1939

 

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Many Irish in Boston Provident Savings ledgers, 1817-82

AmericanAncestors.org has started to upload a wonderful collection of ledgers from the Boston Provident Institution of Savings. As far as I'm aware, this has not been online before (if I'm wrong, please tweet @Irish_Genealogy).

Volunteers are currently transcribing the ledgers, and have just completed work on a first single volume: Signature Book 10, 1854-55. When complete, the database will contain six signature books and six "Waste" books.

I've taken a good dip into the one indexed volume and it is seriously crammed with the name of Irish immigrants. Of the 16,254 entries in the one volume, I estimate 8,400 are Irish. Of these, 2,100 savers were born in Cork, around 500 each from Donegal and Kerry, 300 each from Roscommon, Offaly and Galway, and 200 each from Tyrone, Limerick and Tipperary. The smallest county represention is from Wicklow, with only 17 savers noted. Just under 2,000 are recorded as born in 'Ireland'.

The Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston was set up in 1817, the first savings bank to be incorporated in the United States. The institution was predicated on the idea that savings banks would encourage thrift and self improvement of the poor of Boston without subjecting them to the so-called moral corruption associated with outright charity. By offering their customers dividends on savings, the Provident would encourage them to keep their money in the bank for longer periods of time, rather than spend as they earned it.

Over the course of the following 180 years, the Provident expanded, became a subsidiary of Hartford National Corporation in 1986, and continued to operate as the Provident Institution until it was merged with Shawmut Bank in 1992. Its records were then donated to the Boston Athenaeum, which holds and digitised the original books. The NEHGS has partnered with the Athenaeum to index them and make them available online.

The additional books are actively being indexed, and new volunteers are welcome (email webmaster@nehgs.org for more information if you'd like to help out).

You need a current paid membership to view the records.

See a partial page sample below, listing savers from Roscommon, Cork, Galway, Kildare and Tyrone. Not in the sample are two further columns noting the current residence of the saver and the amount being deposited.

From the Boston MA, Provident Institution of Savings, 3 Oct 1855

State of play: Covid restrictions for Irish researchers

With both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland having revised their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic with increased restrictions in the last week, I thought a quick run through of the potential impact on Irish family historians – wherever they live in the world – may be of use to researchers needing more than access to online records.

Northern Ireland

This morning, a special sitting of the Stormont assembly announced a partial lockdown of Northern Ireland to try to contain exploding rates of Covid-19 infections.

From the published summary guidelines so far provided, I don't think the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), branch and specialist libraries or genealogy and heritage centres will be required to close, provided masks are worn and social distancing rules are in place.

Visitor arrangements at the Linen Hall Library and the General Register Office of Northern Ireland should be checked before travelling to their premises, and take a new look at PRONI's newly updated booking process and details of the additional resources that will be available from Monday 19 October.

Libraries that, like the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, had not reopened since the first Lockdown, are likely to remain closed but may be offering email assistance.

Taking the main force of the new beyond-the-home restrictions are schools, hospitality and most sport/leisure services, all closed. These revised rules will take effect from Friday 16 October. They will, with the exception of schools which may reopen after a fortnight, be in place for four weeks.

The Derry City & Strabane District additionally has strict social and household restrictions (see), in place since the beginning of the month.

UPDATE, 16 October: Further guidance has been issued today and will see PRONI and all libraries, specialist, general and public, closed for four weeks. Remote working by some staff will allow you to get some assistance via email.

 

Republic of Ireland

All 26 counties have been placed on Level 3 under the Government's Plan for Living with Covid-19 in response to the deteriorating situation with the virus across the country. They will remain so until at least 27 October, when the status of the pandemic and resulting public health advice will be reviewed by the Government.

As a result, the National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, local archives and libraries, indoor museums, genealogy centres and cultural attractions are physically closed. However, some are available by phone and most, if not all, should be are able to respond to email queries.

People movement is also restricted. Individuals must remain in their own county, with the exception of those who need to travel for work, education and other essential purposes.

UPDATE, 15 October: Counties Cavan, Donagal and Monaghan will move up a tier to Level 4 restrictions from midnight tonight. There is unlikely to be any additional impact on family historians, as most 'genealogy venues' are already closed. However, there are more severe social and travel restrictions, and most retail, leisure and work places will be closed. TheJournal.ie has a tidy explainer of Level 4 impact.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Save £25 on AncestryDNA testing kits via AncestryUK

Ancestry UK is offering a discount on AncestryDNA testing kits.

It offers a saving of £25 by reducing the pre-shipping price from £79 to £55. Shipping is extra.

The offer will end at 11:59pm on Thursday 15 October.

To take advantage of the discount, click/tap the image, right, and place your order before that date.

(I've not received or seen any notification about discounts on AncestryDNA testing kits bought via Ancestry.ca or Ancestry.com. If you're based in Canada or the USA, you might like to double-check by clicking the links provided.)


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Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2020 (Dublin) cancelled

This year's Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) in Dublin, scheduled for this coming weekend (17-18 October) has been cancelled.

It follows last week's extension of 'Level 3' COVID-19 restrictions to all areas of the Republic of Ireland.

Maurice Gleeson, Education Ambassador for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy and organiser of GGI, says he is planning to hold a virtual GGI conference next year, using an online video meeting platform. He will release details in due course.

In the meantime, he suggests researchers feast on the GGI video library of presentations delivered at the ten GGI conferences held since 2013 in Dublin and Belfast. He's picked out a trio of the most popular and embedded them into his blogpost announcing the cancellation of the autumn conference, and directs you to the full library on YouTube, and also to Legacy FamilyTreeWebinars View the GGI blog here.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Irish civil death registers, 1871-1877, uploaded

Well, this is exciting! Unannounced, more death register images have been uploaded to IrishGenealogy.ie's free civil registration collection.


Pre- this upload, the images for deaths from 1864 to 1877 were not online. While the entire batch of missing images are not, right now, online, those for 1871 to 1877 are, and appear to be complete.

Here's the link to the civil registers.

Images for 1864 to 1870 inclusive are still on the 'missing' list.

In total, this upload gives us an additional 671,599 death register images to play with.

In the meantime, enjoy.

UPDATE, 3:10pm: The official statement from the Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has been released. It confirms that some 15.5 million register records (index plus images) are now available on the site, as follows:

  • Birth register records – 1864 to 1919
  • Marriage register records – 1845 to 1944 
  • Death register records – 1871 to 1969 

Unfortunately, there is no official time frame given for the upload of the final instalment of the 'missing' death register images.

British Newspaper Archive uploads its 200th Irish title

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added a fourth historical newspaper title from County Clare. It's the Kilrush Herald and Kilkee Gazette.

As of this morning there are 1,590 editions available for searching, with some significant gaps covering the 1880s.

When its holding is fully digitised and uploaded to the online archive, it will give access to editions published 1879 to 1922.

The revised line-up for this county is shown below.

The BNA's database is shared with its sister company FindMyPast (FMP), so if you have a PRO subscription with that supplier, you'll have full access the titles above and its entire Irish Newspaper Collection.

This latest addition to the BNA & FMP collection marks the upload of its 200th Irish title.


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, 6 October 2020

Four Maynooth Studies in Local History, 2020, published

Four new volumes in the Maynooth Studies in Local History Series have been published.

The popular series, which has been running since 1995, sees the work of a handful of Local History MA students published each year. This year's studies are briefly detailed below.

Tigernán Ua Ruairc and a twelfth-century royal grant in the Book of Kells, by Denis Casey.
In popular history, the long-lived king of Bréifne, Tigernán Ua Ruaircd, who died in 1172 after ruling the kingdom for some 50 years), sees him portrayed as a king-maker, a land-grabber, a wronged husband and a vengeful man honour. This 60-page study aims to reveal a king at work, by analysing a substantial grant of land in modern Co. Meath (stretching from Dulane to Slane) that Tigernán made to the church of Kell, a move that gave him considerable political and military advantages. ISBN: 978-1-84682-858-4. Details

Belturbet, County Cavan, 1610–1714, by Brendan Scott. 
This 72-page book charts the plantation town of Belturbet from its inception in the early 17th century to the early 18th century, a period of profound change, destruction and renewal. It examines the experiences of locals during the initial settlement period, the religious tensions, the violence of the 1640s and later, and the sometimes unsuccessful attempts by the town corporation to impose its authority. ISBN: 978-1-84682-855-3. Details.

Crime & punishment in 19th-century Belfast – The story of John Linn, by Jonathan Jeffrey Wright.
This 78-page study reconstructs Linn’s story in detail and places him in his contexts, shedding light on the society he inhabited, the institutions tasked with managing him (he had violently murdered his father in 1832 and was judged to be insane) and the ways in which his story was remembered and retold in the years following his transportation from Ireland. Details.

Morristown Lattin, County Kildare, 1630–1800 – The estate and its tenants, by Emma Lyons.
Through an examination of the estate records, this 80-page case study provides an insight into the adaption and survival of a Catholic-owned estate during two tumultuous periods in Irish history. The analysis of leases, rent rolls, correspondence and legal documents, permits the tracing of patterns of land ownership and inheritance across the generations, in addition to the tenants and their links with the estate over generations. ISBN: 978-1-84682-857-7. Details.

Each of these paperbacks has a catalogue price of €9.95, but is currently offered for just €8.95 from the publishers, Four Courts Press. The books are also available in good local bookshops.

Monday, 5 October 2020

New Affiliate for Accredited Genealogists Ireland

Accredited Genealogists Ireland, the accrediting and representative organisation for professional genealogists on the island of Ireland, has announced a new AGI Affiliate. She is Jillian van Turnhout, previously a member of Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Irish parliament.

As well as being a former Senator, she is a current member of the Board of the Arts Council of Ireland. Jillian has been involved in family history for nearly two decades and in recent years she has concentrated on developing that interest professionally.

Jillian is the 17th person to be admitted as an AGI Affiliate since the Affiliate Programme was introduced in 2012. Nine of her predecessors have already successfully progressed to gaining credentials as Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland.

Find out more about Jillian on her AGI profile page here.

Friday, 2 October 2020

2-week summary: new/updated USA genealogy records

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been released or updated by the major genealogy databases in the second half of September. (The last summary list was published on 17 September, 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.

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. I do not include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


NEW COLLECTIONS

Ancestry


UPDATED COLLECTIONS

AmericanAncestors

        St. Francis de Sales, Charlestown (16,400+ records/66,600+ names)

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.

Irish public libraries receive €3m to adapt to Covid19

Earlier this week, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Developmenthas announced funding of €3 million to support a Small Scale Capital Works Programme in public libraries.

The Department funding will be matched by local authorities to the value of €1.1 million, providing a total investment of almost €4.1million.

This funding will provide each Library Authority in the Republic of Ireland with €100,000 for their proposed works, which range from the installation of study pods and Perspex screens and traffic control technology to the building of extensions, all of which will make a real difference to the library buildings as they adapt to new public health guidelines.

"These works will strengthen the library’s position as a community hub and ensure that it is a modern, well-equipped and comfortable facility that will leave a positive legacy for years to come," Minister Humphreys saidl "In total, 113 libraries will be upgraded with this funding.”

Works will commence in the libraries over the coming weeks and will be completed by end 2020/early 2021.

By the end of September, 262 out of 327 Libraries Ireland branches had reopened following the national Lockdown. Of those, 234 are providing a browsing service, either by appointment or drop-in, and the remainder are providing a ‘Contact and Collect’ service for members who do not wish to enter the premises. Some of the smaller branches may not open for browsing until the social distancing requirements are reduced as they are small in size e.g. a room in a community centre and have only one member of staff assigned to them. However, libraries continue to provide their online services which includes eBooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers, magazines and eLearning courses.

More editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette go online

Following last month's announcement from the RCB Library that post-1949 editions of the Church of Ireland's Gazette would be digitised and released in monthly instalments, the second such tranche has been uploaded for free viewing.

It covers all editions published in 1960 to 1969 inclusive and, as with last month's instalment, it is accompanied by a presentation in the ‘Borderless Church’ series from the Representative Church Body Library.

The '1960s' presentation is from Brian M Walker, Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. In the 60s, the newly relaunched Gazette was reaching out to both Northern Ireland and the Republic, and Professor Walker explores further aspects of this, and how strong editorial input ensured that events of national importance in both jurisdictions as well as international events were well covered and carefully analysed.

He concludes: "The 1960s were a time of great change in Ireland, north and south, and this is revealed in the pages of the Gazette. We see how, in spite of such differences, the Church of Ireland maintained an all-Ireland approach. These years showed evidence of considerable vitality for the parishes and the clergy. Progress was made to tackle existing political and denominational divisions, but serious problems remained.

"While the challenge in the 1960s involved the building of many new churches and other buildings, the challenge would move in the 1970s to facing the effects of violence and civil strife. The Gazette would continue to record and to comment about the life and faith of the Church in response to these events."

To search and view the 1960s releases, and all the other editions of the Gazette up to 1969, go to https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb.

For the Borderless Church series of presentations, see Dr Marie Coleman’s analysis of the 1950s editions of the Gazette here.

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: latest updates

This headstone in Fahy Graveyard on Lough Allen is inscribed:
'Here lies the body of THADH McHUGH who died ... 1788'.
Photo courtesy of Leila Dolan and IGP Archives.

In the second half of September, four bundles of headstone photos + inscriptions have been uploaded to the Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. They have all been donated by volunteers and are free to access.

Of particular note is the latest instalment to the Mount Jerome Cemetery collection. It is the 50th such instalment since 2008 from contributor Yvonne Russell, and brings the total number of images in the collection to 40,000. That's a terrific achievement.

The latest additions are:

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones Mount Jerome Cemetery - Pt 263 & 264

FERMANAGH Gen. Archives - Headstones Callow Hill/Callowhill Graveyard (additional)

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones Fahy Graveyard on Lough Allen

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones Clonard Cemetery - partial (T)