Friday 16 April 2021

Take 5: a second batch of five brief Irish genealogy news items

Since my last Take 5 blogpost in March (here), I've made some catch-up progress with my backlog. Not quite as much as I'd have liked, but at least in the right direction. I may, therefore, continue the occasional Take 5 format for a bit longer as I still have too much on my plate. So, here's a second batch of five short news items that have been delayed but are still newsworthy. I'll keep cracking on...

Roscommon Biography epic goes digital

Last summer, I blogged about the launch of A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography, by Michael Lennon. It contains the obituaries of 5,000 women and men associated with County Roscommon and its hinterland, spanning four centuries, and covers the careers of representatives from politics, sport, arts, religion, law, business and journalism.

As the 930-page hardback has almost sold out, a digital edition has now been published to facilitate interested readers at home and abroad who were unable to purchase a copy. Further details about the book can be found on its website

The digital edition may be purchased online (€10) from Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

The Breslin Archive adds first tranche of new photographic collection

Founded in 2019, The Breslin Archive has recently uploaded some 100 images from a recently acquired and newly digitised photographic collection. Taken during the 1890s, the pictures show people, stately homes, houses, fishing ports and landscapes, mainly from around County Waterford, and provides insight into the lives of people across different social classes in Ireland towards the end of the 19th-century.

This new collection consists of original glass and celluloid negatives, 6.5" x 8.5" (full plate) and 3.25" by 4.25" (quarter plate) in size.

Now digitised, the full plate photographs can be viewed on the site. They join existing collection of photographs taken in the west of Ireland during the 1930s, with more collections from the 19th and 20th centuries (including the quarter plates mentioned above) being digitised for later addition to the free online archive.

National Archives of Ireland issues request for tender for Genealogy Advisory Service

The National Archives of Ireland has issued a request for tender for the provision of qualified personnel to operate a Genealogy Advisory Service for its users, visitors (when again allowed) and correspondents. The work will be carried out onsite at Bishop Street, Dublin 8, and remotely.

The NAI's Service has been, and still is, provided by members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland for most of the last decade or so. While the daily in-person service has not been possible during Lockdown, the genealogists have been running a busy email service, answering queries from researchers. Details.

The closing date for receipt of tenders is 14 May 2021, and full details are available at etenders, here.

John Grenham's video channel continues to expand with helpful videos

Professional genealogist John Grenham MAGI announced the launch of his video channel back in January, and uploaded four videos, all aiming to help researchers better understand and explore his useful website. Along with useful tips on how to get the best from the site, the video format also allows him to offer advice on Irish genealogy resources more generally.

He's been a busy lad! The channel now holds 17 videos. They're short (11-23 minutes long), informative and helpful, and come with a good sprinkling of the humour for which John is so well known. And they're free! Check them out by clicking the thumbnail, left.

MyHeritage opens up its entire birth records collection from 18–24 April

All birth records held in the MyHeritage database will be free to search AND view for a full week starting this Sunday 18 April and running until the 24th. The database holds 115 collections containing a total of 1,144,541,613 individual records from all over the world. Some contain indexes, while others contain an image of the record.

Unfortunately, MyHeritage doesn't yet have much to entice the average Irish genealogist as most of its Irish collections are non-exclusive and often also permanently free elsewhere. However, that doesn't mean Irish genealogists won't find anything to interest them in this free access period. If you have ancestors who left Ireland, you may well find their descendents in MyHeritage's birth collections.