Wednesday, 5 May 2021

New website for Cork Archives as it prepares to re-open on 11 May

Cork Archives has unveiled a new-look website. It was time. The old one was much in need of a re-fresh, at least, but this facelift is more than just a redesign.

The navigation has been reorganised and simplied, and users will find it much easier to find the sections they are interested in viewing and then digging deep into them. The online catalogue seems to be functioning a lot more smoothly and quickly than I remember, too, which is always welcome.

Coinciding with the launch of the revamped site, the Archives has confirmed that the building will reopen for research appointments on Tuesday 11 May. A smaller number of people will be allowed into the building at any one time, so there will be a restricted number of reader appointmens on offer than previously. They will be available Tuesday to Friday only, from 10:30am–12:30pm and from 2pm–4pm.

Researchers are advised to book their space well in advance.

Click the image to visit the new site.

May-June edition of History Ireland magazine published

The latest edition of History Ireland magazine is now available in the shops and online.

As always, its features and columns cover a wide span of Irish history. In this issue, topics include: The Carthusians in Ireland, The Templars and the mysterious Holy Rood of Ballinrobe; Ireland and the ‘£20 million swindle’; The ‘poor scholar’ in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writing; Pantomime; The burning of the Custom House, 25 May 1921; Arguements for the parliament of Southern Ireland, 1921; The Beyond 2022 project to recreate a digital Public Record Office of Ireland; and a look at when neutral Ireland's emergency services went to war in the early 1940s.

In addition, the regular columns and opinion pieces explore Ireland's architectural heritage, artefacts, museums, and tv and book reviews, as well as letters from readers, and the latest news of interest to historians.

To check out this edition and find out more about subscriptions (postal or digital), click the image, right.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Three-week summary of new & updated USA genealogy collections

Below is a summary of US family history collections that have been released or updated by the major genealogy databases in the last three weeks. (The previous summary list was published on 12 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, if provided by the database.

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.




Fold 3


  • Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from:
    Most Precious Blood (Hyde Park), Sacred Heart (Boston), St. Aidan (Brookline), St. Margaret of Scotland (Beverly), St. Mary of the Assumption (Brookline), St. Augustine (South Boston), SS Peter and Paul (South Boston), St. Edward (Brockton) and St. John the Evangelist (Winthrop). (c440,000 additional searchable names)


Family Search
  • The database updated 26 US collections

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Monday, 3 May 2021

Galway Archives digitises Loughrea Board of Guardians Minutes

Newly released from Galway County Council Archives are the Board of Guardians Minutes for Loughrea.

They date from 1839 to 1852, and can be downloaded in a series (GPL2) of more than 100 pdf documents (average size 33Mb), free of charge.

Loughrea Minutes recorded 189 deaths in the week ending
12 May 1849. Click image for larger view.

A full Descriptive List is also available within the series, and is worth exploring before you go diving in.

If you have ancestors from County Galway, be sure to check out some of the other collections to have made their way into the Council's Digital Archive. They represent a small selection of the county's full archive collection, and include some of the most important and most requested records. Included are the Burial Ground Registers for Tuam, 1882-1920, and several other Poor Law and Town Commissioners archives.

April's updates to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Genealogy records and headstone photographs from five counties were added to the free, online Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGPA) during April. There's a summary below.

With Lockdowns easing across the island in the next few weeks, many family historians will be heading straight to the reading rooms of libraries and archives for a serious research fix. But for those who'd like a genealogy fix that helps other researchers, and gets your lungs full of fresh air, why not use that much-needed freedom of movement to photograph the headstones of a nearby burial ground?

Wall memorials to the Marrinam family at Inagh Old
Graveyard. Photo courtesy of Marianne McGough and IGPA.
Click image for larger view.

You can then donate your pix (transcribed or not) to IGPA for the benefit of genealogists around the world.

You'll find guidance on the IGPA site, here.

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Inagh Old Graveyard (K-Unknown) (Now complete)

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Tierneys (R.C.) Part 3

GALWAY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Moylough Graveyard

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Owning Old Graveyard (partial)

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Family History
Rev Walter Skehan Notes Vol 43 with QUIRKE partial (PDF)

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Online Irish genealogy and history events, 2 - 15 May

Sunday 2 May: Taking the Biscuit, a specially commissioned drama set during Easter Week 1916 in Jacob’s Factory Garrison under the command of Commandant Thomas MacDonagh. Written and directed by Martin Maguire, the drama is based mainly on documents held in the Military Archives. Host: Cloughjordan Honours Thomas MacDonagh 2021, Cloughjordan Heritage Group. 8pm. Free. Online. Download programme or see for booking.

Monday 3 May: Bank Holiday in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Monday 3 May: The Modreeny Ambush Centenary, with Ger Heffernan providing a detailed account of the involvement of the Irish Republican Army ‘Flying Column’, local Volunteers and the Royal Irish Constabulary in one of the final military acts of the Irish War of Independence. Host: Cloughjordan Honours Thomas MacDonagh 2021, Cloughjordan Heritage Group. 8pm. Free. Online. Download programme or book at

Wednesday 5 May: 'Admirals for a Day’: Reading and discussion, with Cormac O’Malley. Host: National Library of Ireland. Online. Need to book. Free. 7:30pm.

Thursday 6 May: WWI: Exploring the Irish Experience, a virtual exhibition tour. Host: National Library of Ireland. All welcome. Free, but need to book tickets. 11am.

Thursday 6 May: Blitz 80: Hands Across the Border: Assistance from southern fire brigades in the Belfast Blitz, by Las Fallon. Hosts: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland War Memorial (NIWM). Online presentation. 2pm. Free. All welcome. Need to register.

Thursday 6 May: WWI: Life in an Irish Towerhouse, with Donal Burke. Host: Irish Workhouse Centre First Friday Series of talks. 8pm online. €5. Book here.

Thursday 6 May: The Dolphin's Barn Brickworks, with Cathy Scuffil. Host: Walkinstown Library/Dublin City Libraries. 11am. Online. Free. Need to register. Details.

Monday 10 May: Many libraries, archives and similar research centres begin to reopen in the Republic of Ireland, subject to safety restrictions.

Wednesday 12 May: Ireland 1900 - 1925: Crisis, War and Revolution, launch of a new resource exploring some of the most significant events in Ireland’s modern history, from the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill to the First World War, Easter Rising, partition of Ireland and the creation of two new states. 2pm to 3:15pm. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Speakers: Janet Hancock, Deputy Head of Public Services, PRONI; Dr Timothy Bowman, Reader in Military History, University of Kent; Jim McBride, secretary of HTANI. Zoom event, free. Need to book

Wednesday 12 May: Ireland in Flanders: Men from the island of Ireland during the First World, with Piet Chielens, director of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres. Host: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. All welcome. Free. 8pm. Need to register.

Thursday 13 May: From Turmoil to Truce: Photographs of the War of Independence, an online tour. Host: National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive. 11am. Free. All welcome. Need to book.

Saturday 15 May: Emigrants and Exiles, the East Galway Story, a day conference. A range of speakers composed of descendants and academics will gather virtually across the diaspora to share their stories and the stories of their communities. Host: Trasna na Tíre. On Zoom. 11am (Irish/GMT+1). Free. Download programme pdf. Register at EventBrite.