Monday 16 August 2021

Heritage Week delivers new Irish family and local history sources

This year's Heritage Week in Ireland was themed around the creation and completion of heritage projects. As a result, some heritage groups developed projects focussed on the transcription, digitisation or release of records, publications and headstones. I haven't gone through the entire database of events/projects, but here are six such projects I found that will be of obvious benefit to Irish family historians:

Digitisation of County Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Journal

Fourteen volumes of the County Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society's Journal, published 1986 to 2019, have been digitised by Roscommon County Library Service in collaboration with the CRHAS. More than 200 articles and images, plus an index, have been digitised and placed online through Roscommon County Council’s Local History Ditital Files platform. They are free to view and download (some files are large) here.

Who's Been Living in my House?

Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group in County Clare took up the Heritage Week challenge with an in-depth study of the occupiers and owners of some of Clarecastle's oldest properties, many of them built more than 200 years ago. Using the Cancelled, or Revision Books held by the Valuation Office in Dublin, the Group's members took on the task of transcribing ten Books spanning 1855 to the 1970s, recording all the ink changes (denoting the year of change) in colour. The transcriptions were recorded into ten spreadsheets, capturing some 3,000 entries. This research is now on the Clarecastle Ballyea Hetitage and Wildlife website where it can be explored throughout Heritage Week.

Conservation of Drogheda Merchant Ledgers

Nearly 30 hours of professional conservation treatment has been carried out on three merchant ledgers held by County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society. Two of the ledgers (1788-92 and 1802-09) detail business transactions at the Brodigans’ grocery and tobacco shop in West Street and name many customers from Louth and counties Dublin, Kilkenny and Tyrone. The third ledger gives information on imports and exports of ships that docked in Drogheda from 1723-31. Following the conservation project, researchers can consult the ledgers under supervision in the research room of the County Archives. A special archival exhibition of the ledgers will be free to visit this Friday, 20 August, from 10am to 1pm. No need to book. Details.

Ennis Friary memorial transciptions

Ennis Friary is in the care of the Office of Public Works. It's original inhabitants were forced to leave in the mid-1500s and the site was repurposed as a parish church. It was a multi-denominational burial ground from the late 1600s to 1871, which is when most of its surviving gravestones and memorials date. The site receives a lot of visitors and enquiries from researchers, so the OPW team took on the task of remapping and transcribing all of the burials and memorials within the site. Project details can be found at The transcriptions, arranged under their location in the site ie chancel, cloister, nave, graveyard etc) are downloadable in pdf format here.

Graveyard survey – Corrandulla Cemetery

Members of Annaghdown Heritage Society in County Galway have carried out a survey of Corrandulla Cemetery (18km north of Galway City), complete with a map of the burial ground, transcription of all extant tombstone inscriptions and a surname index. The findings have been published in a booklet that is now available to purchase for €5 plus the applicable postage rate. Details and links, here.

Selection of family and local history booklets

See also Steve Dolan's range of booklets produced for this year's Heritage Week. Most of the topics relate to County Galway, but those with connections to County Cork or the town of Athlone should also take a look. I blogged about them last week. See blogpost.