Thursday, 11 August 2022

Ireland's network of FamilySearch Affiliate Libraires grows to 13

Before this summer, there were only two Family Search Affiliate Libraries in Ireland: Dublin City Library & Archive in Pearse Street, and Central Library in Waterford City's Lady Lane.

As we approach the end of the season, we have a cool thirteen, with all ten branches of Fingal Libraries, plus the Local Studies & Archive in Swords, having received Affiliate status. Library card holders are now able to access nearly all databases from branch computers. No charge. No fuss.

The difference between accessing from your personal device and searching via an Affiliate Library terminal is that you can access to a portion of FamilySearch's digitised microfilms that researchers cannot view via regular Internet access.

The FamilySearch wiki suggests the Affiliate computer will give you up to an additional 400 million records. So, if your regular computer is showing the camera icon with a key symbol above it alongside the name of the collection you want to search, you probably need to visit an affiliate library. Check with the library before travelling, though, as it's possible access to that particular collection may be available only at a Family History Center (FHC).

IrishGenealogyNews spoke to Amy Hanley about the new arrangements at Fingal Libraries. She says the process was really very simple. Once the local authority had agreed that all the branches within the area would benefit from Affiliate status, a specific terminal at each location had to be identified and its static IP addresses shared with FamilySearch. Then the formal contract was drawn up and signed, and that was it. There were no costs to the local authority. As Amy noted, Affiliate libraries don't have all the services of an FHC. However, they can help bridge most of the gap. Additionally, Fingal Libraries have much longer and more convenient hours of opening compared with the nearest FHC at Glasnevin is open only on mid-week-mornings.

Affiliate libraries also receive a monthly e-newsletter subscription for reference staff to stay abreast of what’s new and the latest tips and tricks for supporting family history patrons.

FamilySearch's listing and world map of FHCs and Affiliate Libraries have still to be updated with the 11 latest additions to the network. In the meantime, you'll find addresses and contact details for the Fingal Libraries branches here, and details for the Local Studies & Archives here.

(Currently, there are only three FHCs in the Republic of Ireland: Cork, Glasnevin and Limerick. In Northern Ireland there are four: Belfast, Coleraine, LondonDerry and Portadown.)

Many historical record collections accompanied in the catalogue by a
camera-with-key icon are available to view at a FamilySearch Affiliate Library

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

National Library of Ireland adds two late openings per week

The National Library of Ireland has added two evening openings to its weekly timetable.

Researchers can access the Main Reading Room and the Microfilm Reading Room (7-8 Kildare St.), and the Manuscripts Reading Room (2-3 Kildare St) at the following times:

  • Monday, Thursday & Friday, 9.30am–5pm
  • Tuesday & Wednesday, 9.30am–7pm

The Reader's Ticket Office will have just one 'late' opening each week, as follows:

  • Monday – Friday: 10.30am–12.30pm & 2pm–3pm
  • Tuesday only: 5pm–7pm

The Family History Research Room's opening hours are unchanged. It will continue to operate from Monday to Friday at 9.30am–5pm. Although the Room itself will not be open during the evening sessions, visitors will be able to access genealogy e-resources on computer terminals in the Main Reading Room and Microfilm Reading Room from 5-7pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Please note:

  1. All researchers accessing the rooms noted in bold above require a Reader's Ticket.
  2. Free family history consultations are available Mondays to Fridays by appointment only. Email
  3. The 'late' evenings will continue beyond August.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

RootsIreland adds Armagh records spanning the 17th-20th centuries has added a bundle of 26,210 records dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries to its County Armagh database. 

They include 8,300 baptisms, marriages and burials from four congregations, about 5,149 headstone inscriptions from twelve burial grounds, and more than 7,000 miscellaneous items consisting of rolls, land valuations, rentals and lists.

Check out the details of this update by clicking the Armagh Ancestry logo, or see a full menu of online sources available in the Armagh database here.

Galway Archives digitises Loughrea Board of Guardians' Minutes

Galway County Council Archives has digitised and released the Board of Guardian (BoG) minutes for 1853-1868 for the Loughrea workhouse (GPL2/). They join the 13 volumes of earlier minutes, dating from 1839-1852, that were made available online in 2020

These can all be freely accessed as downloadable pdfs from the Galway CC Digital Archive.

In total, there are 102 volumes in the Loughrea BoG Minute Books collection, so there is still some way to go before it will be completed.

However, the descriptive list for this collection is very useful to researchers; it includes not only a brief history of the union and its workhouse, but also several appendices of interest, particularly a list of those staff members and of inmates who held a certain level of authority within the institution.

There were ten workhouses in County Galway in the second half of the 19th century. BoG Minute Books for seven of them – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Glenamaddy, Gort, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam – have been digitised and indexed by FindMyPast, where they can be searched in the Workhouses and Poor Law collection.

The Council does not hold any Minute Books for Oughterard PLU. This means the Minute Books for 1869–1922 for Loughrea Union and the 1866-1922 books for Galway Union are the only elements of this collection still awaiting digitisation.

Friday, 5 August 2022

Two new Co Waterford record sets join FindMyPast's Irish collection

Today's release of records from FindMyPast sees two new collections from County Waterford.

Waterford Poor Law Union Board Of Guardians Minute Books

This collection of 38,500 records comes from the Kilmacthomas Union. They're very varied. You may find entries naming your ancestors relating to members of staff, suppliers of goods and services, inmates making special requests, perhaps requesting emigration or clothing, or notes recording prohibited behaviour, marriage to another inmate, and other items of daily activity.

Ireland, Waterford, Dungarvan Town Commissioners Records 1851-1922

The Town Commission was established in 1854, and was responsible for government activity such as the maintenance of roads, harbours, markets, waterworks, sanitation and housing and regulating the markets. These records cover the years 1851-1922, and documents everything from staff and suppliers, assistance requests, fee payments, or deserted and orphaned children. The details may include details of your ancestor's trade or occupation or financial arrangements.

The collection holds 47,256 records.

A busy 10 days for English, Scottish & Welsh genealogy updates

Below is a 10-day summary of newly-released and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases. It's been a busy time. (Previous summary, 26 July.)

My regular summary of releases and updates 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.



BritishNewspaperArchive (£££ subscription); shared with FindMyPast Ultimate and Pro subs

Friends of Hartwood Paupers Cemetery
  • Database now online Details of the patients and staff from Hartwood Asylumn (North Lanarkshire, Scotland) buried 1895-1952. (1255)






Railway Work, Life & Death (RWLD)


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Thursday, 4 August 2022

Project launches to preserve education documents compiled in 1824

A project to conserve, digitise and publish online a collection of archival documents relating to education provision in the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin* from 1824 is underway. It is being managed by the Delany Archive, which is based at Carlow College, St Patrick's, with the support of a Heritage Council Community Grant. 

In 1824, an inquiry began into Irish education. It involved the gathering of detailed information about schools all over the country including their location and date of establishment, the number of pupils, average attendance, fees paid, curriculum and books used, a description of the school’s accommodation and more.

Various information about teachers that may be of interest to family historians is recorded, including name, age, religious denomination and where they themselves received their education.

The original documents submitted to the inquiry no longer exist. Fortunately, the then Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Dr James Warren Doyle, requested his parish clergy to create duplicate copies. A clever chap was Dr Doyle (aka JKL); 34 of these still exist, covering many parishes in the diocese. These surviving documents will be available at The Delany Archive by mid-September.

In the meantime, an online lecture will be held for Heritage Week on the topic of education during Dr Doyle's time as Bishop of the Diocese, which spanned 1819–1834. This will be presented by Dr Thomas McGrath, the College’s Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

It will take place online, 7pm to 8pm, on zoom, and is free to attend. You can register here.

* Covers County Carlow and parts of counties Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Wexford. See map.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

An Garda Síochána releases online photo archives, 1922-2022

An Garda Síochána has launched its Garda Centenary Online Photographic Archive 1922–2022 as part of its current centenary celebrations.

Twenty years ago, thousands of historical photographs captured by the unit formerly known as the Garda Photographic Section were discovered and work began on their conservation and restoration.

The images were on fragile glass plate negatives, mainly 6X4 inch in size, and had been placed in storage in 1979. It required painstaking work to digitise them.

A brochure was produced to support the launch.
Download your own copy by clicking the image above. 44Mb pdf.

These significant photographs, which document important periods both in Irish history and in the evolution of An Garda Síochána through the decades, have never before been available to view, free of charge, by the public.

Speaking at the launch, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “The foundation of An Garda Síochána as Ireland’s unarmed, national police and security service was a pivotal moment in Irish history, and the photographs now available on our online archive ensure that they are in permanent record for generations to come.

"It is our hope that the public and those who had loved ones involved in An Garda Síochána can flick through these photographs and be reminded of times gone by. We hope that those who are retired or serving in An Garda Síochána will recognise former colleagues and friends."

FindMyPast: 20% saving to mark Family History Month down under

August is National Family History Month (NFHM) in Australisia. Founded and managed by the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations, the annual campaign sees events taking place across Australia and New Zealand and many local and regional groups present lectures, help motivate beginners and generally celebrate the many different aspects of researching ancestors.

To mark this popular annual celebration of genealogical research, is offering a 20% saving across its range of subscriptions. 

Like NFHM, the discount will be available right through to Wednesday 31 August.

You can take advantage of this offer by clicking the Claim Offer button in the image. On the landing page you'll find the discount has been applied for each subscription package and you can take your pick, via the slider, from the one-month or 12-month options.


Birth Information & Tracing Act comes into effect in October

A public information campaign was launched last month with the aim of ensuring that the public is well informed on the new Birth Information and Tracing law, which comes into effect in October.

A booklet explaining the Act should be landing on your doormat soon; a copy will be delivered to every household in Ireland, while thousands more copies will be distributed to people living overseas through Ireland’s network of embassies. Distribution started on 25 July. Delivery may take some weeks to achieve.

In the meantime, The Adoption Authority of Ireland has released a video (see below), explaining what this new landmark legislation means for people who were adopted in, or from Ireland.

The new law provides legal entitlement to full and unrestricted access to birth and early life information for any Irish person who was adopted, boarded out or had their birth information illegally registered, or who otherwise has questions in relation to their origins.

It also establishes a tracing service to facilitate contact between adoptees and birth parents and other relatives according to the preferences they register on the new Contact Preference Register (CPR).

The CPR, operated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, opened for applications at the start of July. This Register empowers people to record their preferences in relation to contact with others and the sharing and receiving of information.

In October, Information and Tracing services under the legislation will open. From this time, applications for records can be made to the Adoption Authority of Ireland and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

The Adoption Authority estimates that 100,000 people — adoptees, birth parents and other relatives — are impacted by the new legislation, with many of them living outside of Ireland.

Launching the video, Patricia Carey, CEO of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, said: "Thousands of birth parents left Ireland to rebuild their lives in other countries. We hope this video helps to reach them and adult adoptees — no matter where they live – and lets them know they are now able to find out about their origins."

The video is available to watch here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

9,000 Catholic parish records from Kerry join

RootsIreland has added some 9,000 new Roman Catholic baptismal and marriage records to its County Kerry database. They are as follows:

  • Firies RC baptisms, 1827-1894 (7963 records)
  • Firies RC marriages, 1830-1893 (1310 records).

For an up to date list of online sources for Kerry, click the logo above. To search the database, go to and login or subscribe as required.

July additions and updates to Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Photos and transcriptions of headstones from six burial grounds have been added to the free-to-access Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives database. They are from four counties: Cork, Donegal, Dublin and Limerick, and have all been donated by volunteers.

  St Columba's Church and Graveyard, Massmount, Co Donegal.
Photo courtesy of Angela Gallagher and IGP Archives.
Click for larger view.

Additionally, the July updates included extracts transcribed from the Minutes of an 1858 parliamentary Select Committee Enquiry into the level of Destitution in Gweedore, Magheraclogher and Carrick.

The text document lists some 70-odd households visited, stating the name of each person interviewed and a list of all his or her belongings ie bedsteads and other furniture, number of blankets, ownership of any livestock including horses and donkeys, sacks of potatoes, oats etc, and clothing.

When the condition of the house or person suggests extreme poverty, this is also noted.

This latest set of extracts joins eight similar sets in the IGP Archives dealing with poverty and poverty 'relief' in County Donegal.

They have been transcribed from the Enhanced Parliamentary Papers of Ireland collection held on DIPPAM, and all have been contributed by researcher Mary Heaphy over the last year or so.

CORK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Rosary Cem. (R.C.) Midleton - Pt. 4
Old Killeagh Cemetery

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous
Destitution in Gweedore - Magheraclogher & Carrick (Finished)

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Columba's Graveyard, Massmount

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Mount Jerome Cemetery, Parts 279 & 280

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Kilbarrack Graveyard Section 3

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Cross Cemetery, Athea, Part 1

Paul Gorry elected a Fellow of Accredited Genealogists Ireland

Professional genealogist Paul Gorry has been elected a Fellow of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), the accrediting and representative body for professional genealogists in Ireland set up in 1986.

Paul Gorry, FAGI
Paul's career in professional genealogy began aged 19 in 1979 when he became a freelance genealogist attached to the Genealogical Office, then based in Dublin Castle. With a number of other professional colleagues, he went on to found Hibernian Research, Ireland’s first independent Irish genealogical company, in 1980, and seven years later formed his own genealogy firm – Gorry Research – which has proved to be hugely successful.

Paul’s ability to ‘Think Big’ allowed him, in pre-Internet days, to set up the first Irish Genealogical Congress, which met in Dublin in September 1991.

It saw several hundred delegates from around the world descend on the city for six days.

On offer were more than 60 lectures exploring different aspects of Irish genealogy. Each was presented by an acknowledged expert in their field.

By anyone’s estimation it was a stunning success and so much so, it was repeated a further three times, with the last being held in September 2001.

There were many other significant achievements over the years, among them:

  • Helping found the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), and serving as its chairman in 1995/96
  • Being elected a Fellow some two decaades ago of the London-based Society of Genealogists
  • Being a founder Member of AGI, as well as a former President (2007-2009)
  • He is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Irish Genealogical Research Society
  • Being a founder member of the West Wicklow Historical Society in 1980.

Paul is also the author of many articles and several books, including:

  • Tracing Irish Ancestors, with Máire Mac Conghail MAGI, published in 1997
  • Baltinglass Golf Club, 1928-2003, 2003
  • Baltinglass Chronicles, 1851-2001, 2006
  • Seven Signatories: Tracing the Family Histories of the Men Who Signed the Proclamation, 2016
  • Credentials for Genealogists:Proof of the Professional, published in 2021 and now in its second edition.

In announcing Paul’s Fellowship, President of AGI, Nicola Morris, described his more than four decades of contribution to both AGI and the wider world of Irish genealogy as one which embraces such superlatives as “outstanding, sustained, scholarly, generous, consistent, and exceptional."

She said: “He has served as Hon Secretary, Vice-President, and then President, he's run sub-committees, sat on panels, been an AGI rep at other events; he’s drafted reports, website text, news items; he’s resolved problems, and worked on new initiatives to expand the membership and/or heighten AGI’s profile. He’s been a mentor, a cheerleader, and a source of endless encouragement to many in AGI. By any measure, his Fellowship is well deserved.”

And so say all of us!

Many congratulations, Paul.