Irish Family History Society




2010 News

 ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ aims to encourage people to find out more about their families in a fun and interactive way.

People can sign up for a series of seven daily emails from 26th December – 1st January. Each email is designed to help you develop your family tree further and includes advice and features from experts, links to useful websites and competitions (see below for details of prizes).

People can participate by visiting and signing up for the newsletter.

This Stephen’s Day sees the launch of Ireland’s first ‘Start your Family Tree Week’, an opportunity to find out more about your Irish family history. The initiative, which is supported by Eneclann and various organisations including the Irish Family History Society, aims to encourage people to find out more about their family history, and to hand down the stories and memories to the next generation.

Rachel Murphy of Eneclann said ‘Christmas is the perfect time to start exploring your family history; with many of your relatives all gathered together in the same place, it’s a perfect opportunity to share family stories, and ask questions about what life was like in the past. As a people with a strong oral tradition, you’d expect we would still be passing the stories down the generations but our survey shows that an overwhelming 92% of people regret not having asked relatives more about their lives*.’

John Heueston, of the Irish Family History Society said:

‘The Irish Family History Society commend the initiative of Eneclann in launching ‘Start your Family Tree Week’ which is a great idea in getting people started on researching their ancestors. We wish them every success with this project.’

Featured Experts:

Fiona Fitzsimons, Eneclann

John Grenham M.A., M.A.P.G.I., F.I.G.R.S.

Eileen O'Duill, CG, M.A.P.G.I.

Gerry Kennedy M.A., M.A.P.G.I

Rachel Murphy M.A.

Mary Beglan M.A.P.G.I.


Competition Prizes include:

A two night stay for two people sharing in their choice of Blue Book country house or historic hotel

5 hours’ Irish family history research by Irish genealogy experts, Eneclann

4 subscriptions to Irish Roots , the Irish genealogy magazine

5 subscriptions to Ireland of the Welcomes , the Irish magazine

5 reproduction historical maps of the Irish county of your choice from

5 prizes of a printed and bound hardback book of your family history research from

7 subscriptions to the Irish Ancestors website

7 memberships of the Irish Family History Society

7 memberships of the Genealogical Society of Ireland

5 memberships of the Irish Genealogical Research Society

7 one-day subscriptions to the Irish Times Online Newspaper Archive


About Eneclann

Eneclann is an award-wining Trinity College Campus Company based in Dublin and founded in 1998. It operates in 3 key areas: genealogical & historical research, archives & records management and digitisation & publications.

Eneclann's genealogy team have researched over 10,000 family histories for clients and have worked on Who Do You Think You Are? (Ireland, UK, Canada & Australian series), Ancestors During the Famine (RTÉ), and NBC's Faces of America. They also traced President Barack Obama's family tree back to the late 1600s in Ireland. They have worked for over 10,000 research clients.

For a full copy of the Press Release see here


Anyone with British roots might be interested in the British Start Your Family Tree week, organised by For more information, go to

New Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) to open in March 2011


On 30 November 2010, Culture Minister Nelson McCausland announced that the new Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will open to the public on 30 March 2011.

Speaking from the new state-of-the-art facility in Titanic Quarter, Belfast the Minister said: "In September 2009, we reported that the new PRONI headquarters was due to open in May or June 2011 following the removal and relocation of over 40km of unique, irreplaceable and some priceless, documents. It is therefore a fantastic achievement, through the careful planning, dedication and hard work of my staff and our partners, that the new PRONI is opening well ahead of schedule."

The new record office, which befits PRONI’s position as one of the three National Archival Institutions in the United Kingdom, will provide larger and better facilities for the access of PRONI’s records. Its location will also mean much easier access for local, national and international visitors and will formally put PRONI on the map as a ‘must experience’ tourist attraction.

The Minister added: "Through widening access to PRONI, all sections of the community will have the opportunity to experience a greater awareness and ownership of this part of their cultural heritage."

For further information and updates see PRONI website here


PRONI archival photographs now on ‘Flickr’


PRONI is the first Northern Ireland heritage institution to make such collections available on Flickr. Over fifty years of wedding and family portraits, taken between 1900 and 1952 by the Allison Photographic Studios in Armagh, have been brought back to life and made available online, using the photo-sharing website.

Speaking about the new resource, Aileen McClintock, Director of PRONI said “this is a tremendous resource for anybody interested in local history, genealogy and even the changing fashions in bridal wear. These photographs are particularly culturally rich for those who have family connections in County Armagh and South Down and also in County Monaghan in the Irish Republic.”

To date around 200 digital images have been made available, with more being added over the coming weeks until all 1530 images are posted on the site. Visitors to the website will be able to browse through the images alphabetically by family surname.

View PRONI's website for full details

Visit to view the photographs.


Updated Will Calendar Search launched - Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

On 29th November 2010 an updated version of the Wills Calendar search was launched on the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) website. 93,388 digitised images of copy wills covering the period 1858-1900 have now been added, along with over twenty years worth of calendar entries.

This application now provides a searchable index to wills proved in the district probate registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry during the years 1858-1919 and 1922-1943.  Part of 1921 has been added, with remaining entries for 1920-1921 to follow in the near future.  

Digitised images from copy will books covering the years 1858-1900 have now been linked to the corresponding will calendar entries. A total of 93,388 will images have been added to the database.

The site can be accessed via PRONI’s main website at


POSTPONED Certificate Genealogists’ Alumni Group - A CHRISTMAS GENEALOGICAL MISCELLANY on  Wednesday 1st December 2010

Updated 29 November 2010


Dear Members and Friends of CGAG,

Due to the snow and icy conditions, the CGAG Christmas event which was scheduled to take place this Wednesday evening (1st December), has been POSTPONED until the New Year.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank you all for your support over the years.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2011.

CGAG Christmas Event Committee

Douglas Appleyard will present his lecture

'The Company who put the Fig into Fig Rolls – Jacobs’ Biscuits and its Archive’

Followed by Mulled Wine & Mince Pies


Date:   Wednesday 1st December 2010

Time:   7. 30 pm

Venue:  St John’s House, 32 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4


A chance to meet old friends in a convivial atmosphere


Parking Available     Admission €6. 00

RAFFLE: Proceeds in aid of Order of Malta Maternity Hospital, Bethlehem

Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO)

CIGO’s Annual General Meeting took place in Dublin on the 3rd November 2010. The Chairman's annual report which highlights CIGO's campaigns and its successes during the past year can be read here.

For further news about CIGO visit their website

Directory of Dublin Graveyards

The online 3rd edition of the Directory of Graveyards in the Dublin Area, published by Dublin City Library and Archive and edited by John Grenham is now available at

This on-line Dublin Graveyards Directory is a Dublin City Council project, under the overall direction of Dublin City Librarian, Margaret Hayes, with inputs from Dublin City Archivist, Dr. Mary Clark, and Divisional Librarians Dr. Maire Kennedy and Alastair Smeaton. It is based on Directory of Graveyards in the Dublin Area, edited by Marjorie Sliney and the late Deirdre Conlon, which was first published by Dublin City Libraries in 1988, and re-issued in 1990.

The Directory covers all graveyards in the Dublin area (i.e. Dublin City; Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown; Fingal; and South Dublin) and gives information on:

•  The location of graveyards

•  Contact details for those in charge of graveyards

•  Titles of published gravestone transcripts (available in most research libraries)

•  Links to on-line gravestone transcripts

•  Location of surviving burial records

•  Other information of interest about the graveyard.

N.B. Gravestone transcripts and copies of burial records are not in this Directory, but if you follow the links given, you can discover where this information is held.




CIGO will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 3rd November 2010 at Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

AGM  7:00pm (sharp!)

Lecture 8:00pm (sharp!)

The speaker is Fiona Ross - "Fact, Fiction & Public Record"  Fiona Ross on her new role as Director of the National Library.

Raffle & Bar



Back To Our Past Family History & Genealogy Event

IFHS will be participating in Back to Our Past event which is running in tandem with the Over 50's Show RDS, Ballsbridge on Fri.15 - Sun.17 October.  For more information go to Back To Our Past page

Tracing your Family History

Tracing your Family History is a brand new course from Irish Times Training. Delivered over 8 weeks by renowned genealogist John Grenham, author of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

The course begins on Wednesday 22 September 2010 from 6 -9 each evening. The cost is EURO 750 including a free subscription to the Irish Times Ancestor service. Location is 24 - 28 Tara Street, Dublin 2.

For further details see


The 1641 depositions: massacre, myth and memory

For further details see attached PDF

To coincide with the online publication of the 1641 depositions and their exhibition in the Long Room Library this October, The SCHOOL OF HISTORIES AND HUMANITIES, Trinity College Dublin, is offering you the opportunity to attend a series of nine extramural lectures on:

     The 1641 Depositions: massacre, myth and memory

Start date:     Monday 11 October 2010

Time:            Mondays 7 pm – 8.30 pm.  Venue: Emmet Theatre

Duration:       Nine-week lecture series with a one week break (8-24 November 2010).

Fee:               €110 for the series. 

Concession:  (For full time students or people whose primary source of income is social welfare, health board or a

                       government-sponsored employment scheme) €55

Lecturer:        Academic staff from different disciplines including historians, geographers, literary & linguistic experts as

                      well as IT specialists.

Commences Monday 11 October 2010


For further details see attached PDF

Dr Patricia Stapleton

Extramural & Semester Start Up administrator

Room 3028 Arts Building

Trinity College

Dublin 2

+ 353 1 896 8589


The Fighting Irish at the Mill Theatre Dundrum with Myles Dungan and Matthew Gilsenan - 23 September 2010

The Fighting Irish tells the story of Irish migrants to America who sought employment with Uncle Sam in the American armed forces. The history of the Irish in the Mexican-American war, the U.S. Civil War, the Frontier Wars and First World War - with a slight detour for the Fenian invasions of Canada - is told in song and in story by historian and broadcaster Myles Dungan and Matthew Gilsenan of the Celtic Tenors. Much loved Irish and American songs like The Girl I left Behind Me, She is Far from the Land, The Rising of the Moon, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Dixie are used or adapted to convey the tragedy and humour, the triumph and failure of the Irishmen who fought for Uncle Sam.

Dundrum, Mill Theatre, 23 September 2010


Interruption to PRONI service: 6 September 2010 – April / May 2011

30th August 2010

In preparation for PRONI's forthcoming relocation to Titanic Quarter, from 6 September 2010 there will be no public access to PRONI's Balmoral Avenue site.

The PRONI self-service microfilm facility will open at Cregagh Library, Belfast on Wednesday 8 September 2010 and continue until PRONI re-opens at its new premises in Titanic Quarter in April 2011.

10 microfilm readers, a microfiche and a reader printer will be available. A booking system will be in place for 5 of the microfilm readers with the remainder available on a "first come, first served" basis. Users can reserve slots for 1 or 2 hours, up to a maximum of 2 hours per day. The booking system will be reviewed subject to demand.

Advance bookings for microfilm readers may be made after 6 September by telephone (02890 255900) or from 8 September in person at the PRONI Cregagh Library facility.

All PRONI self-service microfilms, including church registers, will be available at Cregagh. As the 1901 Census is now freely accessible online, it will not be available on microfilm at Cregagh.

Opening Hours for PRONI at Cregagh

Monday                            1pm - 5pm

Tuesday                           10am - 5pm  

Wednesday                      10am - 5pm

Thursday                          1pm - 8pm

Friday                               10am - 5pm

Cregagh Library is located near the upper end of the Cregagh Road, off Upper Knockbreda Road. It is a 10-minute drive from PRONI’s current site at Balmoral Avenue and it is on a direct bus route (No. 6A) from Belfast City Centre. Customer parking is available on site and also in the surrounding area. There is full disabled access.

See PRONI website for details -

More Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records now available on

29 August 2010

Over 184,000 new Chelsea Pensioner records 1760-1854 have recently been added for the period 1760-1854 to


These records are free to search like all the records on   There is a charge to download the image.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

26th August 2010


The reading rooms at Kew will be undergoing some essential redevelopment during autumn 2010.  As a result, the Map and Large Document Reading Room will be closed for two weeks. This is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 November to Saturday, 11 December inclusive.  More information can be found at

I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS


IFHS office closed for summer break

The team at Kilmurry are taking a well earned break during the month of July.The office will re-open on Tuesday 3rd August. Any correspondence received during this time will be dealt with on our return. E-mail correspondence will continue to be answered.


The Over 50’s Show - RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Friday 15th - Sunday 17th Oct. 2010

Visit the IFHS stand during the show.

12th July 2010


The Over 50’s Show has taken place each year for several years and attracts over 20,000 visitors over the 3 days of the Show.

This year, for the first time, a section of the Show is being devoted to Irish History, Genealogy and Heritage. The Irish Family History Society will have a stand in this section and will be promoting the aims and objectives of our Society, and offering assistance to those searching for their roots.

Members of the Society will be made most welcome if they call at the stand and meet with those members manning the stand. Please also encourage friends and neighbours to drop by.

Details will be posted on the Show's website

See you there!!

Certificate in Local History 2010-2011

12th July 2010

The Certificate in Local History will be offered again this year at Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse St., Dublin 2. The course commences on 14 September 2010 to 19 April 2011 and the tutor is Dr. Seamas O’Maitiu. The course gives participants a formal and practical training in how to carry out research in local history. In association with the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. The fee is €950. For application form ring 01 674 4996 or email cityarchives@dublin

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

2nd July 2010


FFHS-MEMBERS Public records consultation for Scotland

Public records review

Scottish Ministers have published a consultation paper outlining their proposals to improve the management of public records in Scotland. Ministers have invited public comment on their proposals, set out in the consultation paper and accompanying Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment. The full consultation paper can be found at

Responses are requested by 4 August.

Roger Lewry

(FFHS Archives Liaison)

I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS


London Lives website 1690-1800 Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis

27th June 2010

London Lives makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals. Includes information from Old Bailey, sessions records, various parish poor law records, insurance and much more.

Primary funding was provided by the Ecocnomic and Social Research Council. Implemented by the Humanities Reserah Institute at the University of Sheffield and the Higher Education Digitisation Service at the University of Hertfordshire, this website is published by HRI Online Publications.


New Library Online Catalogue

26th June 2010

The National Library's NEW Online Catalogue using a single discovery interface (VUFIND) is now available. It allows you to search simultaneously across the Library’s printed, manuscript, visual and digitised material (including 33,000 photographic images). The National Library will be adding other important collection databases on an ongoing basis, in particular Sources - A database for Irish research.


A brand new batch of Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1855–1872 now on


25th June 2010

96,464 Chelsea Pensioners records have recently been added for the period 1855-1872 to This means that 507,000 Chelsea Pensioners records are available in total on the FindMyPast website.


The Chelsea Pensioners records are records of men who were pensioned out of the British Army - the date range for each set of records corresponds to the dates the men were discharged from the army. The records are rich in detail and there are often 6 or 7 pages of records for each soldier.


The records also show the reason that the soldier was discharged from the army and you'll be able to find out what your ancestor's signature looked like as each soldier signed their discharge papers.


Here's a useful breakdown of the records published and when you can expect to see the next records on FindMyPast are working in association with The National Archives on this project.


Date range

Approx no.
of records

Approx no.
of images

When available

WO97 1855-1872




WO97 1873-1882




WO97 1883-1900




WO97 1760-1854


1.2 million

By July 2010

WO97 1901-1913


2.1 million

By August 2010

WO96 1806-1915


3.5 million

By Sept 2011


These records are free to search like all the records on  There is a charge to download the image.


More records launched on Irish Genealogy

17th June 2010

Last night, 16th June 2010, Mary Hanafin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Rev. Dr. John R.W. Neill, launched the remaining Church of Ireland records of Dublin City and counties Kerry and Carlow. Also, a subset of the Roman Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cork & Ross have also been added.

In addition to these records, digital images of the original church records, relating to these areas, are now available to view on this website.

Working is progressing on the completion of the Dublin City and South & West Cork Roman Catholic records. The release of further records for on-line access will proceed on a phased basis. Please refer to the "Update of Progress" section in this website for news of upcoming releases.

The list of parishes now available can be seen in the "Search Church Records" tab and then selecting "Browse the database by location" Unfortunately the relevant start and finish dates are not noted. We were told that the C of Ireland records are to 1900 or so.


1901 Census now online

3rd June 2010

The 1901 census is now online. See National Archives census web site


1901 Census to be launched on 3rd June 2010

The National Archives has announced that the 1901 Census material, with all data transcribed, will be launched on 3 June 2010. The data for every county will be launched all at once rather than in tranches as with 1911. See National Archives website


Who Do You Think You Are? USA   RTÉ One, Thursday 27th May 2010, 10.25pm


The American version of the popular TV programme WDYTYA? starts on RTE1 on Thursday 27th May 2010.


The celebrities who will be exploring their family histories in the brand new American version of Who Do You Think You Are? will be Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Brooke Shields and Spike Lee.

Sarah Jessica Parker features in the first programme. For further details see RTE1

Thanks to P Moorhead for bringing this to our attention.  


LECTURE: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors via DNA Testing by Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri

We have received the following notice of a meeting from Judy Lucey of The New England Historic Genealogical Society


LECTURE: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors via DNA Testing by Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri

DATE and LOCATION: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 7:00pm Georgian Suite, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin

Dr. Gianpiero L. Cavalleri, Director and Senior Scientist, of Italian parentage but born and raised in Ireland, is a population geneticist who trained with Prof Dan Bradley at Trinity College, Dublin before going on to work at Stanford with Prof Luca Cavalli-Sforza and Dr Peter Underhill. He is one of the founders of EthnoAncestry and is currently researching the genetics of epilepsy at the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland.

This lecture is free and open to everyone.  All are welcome.

The presentation is sponsored by The New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston) as part of their research trip to Dublin.


Additional Donegal and Derry records added to the Irish Family History Foundation online database


12th May 2010

The Irish Family History Foundation has announced the addition of further records to its Online Research Service at   The new data available includes:


North East Donegal (Inishowen) circa 60,000 baptism, marriage and death records from north east Co. Donegal covering the parishes of the Inishowen peninsula along with the parishes of Doneyloop, Killygordon, Lifford and St Johnston. These records can be accessed at

Derry Genealogy Centre has computerised 66,000 headstone inscriptions from 117 graveyards plus the pre-1930 registers of Derry City Cemetery. This database will normally return the name of the graveyard, date of death, name of deceased, age and townland together with a comment recording relationships, where provided, to other people recorded on the same headstone. These records can be accessed on the Derry site at


Irish Historic Towns Atlas's seminar 'Maps and Texts: Exploring the Irish Historic Towns Atlas - Friday 21 May 2010 at Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

This is the second in a series of three annual seminars intended to explore the work of the atlas. It promises to be an informative and discursive seminar with papers ranging from Entertainment in various towns of Ireland through the ages, to comparative studies between Kildare and Tuam, and Dublin and Galway. The day concludes with a plenary session by Prof Tadhg O'Keeffe followed by a general discussion.

Attendance is free, but booking is required as places as the seminar will be limited. If you would like to attend, please email with the word 'launch' in the subject line by 17 May 2010 or Tel. 353 1 6762570.

The day will conclude with the launch of their two most recent atlases, Irish Historic Towns Atlas no. 21 Limerick, by Eamon O'Flaherty and no. 22 Longford, by Sarah Gearty, Martin Morris and Fergus O'Ferrall.

All IHTA publications will be on sale on special offer throughout the day.

For further details see Programme and RIA

Friends of Medieval Dublin 12th Medieval Dublin Symposium - Saturday 22 May 2010 Robert Emmet Theatre (Room 2037) Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

09.30  Registration and opening remarks Seán Duffy

09.45  Recent excavations of a Viking burial at the War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge Maeve Sikora

10. 30 The pencillings and antiquarian rambles of a Fingalian: John S. Sloane and the Victorian historiography of 

           medieval Dublin Stuart Kinsella

11.10 Tea & coffee

11.30 Printing in Dublin - the first 60 years Dermot McGuinne

12.10 The kings of Dublin and the kings of Leinster Clare Downham

12.45 Lunch

14.00 The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): some observations on early medieval archaeological

          excavations in the Dublin region, 1930-2009 Lorcan Harney, Jonathan Kinsella, Aidan O’Sullivan

14.45 The Dominicans and medieval Dublin – the sources re-examined Bernadette Williams

15.20 Tea & coffee

15. 40 The Norsesiders – excavations of a Viking house at Hammond Lane Phase 3 Colm Moriarty

16.15 Public viewing of DVD Medieval Dublin - From Vikings to Tudors: Volume II Niall Ó hOisín and Breffni O’Malley

For Further information, contact Dr. Seán Duffy

Dublin City Council’s Bealtaine Festival 2010


Bealtaine is the Irish national arts festival celebrating creativity in older age and takes place each May countrywide.

The following events will be of particular interest to IFHS members:

Tracing your ancestors at Dublin City Library and Archive with Dr. Máire Kennedy

Monday, 10th May at 2.30pm Ballymun Library, Dublin 11     Tel. 842 1890

Thursday, 20th May at 6.30pm Coolock Library, Dublin 5      Tel. 847 7781

Find out where to begin your search. Explore the resources available at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138/144 Pearse Street, Dublin, and learn more about other available resources to help you trace your ancestors.

North Strand Bombing Oral History and Seminar - Saturday, 29th May 2010 - a day long seminar starting at 10am

Conference Room, Dublin City Library & Archive, 138/144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

For further information contact     Tel. 674 4873

The North Strand Bombing Exhibition - May 2010

The Dublin Room, Dublin City Library & Archive, 138/144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Opening hours: Mom-Thurs, 10am – 8pm; Fri-Sat 10am-5pm

Based on the holdings of Dublin City Library & Archive, an exhibition has been prepared to commemorate the North Strand Bombing tragedy on 31st May 1941. The exhibition will be on display during the month of May.


Family History event to be held on Saturday 9 May 2010 in aid of St Laurence's National School, Chapelizod

Eneclann are sponsoring an Irish Family History Event to be held on Saturday 8 May in aid of St Laurence’s National (Primary) School, Chapelizod, Dublin. This event features talks and workshops from speakers including Eneclann’s Fiona Fitzsimons and John Grenham. Tickets are just €12 per person, or €20 for two people. There is also a raffle where you can win the whole ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ experience worth up to €3500. Buy tickets and further details for St Laurence's National School Fundraiser.


News from Council of Irish Genealogical Organisation (CIGO) - Archives in Crisis Symposium


13th April 2010


Saturday 10th April saw over 250 archivists, readers, genealogists, students, staff and researchers pack into Dublin’s Trinity College's arts block for the ‘Archives in Crisis' symposium. Such an overwhelming turn out proves beyond any doubt that there is strong opposition to the Government's plan to merge Ireland's National Archives into the National Library.


You can read more about this story on CIGO's web site and here

I.F.H.S. is a constituent member of CIGO.

Irish Family History Foundation adds Wicklow Church of Ireland records to their Online Record Search

13th April 2010

The Irish Family History Foundation has announced the availability of around 52,000 Church of Ireland records from Co. Wicklow. See

The National Archives, Kew, England announcements

18th March 2010

New online record copying service


From  Monday 19 April 2010, TNA are introducing a new online process to order copies of documents that are not already downloadable from their website. This will replace the existing estimate request and Digital Express services.

This new streamlined service will provide an instant quote based on the average cost of copying similar documents and means customers will no longer have to wait ten days for a quote. It also protects the documents as they will only need to be handled once.  The ordering process and range of copying options has also been simplified. However, as is currently the case, customers will still be able to request paper copies, or digital scans for download or delivered on CD. As some documents can contain hundreds  of pages, where a customer does not know which pages within a document they need copies of, a search fee of £45 will be introduced to recover the cost of searching for the information. 

The Digital Express service will cease taking new orders as of 31 March 2010.  Existing record copying customers will be able to log-in to the new system with their existing log-ins and passwords.


Car park charging and booking system from Tuesday 27 April

From Tuesday 27 April, TNA are introducing a system which will require visitors who would like to park in the car park to book and pre-pay for a parking space, via a dedicated telephone line or website. On site parking at The National Archives is limited, and this system will ensure that no-one will drive to the site only to find that the car park is full.  

There will be flat-rate charge of £5 per day. Annual pre-pay tickets, offering a substantial discount, will also be available. Visitors who drive to The National Archives without having booked and paid for a space will not be able to access the car park.


For full details see web site

Royal Hospital Chelsea pension records 1883-1900 now online


17th March 2010

Chelsea Pensioners' service records from 1883 to 1900 (TNA Catalogue series WO 97) can now be found online at Currently 250, 0000 records are online. When complete for the remaining periods from 1760 there will be 9m records. FindMyPast will be scanning the records in the following order, so the next pieces to be released will be:

Date range

Approx no. of records

Approx no. of images

When available

WO97 1883-1900


1.8 million


WO97 1901-1913


2.1 million

By May 2010

WO97 1873-1882



By June 2010

WO97 1855-1872



By July 2010

WO97 1760-1854


1.2 million

By April 2011

WO96 1806-1915


3.5 million

By Nov 2011


These records are of men pensioned out of the British Army 1760-1913. The only connection with ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ is that the pensions were administered through The Royal Hospital at Chelsea . These records are of "ordinary" soldiers.

Each individual soldier's record is at least four pages long and could be up to 20 pages, and full of fascinating details that are invaluable to family and military historians. Information the records may list include: Date and place of birth, Age, Name and address of next of kin, Rank and regiment, Occupation before joining the army, Medical history, Countries where, and dates when, the soldier served, Service history and Details of marriage and their children's names, baptisms and dates of birth.

The Chelsea Pensioner Service Records are made up of servicemen from all over the British Empire. Below is a percentage break down of where the servicemen were born:

England = 68.9%

Ireland = 17.6%

Scotland = 8.3%

Wales = 2.2%

West Indies = 0.6%

India = 0.4%

Sark = 0.00073%

These records are consequently a fantastic new resource for anyone with Irish ancestry.


Over 34,000 digitised images now available to search on National Library of Ireland online database


11th March 2010

Following the completion of the latest phase of a major digitisation project by staff of the National Library of Ireland, the public can now search and view up to 34,000 historic photographic images of Ireland online, Fiona Ross, the Library's newly appointed Director, announced on 11th March 2010.

For more information, please see NLI press release here or PDF

Archives in Crisis:  A Symposium to Debate the Future of Archives in Irish Society


Saturday 10 April 2010, 3 PM to 5 PM

Robert Emmet Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College, Dublin

Moderator : Diarmaid Ferriter

Speakers : Fintan O’Toole, Catriona Crowe, Eunan O’Halpin.

In 1922 the bulk of Ireland 's documentary heritage was destroyed. This symposium poses a stark question: what will be the state of Irish archives in 2022 on the centenary of the Four Courts blaze?

Presentations will discuss the cultural significance of archives in Irish society and the proposed merger of the National Archives of Ireland with the National Library. The matter has gained some attention in the press and on the floor of the Seanad.

To address this issue, three speakers have been invited to give brief presentations explaining the cultural significance of archives in Irish society and setting out their vision for Irish archives in 2022, on the centenary of the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922. The speakers represent different viewpoints on the problem: Fintan O’Toole (Irish Times/public interest), Catriona Crowe (IMPACT/archival) and Eunan O’Halpin (TCD/academic).

This will be followed by an open forum, moderated by Diarmaid Ferriter, during which audience members will be invited to pose questions and share their views on archival policy in Ireland.

The meeting will conclude by taking nominations to a new Action on Archives committee, which will seek to make representations to appropriate bodies.

Admission Free – All Welcome

For further information, contact Dr Peter Crooks,  (01 896 1368)

Organized in association with the Irish Chancery Project, Medieval History Research Centre,

Trinity College, Dublin.

See brochures here and here.

Adult Gallery Talk: ‘ Amateur Military Service in Ireland 1776 – 1798

Saturday 13th March – 12pm at the National Museum of Ireland,


Talk with Historian, Dr. Stephen O Connor.

Soldiers & Chiefs Exhibition, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7.

12pm, Free of charge, No Booking is required.

National Print Museum Lecture Series 2010 - 7.30pm, Thursday 11th March 2010

"Artistic Bombs: The Shemus Cartoons in the Freeman's Journal, 1920-1924"
by Felix M. Larkin

'Artistic bombs'- that's how the Shemus cartoons were described in Dáil Éireann in 1923. Published in Dublin's Freeman's Journal newspaper between 1920 and 1924, they were remarkably hard-hitting comments on the events of that period. During the War of Independence, they targeted the increasingly brutal nature of British rule in Ireland. They later attacked the new government of Northern Ireland and the republicans who opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The cartoonist was an Englishman, Ernest Forbes (1879-1962), who went on to enjoy some success as an artist in London and in his native Yorkshire. His work for the Freeman's Journal gives a most unusual angle on a bitterly contested period of Irish history. Felix Larkin will present a selection of the Shemus cartoons, with a general introduction on the life and work of Ernest Forbes.

Felix M. Larkin has recently retired from the Irish public service. He studied history at University College Dublin in the years 1968-72, and is vice-chairman of the National Library of Ireland Society. In 2008, he was a founder member of the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland. He edited Librarians, poets and scholars: a Festschrift for Dónall Ó Luanaigh (Four Courts Press, Dublin , 2007) and has just published Terror and discord: the Shemus cartoons in the Freeman's Journal, 1920-1924 (A&A Farmar, Dublin, 2009).

7.30pm, Thursday 11th March 2010
Free Admission
National Print Museum
Beggars Bush Barracks
Haddington Rd
Dublin 4
Tel: 01 66103770

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

9th March 2010

The 1939 Register for England and Wales

The NHS Information Centre has introduced a fee-paying service to provide information rom the 1939 Register, but only in respect of deceased persons.

Created under The National Registration Act 1939, the 1939 Register for England and Wales was originally the responsibility of the Registrar General who, under the 1939 Act created a register of the civilian population.

This enumeration occurred on 29 September 1939 and a National Registration number was assigned to each person after the following data was collected from each household:

  • Names.

  • Sex.

  • Date of birth.

  • Occupation, profession, trade or employment.

  • Residence.

  • Condition as to marriage.

  • Membership of Naval, Military or Air Force Reserves or Auxiliary Forces or of Civil Defence Services or Reserves.

The 1939 Register was structured by geographical area and was used for a range of purposes including the issue of identity cards during and after the Second World War.

An application form and more information can be obtained from   The cost of each application is £42.00 and there is no refund for unsuccessful searches.

Thanks to Steven Smyrl of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations for background information on this.  You can read more at

Information about data in respect of Scotland can be obtained here   The cost is a more reasonable £13, with a charge of only £5 where there is no trace of the individual.

There is no news of a similar facility for Northern Ireland.

Roger Lewry

(FFHS Archives Liaison)

I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

9th March 2010

The National Library of Wales (NLW) has announced that it will reopen on Saturdays from 8 May 2010, but with a limited service.

The original decision to close was made in the face of pressure to make significant financial savings quickly - and the uilding has been closed on Saturdays since 1 April 2009.

Because of the limited service, readers will have to order material in advance and there will not be the usual full complement of food at the Library’s Pen Dinas café.

More information may be obtained from the NLW website.

Roger Lewry

(FFHS Archives Liaison)

I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS

Family History Day: The Insider’s Guide to Family History Research. 27th March 2010, Dublin City Library & Archive.

6th March 2010

Dublin City Library & Archive's annual Family History Day takes place in March each year. The objective is to invite experts and experienced researchers in genealogy to speak on topics of interest to starting family research, and to generate discussion and the exchange of ideas with members of the audience.

This year the full day seminar, which takes place on 27th March will include: Catriona Crowe, National Archives of Ireland, speaking on searching the census of 1901 and 1911 online: a family case study by Pól Ó Duibhir on the Medlars (“The Medlar’s Gotcha”: then story of a Dublin family), and a talk by Charles Callan on the members of the union of painters and decorators. In the afternoon there will have A Guided tour of family history sources on the internet, where a number of different speakers will give a workshop on searching the internet for family history information.

Venue Conference Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Date 27 March, 10.00am - 4.00pm

Booking required T. 01 674 4873


Dublin City Archives – Thirty Years Serving the Public

6th March 2010

Dublin City Archives opened its first Reading Room to the public in City Hall on 20 March 1980 . The first researcher was Professor J. C. Holt, from the University of Cambridge, who came to read the oldest item in our collections, the Charter of Henry II dated 1171/2. To mark this anniversary, an on-line display of thirty documents from the civic collections will be hosted on beginning on 20 March 2010.

New Armagh, Leitrim and Sligo Records added to the Irish Genealogical Online Record Search System

6th March 2010

The Irish Family History Foundation has announced the addition of further records to its Online Research Service at    The new data available includes:

  • over 20,000 civil birth and death records relating to Co. Armagh , including Forkhill, Meigh, Mountnorris, Blackwatertown, Loughgall, Keady, and Crossmaglen.

  • The parish of Riverstown RC in Co. Sligo (17,000)

  • 1911 census for Co. Sligo (60% complete - 55,000 records)

  • 41,500 Civil Death records for Co. Leitrim

  • 1,000 Civil Births records for Co. Leitrim

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

The Federation of Family History Societies is pleased to announce that the Third Edition of the National Burial Index (NBI3) is now available.

5th March 2010

NBI3 is available on a single CD and contains over 18 Million burial records.

Copies are available from FFHS at a price of £30 for first time purchasers and £15 for upgrades from NBI2.
For further information and details of how to order please visit IFHS website click on the NBI3 Image on the Home Page to download the order form.

Marian French

Publicity Officer

I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

Increased fees for registration services at the General Register Office (England and Wales) and at Local Registration Services

2nd March 2010  

We have received advanced notification of increased fees coming into force from 6 April for people ordering birth, marriage and death certificates from the GRO.

The standard fee will rise from £7.00 to £9.25.  This is an increase of just over 32%.

The good news is that this new standard rate will also apply where the reference is not known or where the order is not placed online; representing a reduction in the fee.

Full details can be seen in the press release at

The fee for all priority orders will become £23.40.  This represents a small increase from £23.00 where the order is made online quoting the reference.  Where no reference is known or where the order is not placed online there will be a reduction compared to the current fee.

The fee for a certificate issued by a Superintendent Registrar will increase from £7.00 to £9.00.  Details of other fees to be charged by the Local Registration Service are contained in the press release referred to above.


In the light of recent comments about additional administration fees being charged by some local offices, it is strange that the new fee of £9.00 is less than the new fee to be charged by the GRO.  I have heard from one Registration Service manager explaining the need for charging more than the current fee of £7.00.  He wrote “The arrangement of records at local offices is very different to those of GRO.  For instance the GRO ref is of no use. Similarly marriage certificate requests involve searching in each church - there are no centralized indexes. Many requests (often rambling) are accompanied by the usual (must be son of …) which means after an extensive search, we are unable to issue the certificate, and return the fee, despite considerable time being wasted.”

I suspect we have not heard the last about this.


Roger Lewry (FFHS Archives Liaison)


I.F.H.S. is an Associate member of FFHS

Major Release of Personal Data from UK ‘War Time’ National Register

16th February 2010

The UK's National Health Service Information Centre has announced the launch of a new fee-paying service giving access to data held on each deceased individual recorded on the UK's ‘war time' National Register. It represents a major release of personal data from the 'register' which was compiled in 1939 and COUNCIL OF IRISH GENEALOGICAL ORGANISATIONS has played a vital role in its release.  

You can read more about this story on


The Irish Family History Society is a member of CIGO.

National Library of Ireland appoints new Director

11th February 2010

The Chairman and Board of the National Library of Ireland today announced that Fiona Ross has been appointed to serve as Director of the National Library of Ireland. Ms Ross will take up her position on 8th March 2010 on the basis of three-year contract.

For further details see 

New Publication "Sligo Families" by John C. McTernan

10th February 2010

John C. McTernan, the well known Sligo author of books on the history of Sligo and its people has recently published

Sligo Families as a companion to Houses of Sligo by the same author.

It chronicles the story of 60 individual families many of whose members achieved prominence both at home and in foreign lands.

It is produced in a limited hardback edition of 410 pages and contains numerous portraits and pedigree charts.

Copies are available from Messers Avena Publications, 26 Ard Na Veigh, Sligo at Euro 45, including postage.

Other books by the same author include "Olde Sligoe - Aspects of town and county over 750 years", "Worthies of Sligo", At the foot of Knocknarae" and " Memory Harbour ".  


Thanks to John Heueston for sending us this news item.

Closure of Military Archives, 1st March to 31st May 2010

31st January 2010

Military Archives will be closed to the public during the above period to facilitate the vital tasks of stock-checking; rehousing of collections and archival processing. During the period, there will be no access by members of the public to Archives and researchers should plan accordingly. Queries can be sent by post to OIC Military Archives as usual. However, researchers are reminded that, as is the case in other archives, detailed research for individuals cannot be carried out by staff at Military Archives. See

Exhibition "Galway and the Wars of the Empire" launched

19th January 2010

On November 26th last at Galway City Museum (Spanish Arch) the exhibition "Galway and the Wars of the Empire" opened. The exhibition is a retrospective on Galway ’s involvement in the imperial wars from 1796-1922.

The exhibition was opened with an introductory talk given by Dr. Gerry Moran of N.U.I. History Department and followed by a brief talk from guest-curator Damien Quinn (who first suggested the project).

After a few heartrending verses of sean-nos and ‘The Soldier’s Lament’ on uileann pipes from a few locals the assembled audience gathered upstairs on the second floor gallery to view the exhibition.

At one end of the gallery hang mounted propaganda posters, the bright colours glorifying the romance and adventure of battle. A woman in one poster taunts her man and asks him: “For the glory of Ireland-will you go or must I?”

Counterpointing this scenario we have at the other end of the gallery the stark reality of war depicted in Otto Dix’s black and white prints of corpses and trenches.

Nearby a memorial displays a sample list of the fallen of WW1. (Some 49,400 men, both Nationalist and Unionist died).

(Looking on from an enlarged sepia photograph is my grandfather J. Phillips and his young family with a brief summary of their life in India and Ireland written by their daughter Phyllis Ashe)

On another wall are displayed various Victoria Crosses awarded to Galway men in the 1 st and 2 nd Boer Wars and during the Indian Mutiny (1854-6). A writing desk and memoir to Sr. Aloysius Doyle of the Sisters of Mercy who worked with Nurse Nightingale in the Crimean War (1854-6) is also on view.

The Regiment of Lally of Tuam, Co. Galway  features: In the 18th century France and England were in conflict over India. Lally (as did the Wild Geese) fought for France but he lost decisive battles to England and was subsequently executed by order of Louis XV.

The names of the 14 men executed in Easter 1916 are listed alongside those men killed in 1916 fighting for the Empire. Two poignant letters written from sons to their mothers on the eve of their execution are exhibited close by: Pearse’s and Private John Daly’s letter from India (1920).

In the centre of the gallery a few of the weapons of war are to be seen: a dress sword, a machine gun, rifles, and a Webly revolver.

On the ground floor sits the sculpture of Padraic O’Conaire, the Galway man, born nearby on the docks. One of his short stories “Beirt Bhan Misniuil” about a mother and son is set around the time of the Easter Rising.

The artefacts collected here are on loan from various national institutions: Trinity College ( Dublin ), the National Museum, Renmore Barracks, and King House, Boyle.

The exhibition runs until November 2010.

Thanks to Ivor Faulkner for sending us this news item.

The Dictionary of Irish Biography 

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the

Royal Irish Academy, available in print and online, involving 700 contributors and spanning 9,000 lives. The Dictionary is the indispensable reference work for Ireland. It includes the lives of Irish men and women who made a significant contribution in Ireland and abroad, as well as those born overseas who had noteworthy careers in Ireland from James Ussher to James Joyce, St Patrick to Patrick Pearse, St Brigit to Maud Gonne MacBride, Shane O'Neil to Eamon de Valera, Edward Carson to Bobby Sands. The Dictionary will put their lives into every major library in the world and on the shelves of scholars, journalists, teachers, broadcasters, diplomats and general readers. It will be especially important in helping to sustain Irish studies courses in universities throughout the world. Available online at through participating institutions. Initial search is available for free.


2009 Journal issue Vol. 24

17th January 2010

The 2008 Journal along with Membership list and Members' Interests were packed yesterday ready for posting tomorrow, Monday.  Ireland members should therefore receive their Jounal mid-week. Unfortunately we were a little late in issuing the journal which in turn was compounded by the recent adverse weather conditions. The Journal will be available shortly to buy online.

Articles include:

  • Editorial
  • A look back over the years            Richard Flatman
  • Tour of WW1 Battlefields Ypres and The Somme          Patricia Moorhead
  • William Sprott (1840-1918) Linen Manufacturer of Dromore and Belfast Ancestors, Business Activities, Family Life and Descendants           G. Rex Meyer
  • C.S.M. Joseph Aloysius Phillips (1881-1918)       Ivor J. Faulkner
  • The Story of the Delaney family of Killucan, County Westmeath       Robert Delaney
  • In Search of Thomas Smyth, Mayor of Limerick       Jonathan C. Spurrell
  • DNA & Family History      Peter R. B Davies
  • Field, House and Tenure Books Helped Broaden my Ancestral research   Mary Russell
  • Death and Justice at Grangemellon, Athy, County Kildare, 1623    James Robinson
  • My Grandfather – Lucy Mary (nee Dunlap) Doran              Maureen Hambrook
  • The Will of Patrick Hughes – a typical will of the 1890s?     Rosaleen Underwood
  • The Dowlings or Doolans of Carricknaughton, Athlone      Eamonn Dowling
  • Extracts from Roman Catholic Clergy lists 1704 - 1800        Richard Flatman
  • Do you recognise any of these? Victorian Prisoners Photograph Albums at TNA         Mary Beglan
  • Tombstone Inscriptions of the Carmelite Abbey, Loughrea, County Galway.        Adrian James Martyn
  • Book Reviews

Office Re-opening

17th January 2010

The office was closed for our normal Christmas and New Year break. We had expected to re-open last Tuesday, 12th January, but were unable to do so due to the adverse weather conditions. The roads in Kildare were particularly badly affected. We are re-opening on Tuesday 19th, when we will deal with post received over the Christmas period along with the various online book orders and membership renewals and new membership applications.


Contact the Irish Family History Society
Post: 17 Aubrey Park, Shankill, Dublin D18 CX64, Ireland.