1 April 2016
We have received a request from Aoife O'Connor, a PhD student with Sheffield University based in Dublin.
"A Criminal Ancestor
Are you descended from convict ancestors transported far from home or did great, great, great uncle John end up in court for squabbling with the neighbours? If your ancestor was a hardened criminal, a victim of a miscarriage of justice, a political prisoner, or in court for not paying their dog licence a new study is looking to hear from you.
Criminals in the family have always fascinated family historians and it seems more of us are discovering more of them all of the time. The digitisation of the records of the criminal justice system and newspapers are bringing to light a side of our ancestors that may have previously been kept secret.
The crimes themselves range from the minor, even amusing, to the serious, and tragic. From a few cows wandering unsupervised along a country lane resulting in an appearance at the petty sessions court and a 2 shilling fine, to a young girl stealing some lace and being transported for 7 years to Australia, a sentence which really meant a lifetime exiled from her native land. A young boy imprisoned for vagrancy. A rebel. A highwayman. A murderer.
The documents which record their crimes often have amazingly rich details not found in birth, marriage, or even census records. From prison registers we can get physical descriptions of someone who lived long before the invention of photography, we can learn their height, weight, eye and hair colour, and any distinguishing scars or features such as tattoos. From newspaper accounts of trials we hear their voices as they give evidence.
But how do we feel when we come across an ancestor who broke the law? And how do they shape how we view our family’s history? Is a criminal ancestor someone to be ashamed of, to celebrate, or part of a larger story? What do their crimes, and the punishments they received tell us about them as people, and about the time and society they lived in? You can help provide the answers.
As part of the Digital Panopticon project <http://www.digitalpanopticon.org>, Aoife O Connor of the University of Sheffield wants to hear from family historians across the globe who have discovered ancestors who were connected to a crime. She is conducting short anonymous online surveys <http://acriminalrecord.org/surveys/>
Aoife is based in Dublin, Ireland and is studying for her PhD part-time. Her own family history includes, among others, one ancestor aged 18 imprisoned in 1821 for thirteen days on suspicion of stealing a frame saw (the same ancestor was fined for excise duty evasion to the tune of £12 10 shillings in 1838), and another who was fined two shillings at the Petty Sessions Court on the 24 December 1855 for driving a horse and cart with no reins."
Aoife can be reached at:
Aoife O Connor
Death of Richard Flatman on 3rd March 2016
Richard Flatman 1943-2016
Richard Flatman, centre, President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin McAleese
during an IFHS visit to Áras an Uachtaráin on 8th July 2010.
It is with deep sadness that we record the death of Richard Flatman on 3rd March 2016, following a long illness. Richard was born in Dublin in 1943, the son of Robert and Sheelah Flatman (nee Duffy). He is survived by his sister Doreen, and pre-deceased by his brothers Peter, Robin and Harry.
Richard Flatman was a member of the Irish Family History Society since its inception in 1984 and was a member of the first committee of the IFHS in 1985. He held various roles over the years including Editor of the IFHS Journal and most recently as Treasurer. The Irish Family History Society was founded in September 1984 at Tullamore, Co. Offaly at the Offaly Historical Society premises. The committee agreed to publicise its existence to genealogical societies worldwide, so as to help the Irish of the diaspora with its roots. Within 12 months it had a membership of 334 drawn from 20 of the 32 counties in Ireland, and from England, Scotland, France, West Germany, United State of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Richard’s membership number of (176) was testament to the fact that he joined the IFHS at its beginning. Richard took an active interest in all things genealogical and contributed many articles over the years to the journals of the IFHS. He wrote articles on the life of his father Robert Burnett Flatman who passed away in 1974; and also that of his grandfather James Michael Duffy and another one on the Duffy and Sillery families of Mentrim, Co. Meath. The journals of the Irish Family History Society are dotted with articles written by Richard Flatman.
In 1997 Richard received his Diploma in Local History, from the National University of Ireland – Maynooth. His Thesis was on the Parish of Inishmot, Co. Meath, his ancestral home.
Richard spent his working life in the Civil Service. When he retired Richard was able to fulfill his love of travel and went on some wonderful trips and cruises to faraway places. He was a skilled photographer, especially of flowers and exotic plants. He took great pleasure in showing the photographs of his latest trip abroad to his genealogical friends. I remember going to his house with the late Mona Germaine Dolan on several occasions to spend an afternoon with Richard showing us his latest photographs.
Richard was a regular attendee at all IFHS functions and outings, and one of the highlights of recent years was undoubtedly IFHS’s visit to Áras an Uachtaráin in 2010 to meet the President, Mary McAleese. The above photo shows Richard centre stage with President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin. The visit was not open to all our members –our numbers were limited to eight – and Richard and I were part of that group. The graciousness with which the President received each visitor individually was remarkable and the courtesy extended to our IFHS party will be long remembered.
Richard passed away on 3rd March, 2016 in Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin following a long illness. His funeral Mass was held in St. Joseph’s Church, Terenure, followed by cremation in Glasnevin Cemetery.
We extend our sympathies to Richard’s sister Doreen, brother-in-law Philip, sister-in-law Carmel, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family, relatives and friends. He will be sadly missed by all his friends in genealogy.
Patricia Moorhead (1603)
16 March 2016
Who Do You Think You Are? Birmingham 7th, 8th and 9th April 2016.
Opening in May 2016, the Irish Family History Centre operated by Eneclann, is currently seeking experienced applicants for Genealogy Expert positions.
Based at the Epic Ireland,CHG Centre, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1, which is opening in early May. Closing date for applications is this Friday, 18 March.
Opening in May 2016 the Irish Family History Centre in connection with Epic Ireland chq is currently seeking experienced applicants for Genealogy Expert positions.
For full details click here.
18 February 2016
Press Release: Irish Family History Society adds a further 10 years (1995 – 2004) online access to their historic journals for members.
The Irish Family History Society Journal has been published annually since 1985, shortly after the Society was established. Many are now out print, particularly those from the early years. The back issues of the Journal have been digitised by Eneclann in memory of the late John Heueston, past Chairman and Treasurer. The first tranche of 10 issues from 1985 to 1994 was made available in late 2014. A further 10 years from 1995 to 2004 are now available in the Members’ area on www.ifhs.ie. A further five years, along with a searchable Index, will be added in April.
Mary Beglan, Irish Family History Society’s Chairman said “I am delighted that these additional journals in digitised form are now available for the benefit of our members. The first tranche of digitised journals was well received, and I thank Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann for her kind gift of digitising the Journals in memory of the late John Heueston. The journals cover a broad range of articles and will be of great interest to our members”
Based in Ireland, the Irish Family History Society was established in 1984 and has a worldwide membership. The Society holds regular meetings and outings, and publishes an annual Journal as well as News Sheets for its members. Please visit the Society’s website www.ifhs.ie for more information.