Irish Family History Society

2009 News


Dictionary of Dublin Dissent, Dublin's Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920.

2nd December 2009

Dictionary of Dublin Dissent, Dublin's Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920 by member Steven C. Smyrl was launched on Tuesday 1st December 2009 by Professor Raymond Gillespie at the Unitarian Church St. Stephens' Green, Dublin 2.   

Steven C. Smyrl has worked as a professional genealogist for twenty years. Although he specialises in providing legal genealogy services to solicitors, his academic interest has focused on the history of Dublin ’s Protestant dissenters and their congregations. He has spent many years searching out and cataloguing the surviving records for dissent in Dublin and this book represents the fruits of that research.

378 pp  Paperback  

ISBN: 978-1-906353-15-5

The cost of the book is EURO 40 and can be purchased in bookstores and direct from the publishers A&A Farmar Books

A review of the book will shortly appear on the Society's website.

Fifteen Year Membership Certificates

1st December 2009



IFHS Committee members Hon. Treasurer John Heueston and Joan Sharkey are among the group of Society members who will receive their Fifteen Year Membership Certificates in 2009. The certificates were presented to John and Joan by Hon. Chairman Gerry P Cahill following a committee meeting on 30th November. Certificates to the other members will be posted in December.



L to r John Heueston, Gerry P Cahill and Joan Sharkey.

Re-launch of Irish Genealogy website

27 November 2009

The Irish Genealogy web site, now hosted by the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism, was re-launched on 25th November 2009 by the Minister Martin Cullen. The website still includes the Central the Central Signposting Index (C.S.I.) which contains links to other resources with over 3 million genealogical records.

Of particular interest are the transcripts of church registers for Dublin and Kerry. Of these, 734,000 Church records are from Dublin City and 600,000 records are from Kerry.  These Church records were computerised with funding from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and through the work of the Dublin Heritage Group and Kerry Genealogical Research Centre.

In the first phase of the project, church records for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry are available as are a subset of the Church of Ireland parishes in Kerry. The remainder of the extant Church of Ireland records for Kerry will be made available in due course. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry includes parishes in western and north-western areas of County Cork. The church records for a subset of the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland parishes in Dublin City are also available. Work is also progressing on the completion of the Dublin City records.

The department is also collaborating with Carlow County Library and Cork County Library in the completion of their Church records. It is intended to have these elements of the project completed and available online by the mid-2010.

All records are available to view free of charge.

Galway's World War 1 Connaught Rangers

19 November 2009

A Ceremony to honour Galway's World War 1 Connaught Rangers will take place at Galway City Museum (Spanish Arch), November 26th, commencing at 6 pm when the exhibition (correspondence, photographs, war memorabilia) will open.

Ivor J. Faulkner #1642, whose grandfather is among those being commemorated, advised us of this event. All are welcome.

National Archives Works which will disrupt the availability of archives November 2009 – February 2010

12 November 2009

Major works are taking place in the storage areas of the National Archives, which will mean that some archives will not be available for public inspection during periods lasting several weeks.

Works commenced on Wednesday 11November 2009. Most microfilms will not be affected by the works and will remain available throughout. Archives stored at the Four Courts are not affected.

For further details and regular updates see website     



         25th Anniversary 1984 - 2009

Click here for details of Society events celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Society's founding.


The National Archives Kew - Early Irish maps from State Papers c.1558 - c.1610

29 October 2009

These maps come from the ‘State Papers Ireland’, the main record of government business in the early modern period and are among the best known and most frequently consulted maps in The National Archives. You can search and download more than 60 different maps depicting plantations, fortifications and townships in Ireland during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. They are among the earliest cartographic representations of Ireland and include the famous map of Hibernia drawn by John Goghe in 1567.

To get an idea of what these maps look like, you can download a map Tullyhaw, County Cavan free of charge. The standard charge for each document is Stg £3.50.

National Archives - Closure on Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th December 2009  

28 October 2009

The Reading Room of the National Archives will be closed to the public on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December 2009 to facilitate the annual media preview of the archives of Government Departments relating mainly to 1979 which will be opened to the public in January 2010. Only representatives of newspapers and broadcasting companies will be admitted on the days of the preview. Newspapers and broadcasting companies have already been invited to nominate representatives.

The Reading Room will re-open to the public at 10.00 on Monday 14 December.


25 October 2009

Wednesday 4th November 2009 at  Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

AGM   7:00pm

Lecture 8:00pm   

Speaker: Wendy Quirke, staff member LDS

‘FamilySearch’  Talk about the new on-line LDS database of Irish GRO Indexes 1845-1958


Irish Roots Magazine - Special offer on one year's subscription

7 October 2009

Irish Roots Magazine - Ireland's favourite genealogy and family history magazine is happy to offer Irish Family History Society members a subscription discount on Irish Roots Magazine of €18 (normally €23) until the end of November only. Irish Roots Magazine is a 32 page publication, published in March, June, September and December. For details on how to subscribe see Members' Area.


Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Limerick

7 October 2009

In 2008 the Society of Friends and Limerick City Council agreed to microfilm the Quaker papers that related to the Limerick Meetings of the Society of Friends.  The project was funded by Limerick City Council. The original manuscript collection is maintained by the Quaker Historical Library in Dublin .  See website for full details of the records available.


Thanks to M Murphy for bringing this to our notice.

National Library of Ireland announces launch of Online access to Digitised Hayes Manuscript Sources on Wednesday 30 September 2009

27 September 2009

Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation (1965, with a further three volumes in 1975) and Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals (1970) have been digitised and, together with additional information on the Library’s own manuscript holdings, will be made freely available, as a beta launch, to people worldwide from Wednesday 30 September 2009. This new online resource, entitled Sources: a National Library of Ireland database for Irish Research, will allow anyone anywhere to search across 196,574 records for Irish manuscript and periodical material, covering subjects which range from art, architecture and archaeology, through economics and genealogy to history, politics, literature, science and zoology.

Full details can be read in their Autumn Newsletter available at

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

25 September 2009

Change at The National Archives (TNA)

In July we drew attention to the proposed changes put forward by TNA. Following a period of consultation, TNA has now announced its firm plans for change which will begin to take effect from the end of this year. Details can be found on TNA’s website at .

The finalised plans were unveiled at the monthly user forum held yesterday at Kew.  The main proposals remain in place, namely closure to the public on Mondays (from January 2010); the introduction of car park charges (from April 2010); and changes to copying and microform services (to be phased in from the end of 2009). Some adjustments have been made to the details as a result of comments received during the consultation process. The presentation given at the user forum can be downloaded at

It will come as no surprise that the changes were not well received by those who have been in the forefront of the criticism aimed at the proposals. However, it was noticeable that some of the critics seemed to be guilty of the sort of misrepresentation they claimed had been used by TNA. Either that or they are unable to interpret documents as well as might be expected.

It is to be hoped that lessons will be learnt from this exercise so that future consultation is much more effective. In the present situation it was much more like paying lip service to consultation after the decisions had been reached.  Natalie Ceeney, chief executive, said that employment law made it difficult to have open discussion in the light of the impact on staff caused by the loss of jobs. Ideally, stakeholders should be given the opportunity to provide input at the earliest stages of thinking, when there is a realistic possibility of influencing the decision-making process. Also, the reasoning behind some of the decisions was not well communicated at first. This caused conflict which could have been avoided if more thought had been given to this.

We understand that there will be an opportunity to demonstrate how well these lessons have been understood in the not-too-distant future.

Roger Lewry

FFHS Archives Liaison

25 September 2009

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

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

22 September 2009

The following records have been added to the ScotlandsPeople website:

Indexes (NOT IMAGES) to modern marriage records from 1934-2006. This now gives the range of statutory records as Indexes of Scottish births and deaths (1855-2006) marriages (1855-2006) and images of births (1855-1908), marriages (1855-1933) and deaths (1855-1958).   See

Roger Lewry  

(FFHS Archives Liaison)

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

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) Street Directories now online.

16 September 2009

Thirty pre-1901 Street Directories (between 1819 and 1900) held in PRONI are now accessible and fully searchable online at 

RTE 1 Television Who You Think You Are?

14 September 2009

RTE 1 Television begins its second series of the popular programme Who You Think You Are? on Monday 14th September at 9.35 which will run for 6 weeks. In the first show RTE presenter Ryan Tubridy follows his family history from poverty in Connemara to the centre of the former British Empire. Other shows include Fionnula Flanagan as she retraces her father's experiences in the Spanish Civil War; Ivan Yates who uncovers generations of risk-taking ancestors in flour-milling, whiskey distilling and one of the greatest inventions of the modern world; Diarmuid Gavin digs up his roots in ship-building, and opera; model Rosanna Davison follows her de Burgh pedigree all the way back to the Norman Invasion; and actor Simon Delaney finds family in Missouri, Meath and a place that is almost Hollywood.

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)  Please note these dates if you are planning a visit

10 September 2009

PRONI Annual Closure 2009.

PRONI will be closed to the public for THREE WEEKS from 23 November - 11 December 2009 inclusive. This closure is to allow staff to undertake vital preparation work ahead of the move to their new building in Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

Interruption to PRONI service: September 2010 - May 2011

In preparation for PRONI's forthcoming relocation to Titanic Quarter, from September 2010 to May 2011 there will be no public access to PRONI's Balmoral Avenue site. See PRONI's website  for further details.

Irish Family History Foundation - New records added to Irish Genealogical Online Record Search System

8 September 2009

The Irish Family History Foundation have announced that the records of Derry ~ Londonderry Genealogy covering the parishes and districts of County Derry   are now added to its Online Research Service. While searches are free, payment is required to view details. See website

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

8 September 2009

Online publisher brightsolid wins new deal to manage ScotlandsPeople online family history service

Online publisher brightsolid has won a three-year deal to manage the hugely-successful family history site, . The site, with almost one million registered users and growing currently by more than 10,000 per month, is run in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). The contract, awarded

by competitive tender, will run for three years from September 2010.

brightsolid is among the major online publishers specialising in family history and genealogy sites. It has operated the site since 2002 and also owns the genealogy site Last month brightsolid completed the acquisition of FriendsReunited, including GenesReunited, from ITV plc (subject to approval by the
competition authorities).

"This new contract to manage in partnership with GROS is a significant one for brightsolid," commented brightsolid chief executive Chris van der Kuyl.

The site contains more than 50 million records dating back to when national records of births, deaths and marriages began in Scotland in 1855. It also includes parish records, dating back as far as 1533, as well as other data including wills and testaments.

For the full version of the FFHS announcement see their website

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

National Archives Open Day

4 September 2009

The National Archives Open Day, part of the Archives Awareness Campaign, takes place on Saturday 3rd October from 10am to 5pm. There will be various seminars and tours throughout the day. Booking is required. See  for full details and programme of events.  IFHS will be there on the day so do come up to us to say Hello.

1911 Census for 32 counties now online

3 September 2009

The full 1911 census for all 32 counties is now available on the National Archives website Corrections and improvements will be ongoing. By the end of September they will be re-developing the site to include full transcription of all of the data on the household forms for 1911, including religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, marital status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses, and child survival information.

1901 Census material, with all data transcribed, will be launched between late 2009 and early 2010.

University College Cork, Ireland. Genealogy courses starting September 2009

3 September 2009

Centre for Continuing Adult Education, University College Cork have advised us of two short courses on Genealogy which are starting September 2009 and which may be of interest to our members. Their courses were a decided success last year and they hope to have a similar response again for their new programme. A six week course covers the topic Breaking Through the Brick Wall while the second 10 week course is How to Trace your Family Tree.

Click here for details.  Breaking Through the Brick Wall   How to Trace Your family Tree   Full details are available on the college web site

Local History Day 26th September 2009 Dublin City Library & Archive

28 August 2009

Location: 138-144 Pease Street, Dublin 2.

  9.30     Registration

10.00     "Dublin City Public Libraries 1884-2009: 125 years of service to the community".

               Deirdre Ellis-King, Dublin City Librarian.

10.45     Tea / coffee

11.15     "History sites on an ancient road from Dubin",

               Seamus Cullen, Emmet and Delvin Committee.

12.00     "The early GAA: a Dublin perspective".

               Tom Hunt, NUI Maynooth.

12.45       Lunch (not provided)

  2.15     "The 1907 Dublin International Exhibition in Herbert Park".

               Brian Siggins, Old Dublin Society

 3.00      "Stories of Dublin"

               With Joe Lee, Dublin City council Film maker in Residence with Dublin City Council, 2009.

Admission Free Booking Essential

Fur further information contact

Dublin City Library and Archive,

138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Tel 01 674 4873


Federation of Family History Societies announcement

8 August 2009


brightsolid today announced it is to acquire Friends Reunited Group from ITV plc for £25 million. The completion of the deal is subject to clearance by the competition authorities.

brightsolid is a fast growing online innovation business owned by DC Thomson, one of the largest privately owned media and publishing groups in the country. A key part of brightsolid's strategy is building businesses that link "people and places" on the internet.

The acquisition of Friends Reunited Group would create Britain's leading genealogy business by bringing together Genes Reunited and (which operate the official 1901 and 1911 Census websites respectively in association with The National Archives) and ScotlandsPeople in partnership with General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

For the full version of the FFHS announcement see their website

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

National Archives - 1911 Census, Delay in release of next tranche of counties.

7 August 2009

Release of counties: Limerick, Mayo, Waterford, Armagh, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Fermanagh, Kildare, Kilkenny and Leitrim not expected online until late August, along with corrected data for previously published counties. See website for further details.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

28 July 2009

Today The National Archives (Kew) announced arrangements for free access to the 1911 census information at the following locations:

         Birmingham Archives & Heritage

         Devon Record Office (Exeter)

         The National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth)

         Manchester Archives and Local Studies and Greater Manchester County Record Office

         Norfolk Record Office

         Nottinghamshire Archives

         Tyne and Wear Archives

Before planning a trip, visitors are urged to contact the relevant institution to find out when the service will be available.

The full announcement can be seen at The National Archives (Kew)

Roger Lewry

FFHS Archives Liaison

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

BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are?

14 July 2009

BBC’s popular TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? returns for another series starting Wednesday 15 July. The second episode, to be shown Wednesday 22 July, features Chris Moyles the well known BBC Radio 1 DJ, who traces his Irish Roots back to Dublin and Ballina, Co. Mayo. The show is at 9o’c on BB1 and repeated on BBC2 (Northern Ireland, Scotland and England only) on Tuesdays at 7o’c.

Certificate in Local History 2009-2010

12 July 2009

The Certificate in Local History will be offered again this year at Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse St., Dublin 2. The course commences on 15 September 2009 to end April 2010 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. For application form ring 01 674 4996 or email cityarchives@dublin

Irish Family History Foundation New records added to Irish Genealogical Online Record Search System

7 July 2009

The Irish Family History Foundation has announced that the records of Donegal Ancestry covering the parishes and districts of County Donegal are now on its Online Research Service (ORS). This adds another 2/3 million more baptismal, birth, death, marriage, census and gravestone records to our online database. The total number of records now searchable online is 15.6 million.

While searches are free, payment is required to view details. See website

National Archives, Kew, plans closure on Mondays from early 2010

1 July 2009

The National Archives. Kew, proposes a number of changes to its operations and public services. The proposals include closure of the Kew reading room to the public on Mondays, and a new daily charge for car parking on the Kew site. They anticipate that the changes will be implemented from early 2010.

For further information see The National Archives website

IFHS New Web Site launched

20 June 2009

This year the Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary, having been established in 1984. We are currently developing plans to celebrate. The first celebration of the society's 25 years is the emergence of the new website.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

19 June 2009

ScotlandsPeople has announced that the following records have been added to their site:

1.  New 1881 census indexes and images: this now completes the set of Scottish census records 1841-1901, uniquely available on ScotlandsPeople.  Please note that this new version is in addition to the current LDS version of the 1881 census (which does contain images)

2.  Old Parish Records (OPR) Deaths & Burials indexes and images have also been added from 1538 to 1854

3.  Coats of Arms 1672-1907 (free to search) have been added.

More modern Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) records have also been added to the site. This now increases the range of statutory records, so you can trace your more recent ancestors:

     Indexes of Scottish births and deaths now run from 1855 to 2006 with marriages from 1855 to 1933. Indexes to 

     modern marriages will be added later this year.

     Images of births are now available from 1855 to 1908, marriages from 1855 to 1933 and deaths from 1855 to 1958.

Roger Lewry

FFHS Archives Liaison

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

News from FindMyPast re 1911 Census

18 June 2009

FindMyPast  have announced that the the 1911 census is complete for England and Wales. All the remaining records have been added, and so have the RG78 enumerator’s summary book pages. Records for the Islands of Alderney, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and Sark, troops stationed in overseas military bases, and crew serving on Royal Navy ships are now ready to search.

To Hell or Barbados

16 June 2009

The Old Drogheda Society will host a lecture by local community historian , Brendan Matthews entitled "To Hell or Barbados" in the Governors House, Millmount, Drogheda on Wednesday June 24th at 8pm. The lecture will give a new insight into the storming of Drogheda by Oliver Cromwell in 1649 and its aftermath when thousands of Irish people were transported to Barbados to work as slaves on the sugar plantations.

A delegation from Barbados will visit Drogheda from July 2nd to July 5th to mark the occasion and Brendan's lecture will tell the extraordinary story of the " Irish Slaves of the Caribbean "

There will be a book stall on the night and all are welcome.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

15 June 2008

The British Postal Museum & Archive

The Search Room at The British Postal Museum & Archive will close from 29 June to allow urgent work to take place on the air conditioning system. It is expected that the work will take at least 8 weeks although it may take longer.

They will continue to deal with email, letter and telephone enquiries during this time but it may take slightly longer to respond than usual.

If you are planning to visit us in July or August please contact the Search Room in advance of your visit by emailing or telephoning 020 7239 2570 to check the current status. Updates will also be posted to

the web site

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies

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

Burial records for the Limerick City’s largest cemetery, Mount Saint Lawrence now online

4 June 2009

Limerick City Council has become the first local authority in the country to put its burial registers online. Details from their web site states that Burial records for the city’s largest cemetery, Mount Saint Lawrence, dating back more than 150 years will now be easily available to the public over the internet.

Limerick City Council was eager to ensure that a preservation copy of these vital Limerick records was created and commissioned local firm Medrex Systems to microfilm the records and to convert these into digital format. This means that it is now possible to access a copy of the original handwritten entries of burials in Mount St Lawrence cemetery, from 1855 onwards on Limerick City Archives website.

Each entry in the record is handwritten and records the name of the person, the date of burial, the location of the grave, the age of the deceased and the last residence. With the click of a mouse, it is possible to turn the pages of the book to view the next set of entries. Mount St Lawrence was first opened in 1849 when a new graveyard was needed in Limerick as a result of the both the 1830’s cholera epidemic and the Great Famine of 1845-1850.

Thanks to P Moorhead for bringing this to our notice.

National Archives - 1911 Census, Five additional counties added

1 June 2009

Donegal, Cork, Galway, Wexford and King’s County (Offaly) are the latest batch of counties to be made available. Even though there is still some material missing (in particular, some Irish language returns, and corrections submitted by the public), the National Archives have decided to make the material immediately available. Corrections and improvements will be ongoing. See website for further details.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

27 May 2009

Surman Index launched.

Charles Surman's extraordinary biographical card index of Congregational ministers includes the names of about 32,000 individuals, and, where known, their dates, details of their education, ministries or other employment, together with the sources used. It covers the period from the mid-seventeenth century to 1972, and though it focuses on England and Wales, it includes Congregational ministers serving abroad provided they trained or served as ministers in Britain. Although intended as an index of Congregational ministers, it also gives details of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Presbyterians.

Further information can be found on the website where the index can now be freely searched online


Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)

Federation of Family History Societies

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

Irish Historic Towns Atlas, No. 20, Tuam by J. A. Claffey

25 May 2009

Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 20, Tuam by J. A. Claffey, published by the Royal Irish Academy was launched on Friday 22nd May 2009 in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 2. IFHS members, Patricia Moorhead and Mary Beglan attended the launch.

The most recent Irish Historic Towns Atlas traces the growth and decline of Tuam, Co. Galway, through its origins as a monastic centre, to its rise in the 12th century as a cathedral city and to its development in the 18th century as an important trading centre in the west of Ireland. Histories of over 700 sites (streets, markets, schools, etc.) are detailed alongside c. 20 maps (thematic, reconstruction and historical) and views of the town presented in large format.

ISBN 978-1-904890-47-8   Cost is €30. See their web site for details.

The IHTA have produced many atlases to date including Armagh, Belfast, Dublin, Trim, Kilkenny and Kildare. Full details of all their publications are available on their web site. The IHTA is based at Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 


18 May 2009

Irish Roots are currently running a special promotion of a FREE set of 2008 back copies with every new subscription purchased during May. They would like to extend this offer until the end of June for FFHS members only.

Irish Roots is the only magazine totally dedicated to Irish ancestral research and covers all of Ireland including Northern Ireland. A yearly subscription to Irish Roots magazine costs €25 including postage (outside Ireland) and €23 including postage (inside Ireland).

To take advantage of the offer they will need to subscribe online at . On the website simply click on the top tab 'issues', scroll down and you will see a 'products purchase' link, click on this link and in the description type in FFHS - (And the name of your society) ie FFHS - IFHS. In the payment description type in the appropriate remittance €25 (outside Ireland) €23 (inside Ireland). Then click on 'make payment' and this will bring you to the credit card details section.

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies

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

Saturday 20th June 2009 - All Day outing

15 May 2009

Organised by the Irish Genealogical Research Society. IFHS will be joining them for this outing.

Visit to Newbridge House, Co. Dublin & Battle of the Boyne Interpretative Centre, Co. Meath.

Cost €55. Full details of outing are shown on the Society's Website on Meetings Page

Numbers are limited so early booking is essential. Open to Society members only.

Update on 1911 Census from the National Archives

15 May 2009

News from the National Archives website

"We have had a number of queries as to timescales for placing future counties online. We apologise for the delay in responding to you all.

Although we placed Antrim, Kerry and Down online in December, we encountered a number of errors in transcription, as well as some missing material. We have requested our partners to review the material with a view to improving accuracy. These three counties, with improved data quality, along with Cork, Donegal, Wexford, Galway and King's County (Offaly) will be placed online by the end of May.

Some material was never microfilmed, and has hence has not been digitised (Valentia in Co. Kerry is a case in point). e will supply information about missing material for each county, as well as arranging to have it digitised as soon as we can.

The National Archives would like to express its appreciation to our users for your very important feedback on transcription errors. This feedback has proved beneficial in our overall assessment of the quality of data being provided by our digitisation partners in this project. It is hoped that corrections submitted by members of the public for Antrim, Kerry and Down will be included in the forthcoming launch, but they may have to wait until the next one due to shortage of resources.

Further tranches of counties will comprise: 1. Limerick, Mayo,Waterford, Armagh, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Fermanagh, Kildare, Kilkenny and Leitrim;
2. Londonderry (Derry), Longford, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Queen's County (Laois), Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Tyrone, Westmeath and Wicklow.

At present, we hope to be placing the first listed tranche online by mid - July, and the second tranche by end -August, but this is subject to our being satisfied that the data meets our required levels of accuracy.

In September, we will be rebuilding the site to include full transcription of all of the data on the household forms for 1911, including religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, marital status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses, and child survival information.

1901, with all data transcribed, will be launched towards the end of 2009."

New PRONI Name Search database launched

15 May 2009

The new PRONI Name Search database allows you to search pre-1858 will indexes online

The first set of indexes to appear in Name Search are:

 - the index to pre-1858 wills which are to be found in various collections in PRONI

 - a selection of diocesan will indexes

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is committed to making its archives more widely available. While PRONI's eCatalogue has made access to PRONI's archives easier and speedier, in most instances it does not provide information on the actual content of the archives. PRONI has therefore embarked on a project to improve access to content by producing or reproducing indexes to some of the most popular records.

This project is PRONI's Public Service Agreement commitment in the Programme for Government for the next 3 years from 2008 to 2011.

Forthcoming indexes will include the surviving fragments of the 1740 and the 1766 religious census returns.

Irish Roots Magazine Special Offer for Month of May

6 May 2009


Free set of 2008 back copies with every new subscription to Irish Roots.

Offer only available until the end of May 2009.

Friends of Medieval Dublin

20 April 2009

11th Medieval Dublin Symposium


Saturday 23 May 2009

Robert Emmet Theatre (Room 2037) Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin


  09.30  Registration and opening remarksSeán Duffy

  09.45  'Forty years a-digging' revisited - after ten years. Linzi Simpson

  10.30   Urban plot development: excavations at nos. 118-124 the Coombe. Claire Walsh

  11.10   Tea & coffee

  11.30   Christ Church cathedral and the tale of two cloisters. Michael O'Neill

  12.10   Two nations?: Gaelicization and cultural exchange in late medieval Dublin and the Pale. Sparky Booker

  12.45   Lunch

  14.00   Excavations at Portmarnock: from early medieval enclosure to late medieval vill.  Colm Moriarty

  14.40   Dublin in the dynastic poetry of 11th- and 12th-century Leinster. Edel Bhreathnach

  15.15   Tea & coffee

  15.30   Adventures in the Pill: early waterfront structures at Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin. Teresa Bolger

  16.10  The Third Dimension: relationships between architecture, urban design and archaeology in modern Dublin.   

             Niall McCullough

ADMISSION FREE: All WELCOME. Seats do not need to be reserved in advance.
For further information, contact Dr Sean Duffy Email ; T (01) 8961368

Glasnevin Cemetery online

10 April 2009

The online service provides access to their extensive database containing more than 1 million cemetery and crematoria records related to Glasnevin (Post 1898 Only), Dardistown, Newlands Cross and Palmerstown as well as Glasnevin Crematorium and Newlands Cross Crematorium.

There is no charge to search the records. The results include a partial address, year of death, location, burial or cremation and notes whether others are buried in the same plot. There is a charge of €5 to obtain further details and €10 for an Extended Complete Grave Search includes all others buried in same grave by location rather than Family Name.

The following records stored in original Registers cannot be currently accessed ...
- Goldenbridge Cemetery
- Glasnevin Cemetery prior 1898 which are being securely stored offsite due to Building Works which prevents regular access for manual searches
- All Poorground records
... but will be in the future as soon as these have been digitized.

News from Council of Irish Genealogical Organisation (CIGO)

7 April 2009

30th March 2009th March 20090th March 2009

Dear Friends of CIGO,

Following on from the oral evidence given by CIGO & APGI representatives to the Northern Ireland Assembly's Scrutiny Committee for Finance & Personnel in relation to the Civil Registration Bill 2007, the Committee has now published its report in which it supports the proposal to include parents' names in all future death registrations in Northern Ireland.

You can read more about this issue here.

With all good wishes,

Steven Smyrl
Executive Liaison Officer

IFHS is a constituent member of CIGO

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

7 April 2009

"Important Information on changes to the General Register Office website

From the 1 April 2009, General Register Office (GRO) information for the public will move from our current website ( to join the website Directgov. It is intended that a full launch, supported by a Press Release, will take place on 7 April 2009.

Directgov is a cross-government supersite, the aim of which is to host information on all public services in one place.

The new website address for GRO is This will take users to an area entitled "Registering Life Events". As well as providing easy links to the GRO online certificate ordering service, it will contain information on the registration of birth, adoption, stillbirth, marriage, civil partnership and death as well as guidance on family history and the use of the General Register Office birth, death and marriage indexes.

The current GRO web address ( will remain active and will host a "homepage" that will guide visitors to GRO information via links.

I would be grateful if you would make the necessary arrangements to amend any reference you may have to the current GRO website address on your website or on printed literature to show the new web address of Since the web address will remain active, changes to your printed material can await the next print run.

The web address for the GRO online ordering service remains the same and can be found at . This page can also be easily accessed via

If you have any queries regarding this initiative please contact the GRO communications team at

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies"

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

Irish Times Archive Free Friday 27 March to Sunday 5th April

27 March 2009

To mark the Irish Times' 150th Anniversary Free Digital Archive access is available from Friday 27th March to Sunday 5th April. Articles can be printed and downloaded for free. See their web site

103.2 Dublin City FM Looking Back with Donal O hUallachain

20 March 2009

Conor Dodd, one of our speakers on Saturday 18th April, will be a guest on Donal hUallachain's radio programme on Friday 10th April at 8.30pm. Looking Back is a local history show where the presenter Donal, delves into the past and discusses Dublin's local history. Conor will be speaking with Donal about Military research, the subject of his talk to IFHS. The show is repeated on Monday morning 13th April at 11am. So do listen in if you can.

Eneclann has recently announced some new releases. Of Irish interest are:

20 March 2009

  • Upper Lough Erne in 1739
  • HMC Franciscan Manuscripts
  • Deserted Children in Dublin 1854 (Download)
  • Real Life in Ireland 1904
  • Working Class Conditions in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1908

Also available as a FREE DOWNLOAD is the digitised Philimore's Pedigree Work: A Handbook for the Genealogist.

See Eneclann's website for further details.

Who Do You Think You Are Show 2009

14 March 2009

Two Irish IFHS members, Joan Sharkey and Mary Beglan, attended the recent Who Do You Think You Are Show, which was held in London on Friday 27 February to Sunday 1 March. This popular show was well attended and there was a good Irish presence this year including Irish Roots Magazine, Eneclann, National Library of Ireland, National Archives of Ireland, Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Ulster Historical Foundation and the Irish Family History Foundation.

There were many lectures held throughout the 3 days and it was difficult at times to know which to attend. Often the selected ones clashed with others held at the same time. On Friday Joan and Mary attended the WDYTYA interview with Ainsley Herriott, one of the celebrities from the BBC series.

As usual these interviews were both interesting and entertaining and Joan and Mary made sure to have a good front seat. Following the interview Joan managed to get Ainsley's autograph and also had her photo taken with him. Although he was being rushed off to his next appointment he chatted to them and said he was heading to Dublin the following week for a friend's party.

Photo of Joan and Chef Ainsley Harriot Photo of Maureen
Ainsley and Joan Irish Roots Julie and Maureen Phibbs with John Hamrock

In addition to the many lectures organised by Society of Genealogists,, FindMyPast and others there were numerous exhibition stands to visit over the course of the three days. 

At the Irish Roots stand Mary met up again with Maureen and Julie Phibbs who now produce Irish Roots Magazine.  Here she also came across another Irish member John Hamrock, also over from Dublin.  John wrote Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors which was reviewed in the 2008 journal.

Photo of Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt

Photo of Joan and Peter

Joan also knew that another IFHS member, Peter Davies from Rugby, England, was due to attend on Saturday to help on the Federation of Family History Societies stand. Joan and Peter had previously  worked together on some Irish research. During his lunch break Joan and Mary met with Peter for a chat.


Niall McDevitt, a member of IFHS from Raheny, Dublin, also attended the show, having decided at the last moment to attend. Niall was busy attending the various lectures and visiting the exhibitions. Niall is a keen photographer and spent much time taking photos.

The National Library of Ireland and National Archives of Ireland stands were kept very busy, as can be seen from the photos, answering questions and offering advice over the course of the three days.

Photo of The National Library of Ireland stand Another photo of The National Library of Ireland stand
The National Archives of Ireland stand The National Library of Ireland stand

On the final day Sunday, Mary volunteered for 3 hours at the Society of Genealogist's Ask The Experts stand where she handled queries relating to Irish research.

We hear that the show will be held again at the same time next year at the same location.

Following the show Joan and Mary stayed on in London and spent 2 days researching at The National Archives in Kew before heading back home.

Dublin City Library & Archive Family History Day

6 March 2009

138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

28 March 2009 9.30am - 3.30pm

Admission Free. All Welcome

Family History Day Programme

  • 09.30 Registration
  • 10.00 'Know your Surname' Seán Murphy UCD
  • 10.45 'The New Dublin Freeman and Trade Guild Database' John Grenham M.A.P.G.I.
  • 11.30 Tea / Coffee
  • 12.00 'Searching for the Stoker Family' Douglas Appleyard
  • 12.45 Lunch (not provided)
  • 2.00 'Can I Trace Emigrants?' Paul Gorry M.A.P.G.I.
  • 2.45 'Ireland's Court Records - What Survived 1922?' Steven Smyrl M.A.P.G.I.
  • 3.30 Finish

All welcome
Booking essential at:
Dublin City Library & Archive
138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 674 4873 Email:

Dublin City Library & Archive - 12th Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture

6 March 2009

On Thursday 22 January 2009 the twelfth annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture was held at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Eibhlín Byrne, was chairman for the evening. City Librarian, Deirdre Ellis-King, welcomed the capacity audience and introduced the Lord Mayor.

The twelfth lecture was given by Professor Colm Lennon, Department of History, NUI Maynooth. Professor Lennon's lecture, Dublin's civic buildings in the early modern period, was well received by the audience.

This lecture will be published by Dublin City Public Libraries before the end of 2009.

A Podcast is available to download at

Linen Hall Library extends opening hours

6 March 2009

17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB, Northern Ireland

From 19 February 2009 the Linen Hall Library are introducing a trial period of longer opening hours on Thursdays and Saturdays.

On Thursdays the Library will open until 7.00pm and on Saturdays the Library will open until 4.00pm.

Please tell a friend and support the longer opening hours.

Our full opening hours from 19 February will be:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm;
  • Thursday 9.30am - 7.00pm.
  • Saturday 9.30am - 4.00pm.

Federation of Family History Societies announcements.

6 March 2009

The following announcements received from FFHS which may be of interest to some members.

Guildhall Library Refurbishment


The Manuscripts reading room will be temporarily closed for refurbishment from 5pm 17 April 2009 for approximately six months.

Please note that this is a change to the previously advised closure date.

The distance enquiry service will continue as normal. Access to original and microfilmed records will be through the reading rooms at London Metropolitan Archives (advance notice will be required for original document orders)

For further information please see the website at or email

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies

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

Glasnevin Cemetery due online.

6 March 2009

Notice on website states:

"This service is already open to genealogists, to open a new account with pre-loaded Credits, please email us at

We are delighted to announce our commitment to extend this service to members of the public from 8th April 2009. From that date you will not require an account to search our archives.

This service will provide access to our extensive database containing more than 1 million records dating as far back as 1890.

A standard Burial or Cremation search provides details on the deceased from our records. An extended burial search also includes details of all others buried in that grave."

Important announcement from the National Archives

6 March 2009

Restrictions on productions of original documents

The NAI recently announced that with effect from Monday 2nd March 2009, due to staff shortages, no documents would be produced between 12.30 and 14.30. Other restrictions as to the number of documents that can be ordered or held also apply. For full details see their web site.

'From Speed to Rocque: the growth of early modern Dublin' Lecture

5 February 2009

Tuesday 17 February 2009 at 6.30pm, National Library, Kildare St., Dublin 2.

Admission is free; booking is not required.

To mark the publication of Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 19, and in conjunction with the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Colm Lennon will give a talk entitled 'From Speed to Rocque: the growth of early modern Dublin, 1610-1756' in the Library's Seminar Room on 17 February at 6.30pm.

Latter Day Saints ( - Ireland Civil Registration Indexes.

30 January 2009

On the 23rd January LDS placed online a free transcription of the indexes to the Ireland Civil Registration indexes of all Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1864 to 1958 (Republic only from 1922) and Non-Catholic Marriages from 1845-1864. It is available on their Pilot FamilySearch website and was created from LDS copies of the indexes only and does not contain exact dates or images of the original records. For the first few days following the launch, digital copies of the index pages were also available but these have now been withdrawn.

From their web site select Record Search Pilot from the dropdown menu option Search Records. A Link is also available from the Home Page under What's New - See prototype for searching millions of records Select Europe and scroll down to specific link.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement.

30 January 2009

"On 25 October 2007 the Prime Minister announced that he had asked Paul Dacre, working with Professor David Cannadine and Sir Joseph Pilling, to chair an independent review of the '30 year rule', under which most government records are transferred to The National Archives and made available to the public by the time they are 30 years old.

The review team's final report was published on 29 January. Details can be found here

Roger Lewry
(FFHS Archives Liaison)"

The Irish Family History Society is an Associate member of FFHS

New Database Added - Electoral Lists (1939-40) -

29 January 2009

These records are lists of those registered to vote in Dublin city in Dail and local elections, for use in polling stations at election time. This online database covers the year 1939-1940. The full series of electoral lists 1938 to 1964 is available in the Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room.

Who Do You Think You Are? Show, London Friday 27nd February, Saturday 28th and Sunday 1st March 2009

29 January 2009

Once again this popular show is taking place at the Olympia, London, England. Full details of tickets costs, Shows, Lectures and Exhibitors can be found at their web site

Ainsley Harriott, Lesley Garrett and Matthew Pinsent who appeared in the last BBC series will be appearing live in the Who Do You Think You Are? Theatre

There will be a good Irish presence at the show again this year including Irish Roots Magazine, Eneclann, National Library of Ireland, National Archives of Ireland, Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Ulster Historical Foundation and the Irish Family History Foundation.

Some IFHS members will be visiting the show.

New Dictionary of Irish Architects launched. (

28 January 2009

The Dictionary of Irish Architects, an on-line database, was launched on 28th January 2009. It contains biographical and bibliographical information on architects, builders and craftsmen born or working in Ireland during the period 1720-1940, and information on the buildings on which they worked. Some 6,000 individual architects or architectural practices are included in the DIA, as are more than 40,000 building references. The project has been supported by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

It was created and compiled by Ann Martha Rowan. The Dictionary is a work in progress. Members will recall that Ann Martha Rowan spoke to the IFHS about her database some years ago. It will be a very valuable resource for those researching the history of Irish Architecture.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement

26 January 2009

"The Family History Event will be taking place on Sunday 3rd May 2009 at the Barbican Centre, London.For a full list of exhibitors, details of the Lectures Programme and further information about the show, please visit

Philippa McCray
Administrator (Acting)
Federation of Family History Societies"

The Irish Family History Society is an Associate member of FFHS

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (

23 January 2009

On 16th January 2009, PRONI launched their new online Electronic Catalogue (eCATNI) containing over one million catalogue entries, approximately 60% of PRONI's total catalogue entries, with the remainder to be published on an ongoing basis.

PRONI visitors have already been making use of the eCatalaogue onsite since it went live in the PRONI Search Room on 10 November 2008. The eCatalogue is the end result of the electronic catalogue for Northern Ireland (eCATNI) project and brings PRONI in line with other National and International archival institutions.

Federation of Family History Societies announcement.

13 January 2009

"You can find this posting and a copy in PDF Format on the FFHS Website at

1911 Census goes live

Today the 1911 Census has gone live on the Internet at The site is a pay per view site in partnership between FindMyPast and The National Archives. The site will not be part of the FindMyPast system and will not be available for viewing as part of their subscription services, although log-in details and pay per view credits will work on either site.

The census will go live on the FindMyPast subscription site later in 2009.

The Federation of Family History Societies hopes that you will be able to further your research and carry it forward into a key period of the 20th Century, which included the build up to the First World War and Suffrage for Women. There will only be one more census that we can use in the first half of the 20th Century and that is the one for 1921 as the Census for 1931 was burnt during the Second World War and there was no census taken in 1941 due to the war, although a National Register was made for the issue of identity cards.

The release is ahead of the usual release date of the first working day of the year following the 100th anniversary of the taking of the census; for the 1911 this would have been the 3rd of January 2012.

The Information Commissioner has made a ruling in 2006 about the availability of the 1911 Censes and the early release is explained in this ruling.

The 1911 Census also differs from the previous censuses in that it is the original householder's schedules that have survived and not the enumerators' books we are used to. As a consequence of this the amount of data is greatly increased and the paper copies are stored on 2 kilometres of shelving, approximately 8 times larger than previous censuses.

This increase has meant that it has taken much longer to prepare them for public access and much credit goes to the teams at the TNA and FindMyPast for getting this done.

From today there will be a staggered release of the information in the 1911 census. This will include images and transcription data, but with sensitive data held back, in line with the Information Commissioner's recent ruling. From 3 January 2012 the public will have full access to the entire 1911 census, including the information not accessible in 2009. Researchers anywhere in the world will be able to search across the fields of the census by name, address or The National Archives catalogue reference, and download high-resolution digital images.

Natalie Ceeney, Chief Executive of The National Archives said:

"The 1911 census holds more information than the 1901 census. It is also the first census where the householder's schedule has remained the master entry, rather than the enumerator's notes, so researchers are actually able, in most cases, to view their actual ancestors' handwriting when looking at 1911 census entries. This will be an invaluable resource for anyone who is working hard to trace their family's history."

Also available are the enumerators' summary sheets which give information and statistics on their locality. These will be added to the site when all the household schedules are complete.

Basic facts about the 1911 census;

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911. Over 8 million schedules were delivered to householders around the country.

The completed forms provide us with personal details of the 36 million people who were living in England and Wales at the time, offering a fascinating insight into the state of the nation nearly 100 years ago.

The census shows the name, age, sex and marital status of each person, as well as giving details of their occupation, birth place and nationality. The 1911 census also asks for additional information about married women: how long they have been married and how many children have been born to that marriage.

The 1911 census has been called 'the fertility census' as it lists the total number of children that a woman had given birth to; this information is especially valuable to family historians as it accounts for children no longer living at home as well as those who had died before 1911.

Census returns are a key source for people tracing their family history, as well as those studying local, social and political history. For family historians, one of the main attractions of the 1911 census is that, for the first time, it is the original householder schedules that have survived so we can see our ancestors' own handwriting, complete with any unsolicited additional comments that they might have made.

Information recorded for each person:

  • Name and Surname
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Age and Sex
  • Marital condition
  • Profession or Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Nationality
  • Infirmity (eg deaf, dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile etc.)

Note: this information will not be available to view until the census is officially opened in January 2012. At the request of the Information Commissioner these details have been obscured in the images that are made available prior to that date.

Additionally, details recorded for married women:

  • Years married
  • Children born to present marriage, living or deceased

Some interesting entries found by the transcription team include:

  • A mother of five children whose occupation is listed as 'slave to family'
  • An opinionated household head, evidently affronted by the invasive nature of the census, who writes:
  • 'Put some charge on goods coming from abroad... Could you not find something better to do than ask about children that have been dead over 56 years?

The return for one household lists the family cat as a domestic servant, giving the feline's nationality as 'Persian'. We hope the enumerator appreciated the joke…

I hope that this release will enhance the research experience for those of you who probably thought that they would need to wait another three years for the information.

Best wishes for successful research in 2009

Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS)"

The Irish Family History Society is an Associate member of FFHS

Journal of the Irish Family History Society Volume 24 2008.

8 January 2009

A group of volunteers got together on Tuesday 6th January to pack the journal for posting to our members. Unfortunately we were unable to pack and post before Christmas. Our usual packers John Heueston, Eddie Brennan and Mary Beglan were joined this year by Chairman Gerry Cahill and fellow committee members Joan Sharkey and John Dyer.

We managed to pack all journals in the one day and they were left in the local sorting office on the way home. We were pleased to hear reports that some members received their copy in the post the following morning. We were so busy packing we forgot to take photos of the group. We did remember, just in time, to take some photos of Joan and John Dyer as they delivered the journals to Harmonstown Sorting Office.


Loading Delivering



We hope you enjoy reading this year's journal. Articles include:

  • Editorial Mary Beglan
  • Artane Industrial School 1901 Census (Part II) Brian Wray
  • Mother Berchams Hughes F.C.J. (1861-1925) Patricia Moorhead
  • Language in a Boat Dr Dymphna Lonergan
  • The Elusive Sailor - George Frederick Kierans Joan Sharkey
  • Rev John George Frederick Schulze (1764-1839) - Addenda G. Rex Meyer
  • Serving the State with Eighteenth Century - The experience of a Skerries family Dr Maghréad Ní Mhurchadha
  • The Life and Times of the John Shea-Lawlor B. L. Margaret Jordan
  • Gentleman Donovan - Market Gardener and Publican Judy McDonnell
  • Newberry Hall, Carbury, Co. Kildare James Robinson
  • The Duffy and Sillery Families of Mentrim, Co. Meath Richard Flatman
  • From Inistioge to Indiana - A Genealogical Guest John S. Dyer
  • Country Life in Particular in the Barony of Carbury Sam Holt
  • A Strong Willed Ancestor Maureen Hambrook
  • The Dowlings or Doolans of Carricknaughton, Athlone Eamonn Dowling
  • Reviews - Books & C.D.'s

Copies of the journal are available to non-members at a cost of €10 plus postage. See Publications page for details.




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