28 March 2013


     The year 2013 has been a very busy one for Irish genealogy, with The Gathering and Ireland Reaching Out spearheading increased Irish interest in family history. The effect is being felt online, too, with new releases of databases and digitized images (see my previous post regarding PRONI's release of its Valuation Revision Books:  http://irishfamilyresearch.blogspot.com/2013/03/now-online-proni-places-valuation.html ).  Also in the news this week is the revision and relaunch of the genealogy website of the  Irish government's Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. The revised website offers a new search engine that will search multiple databases with each search. Researchers will no longer have to go to each database and duplicate their searches. The new site offers more guidance and general information for family historians, also. Find IrishGenealogy.ie here:

26 March 2013


     The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has placed the Valuation Revision Books' images online with a searchable index. The placename index can be searched by county, city, parish, or townland. The counties available are Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone. In all, 3856 volumes covering the period of 1864 through 1933 are now online. Forty four more are slated to be place online at a future date.
     The Revision Books contain yearly updates on Griffith's Valuation, which was a recording of property in Ireland originally taken from 1848 to 1864. Although the Valuation was aimed at recording facts about every parcel of land in Ireland, it is of tremendous importance to genealogists because it also records owners, lessors, and occupiers.
      Search the PRONI Revision Books database at    http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/val12b.htm
Search the Griffith's Valuation:

23 March 2013


     Does your Irish family tree chart have blank spaces at about 1800? Are you wondering if DNA testing would help you break through this common brick wall in your research?
      Dr. Maurice Gleeson, co-administrator of the Spearin Surname Project, gave a lecture on March 20th at the National Library of Ireland on DNA: BRICK WALL BUSTER? on behalf of the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IRGS). For those of us who could not fly to Dublin to attend this very informative lecture, Dr. Gleeson has placed a video version on You Tube:
     DNA testing can be a very complicated subject, but Dr. Gleeson gives clear and informative explanations of how DNA testing and a "paper trail" (genealogical records research) can be combined to break down genealogical brick walls. Although it is especially helpful for an Irish family researcher like me to hear examples from an Irish research perspective, this lecture is helpful to those researching any ethnicity.
     Dr. Gleeson is a busy man indeed. He has a blog in which he posts explanations of DNA topics, DNA AND FAMILY TREE RESEARCH:
He also has a series of very informative videos on his You Tube Channel:

(Special thanks to Martha Bowes of the Bowes One Name Study for the tip about Dr. Gleeson and his informative videos!)

18 March 2013


     The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS)  has just announced the launch of its improved and revised web site. The IGRS site will contain important databases and resources not available elsewhere. Put the link on your list of favorites to be checked often for new resources: http://www.irishancestors.ie/
     The IGRS expressed its aims for the web site in a press release as follows:

"In the public area of the website there’s a ‘fragment’ of the 1871 census for the parish of Drumconra, Co Meath. Presented to the IGRS by Celsius English, it includes the complete returns for the parish; they survive only because a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary turned a blind eye to allow the local parish priest to copy census data before it was submitted to the census authorities. There are also details of original sources, listing names, for the Irish in seventeenth and eighteenth century Spain, compiled by IGRS member and expert on Iberian peninsula Irish, Samuel Fannin. In addition, we have a unique database, already amounting to 42,000 names, of early Irish marriages. This is the result of extensive work by longstanding IGRS member, Roz McCutcheon. As it continues to grow it will become an important source for genealogists.

As a source of guidance, IrishAncestors has a public section to help beginners (Start Your Research) and, in the members-only area, a wiki (Expert Tips) for the more seasoned family historian. There will also be a names index and complete list of all the articles which have appeared in our annual journal, The Irish Genealogist, published since 1937.

Speaking at the launch of the website, just in time for St Patrick’s Day, IGRS chairman Steven Smyrl said: 'With the launch of IrishAncestors.ie, access to many of the IGRS's indexes and finding aids will be just a click of a mouse away. We've got a fabulously exciting collection at our disposal, much of which was copied down before the great fire of 1922.
'We've got information from church records, marriage licences, conformity rolls; deeds, mortgages and leases; wills, administrations; chancery and exchequer court bills, pleas, answers and decrees; newspaper birth, death & marriage notices; 17th century herald's visitation's pedigrees and extensive family histories. We've notes on policeman, customs & excise officers, migrants, clergymen, religious converts, military men, merchants, shopkeepers, farmers, Ulster families, and the Irish in Canada, the West Indies, Spain, South America. And much, much more...' ”



CARLOW Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous
Householder & Inhabitants of town of Carlow - 1837

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
Irish Constabulary Men from Cavan - 1857

CORK Genealogy Archives
Mogeely Churchyard Memorials

DERRY Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
Derry Cathedral Memorials v 7 [p583-594]

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Deansgrange Cemetery
Deansgrange Cemetery, South Section Part 4 (additional headstones)

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
Devenish Graveyard
Drumully Cemetery
Irvinestown Tower Graveyard
Pettigo Roman Catholic Graveyard
& several other cemetery listings

GALWAY Genealogy Archives - Headstones.
Rosscahill; Killannin (Old) R.C. Cemetery (additional)

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Baptisms
Assorted FOX Baptisms

LOUTH Genealogy Archives - Wills
Leggett, William 1879 - Will

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Land Records
Canceled Valuation Books, Town of Ballymote, Market Street (part) 1896-1907

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Land Records
Indenture 1829 with Tenants names

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives
Kildavin Churchyard Memorials

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Church
Castlemacadam Baptisms - Assorted Names,1726-1924

08 March 2013


     At a recent meeting of my Irish genealogy group, we shared favorite online Irish genealogy sites. These sites should be checked often, as information is added to the databases from time to time. Researching Irish ancestors from the armchair at home has never been easier, and the availability of online records is growing. Below are the top favorites from our group's discussion:

  • The Gathering Ireland: check before traveling to Ireland for genealogy, family, and local history events in Ireland in 2013. www.thegatheringireland.com
  • Ireland Reaching Out: Genealogy initiative in Ireland where local parishes focus on tracing descendants of those emigrants who left the parish. Free databases to be online. http://www.irelandxo.com
  • Ireland Genealogy Projects: volunteer-run FREE database. By county, and also check out the general archive section also. http://www.igp-web.com
  • Irish Archives 1901, 1911 census: FREE Irish census database includes original images! http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie
  • Church records: free, but only for limited counties: http://www.irishgenealogy.ie
  • Public Record Office Northern Ireland (PRONI): (some online databases for Northern Ireland) http://www.proni.gov.uk
  • Ballymoney: source for County Antrim graveyards http://ballymoneygraveyard.com
  • Connors Genealogy: besides all things Connors, this site has FREE online records for several Irish and New York counties. http://www.connorsgenealogy.com
  • Irish Family History Foundation: Largest database of Irish records, including Catholic and Church of Ireland records for almost all counties. Has a very complicated pricing system, so watch your wallets. Is a VERY valuable database, if you can afford it. http://rootsireland.ie
  • Find My Past: Britain's competitor to Ancestry.com. Various pricing programs. If you are also researching England and Scotland, this is a must-go-to site. http://www.findmypast.ie
  • 04 March 2013


         If you are planning to visit Ireland in 2013, be sure to visit The Gathering 2013 online resources when planning your trip. I have been hearing from family historians who have been greatly helped with their trip planning by the resources that The Gathering provides.
         What is The Gathering? It is an effort by the Irish government to make 2013 a great year to visit Ireland by promoting family history, local history, festivals, and happenings all over the country. One man I met recently told me he has found a family reunion, cousins, and local genealogy events through the resources provided by The Gathering. I can't wait to hear his report on his Irish travels!
         If you are not yet planning a trip, the web site is still worth exploring.
    The Gathering Website: http://www.thegatheringireland.com/