28 January 2013


     Read John Grenhams's comments, in his Irish Times blog,  regarding recent changes to the process of obtaining civil registrations from Ireland:

24 January 2013


The Irish database site of is offering 50 free search credits today.

21 January 2013


     The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has released an informative guide to Irish genealogical research. You can download the guide at their online site at

16 January 2013


  For a legal issue, copyright has stirred up plenty of emotions the past few weeks. Therein lies the problem--copyright is a right given by law, and a very complicated and confusing law at that. Infringement of copyright is not to be decided by crowd vote, taking sides, or accusations. Furthermore, it is not to be self-decided by a group of Irish newspapers, either. Infringement is ultimately defined by the legislature/government and enforced by the courts (in the US, Canada, and Europe).
     But, since copyright can be expensive to enforce, and difficult to understand, much of the self-policing is done by threats and demands. After all, who has the funds to pay for a top notch team of copyright legal experts? A threat to sue is usually enough to cause the common blogger or site owner to give in, even if that person has the legal right to copy.
     In the first recent incident, the mega genealogy site owner Cyndi Howells sued the mega genealogy site owner Barry Ewell for allegedly incorporating her database/information/site into his own online database/site/search function. Copyright is so complicated (and I am an attorney who has advised historical societies on copyright) and computer technology is so intricate, I am probably stating the issue too simplistically and with errors. Think how complicated those issues are, if simply stating them is filled with potential inaccuracies!  The only opinion that I will offer today is that Ms. Howells is going to be surprised at just how much information and data people can legally take from her web site, if current judicial precedent is followed by the court. Mr. Ewell is going to be surprised, and probably is so already, at how quickly and drastically whipped up emotion in the genealogy world can affect the situation. I have no prediction what the court will decide in what is, currently, a rather gray area of the law.
     In the second instance, the newspaper industry group the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI), announced that its licensing arm would impose expensive fees for linking online to any of its members' articles. That is correct--not copying, but LINKING to a newspaper!  For unlicensed links, the penalties would be very expensive indeed. This policy makes the NNI into its own legislature, judge, and jury on copyright issues. I am not trained in Irish law, but any attorney around the world would smell a ripe legal issue here.
     However, since the NNI bullying is less expensive than a legal battle, but more effective,  I immediately removed any links in my posts that could cause the NNI to notice Deb writing in her little apartment in Toronto. I did so with a heavy heart, since most of those links led to fascinating articles in the Irish Times by John Grenham. The Irish Times has since announced that we can all link to their articles without fear of fee or penalty, but I am watching the situation before restoring the links. (Sorry, Mr. Grenham. I had a whole post on your columns waiting to be posted.).

11 January 2013


     The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has upgraded the search and other functions for its online database of city directories. The directories range from the years 1819-1900 (not all years are covered). Check out the improved database search features, as well as other gems on the PRONI site:


Irish Genealogical Projects updates for January are here! Note that the 1854 Irish Constabulary transcriptions are completed. Several ship records have been added this month, as well as headstone photos from St. Begnet's in Dalkey, County Dublin, and church records for Fermanagh.
GENERAL IRELAND Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1854 Irish Constabulary with no Irish County stated
GENERAL IRELAND Genealogy Archives - Emigration
"Ship Diana" 18 May 1803
"Ship Active" 6th May 1803
"Ship Wilmington" 9th July 1803
DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Dalkey; St.Begnet's Cemetery
FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Garvery; Baptisms, Marriages and Burials (3 large files)
MAYO Genealogy Archives - Local History
Toughanane, Mayo
TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1854 Irish Constabulary men
WATERFORD Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1854 Irish Constabulary men
WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary Records
1854 Irish Constabulary men
WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1854 Irish Constabulary men
WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Emigration
"Ship Margaret" 12 July 1803
WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
Old Ross Memorials
WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Church
Killinick Vestry Book
WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1854 Irish Constabulary men
WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Church - Arklow Church Records
Arklow Parish Church Records
WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
Arklow; St. Gabriels, Arklow & Barinsky Gravestone Inscriptions