With so many developments in genealogical research within online reach, it can be hard to see what is relevant to your own Irish ancestry. It is often the most unassuming of resources that holds the key to new discoveries!
Keep reading to see what curious finds our expert team have chosen for the Ireland XO Genealogy Round Up. It includes some unusual resources, family history updates and interesting articles.
An interactive guide to burials in Fingal (http://buried.fingal.ie/)
Fingal Archives Services has teamed up with the Council’s Burial Grounds Section to provide free access to its available burials. The new database has an easy to use interface and is a wonderful accomplishment. Fingal County Council in north Dublin is responsible for 36 graveyards in north Co. Dublin and while initial work was a means of conserving and preserving the records, the idea of scanning them led on to become an indexing project. This meant the creation of a database of 65,000 records alongside notes on various graveyards, details of historically significant graveyards, photographs, directions and other comments.
The earliest entry is from February 1877 and the latest from July 2013. Researchers can refer to an interactive map that illustrates all the graveyards in the Fingal area as well as information about individual graveyard management, history, GPS location and photographs. The graveyard memorials are so important for researchers, many of them are the only records of that person’s existence.
“There are at least 75 locations in the county administrative area of Fingal where people have been buried over the centuries, including graveyards, cemeteries, and churchyards. Unfortunately for the genealogist, written burial records only exist for less than half of those. In the case of the remaining burial grounds, historians can rely on the headstones and memorials only.”
Searching the records is easy. Researchers should click ‘Search for a burial’ and they are brought to a search interface that allows a search by first name, surname, or cemetery. A search of the surname ‘DOYLE’ for example, yields 541 results across Fingal and includes the original scanned image from the Internment Register. Other recorded information includes first name, surname, date of internment, last place of residence, cemetery, section and grave number.
PDF downloads are also available of each graveyard’s ground plan or internment book where they are available.
It has taken years of work to compile this wonderful database, one that will be a welcome resource for anyone with ancestors buried in this part of Ireland.
Index to obituaries Monaghan (https://monaghan.ie/library/index-to-obituaries/)
Another useful source for death information, this time in Co. Monaghan allows researchers to search the Monaghan obituaries index from the local newspaper the Northern Standard as well as the Farney Leader, Monaghan Argus and Monaghan People. The entries begin in 1837 and end in 1969 and are available from the County Council website. By clicking on each entry, the researcher is brought to a typed list of name, address, date of notice and the page number from the newspaper. As a starting point, it is an exciting piece of work, pointing out the potential for further information when the original is perused. An additional benefit of this type of source is that hours of research can take place remotely and lists of deceased can be produced before having to seek out the original obituary itself.
Part of the obituary Index from 1850-59 looks like this:
Genealogists share heirlooms (https://familysearch.org/blog/en/genealogists-share-heirlooms-stories-f…)
In an interesting twist on the conventional genealogist-researcher relationship, a recent blog from Family Search asked Genealogists to share the story of a family heirloom, exploring the power of what would otherwise be objects of little consequence or context. The article is a powerful one, as it explores how incorporating these objects into the family conversation about the past, can not only bring those objects to life, but bring colour to our ancestors lives too. Often we think of our ancestors living simple lives with simple cares and concerns. Bringing these objects to the fore, can show that people in the past had worries and fears like we do now and celebrated and loved the same things we do today too.
One genealogist for example, shares her grandmother’s fudge recipe and love of ‘baking cakes like castles’.
I grew up with my mom continuing the sweets legacy and creating castle cakes, car cakes, and anything we could dream up. After my Granny was gone, my mom served on Granny’s crystal cake plate. One day it broke and we all mourned the loss of this beloved cake plate. We missed the memories this cake plate evoked in us. Several years later, my youngest sister was at an antique mall and found a Fostoria Crystal cake plate. She was so excited …My sister bought the cake plate and we surprised my mom on Mother’s Day – best Mother’s Day present ever! This cake plate may not be the exact one my Granny used, but this is an heirloom we all love and it brings such happy, sweet memories we can pass into our own children!
Another Genealogist talks about a photograph of a man and a woman handed down through four generations of ancestors.
Whatever the item, isn’t it wonderful to think that as they pass from one generation to the next, they take a piece of a new story with them. Remember to write down what you know about your heirlooms so that your story can become part of their history too.
Eddies Extracts (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~econnolly/)
Eddies Extracts has been running for many years now, started initially as a means of publishing details from internment and other notices and sharing them to help others. The website is free to use and allows searches across five sub-menus: News Extracts, Roll of Honour, Mariner Extracts, Books Extracts and other.
The Mariner Extracts for example, gives extracts from the Register of Deceased Seamen including Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands. The entries range from the 1880s to the late 1930s. The Extracts relating to Ireland from 1886 for example show a fascinating range of information beyond name, age and birth place including the seaman’s occupation, date and cause and place of death, ship name, port of registration and a comments section. Most of the extracts refer to drownings but some seamen died from cholera or typhoid. Some examples of the Extracts are shown below:
NYS Historic Newspapers
The NYS Historic Newspapers project provides free online access to a wide range of newspapers chosen to reflect New York's unique history. To search the newspapers, researchers simply click on the county map provided on the interface or use the search tab. What is interesting about this database, is that as well as a scanned image of the newspaper, there is the additional and most useful history of the newspaper itself. The Evening Post for example was first published in 1832 and was published every day except Sundays, throughout New York until 1920. Preceding titles included the New York Evening Post (1801-32) and related titles include the Evening Post (1850-1919). This metadata gives good context for researchers hoping to locate ancestors through newspaper research.
Researchers can search each title, each cover page or browse through a calendar view. The ‘Search this Title’ interface is easy to use, see the image below:
A simple search for ‘TUAM’ brings up 230 in the Evening Post alone. One article from 8 May 1915 refers to the sinking of the Lusitania. Denis Hare of 204 West 78th Street called into the Cunard Office following the news of the sinking of the ship. He was concerned as his sister Elizabeth, who was sailing home to Ireland to see her parents in Tuam, Co. Galway was on board the Lusitania and had not been heard of.
Even a “scatter shot” approach like this using a place name can yield fantastic results and the fact that there are so many titles available shows how important newspapers can be in family and local history research.
Have you recently come across a resource or article that you think would be interesting to people researching their Irish ancestry? We'd love to hear about it and perhaps feature it in future a Genealogy Selection. Click here to send us an email.