Tag Archives: Brian Mitchell

Twentyx20 talks reviews

The following is a review of the first 10 Twentyx20 talks at the National Library of Ireland this Summer, our very first guest speaker was Eneclann Director Brian Donovan and he was followed by some of the top experts in the world of genealogy. Below you can read a short review on each talk.

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1. Brian Donovan:

              The digital revolution in Irish family history.


Since 2003, over 120 million Irish historic-records have been digitised and published online. Of these, 75 million were digitised by Eneclann and findmypast in projects led by Brian Donovan.  Brian is uniquely placed to provide an overview of the digital revolution in Irish family history.IMG_8395

Online publishing has improved access to the records; democratised research by taking it from the hands of a few professionals; and transformed family history into a popular hobby with a mass audience.

Brian also discussed how Eneclann – a small Irish company, has blazed a trail in placing Irish cultural heritage online, in partnership with the cultural institutions.

“Genealogy is more than just names and dates, it is our family story”.

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2. Patrick Comerford:

Hatch, match and beyond: finding trails and tails in parish records.

In a delightfully witty and wise talk, Patrick Comerford informed us there’s more to parish records than registers.  Parish records tell us more about our religious identity and social conditions in the past. the records also show that Ireland was a pluralist society before Ne Temere.rev p

Family history has become main-stream because in the modern world, we use it to construct our own personal identity.

For anyone who missed Patrick’s talk on Tuesday, but who would like to hear more of his ideas on family history, see

http://www.patrickcomerford.com/search/label/Family%20History

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3. Brian Mitchell

Shipping records and their usefulness when searching for your ancestors.

Brian Mitchel  blog image

From the 1700s the main ports of embarcation for Irish immigrants were Dublin, Belfast and Londonderry.  Cork only gained importance as a passenger port in the 1800s.

The Province of Ulster saw particularly heavy emigration from the start.  Between 1717 and 1776, 250,000 Irish left to settle in the British colonies in North America.

The government in Ireland and Britain was mainly hostile to emigration because they didn’t want to loose skilled tradesmen and craftsmen.  Despite this, there are no official registers of passengers leaving Irish ports before 1890, except for the lists of emigrants 1803-06, in the Hardwicke Papers, British Library.

Some records do however survive.  Lists of passengers were compiled by the Masters of the passenger ships, and sworn before the Commissioner in the Port of departure.  A duplicate of the oaths was sent to Dublin.  The survival of passenger lists and shipping records to the present day varies enormously.

“There was an imaginary line that stretched from Sligo on the west coast to Dublin on the east coast.  If you lived north of this line you emigrated from Derry, south and you embarked at Queenstown (Cobh).”

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4. Lorna Moloney

The genealogy of Gaelic Clans: sources, records and evidence – 11th to 17th Centuries.

Genealogy defined the political landscape in medieval Ireland, and was propaganda  by and for the ruling families. The earliest genealogies written down, were recorded in the twelfth century but date from centuries earlier.

By comparing genealogies with the contemporary records, it’s possible to document the rise and fall of dynasties and clans over time.Lorna blog image

Lorna discussed some of the main sources for tracing Gaelic families including Duald McFirbise’s Great Book of Irish Genealogies; the Irish Annals; and records of the Dublin government – the Calendar of State Papers Ireland, the Fiants, and the various land surveys taken in the 1650s and 60s, when the Gaelic political system finally ended.

 “Ireland as a colony was forgotten as a kingdom.”

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5. Aoife O’Connor

Yesterday’s children: discover your ancestors’ childhood.

Aoife O’Connor  gave a thought-provoking talk, on where to find children in the historic records.

Children are civilians too, and the first place to look is in the usual records used for family history: civil records of births and deaths, church records of baptism and burial, and census records.

The National School system in Ireland began in 1837, and the largest collection of school registers is held in the National Archives of Ireland, currently digitising these records with findmypast.ie

In the past, children entered the world of work at an earlier age – some as early as eight or nine years, the majority from the age of 12 or 13.  It’s possible to find records of children in occupational records.aoife's blog image

The National Library of Ireland has photographic collections that show images of childhood in Ireland.  Collections by private and commercial photographers show the middle-classes and the wealthy.  There are some images of childhood in rural Ireland among the photographic collection of the Congested Districts Board.

Records of children also survive for institutions.  Often the first point of contact with any institution, was through the court system.  The Petty Sessions records have many cases in which children are involved, from building an ice-slide and raiding orchards, to the darker side of childhood poverty with instances of children up before the courts for vagrancy or burglary.

She concluded with institutional records of orphanages, reformatory and industrial schools, and prisons.

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6. Paul McCotter, N.I.I Cork

Researching the history of Irish Surnames and clan-names

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Speaking from his own notes, without the aid of overheads, Paul McCotter delivered a bravura performance, at what was one of the best attended talks.

It’s generally accepted by most historians that clan names have an early origin in Ireland, but surnames were only ‘laid-down’ from the 10th Century onwards.  Ireland was probably the earliest of all European countries to adopt surnames.  Yet we still don’t have a full picture on how surnames and clan-names developed over time here.

The starting point for most researchers is the work of Edward McLysaght, a former Chief Herald of Ireland.  MacLysaght’s work though authoritative contains errors.  Individual medieval historians – and here Paul gave an honourable mention to Kenneth Nicholls –  will occasionally research how names may evolve over time, but even then it’s usually as an aside to their main research work.

Paul explained the influence of languages spoken in Irish regions in the last millennium, and how they contributed to the evolution of surnames.  Before the conquest, Irish was the main language.  After the Conquest, the political elite families spoke French, but many of the settlers that followed their political leaders to Ireland spoke Welsh, Flemish and an early form of English [Anglo-Saxon?].  Some colonists adopted the practice of Irish patronyms, and later many Irish adopted English versions of their name, to ‘conform to English civility.’  Paul demonstrated serious scholarly credentials, reeling off examples to show how an original name could evolve over centuries, sometimes changing beyond recognition.

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7. Else Churchill, Society of Genealogists,

The exile of Erin, researching the poor Irish in Victorian London

else blogElsa Churchill demonstrated a deep knowledge of her sources, and an absolute mastery of her subject – finding the Irish poor in London in the 1800s.

Emigration from Ireland to England and Wales probably reached it’s high-point in the first half of the 19th Century, specifically 1815 to 1851.  There were a number of reasons why migration between Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom picked up at this time.  The conclusion of the Napoleanic Wars led to an agricultural depression, just as many ex-servicemen attempted to return to civilian life and work; the progression of the industrial revolution, and large-scale engineering projects, led to a higher demand for Irish labour; a growth in steam-shipping between Ireland and England made travel cheaper and more easy to avail of; changes to the Poor Laws adversely affected the Irish poor, who could be removed from England or Wales to an Irish port; and, the Irish people fled the Famine via communication lines that linked them to England and Wales.

By 1851 the Irish born population of England and Wales was 520,000 or 2.9% of the population.  The Irish settled almost exclusively in cities, where they could find jobs.  The greatest concentration of Irish settlement was in London, followed by Liverpool, and then Manchester/ Salford.

Elsa identified the communication lines that brought the Irish into London, and how these shaped the ‘Irish colonies’ – pockets of Irish settlement in the city and suburbs.

She discussed the historic sources of central government (Parliamentary reports); local government (Poor Law Unions) and of the RC church (parish registers); where they can be found; and what information they hold that can be used to trace Irish families.

“[In the early 1800s] The Irish were severely affected in the transition years from the old to the new Poor Laws.”

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8. Audrey Collins, National Archives U.K,

Under-used Irish records in the National Archives in England

Audrey opened her talk with a challenging question – the National Archives of ‘where exactly?’ British identity has changed through the centuries, and very many records of Irish people can be found in TNA. She broadly classified these as specific Irish records series, and general series that contained Irish records, for example Military Service records; other Service records such as the Royal Navy, Airforce and Merchant Navy records; Home Office; Probate; migration records; and Census records.

Specific Irish records series such as the records of the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Reproductive Loan Funds, the Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust, Irish Outrage papers and the Dublin Castle records, ended up in TNA for a variety of reasons but essentially because the  Irish records were part of central government activity.

The TNA has risen to meet it’s public service remit by digitising many records sets and making them available online through digital downloads, and also in collaboration with commercial partners like findmypast and Ancestry.

Audrey’s talk was delivered with a delicious deadpan sense of humour that produced some of the best belly-laughs of the entire season from our regular audience.  A gem

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9. Hilary McDonagh, Ancestor Network,

Genealogy and sporting records-from sporting Laurels to Family Trees.

hilary blog

 

Hilary considered the connection between family history and sport.  Almost everyone has ‘done’ sport at some time during their lives, but we don’t often consider sporting records as relevant to research.

Sports-clubs generate records: administrative records including Committee Minute Books; Membership Registers; the club’s Financial records including dues paid, or not, or larger debts around club maintenance or kit; Fixture lists and results/ score-books; programmes and other publications; as well as newspaper cuttings.

Hilary briefly considered some of the challenges in persuading clubs that these records are intrinsically useful, and to either create archives or deposit their records in archival collections.  In the former category, she cited the examples of the G.A.A., the F.A.I. and the I.R.F.U.

In the latter category, she discussed the Dublin City Sports Archive collections in the Gilbert Library, of fairly recent origins.  In a hilarious aside, she recounted her own experience in preparing a commemorative publication and subsequently archiving the records of the ‘Maids of the Mountain’ Hockey Club

Hilary concluded with a call to arms: to the public to recognise the importance of sporting records, the clubs to be more proactive, and the cultural institutions to widen their definition of popular culture.

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10. Jacinta Prunty, N.U.I Maynooth,

Did you come from Dublin dear ? understanding Dublin city through maps

jacinta blog

Development of Dublin city over 1000 years in maps.  Dublin has always been unusually well documented in maps and surveys.  Even the earlier medieval history of the city has been surveyed in retrospect by its’ historians and archaeologists, who have re-created maps and scale models of the city from Viking times and the time of the Conquest.

Jacinta’s basic premise was that maps are a key source with which we can ‘open-up’ the history of people and places at any given time.  Researchers can use maps to understand how a village, town or city developed; how a town may be connected to other places by its’ proximity to the sea or rivers; how villages, towns and cities often develop close to fords/ crossings, which may later become the sites of bridges and harbours.

Maps display change over time: in the early 1600s for example the city of Dublin began to develop beyond the limits of its’ medieval walls; or how the status of a neighbourhood can change over time – for example Henrietta Street build from the 1720s as townhouses for the elite, was by the early 1900s a tenement.

Jacinta directed the audience to explore some of the maps she showed on screen, which are widely available in hard-copy or online.

The Down Survey Maps 1650s http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php

The Ordnance Survey Maps from 1837 http://www.osi.ie/Home.aspx

In hard copy, Irish Historic Towns Atlas series http://www.ria.ie/research/ihta.aspx

Jacinta Prunty is an engaging speaker, who has the lucky knack of making her audience feel smarter just by listening.

“The where always matters in family history.”

 

 

 

 

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Latest Eneclann Newsletter: 11th July 2014

Eneclann Newsletter
In this issue:

The Truth behind George Clooney’s Irish Family History.

UCC Genealogy School is a hit

20×20 talks this summer

The Genealogy event Limerick.

World War one Roadshow

Brian Mitchell,Tracing Derry-Londonderry roots.

Experts Workshops for CPD conclude for the Summer

Chapelizod Art project update

Research tip of the week


 

 

Dear Eneclann customer,

Fiona Fitzsimons Discovers the truth behind George Clooney’s Irish Family History

Using newly available records on www.findmypast.ie renowned genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons discovered Clooney’s Irish ancestors didn’t jump, but were pushed.Clooney’s Irish ancestors were small farmers from Windgap, co. Kilkenny.  In the 1850s  local farmers competed for land.
This sometimes tipped-over into violence.  New evidence proves that in 1852 Nicholas Clooney (George’s great x 2 grandfather) was violently assaulted. Months later he was harrased through the court system.

“In 1852 Nicholas Clooney suffered a real injustice. He decided shortly after to leave Ireland and settle in Kentucky.  “The rest is history.” Says Fiona, Research showed that Nicholas’s widowed mother (George Clooney’s great x3 grandmother) remained behind in Ireland.
“Now through a family connection and for the first time, we have photographs of the old Clooney house and farm taken in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  The photos show a way of life now vanished.  It’s closer in time, and probably also in terms of experience, to the life of the immigrant Clooneys.”

Read the full story here
https://flipflashpages.uniflip.com/3/71043/333233/pub/html5.html#

You can listen to Fiona’s interview on Morning IrelandRTÉ Radio 1 and the truth behind the research by clicking below.

 


UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School is a hit!

Eneclann Genealogy experts Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan both spoke at the UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School last week.”Ancestral Connections is going from strength to strength.
Eneclann provides core lectures and Brian Donovan and Fiona Fitzsimons bring academic excellence to genealogical practice-based frameworks”by Lorna Moloney.Booking for the 2015 Summer School will open on 24th July, later this month.

See thewebsite  for more.


 Lunch time talks in the National Library of Ireland

This August at theNational Library of Ireland,Eneclann andAncestor Network will host a feast for family history fans! It’s the return of the Twentyx20 lunch-time talks. Each talk is a short introduction to a key area, source or research method in Irish family history. The Q&A session will give you direct access to the experts.

Read more about these talks In this months edition of Irish Lives Remembered here :https://flipflashpages.uniflip.com/3/71043/333233/pub/html5.html

 


The Genealogy Event Limerick

2014 recognises Limerick as the “City of Culture” and the 3rd weekend in August sees the beginning of National Heritage Week
so what better way to celebrate both than with,

The Genealogy Event!
This two day event promises to be a real humdinger!

Information sessions on a broad range of Irish genealogy topics will be given by some of the top experts in the industry. The Eneclann duo, Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan will also be there 🙂

“The event has been set up to help genealogists and family historians at all levels and bring together people from around the world with Irish roots,” says BBNY Group founder, Bridget Bray.

Introductory and advanced sessions will focus on surname origins, genetics and genealogy, civil, church and military records.
For those who really want to dig deep, there are expert sessions on the Registry of Deeds, and Irish sources for children in care 1840s to 1990s.
The U.S.National Archives (NARA) will also make a rare appearance in Ireland, to introduce the use of U.S. immigration and Naturalization records.

 

In addition toEneclann, expert speakers at the event will include Tony Browne (local historian), Paul Cotter (surnames expert) Eileen O’ Duill (Civil rights expert), Lorna Moloney (U.C.C Genealogy Summer School & Merriman Research) and Paddy Waldron (Limerick/Clare Expert). Organisations present will include IARC, the LDS, NARA and Roots Ireland.The event has many experts who will be on hand to offer guidance and advice.

This two day event will take place inThe Strand Hotel, Limerick, Buy your ticket today and experience “The Genealogy Event 2014″

 

For more information on

The Genealogy Event
visit them onFacebook Or theirWebsite.

 


World War One Roadshow at Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin in partnership withRTÉ Radio One and theNational Library of Ireland is hosting a Family History Collections Day of World War One memorabilia this Saturday, July 12th where members of the public are invited to bring in family items, letters and mementos related to the war for authentication and archiving by a team of experts,

Paul Manzor fromEneclann and Aoife O’ Connor from findmypast  will be there to provide research advice and guide you through the records of ancestors that served in World War 1

findmypast will provide free access throughout the day to all their World War 1 records.
Don’t forget to pop over to both our stands and say hello!

It looks like it’s going to be one very eventful day.  For more information and a full time-table of the day, click on the image.

 


Brian Mitchell publishes new book

Tracing Derry-Londonderry roots.

‘Londonderry’ sketch by John Nixon circa 1790

Brian Mitchell, the best-selling author of A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, has a new book out, for anyone tracing their family history in the city and county of Derry/ Londonderry.Tracing Derry~Londonderry Roots was published in the U.S. earlier this year.

“Genealogy has great potential to reconnect Derry with its Diaspora and as a promotional tool to potential visitors and tour groups”, says Brian Mitchell.
“Just recently I was communicating by email with Jim O’Reilly of Chicago who is one of 700 direct descendants of Charles Curran who emigrated from Brockagh (2 miles south of Eglinton), via Derry, to USA in 1865. This June they are holding a family reunion in Pittsburgh; the seed has been sown to visit Derry and their ancestral home in the future”  Brian Mitchell,

Contact him at (genealogy@derrycity.gov.uk),

Brian’s book is now available to buyhere


Expert workshops for CPD conclude for the summer.

This last week the Expert workshops series concluded for the summer, with two workshops on genetic genealogy given by Dr. Gerard Corcoran.
The series of Expert workshops for Continuous Professional Development began in April 2014.

Already we’ve held ten workshops, drawing on the expertise of our own GAS membership, as well as overseas speakers including Dr. Liz Rushen (Colonial Duchesses, Fair Game).

Monthly Workshops are held in Trinity College and the National Library of Ireland, both institutions with which Eneclann has a close association.

These free workshops are open to our own GAS membership, but also to other professional genealogists, enthusiasts and independent scholars.

We’re taking the month of August off, but the series will resume in September.

“Maeve and I would like to thank all our speakers who generously gave their time, energy and expertise.
We’ve had a lot of fun in these first few months, and have built up a regular audience.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the workshops as much as we have, and hope to see you again this Autumn”
Fiona Fitzsimons.

“The CPD talks have been tremendously interesting and the workshop format has prompted a worthwhile discussion among attendees”
Maeve Mullin

“The Expert Workshops are well worth the journey from Limerick. We have all tapped into new resources with the different speakers”
Kay Caball

 

 


Chapelizod Art Project update

 

Debbie Chapman is keen to involve the two local schools in theChapelizod Art Project.
She has already completed a workshop with the children of St. Patrick’s National School.
This Monday Debbie will hold a free workshop with the children of St. Laurence’s National School.
Chapelizod Bandroom,11am -12 pm, Monday 14th July.

DRAWING DAY  (all ages)  – Sat 19 July 2014, 2  – 5pm Meet at the Square in Chapelizod Village.  Bring materials or some will be provided. Most suitable drawings will be chosen for inclusion in
the Exhibition  & Project Book in Sept/Oct 2014.

PHOTOGRAPHY  (all ages)  – email your photos of Chapelizod’s ‘Dereliction’ to info@debbiechapman.com by August 31st.
Most suitable ones will be chosen by local photographer Motoko
Fujita for inclusion in the Exhibition  & Project Book in Sept/Oct 2014.

POETRY  (all ages)  – email your poetry or prose compositions to   info@debbiechapman.com for inclusion in the Exhibition  & Project
Book in Sept/Oct 2014.

Check out all the latest updates on the project over on theChapelizod Dereliction facebook page


Research tip of the week

A quirk of registration

If you can’t find a record of birth in your family’s usual parish of residence, it may be because your ancestors gave birth away from home.Traditionally, many women returned to their mother’s house for assistance when they had their first child. The child may then be registered in their mother’s home parish, rather than the family’s usual place of residence.  Another common instance in which a woman gave birth ‘away’ from home, was if she attended the county hospital.The county hospitals shared a campus with the workhouse, and from the 1850s many poor women used it as a ‘lying-in’ hospital. You can make this ‘quirk of registration’ work for you, by searching the baptismal registers of the parish, and from 1864 civil births by the Registrar’s District in which the workhouse campus was situated.

By Research Expert, Fiona Fitzsimons,

 


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Best wishes, The Eneclann Team

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Latest Eneclann Newsletter: 26th of May 2014

Eneclann Newsletter
In this issue:

 

  • World War I & Independent.ie
  • GAS Workshop for June.
  • UCC Genealogy School
  • Derry-Londonderry:Gateway to a New World.
  • Database of over 500 directories.
  • Family Tree designs.
  • Research Tip of the week.

 

 

Dear Eneclann customer,

Eneclann talk World War I to Independent.ie

‘Hundreds of thousands of other people in this country have a relative who fought in that “war to end all wars”

As John Meagher fromThe Independent.ie discovers, researchers here atEneclann are hard at work digitising the records of Ireland’s World War I dead. Brian Donovan, Eneclann CEO, talks about how soldiers and civilians of every nationality were slaughtered in their millions.
“They deserve to be remembered”
Independent.ie Interview

‘Virtually every town and village had someone who died in the war’

Read Brians full articles on the Eneclann Blog

Finding records for soldiers and those who were involved in WWI


Continuous Professional Development in Irish Family History

The expert workshops launched in April by Eneclann in partnership with Ancestor Network, are proving very popular. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s some of the feedback we’ve received from those attending:

Phil Stokes, Dublin, attended Jim Ryan’s workshop,

Ghosts of the Estates:

“Great talk, I immediately had information that helped my research”

Michael Rooney, co. Down attended Fiona Fitzsimons’ workshop

Records of Children in Care 1840s to 1990s:

“A comprehensive introduction to records for ‘Lost Children’ …. It explored the challenges that genealogists face when researching in this area as well as offering potential solutions to problems encountered.”

This month our speaker isMaeve Mullin, B.Sc.

with a workshop on
Finding Forgotten Irish WWI Soldiers: a case-study of Glaslough, co. Monaghan.

In this workshop Maeve Mullin uses as a case-study, her own community of Glaslough, county Monaghan, to recover the names and personal histories of locals that fought and died in WWI.

The workshop takes place on two dates:

3pm on Thursday 5th June, in the Emmet Theatre, Arts Block Trinity College, and2pm on Saturday 7th June, in the Trustee’s Room, National Library of Ireland, Kildare St.

Description.
Even as the centenary commemorations for WWI begin, historians still can’t agree on the number of Irish war dead. The official figures  are 49,300, but even these have been challenged as being both too low, and too high.

In this workshop Maeve Mullin will guide you through the maze of sources that document the Irish men and women that fought and died in the First World War.

Using individual stories, Maeve demonstrates how even a ‘burnt’ service record, can retain enough evidence to allow researchers to link up to other related records.

“In researching the WWI soldiers from Glaslough I discovered a wealth of records.  The workshop will focus on how this can be achieved for everyone’s home place.

All workshops are free, but as spaces are limited, these are ticketed events.

To apply for a free ticket, please emailworkshop@localhost and indicate whether you want to attend the workshop taking place in Trinity College or the National Library.

           __________________________________________

Maeve Mullins and The UCC Genealogy School

 

Ancestral Connections 2014 is an International Genealogy summer school developed by Lorna Moloney at ACE – University College Cork, it offers a programme of outstanding quality for those interested in tracing their Irish roots.
All aspects of subjects are covered by a series of presentations and ‘hands on’ workshops given by a selection of Ireland’s leading genealogical lecturers and experts,

This week we caught up with Maeve Mullins who will also be giving a talk at The UCC Genealogy School.

 

Maeve Mullins will be giving a talk on-

Friday the 4th of July: 2.45pm -3.45pm

“Valuation office-A precious Gem”

Have a lookhere at the line up for this amazing summer school.


Derry-Londonderry-Gateway to a New World

 

Derry~Londonderry: Gateway to a New World – The story of emigration from the Foyle by sail and steam has just been published in the US by genealogist and Irish emigration expert Brian Mitchell.

Brian Mitchell recounts the history of departures from the port of Derry-Londonderry from the late 17th century to the year 1939, when the last transatlantic steamer sailed from the port. Derry is ideally situated at head of the River Foyle, twenty-four miles long and only two miles wide at its head, a configuration that provided sailing vessels with a harbor of refuge. During the age of steam, her westerly situation gave her a monetary advantage with coal-burning vessels.

“I would estimate that 6 million Americans can trace their descent to a Scots-Irish ancestor who departed the port of Derry”

published in US on 15 May 2014 by Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore,www.genealogical.com

You can purchase Brians book now for just $11here


Database of over 500 Directories

Shane Wilson andJoe Buggy have recently released aDatabase of over 550 links to Historic Directories of Ireland available on free and subscription websites,it also includes directories for purchase on CD or download. Details shown include directory date, titles byEneclann,findmypast andOrigins.net and a direct link to relevant website. Online directories may be available as transcripts, ebooks (pdf, FlipBook etc), images or searchable databases.

To access the database,click here.

 


The perfect end to your family history research

We have teamed up with Tony Hennessy ofGreat Great Great Family Trees to offer you the perfect finishing touches to your family tree.
AfterEneclann have researched your family tree and created a genealogical report for you or perhaps you have carried out your own genealogical investigations, why not let Tony Hennessy from “Great Great Great Family Trees” turn the findings into a handsome family tree. A simple, functional family tree can provide visual clarity to a densely populated report. A ‘presentation’ type family tree, which is ideal for framing, can be admired, cherished, shared and passed on. It also makes a very thoughtful gift for some one special.

Tell me more about how I get my Family Tree designed by Tony Hennessy


Research Tip of the Week

One of the positive ‘side-effects’ of the digital revolution in family history, is that we expect to find out more about an individual or family than ever before.  Our research-team are frequently asked if it’s ever possible to discover anything about an ancestor’s personality? Like all Irish research, this depends very much on the records that have survived down to the present day.

Anyone lucky enough to have letters or a diary will expect to be able to discern something of the writer’s personality. Even marginal notes in a family bible or scribbled on the back of photos can sometimes communicate your ancestors’ inner thoughts and feelings.

Other sources where you may find flashes of personality include newspaper accounts, particularly where the story covers dramatic events in which an ancestor was an eye-witness, and in the testimony recorded in court records.

Even in the most structured official records, you will occasionally find flashes of personality.

Historically, people have sometimes chosen to settle scores in their last will and testament. The 1775 will of Abraham Hill of Bray county Wicklow, indicates a rather waspish individual.  Hill left his ‘reputed son’ William Hill one British shilling “to show him that he had remembrance that there was such a person.”

Heads of household often make playful remarks in the Census returns. In the 1901 Census of Ireland, Jeremiah Heffernan of Cork recorded the marital status of Madge, his 19 year old daughter, as “on the look-out.”

While the 1911 Census return of the De Valera family may reveal something of their household politics.  Nobody told Sineád, Bean DeValera that she wasn’t joint ‘head of family’ with her husband.  She was joint signatory of the original 1911 Census return, to the obvious horror of the enumerator, who scratched out her name and inserted a ‘correct tick’ beside her husband’s signature.

Sometimes the documents prove that we don’t always see ourselves as others see us. In a recent case that involved the Valuation Office Cancelled Books, I found a comment on the family I was researching, made by the evaluator:

“I never had business to do with such a fighting nasty lot for the hour I was with them could hardly keep them from blood-shedding.  The valuation is as fast [secure] as I could make it”

1884 Valuator Geo. Innes[?],Drumahaire, co. Leitrim, Union of Manorhamilton.

By: Eneclann Research Director, Fiona Fitzsimons.

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Best wishes, The Eneclann Team

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