The following are the next 5 review’s of the Twentyx20 talks that were held at the National Library of Ireland for the month of August.
11. Rhona Murray
Using Ancestry.com to trace your family History
Ancestry.com, the US genealogy web site, has billions of records online, but only recently has begun to develop an Irish record collection. Rhona flew in to describe the highlights of that collection, including their transcripts of the Tithe Applotment Books (originals at the National Archives), copies of the Lawrence collection of photographs (originals at the National Library), the Morpeth Roll and many other collections. She also discussed in detail their recent addition of over 1 million Catholic parish register entries, either in transcript form (from National Library microfilms) or with images (gathered by Dublin technology company eCeltic).
12. John Mc Tierney
Reading Headstones primary sources carved in stone.
John runs an archaeology company who have developed an expertise in graveyards, surveying and recording tens of thousands of headstones from hundreds of cemeteries around Ireland and Britain. His team has also developed an exciting and rigorous approach to the whole process of recording the information in cemeteries. This is precisely because they are archaeologists rather than family historians. As a consequence they are as interested in the location of the grave, the material remains, its position within a cemetery and proximity to others. This is rich information that adds context and detail to the words carved onto the stone.
What is even more remarkable about the work of John’s team is that they are educators and facilitators working with local community groups to enable them to carry out the work under their expert supervision. The end result is then published online at www.historicgraves.com.
John is passionate about this project “it is about action – not sitting on the internet … Historic Graves are family names pinned onto the landscape – representing hundreds of years of continuity and change.”.
13. Ellen O’Flaherty
Using the College Archives for family history research.
The archives at Trinity College are not well known to family historians, but they contain a great wealth of information. Ellen provided a tour of the key holdings. Naturally, these include copious student records. The entrance registers provide names of students, ages, name of farther, address and fathers occupation (and the images are available free online). But there are lot more student records, like examination records, scholarships, removals, church attendance and fines dispensed to staff and students alike. Ellen recounted some funny examples of food fights in the commons.The archive also has the records of college clubs and societies dating back to the 17th century. The University was a big employer in Dublin city too and the financial records are very useful for tracking staff. Ellen finished her fascinating talk by touching on the biggest collection for Irish genealogy at the Trinity Archives, their estate records. It is not generally well known that TCD was one of the biggest landowners in Ireland, having received land in various plantations and other land confiscations a different dates from its founding in 1592 to the 1700s. As a consequence they have rentals and other estate papers relating to almost every county in the country.
14. Ian Tester
Digitising Irish newspapers: how we bring Ireland’s past stories back to life.
Ian gave an entertaining and informative guide through the British Newspaper Archive, the joint venture between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (the owners of findmypast.com). This extraordinary project is digitising millions of newspaper pages from across Britain and Ireland. To date they have scanned 8.7 million pages from 266 different newspapers. So far they have published Irish newspaper titles, with 25 more in current production, and hundreds more after that. The value of newspapers for research is often poorly understood. Local and national newspapers covered an extensive range of subject matter. Ian gave us a glimpse of what he had uncovered on his own family, including wedding details, funerals, accidents and general gossip. He had plenty of advice about how to use newspapers for genealogical research, and was keen to impress that “local stories are no just covered in local newspapers”.
15. Lar Joye
No hope, except in arms: the Irish in European armies 1600 to 1945.
Lar Joye gave an absolute tour-de-force presentation, in a talk entitled “No hope except in arms: the Irish in European armies 1600 to 1945.”
Between 1600 and 1945 Irishmen joined the armed services of many European countries.
They served in countries around the world, in most of the major conflicts, and created the reputation of ‘the fighting Irish.’
Lar Joye gave a fascinating insight into the Irish regiments in French service 1685-1871; Spanish service 1709-1939; Italian service 1702-1862; and the Austrian service 1689-1956.
He further discussed the major wars in which they fought in Europe and America.
A few of these gained fame: Peter Lacy 1678-1751, became Field Marshal of the Russian Army.
Count Arthur Dillon 1750-94, led his regiment against the British during the American Revolutionary War, but was executed in 1794 by guillotine.
Myles Keogh was a veteran of the Papal Army and the U.S. Civil War.
The speaker rounded up his talk, with a brief discussion of the sources for the Irish in European armies.
The National Library of Ireland’s own Sources data-base lists and describes some of the original records relating to Irish soldiers in European armies held in archives in England, France, Spain, and Austria.
The audience’s only critique was that Lar Joye didn’t have longer to speak about a subject that he clearly has the mastery of.