Tag Archives: Irish genealogy

News Digest


  • Catholic parish registers in Ireland from 1740’s on now published online:


  • Chicago May: The Irish queen of crooks:


  • Celebration of Irish who built the world’s major cities comes to New York and Chicago (VIDEO):


  • Rare 1880s photo captures Achill women breaking stones:


  • A century of Irish history goes online in posters, pamphlets and diaries:


  • Release of listing of 2,558 veterans of Easter Week 1916 with recognised military service. The list of names and addresses can be downloaded:


  • The best medieval statue in Ireland is 8ft tall and in a ruined church in Kilkenny:


Latest Eneclann Newsletter: 1st of July 2014

Eneclann Newsletter

In this issue:

UCC Genealogy Q&A with Stuart Rosenblatt

The Genealogy Event 2014

Expert workshop with Dr. Gerard Corcoran

Chapelizod dereliction project with Debbie Chapman

Latest downloads at Eneclann

Kindred Lines by Fiona Fitzsimons

Research Tip of the week

Dear Eneclann customer,

Stuart Rosenblatt 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.Eneclann’s very own directors Fiona Fitzsimons & Brian Donovan will also be giving talks at the Summer school.


Brian Donovan: Tuesday 1st July at >

2pm: ‘Usingfindmypast.ie

 for family history research: court prison land records and more’

Fiona Fitzsimons: Tuesday 1st July at >

3pm: ‘Online sources for Irish family history research and how to use them’

4pm:  ‘Tracing records of children in care 1840s to 1990s.’


This week we caught up with Stuart Rosenblatt of theIrish Jewish Genealogical societywho will  be giving a talk atThe UCC Genealogy School .

Stuarts’ talk will be on:

Hidden Irish Jewish Records.

   Thursday the 3rd of July at 2pm-2.45pm.

The Genealogy Event 2014

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

This two day event promises to share with you, information sessions on a broad range of Irish genealogy-related topics from some of the top experts in the industry, including Eneclann’s very own Research Experts Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan,

“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.

Sessions will focus on civil and church records, immigration and passenger lists, military records, surname origins, using DNA, and resources available at Ireland’s National Library and National Archives.

In addition toEneclann, experts from Limerick Genealogy, Roots Ireland, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Irish Ancestry Research Centre (IARC),will be on hand to offer guidance and advice.

The Genealogy event has added a new conference session in partnership with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
It’s of particular interest to anyone engaged in ‘reverse genealogy’ and trying to trace the descendants of ancestral relatives that left Ireland and settled overseas.
Dorothy Dougherty, Programme director of the National Archives in New York City will be speaking about U.S. naturalisation records, Irish Famine records, and other key sources held by NARA.

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

buy tickets here The Genealogy Event 2014

For more information visit them on theirFacebookOr theirWebsite.

Expert workshops continue in Irish family history

In association withTrinity College DublinandThe National Library of Ireland

Our speaker for the month of July will be Dr. Gerard Corcoran, Irish representative for theInternational Society of Genetic Genealogy.

Gerard has been involved in genetic genealogy for many years and has agreed to give two workshops on differing aspects of this fascinating subject.


The workshops will take place next week (beginning 30th June).

3pm on Thursday 3rd July, in Room 4050A on level 4, in the Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin, and

2pm on Saturday 5th July, in the Trustee’s Room, National Library of Ireland, Kildare St.

Genetic genealogy provides a glimmer of hope for our diaspora who are unsure of where in Ireland their ancestors came from.


Trinity workshop:
Using genetic genealogy to break down the brick walls of traditional genealogy.

National Library workshop.

Connecting the Irish Diaspora using Genetic Genealogy

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

Anyone who would like to attend this free workshop should apply for a ticket by writing toworkshop@localhost
Tickets will be assigned on a first come basis.

Please let us know whether you will be at the Trinity College or the NLI event

Thanks, and hope to see you all there.

Chapelizod artist, Debbie Chapman




Debbie Chapman is a Chapelizod artist, and is running a project that will be exploring the issue of dereliction in Chapelizod, and the fact that so many buildings have been left empty and derelict, even while there’s a housing crisis.


Eneclann is providing historical research on who’s lived in the village of Chapelizod in the last 150 years.This is a Community Based Arts Project responding to the large number of derelict buildings in Chapelizod Village, Dublin and it’s environs. Debbie will be drawing on the real stories of past lives as the inspiration for her art.Recently, Dublin council bought a derelict site with ruined houses from the early 1700s, to redevelop.
The council has put a hoarding up outside these houses, and Debbie Chapman has been asked to design and paint the hoarding.

The purpose of this project is to explore the impact of decline and deterioration of historic buildings at the centre of Chapelizod’s village and through shared artistic practice create a strong sense of place within the current community.

The intended outputs of the project are to create artistic interventions instilled with community consciousness and deliver a series of community arts events, which will have a positive impact on local people, affected by the decline in their immediate environment.

Large wooden cut-outs with painted images from the past will be attached to the hoarding.

The project will culminate in a collaborative Visual Arts Exhibition to be held in the village accompanied by a Project Book and a Public Art Installation in Sept/Oct 2014.

The project, is led by artist Debbie Chapman, and is funded by Dublin City Council, Ballyfermot/Chapelizod Partnership and Eneclann.

We will provide you with regular updates over the summer, to track the project’s progress which we will feature in our newsletters and also on ourwebsite blog.

Latest downloads available at Eneclann

We now have 11 new download releases available on our website.


11 new download conversions available, for as little as€8.10,including

You can view and purchase all of our 11 latest download releases over on our website

justclick hereto have a look.


History Ireland Magazine, “Kindred Lines”

Check out Fiona Fitzsimons’ column, Kindred Lines in the July/August 2014 edition ofHistory Ireland.

This month Fiona writes about what records survive to trace your ancestors involved in WWI

“Irish involvement in the First World War is contentious, and historians cannot agree on either the numbers of Irish engaged in the conflict, or the number of Irish war dead. Official estimates are 210,000 mobilised and 49,300 dead, but these figures are open to challenge.


Research Tip of the Week!

Most researchers tracing an Irish WWI ancestor will start with the Army Service Records, the largest of all the British Services.
Less than half of all service records actually survive, because of archival destruction during the London Blitz in 1940/41.

From the original 6 ½ million+ service records, only 3 million now survive.
There are however several other sources that can help you bridge this gap in the British Army Service records.

Everyone who served overseas was entitled to the British and Victory (Campaign) medals. A lesser number of people also received awards for gallantry or distinguished service.

The National Archives U.K. has over 5 million records for British Army Medal index cards 1914-1920.

The medal cards include the recipient’s name, service number, rank and unit and are available online athttp://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/medal-index-cards-ww1.htm

In addition to the traditional British Armed Services the medal cards include women’s services, the Indian Army, and some civilians.

By Eneclann Research Expert, Fiona Fitzsimons,



Best wishes, The Eneclann Team

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


As John Meagher from TheIndependent.ie discovers, researchers here atEneclann are hard at work digitising the records of Ireland’s war dead so that they shall never be forgotten, Brian Donovan Eneclann Researcher and Director gives us his take on World War 1 and how “We owe it to these men who died in this war to ensure that their contribution isn’t written out of history” Read the full article here.

Brian Donovan of geanology and research company Eneclann


The offices of Eneclann are to be found in a non-descript building on busy Aungier Street inDublin‘s south inner city. Thousands walk by every day and have no idea that it is here that vitally important work to commemorate the Irish men who died in World War I is being conducted.

The genealogy and history research company has been digitising the records of all 49,000 from this island who perished in one of the most savage wars the world has ever seen.

The exhaustive project is being carried out alongside tech giantGoogle and the Belgian World War 1 museum, In Flanders’ Fields, which was named after the famous war poem from Canadian lieutenant colonelJohn McCrae.

Brian Donovan, the historian who established Eneclann with his wife Fiona Fitzsimons in 1998, says the painstaking work has brought home to him the enormous scale of the carnage.

“In one month alone, July 1916, more Irish – some 4,669 people – were killed than during the 40-odd history of the Troubles,” he says. “That is not to diminish the horrors of The Troubles, but it gives a sense of the enormous numbers of Irish men who lost their lives. Could you imagine that number of Irish people dying in a single month in 2014? There would be uproar.”

Spend even a short time with theTrinity College history graduate and one gets the sense of a man who is anxious that Ireland’s war dead be given their due once and for all.

“For too long, their contribution was forgotten about in this country, or swept under the carpet, because it did not fit with the republican narrative,” he says. “And yet, there wasn’t a single family in the aftermath of the war that hadn’t lost a son or knew someone who lost a son.

“Those who did survive returned to an Ireland that was either uninterested in their experience or simply not able to understand just what they had been through. Some faced open hostility due to a perceived notion that they had been unpatriotic. It is only in more recent times that their bravery has finally been acknowledged.”

Brian Donovan’s grandfather was one of an estimated 200,000 Irish men who fought in World War I. “His name was Rickard Donoghue and he survived the conflict. He was a submarine officer and I often think about the cramped, dangerous conditions he would have had to work in. Submarines were so new and crude back then.

“He died in 1952 when he was 54 years old. Like so many Irish men, he was very young in the First World War. You had to grow up quickly back then – it wasn’t uncommon to be a commander on a submarine by the age of 18.”

The tragedy of war is heightened by the fact that it’s predominately slugged out between young men on both sides of the conflict, and World War I was no different. Boys as young as 14 were permitted to join the British army.

“When you analyse the ages of the Irish who died, you’ll see that most were in their 20s but almost one in five were teenagers,” he says. “The youngest Irish soldier to perish was just 15. He was Lance Corporal Charles Brown, who was from my neck of the woods – Ferns in Co Wexford.”

For most of the Irish, the war was fought on land – with many experiencing the attritional nightmare of the trenches in France andBelgium. It is no surprise that the month mentioned by Donovan – July 1916 – coincides with the Somme, still one of the most savage battles in history. And it’s likely that most of those 4,669 Irish soldiers died in the trenches there.

Eneclann – which is an ancient Irish word concerning the price of one’s reputation – used as its source material the eight volumes of a 1923 book, ‘Ireland’s Memorial Records’, which collected the names of all the Irish who were killed in World War 1 and numbers around 3,000 pages.

Commissioned by Field-Marshall Sir John French, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1919-1922) and honoured by the British as the First Earl of Ypres, the leather-bound volumes were lavishly illustrated by Harry Clarke, who is best known as Ireland’s most significant stained glass artist.

Today, copies are housed in the small book rooms at the National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge inDublin and can be viewed by appointment through theOffice of Public Works. The digitisation project from Eneclann, Google and the In Flanders Museum will ensure that the resource can be accessed by all online.

Incidentally, the War Memorial Gardens had been allowed to fall into ruin for much of the 20th century, but have subsequently been beautifully restored. The location was a pivotal stop during the visit ofQueen Elizabeth here in 2011. Its changing fortunes, Donovan believes, has been something of a microcosm about how old perceptions of Irish involvement in the war have faded or been revised.

A newfound appreciation of the Irish contribution to the war effort arrived as late as 2006, with events to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme taking place throughout Ireland. “1916 is obviously a very significant year in Irish history,” Donovan says, “but not just for the events in Dublin that Easter.”

Over the years, Donovan has encountered several erroneous statements concerning World War I passed off as fact – chief among them, the notion that most Irish soldiers were unionists from the northern part of the country. “It used to be said that most of those who died were from what’s nowNorthern Ireland, but that wasn’t the case at all,” he says. “Every single county in Ireland had a significant number of casualties, with places like Cork (2,244 dead) particularly hard hit.”

The data that Eneclann has gathered makes a mockery out of the suggestion that World War I affected northern counties more than southern ones. For example, 1,050 Tipperary men perished in the war, and roughly the same number – 1,059 – were from Tyrone.

To put the scale of those figures into context, the 1911 Census shows that there were 152,000 people residing in Tipperary – and, to extrapolate from that, one in every 76 men from the county were killed on foreign fields between 1914 and 1918.

County Dublin, with 4,918 dead, had the highest number of fatalities after Antrim (which accounts forBelfast – then almost as populous as Dublin city) but even a county as sparsely populated as Leitrim had its own significant death toll too (250).

“Virtually every town and village in Ireland had someone who died,” Donovan says. “Its reach was immense. We owe it to these men to ensure that their contribution isn’t written out of history.

“There will be many significant centenary events commemorated in Ireland this decade – and the 1910s was a remarkably momentous time – but it’s essential that those Irish people who fought, and died, in the Great War are not forgotten.”

It is hoped that the project will be fully digitised by the end of 2014.

 Irish Independent Supplement

New Irish Census records now available online for Free!

New and online for the first time ever in findmypast’s 100in100 campaign, surviving Irish census records covering 1821-1851 are now available and completely FREE, search, view, and explore the19th century Irish census records here http://bit.ly/R64Dsp

Have a look here to what Catriona Crowe, head of Special Projects at theNational Archives of Ireland, andfindmypast Business Development Director, Brian Donovan have to say on these exciting new Irish Census records.


Eneclann welcomes arrival of new DC Thomson Family History CEO

Annelies van den Belt (Picture: The Guardian)

Annelies van den Belt (Picture: The Guardian)

Renowned Irish family history company Eneclann has welcomed the arrival of a new CEO at DC Thomson Family History, the Scottish company with whom it runs findmypast.ie as a joint venture.

On her appointment as new CEO, Annelies van den Belt quickly set about realigning the company’s focus by renaming the firm from brightsolid to DC Thomson Family History and declaring that it would focus its efforts on its hugely successful digital family history ventures findmypast and Genes Reunited.

Eneclann, the family history company which helped the Obamas and Tom Cruise to discover so much about their family links to Ireland, operates a successful joint venture with DC Thomson Family History to run the findmypast.ie website from its offices at Aungier St, Dublin.

findmypast.ie currently has more than 75,000 users around the world, and on top of millions of records recently made more than a century of Irish newspapers, ranging from before the Famine until after the War of Independence and Civil War, available online for the first time.

Brian Donovan, CEO of Eneclann, said, “We welcome the arrival of Annelies and we’re delighted to be working with her and the rest of her team in developing what she has called the ‘centre of excellence in Dublin’ and overseas.

“The Irish company which is jointly owned by Eneclann and DC Thomson Family History will now be known as DC Thomson Family History Ireland.

findmypast.ie is a great example of a successful joint venture. We are an Irish company offering great opportunities for the growth of family history, both as a tourist resource and an exciting hobby for anyone interested in compiling their family tree.”