Monday, February 29, 2016

Researching Your Irish Ancestors:Godfrey Library in Middletown, Conn.

The next meeting of the Godfrey Genealogy Club will take place on Saturday March 5 at 9:30 a.m.
The topic for the March meeting will be "Researching Your Irish Ancestors" . The presenter is Kathy Gallagher. Kathy has been researching her Irish family history for many years both online and in Ireland. 
She will have detailed handouts and great stories as well as providing information on what records are available and how that you can access them. 
There will be time to research at the library after the presentation so bring your laptop. 
There will be a $10 charge for those who are not Godfrey Premium members. 
Everyone is welcome to attend and learn something new. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Website review:

Just when I think I have found out everything that I can about Irish genealogy, I realize that there is more than I ever thought out there. I just discovered a new site.  This site lets you check the civil records of Ireland. Now before you get too excited, civil records don’t go back much before the 1860s but if your family was still around Ireland at that time period, this is the equivalent of the English BMD.

How can this help you? I will give you an example of what I found. My ancestor Geoffrey Donoghue had two sons, Cornelius who is my ancestor and Edmond. Cornelius came to the United States at 14, Edmond did not. While looking for something else in the Killarney Catholic Church records I found the record of Edmond's marriage. How do I know it is my Edmond? The marriage records lists his parent’s name.

For years I have assumed (notice the assumed) that Cornelius came to the United during the famine at 14 because the rest of his family had died This obviously is not the truth. So where does that leave me? At the same place it leaves any of us when we assume anything without facts. in a big mess.

What is so great about this is that it opens up the possibility that I may actually have relatives still living in Ireland. Granted they would be maybe fourth cousins but still, pretty exciting stuff.

I tried to locate a death record for Geoffrey but so far no luck. This could mean that the Geoffrey in Boston is my Geoffrey. Who knows? Maybe father and son came to the U.S. together and left the younger children at home.

Now back to what this website has to offer. In addition to the civil records,  the site also have searchable church records. Searching is free. This is an amazing free tool to add to your arsenal and those of us who are struggling with Irish genealogy know that we need every tool that we can find.

This website holds a large searchable volume of pre 20th Century Church records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial that in many instances pre-date the Civil Registration. 

Transcriptions included:

Transcripts of the baptism and marriage records of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry to c. 1900 - this diocese includes parishes in western and north-western areas of Co. Cork.

Transcripts with record-images for all surviving nineteenth-century Church of Ireland marriage, baptism and burial records in Co. Kerry.

All Roman Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City, some parishes in transcript only and some transcripts with record-image (to c. 1900).

All surviving Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City, most of them transcripts with record-images to c. 1900.

All surviving Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Co. Carlow, transcripts with record-images to c. 1900.

All Roman Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers (transcripts with record-images to c.1880) for the diocese of Cork and Ross, which covers the south and west of the county and Cork city. Some of the records of Cork city (for the parishes of St. Mary & St. Anne, St, Patrick's and Blackrock) are not currently online.

A small number of Presbyterian records relating to a congregation in Lucan, Co. Dublin (transcript only).

Indexes to the Civil Records:

The Indexes to the Civil Records of Irish Births, Deaths and Marriages date from 1864 with non-Roman Catholic Marriages recorded from 1845.

The indexes to Births over 100 years old, the indexes to Marriages over 75 years old and the indexes to Deaths over 50 years old.

To get a copy of a certificate, what do you do?

1.       If you would like to request a photocopy of the Birth/Marriage/Civil Partnership/Death entry (for genealogy and research purposes), 

A photocopy of an entry in any register can be purchased from the General Register Office by downloading the form here and submitting it by fax or post as outlined on the form, or

The General Register Office also operates a research facility at Werburgh Street, Dublin 2 where members of the public may search the indexes to the registers held by General Register Office and purchase photocopies of entries in the registers. See Research page.

2. Options to purchase an official certificate

A certificate can be purchased online on the official Civil Registration Service website at     (Death records before 1924 and marriage records before 1903 are not currently available online), or

A certificate of an entry in any register, regardless of the year involved, can be purchased from the General Register Office by fax or post by completing the relevant application form which can be downloaded at Apply for Certificates. Click here for link to Apply for Certificates page.

What church records are available online?

Under the first phase of the project, church records for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry were made available as were a subset of the Church of Ireland parishes in Kerry. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry includes parishes in western and north-western areas of County Cork. The church records for a subset of the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland parishes in Dublin City were also available as were a small number of Presbyterian records relating to a congregation in Lucan.

Under the second phase, the remaining Church of Ireland records of Dublin City, County Kerry and County Carlow have been added. Also a subset of the Roman Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cork & Ross were also added. In addition to these records, digital images of the originals of these church records are also available to view on this website.

Under the third phase, the remaining Roman Catholic records of Dublin City and County Cork (Cork and Ross except most of Cork City) have been added. In addition to these records, digital images of the originals of these church records are also available to view on this website.

You can search by name, date, location. You can be specific or general, sometimes you  will something in a more general search that you wouldn’t have caught in a specific search. 

If your county is not included, you will still need to use to search, (this site is subscription) but is an amazing site that offers lots of great information and help to Irish genealogists.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors A Summer Family History Conference

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors 
A Summer Family History Conference June 15-22, 2016

Each day of the conference presents delegates with a choice of assisted research in the archives with our team of experienced genealogists or an excursion to a place of historic interest, including Dublin, Giant's Causeway, and Titanic Belfast.

Here is just an example of what one day at the conference looks like:

Research at PRONI or morning and afternoon visit to Titanic's Dry Dock, Pump House and Visitor Centre

09.15 - Transport leaves Ramada Encore for introductions, registration, tour and lectures at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

11.15  -  Talks by UHF and PRONI staff on useful sources and records or visit to the Thompson Dry Dock (where the Titanic was finished and last rested before the fateful voyage) and Pump-House with its massive pumps and gargantuan hydraulic accumulator

13.00 -  Lunch at PRONI

14.00 -  Afternoon of assisted research at PRONI or trip to Titanic Belfast, the critically acclaimed and world's largest Titanic visitor experience

18.30 -  Evening meal and talk in Belfast's historic Ulster Reform Club

Ulster Historical Foundation has been conducting genealogical research for 60 years and has helped tens of thousands of people learn more about their Irish roots. Throughout their conferences, their experienced and expert research staff will be on hand in the archives to provide you with the advice you need to help find your ancestors. They will be available to direct you to sources that could be helpful in your quest for more information on your forebears, and will be ready to assist with reading difficult handwriting and understanding more about the documents you will be consulting.

In addition, their staff and expert colleagues from kindred organizations will be with delegates during the tours, so even if you are taking a break from actual research, to visit one of the superb attractions, you will still be able to speak with them about your research interests and priorities throughout the week. And when we go to Dublin to visit the archives and repositories their staff will be joined by colleagues, some of the most experienced genealogists in Dublin, to help maximize your time during the day.
Delegates are also able to avail of their research assessment service, where they complete a preliminary report, and advise on search strategies for the duration of the conference, for each delegate who submits a completed research questionnaire. These are prepared in advance of the conferences, providing you with the opportunity to consider the contents and plan your research accordingly or peruse the online catalogs for PRONI and the National Library prior to arrival. The research assessment is also an ideal tool to help those with limited archival experience get started in the archives in Belfast and Dublin.

This very practical, hands-on support for family historians, blended with our array of fascinating tours to some of Ireland’s most appealing attractions is what makes attending the Foundation’s family history conference a truly unique and memorable experience.

The price is £749.99. What is included in the price? For all those taking part in Tracing Your Irish Ancestors the following is included:

  • Six evening meals
  • Six lunches
  • Four morning tea/coffee
  • Transport during the event
  • Talks and tours
  • Entrance fees
  • Research assistance by professional genealogists
Please note that travel to and from Northern Ireland and accommodation are not included in the price, and delegates will need to make their own reservations for accommodation during the Tracing your Irish Ancestors event. To allow you to reserve the accommodation of your choice, and which suits your own needs/interests, click here for further information on where to stay.

Tour Information

Please note: As there are capacity limits at many of the sites we will be visiting, there is a maximum number of delegates that can be accommodated on the tours. This is limited to 50 places, (or in the case of the Kilmainham and Trinity College tours in Dublin 35 places).

To avoid disappointment, if you, or your travel companion, wish to be included on any specific tour itinerary, please make sure you confirm your choice of tour as soon as possible after completing your registration.

To help you decide, check the program section of the website for more details on the tour itineraries.

NB: This does not apply to our Saturday excursion to Derry/Londonderry, as all delegates will be traveling together on this day

Be sure to check their website for registration information and alternative conference dates.