For many people researching their Irish genealogy, the destruction of the Dublin record office in 1922 during the civil war, has left huge gaping holes in what information is actually available.
The Public Record Office of Ireland, at Four Courts, Dublin had in fact been occupied during the Easter Rising, however remarkably no serious damage had been done to the archives, famously the only record had actually been destroyed, that being the 19th century will of an Irish soldier. However six years later, on the 3rd June 1922, the record office was blown up, with one enormous explosive device.
Eye witnesses recall that on that day, it literally rained archives in Dublin city. The smouldering remains of a thousand years of history, held in parish registers, census records, wills, court records, minute books, proclamations, etc. were scattering the streets. Some were retrieved and rescued, some handed in to the authorities, and other kept by private individuals.
The 1922 explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the national census records from 1821-1851, half the parochial registers of the Church of Ireland (Catholic registers were stored elsewhere), all pre 1900 court and government records, and centuries of wills, the irreplaceable loss will always hamper the efforts of individuals attempting to trace their Irish ancestry, however we should pay tribute to the Irish Genealogical Research Society formed in 1936, when its members set about attempting to find surviving records, rescued, but still held in private hands. Through their efforts much material was repatriated into the National Archives, and thanks to their tireless efforts, records previously thought lost have now been preserved for the future. Their website linked above, is always a good start for anybody wanting to find out more about their Irish ancestors.
The historic archives of Co Offaly are being digitised and published online to make them widely available across the world.
It is hoped that when the project is completed, people with ancestry in this Irish Midlands County will be able to easily trace their history.
See the website ‘Discovering Offaly’ for more information.
The website irishgeneaology.ie are about to publish free online the fully digitised Irish BMD indexes.
The new database which will include all births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years ago, and deaths over 50 is to be launched later today.
See their website for more information.
There is a call for papers to be presented at the 3rd biannual Early Modern British & Irish Catholicism Conference, a joint event by Notre Dame University, and Durham University.
The conference is being planned for the 28th to 30th June 2017 at the University of Notre Dame’s London Gateway and will consider the relationship between religious orders and the Catholic Church in Britain and Ireland.
The conference organisers are inviting proposals for 20 minute talks on any related theme.
For more information contact James Kelly on firstname.lastname@example.org
From the 1st March 2016, all surviving Irish Catholic parish registers will be online, and fully indexed. The project has been a collaborative effort between Ancestry, and the National Library of Ireland.
More than 10 million register entries have been digitised. They will be free to access during the month of March, after which people will have to subscribe to Ancestry.
More information available from the Irish Times
The Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society are offering a one day course in tracing your Irish ancestors.
The course fee is £25 and will be held on the 6th February 2016 at Manchester Central Library, find out more and book here