On the 7th October 2017, Catholic historians from across the country gathered in London to attend the launch of the Margaret Higgins Database by Brother Rory Higgins.
The Database provides records of approximately 274,500 persons found in the many ‘Returns of Papists’; 1705-6, 1711, 1735, 1745, 1767 and 1780 plus other sources listed at the end of the 30 page introduction. For each entry in the database the following facts may be available:
The amount of information given varies and it is rare to find that all of these fields contain information for an individual. The data has been compiled over very many years by Brother Rory Higgins FSC of Australia and other members of the Catholic Family History Society.
The database is available on CD through the Catholic Family History Society and can be purchased through GenFair
Work is progressing with a view to making our Index of Nuns ready for publication this year. The scripts that extract details of almost 14,000 nuns from the database and then reformat the data into a PDF and generate indexes have been written and have passed initial testing. The next steps will involve final testing and tweaking of the format, writing introductory and explanatory texts, and preparing artwork.
Further posts will provide updates as we progress.
The National Library of Ireland will make their entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms freely available on-line by summer 2015.
The records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.
I will post more information as it becomes available.
The library reopens on 22 March. The building’s historic features have been sensitively and carefully restored, bringing the building up to the twenty-first century standards fit for a world class city. This major work will ensure the long-term survival of one of our most iconic and much loved buildings.
Of particular interest to family historians is Archives+ which will offer a showcase and repository for archives and family history. This purpose-built centre will help to satisfy a growing demand for accessible community history and personal heritage.
The Tablet is a British Catholic weekly journal that has been published continually since 1840. It reports on religion current affairs, politics, social issues, literature and the arts with a special emphasis on Roman Catholicism while remaining ecumenical.
The Tablet archive goes back to 1841 and every page has been scanned and digitised, each article tagged and extracted, so that you can search the whole archive by content, keyword, topic, location, and date.
You might not find details of your ancestors, but you will certainly find plenty of information about what was happening at the time, both locally and nationally.
After entering search times the results are presented in the usual way. Clicking on one of the entries will display the OCR text of the article and also gives the page image which can be viewed. This is useful because, as I’m sure you know, OCR is not foolproof.
Alternatively if you are interested in a particular date you can go to Browse All Issues and then keep clicking down until you get to the issue you want.
I couldn’t find any help on the search terms that can be used but my assumption that they are used to find articles that contain all of the terms, appears to be incorrect – I need to do some more work to find out how they work. Some of the articles are quite long and you will probably need to use the search facilities in the browser (CTRL+F) to narrow it down further.
Thanks to Pam Fontana for telling me about this useful archive.
Reblogged from Anglo-Celtic Connections:
There’s so much gloomy news about archives and libraries these days that it’s a positive pleasure to learn something good. This is repeating a comment posted by Michael T R B Turnbull, thank you, to one of my previous blog items about the Scottish Catholic Archives.
There seems to be a widespread misconception that Columba House at 16 Drummond Place, the home of the Scottish Catholic Archives since 1958, is closed for the foreseeable future.
In fact, the opposite is true. Columba House, with its incredible storehouse of documents, is very much open for business, but, due to staffing shortages, offering a reduced service for the time being.
Researchers should have no problem accessing the collection, making an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0131 556 3661.
GenealogyInTime Magazine’s website has lots of useful information. It isn’t specifically focussed on Catholic Family History but is aimed at family historians in general. For example you can find a list and description of recently added genealogy records for the United Kingdom here. If you have hit a dead end with some research lines then by checking regularly you might find something new to investigate that will get you going again. There’s also a newsletter that you can subscribe to for free.