Thursday, 31 March 2011

New PRONI search room in Belfast

A couple of days ago I visited the new Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. Stephen Scarth of PRONI kindly spared a few minutes to show me around, and allowed me to video him to give a quick run down of new features.



(With thanks to Stephen!)

Chris

RootsIreland offers ships lists

From RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie)

Irish Ship Passenger Lists
The Irish Family History Foundation's Online Research Service (ORS) is pleased to announce the availability of a new source of records. The Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, has provided over 227,000 names of Ship Passengers. The records are of passengers, mostly of Irish origin, on ships travelling from Irish and British ports to ports in North America (United States and Canada) from 1791 to 1897. Just go to the following site and login using your existing IFHF login details. http://cms.rootsireland.ie

1901 Census for Country Leitrim
The 1901 Census of County Leitrim is now also available, adding an additional 69,000 records to our online database. The records have been carefully analysed and inputted by staff at Leitrim Genealogy Centre using a Standard Surname field to increase the speed and accuracy of searches. Go to http://leitrim.rootsireland.ie


NB: I'm not really sure why people might want to pay for transcriptions of the 1901 census when it is freely available at www.census.nationalarchives.ie, along with the original images, but I suppose it does offer another option if there is an index issue with the NAI site.


(With thanks to RootsIreland)


Chris

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Welcome to 21st century PRONI

Today the new Public Record Office of Northern Ireland building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter opened to the general public after an eight month closure for its relocation from Balmoral Avenue. Yours truly was very kindly invited to attend a stakeholders’ event of the new facilities yesterday, and armed with curiosity, and both stills and video cameras, I made my way in.

A wee note to the wise first! I flew over from Glasgow Airport to Belfast, arriving at 7.30am. Although fortuitous, in that I arrived at my destination bang on time, it wasn’t quite as successful on the location front! Having worked out that it was Glasgow I was flying from and not Prestwick, it never occurred to me to think about the other end. Suffice to say that the City Airport, next door to PRONI is brilliantly located for PRONI, but sadly Ryanair no longer flies there. I had assumed that Easyjet did. It didn’t. I can confirm though that the International Airport at Aldergrove was a sight to behold at 7.30am, and you certainly can’t beat that fresh smell of the country. Neither can you beat the £40 taxi fair or £7 bus trip 40 minutes down the road to ‘actual Belfast’ i.e. Belfast International Airport is as much in Belfast as Glasgow Prestwick is in Glasgow!

Anyway, the event was not due to start until 12.30pm, and so I had a cunning plan. I decided that over yesterday and today I would go grave hunting in three different city based cemeteries to look for some of my lot, thanks to the fact that Belfast City Council now has a database online listing all burials for City Cemetery, Roselawn and Dundonald. I had intended to do Roselawn first thing, then PRONI and Dundonald in the afternoon, and then City Cemetery today. I arrived at Roselawn at 8.30am and for this had fortunately been a bit more successful on the planning front, having phoned ahead to ask if the cemetery staff could provide any additional info on who may be in the lairs I had identified of interest. They did me proud, and having checked in at the gatehouse I was given a great deal of information and exact details to the individual lairs. Unbelievably I managed to find all four of interest within 25 minutes, and also managed to get some religion in, by paying my respects to a football God, George Best, buried nearby. Having finished so early I popped back to the office and asked how long they thought it might take to walk to Dundonald Cemetery. “An hour”, I was told by staff member Kay, “but sure I’m heading over there now anyway, so hop in!” Ulster does a great line on friendly people! Ten minutes later I was at Dundonald, and once again the staff had information waiting for me, and I successfully located another plot. All accomplished by 11am.

At 12.00 I arrived early at PRONI and got chatting to someone from Northern Ireland Libraries, who told me that Carrickfergus Library in my home town had just been renovated and that there was some digitisation work being taken by the authority (no further details on that, but I have the contacts and will chase up!). At 12.30 crowds of Belfast’s finest on the genie and archives front arrived. Whilst talking to Janet Hancock from PRONI, who I had recently interviewed at WDYTYA in London, I was approached by Stephen Scarth, PRONI’s Head of Communications. It turns out Stephen reads this blog, and no sooner had I said “So Stephen, what’s the craic?”, than I was being whisked off on a very welcome personalised tour of the place! Stephen showed me the lecture rooms, the information area, and then the reading rooms, and allowed me to video a chat with him explaining it all (which will go online tomorrow).

It’s difficult to describe just how 21st century new PRONI is. It is like TNA at Kew but with bells on. It isn't TNA of course in terms of size - it's only a wee Province! - but it is certainly as fit for purpose. (Think of it as TNA's "Mini-me!") Perhaps I can put it like this – I absolutely and utterly hated visiting old PRONI, so much so that my last trip there must have been about 7 years ago, after which I decided to concentrate on my Scottish ancestry instead. Old PRONI was very wooden, dark and dreary, I never found it that inviting, and it was a pain in the neck to get to. New PRONI, on the other hand, is quite simply ‘les testicles du chien’. I will definitely be returning…!

When you arrive at PRONI you will need to get a readers ticket, which will allow you to go between the search rooms (you need to swipe your card to gain entry to a room). Details on what you need to obtain a ticket can be found on the facility’s website at
www.proni.gov.uk. There are three computers in a dedicated information area by reception to orientate you about the premises. The reading rooms are on the first floor, and there is WiFi access in the building in the café on the ground floor (possibly elsewhere also, didn’t quite get the detail on that). The café does Bewleys Coffee.

(Sorry, just to repeat that - the café does Bewleys Coffee. This is important to the returning Ulster emigrant!)

Throughout the premises are screens with a welcome ticker tape running along the bottom stating when certain ordered documents and microfilms are ready per table (similar but different to TNA’s system for checking order progress). In one of the reading rooms there is a scanner you can use yourself to photograph documents, which can be saved to a USB stick. There is a fee of 30p per scan, and discount for a larger block, and you will need to sign a disclaimer copyright form (as you do at NAS). The images can be used for private research but cannot be used for publication without consent from PRONI – in fact the images bear a PRONI watermark, so that you will need to contact them if you need an image for a professional purpose. Steven told me PRONI will be selling its own PRONI own brand USB sticks (I think we may be one ahead on that front though with ScotlandsPeople producing its own chocolate bars!). Unfortunately, the one downside is that you cannot take your own photos with a digital camera in the way that the National Archives at Kew and the NAS allow you to do. In time I hope that might be something PRONI could perhaps have another look at, for the simple reason that whatever concerns there may be on that have been addressed in the rest of the UK to the respective institutions’ satisfaction. At NAS the only restrictions are on private papers deposited in the GD collections (Gifts and Deposits), that may well serve as a potentially useful model if there are concerns on that front in Northern Ireland.

Now for the building itself. It has light. That is fundamental for me. The place is bright, modern and you feel that you are going to achieve something just by taking in the atmosphere before you even start. Even on a dreich day like yesterday, it felt extremely vibrant inside. Disabled access is superb – as well as a lift, the height of the tables themselves can be adjusted by the push of a button to suit wheelchair access or those who prefer to stand and have the table higher.

To summarise, for the first time in years I’ve actually become homesick – I want to be able to stay in Belfast just so I can go into this facility and plunder its archives. Belfast itself has changed also. The bad boys don't shoot each other any more, and there is a giant fish statue beside the Lagan. And a few other wee developments!

Just to finish, I left PRONI at 1.45pm, and so headed up the Falls to City Cemetery and was again able to receive some prepared information from the gate lodge. I checked about ten plots (and the cemetery is seriously massive), and managed to get back to Carrickfergus for 6.30pm, meaning that today I was able to do some research at the new library (finding an old photo of my brother and I in the primary school choir we were members of and several photos of my mad golf-mad aunt winning competitions all over the shop!), and even caught up with an old friend and neighbour before flying back. The moral of the story – I was able to visit PRONI and Belfast’s three municipal cemeteries in one day, with time to spare. It is possible to get a full day’s research in and head over and back from Scotland early morning and late evening. I intend to do so again very soon, and may even offer PRONI research into my offerings on the research front in a couple of months time. I always believed the facilities for Northern Irish research would catch up with the rest of the UK - I never once for a moment thought it would equal or better it!

(With thanks to Stephen Scarth and Deborah Duffy at PRONI)

And now a few wee pics...! (For the video see http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-proni-search-room-in-belfast.html)















Chris

Monday, 28 March 2011

Scottish Monumental Inscriptions update

From Scottish Monumental Inscriptions (www.scottish-monumental-inscriptions.com):

These are the latest releases from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions.

Ferryport on Craig Cemetery Fife, over 1500 images dating from 1855
Biggar Church and Cemetery Lanarkshire, over 1480 images dating from 1700
Adamsbrae Cemetery West Lothian, over, 1430 images dating from 1935
Culross Cemetery Fife, over 1500 images dating from 1874
Hayfield Cemetery Fife, over 3400 images dating from 1855
St Andrews Easter Cemetery Fife, over 800 images dating from 1823.
These are all currently available on CD from today.

Burial grounds recently photographed.

Pool of Muchart Churchyard
Glendevon Churchyard
Blackford old Churchyard
Blackford Cemetery
St Mary?s Church Dunblane
Dunblane Cathedral
Doune Churchyard
Mossgreen Cemetery
Burntisland Cemetery
Ballingry Cemetery
Kinglassie Cemetery
Lunan Churchyard
Maryton Churchyard
Rossie Island Church and Extension
Dun Church and Extension
Dun Old Church
Strathcaro Church
Farnell Church and Extension
Kinnell Church.

More due soon.

(With thanks to Helen Grant)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

2011 Scottish census

I've just filled out the 2011 Scottish census, and used it as an occasion to record just a bit more than was asked! See http://walkingineternity.blogspot.com/2011/03/census-day-2011.html And

FYI - Ancestry.co.uk has extended free access to its UK census collection throughout Monday 28th!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Saturday, 26 March 2011

1911 Scottish census update

From ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk):

Release of the 1911 Census

The 1911 census will be available by 11:00 BST on Tuesday 5 April. Images of the enumeration books will be in full colour and for the first time the enumeration includes the particulars of the marriage, the number of children born from the marriage, the industry or service connected to the occupation and the nationality of the person enumerated. We are also planning to make some scanned historic documents available at www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, for example PDF's of the street index books for the main towns and cities of Scotland, which will show whether a street existed in 1911.


Evening Visit on 5 April at ScotlandsPeople Centre

For those who work full time but who are keen to search the 1911 census, the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh is holding an evening visit from 18:00 to 21:00 on the evening of the 5 April for £10. Telephone 0131 314 4300 to book your place or email enquiries@scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk if you require further information.


Extension of validity period for credits plus increase in cost of credits

We are pleased to announce that from 1 April 2011, any credits purchased will be valid for one year rather than 90 days. Remember that you do not lose any un-used credits when the period of validity has expired; when you buy more credits they will simply be added to your existing credits.

Remember also that from 1 April 2011 the cost of 30 credits will rise to £7 and the cost of an Extract will rise to £12. These changes have been necessary to help fund the flexibility and availability of our services as well as fund the cost of providing an Extract and were approved by the Scottish Parliament through the Registration Services (Fees) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2010.

Please note that it will still cost 1 credit to view up to 25 index entries and 5 credits to view an image of the statutory or census records. It will also cost 5 credits to view images of the forthcoming 1911 census when it is released on 5 April 2011.


FYI, a search at one credit will cost 23.3p from April, up from the previous 20p, whilst an image view will now cost £1.17, up from the previous £1. The maths used to be a lot easier when it was £6 for 30 credits, so hope that helps...!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Scottish Genealogist magazine index

An index to the Scottish Genealogist, the publication of the Scottish Genealogy Society, covering the years 1953-2005, is available as a download from the society in PDF format at www.scotsgenealogy.com/Library/IndextotheScottishGenealogist.aspx

Back issues can be purchased from the society at
http://shop.scotsgenealogy.com/acatalog/Other.html, though in some cases they may be in photocopy format where the original print edition has sold out. A complete collection of the publication for the period 1953 to the present date can be purchased at £75.

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Update on more Irish records

The Irish Genealogy News blog is reporting progress on additional records to be added to the www.irishgenealogy.ie website imminently. This is a southern Irish Government backed project which is basically putting online transcripts of records for some of the counties not participating in the RootsIreland web project (www.rootsireland.ie) - but unlike RootsIreland, they are free of charge to view.

The update: Work is complete on the remaining records from Cork, and Ross Roman Catholic records, with the exception of records from Cork City completed by Cork County Library. For Dublin, May 2011 should see the final Roman Catholic records for the city go online. And for Monaghan, work is underway to finish the Roman Catholic records for the county, estimated at taking a few more weeks to finish.

Bear in mid that the National Library of Ireland is also planning to digitise its collection of RC records for the island - and I've just got wind of something else stirring on that front also which I can't share yet. Watch this space!

(With thanks to the BI-Gen blog and Irish Genealogy News)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Northern Health Service Archives open days

News from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archive's Facebook page that Northern Health Services Archives, which looks after the archives of NHS Grampian, is holding two drop-in days for people wishing to know more about resources in its collection which may help with local and family history research.

The venue is Victoria Pavilion, Woolmanhill Hospital, Aberdeen, on Monday and Tuesday, 11th & 12th April 2011, from 9.30am - 3.30pm.

Resources available include:

* Display of historical hospital photographs
* Exhibition of records for family historians
* General information and ‘How to’ leaflets
* Catalogues, indexes and reference works
* Expert advice on individual queries.

(With thanks to Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, and the Aberdeen and North East Scotland FHS)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
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Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Ulster Scots lecture in Ardrossan

On Saturday 14th May, the Ulster Scots Lecture will be held at The Whitlees Community Centre, Carrick Place, Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, at 7.00pm. The main speakers will be historian and ex-Ulster Unionist MLA Fraser Agnew from Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim, and historian James Devenney in County Donegal, with a short film on The Cairncastle Ulster-Scots Folk Festival in County Antrim shown by Robert Acheson.

The event is being organised by the recently formed Ardrossan Ulster-Scots Historical and Cultural Society, in association with Cairncastle Ulster-Scots Folk Festival and the East Donegal Ulster-Scots Association. To take part, call 01294 608557 / 601147 or 471550.

Although I wish the venture well, as someone from Northern Ireland's protestant community I have always been uncomfortable with the classification of culture and identity in Ulster on both sides. As a student almost 20 year ago I actually made a documentary about the politicisation of Irish Gaelic by both Sinn Fein and the British Government, which has done it more harm than good in the fact that the language has become so polarised by both communities in Ulster. Some Irish Protestants, such as Robert McAdam, actually helped to save it from virtual oblivion in the 19th century. And try telling someone in my home town of Carrickfergus that the original 'Scotch' of the town's Scotch Quarter were actually Protestant Gaelic speakers from Scotland, and you'll likely get lynched! Nothing is ever so black and white as 'they had their culture' and 'we had ours', and I must admit that I have been uncomfortable about the DUP's and others' attempts to politicise the Ullans dialect of Scots and its culture for similar reasons.

However, there is and was an Ulster Scots history that certainly should be commemorated - I've actually written about the history of the long established links between Ireland and Scotland on my website at www.scotlandsgreateststory.bravehost.com/ulsterscots.html - it is certainly worth exploring and commemorating. The Americans know this - ten of their first presidents all came from Ulster-Scottish stock (or Scotch-Irish as they refer to it), and George Washington once stated that if he was ever going to go down fighting, he wanted to do so surrounded by Scotch-Irish fighters. I suspect their definition of Ulster Scot means something different to today's Ulster Scots still resident in the country. Many of the Ulster Scots who fled to America did so to avoid the oppression of Presbyterianism by the Anglican state in Ireland.

I must admit though that my heart slightly sank when I was handed a leaflet last night about this new Ardrossan based society which states the following: "Please note: We are striclty non-sectarian and non-political". It's a very welcome statement, and I wish the venture well, but I would humbly suggest that it probably did not help that the leaflet containing that statement was printed on orange paper. Maybe the fact that as a protestant Ulster Scot myself I find that the colour orange does not represent me or my heritage, is proof that one shoe size does not fit all, and that maybe our identity is just a bit more complicated than all of that...

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
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Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Thanks to Ayrshire FHSs

Thanks to Ayrshire for its hospitality last night! I gave a talk on Irish resources online to an absolutely packed venue in Largs last night, comprised of all the Ayrshire family history societies from Largs to Alloway, and Kilmarnock to Troon, as well as to members of other societies who also came along. After my talk the societies gave an annual update to each other about developments, and it seems membership is just about holding its own, which is a great result in such a challenging economic climate.

I've been asked to give the same talk in Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire in the next talks season, so if you couldn't make it, no worries - it'll be even more up to date next time! lol

And serious kudos to whoever made the wee sausage rolls...!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Scottish Council of Archives newsletter

The Scottish Council of Archives has launched the first online issue of a new monthly newsletter called Broadsheet, described as "A voice of consensus on archive matters".

Amongst the items discussed are the recent Public Records (Scotland) Bill, issues on conservation and preservation within the archive sector, there's an interview with the Ballast Trust's Kiara King about business archives, information on the University of Dundee's Archives Services' acquisition of the Alliance Tust archive (an investment trust founded in Dundee in 1888), the NAS's Hazel von Hof discusses a Charter of Confirmation granted by David II in favour of the Church of St Thomas the Martyr at Arbroath in 1341, and there's a forthcoming events diary.

Totally free to read, it can be found at
www.scoarch.org.uk/notice-board/scanewsletter - definitely one to add to the reading list!

(With thanks to Simon Fowler)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
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Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Smelly books!

The University of Glasgow library is currently trying to understand the science behind why old books smell!

It is hoped that by understanding the chemical compositions of the smells given off by old books and other artefacts, its state of decay can be worked out which may help with conservation strategies. The three year Heritage Smells project also involves University College London, the British Library, the British Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, National Archives of Scotland, English Heritage and chemical detection company Owlstone.

For more on the story visit http://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/heritage-smells/

(I live for stories like this! lol)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Major developments at the Mitchell Library

The Genealogy Centre, previously based for many years at 22 Park Circus, Glasgow, has finally moved to its new premises on the 3rd floor of the city's Mitchell Library, with today its first day of operation in its new home. I managed to have a quick chat with a couple of staff members in the building earlier, so here’s a run down on the new set up!

The centre now has 20 terminals, 15 of which can be pre-booked and 5 of which can be obtained on a first-come first served basis. As before the opening hours are 9.30am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday, though I’ve been told that may be reviewed in due course to tie in more with the opening hours of the Mitchell itself, though nothing is on the cards just now. The cost for a day’s access to the records, still available through the old DIGROS system, and not the new ScotlandsPeople system (as used at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh), remains £14. The following are the new contact details:

Genealogy Centre, Mitchell Library, Third Floor, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN
Telephone: 0141 287 8364
Email: genealogy@glasgow.gov.uk
Website: www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/BirthDeathMarriage_Citizenship/GenealogyCentre/

One further advantage to the new service, apart from additional seats, is the additional microfilm back up for OPR records. Previously at Park Circus this was for records for the Strathclyde region only; however the Mitchell has its own set of OPR microfilms covering much further afield, including parishes in Perthshire, Invernessshire and beyond. The old Park Circus collection of microfilms was not yet in the building, but will be from tomorrow I have been told, so nothing has been ditched! The Mitchell, of course, also has its own very substantial collection of monumental inscription books. All of these resources are based in the room next door to that occupied by the Genealogy Centre.

Equally helpful now at the Mitchell are two terminals within Glasgow City Archives carrying the new kirk session records collections, as digitised by Scottish Documents (through an agreement by the NAS in partnership with the Church of Scotland). As well as the session minutes there are also digitised returns for presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly, as well as many nonconformist registers as handed in to the NAS in 1929, when the United Free Church rejoined the Church of Scotland. Those churches which remained independent (Wee Frees etc) are not included. There are only two terminals providing access, and the monitors are rather small compared to those at the NAS, which is a slight disadvantage, and the computers were quite slow in launching the collections – not sure if that is because the computers are a bit old or whether some connectivity issue. However once the collections were launched I found it relatively easy to step through a page at a time, so this is another very welcome tool for the family historian in the Glasgow area. I suspect having only two terminals with the record sets may be optimistic though once word gets out! Bear in mind that Glasgow City Archives is on the second floor, and not the third.

For those like myself based in the west of Scotland, this will now provide a more integrated family history research service at the Mitchell, making it less imperative to have to visit Edinburgh on all occasions. The ScotlandsPeople Centre does remain a slightly superior set up, simply because it has a great many miscellaneous records and with the NAS available to hand; nevertheless for researchers like myself, this does mean that for a great deal of work can now be done in Glasgow, which should make some client work slightly cheaper simply through the savings in travel costs. And for the great and the good of Glasgow - it's all there waiting to be explored now on your own doorstep!

One other quick update - if you don't fancy lunch at the Mitchell's cafe, there is now a new Tesco Metro on Kent Road just across the road, where you can get sandwiches etc!



Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Irish Research Online talk in Largs

A quick heads up that this Wednesday 23rd March I will be giving a talk to a joint meeting of Ayrshire Family History Societies about online resources for Irish family history research.

The venue is here in Largs at St. Columba's Session House, Nelson Street, at 7.30pm.

Maybe see you there!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Free census access on March 27th

To commemorate the recording of the next census, Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) is offering 24 hours free access to all of its UK census collections from 1841-1901 on March 27th, including those for Scotland.

For more on the offer visit Ancestry's Kelly Godfrey's post at http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2011/03/21/free-census-access-%e2%80%93-27th-march/

Bear in mind that Ancestry's transcriptions for Scotland do not include marital status, or details about knowledge of Gaelic from 1891 onwards - however the databases do have more search fields available than on the ScotlandsPeople website.

(With thanks to Ancestry)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Flying to Ireland for research? Sage advice!

Yesterday I paid for a flight to Belfast week after next for a visit to new PRONI and then some private research. Bizarrely, depending on which credit card I used, a different fee was charged. If you are planning on research to Ireland, remember to factor in all the travel costs - however, if you're not sure what those travel costs might be, here's some sage advice!



(With thanks to Bob Blatchford!)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
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Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Linen Hall Library postcard images

From the Linen Hall Library website in Belfast:

For the first time ever, members of the public can purchase digitised images from the archives of Belfast’s historic Linen Hall Library through the Internet. Over 6,000 postcards from the Library’s vast Irish postcard collection are now available to buy. The development marks a new chapter in the Library’s history, and plans are afoot to digitise a continuing series of material including maps, cartoons, posters and more!

This is an unparalleled opportunity to capture a piece of Ireland from days gone by. The collection boasts a huge variety of images including unspoilt landscapes, old family photographs, cityscapes, well known landmarks and political postcards from every corner of the country.

The collection of Belfast images includes black and white and colour postcards which capture and celebrate over 100 years of a bustling, growing city. The city’s parks, churches, shopping precincts and landmarks are available as well as the many profiles of the city’s residents and workers who peer out from the past.

The images can be purchased individually or in groups and can be bought as prints, posters or mugs, Prices range from around £10.00 for a print to around £50.00 for a large poster.

Monica McErlane, Deputy Librarian at the Linen Hall Library, says: “The start of the digitisation of the Linen Hall Library material is the most significant development in the Library for many years. It confirms our dedication to embracing modern technology and making use of those channels to bring our invaluable collections to the world. The postcards will be of interest to a wide market including tourists, researchers, ex-pats, historical groups and academics.”
The Linen Hall Library postcard collection can be accessed directly at
www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/postcards

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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Sending the poor back to Ireland

This might be of interest for St. Paddy's Day - a post on my other blog concerning some records of Irish people sent back from Scotland and Engalnd to Ireland by the poor law authorities.

See


Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Scottish public records bill passed by Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has unanimously passed the new Public Records (Scotland) Bill, the first major piece of Scottish public records legislation in 70 years.

The bill was drawn up on the back of a report produced in 2007 entitled "Historical Abuse Systemic Review: Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland 1950 and 1995", which showed how poor record keeping had created difficulties for many former residents of residential schools and children's homes, when as adults they attempted to trace their backgrounds for identity, family or medical reasons. All bodies keeping such records, including those subcontracted by relevant authorities, will now have to better implement procedures for the care of such records, under the guidance and scrutiny of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

For the full news announcement from the National Archives of Scotland, visit www.nas.gov.uk/recordKeeping/publicRecordsBillNews.asp.

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Beannachtaí lá fhéile Pádraig daoibh!

Happy St. Paddy's Day everyone!

Recipe for a successful Saint Patrick's Day:

1) Guinness
2) See 1

And if your ancestors worked for Guinness by the way, check out the new Guinness genealogy section at www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/GenealogySearch.aspx.

Beannachtaí lá fhéile Pádraig daoibh - and have fun! :)


Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Roots Ireland - Advanced Search for all Ireland searches

From Roots Ireland (www.rootsireland.ie):

Advanced Search now available on All-Ireland searches

The Advanced Search facility is now available on All Ireland Searches on the main search page of
www.rootsireland.ie.

Please note that counties Limerick and Sligo do not participate in the Advanced Search facility and will be excluded from the results of an Advanced Search on the All Ireland site.

The Advanced Search facility is also available for each county centres' data with the exception of Co. Limerick and Co. Sligo.

Note that Standard search will continue to work across all counties.

* Antrim
* Armagh
* Cavan
* Cork (North East)
* Derry
* Donegal
* Down
* Dublin (North)
* Dublin (South)
* Galway (East)
* Galway (West)
* Kildare
* Kilkenny
* Laois
* Leitrim
* Longford
* Louth
* Mayo
* Meath
* Offaly
* Roscommon
* Tipperary (North)
* Tipperary (South)
* Tyrone
* Westmeath
* Wicklow

The Advanced Search adds a number of fields to the search criteria for Birth/Baptism and Marriage records and changes the way you pay to view the full details of these records.


Additional Search Fields - Births/Baptisms

In addition to all the search fields in the Standard Search you can now search by:

* Mother's First name
* Mother's Surname

Combining this with the Father's First name and Surname should enable you to find all siblings within the same family.


Additional Search Fields - Marriages

In addition to all the search fields in the Standard Search you can now search using any or all of the following:

* Spouse's First Name
* Spouse's Surname
* Father's First Name (please note that the names of parents may not been recorded in the original record)
* Father's Surname
* Mother's First Name (please note that the names of parents may not have been recorded in the original record)
* Mother's Surname




Record Payment


When using the Advanced Search option you cannot purchase individual records unless only one match is located. You will be able to purchase the entire record set located at a reduced cost. By entering as much detail into the search form as possible you can narrow your search to produce as few as matches as possible. You can then decide to purchase all these records at a reduced cost.

Before you undertake an advanced search please consult the SOURCES for the county you wish to search to see what data is available to search online.

When you perform a search using the Advanced Search facility the number of matching records located relating to the exact search criteria entered by you will be displayed, e.g. 2 matches, 3 matches, 10 matches etc. It will not display any details pertaining to the records. It will display the information located as follows:


EXAMPLE: 4 matches for the search criteria of Doyle (+ variants) John, father Pat Doyle, mother Mary Smith, 1856-1859 in County ? records:

The cost to view the full details of the 4 records that you have not yet viewed is ¤12.

Once you press the Purchase Link you are confirming the purchase of the full details of the records located using your search criteria. The details of the records can be printed out or viewed again for a period of six months from date of purchase.

Click here to Continue or Return to refine your search criteria to reduce the number of records returned


Any record matching your search criteria which you have previously purchased (within that past six months) will not be charged for in the cost of the record set returned. These records will be displayed immediately.

By clicking PURCHASE you are paying to VIEW the details of ALL the records located. The search results will be redisplayed listing all the matches. You can then select VIEW against each record to display the details of each.


Record Cost

The cost of buying records within the Advanced Search is dependent on the number of records in the result set that is returned.

Number of Records

1 record = 5 Euros
2 records = 8 Euros
3-4 records = 12 Euros
5-10 records = 20 Euros
11-15 records = 30 Euros


(With thanks to the IFHF)



There's more on Roots Ireland via my recent interview with Karel Kiely at Who Do You Think You Are? Live.




Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Kirk session records access at Hawick

The Hawick Heritage Hub (www.heartofhawick.co.uk) is the latest regional archive to gain access to the digitised collection of Scottish kirk session and presbytery records as produced by the National Archives of Scotland through its Scottish Documents project. Several original sets of kirk session registers were also transferred from the NAS to the Hawick based archive at a ceremony on Monday 14th.

Borders FHS has the press release at www.bordersfhs.org.uk/Documents/Return_of_Kirk_Session_Records_to_the_Scottish_Borders.pdf

(With thanks to Borders FHS and the Heritage Hub)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland

From the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland website at www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com.

MOVE OF PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY LIBRARY TO NEW PREMISES

The Presbyterian Historical Society has now moved to new premises on the ground floor of 26 College Green just beside Union College and near to Queen's University. The library is now open again to visitors but for the next few weeks there will be work going on at the front of the building to build a ramp so visitors should go to the back door at the entry to the back of the building and phone 028 9072 7330.

Our new address: 26 College Green, Belfast BT7 1LN
Our new telephone number: 028 9072 7330

Our Opening Hours

Tuesday 9.30am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Wednesday 9.30am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Thursday 9.30am - 1.00pm

THE LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY 17 MARCH 2011

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

FindmyPast Ireland!

Oooh - heres a thing! FindmyPast Ireland is coming soon! From http://blog.findmypast.ie/

Are you one of the 80 million people worldwide that has Irish ancestry?

Launching soon is findmypast.ie, a new website designed to become the ultimate destination for genealogists, and anyone researching their Irish roots or interested in the history of Ireland.

With access to millions of records initially, we’ll be adding new historical and genealogical records on a regular basis, and transforming the way people investigate their past. Share your findings with far-flung family members using our Family Tree software, or engage with Eneclann, our Irish research experts.

So if you’re looking to research your past, share your history and connect with people, get in touch!


This is DEFINITELY Ireland's year!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Stirling Castle Palace Project

So here's what's been going on at Stirling Castle...!



Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)


Chinese directories and Californian papers

Ken Nisbet of SAFHS (www.safhs.org.uk) has been in touch to flag up two potentially useful collections for some overseas research.

As part of the University of Bristol's Chinese Maritime Customs project, a range of digitised resources are available in the China Coast Family History section at www.bris.ac.uk/history/customs/ancestors/. These include some foreign burials in cemeteries in places such as Shanghai, Hantow and Swatow (where one of my grandfather's cousins worked for many years as a missionary!), trade directories, and British Shanghai Supreme Court probate files.

Ken's also flagged up a useful resource for those with Californian connections, at http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc. This hosts a series of free to access digitised newspapers from the 19th-21st centuries.

(With thanks to Ken)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Google map for Scottish Archives

Thanks to genealogist Kirsty Wilkinson and the RCAHMS for the heads up on Twitter about a new Google map created by the Scottish Council of Archives, which lists all the major Scottish archives.

From the council's news page:

Many thanks to those who contacted us with updated contact details and suggestions. The Scottish Archives Google map has now been updated and revised. Although each entry was also checked against the details of each service's website, there may still be some entries in need of correction.

We did not include photos of each service in the entries at this stage- many existing photos on Google were inaccurately linked to locations. If you think that it would be helpful to include photos in each entry, please let us know and we can consider this for future revisions. We also did not include opening times in each entry- we've just placed a link to each service's website to refer users on to further contact details and opening hours.

You can find a link to the updated map here:
Scottish Archives Google Map

Definitely one to bookmark!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Eneclann's St Paddy's Day sale

From Eneclann:

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In honour of Ireland's national day we have 25% off Eneclann titles (except for our New Publications and items already on Special Offer).

Don't miss out though - the sale finishes at midnight (GMT) on Sunday 20th March 2011. Browse the Eneclann shop now.

The Eneclann shop is at www.eneclann.ie/acatalog/index.html

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Ancestry's new Irish collections

It's time for Saint Paddy's day fever to kick in, so here's Ancestry's official announcement on several new Irish collections now available on its site:

DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF 19th CENTURY IRISH RECORDS LAUNCH ONLINE

One in five Brits has Irish Ancestry – new research

* Comprehensive pre and post Irish Potato Famine collections now online
* New research published ahead of St Patrick’s Day celebrations on 17th March
* Irish ancestors of Oscar Wilde, Walt Disney, JFK and Barack Obama uncovered

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, Ancestry.co.uk, the UK’s favourite family history website, today launched The Irish Collection - the definitive online collection of 19th century historical Irish records, making it easier for the nearly one in five Brits of Irish descent to explore their heritage.

In total, there are now more than 35 million historical Irish records on Ancestry.co.uk, including two million comprehensive new and upgraded records from the critical periods prior to and following the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852), the single most significant event to drive 19th century global Irish Diaspora.

Current Chancellor George Osborne, Wayne Rooney, Pete Doherty and Paul McCartney are amongst the 9.5 million Brits with Gaelic roots for whom these new collections will be of particular interest.

Amongst the collections is the Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1824-1837, featuring more than 600,000 Irish land tax records which are a crucial addition to The Irish Collection as they cover all of pre-famine Ireland, creating a snapshot of Irish life prior to mass emigration.

Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864 now features more than 2.5 million names and addresses in land tax records of people living in Ireland in the mid-19th century. They are especially valuable as a substitute for 19th century censuses of Ireland, most of which were destroyed during the Civil War.

Crucially, the Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864 collection covers the years of the famine, which plunged Ireland into crisis and resulted in more than one million Irish dying and a further million emigrating, marking the start of Ireland’s depopulation throughout the remainder of the 19th century.

The Lawrence Collection of Photographs, 1870-1910 features more than 20,000 photographs of Irish people and scenes taken between 1870 and 1910. Lawrence himself was an amateur photographer and entrepreneur who saw the potential of selling photographic portraits and landscapes.

Also now online is the Ordnance Survey Maps, 1824-1846 - almost 2,000 historic maps of Ireland featuring incredible early geographical details of the whole country, revealing how Ireland evolved during the mid-19th century as well as linking directly to other collections available to reveal exact locations of where land was owned and by whom.

The records of a number of famous Brits with Irish ancestry have been discovered in The Irish Collection. These include the Irish ancestors of leading British politicians such as current Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who is heir to the Osborne baronetcy of Ballentaylor in County Tipperary. His 3x great-grandfather Sir Henry Osborne can be found in the Tithes.

Many key political figures in history have in fact boasted Irish ancestry, although just 17 per cent of British Prime Ministers have been Irish descent. Irish immigrants across the pond have been far more successful in achieving political influence, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) of American Presidents claiming Irish roots, including John F. Kennedy, whose 2x great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy is listed in Griffiths living in Wexford, Ireland, and U.S. President Barack Obama, whose 4x great-grandfather Fulmuth Donavan is listed in the Tithes living in Ballygurleen, Tipperary in 1829.

Other famous names with Irish ancestors revealed in the new collections include:

* Oscar Wilde - William R. Wilde, father of world famous author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, is listed in Griffiths living at Westland Row, Dublin where Oscar Wilde was born in 1854.

* Walt Disney - Arundel Elias Disney, great-grandfather of the entertainer and founder of the Disney empire, is listed in Griffiths and Tithe records living in Clone, Rathbeagh and Kilkenny.

* C. S. Lewis - Sir John Borlasse Warren, great-grandfather of the celebrated author of The Chronicles of Narnia is listed in both the Griffiths and Tithe records.

Despite the many famous names heralding from Ireland, research reveals that when Brits think of Ireland, they actually think of Guinness (74 per cent of people) followed by shamrocks (62 per cent) and leprechauns (61 per cent).

Surprisingly even comedy show Father Ted is more strongly associated with Ireland than the country’s musical heritage, which has seen Ireland win the Eurovision song contest seven times (more than any other nation) .

Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “The new collections will be hugely relevant to anyone with Irish ancestry as they may hold the earliest or final record of their ancestors’ existence during these tragic yet nation-defining years in Ireland’s history.

“The Irish Potato Famine was a significant event in world history which caused a huge spike in international emigration from across Ireland – meaning today, people from every corner of the globe may find they have Irish ancestry.”

Those wishing to discover or learn more about their Irish ancestors can do so with a 14-day free trial at www.ancestry.co.uk/Irishrecords.

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Bodysnatchers to Lifesavers talk

From the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Talk: 'Bodysnatchers to Lifesavers'

From the dark practices of the 19th century to the astounding medical advances of the 21st century, Tara Womersley and Dorothy Crawford discuss the evolution of medical practice through the ages. The book includes fascinating illustrations of surgery and treatments across the years in all their gruesome detail, a host of famous (and infamous) alumni, and the best and worst in medical practice.

Thursday 24 March
18:00
Book online or phone 0131 623 3918.

The venue is George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Interview with Brightsolid's Chris van der Kuyl

Lisa Louise Cooke of the GenealogyGems TV podcast website (http://genealogygems.tv/) recently interviewed Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of Dundee based Brightsolid, at RootsTech in Utah. Brightsolid runs the ScotlandsPeople website as well as the FindmyPast and GenesReunited web platforms. Here's the interview!



Excellent interview, with some interesting snippets of news to watch out for!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Unlock the Past's first genealogy cruise now underway

Australian based Unlock the Past's first genealogy cruise is now underway, sailing for seven days from Brisbane, to Noumea (New Caledonia), Lifou (New Caledonia), and Vila (Vanuatu) and back. The company's sister organisation Gould Genealogy has blogged about the trip at www.gouldgenealogy.com/2011/03/unlock-the-pasts-first-history-and-genealogy-cruise-sets-sail/

Later in the year, I'll be joining the team for a fourteen day genealogy cruise from Australia to New Zealand and back. The cruise will be focussed to an extent on a Scottish and Irish theme, with many speakers including Shauna Hicks, Jan Gow, Rosemary Kopittke, Perry McIntyre, Richard Reid, Keith Johnson, Dan Lynch (providing particular expertise on online research) and yours truly. As well as being a lot of fun in the genealogical sense, I'm also bringing my wife and two boys, each of whom will be celebrating a birthday on board! I haven't told them that their job is to row the boat yet though!

For more on the next cruise visit www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/history-and-genealogy-cruise-november-2011-scottish-irish-theme - and keep an eye on Gould Genealogy's blog for a future news update on the present cruise! Bon voyage all!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

FindmyPast relaunches overseas BMDs

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has updated its search facility for its overseas BMD records. These are the records of overseas consulates, army chaplains and more, the records of which can be ordered up from the GRO in England using a separate search form at www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp, though using a different order form to the standard BMDs.

Although available from the English GRO, these records affect all British citizens with connections overseas. For example, my 2 x great grandmother Florence Halliday was discovered in the 1911 Irish census to have been born in Gibraltar, to parents who married in Corfu, one of whom was born in Ireland, the other in the East Indies. Both her birth certificate and her parents' marriage were found within the army records held within these collections and were ordered up from the GRO down south.

The collections updated are:

• British overseas births 1818-2005
• Births at sea 1854-1887
• British armed forces births 1761-2005
• British overseas marriages 1818-2005
• Marriages at sea 1854-1908
• British armed forces marriages 1796-2005

Where before you did a search and then had to browse through umpteen different pages, now the names on all the collections are fully searchable. If I look for Florence now in the British armed forces births collection, she is the first name returned. The company's recently launched MarriageFinder tool has now also been applied to these overseas marriages. Again in the British overseas marriages collection a search of Alexander Halliday and his wife Teresa immediately comes up trumps.

FindmyPast has a fuller blog post on this itself at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2011/03/vastly-improved-overseas-at-sea-and-army-births-and-marriages-search/ NB: the final part of the reindexing project is also due imminently, English death records.

(Thanks to FMP!)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

PRONI updates NameSearch

As announced on this blog on Feb 28th, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has been working on an update to its online Name Search collection, which has now gone online. Name Search is a database mainly comprised of pre-1858 wills entries, some census substitutes form the 18th century and cornoers' inquests.

The following comes from the Northern Ireland Direct website at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news-mar11-online-historical-records-facility-updated

Adding nearly 53,000 entries to its internet resource, these eight additional pre-1858 will indexes (some as early as 1608) are for the dioceses of Armagh, Clogher, Connor, Down and Kilmore. The index to coroners’ inquest reports now runs from 1872-1919.

The Name Search includes indexes to:

pre-1858 wills
surviving fragments of the 1740 and 1766 religious census returns
1775 dissenters’ petitions
coroners’ inquest reports

You can view the Name Search at the following link: www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/proninames.htm


If you haven't yet watched it, the following interview I did with Janet Hancock from PRONI at WDYTYA Live 2011 may be of interest!





(With thanks to @nidirect)

UPDATE: Further information from Gavin McMahon at PRONI

On 11th March a major new update to the Name Search facility was launched on the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) website. Eight further pre-1858 will indexes have been added, containing around 53,000 new entries and the index to coroners’ inquests has been extended by ten years to 1920.

These entries are in addition to the pre-1858 administration bond indexes, fragments of the 1740 and 1766 religious census returns and 1775 dissenters petitions already available on Name Search. The application now provides a searchable index to thousands of records as early as 1608. The new indexes cover the dioceses of Armagh, Clogher, Connor, Down and Kilmore. Given the loss of census records for Ireland prior to 1901, these records will be of great interest to genealogists tracing their family tree as far back as the 17th century.

Although most pre-1858 wills do not survive, the indexes provide information of use to genealogists, such as the names of the deceased, their address, the date of the grant of probate or administration and occasionally their occupation. Previously users would have to come to PRONI and spend considerable time searching these indexes. Now they are available anywhere in the world and can be searched in seconds.

(With thanks to Gavin)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)


Perthshire graveyards to be restored

A two year project will see four graveyards restored in Perthshire, thanks to Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. The graveyards are Coupar Angus, Meigle, Collace and Kinfauns.

For more, see www.thecourier.co.uk/Community/Heritage-and-History/article/11822/perthshire-s-historic-churchyards-to-be-restored.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

(Thanks to @ScottishHistory on Twitter)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

Tartan - a blot on Scotland's conscience?

The BBC is running an online poll/debate just now on the question "Walter Scott's re-branding of all Scots as tartan-wearing Highlanders has been a hindrance to Scotland's cultural development". Agree or disagree?

I couldn't agree more, and have always refused to wear a kilt or tartan as peddled by the modern tartan industry. I see the whole thing as an affront to the true memory of the Highlanders (including some of my lot), whose culture was brutally ripped from them after Culloden, with aspects later revived and appropriated by Lowland Scotland (and sadly Highland 'aristocracy') for the simple sake of impressing a German king who once deigned to visit us in the 1820s, and whose very ancestor was one of those responsible for the carnage. Don't worry, I also think Bonnie Prince Charlie was a muppet! I'm not a great royalist really...


I see the use (abuse) of tartan today as a blot on Scotland's conscience. If we all dress up like peacocks, everything will be fine and it will somehow make us more Scottish. Hmmm, not really. Scottishness comes with the blood and the culture, and not some cheap form of what is now just fancy dress. That's why when people ask me which tartan they are 'entitled' to wear, I tell them to wear what they like, it's all bubblegum. Your identity comes from what is within, not what you look like on the outside. Hence the power of family history to cut through all the crap and to tell you who you actually are. I also find it extraordinary that within the diaspora so many people want to pledge some form of allegiance to a 'clan' - in many cases the clan chiefs were responsible for the fact that the diaspora exists! A point I blogged on a few months back at http://walkingineternity.blogspot.com/2010/11/nonsense-of-clan-system.html.

I did make that point briefly on the BBC poll, but to be fair, I did also stick up for the shortbread industry. Despite the dodgy tins it comes in, Scottish shortbread cannot be beaten! lol

But enough of my rants - have a say yourself at www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/debates/identity/ !

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)