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Volume 15 No 3

ISSN 1039-5490

From the Editors

August 2012


Hello all Here we are again with our August issue. We want to thank Ian Scott profusely for his newsletter contributions to date. Take a bow Ian. We are thinking of awarding Ian with the Irish equivalent of the Order of Merit whatever that is. We'd also like to encourage other members to follow suit. Any contributions are welcome... breakthroughs and brick walls, web links to useful research sites, research suggestions, family history stories you've written... the possibilities are endless. Don't wait until the next issue is due ... send them now and we'll file them away for the next issue. Let's make the final issue for the year a bumper one.

July 15 Meeting Notes


Useful websites


Irish Lives Remembered


New research guide


GenealogyInTime items 5-6 Irish Famine Memorial


On a different note we hope you're managing to stay warm and flu-free during this cold and flu-ravaged winter. Roll on spring...

2012 Meeting Dates

Best wishes

21 October

Elissa and Robyn

All meetings are on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 2pm at WAGS Rooms May Street Bayswater

Unit 5/6

Email contact : WAGS website: Robyn: Elissa:


IRISH SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP MEETING - SUNDAY 15 July MINUTES Apologies: Lauren Staines, Jenni Ibrahim Business Arising It was agreed by the Group that all future Annual General Meetings will be held in January each year starting in 2013. At the AGM a new Committee for the Irish SIG will be created. WAGS donation: Betty raised the question of the group making a donation to WAGS as we have approximately $2,400. The following suggestions were made: 1. Donate money to WAGS for subscription that would result in an extra chair in the library. 2. Nominate what subscription the group would like to acquire e.g. subscription to British newspapers 3. Donate money for WAGS to buy credits for Roots 4. Donate an amount of $200 for the librarian’s discretion, with a recommendation that a subscription to Roots be considered After much discussion it was agreed by the group to donate $200 to the Library. National Family History Week is on 1, 2 and 3 August at the State Library of WA. Liana is coordinating with the State Library and advised that WAGS will have a display on the ground floor of the State Library as well as the 2nd floor. Volunteers/helpers are needed to meet and greet the public and to handout brochures. Family History Open Day is at WAGS on Sunday 5 August, 2012 from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The Irish SIG will have a stand providing information/brochures for visitors. Volunteers are required for this day as there will need to be two people on the stand all the time. Newsletter - Robyn requested members to contact her if they are not receiving the Newsletter. The group was also reminded that the newsletter needs more contributions from group members. General Information: Roots, for July only is allowing the public to view search results pages at no additional charge, based on the number of unspent credits in your account or the number that you purchase in July. New member: Joan Cross Grant was welcomed to the group. Joan is researching her great great grandfather from Tipperary, SCHOFIELD. Members of the group gave her advice as to how to pursue her research. Betty closed the meeting and, on behalf of the group, thanked our guest speaker Mark Donald, for his excellent presentation titled: My visit to Ireland - still bringing it together. Next Meeting: Sunday 14 October. The topic will be “Research”. It was suggested that we have a demonstration of ‘Roots’


Ian Scott's contributions ... thanks again Ian Some members may have read through the WAGS Forums the very good news that Northern Ireland BDMs are to go online on GRONI in 2013, but for those who didn’t here is the link to the announcement -------------------Check out this General Ireland Genealogical Archives site Ian notes that some interesting items are located under the Ireland Category. If you just search in your county of interest, you may miss some goodies. Also allow yourself plenty of time to browse this site! -------------------Here is a very good Irish Blog that has a lot of research advice, both for the newbie and for experienced researchers to re-read and think about the basics. Do use the link on the right hand side of the site - Irish Genealogy Toolkit. It's a free online guide to Irish family history research, and it's designed to help you to find your heritage. This runs in parallel with the main website. It includes news about the latest record releases, occasional features and interviews with genealogy specialists, as well as loads of tips and hints to help you with your research. -------------------Irish Lives Remembered magazine launches Posted: 16 Jun 2012 Chris Paton British GENES (British Genealogy News and Events) For some time the only show in town in terms of a dedicated Irish genealogy magazine has been the excellent bi-monthly Irish Roots, but today sees the launch of a new monthly digital based Irish family history title, Irish Lives Remembered, available free of charge online. If the title seems familiar, it is because it comes from the stable of the website of the same name (, produced by Dundalk based Eileen Munnelly. Originally set up last year as a sort of online mass card memorial service, the site has recently refocussed its direction to offer a community based genealogical service, with discussion forums and more, and now a free to read monthly magazine. The first issue has a brief introductory genealogical guide by Kevin McCormack, a look at the Irish DNA Atlas project, a tale of convict woman Catherine McMahon, news of the Gathering 2013, a focus on Cork, Megan Smolenyak looks at Annie Moore (Ellis 3

Island's first immigrant arrival in 1892), and much more. The magazine can be read through an online reader or downloaded in PDF format for your tablet device. Cracking stuff with a vibrant modern design, and well worth checking out! To access Irish Lives Remembered visit

-------------------Ian has also given us the following information about a useful booklet called “How to Research your Family History in Ireland Online Guide” written by Boyd Gray. Ian has printed off the earlier version of the booklet and found it very helpful. This is what Boyd Gray says about his booklet: Having been a member of many lists for several years, I found I was answering the same questions over and over again as new researchers passed through the Lists, so, to save time and to help people find their ancestors more efficiently, I wrote a little research guide back in 2007, which was kindly hosted online by Lindel Buckley and then Bob Hiflyte at their websites. This guide was written specifically for Donegal, which is where I live, but as more and more genealogy is now conducted online, and as the principles of research are the same no matter which Irish county you are researching, I am sure that it will be just as useful to anyone researching their Irish ancestors in any county. It is a ten step guide intended mainly for those living outside Ireland but will also be of assistance to people in Ireland. All the locations of sources and databases mentioned in the guide have live links within the guide which you may click on and which will take you to the places you need on the internet where you will find most of the data available. Oh, all the pics in the guide are my family or my wife's! I have now updated the booklet to take account of all the new websites and recent developments and it is available at the following locations: - and in case the link has broken in your screen, here is a shorter one: It is also available here: ta/boydg/genbooklet%20E4.pdf - and shortened: It is an adobe file and may take a few seconds to download. (Robyn’s hint: sometimes these websites can be ‘busy’ and won’t open, you may have to keep trying) 4

You might also be interested in my Facebook webpage. It too is intended to help researchers find their ancestors: - and shortened: I hope some people find this guide useful and that they will be enabled to discover their ancestors here in Ireland. Boyd Gray

Genealogy In Time snippets National – has added 3.1 million Irish prison register records. These records were produced in cooperation with FindMyPast Ireland and span the years 1790 to 1924 for all 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. A typical record includes the following information: name, age, place of birth and county. Access is free. [Historic Irish Prison Register Records] Belfast – The Belfast city cemetery website continues to add burial records for the city cemeteries. About 350,000 records are now in the database. A typical record lists the name, last place of residence, age, sex, date of death, date of burial, cemetery, grave section and number and the type of burial (cremation or earth burial). It is free to search the records. A modest charge applies to see an image of the actual burial record. [Belfast Burial Records] National – FindMyPast Ireland has released the third tranche of Irish Petty Session Court records. These are court records for minor offenses such as trespass and drunkenness. This latest addition contains 2 million records and covers the years 1850 to 1910. The counties Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Tipperary and Wexford are included this time. Access is by subscription. [Irish Petty Session Court Records] National – RootsIreland (the non-profit website created by the Irish Family History Foundation) has recently added 65,000 gravestone inscriptions from the Irish World Heritage Centre for parishes in County Tyrone and County Fermanagh. RootsIreland continues to grow rapidly and now has over 19 million records online. Access is by pay-per-view. [Irish Gravestone Inscriptions]


National – The genealogy website From Ireland has posted an amazing collection of about 14,500 photographs of Irish gravestones, making it one of the largest Irish gravestone photograph collections. The collection is arranged in albums by county. The main counties covered are Kilkenny (4,600 images) and Laois (6,800 images), with additional images from Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Offaly. The images have been transcribed and are searchable. Access is free. Thanks to Dr. Jane Lyon for putting this collection online. [Irish Gravestone Images] Dublin – has created a new collection of Dublin probate records and a Dublin marriage license record index covering the years 1270 to 1858. This collection was built from extracts from wills, letters of administration, acts of probate, marriage licences etc. within the Diocese of Dublin. About 115,000 records are in the collection. Access is by subscription. [Dublin Probate Records] National - The Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations (CIGO) has informed us that they have been successful in their long campaign for the early release of the 1926 Irish census. Current Irish law requires an embargo holding period of 100 years on census data, meaning the 1926 census would normally be released in 2026. However, the government has agreed in principle to allow the 1926 census to be digitized this year once the enabling legislation has been passed. The new legislation to allow the early release of the 1926 census is expected to be enacted by June or July of this year. Allowing a few months for digitization and the 1926 Irish census should be available in late 2012. Prior to the 1926 census, the previous available Irish census is from 1911. In the 15 years between the 1911 census and the 1926 census, Ireland underwent a profound change. First there was World War I followed by the 1916 Uprising and the Irish War of Independence. Then in 1922 came formal partition and the creation of the Republic of Ireland. The 1926 census was the first census compiled under the new republic. The 1926 Irish census provides a wealth of information, as shown in the example below. The key information collected included name, relationship to head of the household, marital status, language, religion, profession, age (in years and months), town of birth, name and address of employer, length of time married (answered by both men and women), number of children in the marriage, list of all children under the age of 16 and a notation if one or both parents are deceased. This is huge news for anyone with Irish ancestors! For more information, please see the CIGO website.


The Irish Famine Memorial Sydney The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1848) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney. The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenaged orphans. They arrived under a special emigration scheme (The Earl Grey Scheme) designed to resettle destitute girls from the workhouses of Ireland during the Great Famine. You may or may not be familiar with the Earl Grey Scheme that brought so many young Irish girls to Australia during this period but it’s a fascinating story fittingly commemorated by the memorial in Sydney. Check out this website to find out more about the Scheme and also about the memorial itself. There is a very moving ceremony held at the Monument in August each year and I was fortunate to attend the ceremony three years ago. The Monument and website are the result of the hard work of a dedicated band of volunteers. From the original intent of remembering the young women who were brought to Australia under that scheme, the Memorial has broadened its vision to include the current day women refugees who are now making Australia home. The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee established two Irish Memorial Funds to commemorate the orphan girls who were refugees from the Great Irish Famine. The funds are directed to two outreach programmes which support women affected by famine and political pressures which caused them to flee their own countries. The Mamre fund supports a programme established by the Sisters of Mercy at Mamre Homestead, St Marys, NSW, to help African refugees, especially those from Southern Sudan. The memorial fund - University of Western Sydney is an annual award to a female student at that university who arrived in Australia as a refugee and is committed to building a career and a life here. The website contains a database that lists the ships that brought the orphans to Australia and also has a listing of the orphan girls on those ships. The database has been compiled from the information contained in Trevor McClaughlin’s book “Barefoot & Pregnant”, 2 vols., which is in the WAGS Library. I think I’ve been able to fill in a gap on my family tree since finding an orphan in Trevor’s book and on the database who seems to match my great-great grandmother Bridget! Even if you’re not searching for an orphan who could belong to you, it’s a worthwhile site to look at. If you are already familiar with this site but haven’t looked for a while take the time to have another look as it’s recently been upgraded. Robyn Graham