Geography of New York City

If your ancestors lived in New York City, you’ll want to read this!  Continue reading Geography of New York City

Handfasting vs. Marriage

A while back I posted about ‘irregular marriages’. Here’s an article about ‘handfasting’ reprinted from a 1993 issue of The Septs.

The letters “H/F” may be found beside a person’s name on early marriage and birth records. The abbreviation stands for “Handfast”. It is basically a sign of the confirmation of a form of “uncanonical, private or even a probationary form of marriage”. Handfasting was the form of announcing a union between a man and woman who wished to live together as husband and wife before receiving the blessing of the church. The couple would stand before a group of their peers, hold the clasped hands above their heads, and state their intentions. The agreement was good for a year and a day, or until the preacher came to perform the rites of the church. If, at the end of this period, each wished to go his own way, they could do so without ties. Any children born of a handfast was considered legitimate and with inheritance rights.

Fact or Fiction?

Yesterday I posted the story of nine Irish rebels who were exiled by Queen Victoria to the wilds of Australia. As the legend goes, all nine men later became eminently successful. Fact or fiction? Continue reading Fact or Fiction?

The Nine Convicts

The following story was published in the January, 1991 issue of The Septs: Continue reading The Nine Convicts

Surname Spelling Variations

Here’s the second part of the “Irish Names” article from the December 1980 Irish Interest Group Newsletter. Continue reading Surname Spelling Variations

More about Irish Names

A very early Irish Interest Group Newsletter (Vol. 1, No 3, December 1980) included a page of guidance about Irish names.  Continue reading More about Irish Names

Irish Interest Group publications

While we were filling a big order for back issues of The Septs, I was able to dig into the archive bins for the first time. Did you know Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) had its origins with the ‘Irish Interest Group’? Their first quarterly newsletter was published in June, 1980. The journal’s title was changed to The Septs in January, 1990. Continue reading Irish Interest Group publications

Free online newspaper research

‘The Ancestor Hunt’ is a blog with particular emphasis on researching historical newspapers, a source I’d like to use more frequently. Continue reading Free online newspaper research

Unusual Irish surnames

John Grenham’s ‘Irish Ancestors’ website just keeps getting better! The latest enhancement was reported yesterday in Claire Santry’s blog. Continue reading Unusual Irish surnames

Soc Sec Applications & Claims Index, 1936-2007

Yesterday Ancestry.com announced the release of a new database, Social Security Applications and Claims Index,1936-2007. Continue reading Soc Sec Applications & Claims Index, 1936-2007