Obituaries

One of my latest research projects was to locate surviving family members of several WWII veterans. Once I found a date of death, the most reliable way to confirm I’d found the right person – and to identify any survivors – was to search obituaries of the deceased veteran and/or his wife. Looking back, some of my biggest brick-wall breakthroughs have come from finding obituaries of family members. Continue reading Obituaries

WDYTYA goes to Ireland

Don’t forget to catch “Who Do You Think You Are?” this Sunday, March 29 (airing at 9 pm CDT on TLC). Continue reading WDYTYA goes to Ireland

March-April eNewsletter

The March-April, 2015 issue of IGSI’s Ginealis eNewsletter is available. Continue reading March-April eNewsletter

Irish place names

A list which shows the meaning of Irish place names was published in the “News and Notes” column of a 1989 Irish Genealogical Society Newsletter. (Yes, the organization has been around a long time.) Continue reading Irish place names

New records online for Antrim & Down

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has announced the addition of over 27,000 new Church of Ireland records for Counties Antrim and Down.

Here is part of the information contained in their recent email message:

These new baptism, marriage and burial records are from 24 parishes across Antrim and Down and were transcribed by our Emeritus Research Director, Dr Brian Trainor.

Name of Church County Type of record Years covered
Aghalee CI Antrim Marriages 1811 – 1844
Ardkeen CI Down Burials 1746 – 1875
Ballinderry CI Antrim Marriages 1840 – 1845
Ballyclug CI Antrim Marriages 1841 – 1844
Ballyculter CI Down Burials 1812 – 1871
Ballyhalbert CI Down Burials 1855 – 1922
Ballymacarrett CI Down Marriages 1827 – 1844
Ballymoney CI Antrim Marriages 1807 – 1844
Ballyphilip CI Down Burials 1831 – 1883
Bangor CI Down Burials 1814 – 1829, 1841 – 1846
Blaris (Lisburn) CI Antrim Burials 1661 – 1720
Blaris (Lisburn) CI Antrim Marriages 1663 – 1735
Carrickfergus CI Antrim Burials 1740 – 1870
Comber CI Down Burials 1683 – 1881 (with gaps)
Comber CI Down Marriages 1683 – 1845
Donaghadee CI Down Burials 1771 – 1786, 1817, 1818, 1820 – 1841
Down CI Down Burials 1752 – 1785, 1795 – 1829, 1837 – 1871
Dromore CI Down Marriages 1784 – 1845
Drumballyroney CI Down Burials 1839 – 1873
Finvoy CI Antrim Marriages 1812 – 1845
Glenavy CI Antrim Marriages 1708 – 1845 (with gaps)
Inver (Larne) CI Antrim Baptisms 1806 – 1826, 1836 – 1864
Inver (Larne) CI Antrim Marriages 1817 – 1845
Kilkeel CI Down Burials 1816 – 1884
Kilmore CI Down Burials 1822 – 1856
Kirkinriola (Ballymena) CI Antrim Marriages 1807, 1809, 1819, 1822, 1823 – 1841
Magheralin CI Down Burials 1783 – 1865
Magheralin CI Down Marriages 1783 – 1845

These new records contain a wealth of information of use to both the family and local historian and the burial registers, in particular, are full of interesting entries.

For example in Ardkeen CI there was noted the burial entry of Henry Cleland, aged around four months old, in 1823 with a note by the minister that stated that he was “found dead in a field with a letter mentioning his name. Perished from cold and hunger; Coroner’s inquest wilful murder.”

Occupations were sometimes recorded, especially if the deceased was in the military or the clergy. Ballyculter CI’s burial register occasionally contained the occupation of the deceased, particularly if they were servants, for example in 1818 Daniel Kain “Lord Bangor’s man”, William Wilson “gardener to Mr Price” and Roger Wade “steward to Mr Hoey” were all buried. This may be the only record of their employment which now exists.

Carrickfergus CI’s register contained an entry of the burial in May 1776 of Mr McCracken, “the buckle beggar”. A buckle beggar was someone who performed marriage ceremonies “in a clandestine and irregular manner”.

The history of a local area can also be seen through the Church records. For example one can see in the Blaris (Lisburn) CI register the arrival of the Duke of Schomberg’s army in September 1689 by the increase of the deceased who were serving in that army. These were not only soldiers, for example in December 1689 John Redbird “master baker to [the] Duke of Schomberg” died and in January 1690 Thomas Mansfield, “one of King William’s bakers” was buried.

In coastal parishes, we find the burial records of sailors, fishermen and those who had drowned. For example in Ballyhalbert CI, in January 1864 there was the burial of three men who were shipwrecked including John Morrison from Douglas on the Isle of Man. In this register we also find the burials of two men from the HM Cruiser Bayano which was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915. Donaghadee CI’s burial register contains an entry for James Conlin, a tide-waiter (customs officer) who was “killed by a fall on the quay” in October 1783.

In the majority of entries the cause of death was not recorded, but unusual incidents were often noted by the minister. For example in Ballyphilip CI we find Patrick Kelly, aged 15 years from Portaferry who died in June 1876 from “a fall from a velocipede” (an early bicycle). Carrickfergus CI’s register details the burials of four men in October 1752 who were “killed with the bursting of a cannon”. Magheralin CI’s records contain an entry for Edward Lunn, an innkeeper who was buried in July 1817; he “died suddenly at Maze races”. Down CI’s burial register contains information on John McKenzie, the son of Prudence Coslett, who was buried in June 1765 after he “fell off the Abbey”.

In the majority of entries the cause of death was not recorded, but unusual incidents were often noted by the minister. For example in Ballyphilip CI we find Patrick Kelly, aged 15 years from Portaferry who died in June 1876 from “a fall from a velocipede” (an early bicycle). Carrickfergus CI’s register details the burials of four men in October 1752 who were “killed with the bursting of a cannon”. Magheralin CI’s records contain an entry for Edward Lunn, an innkeeper who was buried in July 1817; he “died suddenly at Maze races”. Down CI’s burial register contains information on John McKenzie, the son of Prudence Coslett, who was buried in June 1765 after he “fell off the Abbey”.

Many of the burial records also contain the name of the father, husband or next of kin of the deceased, providing additional information on each family. Some also record ages at death and occasionally occupations.

To search, go to www.ancestryireland.com/. Pay-Per-View (PPV) records are 50% off through March 30, 2015.

The Pareto Principle applied to genealogy

As I wrote in an earlier posting, liquidation of the IGSI online bookstore has resulted in piles of books and maps throughout my dining room.  Orders from IGSI members are staged there and ready to be packed up for mailing. Continue reading The Pareto Principle applied to genealogy

The Irish at Home and Abroad

The Irish at Home and Abroad was a journal of Irish genealogy and heritage, published quarterly from 1993-1999. Continue reading The Irish at Home and Abroad

Irish spring

Yesterday, March 20, was the first official day of spring, i.e., the March equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. During the two equinoxes that occur each year – in March and September – the sun shines directly on the equator, and night and day are nearly equal lengths of time. Continue reading Irish spring

New Zealand, Leitrim & Ohio featured

The March-April issue of Irish Lives Remembered has been out for about a week, but I hadn’t found time to read it until this morning. Continue reading New Zealand, Leitrim & Ohio featured

1865 Valuation Rolls

ScotlandsPeople has added the Valuation Rolls for 1865 to their website. The new records consist of 1.3 million indexed names and 76,512 digital images. Continue reading 1865 Valuation Rolls