FamilyTreeNow – FREE!

If you’re looking for a genealogy bargain, you’ll want to check out a newly-launched FREE site at Continue reading FamilyTreeNow – FREE!

Ancestors who worked at Guinness?

Blog editor at Gravity Bar

Blog editor at Gravity Bar

John Grenham’s blog posting in The Irish Times reminded me of our 2010 visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. When you’re there, you expect to see how Guinness is brewed, of course, and the 360 degree views from the Gravity Bar are spectacular. The genealogical angle is unexpected. Continue reading Ancestors who worked at Guinness?

Woodmen of the World

Yesterday I arrived a little early for an appointment in Mendota, Minnesota. What would a curious family history researcher do with extra time on a beautiful fall day but take advantage of the opportunity to drive through the Cemetery of the Church of St. Peter? Continue reading Woodmen of the World

Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) Online

We always welcome your tips, stories, and topical ideas for blog postings. IGSI board member and blog-reader Fern Wilcox emailed us during her trip in Ireland to tell us how easy it is to search the online Tithe Applotment Books.  Continue reading Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) Online

1741, the “Year of the Slaughter”

The season’s first episode of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exceeded my (already high) expectations because there actually was an Irish connection on the show! Writer Stephen King was found to have an ancestor who emigrated from Ireland after the famine of 1741. Continue reading 1741, the “Year of the Slaughter”

Finding Your Roots, on TV

I love watching the TV family history shows like Who Do You Think You Are? Tonight I’ll be watching Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, the first episode of its second season. Continue reading Finding Your Roots, on TV

A New Chapter in Irish Genealogy Publishing

Here’s a press release from Ancestor Network:

Flyleaf Press Acquired By Ancestor Network: A New Chapter in Irish Genealogy Publishing Begins

Dublin, Ireland, 19 September 2014. Ancestor Network Ltd., the leading Irish family history services company, announced today that it has acquired Flyleaf Press, the specialist Irish genealogy publisher.

Ancestor Network, the leading probate and genealogy services provider, has been at the forefront of the Irish family history market for over five years. It has provided genealogy advisory services for public visitors to the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the Kerry Genealogy Roadshow. It was the primary genealogy researcher for RTE’s ‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ and has successfully managed popular genealogy educational courses and events across Ireland such as the Brian Ború Millennium Festival in Clare, Tipperary, Galway and Dublin, and the Monaghan Genealogy ‘Home to the Little Hills’ Training courses. 

Flyleaf-Press-logoFounded by Dr. James Ryan in 1987, Flyleaf Press is Ireland’s major specialist publisher of family history and genealogy titles. Flyleaf specialises in high-quality ‘how to’ guides for research in various counties of Ireland. It also publishes reference works on Church Records, Census records and wills. Flyleaf’s books are researched and written by highly qualified genealogists and they contain information vital to both amateur and professional genealogists and local history researchers.

This acquisition, coupled with the success of Ancestor Network’s research, probate, advisory, consultancy, educational and training services, forms an important part of the growth strategy set out by John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network, and his board of directors.

Together Ancestor Network and Flyleaf Press will create one of the fastest growing Irish genealogy businesses. The two organisations will provide customers with easier access and more relevant information to help add colour and depth to Irish family history.

Flyleaf Press will maintain its own brand identity and website, but the two organisations will enjoy greater economies of scale in marketing, sales, financial and operational functions. Transaction details were not disclosed.

John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network, said: “Ancestor Network’s strategy is about growth and the Irish Diaspora consumer and probate market sectors are key. Our purchase of Flyleaf Press, combined with our existing global Irish Diaspora customer base, gives us an excellent platform for expansion in the Irish family history market. Together we can provide a dynamic family history experience that offers customers the opportunity to make a real connection with their Irish family heritage.”

Dr. James Ryan, founder of Flyleaf Press, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with Ancestor Network and become a part of their family of Irish genealogy and family history services and products. The combination of our organisations will provide Irish family history enthusiasts with unprecedented access to the stories of their ancestors. Expect Flyleaf Press to grow stronger with Ancestor Network’s support and to continue to drive innovation in the Irish family history sector, particularly in the area of e-publishing.”

Irish Archives Resource

The Irish Archives Resource (IAR) recently expanded its online presence. There are now 34 contributing archive services from both northern and southern Ireland, with more than 500 collections described. IAR can be accessed at:

Note there are no images of records or archives on this website, and it is not specifically a genealogical resource. However, it links to archival collections, i.e., documents and records that relate to people, places, organizations and events. The site states, “The Irish Archives Resource portal is suitable for family researchers who have already discovered some facts about their family history,” and further, that the purpose of the IAR Portal is to:

  1. Allow users to locate archives and records that are relevant to their research
  2. Increase the use of archives by directing researchers to the relevant Archives Services
  3. Encourage the development and publication of comprehensive, standardized desriptions.

Just to check it out, I searched Cahernahallia, the Hickey townland. (Note: I’ve seen it spelled two ways, Cahernahalla and Cahernahallia. Only the latter spelling brought a query result, but the site itself reflects both spellings.)

While I already knew Cahernahallia was part of the estate of Viscount Lismore, here’s part of what I learned from the IAR:

  • The Cork City and County Archives have six letters in their collection titled “Viscount Lismore Estate Letters and Memorials.”
  • George Ponsonby O’Callaghan, 2nd Viscount Lismore (1815-1898), had a seat in the House of Lords and was Lord-Lieutenant of County Tipperary from 1857 until his death. In 1876 the Viscount Lismore estate covered over 1194 acres in Limerick, over 6067 acres in County Cork and nearly 35,000 acres in Tipperary.
  • The content of the six letters is described. The first letter, written circa 1880 is:

from the tenantry of Carnahalla (Cahernahallia), Commonaline and other areas in the Doon/Cappawhite border area between Co. Tipperary and Co. Limerick, to their landlord (Viscount Lismore), requesting a reduction in their rents owing to ‘…the badness of the times and the straits to which many of them are reduced’. Refers to rents exceeding the Government valuation, the ‘…great fall in the prices of all farm produce…’, the continual wet and cold harsh weather prevailing throughout the year effecting cattle yields and prices, a disappointing potato crop, the failure of crops for the last 3 years, causing a drain of hard-earned savings. It is ‘with no small anxiety they look at the coming eight months’, but they ‘…feel from what they have experienced of your Lordship, and your kind and considerate Agent Mr. Taylor…that you are too just and too generous…to think that the poor struggling tenant should bear…the entire of a burden that’s crushing the very spirit out of him…’. 40 signatures, plus that of John Slattery, Parish Priesh, Kilcommin and Hollyford, Co. Tipperary, who adds ‘I believe the statements in this are true’.

  • One of the other letters, dated 23 Jan 1880 is:

from 3 Carnahalla estate tenants, Edmond Ryan, William Quirke and Daniel Quirke, to Edwin Taylor, land agent of the ‘Earl of Lismore’ (Viscount Lismore) concerning new road through their lands, which they wish stopped.

While these entries don’t disclose “how the story ended” for the Cahernahalla/Cahernahallia tenants, the summaries of the letters are nonetheless revealing about their life and times. And the information was easily retrieved from the IAR portal, without a trip to Cork!

Genealogy Rockstar Gold Medals

The genealogy community has voted, and the medals have been awarded. Continue reading Genealogy Rockstar Gold Medals

Save the date: October 25 in Edina

The Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI) will hold its annual Fall Gathering on Saturday afternoon, October 25, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Ethel M. Berry meeting room at the Southdale Library in Edina (across York from the Southdale Shopping Center).

The following description appeared in IGSI’s Ginealas e-newsletter:

After a short business meeting, local author Penny A. Petersen will discuss her research for her most recent book, Minneapolis Madams: the Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront. Petersen probes the 19th century ecosystem of brothels and streetwalkers with a keen eye for political hypocrisy, sexual double standards, racial prejudice, and gender-driven economics. A gem of sexual and social history, This book illuminates the boudoirs of the long-forgotten red-light districts with insight and humanity. This nearly forgotten chapter of Minneapolis history traces how the “houses of ill fame” rose to prominence in the late 19th century before being shut down in the early 20th century.

Penny A. Petersen is a researcher for a historical consulting company in Minneapolis. She is the author of Hiding in Plain Sight: Minneapolis; First Neighborhood, a history of the Marcy-Homes neighborhood. She has worked as an historic site interpreter and site technician for the Minnesota Historical Society at St. Anthony Falls.

Ginealas, the electronic newsletter of IGSI, started in December 2008 as another benefit of IGSI membership. Old issues can be downloaded by members

Even if you aren’t currently an IGSI member, you’re welcome to attend our Fall Gathering. Hope to see you October 25!