Did you have an ancestor called Bridget?

Is your name Brigit or Bridget? This was one of the most common forenames in nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland. We in Ireland have recently celebrated the feast of Lá Fhéile Bríde, Saint Brigit’s day. This falls on February 1. Brigit is remembered as Ireland’s premier female saint, ranked second only to Patrick, and […]

Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy, sixth and last installment

                      Part six: Miscellaneous sources   Other genealogical sources beyond what we have considered in earlier parts of this course, and apart from land records, include:- Wills Newspaper records of births, deaths and marriages Headstone inscriptions Commercial and street directories Voters registers Pension forms School […]

A Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy, Part five (of six)

A Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy, part five: secondary land records   Tithe Applotment Books This is our earliest census substitute. The tithe was a tax of medieval origin paid to the state church in Ireland or to lay owners of what had originally been a church tax, that is, to the Church of England (Anglican/Episcopalian) […]

A Crash course in Irish Genealogy, Part four

Valuation Office Records These records are those of the Valuation Office, the government body established in the 1820s to reform and modernize the Irish tax system. At this time taxation was largely based on income from property, but there was no reliable survey to base such taxation on. The primary valuation was carried out under […]

A Crash course in Irish Genealogy: Part Three, Church Records

Part Three: Church Records Roman Catholic records largely survive, and are available on several websites. Catholic baptismal, marriage and death records begin at various times from the late 1690s to the 1870s. A good median date for such commencement is around 1820. The original work of making these available to genealogists took place during the […]

Barryscourt Castle, Co. Cork, booklaunch

Attended the launch of the Barryscourt Castle volume last evening in Fota House. This is a wonderful OPW publication, the project of archaeologists Dave Pollock and Con Manning. My contribution was specially commissioned, and deals with the history of the Barry family and of the castle itself. (PP. 1-18). C-14 dating has dated the castle […]

A Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy: Part Two

Practical introduction to Irish family history research or: A Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy Part Two Family Tree Software Family tree software comes in several types, but most have many useful built in features to allow material to be organized, presented or published in several ways. It is important to get one with GEDCOM software which […]

Practical introduction to Irish family history research or: A Crashcourse in Irish Genealogy

Part One This blog is the first of several blogs giving an outline of the basics of Irish family history research. These blogs contain enough material to assist both beginner and more advanced genealogists. These blogs are meant to be largely practical and I avoid giving too much ‘theory’ or background. The others will follow […]

The O’Donnell Surname

This brief historical survey concerns the O’Donnell or Ó Domhnaill surname as associated with County Donegal. There are a number of other O’Donnell septs in Ireland, in Connacht, Clare and Cork in particular, who have no connection with the Donegal O’Donnells and their history is not included here. The O’Donnells descend from a segment of […]

Ancient Kildare

  My latest paper shows me with my political geographer hat on as distinct from my genealogy hat. The paper is called ‘Reconstructing the territorial framework for ecclesiastical and secular power structures: a case study of the kingdom of Uí Fáeláin’. This is basically a reconstruction of the political and spatial structures of the ancient […]