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Day 2 - Dublin

   A full Irish Breakfast is a great way to start the day.  I got to the Manuscript Reading Room of the National Library a few minutes before it opened, and was able to see a Family Bible, published in 1673 listing the events of a family beginning in 1718.  It didn’t solve my genealogical problem but it was wonderful to hold and view.  Then, back to the microfilm room of the main Library where I was able to view a pedigree of the same family…they must have used the Bible since it shed no additional light on the problem.   References to both of these documents appeared in the Sources database on the National Library website.  This database contains over “180,000 catalog records for Irish manuscripts and for articles in Irish periodicals.”  You are not going to find this information in commercial databases.  

    If you click on Backround you can read about the origins of this resource, which goes back to 1941.   Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation is a series of 23 volumes that contain the references created under the National Library Director Richard J. Hayes.  These volumes were only available at a limited number of repositories and so difficult to access.  The Project link explains how, the information from this collection was digitized and mapped.  This database in an index to what is available at the National Library and elsewhere.  You can search by name (which might not be helpful unless your ancestor was well off) or by location (more helpful) to see what manuscript records survive.  As I found, it might be a Family Bible, or it could be correspondence, estate papers, rental lists or other (mostly) handwritten material.  So if you know from Griffith’s Valuation that your ancestor was on a particular estate, you might search for the landlord, or for the parish where he lived.  If you’re planning a trip to Ireland it’s a must!

   I had lunch with two Fionas (Fitzsimons and O’Mahony) of The Irish Family History Centre (formerly Eneclann)  talking about what’s happening in Irish genealogy.   After lunch, Fiona O’Mahony, who manages the Family History Centre at EPIC, gave me a tour of the new facility.  EPIC focuses on the Irish diaspora, those that left Ireland, the reasons why, where did they went, and the impact they had on their new homeland.  Most of us can’t go back past the early 1800s with our research, but we can learn about the social customs and issues of the time and place our ancestors in that context.  Those coming to the Dublin portion of the research trip will have an opportunity to visit EPIC and I’m looking forward to their comments.  

   Tomorrow I’m off to Belfast to meet the researchers on that portion of trip.  

   Happy Hunting!


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018