The research group has been so busy that I've gotten behind on my blogs. On Thursday, the original schedule called for an orientation to the Registry of Deeds, but the group decided they would prefer to work elsewhere. After orientations at the major repositories, Thursday and Friday gave everyone the opportunity to work at the repository of their choice. Some individuals returned to the Valuation Office, while others worked at the National Library or the National Archives and I made a trip back to the GRO to pick up some additional certificates. I also hit the Registrar's Office on Lombard Street (which was the GRO when I started researching in the early 1990s) to get a certified copy of a birth record for a client who is applying for Irish citizenship.
One researcher had a family member who had been Bishop of the Diocese of Ferns from 1819 until 1849, but had been unable to find a specific death date in order to look for an obituary. The Bishop is believed to be an uncle of his ancestor and he was hoping for some additional family information. A trip to the Central Catholic Library on Merrion Square solved the problem. (Besides the major repositories in Dublin, there are many other places to research if the need arises.) Although the biographical information was sketchy he was able to find the death date, additional information about his training at Maynooth and his ordination dates. That led to a trip back to the National Archives on Friday and a copy of the Bishop's will, opening three or four additional possibilities for further research.
One of the resources researchers found most valuable at the National Library was the newspaper collection. The Library has access in the Genealogy room to the Newspaper Archive, database containing a number of papers, both national and regional. They cover various areas and dates. If you're lucky (like me) to have an unusual name, you might find a goldmine. I was able to find the obituary of Mary Moughty, my husband's great grandmother who I now know died in 1935 and who does not appear in the Civil Registration Indexes. I also read about the fire in the premises of James Moughty, a great uncle, as well as the auction of the business after his death.
But where almost everyone found something was in the microfilms of newspapers. The Library has an extensive collection of newspapers on microfilm and if you have a specific date and locality, you can find interesting material. Of course you might find an obituary or death notice, but if the person died in an accident you might find the story of the accident. Reading the newspapers can be quite time consuming since there are so many interesting stories. What else was happening there at that time? I was reading a paper that included stories about the potato…the early crops were looking good, then the blight hit. There were also stories of starvation, of evictions, of politics, of the gentry as well as legal notices of law suits, petty sessions and estate auctions. I could probably spend a week here going through newspapers alone!
If you missed the earlier blogs: