Monday, 31 October 2011


GENERAL IRELAND Genealogy Archives - Education
Alumni Dublineses - additional Surnames

DUBLIN - Deansgrange Cemetery
Deansgrange Cemetery, St. Brigids Section, pt3
-- Obituaries
CLARKE, David 1827
FENNELL, Catherine 1827 KILDARE - Obituaries
GLEESON, Patrick Coleman 1875
WOOD, Thomas Dawson 1827
MCCABE, Bridget 1827
RYAN , Patrick November 22, 1900

KERRY - Obituaries

KILKENNY - Obituaries
LONG, Judith 1827
TIGHE, Charlotte Frances 1827
WARING, John 1827

FERMANAGH - Headstones
Cleenish Parish Graveyard, Belanaleck - One headstone and church photo

LIMERICK - Obituaries
WHITE, Jasper 1827; Tipperary Free Press
BLACKWELL, John 1827; Tipperary Free Press
GUBBINS, Mrs James 1784; Clonmel Gazette
HANLY, Mrs. John 1827; Tipperary Free Press
LANGFORD, Jonas December 1763; Freeman's Journal

MONAGHAN - Headstones
Drum Church of Ireland Graveyard (partial) (updated)
Drum Presbyterian Church (partial) (updated)

SLIGO - Military & Constabulary
Royal Irish Constabulary with native county of Sligo 1846 (partial)

WESTMEATH - Cemetery
Finnea, Drumlummon Churchyard, (CoI)
Finea, Finea Cemetery, Westmeath
Lickblay Cemetery
Mullingar, Turin (R.C.) Cemetery,

WICKLOW Headstone Index
Kilquade, St. Patrick's Church, Part 1 Updated & Part 2 New



 New in IGP archives Oct 1-15

New (larger) files in the first two weeks of October:

DERRY/LONDONDERRY Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Glasnevin Part 7

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Irvinestown & Pettigoe; Births at Irvinestown & Pettigoe Presbyterian Church

KERRY Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary Records
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

KILDARE Genealogy Archives - Military
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives - Military
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives
Dromahaire, St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cemetery

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records

MONAGHAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones.
Ballybay, 2nd Presbyterian

OFFALY (Kings) Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary records


New in IGP Archives

New files added from Sept 15th to Sept 30th

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Dysart Cemetery, Co. Clare

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives
Births Recorded in Ballyshannon Methodist Circuit Churches at
Ballyshannon, Pettigoe, Bundoran & Ballintra 1835-1932
Ballyshannon Methodist Circuit.Churches Marriages at Ballyshannon,
Pettigoe, Bundoran & Ballintra 1872-1930

DOWN Genealogy Archives - Military and Constabulary
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Military
1845 Royal Irish Constabulary

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Deansgrange Cemetery, St. Nessan's Part 3

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Carrickbrennan Cemetery, Monkstown, Co.Dublin

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Military Records
Fermanagh 1845 Royal Irisn Constabulary

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Aghadrumsee, St. Mark's, Church of Ireland

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Burials recorded in St. Marys Church, Ardess, - 1767-1858
Marriages recorded at St. Mary's Church, Ardess Magheraculmoney, 1767-1845 (PDF)

GALWAY Genealogy Archives
Encumbered Estate Property of Walter Lawrence, Esq.(Milltown,
Drim,Carnageehy, Clonee, Largan) 1851
Encumbered Estate Property of Walter Lawrence, Esq. (Bellview,
Ohillmore, Cooleny,  Craughwell) 1851

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives
Kiltoghert Graveyard (R.C.), County Leitrim, Ireland (partial)
Fenagh (R.C.) Graveyard (partial only)

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Directories
Directory of 1769 - 15 Corporations

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Land Records
Encumbered Estate Property of Walter Lawrence, Esq., Cloonbanaum
North, Middle & South. 1851

MONAGHAN Genealogy Archives - Church
Smyth, William Burial record

MONAGHAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones.
Ballyabany Presbyterian Church Graveyard

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Headstones.
Kilteevan (R.C.) Cemetery (partial)

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estate property of Garrett O'Moore, Esq.(Cloonbigney,
Castle Park & Lisbrack, Carrigaharna, Glanmore) 1852

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Cemetery
Templeronan Cemetery (partial)

WICKLOW Genealogy Archives - Church
Methodist Baptisms, Wicklow Circuit 1820-1842 Wicklow



New in IGP Archives in August

We have had two main themes in the last two weeks. One has been personal photos
of Irish Ancestors. The other theme has been our continuing effort to add Royal
Irish Constabulary Records.

Virtually all our counties had photos of ancestors contributed. And
all had Royal Irish Constabulary records added.

To check go to
Click on the COUNTY from the index and then the subject heading ie
Military & Constabulary
or Photos.

Also new in the August:

ANTRIM Genealogy Archives
Belfast, City Cemetery (partial)

CLARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Killaloe, St. Flannan's (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Graveyard
Killaloe, St. Flannan's (CoI) Cathedral Memorials

DOWN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Dundonald, Belfast, part 2
Dundonald, Belfast, part 3
Dundonald, St. Elizabeth's Parish Church (CoI) Graveyard, Pt 1
Dundonald, St. Elizabeth's Parish Church (CoI) Graveyard, Pt 2

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Deansgrange Cemetery
Deansgrange Cemetery, St. Patricks Section, pt 9
Deansgrange Cemetery, South West Section Part 4

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones - Mount Jerome, Dublin
Mount Jerome, Part 29 & 30

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives Headstones - Glasnevin
Glasnevin Cemetery, parts 4 & 5

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Derryvullen North -Deaths Recorded at (CoI) 1804-1866
Derryvullen North (CoI) -Marriages Recorded 1803-1844
Irvinestown Presbyterian Church Marriages 1848-1934
Pettigo Presbyterian Church Marriages 1846-1871

LEITRIM Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Drumreilly Church of Ireland (partial)

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estate property of Robert Jones, Esq. (House and premises
in Ballina Town) 1854

MONAGHAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Stonebridge Presbyterian Cemetery

ROSCOMMON Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estate property of Garrett O'Moore, Esq., Lots 13-17,
(Bellfield, Gortanabla, Togher, Carrowreagh & Carrownure) 1852

SLIGO Genealogy Archives - Land
Encumbered Estate property of ROBERT JONES, Esq. (Buncrowey,
Knockanbawn,Fartinane,Torbuy, Portabradagh, Carrigeens and Patch.)
Encumbered Estate property of ROBERT JONES, Esq. (Rathmeel) 1854

WEXFORD Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous
Freemen who registered to vote in March 1835 A-W, A Second List

*Also obits and vital records added.


With thanks to Christina Hunt from IGP Archives ...


Of your Charity | pray for the repose | of the soul of | Miss HONORIA FOLEY |
Co. of Clare | who died 23rd Feby. 1871 | aged 84 years | She was a mother to
the orphans | who hold her memory in benediction | for the great kindness and
love | she bestowed on them | the survivors of whom lovingly and | gratefully
erect this little memorial | R.I.P.

In | Loving Memory | of | our dear mother | CECILIA MOLONY | wife of | HENRY
MOLONY | wife of | HENRY MOLONY Esq. | Cranahan Castle, Co. Clare | who died
20th Dec. 1890 aged 67 years | R.I.P.


72. Margaret Sophia, second daughter of Robert Johnstone Stoney, Esq., of
Parsonstown, and for nine years the wife of George Johnstone Stoney, M.D.,
F.K.S., died October 13th, 1872, aged 29 years. In loving remembrance of Anne,
third daughter of Bindon Blood, D.L., of Granaher and Rockforest, County Clare,
and widow of George Stoney, of Oakley Park, King's County, born June 4th, 1801,
died October 29, 1883, aged 82 years. In loving remembrance of Katharine Harriet
Stoney, second daughter of George and Anne Stoney, of Oakley Park, King's
County, born February 5, 1824, died February 24, 1887, aged 63 years.

WHITECHURCH PARISH Grave Yard, Rathfarnham, Dublin. Part II

Top:- In Loving Memory of | NORAH GRACE O'BRIEN | third daughter of the | late
| PIERCE and SOPHIA ANGEL O'BRIEN | of Durra, Ennis, Co. Clare | died 18th
January 1952 | and of her sister | HENRIETTA SOPHIA O'BRIEN | also of Durra,
Ennis | died 27th September 1952.
Bottom:- and of their sister | BEATRICE JANE O'BRIEN | died 19th January 1954


JANE AGNES STUDDERT | daughter of the late | GEORGE STUDDERT | of Kilmamona, Co.
Clare | died 14 Decr 1889, aged 54 | "The Lord our righteousness"

WHITECHURCH PARISH Grave Yard, Rathfarnham, Dublin. Part II

Top:- In Loving Memory of | NORAH GRACE O'BRIEN | third daughter of the | late
| PIERCE and SOPHIA ANGEL O'BRIEN | of Durra, Ennis, Co. Clare | died 18th
January 1952 | and of her sister | HENRIETTA SOPHIA O'BRIEN | also of Durra,
Ennis | died 27th September 1952.
Bottom:- and of their sister | BEATRICE JANE O'BRIEN | died 19th January 1954


In Loving Memory | of | my beloved wife | MARY BUTLER | 15 Whitehall Rd.W.
Crumlin | died 24th April 1965 |and her beloved husband | PATRICK BUTLER | died
7th Feb. 1967 | their son-in-law | JACKIE SMITH | died 26th March 1988. | late
Ennis, Co. Clare | R.I.P.
Small headstone:- In Loving Memory of | CARL SMITH | 1964 - 1997 | beloved son
| of | JACKIE & FRANCES | brother of IAN | "Shalom"


In Loving Memory | of | JOHN O'TOOLE | 1877 - 1966 | of Furroor,
Lissycasey, Co. Clare. | his wife
| ELLEN (n?e BERMINGHAM | died 4th Aug. 1973 | their daughter | EILEEN
| died 13th April 1986 |
R.I.P | "Jesus Mercy Mary Help"


In Loving Memory of | JOSEPH F. DALY | late of Kilmihil Co Clare | who
died at St Joseph's | 4
Butterfield Drive | Rathfarnham | the 2. Nov. 1960 | aged 73 years |
his wife GRETTA | who died 1
April 1966 | aged 68 years | R.I.P
Small headstone ground left:- JOHN ALWRIGHT | (?) June 19(?)
Small headstone ground right:- In affectionate | memories of | baby
JOSEPH DALY | 9.2.29


Left side of front Tomb on number 293:-
Top:- In Loving Remembrance of | ANNE | third daughter of BINDON BLOOD D.L. of
Cranaher | and Rockforrest, County Clare | and widow of GEORGE STONEY of Oakley
Park, King's County. | born June 4. 1801, died October 29. 1883 | aged 82 years
| "Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it" | Psalm CXM
Bottom:- In Loving Memory of | KATHARINE HARRIETT STONEY | second daughter of
| GEORGE and ANNE STONEY of | Oakley Park, King's County | born February 5
1824, died February 24 1887 | aged 63 years.


In Ever Loving Memory of | BRIDGET MEEHAN | of Kildysart, Co. Clare |
who died 8th
February 1933. | also her beloved sisters | SARA MEEHAN | who departed
this life 19th July
1948 | ANNE BRADY | who died 22nd Sept. 1952. | R.I.P.


Front of number 3496: In Memory of | Admiral | Sir BURTON MACNAMARA | of
Tromoro, Co. Clare | who died 12th Decr. 1876 | in his 83rd year | Also of |
JANE, Lady MACNAMARA | his wife | who died 16th April 1875



An interesting item from Trove...
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. / 1933 - 1954), Friday 6 October 1933, page 14


Yet another great source of Irish information within Australia. The Australian Town & Country Journal has been added to the numerous digitisation of newspapers, journals and magazines, to name a few, on the TROVE site...

This is a great source provided by The National Library of Australia. Try this link, then change the search request from Irish to Ireland or Irish immigration... or whatever you wish...lots of treasures to be found.

Do remember that this is digitised by OCR, Optical Character Recognition and as such, can often need correcting re transcriptions. You are welcome to do so in the left hand column. My routine is to payback by doing at least one correction of an article for every one or two articles I read.

Please help support this great source.

IRISH PRISON REGISTERS 1790-1924 + more from STATE LIBRARY QUEENSLAND this week launched their latest collection of records,
"Irish Prison Registers 1790-1924". The database includes details such
as name, address, place of birth, occupation, religion, education,
age, physical description, name and address of next of kin, crime
committed, sentence, dates of committal and release/decease. This is a
pay-per-view website.

Did you know that Australia was the first country in the world to
successfully get rain from seeding clouds?  Did you also know that
there was a proposal to use the Atomic bomb to make a large inland dam
in Queensland? Discover these interesting facts and more on 16
November at National Archives of Australia's lastest seminar "Just add
water". This seminar will be repeated on 19 November.

Are you a family tree climber, a traditional genealogist or a
generational historian? Elizabeth Shown Mills argues for a clearer
sense of identity and standards in genealogy. Read her article from

Listen to our latest Queensland podcast - "Beneath the veneer:
furnishing Queensland interiors in the late 19th century". Guest
speaker Tracey Avery focusses on the complex issues of politics,
climate, labour and economics that impacted on the furnishing choices
of Queenslanders.

FROM THE VAULT - we dust off some classic Nnub notices you may have

Do you have Huguenot ancestry? -  

Index to Immigrants, Brisbane 1885 – 1917 -

Please email if you have any feedback or queries.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Michael D Higgins  (D is for Daniel and determined..)

Michael D Higgins occupation was listed as a 'lecturer' and 'poet'. No stranger to politics, this triumphant 70 year old, has combined a 30 year political career with the roles of sociology professor and that of a published poet.

He was born in Limerick, raised in County Clare,  he went to school in St. Flannan's college, Ennis. He was a lecturer at NUIG (Galway). Two unsuccessful attempts in general elections didn't defeat his spirit, as he was elected to the Dail in 1981, but lost two years later. Never one to give up, he was re elected in 1987 and kept his Galway West seat before retiring from the Dail in February, 2011.

He didn't shy away from an oft radical stance... known by many to be a man of principle.

 You can read more about him at 

Best wishes to him and to Ireland for the years ahead.


Clare Castle / Ballyea – The Parish Remembers

2 November 2011 will see the launch of a book written and compiled by Eric Shaw entitled Clare Castle / Ballyea – The Parish Remembers. In conjunction with Clare Roots Society, Eric has documented all the readable gravestone inscriptions in Clare Abbey, Clare Hill, Killoo, Killone, and Ballyea & Clare Castle Churches. These amount to about 2,000 records, some dating from the late 1600s. The book will help to preserve the inscriptions and to make them available for family history research. It will also help to draw visitors and fits in with development plans to promote the attractions of the Parish.
See also Drumcliff Cemetery - the Hidden History of Ennis

Friday, 28 October 2011


On Tuesday, 1 November 2011 the Old Kilfarboy Society continues its series of talks with John O'Flaherty who has been researching traditional animal cures across Munster over the last few years.
The title of his talk is 'Traditional Animal Cures in Clare' and will take place in the Malbay, at the Square, Miltown Malbay, commencing at 8.00pm – all are welcome.
Thanks to Clara Hoyne <>

Thursday, 27 October 2011


A family in search of its Irish roots finds a country trying to hold on to its heritage

In America, Ireland can sometimes seem as much an idea as it is a place. Perhaps 45 million Americans claim Irish roots, usually with great pride, and they credit (or blame) that heritage for everything from hot-temperedness to a love of storytelling and music to a weakness for drink.

Enlarge The Times-Picayune In the desolate but scenic Doolough Valley, in County Mayo near the west coast, you see more sheep than people. The road through here was the site of the Doolough Tragedy in 1849; at least seven people -- and perhaps far more -- perished in the course of a march to register for aid during the Great Potato Famine. A simple plaque by the roadside is all that marks the event today. The Essence of Ireland gallery (8 photos)
But I've always been a bit cynical about Americans' relentless claim to Irishness, my own included. For most of us, it's a romantic notion. Having roots in Ireland, with its hard-luck history, hints at fighting the odds. (For some Irish-Americans, such as those growing up in South Boston, actual odds may have been fought.) Tell someone you have English heritage, meanwhile, and you might as well say you were born on third base.

Anyhow, while I've been kicking around the idea of Ireland, and Irishness, for about four decades, I'd never actually been there until this summer, when the perfect occasion arose. My best pal from college was getting married to an Irishwoman, and the wedding was to be held at a castle in County Laois (say "leash"), not too far from Dublin.
While there, I thought, I'd scout around a bit on some family history. My grandmother passed away earlier this year, and we planned a family reunion and memorial in May. One of my jobs was to see if I could track down any scraps of information about my great-grandmother, Nora Hurley, who emigrated from Ballinlough, County Roscommon, around 1900, to work as a domestic in Boston. (Not to say I've overcome long odds.)
So, here was the plan: We'd toast my friend, then spend a week or so cruising around the country, mostly the west coast, poke around Nora's old stomping grounds, and cap it off with a few days in Dublin.
We had the (mostly) good fortune of being there at the same time as Queen Elizabeth II, who was making the first visit to Ireland by a sitting British monarch since the birth of the Irish Free State in 1922, and President Barack Obama, who popped in to visit some distant relatives in the village of Moneygall. To the Irish, generally huge Obama fans, the queen's visit was nonetheless a far more momentous thing -- no surprise, given the fraught history between England and Ireland. Both visits, though, helped illustrate the elusive nature of Irishness.
. . . . . . . .
We got there before the royals, though the country was already on high alert. My 9-year-old daughter loved roaming the grounds of the castle where the wedding was held (really a manor house built by a wealthy Englishman). The ceremony itself was held in a small, centuries-old chapel in the nearby town of Abbeyleix, and it featured a reading of the Lord's Prayer in Irish Gaelic.
After the wedding, we were off to nearby Kilkenny, sometimes described as Ireland's best-preserved medieval town. It's a picturesque place, with a fantastic Norman castle looming over the river and an ancient cathedral. But it's no museum, either -- the downtown includes Smithwick's brewery (say "Smittick's"), makers of an ale that is the main alternative to stout, the Irish beverage of first resort.
The best part of the cathedral was the skinny watchtower next to it, built around 800. You reach the top via a series of impossibly steep ladders; you're supposed to be at least 12 years old, but they let my daughter up anyway. When you get to the top, you can almost picture a guy sitting up there a millennium ago, keeping a sharp eye out for Vikings.
In the center of town, we watched children practicing at the local specialty: hurling, a Gaelic sport that is sort of a cross between lacrosse and field hockey.


  • GETTING THERE: We traveled in late May, which was great in terms of crowds, but it can be pretty chilly. It never gets extremely warm (or cold) in Ireland, but we were surprised at how often the temperature dipped to the low 40s. Cold rain and gale-force winds were plentiful. Even though it's in a terrible economic funk, Ireland is expensive. Most prices looked about right ... until I realized they were in euros, not dollars. A euro is worth about $1.40.
  • WHERE TO EAT: Food in Ireland was apparently terrible until recently. (The comedian Denis Leary called Irish cuisine "penance.") It's not necessarily spectacular now, although Dublin is full of tasty food from all over the world. In the rest of the country, you'll find a lot of stick-to-your-ribs fare, but you'll find good food, too. We had a terrific Italian meal in Westport.
  • WHERE TO STAY: In most towns, the best bet on a budget is a bed-and-breakfast. Every one we stayed in was clean and acceptable, but they run the gamut in ambiance. The price isn't always a reliable predictor of what you get.
  • Dublin: The Townhouse Bed & Breakfast. A conveniently located godsend in a city that is both expensive and overbooked, it has nice old rooms at about $90 (for three of us); with a hearty breakfast included. Bonus: Lafcadio Hearn, a patron saint of New Orleans, lived here as a child. More info:
  • Kilkenny: Butler Court. Friendly owner, clean, convenient. Rooms about $90-$100. More info:
  • Westport: Linden Hall Guesthouse. Clean, charming old house, reasonable, close to the middle of town. Rooms about $90. More info:
  • Kilmainham Gaol: Home to Irish troublemakers over the centuries, from Charles Stewart Parnell to Eamon de Valera. It's a great place to go for a primer on Irish history, from the famine to the revolution. If you're traveling with kids, be warned: The tour is a bit long, and no grisly detail is spared.
  • St. Stephens Green: Dublin's signature park is a good place to stroll and watch the Irish in their natural habitat.
  • Famine memorials: The best ones we saw were the plaque in the Doolough Valley marking the spot of an unfortunate pilgrimage during the potato famine and a "coffin ship" memorial not far away, along Clew Bay. Both are in the vicinity of Croagh Patrick, a sacred mountain in County Mayo.
  • Newgrange: About an hour north of Dublin, this Stone Age wonder is well worth a visit. It's a huge mound that contains a tiny passage leading to a tomb that lights up only on the winter equinox. The passage is so small that only about 15 people can visit at a time, which means it can be pretty crowded.
  • Irish music: Traditional music, or "trad, " is everywhere, and it's worth checking out. If you're willing to eat a bit late, you can catch a meal and some music in a lot of pubs. Kids are generally welcome.
From Kilkenny, we headed to the Rock of Cashel, an outcropping overlooking the plain of Tipperary where Irish kings were crowned for centuries. It was off-limits to us commoners: Queen Elizabeth was coming (in three days), and the place was already being scrubbed for bombs by half the cops in Ireland. The fortress was still worth seeing from a distance, but we silently cursed the queen (and the remnants of the Irish Republican Army, for making everyone so jumpy).
We stopped in next at Cahir, which has perhaps the most perfect castle we saw in Ireland, complete with moats, drawbridges, and one of those massive doors with sharp points at the bottom that can be lowered by a winch in a hurry when the Visigoths show up. (It's called a portcullis, I found out.)
. . . . . . . .
From there, we pushed on to the west coast, considered by many the loveliest part of Ireland. And it is beautiful -- wild and rocky in its windswept way, although to my eye, California's coast is more rugged.
The west is also where Ireland's Irishness is most pronounced. It's a barren country, dotted with ruins, where the English had the hardest time asserting dominance -- and the least interest in doing so. It's where Oliver Cromwell, having triumphed in battle in the mid-1600s, sent the defeated Catholics, telling them they could choose "hell or Connacht, " the west's ancient name.
In the mid-1800s, it was the area most heavily impacted by the potato famine, and the countryside is now dotted with monuments to that chapter of Irish history. (My favorites: A sculpture of a "coffin ship" at the base of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, and a simple marker at the spot of the Doolough Tragedy, where starving Irish perished after being made to complete a long march to register for aid.)
These days, fairly large swaths of the west are designated as "Gaeltacht, " places where Irish Gaelic is supposed to be the primary language. In fact, it isn't; few people speak what the locals simply call "Irish" anymore.
At the same time, the old language is weirdly omnipresent -- across the country, road signs are bilingual, and in the Gaeltacht, they're only in Irish; county names on license plates are rendered in Irish; and a remarkable amount of radio and television programming is in Irish. Keep in mind this is a tongue that is completely unrelated to English, or any other language you're likely familiar with.
There's a palpable fear among some Irish that the country will lose -- or has already lost -- its fundamental essence. People talk wistfully of Irish children who sound "like Americans" because they watch too much TV, for instance.
There's other change afoot, too. When Ireland's economy went into overdrive in the 1990s, a tide of immigrants started arriving in a country that has always been an exporter of people. Most of them came from Eastern Europe, Poland in particular. Almost every small town in Ireland now has a Polish restaurant or store specializing in Polish goodies.
In a conspiratorial aside, an older man told me that the Poles were trying to pass a law that every sign in the country had to be in Irish, English and Polish. He was not happy about this -- whether or not it's even true.
The funny thing is that, to an American, Ireland -- outside of Dublin, anyway -- still seems as ethnically homogeneous a place as one could imagine. It's not just that the people are virtually all white. It's that they all look related, with fair skin, freckles and some kind of shared facial features that I couldn't quite identify.
. . . . . . . .
While we were in Galway, an agreeable city with echoes of other last-call port towns, I set out to find what I could about my great-grandmother, who grew up about 60 miles to the northeast. I had been able to track down a bit about her online, but I hadn't found her birth records. I didn't know her mother's maiden name, her dad's occupation, or how many siblings she had. I was hoping I'd be able to get some clues from baptismal records in her parish.
I called the parish priest in Ballinlough, Father Feeney, and told him what I was up to. He wasn't the least bit surprised to hear from me, and told me to come up to the rectory that afternoon.
The Irish have seen all this before, many times, and they take it with their characteristic good humor. I ended up meeting with three different priests in three parishes. Each one immediately stopped what they were doing to get out their ledgers of baptismal records.
Father Feeney actually spent about an hour and a half patiently poring over hundreds of (badly) handwritten pages with me. We came up empty. He sent me to Father O'Reagan in Loughglinn, a few miles north.
Father O'Reagan seemed especially delighted to see me, especially when he heard where I was from.
"There are only two cities worth a damn in America, " he pronounced with a sly grin. "New Orleans and San Francisco." I couldn't disagree.
But Father O'Reagan didn't have what I was looking for, and neither did the priest in Castlerea, where he sent me next. I left somewhat disappointed, but I did come away with a few clues: One, that girls named "Nora" were usually baptized in Ireland as "Honor, " and two, that my grandmother may have lied about her age so she could get the hell out of Connacht, to paraphrase Cromwell.
. . . . . . . .
After Galway, we headed up to Westport, a picturesque town in County Mayo. From there we drove back down the Atlantic coast, through Clifden and Connemara, perhaps the west coast's wildest section. We endured what felt like a miniature hurricane there, with howling 50 mph winds that didn't even warrant a name. We swung back through Galway and then headed back to the east. En route, we stopped at Clonmacnoise, a strikingly beautiful, wind-swept abandoned monastery overlooking the broad River Shannon. Our next real stop was Newgrange, part of a complex of megalithic "passage graves." It was totally cool -- a giant mound that features a tiny passage leading to a central chamber that is naturally lit up by the sun just once a year, for about 20 minutes, during the winter solstice. It was built around 3500 B.C., before the Great Pyramid at Giza and Stonehenge. Amazing.
We were there when Obama arrived in Dublin, where he gave a speech about the ties that bind Ireland and America, and the economic crisis, before a mostly adoring crowd.
Audience members wore T-shirts and carried signs hailing President "O'bama, " and he joked that he had come in search of a missing apostrophe. He wrapped things up by rendering his campaign slogan, "Yes we can, " in Irish.
Earlier that day, Obama had visited Moneygall, a two-pub village in the middle of the country where researchers had determined a branch of the president's family had lived.
The visit was without a doubt the biggest thing that had ever happened to Moneygall. The president kissed babies, shook hands and met some distant relatives.
What seemed to most impress the Irish was that the Obamas ordered Guinness at the pub, and drank it with apparent relish. (The president left a big tip as well.) This, to the Irish, seemed proof that the president was a real person rather than a cardboard cutout.
That said, they were fully cognizant of the weird subtext of the visit, which came on the heels of polls finding more than a quarter of all Americans said they didn't believe Obama was a U.S. citizen. Ironically, Obama went to Ireland in large part to prove to Americans that he was one of them. The irony was not lost on the Irish.
As for me, I never found Nora Hurley. But I can't say I didn't find what I came for.
. . . . . . . .
City editor Gordon Russell can be reached at Comment and read more at


N.B. If any of my readers think they may be able to help Gordon in his search for his great grandmother, Nora Hurley, please contact him via the email above. I know a number of SKS's research in Co Roscommon and Co Laois...great to be able to help a fellow researcher link to his family.
Thank you,

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Tragic Titanic message in a bottle goes on view in Cobh - News - Cork Independent

A handwritten note from a victim of the fatal first trip of the Titanic is go on display at the Cobh Heritage Centre this week. The note was written by 19 year old Jeremiah Burke from Ballinoe, White's Cross and was hurled from the deck of the Titanic in a bottle.
The note simply said: "From Titanic, Goodbye All, Burke of Glanmire Cork". Incredibly the bottle washed up a year later on the shoreline near his family home in Glanmire. His eventual destination was to be Massachusetts.
The note has been in the treasured possession of the Burke family until recently when a member of the family, Cllr Mary Woods of Midleton, donated it to the Cobh Heritage Centre. The note was carefully conserved and now forms part of the Titanic exhibition in the Centre along with the photographic and military medals of Titanic photographer Fr Frank Browne.
A reception will be held in the Cobh Heritage Centre tomorrow, Tuesday 25 October at 5pm to officially thank the Burke and Woods family for donating the piece of Cork history.
Enquiries to Debbie Walsh, General and Marketing Manager Cobh Heritage Centre, 021-4813591 or email

Tuesday, 25 October 2011



is available via Paypal on the website ... go to Merchandise 

The cost is €23 including post and packaging. We have tried to keep the cost to a minimum ... overseas members assured us this was the best way to do business.

In the meantime the DVD is available to more local members if you email Clara,  at     

Clara Hoyne <>  

then she can work out a meeting point in town or via Eric or Larry or she can post.

From The Irish Times... click on the image to enlarge