Tuesday, 8 March 2016



Thursday 24th March 8pm 
Old Ground Hotel


 Dr. Raymond Gillespie 

How do you write local history? 

This talk suggests that people in the past worked within a world of family and community and for that reason, genealogy is a very important resource for the local historian, but is often forgotten about, as local historians tend to concentrate on place, rather than people. 

Dr. Gillespie looks at one household in the 1901 census to see what the history of one family might tell us about the world in which they lived. It suggests that genealogists need to become more historically minded and historians need to pay more attention to genealogy.

He focuses on the history of one farm in north Armagh and the family who held it from the Famine until the First World War. The farm that is the subject of this talk was only 5 acres split into six fields. 

By looking at the experience of these people, and particularly one family, we can measure how, and why, their experience of the world differed from the national trends in matters such as population and familial changes. 

The talk will examine three aspects of the subject: 

the family and the way in which the people of the townland arranged their world 

the land and how it was worked by the family to earn a living

and the communities (especially the religious ones)  in which they moved. 

The sources, on which this lecture is based, are common ones for the late nineteenth century – there are, for example, no family papers for the farm – so this sort of study is reproducible for most parts of the country and can be used as a guide, or even a model, for people wanting to examine families, farms, or townlands elsewhere. 


Raymond Gillespie teaches in the Department of History, NUI, Maynooth.

Most of his work focuses on the local experience in early modern 

He developed the Maynooth MA in local history. He is also
the series editor of the Maynooth Studies in Local History.

Remember to like us on Facebook: 
Clare Roots Society    Hosting our Third International Family History Conference in Ennis, 
23rd-24th September 2016.

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