Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Freeman's Journal Place Of Origin

igp-web.com (Ireland Genealogy Project Archives) has been one of the most active volunteer Irish genealogy websites for a long time. Each month new transcriptions and pictures of many different types of records are made available, free of change. Some records in last months upload caught my eye as they give the Irish county of origin for immigrants in various American cities.

The transcriptions come from various editions of the Freeman's Journal newspaper, from 1841 to 1845. The cities covered include New York, Boston, Detroit, Newark, and Albany, among others. The newspaper articles contain information about members of organizations and subscribers to funds for various political causes, including the Repeal Association. The Irish county of birth/origin is given for many of the members/subscribers. You can view these names at this link, in the 1840 section.

Digitized 19th century editions of the Freeman's Journal are available on the various subscription FindMyPast websites.

h/t to Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog.

UPDATE 18 Dec 2014: More of these records have been added. See this Irish Genealogy News post for further information and links to the records.

UPDATE 2 Jan 2015: Another batch of these transcribed records were added in the last two weeks of 2014, as reported by Irish Genealogy News.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Early San Francisco Newspaper Index

Recently, I came across a very interesting Irish genealogy resource for San Francisco. The Early San Francisco Newspaper Index was created by Thomas and Regina Wrin, descendants of Michael J. Wrin, a prominent businessman who was very active in the forming of Irish societies in early San Francisco.

This "database is an index of over 560,000 listings from San Francisco newspapers, 1849-1927, featuring the activities of Irish San Franciscans in over 2,300 Societies. This is equivalent to 112,000 pages of printed data. Each listing includes: individual's name, publication name, publication date, society involved, a brief summary of the individual's activity which generated a mention in that publication."[1]

Also known as "The Wrindex", this database is currently not available online but there are a number of ways that you can access the information.  Firstly, there is a free name search service available through the Wrindex website. Secondly, you can purchase copies of the index on CD from the same website. Thirdly, the CD's are also available at the United Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco (an organization I have previously profiled on this blog).

It is important to point out that this source is a index. It does not contain original records, or copies of them. Instead, it will allow you to take a very beneficial shortcut in your research and go directly to newspaper articles that contain information about those of interest to your research.

Access The Wrindex website here.

[1] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library Catalog. 2002.  https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1189047&disp=The+early+San+Francisco+newspaper+index : accessed 28 June 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Irish Research In Hartford, Connecticut

I've written before on this blog about how academic research can be very beneficial to genealogists, but can sometimes not be thought of as a potential source of relevant information or records. Therefore, I'd like to take another opportunity to highlight a useful and interesting piece of academic work.

Getting Their Share: Irish and Italian Immigrants in Hartford, Connecticut, 1850-1940 is the PhD thesis of Bruce Alan Clouette. It was submitted in 1992 at the University of Connecticut. A recent publication considers it to be the most definitive work on Irish immigration to Hartford, CT in the mid 19th century.[1]

Works of this magnitude can be particularly useful when they are about just one city, as opposed to the many academic tomes which have focused on the immigration of Irish people to the whole of the U.S. Individually named immigrants, migration patterns from Ireland, settlement patterns in the city, Catholic Church history and many other useful types of genealogical information can be found in the more locally focused publications.

You can read the abstract here.

[1] Xiangming Chen and Nick Bacon. Confronting Urban Legacy : Rediscovering Hartford and New England's Forgotten Cities. Lanham: Lexington Books. 2013. p. 44.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FMP's Irish Death Notices In American Newspapers

Following on from my post about the Findmypast.com (FMP) database, Irish Marriage Notices In American Newspapers (scroll down to read or click here), this post will look at the database Irish Death Notices in American Newspapers. At 35,918, it contains a significantly larger number of records.

According to the FMP website, "each record includes a transcript of a death notice taken from an American newspaper. The amount of information listed can vary, but the Irish death notices usually include the following information about your ancestor: name, death year, place of death, newspaper, cemetery, birth place (emphasis mine), cause of death, death date, parish at death, spouse, parents, other relatives, age, and occupation."[1] The notices come from the following newspapers:

Chicago Citizen (1882-1897)
Chicago Tribune (1847-present)
Illinois State Journal (1848-1947)
New Orleans, Picayune (1837-present)
New York Herald (1835-1924)
The Baltimore Sun (1837-present)
The Brooklyn Eagle (1841-1955)
Phoenix (1859-1861)

Perusing the indexes, it can be seen that two different places often appear in the 'Where - Location' part of the index. Some examples:

Mary Jane Martin died in 1858 and the two places mentioned are Downpatrick (presumably Co. Down) and 9th Avenue & Ave. A (presumably New York City)
Henry Ford died in 1871; Sligo and 9th Avenue & 37th St.
Julia Duffy died in 1870; Dundalk and 99 Vandam St.

Without going through all records in the set, a very rough estimate of the number of death notices that contain an Irish place of birth/origin is somewhere between 30-55%, making it quite a useful database to do research in.

[1] Findmypast.com. Irish Death Notices in American Newspapers. 2014. http://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/irish-death-notices-in-american-newspapers : accessed 27 June 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FMP's Irish Marriage Notices In American Newspapers

In May, Find My Past announced the release of two new record sets, Irish Marriage Notices In American Newspapers and Irish Death Notices in American Newspapers. This post will focus on the collection of marriage notices; my next post, in a few days, will look at the death collection in more detail.

Irish Marriage Notices In American Newspapers contains 2,550 records, taken from four different U.S. newspapers: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York Herald, New York World, and Phoenix. When the record set was released, Irish Genealogy News reported that these notices appeared in the newspapers from 1835 to 1860.

In total, 1,446 notices are for people living in the Unites States. Almost all—1,304—are for marriages in New York. The remaining 1,104 notices are for people outside the U.S., of which the majority—926—are for people in Ireland.

I don't have a Find My Past subscription so unfortunately was unable to look at the actual records and see if Irish places of origin are included for marriages occurring in the U.S. For marriages that occurred in Ireland, it is likely that the place where the marriage took place is included. Scanning through the surname of those in the records shows that many are for Irish immigrants with traditionally English and Scottish names, e.g. Adams, Allen, Brown, Greenswood, Jackson, Stewart, Thompson etc.

However, this is understandable. Firstly, some of the records are from pre-Famine years, and therefore from a time when non-Catholic immigration to the U.S. still made up a significant proportion of overall Irish immigration. Secondly, marriage notices cost money. Irish emigrants who could afford these notices were able to bring some startup capital to the U.S., were generally from a higher social class in Ireland, and were usually from an Anglo-Irish heritage.

MARRIAGES                     2550
Alabama                               8
California                            14
Connecticut                        4
Illinois                                   4
Indiana                                 2
Louisiana                            10
Maryland                             8
Massachusetts                    6
Missouri                               2
New Jersey                         64
New York                          1304
Pennsylvania                     10
Rhode Island                       2
United States                      60
Virginia                                 4
Washington DC                  2
TOTAL                               1446
Ireland                                926
England                               68
Australia                             16
India                                      8
France                                   6
Canada                                  6
Cuba                                       4
Windward Islands           4
Belgium                                2
Italy                                        2
Turkey                                  2
Scotland                                2
TOTAL                              1104

Link to Irish Marriage Notices in American Newspapers database.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Irish Police Officers In Chicago

There is a long tradition in many American  cities of Irish immigrants working in the public service. In particular, there has been a strong association between the Irish and various police departments. Therefore, police employment records and publications about police departments should be genealogical sources that people turn to for police officer ancestors (scroll down or click here to read about police records for San Francisco).

One example of the latter is History of the Chicago Police from the Settlement of the Community to the Present Time [1], published in 1887. This is a large volume that gives a detailed overview of the workings of the police, in all its various incarnations, up to the end of the 19th century. 

Patrolman James Conway[2]

The genealogical joy in this publication is derived from the profiles of police officers of all ranks that make up the last ten chapters.  Approximately 90 biographies state that the member of the police force was born in Ireland, with more than one quarter of these entries giving an Irish county of birth.

Patrolman Arthur Connolly[3]

You can access this publication on Google Books, by clicking here.

[1] Finn. John J. History of the Chicago Police from the Settlement of the Community to the Present Time. Chicago: WB Conkey. 1887.
[2] History of the Chicago Police, p. 529.
[3] Ibid.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Friends Of Irish Research, Brockton, MA

One of the things I always try and promote—especially to younger genealogists who often think they can find everything online—is the amount of help and information that can be obtained from a local family history group or society. At the most recent meeting I attended of the Fairfax County Genealogical Society Irish Special Interest Group (in Virginia), I learned a number of interesting tidbits about Irish genealogy in as far flung places as Washington, D.C., New Zealand, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

So with that goal in mind, I have previously profiled TIARA (part one / part two), probably the largest Irish genealogy group in the Boston/Massachusetts area. Next up is another group in the state: Friends of Irish Research (FIR), based in Brockton, MA.

While their website could do with an update (there is a notice saying it is under construction), FIR has a number of items of interest on there:

An indexing project that will compile all names found on headstones in St. Mary's Cemetery, Brockton, MA. This database is listed as 'coming soon' on their website.

A mention about their library of over 5000 publications.

Videos (downlandable files) of lectures concerning different Irish genealogy topics.

A list of publications you can read by FIR members, mostly about Irish, U.S., and Canadian genealogy topics.

So, if you live in the area, or are visiting, get yourself down to one of their Friday evening meetings!

P.S. This group is included in the Groups/Societies & Institutions section of this website. On this page you can find the details for many Irish family history organizations and institutions that have a large number of records relevant to Irish genealogy.

Friday, July 4, 2014

San Francisco Police Recruit Books

Archive.org is a website full of wonderful scanned genealogy resources. Buried down in all their millions of scanned images is the three volume Chronological Record of Police Appointments City and County of San Francisco. These volumes cover an almost 100 year period, from 1853 to 1947.

The three volumes are ledgers that start with an index of names containing the page number for the full entry. After the index, there is a chronological listing of new police recruits. If recorded, there is a fantastic amount of information included for each new recruit: name, date of birth, city or county of birth, state or country of birth, previous occupation, married or single, no. in family, date appointed, age when appointed, date removed, remarks, and length of service.

Two Irish immigrants in Chronological Record of Police Appointments City and County of San Francisco, part one

Two Irish immigrants in Chronological Record of Police Appointments City and County of San Francisco, part two*
Like many other American cities, San Francisco experienced a significant amount of immigration from Ireland in the 19th century. These immigrants were attracted to secure public sector employment and the police department saw large numbers of Irish recruits. Two samples from volume one show the prevalence of Irish immigrants:

Pages:                                                    1 to 15, covering the 1860s
Total # of new recruits:                  150
Total of which are Irish:                  45 (30% of recruits)
Total with county of origin:           27 (60% of Irish recruits)

Pages:                                                     49 to 66, covering the years 1884-1886
Total # of new recruits:                  180
Total of which are Irish:                   51 (28% of recruits)
Total with county of origin:            34 (67% of Irish recruits)

Any record set that has county of origin information for more that 50% of Irish entries is a very valuable genealogical resource. The rate of Irish-born recruits does fall off in the second and third volumes. However, they are replaced by first generation Irish-Americans, the sons of the first wave of Irish immigrants.

Chronological Record of Police Appointments City and County of San Francisco, Volume 1, 1853-1904, page 6, entries section, available online at https://archive.org/stream/chronologicalrec1185sanf#page/n125/mode/1up : accessed 2 July 2014.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Introduction to Irish Canadian Genealogy

My knowledge of Canadian genealogy is somewhat inferior to that of what I know about the same topic for the U.S. Learning more is therefore important as many Irish settled in Canada over the centuries and countless others first arrived on Canadian shores before migrating south to the U.S. This inter-connectedness lends itself to a need for a holistic approach when studying the genealogy of Irish immigrants.

Every genealogist needs somewhere to start when it comes to learning about a new area of interest to their research. For Canada, there is a very succinct introduction to Irish genealogical research on the website of Library and Archives Canada.

You can access the webpage here.