Monday, March 30, 2015

Prince Edward Island Research

The Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society (Canada) and its members have been very active over the years when it comes to compiling publications that can aid Irish genealogy research. They have compiled two publications of Irish genealogy records along with a considerable collection of headstone transcriptions from Catholic cemeteries and those of other denominations.

Gallant, Peter and Nelda Murray. From Ireland to Prince Edward Island : a list compiled from newspapers, obituary notices and cemetery transcriptions of (some) immigrants to Prince Edward Island, from Ireland. Charlottetown: P.E.I. Genealogical Society. 1999.

Gallant, Peter. An index of Irish immigrants based on obituaries and death notices in Prince Edward Island newspapers, 1835-1910. Charlottetown: P.E.I. Genealogical Society. 1990.

A good introduction to the topic of the Irish in PEI is provided by O'Grady, Brendan. Exiles and Islanders: The Irish Settlers of Prince Edward Island Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. 2004.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Website:

Last week, there was an interesting development for Irish genealogy in the U.S – (owned by has partnered with Ireland-based Irish Newspaper Archives ( to launch a US version of this website called Irish Newspapers ( Confused with all that? Well, this all boils down to there now being a U.S. based website where you can do research in local and national newspapers from Ireland and pay in dollars.

Irish Newspaper Archives has been in existence for a number of years and currently has 46 digitized local and national newspapers. Not all of these papers are available on the US site; 37 titles are by my count. Those that have made the migration to the US site are only available up to 1980, with the earliest year of coverage starting in 1738.

The website has the same format and search functionality as the existing Ancestry newspaper site, Currently, lacks some of the bells and whistles of the parent site but these will probably be added in due course. The search functionality allows for keywords, places and dates. There is a useful ‘Papers’ section where you can get to grips with what papers are available and what time period they cover.

The browse format is very user friendly and you can quickly get to a specific county, title, or date of interest using this feature. There is one very significant error in the way the papers have been allocated in the browse function. All of the newspapers that have national coverage have been placed in the ‘County – Dublin’ section. This is particularly unfortunate as, for example, the Irish Independent and Irish Press are available to search for many years from the 20th century and families from all over Ireland placed death notices in these papers.

I have been surprised over the last couple of years by the lack of knowledge about the existence of Irish Newspaper Archives among the Irish genealogy community in the U.S. It’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as the well-known and National Archives of Ireland website ( I don’t believe that’s the fault of folks on this site of the Atlantic as it’s not heavily advertised or promoted on the ‘starter’ websites, such as the Irish government’s  It will be interesting to see if this will change now that commercial behemoth is involved. If you plan on doing research on the new site there are two subscription pricing options, $19.99 per month and $99.99 for one year.

Below, you will find a table of all the newspapers that are available on both (US) and (Ireland). Titles in bold are only available on the Ireland-based website and you’ll have to subscribe to that site if you want access to them.

Years Digitized
(Format is day/month/year)
Notes:  •They are gaps in the years of coverage that have been digitized
               •Table last updated 24 March 2015
               •Some papers listed under county Mayo such as Connaught Telegraph and  
                 Western People also cover counties Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, and Leitrim     
03/01/1763 - 19/12/1924
30/08/1841 - 31/12/1949 only
16/03/1957 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
02/01/1905 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
05/09/1931 - 25/05/1995 (see for 1980-1995)
07/01/1906 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
09/01/1738 - 30/08/1890
06/02/1846 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
02/01/1882 - 08/07/1922
13/02/1892 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
14/03/1903 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
The Nation
15/10/1842 - 05/06/1897
09/02/2011 - Current only
02/08/1927 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
22/05/1909 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
07/09/1984 - Current only
13/05/1837 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
20/08/1904 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
Kerry Independent
28/10/1880 - 10/01/1884 only
Kerry Star
15/05/1861 - 27/03/1863 only
Killarney Echo & South Kerry Chronicle
26/08/1899 - 14/08/1920 only
Kildare Observer
23/10/1880 - 04/05/1935
Finn’s Leinster Journal
01/04/1792 - 31/12/1828
01/01/1921 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
02/01/1904 -Current (see for 1980-Present)
02/01/1905 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
14/08/1897 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
Dundalk Democrat
20/10/1849 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
03/02/1866 - 10/09/1903
06/08/1927 - 28/04/1962
22/09/1830 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
Mayo Examiner
06/07/1868 - 30/12/1876
Mayo News
07/01/1893 – 29/12/2004 (see for 1980-Present)
03/06/1977 - 11/03/1983 (see for 1980-1983)
04/05/1889 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
01/05/1897 - Current (see for 1980-Present)

Butte Independent
22/01/1910 - 27/12/1930 only
Leinster Express
24/09/1831 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
21/07/1838 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
Nenagh News
05/01/1895 - 28/12/1924
14/01/2011 - Current only
10/02/2011 - Current only
07/02/2011 - Current only
15/08/1901 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
04/01/1908 - Current (see for 1980-Present)
28/09/1882 - Current (see for 1980-Present)


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finding Grandpa Irish Genealogy Videos

Finding Grandpa is a professional genealogy service based in New Mexico. The owner has created a series of 10 videos on YouTube, Building the Bridge Back to Ireland, that provide a step-by-step process for starting your research in the United States and progressing to research in Ireland.

I must disclose that I have not watched these videos but I imagine they would prove useful for those who are starting out with their family history. Topics covered include: cluster genealogy, American records, genealogy websites, Irish records, Griffith's Valuation, and an instructional video of a live lecture.

You can watch all the videos by clicking here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Irish Family History Forum Library

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Center (FHC) in Plainview, NY is located at 160 Washington Ave. What makes this library stand out from the FHC crowd is that it is home to the John Rowane Memorial Library of the Irish Family History Forum (IFHF). The sole focus of this library is Irish genealogy.

It houses hundreds of publications, reference material, journals, newsletters, and other items that can help you with your research. Irish Family History Forum members are also available to assist you with your research if you visit. Since the library is at a FHC, you can also order microfilms from the Family History Library and access subscription genealogy websites for free.

The opening hours of the library are the same as the FHC and are listed at the end of this post. A catalog of most of the library's collection is also available on the IFHF website. Click here, or scroll down if on the homepage, to read more about the Irish Family History Forum.

Opening Hours
Tuesday: 10:00am-2:00pm and 7:00pm-9:30pm
Wednesday: 10:00am-2:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am-2:00pm and 7:00pm-9:30pm
Saturday: 11:00am-3:00pm

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Irish Family History Forum

The three biggest Irish genealogy societies in the United States are The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), based in Boston, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Irish Genealogical Society International (IGSI), and the Irish Family History Forum (IFHF), located on Long Island, New York. I have previously profiled TIARA (here and here) and now it is the turn of IFHF. IGSI will be profiled at a later date.

IFHF was founded in 1991 and since then has grown to be the premier Irish genealogy society in the New York metro region. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of every month, except in July and August. For the first hour of the meeting Kathy McGee, who I can vouch for as an Irish genealogy expert, runs a help session where different topics are discussed, patrons can ask questions,  and provide success stories about their research. A guest speaker comes for the second hour of the meeting. Meetings are held in Bethpage Public Library, starting at 10am.

The IFHF also produces an award-winning quarterly newsletter. This publication is a fantastic resource to get in your mailbox every few months. In-depth articles, the latest Irish genealogy news, and people’s experiences with their research are just some of the excellent features that one can read. Even if you live nowhere near Long Island, it is worth being a member just for the newsletter.

You can consult their website for more information about the Irish Family History Forum. You can also interact with them on Facebook.

Note: I must disclose that I have been a member of this organization, on and off, since I first moved to the United States. They have also, very kindly, had me speak a number of times at their meeting in the last few years.