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Janis Duffy (Massachusetts State Archives) spoke on Resources for Genealogists at the Archives. She explained the procedure for finding wills, probate records, adoptions, etc. in the index per county, and then how to find the microfilmed documents in the archives. The procedure differs for each county. Janis gave many examples of the valuable information to be found in such records.
Diane Rapaport spoke on Court Records. This lecture was a basic introduction to finding and using court records in all of New England, and examples of interesting colonial court cases. One such case is that of several young men who were kidnapped in Ireland and sold in New England as indentured servants! Diane stressed that records may be found in many places, some unexpectedly, and new sources are still being found. An example is the case book of an 18th-century justice of the peace, which was found in the attic of his family home.
Historical newspaper archives provide a tremendous resource for all types of researchers. Escalating digitization programs and search capabilities are making millions of pages of this content rich resource more readily accessible. There are also microfilms of non-digitized issues available through interlibrary loan, and many repositories with bound volumes of newspaper issues that you might never have thought to explore, as well as antiquarian newspaper dealers who have millions of original issues at inexpensive prices.
Sharon provided a list of links to various resources on the internet for newspaper finding aids, available here.
On Saturday, March 15, 2008, the TIARA monthly meeting was held at the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library, 101 Newbury St., Boston, in association with the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).
- 9:00 to 10:00: Social hour and refreshments in the Rotunda of the Library
- 10:00 to 11:00: Marie E. Daly (Director of the Library, NEHGS), Assisted Emigration from Ireland
- 11:00 to 12:00: Mary Ellen Grogan (Vice-President, TIARA), Online Resources for Irish Research. Click here for Mary Ellen's handout.
NEHGS very generously offered to welcome all attendees at the lecture to stay in the Library for the rest of day and use the research facilities. There was no charge for using the Library for those who came to the lectures. The only restricted materials are in the Manuscript Room, which may only be used by members.
Following the lectures, Marie Daly gave an orientation tour of the Library. The tour included a visit to all of the research floors, and an explanation of how to use the various card catalogues, finding aids, and machines. Judith Lucey, Assistant Archivist at NEHGS, arranged an exhibit of some of the papers in the Manuscript Room that relate to Irish research.
TIARA members were there to help with attendees' research. They were in the Microtext Department (4th floor), which includes Internet resources, microfiche and microfilm, and in the International Reference Section (behind the Rotunda). The Irish records at NEHGS include: all of the standard reference works; Griffith's Valuation; the Tithe Applotment Books; the Townland Index for 1871 (includes Electoral Districts); the 1901 census for Tyrone and Fermanagh; the 16 volumes of Cork and Kerry records known as O'Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater; and numerous periodical series such as The Irish At Home and Abroad, The Irish Ancestor, The Irish Genealogist, Irish Historical Studies, and the Clogher Record.
Many Irish families entered the United States from Canada. Not only was the passage to Canada cheaper than passage to the United States, but also there were no restrictions on immigration from Canada into the US Some of the emigrants stayed only a few days; other stayed in Canada for years. Michael explained the history of Canada and the factors that affected the vital records and census records. He reviewed the genealogy resources available for Canada, and explained how to access and use them. Some of the web sites mentioned were:
Archives Canada www.archivescanada.ca Archives of Ontario www.archives.gov.on.ca Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales de Quebec www.banq.qc.ca Canadian Genealogy Centre www.genealogy.gc.ca New Brunswick Provincial Archives www.archives.gnb.ca Prince Edward island Public Archives and records Office www.edu.pe.ca/paro/ Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador www.therooms.ca/archives Public Archives of Nova Scotia www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/
Mary Ellen Grogan, TIARA Vice President
Mary Choppa, Janis Duffy, Beth MacAleer, Marie Ahearn, and Eva Murphy
As part of an effort to reach more members and allow everyone to attend meetings, the May TIARA meeting was held at the Moses Greely Parker Memorial Library at 28 Arlington St. in Dracut, Massachusetts.
9:00 - 10:00 - Social Time, TIARA Business Meeting, Announcement of Upcoming Events
10:00 to 11:00 - Using The Irish Heritage Centres for Your Family History Research, by Mary Ellen Grogan, TIARA Vice President. Mary Ellen talked about the Irish History Foundation , a project by the government of Ireland to gather and provide access to genealogical data by county. She discussed the history of the project, the current situation, and how to use these resources to your advantage for family research. The index to the Birth, Marriage, and Death records held by many of the Irish Heritage Centres is available on line at brsgenealogy.com. It is free to view the index, but there is a fee of 5 Euros to view the actual record. This index can be extremely helpful to those who wish to do their own research, rather than pay to have a Heritage Center do it for them. Mary Ellen's handout is available by clicking here . Her personal web page has links to many helpful and important sources of Irish genealogical information.
11:00 to 12:00 - Discovering Your Family History in Ireland!
TIARA organizes an annual research trip to Ireland. Mary Choppa, TIARA President, and Janis Duffy, Past President of TIARA, led a panel discussion about genealogical research in Ireland. They were joined by TIARA members Beth McAleer, Eva Murphy, and Marie Ahearn, who have done research in Ireland and were happy to share their experiences, techniques, and insights.
Kevin O'Neill, Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston College
Kevin O'Neill co-founded the Irish Studies program with the late Adele Dalsimer. He received his PhD from Brown University, and his research now concentrates on the interaction of traditional agricultural societies and a growing world economy with a special focus upon pre-famine Ireland. Professor O'Neill's teaching interests include 18th and 19th Century social, economic and cultural history with a specialization in Famine studies, rural society, and popular politics.
He talked of the role of Irish Quakers in the settlement of Pennsylvania, in the ending of the slave trade in Britain, in the revolutions in France and in Irleand (1798), and in the Fenian movement in the United States. Professor O'Neill plans to publish a book about the Quakers in Ireland, tentatively entitled "Friends and Neighbors", exploring the relationship between the protestant Quakers and the Catholics in Ballitore.
TIARA 25th Anniversary Reunion
TIARA's 25th Anniversary Reunion was held at the LaCava Center at Bentley College in Waltham, MA. A full day of speakers, member displays, awards and recognition, and delicious food was provided for the many attendees. Click here to see the invitation that was sent to past and present members.
Click here to see the program that was given to attendees. It contains a message from TIARA's President, Mary Choppa, a description of TIARA's success story, and a list of TIARA's past presidents and officers from 1983 to the present.
An Capall Ban (The White Horse) is the name of the award given in recognition of outstanding contributions to TIARA. It was awarded to the past presidents, and to Carlyn Cox, who edited and wrote the newsletter for 14 years. The program has a description of the Foresters Project, and a list of 15 Reasons Why It's Great To Be a TIARA Member.
Sean O'Duill teaches in St. Declan's College, Dublin, and has published several articles in Irish and English on Irish folklore. He presented his hilarious and insightful monologue on Irish Funeral Customs. Listeners will never think of an Irish wake in quite the same way!
This lecture was held at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, during the annual ICONS festival.
Mary Ellen Grogan and George B. Handran
The October TIARA meeting was held at The Chelmsford Public Library, 25 Boston Rd., Chelmsford MA.
Topic: Solving Problems in Irish Genealogy: Resources and Methods
Speakers: Mary Ellen Grogan and George B. Handran
Mary Ellen Grogan is a professional genealogist based in Boston. She specializes in Massachusetts records and Irish research. As Vice-President of TIARA, she has organized TIARA's annual research trips to Ireland since 2005.
George B. Handran makes frequent research trips to Ireland, lectures and writes on Irish subjects. He edited and published Townlands in Poor Law Unions, A Reprint of the Pamphlets from the General Register Office. He participated in the development of the index to Griffith's Valuation with Enneclan and the National Library of Ireland.
James G. Ryan
James G. Ryan is a writer and publisher (Flyleaf Press) on Irish family history. His books include: Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History, Irish Church Records, and Sources for Irish Family History.
James Ryan's talk covered the history of the Irish Catholic Church under British rule, and the laws and attitudes that resulted in the lack of parish records. These attitudes varied widely over Ireland, and the southeast tends to have more early parish registers than the northwest. He explained one reason why it is so difficult to find marriage records: the cost; and told of priests who were known as "couple-beggars", or "tack-ems", who performed clandestine weddings on the cheap (without records!).
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