Ireland

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The Storymap website says “Storymap presents a charming vision of Dublin through its stories and storytellers.” You have a map of the city of Dublin with colourful circles that look like the voice boxes from cartoons.

As you put your cursor over the top a brief tag shows up giving you an idea of what you may find. When you click on the circle you get a brief description of the story, the storyteller and a video link of the storyteller sharing their story.

There are modern stories mixed in with historic stories. There is one connected to a student prank at Trinity College in 1734 that ends up in murder. There is another that looks at the Huguenot Cemetery in Dublin.

There is even a link telling the story of Dan Donnelly’s arm. This has a family connection to me as one of my Kelly collateral lines, Captain William Kelly, was said to have been Donnelly’s manager at one point.

Ireland is a nation with a strong history of storytelling and this is a wonderful 21st century way of keeping the tradition alive.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

“Out Of Their Feeling: The Famine Girls” is a documentary about 4000 orphan girls sent to Australia after the Great Famine.

In The Shadow of New Forest” is a production about the New Forest estate in County Galway and the people who lived and worked there.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to research your Irish family history?

Wish you had someone who could help you prepare and go with you to the local repositories?

I will be taking a group of researchers to Dublin Ireland to do their family history research from February 26 to March 6, 2013.

Space is limited to 7 so sign up now to avoid disappointment!

Please download the brochure for more information.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig – everyone.

The Irish Emigration Database is a collection passenger lists from ships sailing from the United Kingdom and Ireland to the United States. The information was compiled with the assistance of the Balch Institute Philadelphia, the Ellis Island Restoration Commission and the Battery Conservancy, New York.

You can search the database by surname, first name, gender, age, arrival date range which covers the years 1846 to 1886 and port of arrival. The choices for port of arrival are New York, Boston, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

I used the search term of John Murphy 1846 to 1849 and got 246 results.

The results are sorted by first name, surname, age, sex, occupation, country, Dept. Port, ship, manifest, Arr. Port and Arr. Date.

You can print the full list, an individual passenger or view the ships manifest. When you chose a passenger and then view the ships manifest you get another transcribed list of passengers. The John Murphy I chose came from a ship’s manifest of 315 passengers. They are listed alphabetically.

I was not able to find a more detailed description of the database. The database title of Country I believe is country of origin. Some are listed as England, Ireland, USA and Austria.

This is another resource for passenger lists from the United Kingdom and Ireland. The information is transcribed there are no original images.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

A television website might be the last place you would think of looking for information but the BBC Archives Online has some useful recordings that may be able to help you. This is a good resource for finding information that relates to events or times that your family lived through. It provides some good background information.

There is one problem with this resource. You can not view all the offerings as some are restricted to UK viewers only but the ones I mention below are available outside the UK.

If your female ancestors were part of the Suffragettes in the early part of the twentieth century then you may want to check out the Suffragettes Collection. They have interviews with many of the women who were active Suffragettes. Some of the later videos are not available.

You can browse their collections to see if there is anything of interest. I found a collection for Enid Blyton. She was one of my favourite childhood authors. She wrote the Noddy books amongst others. She was voted The UK’s best loved writer beating many well known authors including JK Rowling and Shakespeare.

There is a collection for the Titanic which has interviews with survivors and one called Northern Ireland Snapshots Collection which includes an image gallery of “People and Places in 1940s Northern Ireland.” Unfortunately you can not view the video selections.

Can an online archive for a television station be a resource? Yes.

Happy Hunting!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The Irish Archives Resource says their site will help researchers “to search for publicly accessible archival collections that are located in Ireland.” There are five tabs to choose for information on the site: Search, About Us, Advice, Family History/Genealogy, Feedback and Links.

The Advice page helps you to get the best results from your searches in the Irish Archives Resource. You can search by keyword, dates, geographical area, collection type or name of repository and collection reference number.

If you click the “Search Results” button at the bottom of the search page then you get a complete listing of the resources catalogued on the site. When I did this I got 214 results and there were twenty results per page. Some of the results referred to a specific item and some to a collection.

There is one reference to a will for Annie Barnacle the mother of Nora Barnacle. Nora was the wife of James Joyce. Annie died in1940 and the will was lost. As the family tried to solve the problem letters were sent back and forth. These letters are the heart of the collection.

There are some collections relating to estates in Ireland. The date range of the collections starts in the 1700s and goes to the current day.

This does not cover all the collections to be found in repositories in Ireland but it does provide a good starting point when your research takes you to Ireland. There are links to the original repository at the end of each collection description.

The Irish Archives Resource catalogue is small at the moment. There are eighteen contributing repositories. When more information is added it will be a wonderful resource. Do not wait until more repositories are added to the Irish Archives Resource, go in now and see what you can find. You might be surprised.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Remembrance Day is a very important day here in Canada. Last year I remembered my Great Grand Uncle Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell who lost his life in the First World War fighting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This year I will look at the accomplishments of my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey who was an ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps).

Richard Fenton Toomey is on the maternal side of my family. He was born in Dublin in April of 1880 to Mark Anthony Toomey and Julia Adelaide Bourne. He was the last of six children, four boys and two girls. My Great Grandmother Jane Toomey was his sister. The other siblings were Mark (who died in infancy), Louisa Alice, Mark Anthony and Walter Bourne.

How the Toomey family got to Australia is a long story and I will elaborate on that in another post. Needless to say Richard Fenton Toomey was in New South Wales to sign up for the First World War on 1 March 1915.

There are no attestation papers in his military file. The first record is an Application for a Commission in the 12th Light Horse Regiment. This states that Richard was 35 years of age, a British subject, an accountant and that he is single. Richard was six feet tall and 11 stone (154 lbs/70 kg). His next of kin is his brother Mark Toomey and their postal address was Elbana Annandale St. Annandale NSW.

Listed under military qualifications and past military service are: 5th Lancers, Assam Valley Light Horse, Chittagong [unreadable word] Rifles, Lieut. [unreadable two words] and Lieut. Army Service Corps.

The Assam Valley Light Horse was part of the Cavalry Reserve in the British Indian Army and was formed in 1891. Chittagong was in Pakistan but is now in Bangladesh. To date no British military records have been found for Richard Fenton Toomey.

Richard was made a Honourary Lieutenant and Quarter Master on 29 June 1915. On 9 August 1915 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Division, 3rd Light Horse Brigade. On 3 January 1916 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was made Quarter Master and Honourary Captain on 30 April 1916 and on 1 August 1918 he was made Quarter Master and Honourary Major.

He set sail on 12 June 1915 on board the “Suevic”. On 5 September 1915 Richard was sent to Gallipoli this was the battle that defined the ANZACS and a nation.

Richard was frequently in the hospital during his time at the front. On 3 September 1916 he was sent to hospital in Port Said Egypt with Pyorhea which is an infection of the gums. He was sent on to the hospital in Serapium and then Cairo. He was sent back to his unit on 20 September 1916.

Richard was back in hospital on 20 July 1917 with septic sores. He was sent to the hospital in Alexandria. He returned to the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 27 September 1917. He was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment in November of 1917. He was sent back to hospital with dysentery in August of 1918 and invalided in September of 1918. He left Egypt on the Morvada on 29 September 1919.

According to Richard’s military file his appointment was terminated with the A.I.F. in Sydney on 31 October 1919.

There are letters found in his military file addressed to Base Records Canberra. One is dated 20 February 1939 and Richard is requesting: “For the purpose of receiving employment in N.S.W. a discharge or Certificate of Service is required. I shall be obliged if you will kindly let me have either as soon as possible.” A copy of the form he was requested to fill out is in the file. It is stamped dated 27 February 1939. Richard’s address is Lisarow NSW.

Richard writes requesting a duplicate Returned Soldiers Badge of the one he had received “around 29 August 1919 on his return to Australia.” It appears the one he was given was lost in “think bush country” and it has not been returned or found. This letter is dated 19 February 1943 and he is a public servant and the address given is 110 Phillip Street in Sydney.

In 1919 Richard Fenton Toomey married Ellie Maud Stewart in Sydney Australia. They had no children.

I have a friend who lives in the same area as Richard Fenton Toomey. There was a family story that said he had surveyed and built a road to one of the highest points between Sydney and Brisbane and that there was a park named after him. She helped me discover that there was a place called Toomey’s Walk which we believe was named after Richard Toomey. The government body responsible for this area does not know how the name came about.

There is also Toomeys Road and these are both located in the Mount Elliot area. He might have lost his Returned Soldiers Badge while surveying this area.

She contacted the local history librarian at Gosford City Library and he sent some pictures of Richard Fenton Toomey and his wife having tea in the garden.

They also forwarded a newspaper article which talks about Richard nearly loosing his life because he had taken poison instead of medicine. Thankfully his wife was a nurse and she knew what to do.

Some Australian newspapers are online and searchable at Trove. Advertisements were found relating to a chicken farm owned by Richard and Ellie Toomey. In 1929 Ellie was selling White Longhorn chicks and the farm was called Phoenix Poultry Farm. In 1933 she was selling Khaki Campbell’s ducklings.

In 1927 Phoenix Farm was dealing with floods.

Bush fires are a common happening in Australia. It seems that in 1928 a fire wiped out the poultry farm, residence, stock and plant owned by Richard Toomey. The name of the farm seems appropriate since it rose from the ashes to start again.

Richard Fenton Toomey died in 1968 in Gosford, New South Wales and is buried in Macquarie Park Cemetery.

Lest We Forget

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Library Ireland says it is “a free online resource of books and articles on Irish history, genealogy, and culture generally. Its aim is to entertain and inform, and to promote interest in all aspects of historical Ireland.”

This website is still a work in progress and you will have to go back on a regular basis to see what is new.

You can browse by genealogy, Irish names, history, social history, folklore, music, people and places.

They have many books to help you with your background research. Top of the most popular books is “A Concise History of Ireland,” by Patrick Weston Joyce. When you click on the link you get a list of the contents with each chapter highlighted so when you click on it you can read the chapter online. Where a topic in a chapter may link to another chapter there is a highlighted number you can click on to find that reference.

Genealogy has several offerings. There is a survey of the population of Ireland with regards to the 1861 census where there was a decline in the population and a comparison of the 1821, 1831 and the 1841 census years.

You will find street directories for Dublin and Ulster Towns as well as other County, City and Borough Directories. The earliest directory is Henry Shaw’s 1850 Dublin City Directory and the latest is Ulster Towns Directory for 1910. The County, City and Borough Directories are all from 1862. They provide a description of the area and a list of county officials and members of the hierarchy.

You will find an 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis. There is an alphabetical index and then a description of the place. Irish Pedigrees is a work in progress and there is Irish Ethnology.

Irish Names has a listing of books to provide definitions of names from the Irish language.

History has a listing of publications and articles to help you with your research. They cover topics with a time range from 1689 to the fight for independence.

Social History has a list of books and articles that can help you understand the times of your ancestors. There is one article from “The Dublin Penny Journal” published on 26 January 1833 that looks at the “Irish Funeral Cry (the Ullaloo, Keeners and Keening at Irish Funerals)” and provides a look at the history of the Ullaloo.

An article of interest to me was entitled “The Poteen” from the “Dublin Penny Journal” on 4 August 1832. Here the author looks at the process of making Poteen and visits a local distillery to find out more. While visiting County Mayo I tried this potent libation and it warms you through on a cold Irish day.

Folklore, Music, People and Places all provide collections of books and articles on various topics.

What will you find at Library Ireland?

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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