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Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to do research? Wish you had someone who could travel with you and assist you? I will be taking a group to Dublin Ireland to do their family history research from February 29 to March 9, 2012. Please download the brochure for more information.

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There is a website called South Dublin Images. It has been created by South Dublin Libraries as part of their Local Studies Collection. The collection includes: photographs, postcards, slides, prints, illustrations, maps and digital material. The database content has been developed by the Local Studies Section at the County Library in Tallaght.

You can search images of particular areas of Dublin and some other counties by using the location option or you can search by keyword.

I searched by the location name Donnybrook and got three images all of which were maps. The date was 1837. You click on view to see a larger image of the map. Below the image is the source citation and location of the document.

You can download and reproduce the images for your personal use. You require permission to publish the images. There is an option to purchase a laser print of image, a copy on floppy disc or on CD-ROM and by email free of charge.

I tried the keyword search with the term “Dodder” this is a river that ran through Dublin and part of it passed behind my Grandparents home in Donnybrook. My Grandmother would walk her dogs along the tow path on a regular basis. As a small child this is where I learned the importance of the dock leaf when you touch nettles. If you touch nettles against your skin they sting you. Dock leaves always grow near nettles and if you pick one and rub the spot where the nettles touched it will numb the area.

There was a small sweet shop at the end of the path in Clonskeagh where we would sometimes stop. The shop was so tiny you could only fit a couple of people inside. The elderly lady behind the counter always greeted us with a smile. There were rows of sweet jars behind the counter with the weight scale and small white bags to put your purchase in. We would go in and get a quarter pound of jelly babies or licorice babies.

If you have Irish ancestors particularly from the Dublin area why not go in and see what you can find.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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This Documentary One podcast looks at the life of children in Irish workhouses in the 19th century. It describes how the workhouses came into being, how they worked or did not work and they look at some of the history of poverty in Ireland.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to do family history research? Do you wish you had someone who could travel with you and assist you with the research?

I will be taking a group of researchers to Dublin Ireland from February 29 – March 8, 2012. We will visit the National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland and other repositories. The group will stay in Buswell’s Hotel on Molesworth Street which is right across from the National Library of Ireland.

This trip is for the researcher who knows where their family is from in Ireland. You will need to know the county at least but a townland or parish is recommended.

Not sure how to prepare for a trip like this? You will be assisted in preparing your research plan so that when you arrive in Dublin you know exactly where you will need to go to start your research.

Space is limited! If you are interested please email me and I will provide you with the details and costs of the trip. My email address is info (at) familyhistorysearches (dot) com

You might decide to travel before the group meets in Dublin. If so I would recommend a stop in London England. The weekend before we meet in Dublin is the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show. It is being held at the Olympia in London on February 24-26, 2012. They bill it as “the biggest family history event in the world”. Last year there were over 13,000 visitors to this three day event.

Act now so you won’t be disappointed!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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The RTÉ Radio 1 program “Documentary One” has two podcasts relating to the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Week to Come” is the story of the 1916 Easter Rising as told by those who took part. The documentary is made from archive recordings. The archive recordings were made by Proinsias Mac Aonghusa in the 1960s and first broadcast in 1966 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Rising. The documentary was first broadcast in 2006.

In “The 1916 Room with Garrett Fitzgerald” four people are gathered to discuss how the 1916 Easter Rising affected them and where they were in 1966 during the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The guests are Garrett Fitzgerald – his father was in the General Post Office during the Rising, Tommy McKearney – whose family were active in the IRB and were still active in the IRA, Richard English – author of “Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA” and Eilean Ni Chuilleanain – her family were involved in the events of 1922 and she grew up hearing the stories of 1916.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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My Dear Cousin” is a look into the correspondence between a cousin in Dublin and one in America that spans over fifty years. Marie never kept the letters May sent from America. When Marie died the family of cousin May sent the letters to Marie’s family in Dublin. May had died several years earlier.

The letters start in 1917 and end in 1970. It is a wonderful journal of the life of her family and a look at the how the country was changing. Each letter that is read is accompanied by a musical interlude and memories of Marie’s family are interspersed in the documentary.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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My online search for information regarding the 1924 Imperial Scout Jamboree for a previous post led me to search for other online sources that relate to audio and video resources. A few have been mentioned in other blogs.

They are a treasure trove of information and provide some wonderful entertainment at the same time. Here are collections found in Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, United States, Australia and Europe.


Library and Archives Canada has Virtual Gramophone which contains historical Canadian sound recordings. There are biographies attached to some of the performers. You can listen to a full range of recordings in the podcast section.

There is a section on historical sheet music and songs relating to the First World War.

On the National Film Board of Canada website you can watch some of the productions that came out of this wonderful Canadian institution. There is a documentary entitled “Action: The October Crisis of 1970” which covers the events of the October Crisis.

One of my personal favourites is “Paddle to the Sea” that was produced in 1966 by Bill Mason.

They have channels for history, arts, kids’ movies, the Green channel, biography, hot topics, outside the box, world, aboriginal peoples, classics and HD.

I had a client who found a film where his mother was interviewed and he bought a DVD copy of the production.


Scotland has the Scottish Screen Archive. Not all the titles have a clip or full length video. You can browse the collection by featured videos, all full length videos, place, subject, genre, series, biography or decade. You can view a full clip relating to making bagpipes dated from 1967.

Not everything in the collection is strictly Scottish. You can find a full length video from 1959 entitled “Australia Week” which is an advert for Australian foodstuffs. They do mix in the foodstuffs of Scotland in the advertisement.


British Pathe has a video archive of their newsreels online. You can search the Editorial Picks or check Categories to find clips. Under Entertainment and Humour you can find “A Chicago Blizzard” a 1938 newsreel of the city of Chicago after what they call a severe snow. This one has audio.

Under Historical Figures and Celebrities you find a clip called “Ireland-Through the Ages” which is a newsreel of a historical pageant that was presented in Dublin in 1927 at the conclusion of Civic week. Near the end the Carlow Sugar truck had the old fashion cone of sugar on the back. Wouldn’t it be nice to know who the ladies at the end of the newsreel were and what happened to them?

The English Folk Dance and Song Society provide no audio but do list many old songs and give a little history.


The National Archive of Irish Composers website is difficult to see because of the black background but it does provide some history and other resources. You can access their digital library to view digital images of sheet music.

Thomas Hamley (Hamly) Butler (c1755-1823) wrote “Erin Go Bragh A favorite Irish Air” and you can view a digital image of the sheet music.

There was a performance of the “Musical Treasures from the National Library” on 26 November 2010 and you can view that and specific performances from the evening. You can read a short biography and watch a video of the composition being performed. The compositions range from the last few years of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.

United States

National Jukebox is a website created by the Library of Congress in the United States. You can search their holdings by classical music, ethnic characterizations, popular music, religious and spoken word.

Sometimes the recordings are difficult to hear because of the static on the old recordings.

They have a disclaimer that states “WARNING: These historical recordings may contain offensive or inappropriate language.”

Under Ethnic characterizations is a recording of “The little Irish girl” performed by James McCool in 1906.

Under Popular music is the tune “Cat Duet” performed by Ada Jones and Billy Murray in 1908.


The Sounds of Australia is a database of “Australia’s audiovisual heritage online.”

The earliest recording is 1896 and is a novelty song called “The Hen Convention” that features chicken impersonations. You will find a link to the sheet music and a link to the audio.

You can find historical newsreels from various places in Australia including footage of the Australian Flying Corps training and at war in 1918 in France and the Middle East. If you had family who flew with the Australian Flying Corps then you should view these images. The curator’s notes on these pages are wonderful.

There are a variety of newsreels available to view. You can view documentaries, short films, television programs and other historical images and sound recordings relevant to Australia.


European Film Gateway is a film archive for Europe. It is still small but is growing. You can view clips of films most of which are foreign language but have English subtitles.

Have fun viewing and listening to these wonderful archives. Let me know if you find something interesting.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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This RTÉ Radio 1 “Documentary One” podcast looks at the connections that have linked the southeast of Ireland and St. John’s Newfoundland. The earliest record is 1683. They talk to the descendants of the original settlers to help tell the story.

The stories are wonderful and the people and music are delightful. One lady shares some great advice she was given to protect herself from the fairies. If you have Newfoundland or Irish ancestors then this podcast could provide some new information. If you do not it is still worth listening to “The Newfoundland Connection.”

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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There is a radio documentary called “History of the Irish Potato” on the RTÉ Radio 1 program “Documentary One.” It was first broadcast in 1984 and includes interviews with Theodora Fitzgibbon a famous traditional Irish cookbook writer. The documentary presents “the historic and sociological impact of the potato.”

The potato is important in Irish history. It is interesting to learn how it arrived in Ireland. You will discover how the potato blight affected the people of Ireland, about different cures for ailments using the potato, recipes and other fascinating facts about the history of the potato in Ireland.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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These are my top five lists of books, blogs and websites that can assist you with your family history research in Ireland. Do you have any that you feel should be added? If so please leave a comment.


Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” by John Grenham [all three editions recommended]; published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland: Based on the Census of Ireland for the year 1851” published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

Irish Church Records” by James G. Ryan; published by Flyleaf Press

A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland” by Brian Mitchell; published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

The Big Houses and Landed Estates of Ireland: A Research Guide” by Terence Dooley; published by Four Courts Press


Pue’s Occurrences

National Library of Ireland blog

Irish Family History

Irish Genealogy News Blog


National Library of Ireland

Census of Ireland 1901/1911

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Find My Past Ireland

The IreAtlas Townland Database

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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