Sunday, June 4, 2017

NZSG Conference 2017

Thanks to a tweet from my Burke cousin Maggie I heard about the NZSG conference in Auckland this weekend, which promised some interesting Irish lectures. Two researchers came out from Ulster, Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt. They delivered a treasure trove of info- and I will give just a few highlights of what I learned from them.

-Think laterally when looking for census substitutes- e.g. dog licences give addresses down to rural sub post office level.

-Extracts from the census were used to prove age for the pension, and these quite often list other family info. Many were issued in 1911 and these extracts escaped destruction in the 1916 fire.

-If there is a priest in the family it is worth searching for them, as they often had quite a lot written about them.

-Look at post-dated records- after ancestor left Ireland, as records often ‘refer back’ to other family members, especially land records.

-Fragments of records exist for various areas, e.g. a list of Tithe Defaulters is useful in Kilkenny. (Book by John Grenham can help identify these.)

-Search by Place can be helpful if name might be transcribed in various ways.

-Can register for free on Trinity College of Dublin site- which has several record types online e.g. the ‘Down Survey of Ireland'.

-Griffiths Valuation-by parish and townland- land often stayed in families for centuries.

-Church of Ireland records also include Catholics, as it was the state church responsible for whole community, so include cemetery info, financial aid for the poor etc. Women in community might be mentioned e.g. if they received aid for fostering.

-Poor Law Unions replaced parish help, crossed borders of parishes and counties etc.  These later became the Registration Districts.

-PLU had vaccination records for all, not just those in workhouses.

-Registry of Deeds is intact from 1708- connected with Penal Code - strictly enforced  e.g. Catholics could have maximum 31 year lease; had to subdivide land amongst all sons.

-Family Search has recently released online some indexes to land deeds, and actual deed documents.

-Related penal documents include Poll Book objections if someone said someone on roll was Catholic; Catholic Qualification Rolls at National Archives

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