Special Interest Groups
Irish Ancestry Workshop
Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library present
|Saturday, August 8, 2009
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
(North York Centre subway station)
John Grenham (Dublin, Ireland) is the author of numerous books, including Tracing Your Irish Ancestors and Irish Ancestors, as well as the CD-ROM Grenham’s Irish Surnames. In association with The Irish Times, he runs the “Irish Ancestors” website.
For more information, visit www.johngrenham.com/
Richard ‘Dick’ M. Doherty (Troy, Michigan) is a professional genealogist, lecturer, author, and director of Celtic Quest, with 36 years experience and 27 Ireland research trips. Dick is an FGS delegate, past-president of three genealogy societies, trustee of Friends of the Burton Historical Collection, GSG member, and lectures in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland.
Nuala Farrell-Griffin (originally from Ireland, now living in St. Thomas, Ontario) is an animated, enthusiastic speaker who combines her artistic talents with her passion for computers to create a variety of geographic maps illustrating administrative divisions in Ireland and the importance of knowing which records are associated with each division. She delights in sharing her experiences with the idiosyncrasies of “Digging for Your Roots in Ireland”.
9:15–10:00 am Registration
10:00-11:15 am Opening remarks and plenary session
Session A: Chasing Shadows: Irish Genealogy Online - John Grenham
For a variety of reasons, few large sets of Irish genealogical records are available online. However, there are many highly valuable local or partial record-sets, which can be difficult to track down. The presentation will start with an outline of the main Irish records and where any online transcripts can be found, and will proceed to guided hands-on research. Participants will receive complementary subscriptions to the ireland.com Irish Ancestors site.
11:30 am -12:30 pm
Session B: Mapping the Administrative Districts of Ireland - Nuala Farrell-Griffin
Understanding the boundaries associated with the multitude of administrative districts in Ireland is a challenge. This PowerPoint presentation of digitally drawn maps, each district overlaid on the other, visually demonstrates the relationship of one division to the other. This is a comprehensive look at the layers that need to be peeled back to reveal the ancestral townland. Some of the records associated with each division are discussed.
Session C: Irish Oral Tradition: Seeking, Analyzing, and Proving! - Dick Doherty
Using a case-study format based on personal research experience, this lecture explores the value of oral history (and oral tradition) in enhancing your family tree. Focus items include sources of oral tradition, validation techniques, and images of a wide variety of original and derivative sources used as evidence.
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
There are several restaurants close to the Library and a food court in the building.
OGS Region V Annual Meeting
Session D: Irish National School Records: Improving Your Genealogy Report Card - Dick Doherty
An obscure source not often utilized by genealogists, the National School Records contain significant genealogical information, particularly in the absence of Ireland's pre-1901 census records. Sometimes the content is extremely unexpected and valuable – and at times even humorous. Images of register pages will be examined to demonstrate this surprising information.
Session E: Whatever You’re Having Yourself: Irish Census Substitutes - John Grenham
The talk includes a brief summary of the better-known census substitutes, but focuses on more useful and lesser-known records, including the Loan Funds, the Charleton Marriage Fund, agricultural surveys, official petitions and electoral records. Since the range of records is by definition infinite, a complete account is impossible; the aim of the talk is to sketch the main areas in which these records are being uncovered, to show how they can be used, and to bring hope to those who have run out of the standard Irish sources.
The history of Irish record-keeping means that so-called “census substitutes” play a much larger role in Irish genealogical research than in research elsewhere. A rigid definition is simply not possible: anything with more that a single name could possibly be covered by the term. The bright side, if there is one, is that Irish local history and genealogy research are very intimately connected, and anyone going any further than the basic Irish sources very quickly acquires a sense of Irish history at the micro level.
Session F: Why Genealogists Love the Old Taxation Systems - Nuala Farrell-Griffin
Valuations, tithes, Griffith's -- they're all about taxes in one form or another. This illustrated lecture, with digitally drawn maps, cartographic resources, and graphic images, demonstrates the inter-connectedness of these records. The attendees will clearly see how the smallest detail on the maps and images of these records can be the catalyst to getting through “brick walls” when researching in church, civil and other records. This session demonstrates the necessity of working with more than one resource simultaneously, in order to complete whole family research.
Session G: Improving the Poor: Irish Loan Fund Records - John Grenham
Irish Loan Funds, in particular the Reproductive Loan Fund, can provide wonderful information on the rural poor in the 1830s and 1840s. The lecture describes the background to the records, their formats and locations, and outlines the best ways of using them.
Loan funds were local, charitable, micro-credit institutions that flourished in Ireland most especially in the first half of the nineteenth century. Because they were locally run, and depended for security on local knowledge, their records can be extraordinarily informative about the minutiae of individuals’ lives. The largest single collection of surviving records concerns the Reproductive Loan Fund, whose records have survived en masse in the National Archives in London, and are now available online.
HOW TO GET TO THE WORKSHOP:
By public transit: North York Central Library is connected directly to the North York Centre subway station, on the Yonge line. Inter-city trains and buses link with the subway at Union, Dundas, or York Mills stations. Allow at least 35 minutes from Union or Dundas, or 15 minutes from York Mills, to get to North York Centre.
By car: North York Central Library is at 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto M2N 5N9, on the west side at Park Home Avenue (about halfway between Sheppard and Finch). From Highway 401, exit northbound at Yonge Street; proceed north to Park Home Avenue (6th or 7th traffic light) and turn left. The most convenient parking ($5 per day on Saturdays) is under the building—enter from Novotel on Park Home, or from Beecroft Road (parallel and west of Yonge Street).
Accommodation: The Novotel North York is part of the North York Centre complex. The hotel has offered a special rate for workshop registrants for Friday and/or Saturday nights (August 7 and 8).