Lesser Known Sources – 5 Lecture Module

This Lesser Known Sources for Irish Family History Research module focusses on four topics (over 5 lectures) central to the subject of Irish Family History Research.

This module is aimed at providing both the beginner and the more experienced genealogist the resources, tools and information needed to either start researching their Irish and Scots-Irish roots, or to find their elusive Irish or Scots-Irish ancestors.

Length of module: 5.5 Hours

Included in this module are the following lectures:

School registers & education records

The records of the National Education system, introduced in 1831, can be a most useful collection of records for tracing families, especially in the period 1860–1920, and where the records survive back to the 1850s and 40s. As well as providing information on school children the records offer information on teachers, and the establishment of schools and how they were run. They can give details of family movements within Britain and Ireland, and indeed emigration to America, Canada and Australasia. Prior to this period some records also exist for private schools, schools supported by various religious bodies, and schools established to educate the children of the poor. The session will explore the value of these records for family history research.

Workhouse & local government records (2 Lectures)

The poor and destitute in Ireland can be the most difficult groups to trace because they rarely leave a paper trail. The records of the Board of Guardians, i.e. those tasked with administering the Poor Law in Ireland are hugely valuable, especially given the impact of the Great Famine on the period. Through the records such as minute books, outdoor relief registers, indoor registers and vaccination registers, we see glimpses of those admitted to the workhouse, how they were treated, and sometimes giving details on assisted emigration schemes. The session will also explore local government records in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, including records of the grand juries, town commissioners, corporation records and county council records. For example, the grand jury was one of the most important forms of local government of the period, and a greatly underused source for family history.

Law and order records

This talk will cover topics such as the Rebellion Papers in the National Archives of Ireland, the best single source for studying the tumultuous 1790s in Ireland. The talk will also explore records relating to the police, local courts and the prison system in Ireland.

Business, occupation and hospital records

This talk will explore the range of material that exists for those wishing to research an ancestor who followed a particular occupation. It will also highlight the usefulness of business records for the researcher, identifying where these records can be accessed.

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