Ireland’s Genealogy & Local History Specialists

Tag Archives: tracing Irish family history


Our Campaign to release the 1926 Census

 

I join with other genealogists and family historians in calling on the Irish Government to release the 1926 Census. The current restriction on public access to the census returns taken since independence in 1922, commonly known as the 100-year rule, was introduced as part of the Statistics Act 1993. However, during the legislative debate, the then Minister of State Noel Dempsey TD gave a commitment to the Seanad to reduce the lock to 70 years. While the 2011 Programme for Government made a commitment to release the records, every effort to date to change the law and allow for the release of records has been blocked.

The 1926 Census would be a powerful genealogical tourism tool. For family historians it would be wonderful to track each part of our family line between the 1911 census and 1926 census during this period of Irish history.

I use my own history as a case in point. My dad, Michael Hassett, was born in 1936 in Dingle, Co. Kerry. His mother, Mary Catherine Foley was born in 1905 in Cromane, Co. Kerry and his father, John Francis Hassett was born in 1904 in Glin, Co. Limerick but grew up in Knockanean, near Ennis, Co. Clare. They married in Dublin in 1930 and my dad was the fifth of six children. His mother died in Beaumont, Ballintemple, Cork, in their then family home, in December 1944 and his father died within three short months in February 1945 after an accident on his bike. My dad had lost both parents by the tender age of eight.

Dad was fortunate that his Aunty Helen moved to their family home in Cork to look after him and his five siblings including his older brothers Tom, and Sean and baby brother Liam who would still like to know more about their parents’ history. My dad died in November 2015 and I am still on the trail of his parents and their ancestors through available records and newspaper cuttings. I know the 1926 Census would provide rich data and add to our knowledge and yet these records are ‘sealed’ until January 2027.

I can access the 1940 US Census, the 1939 Register of England and Wales, the 1920 Canadian Census but alas not the 1926 Census of Ireland.  The 1950 US Census will be released in 2022 – five years before Ireland releases the 1926 Census. The information in the 1926 Census has been sealed in the interests of confidentiality. However, it is highly likely that every adult recorded in that Census is now dead. Furthermore, the information recorded simply comprises of forename, surname, age, marital status, relationship to head of household, religion, occupation and townland where born, employer, and if unemployed normal profession – and so I wonder why the need for secrecy.  Why can’t the 1926 Census be released?  My dad’s three brothers are currently aged between 73 and 81 years. The 1926 Census has the potentially to fill in important gaps in their family history, such as where their mother and father were in the years before they married in 1930.  It is absurd that we have to wait until 2027 to access this information?  The story of my family history is just one of countless who hunger for information on their identity and roots not to mention the benefits to tourism a release of this nature will attract.

In July 2016 I wrote an Open Letter to Government calling for release of 1926 Census of Ireland.

For background reading here are extracts I have put together of the original Oireachtas Debate on Statistics Bill 1993

I have received the following responses:
Letter from Chief Whip Regina Doherty, July 2016
Letter from Minister for Arts Heritage, Regional, Rual and Gaeltacht Affairs, 19 August 2016
Letter to Minister Shane Ross from Dept of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 19 August 2016

 
And finally, you can watch my YouTube video on this topic by clicking on the link (opens in a new window).

Gravedigger Stories from Deansgrange Cemetery

This blog contains a large photo gallery of Deansgrange Cemetery. Please give it a moment to load!

 

Deansgrange Cemetery is located in the local council area of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, a suburb of Dublin. It is open to the public. The cemetery is, together with Glasnevin, one of the largest in the Dublin area, occupying 65 acres. (So if you want to visit a particular grave, you should find out first where it is!). First burial was Anastasia Carey, 41 years, Servant St. Joseph’s Orphanage, 27th January 1865.

Hover over the pictures below to see the title; click on them to see a larger picture and its story.

 

 

Disclaimer: Most of the stories in this gallery are from gravedigger “John”, who told them to us during a “Dun Loaghaire Heritage Tour” of the Deansgrange Cemetery.  They come from relatives who visited the graves and some have been told from colleague to colleague and even generation to generation and might therefore not be accurate. They are certainly very entertaining. Thanks for the stories, John.

 

We hope you enjoyed these photos and their stories. Why not have a look at the rest of our website?

 

jillian van turnhout nee hassett

Jillian van Turnhout – Founder Genealogy.ie – An Introduction

JILLIAN VAN TURNHOUT NÉE HASSETT is a respected children’s and human rights expert. She is also a former Senator in the upper house of the Irish Parliament. Furthermore, she is a founder of Genealogy.ie

See her introduction on YouTube:

Throughout Jillian van Turnhout’s career, in both the private and public sector, her achievements have been recognised. This includes winning the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Politician of the Year Award. In addition, the President of France recognised  her work recently by awardeding her the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. This is the second highest national Order of France.

GENEALOGY

Parallel to this work, Jillian has been developing her skills as a genealogist. She has researched her own and clients’ family history throughout Ireland, the UK, USA and Canada. Jillian is passionate about family history and understands the richness and fulfilment that goes with finding out about your ancestors and their lives. She joins with other genealogists campaigning for the publication of the 1926 Census of Ireland.

Despite the current laws in Ireland presenting a number of roadblocks, Jillian van Turnhout has broken through barriers and assisted former adoptees in tracing their roots. During her time in the Irish Senate, Jillian championed the right of adoptees to have their right to identity firmly established in law.

Through her extensive voluntary and professional career, Jillian has developed an extensive network of contacts throughout Ireland. In 2010, Jillian received the ‘Freedom of Killarney’, County Kerry.

Jillian van Turnhout has attended many genealogy conferences and seminars in Ireland, the UK and USA. This includes Roots Tech in Salt Lake City, the largest family history event in the world.

In the words of Roots author Alex Haley “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we have come from.” Jillian has therefore decided to dedicate herself full time to bringing the richness of your Irish family history to life for you.

Jillian van Turnhout awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite

The founder of Genealogy.ie, Jillian van Turnhout, was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the President of the French Republic. The Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite is the second highest national order of France and was presented to Jillian van Turnhout by the Ambassador of France to Ireland at an event hosted in the French Residence in Dublin

The award was made in recognition of Jillian van Turnhout’s work in strengthening children’s rights and for her engagement with civil society organisations across Europe.

On receipt of the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, Jillian van Turnhout said “I am immensely honoured to be recognised by the President of the French Republic for my work in promoting children’s rights and for my engagement with civil society organisations across Europe. Recent world events have strengthened my resolve and belief in the European Union project and to advocate for a Europe that is stronger together. This award and the French national motto of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ remind me of our shared values. We must work together in solidarity to uphold and ensure the rights of all citizens to live without fear in a world that respects freedom, democracy and equality.”

At the event in the French Residence, the Ambassador of France to Ireland, H.E. Jean-Pierre Thébault, remarked that “with the bestowal of the Ordre National du Mérite to Ms Jillian van Turnhout, France wishes to acknowledge a friend’s lifetime commitment and the part she played on numerous subjects that require flag bearers: from issues related to children’s rights to the promotion of the European ideal. Jillian’s public and professional paths are also testament to the important role women play in public life to make change happen and shape a better and more inclusive society.”

Maurice Pratt, Chairman of European Movement Ireland, commenting on the distinguished honour, said “There are few people more deserving of this award than Jillian. Having worked closely with Jillian, I have seen her tireless dedication to the causes she champions, including Irish-European affairs and children’s rights. It is a pleasure to see her being recognised for her outstanding contribution to developing Irish-European relations, and Irish-French relations in particular. I offer her my sincere congratulations on this well-deserved honour.”

The Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides, Helen Concannon, who also attended the event, said: “We are delighted to congratulate Jillian on the acknowledgement by another country of her tireless work for young people. She epitomises what the Baden Powells, the founders of Guiding and Scouting, meant when they said, ‘Girls should be brought up to be comrades and helpers, not to be dolls. They should take a real and not a visionary share in the welfare of the nation.’ “We are proud of all Jillian has achieved and all she continues to achieve through her involvement with Girl Guides,”

Biography Jillian van Turnhout
In addition to her work with Genealogy.ie, Jillian van Turnhout is a leading children’s rights advocate and a former Irish Senator. In her 5 year term in Seanad Éireann (upper house Irish Parliament), Jillian spearheaded a number of legislative and policy changes to further children’s rights. Jillian is involved with several not-for-profit organisations on a pro bono basis including as Vice Chair of European Movement Ireland, Chair of Early Childhood Ireland and Chair of Children in Hospital Ireland. She is a former Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, former Chief Commissioner Irish Girl Guides and former President of the National Youth Council of Ireland.

For over 12 years Jillian was a member and Vice President of the EU Advisory Body, the European Economic and Social Committee. Jillian drafted the first Opinion from an EU body on the need for a European Youth Policy and published a number of papers to further children’s rights. Jillian represented the EESC on the Steering Group for the European Forum on the Rights of the Child and the EESC EU-China Round for over 6 years leading to first formal dialogue on children’s rights between China and EU in 2010 in Chongqing, China. Jillian is a co-founder of the European Youth Forum.

Below are some photos taken at the event. Click on it for a larger image.

michael van turnhout

Introduction: Michael van Turnhout, Local History Researcher

Michael van Turnhout, from Genealogy.ie, believes that tracing Irish family history should not just be about names and dates of people in your family tree. We think it is also about the places where they lived and worked, the houses they lived in.  This is why we offer Irish local history research and investigation. In most cases our research is into the history of a house or farm. But it can also be a village or even an event. Depending on records available this gives you a picture of how your ancestors would have lived. And thus add colour to your family history.

Michael van Turnhout is a published Irish local history researcher. See his introductory video below:

Michael has completed work on houses, villages and even schools. In one case he was able to go back to 1279. In another research project he illustrated the change of a rural village into a suburban one due to the coming of railways. This – then – modern means of transport brought in speculators and developers, who bought and sold land. And brought in the builders of the house that was the research subject. All of this happened in the 1850’s. Times have not changed that much!

COMMISSION MICHAEL VAN TURNHOUT FOR YOUR IRISH LOCAL HISTORY RESEARCH PROJECT

If you are interested in investigating this side of your family story, Michael is happy to discuss any potential research subjects with you. We will then carry out a free preliminary check to see if there are sufficient sources available to do research on and give you a cost proposal. The findings will be presented to you in an attractive booklet with photographs, maps and copies of relevant records; it is not just a house history with a list of dates and events.

We can also create a presentation in a slideshow or PowerPoint format so you can show your family and friends.

 

Our visit to Patrick Pearse School – Pearse Museum

Edward Hudson, a State Dentist, built ‘The Hermitage’ in 1786. Over a century later, Patrick Pearse discovered the house while on a historical pilgrimage of sites associated with Robert Emmet. Set in nearly fifty acres of beautiful parkland, Pearse moved his innovative school into it in 1910. His family gave it later to the Irish state, who turned it into a museum, telling the story of Patrick Pearse. The Office of Public Works operates and manages Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park.

Have a look at our video. giving an impression of the museum. Below the video is some information on the life of Patrick Pearse.

PATRICK PEARSE

Patrick Pearse was born at 27 Great Brunswick Street in Dublin, the street that is named after him today. His father, James Pearse, established a stonemasonry business here in the 1850’s. The business provided the Pearses with a comfortable middle-class life.

In 1900, Pearse received a B.A. in Modern Languages (Irish, English and French). He immediately enrolled in the King’s Inns and was called to the bar in 1901.

Before then, in 1896, only 16 years old, he had joined the Gaelic League. Subsequently, in 1903 Pearse became editor of its newspaper. He wanted to help save the Irish language. To do this, he wanted to establish a sympathetic education system. Therefore, to set an example, Pearse started his own bilingual school, Saint Enda (Scoil Éanna). Teaching was in both English and Irish. In 1908 it opened in Cullenswood House in Ranalagh. Two years later Saint Enda’s School moved to The Hermitage, now home to the Pearse Museum.

Patrick Pearse involved himself in Irish politics. He joined the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He gave a graveside oration on 1 August 1915 at the funeral of the Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. This oration made Patrick Pearse famous.

Pearse, on behalf of the IRB, gave the signal for the uprising in 1916.

As a result, Pearse and fourteen other leaders, including his brother Willie, were court-martialled.  A firing squad executed Patrick Pearse on the morning of 3 May 1916.

During his short live, Patrick Pearse was also a prolific writer.

How we found a missing photo

We were commissioned to find an old photo of “J.F. Hudson”, former Captain (1932) of the Royal Dublin Golf Club. They had tried without success and were left with a blank space in the Club Photo gallery of Past Captains. www.Genealogy.ie rose to the challenge as this short video will explain and his photo is now proudly on the wall.

John Fention Hudson, 1870 to 1947

 

We saw Snowdrops at Historic Altamont Gardens

My Great Aunt called snowdrops ‘fair maidens of February’.

If you love snowdrops and are in Ireland in February you should visit Altamont Gardens?, Carlow. The tour by the gardener is highly recommended.

“Every visitor says it has a special atmosphere, that’s why so many people come back. Every element you want from a great garden is here, from lovely lawns, floral beds and beautiful woodland going down to the river, to a walled garden and really superb collections, such as the snowdrops, rhododendrons and the fabulous oaks in the arboretum” Paul Cutler, head gardener at Altamont Gardens.

If you can’t make it this year, check out this short video we made of our visit.  The video is an example of a presentation we at www.genealogy.ie can make of sites of historical importance to your ancestors.

Find out more here: http://carlowtourism.com/altamont-gardens/

We now offer Hand Crafted Replicas of your Irish Family Homestead

Nothing compares to the touch and feel of your own personal Irish family homestead

Hand-crafted in Ireland, these bespoke replicas are created using accurate information gathered during the research part of our service.

Imagine the pride you will feel when showing your family or peers one of these exquisite trophies of home, either in the Boardroom or seated at the Dinner Table.

Nothing says “Look how far we have come since our forefathers left Ireland, all those years ago”, in the way that an accurate Irish homestead replica does.

Anything is possible, the homestead as it was in its heyday, how it appears now or even the whole village your family came from can be replicated.

Be proud of your heritage, show it off!

Contact us at info@genealogy.ie if you would like to find out more.

Why hire a specialist to search Irish ancestry?

Are you considering getting help with tracing your Irish family history? It pays to get a professional specialist to search Irish ancestry for you.

With over 10 years of experience in Irish family history search and local history research, Jillian and Michael are specialists in the field.

Jillian and Michael have left no stone unturned in search of family members and stories. They have traveled throughout Ireland to find sources that can only be viewed locally. They have met with family members, as well as with local people and historians. And they have trawled through archives. In short, they have been more than willing to go the extra mile to find out a minute detail or secure a missing photo.

If you are just starting your Irish family history search, they can show you the way with an initial investigation. And point out avenues for further research and give advice on how best to proceed. Alternatively they can do the search Irish ancestry for you.

If you already have a family tree but just cannot find that elusive Irish ancestor, they can help filling in that gap.

If you have hit a brick wall, or do not know what to do next, they can help you move forward.

They can also verify your family history research for you, to ensure you have found the right people.

They can travel to places where your ancestors lived or are buried. You will receive a detailed description, complete with photo’s.

They can also enrich your family tree with local history research. This can be the history of an area where your ancestors lived, a village, or even the history of a house of farm, if available.

Finally, they can help you put your family history in a great looking presentation. This can be a slide show, video or booklet. Great for that next family gathering or as a personal gift.