Sunday, January 27, 2013

Findmypast adds 21m new Irish BDM records just added 21 million new Irish Birth, Death and Marriage records (1800s – 1950s) to its already extensive collection of historical records.

“The addition of 21 million new birth, marriage and death records to our website means we will now have more than 60 million Irish records on our website, including census and parish records,” said Vicki Dawson, General Manager of “There has never been a better time for people to explore and discover the details of the lives of their Irish ancestors.”

Births, deaths and marriages are central events in peoples’ lives and people researching their family history can use these to develop their family tree. carries the most detailed and thorough collection of Irish records ever seen in one place – providing a fascinating insight into Ireland’s history and making Irish family research easier and more accessible than ever before.

Findmypast is a proud partner of The Gathering Ireland, a year-long celebration in 2013 of Ireland and all things Irish.

The Ireland birth, death and marriage collection is also available across all the findmypast sites: and

Read the blog - Ireland Births and Deaths 1864-1958.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The last Irish convict exiles to North America

At Irish Wattle and Inside History we were very excited over the weekend to get an email from a Canadian researcher who has been looking for her Irish convict, Hugh Giffen, for many years, even to the extent of recently visiting Northern Ireland to seek information on him.

She had found details of his trial in August 1789 at Carrickfergus Assizes, where he was sentenced to transportation for stealing three sheep and a firkin of butter but had reached a dead end. In contacting us, it seems she assumed that Hugh had been transported to Botany Bay, but had not found a trace of him, as we didnt either on on going through our records of the 1790s.

However, a check through Bob Reece’s excellent book “The Origins of Irish convict transportation to New South Wales’ and we hit gold. We found that Hugh Geffin [sic] had been transported on the final shipment of Irish convicts to America, sailing on the ship the Duke of Leinster which departed from Dublin on 7 November 1789. The prisoners had been offloaded at Barbuda in the Leeward Islands and others at Antigua in the same group of islands and further reading of the relevant chapters of Reece’s book will make it clearer what likely happened to him.

Within hours our researcher, mentioning that the temperature in her vicinity was currently –8C, had answered and I quote “You can’t imagine the excitement your email has caused. I will be writing to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda to see if they have information on Hugh Giffen...’

She will be keeping us posted on her progress. What excites us is that this is the first contact we have had with a descendant of a convict who was one of the last to be exiled to North America immediately before the beginning of transportation of the Irish to Botany Bay.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Talk :: Rebels, Priests & Love Letters, Nov 17

Our editor, Cassie Mercer, is presenting at the Society of Australian Genealogists on Saturday, November 17.

Topic: Rebels, Priests & Love Letters

The Minerva arrived in Sydney on 11 January 1800, sailing up the harbour past the gibbeted body of another Irish convict, Francis Morgan, whose body was swinging from Fort Denison. The ship brought the first of the rebels who were involved in Ireland’s uprisings between 1797 and the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798.

Cassie Mercer will present brand new research into the lives of the rebels. Hear about their trials, which had captivated Ireland at the time. Some had chosen voluntary exile, others were tried by court martial. There were also rebel priests and urban criminals, both male and female on board. Hear from the convicts themselves, through letters they wrote to their family. Within months of arrival some were planning to take over the colony by converging at Parramatta in September 1800. Learn about their fate as they struggled with life in Sydney.

Where: 120 Kent Street Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
Phone: 02 9247 3953

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Deniliquin Genealogy Muster :: 12-13 October

Irish Wattle is looking forward to attending the Inaugural Deniliquin “Genealogy Muster” tomorrow and Saturday, 12 - 13 October 2012.

Come and trace your family history. Get assistance to knock down those Irish family history brick walls at the Deniliquin Genealogy Muster.

When: Friday 12th & Saturday 13th October 2012.
Cost: $10 entry fee per day gives access to seminars & Main Hall.