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Archiver > ROOTS > 1989-07 > 0615420322

From: Network Planning <>
Subject: Irish Research - Heritage Centres
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 89 18:05:22 EDT

Having survided "The Shame of Dallas" - a bar called Dicks Last Resort,
here's the text of the article on the Irish Heritage Centres I mentioned
earlier in the week.

Support Your Local Heritage Centre
By Senan Molony
Copyright "Inside Ireland" No 45 - Summer, 1989

Heritage Centers are coming into their own in 1989 with tourist board

For may people of Irish Descent, the desire to trace the family tree
eventually takes root and with modern techniques of information storage and
retrieval it is becoming ever easier to find out accurate and detailed
information about one's forebarers. Local groups countrywide have grasped
the opportunity of providing such background information and enquiries are
welcomed. If Alex Haley's "Roots" did more than anything else to create a
craze fro tracing one's ancestors, the President Regan's 1984 visit to
Ireland and his homeland of Ballyporeen, brought the importance of
genealogy home in this country - in more ways than one.

As a result, dozens of heritage centres and family history societies are
springing up in Ireland where once there were none. Some operate by jotting
down tombstone inscriptions, others use card-index systems for every birth,
and trace that person through marriage and burial (the process of hatch,
match, and dispatch!), while still other centres are right up-to-date with
computerised records and instant retrieval systems.

Now the prospects of getting hard facts are better than ever for interested
persons abroad. Even the sketchiest details can be fleshed out to a
startling degree - so much so that a request for information about a John
Kelly from Tipperary, born in 1832, can result in a wealth of additional
family detail winging its way across the ocean.

And with searches costing only about L20 - L30 for a thorough examination
of records, the use of these new centres must represent very good value


The prototype centre was founded by Ignatius Cleary, a retired
schoolteacher, in September 1982 in County Clare. The Clare Heritage Centre
in Corofin no deals with 1,500 enquires each year.

It has indexed all the main sources of genealogical information in the
county, including the records of all 46 parishes, both Catholic and
Protestant. Some baptismal records begin as early as 1802, bu indexing
ceases in 1900.
"We have filled an index card for every child baptised in the county from
the early 1800s," says Ignatius. "We now have 450,000 such cards and have
reconstructed every family. Now we have compiled a mastercard index, since
seven out of every ten enquires we get do not know the parish in which the
person being traced was born."

At Corofin there is also an exhibition, so that relatives can understand
the circumstances which led a poor illiterate faily to journey 13,000 miles
to News South Wales, for instance.

The Clare Heritage Centre now has two full-time workers (Gerard Kennedy and
Antoinette O'Bryan) and is looking for greater accommodation. They charge
L30 for a preliminary search, and if the hunt exceeds eight hours' work, a
flat fee of L100 is requested.

In return an enquirer often gets photocopies of baptismal and marriage
entries, a map of the townland where their ancestors lived, even a
description of their far, as per the Tithe Applotment Records from before
the Great Potato Famine.

You can write to the centre directly if your ancestors come from Clare, or
ask the international operator to put you through to Ireland 065 27955.
Don't forget that we are at least 5 hours ahead of New York on this side of
the water. Ignatius Cleary can be contacted at 065 27362 - but a word of
warning: he's currently bogged down with a deluge of Australian enquiries
following a recent tour of that great country.

We provide here details on similar services in other Irish counties - all
but a handful of counties in the Republic now have fully-fledged research
centres and societies:


The Offaly Historical Society in Tullamore, for instance, deals with up to
1,000 enquires a year and has computerised the records from 24 county
parishes, both Catholic and Church of Ireland.

The computer has a grand total of 308,763 entries recording births, deaths,
and marriages and tithe applotments. They have a L20 minimum charge for a
search, which covers the first hour with L10 per hour thereafter, (although
I'm told an exhaustive search should never take more than three hours).

The Offaly centre has Church of Ireland records from as far back as 1699
(most Catholic parish records begin in 1820), and again the indexes cease
in 1900 - to protect the living!

The Offaly centre in Tullamore is also headquarters to the Irish Family
History Society, which publishes a regular genealogical journal. More
details are available from Michael Byrne or John Kearney at their offices
in Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, telephone 0506 21421.

Little did Michael Regan (born in Ballyporeen in 1829) realise when he
emigrated from Ireland following the 1848 famine that his great-grandson
would become President of the United States.


Muintir Na Tire, Borris, Carlow (Parish records registration)
Contact: Pat Doyle, telephone 0503 73164
Carlow County Heritage Society, Carlow Town.
Contact: Michael Purcell, telephone 0503 42399.
No centre yet
County library believed to be indexing records.
Telephone: 049 31799
Clare Heritage Centre, Corofin, Co. Clare.
Contact: Gerard Kennedy/ Antoinette O'Bryan
Telephone 065 27955
Cork Heritage Centre, Brandon, Co. Cork.
Contact Mrs. Nora Hickey, PO Box 17, Brandon
Telephone: 023 44566
Parish Centre, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
Contact: John Murphy, telephone 025 84310
Parish Centre, Mallow, Co. Cork Deirdre Sheehan, Cannon
O'Callaghan. Telephone 022 20276/21112
Duhallow Heritage Centre, Newmarket, Co. Cork.
Contact: Timothy O'Shea, no telephone available.
Youghal - Cormac O'Caolidhe, Clocktower, Youghal. No Telephone.
Blarney Heritage Project, Blarney, Co. Cork. Harry kidney telephone
021 393447
Blackrock, Co. Cork. Parish survey being carried out by Denis
Kidney. Telephone 021 358422
The ramelton Heritage Project, c/o the Parochial Centre, Ramelton,
Co. Donegal.
Contact: Anne O'Harre, telephone 074 51266
No centre in city. North County records being collated by Mrs.
Burnadette Marks, Mountgorry, Swords, Co. Dublin.
Telephone: 01 403629
Galway Family History Society.
Contact: Mrs. Muala Silke, 46 Maunsell's Park Galway
Telephone: 091 22020
The Woodford Heritage Group, Woodford, Co. Galway (dealing with
records in east and south Galway)
Contact: Fr. Cathal Stanley, Sean Donoghue.
telephone: 0509 41394
Kerry Genealogical Project, Blennerville, Co. Kerry Records
being collated by John Griffin at the Urban District Council
offices in Tralee. Telephone: 066 21633
Parish records are also available from Mrs. Kathleen Brown, the
County Librarian in Tralee. Telephone 066 21200
Indexing of Parish records is being carried on by the Killkenny
Archaeology Centre, Rothe House Kilkenny.
Contact: Mary Flood, Telephone 056 22893.
The county library in Newbridge, Co. Kildare is indexing Parish
Contact: Donal O'Gorman. Telephone 045 31109
No centre, but many Laois records are held by the Offaly
Historical Society, see Offaly.
The Leitrim Heritage Center, County Library, Ballinamore, Co.
Contact Sean O'Suilleabhain, Telephone: 078 44012
Midwest Archives, the Granary, Michael Street Limerick.
records are collated under the auspices of Shannon Development.
Contact: Dr. Charles O'Mahoney, Telephone 061 40777
no known centre
No centre but some Louth records may be held by the Armagh Diocese.
See section on Northern Ireland.
Crossmolina Historical Society.
Contact: Mrs. Susan Kellett, Enniscoe House, Crossmolina.
Telephone 096 31112
Mayo Family Research Society
Contact Mrs Bridget Clesham, Caherduff, the Neale, Ballinrobe,
Co. Mayo. Telephone 092 46024.
The Meath Heritage Centre, High Street Trim, Co. Meath.
Contact Noel French, no known telephone number. Also try
Meath County Library, Railway Street, Navan, Co. Meath.
Telephone: 046 21134

no centre.
Offaly Historical Society Research Centre, Charleville Road,
Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Contact Michael Bryen/ John Kearney. Telephone: 071 43728
They also deal with Laois records.
St John's County Historical Society, c/o the Columban Centre,
Castle Street, Silgo.
Contact: John Tunney, Telephone 071 43728
Tipperary Heritage Unit, Marian Hall, St. Michael's Street,
Tipperary Towne.
Contact Anne Moloney. Telephone 062 52725
Cashel (Co. Tipperary):Bru Boru Project (tombstone inscriptions
etc.),Bohereeenglas, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
Contact Una O'Murchu, telephone 062 61552
Nenagh, Co. Tipperary: District Heritage Society, The Governor's
House, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
Contact Doanl and Nancy Murphy, telephone 067 32633
Roscrea, Co. Tipperary: Roscrea Heritage Centre, Damer House,
Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
Contact: Willie Hayes, Administrator. Telephone 0505 21850
Thurles, Co. Tipperary: The Ursuline Convent in Thurles is indexing
parish records.
Contact Toma Noone, telephone 054 21561
Waterford Heritage Survey, St. Anne's School, Ursuline Convent
Contact: Ms. Carmel Meehan, telephone 051 73711, also Fr. Michael
O'Connor at St. John's College, telephone 051 74199
no centre - but try Athlone Library and Mullingar County
Library where some baptismal records are kept.
Wexford County Council is indexing records.
Contact Niall McDonald at Count Buildings, Wexford.
Telephone 053 22211
Wicklow Heritage Centre, Old Courthouse, Wicklow Towne.
Contact Brendan O'Connor, Telephone 0404 67324.


Genealogists say it is "difficult" to get hold of parish records in the six
Northern counties of ANtrim, Armagh, Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Downe.
This is because the papers are regarded s private church property by many
clergymen. However, the Ulster Historical Foundation may be able to help in
genealogical research. You can write to Dr. Brian Traynor at the Ulster
Historical Foundation, 68 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY, or call direct
using local prefix 084 681365.

"The Irish World" has offices in all six Northern counties and may also be
of assistance. Their head office is at 26 Market Square, Dungannon, Co.
Tyrone. The man to atlk to is Owen Kerr and you can telephone him at 08687

Armagh: Fr. S J Clyne who works with Cardinal Thomas O'Fiaich in Armagh, is
gathering parish records for this county and also for some parts of Louth,
which have been historically attached to the Archdiocese of Armagh.

You can write to him at the Cardinal's residence, "Ard Coeli" Armagh City,
Armagh BT61 7QY, or call 0861 522045, and if you wish to commission a
Genealogist to work for you Inside Ireland recommends:

David McElroy, 111 South Parade, Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT7 2GN.

Henry McDowell, Celbridge Lodge Clebridge Co. Kildare

Tom Lindert, Windsor House, 22 Windsor Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

# # #
Inside Ireland $(US) 30 per year - 4 issues]
Stocking Lane
Ballyboden, Dublin, 16
Your subscription should include a copy of Inside Ireland's Genealogical
Supplement. If it doesn't you can request it separately.
It's a useful little pamphlet (25 pages) compiled by the 3 Genealogists
mentioned above and edited by Brena Weir, the editor of Inside Ireland.
Your subscription also includes a "preliminary genealogical screening"
by one of the Genealogists listed at the end of the article. This is
essentially a 1 page questionaire to find out what you know about who
you are looking for.
The Genealogist will advise you as to the degree of difficulty, likelyhood
of success and approximate cost of researching the ancestor outlined.
Or they may tell you to do some research here in the states first.

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