dúchas.ie (Folklore Collection)


A lot of things happened this week. Last week I indicated that the Ireland Research Trips for 2022 would go on as scheduled. Today, unfortunately, I have to let you know that I cancelled the October trips the end of last week. It was a difficult decision. I really thought with the openings and the increase in vaccinations in Ireland that we would be able to go. I had written to all of my contacts at the various repositories to let them know we were planning to be there and that's where it became obvious that the trips would have to be cancelled. It's been two weeks and I've heard nothing directly from the National Library or National Archives. PRONI, however, has made the decision that they will not accept any groups until 2022. In talking with friends and other genealogists in Ireland, the feedback was pretty negative. Libraries and Archives were some of the first places allowed to open in mid-May, however they were open on a reservation basis. The National Archives allows only 8 researchers a day, four days a week, with a limit on how frequently you can apply for a space. Rather than drag out a decision, I notified the attendees at the end of last week of the cancellation. Watch the website for updated information. I am currently looking at two trips for next year...one in May and one in October. Buswells (the hotel in Dublin) cannot accommodate a group in the spring so I'm currently looking at other hotels. I'll post the dates and other information as soon as it's available.


The National Folklore Collection which can be found at dúchas.ie was created to collect, preserve and disseminate the oral traditions of Ireland. I became familiar with the Folklore project through the Schools Collection and the book, Famine Echoes by Cathal Póirtéir published in 1995. In the mid-1930s a project was undertaken by the National Schools to have children collect the folklore from their family and neighbors. Thousands of pages were collected and not just about the Famine, but about all aspects of life. These stories, which can be searched by locality, name or topic will tell you about the life in the area where your ancestors lived. Although these stories were collected in the 1930s the people telling them were sometimes in their 90s taking you back into the mid 1800s. And frequently the stories had been passed down by their parents. (Note: these only cover the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland.) You will find information about the Collector (most likely a student between 10 and 15 years old) and the informant, including their age and locality. In County Mayo I've found stories written by descendants of common ancestors, as well as informants. Martin Daly, the brother of my husband's grandfather and the only child of 10 to remain in Ireland, was an Informant for a number of Collectors, and some of his children were informants for their uncle "Michael of Bolyboy," a relationship I suspected, but hadn't previously been able to confirm.


In each case you get the image of the handwritten story, as well as a transcription. The stories are frequently prefaced with genealogical information...

Michael Sheridan of Crimlin got the following information from Martin Daly of the same place. He heard it from Mary Sheridan’s father who was his (Michael Sheridan) great grandfather.

Can I figure out the relationship? Martin Daly was the son of John Daly, whose aunt, Catherine Daly married Michael Sheridan and had a daughter Mary. Mary's father, Michael was the Collector's (Michael Sheridan's) great grandfather.

Annie Daly, Crumlin, Irishtown got this story from her uncle, Michael Daly. He heard it from Martin Kelly, Crumlin who died when he was seventy-four years, nine years ago.

Because of the 100 year limitation on online birth records, many of the children that were Collectors were born after 1919 (currently the upper limit of birth registrations on IrishGenealogy.ie). These records, however, are available offline and the Index of Civil Registrations from FamilySearch goes to 1958 and provides the information for obtaining the records (albeit at a cost of €5 rather than free). You can download the form to order the certificates here and email them to the General Register Office. They will send you a link for a secure payment and email the copies to you.


You can, however, get the death records until 1969. So Martin Kelly of Crumlin actually died 4 January 1929, age 79 (always be flexible on dates). The informant was his son, Edward, who was born 14 December 1884 to Martin and Margaret Comber, both of Crumlin. They were married 23 February 1884 and Martin's father was Edward (still living) and Margaret's father was John who was deceased. That takes me back as far as I can go in this area since church records don't begin until 1870. Martin's son Edward (the informant on the death certificate) was married 7 February 1920 to Ellen Neary. So use these records to put together family information


A word of warning...reading these is addictive! You can search for the County and then for the locality, or you can search for a surname and then filter by locality. You may get specific family information, or you might just learn about the traditions, the occupations or stories about the area. Give it a try.


Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!





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